- I’ve discovered a small known fact among seasoned Moms. I’ve now come to accept it, for I cannot change it. Sometimes you just gotta roll with the punches and hope you’ll be standing before the bell rings. I now know that when little kids are in the house, definitely when more than one, but especially when more than two; it is not possible to keep a truly clean, by definition, home. The best you will be able to do is pick up the obvious mess before more mess piles on top of it, creating an avalanche effect. The goal is to minimize the mass chaos as much as possible, while still maintaining all the other tasks that must be completed to keep the family fed, clothed, and happy. If you are a former clean freak like myself, then I am truly sorry. I know this may be difficult for you, but put the pledge down! Trust me. They’re just gonna end up smearing cheese and chocolate milk on the table when you’re done. Forget the Tide, pre-treater of stains, pen. The stains will be so many that you’ll end up just blotting them with a wet wipe. That is if you end up bothering with it at all. Welcome to the jungle baby! You just gotta try and survive.
- One thing I’ve discovered, to be honest, is that there’s just too much fun stuff to do, instead of wasting my time cleaning baseboards. But sometimes, the to-do’s that don’t get to-done can get down right to-scary for even the most lackadaisical. Such was the case with my carpets. My vacuum was the best looking paperweight I’ve ever seen. I thought maybe it could at least push the large pieces of debris to one pile or something, but even that simple act seemed too complicated for my vacuum to complete. It much preferred to just take up a large amount of space in the coat closet. I guess you could say it sucked, but not in the way it was destined to. As it was, birds were beginning to knock at my door asking if they could come in and collect the loose threads, fuzz, and general trash from my floor to use for their spring time nests.
- I’m such a penny-pinching, hard-headed ninny, that I probably would have continued to haul my useless, rolling leaf blower from room to room and performed my senseless and repetitive role of pushing it from corner to corner hoping for a change in its decided nature to not suck up even the smallest piece of dust. Ahhg! Curses you Sultan of Suck! In flies my super hero, my knight in shining armor, my sensible partner in life that I call by the simple title, Husband. He convinced me to bite the bullet, to give up on Old Nelda as I’ve been known to affectionately call her, to just surrender to the fact that I need a new vacuum cleaner. It was so simple. We went, we looked, and we purchased. Have my ears ever heard such a lovely motor purr?! It was so invigorating, so liberating to pass the vacuum apparatus over my junk yard floor and watch the miracle of suction take place right before my very eyes. Had I ever seen such a site?! What type of black magic was this?! You vacuum the floor and the dirt and dust is no more! Glory be! And so quick, like lightening it passes over the carpet leaving beautiful vacuum trails in its wake. We’re so excited over here that we’ve been running all willy nilly, dropping Cheerios underfoot, without a care if they crush to tiny pieces, no fear of reprisal inhibiting our wild snack food nature. In record time, all floors were clean. This gave us plenty of daylight time to go outside and play. And boy did we ever! Good times were had by all. As we all headed back inside, my former clean freak self took note of all the dirt and grass that was tracked back through the house. Oh my new little vacuum friend, my new Defender of Dirt, you have no idea what you’re up against. Welcome to the jungle!
That is all 🙂
- A day has 24 hours. 24 hours is really a relatively short amount of time in the grand scheme of things. I can never seem to get my laundry list of tasks completed in that tiny timeframe. What does amaze me though, is that vast array of emotions that can be experienced in any given day. For me, a day can seem like a piñata at a kid’s Birthday party. I live each day to the fullest, beating it with a stick, sometimes stumbling through a couple of turns until finally, victory, the candy comes out.
- I slept in this morning, and I mean I slept in! It was exhilarating (first emotion). Ben was off today and I made eggs for brunch. Little Chloe helped as usual which produced happiness, pride, and a bit of frustration, but mostly love. (#2,3,4, & 5). We did some shopping after lunch. We had to pull aside on the highway at one point for a funeral procession. Every time I see one, I flash back to riding in my Mom’s procession. At the time, we were taking the exact same route we had taken a week before when my Uncle died. It was surreal. Today, as I recalled those emotions, tears came to my eyes. (Grief #6). We went to Lowe’s to buy a new faucet that would work with our water purifier. Upon seeing the price of faucets, I suggested to Ben trying to just find some sort of attachment to extend from our existing faucet to make it work. We found one for $2.99. (Satisfaction #7). We scurried along to KMart and very unexpectantly, I came upon a double stroller for a very decent price. (Surprise #8). I’ve been putting off such a purchase. We got it and I was so very excited (#9). It was like Christmas. I can’t wait to use it (Anticipation #10).
- We hurried home, as I had a Baby Shower to go to for my little sister. When ever I have to go somewhere, time speeds up and my children slow down. Chloe chose to crash into a nap right before it was time to go. Bailey decided to blow out her diaper with liquid poop all over me and her. (Hectic #11 & Annoyed #12). We miraculously made it pretty much on time. I had a wonderful time (Happiness #13). I enjoyed stories from women with sons, concerning their toileting habits. I learned the best way to eat a cupcake and always get a taste of icing with each bite. (Good humored amusement #14). But alas, the hour grew late, and children grew tired and fussy. (Frazzled #15, Exhaustion #16). Once I got them home, though, they were easy enough to get to sleep. (Accomplishment #17). As I wind down and think about my day, I smile at my life (Peace #18, Contentment #19). I know I barely scraped the iceberg listing my emotions for the day, but Mommy is tired too. (See #16).
That is all 🙂
- I’m dragging today. While I got to bed at a decent hour, I suffered severely fragmented sleep. An hour after dozing off, my husband brought me a ravenous little 3 month old. I had filled that kid’s tummy before bed too! This continued for the rest of the night. I somewhat recall, through a sleepy haze, waking up hourly to conquer the dragon that was Bailey’s appetite for milk. When my alarm went off, she seemed quite content as she pooted a sonnet of satisfaction. I, on the other hand, literally drug myself to the shower.
- Hard to take care of patients when you’re tired. I guess it’s hard to do anything on poor sleep. I had a real sick patient today. The family was very emotional and requiring much support in that arena. Sometimes the stresses involved in Nursing can take an emotionally exhaustive toll on the Nurse that is profoundly draining as well. I read a devotional on my break today that really seemed to ring true, especially for my day. It said, “When you leave, people should be better off than they were before. Don’t get too busy, too stressed out, or too discouraged to lift someone’s spirit.” How very true. It’s so nice to get the word you need, precisely when you need it.
- Nothing wakes you like doing something you enjoy. No pot of Maxwell House’s strongest brew can compete with the adrenaline rush I get when it’s time to go home. I was welcomed by a joyful 2 year old smiling with her gapped teeth while saying “I wanna play with you!” How could I resist that invitation. We also have a movie recorded in the bedroom to watch in bed. That sounds right up my alley. I just hope this tiny surge of energy can last till the ending credits.
That is all 🙂
- Early this morning as I cradled my sleeping daughter in my arms, both of us dozing after a feeding session; I startled awake and thought for certain that the still little baby wasn’t breathing. As I watched her, she immediately started breathing. Later as I got ready for work, I thought about my children and prayed for them as I usually do. I thought of how hard it is to leave your children in the care of another. It’s not a matter of your sitter not being qualified to care for them. They are. I think it’s just always difficult to give over the reigns to someone else. I think sometimes you can also feel like you burden those trying to help you. Every time I leave my kids for the day, it’s a challenge for me.
- This morning it came to my mind how my former self used to see this situation. I’ve learned that what you think you know about child raising, when you don’t have any, is a sadly mistaken opinion. I remember a co-worker years ago talking about breastfeeding her 18 month old and how he slept with them. I smiled at her, but was secretly appalled. I remember thinking “I’m only going to breastfeed the first year of life and my child will never be in my bed!” False assumptions of what you think you will do, have a way of biting you in the buttocks later on. I also remember a few friends who had children before me. When their 2nd child rolled around, they took off work to be stay at home moms. I remember thinking “don’t they get bored? Isn’t that just an excuse to not work? I’m gonna be a Mom and have a career!” Oh my goodness. I just want to go back in time and kick myself where the sun don’t shine. What a pious idiot I was.
- Nothing like trying to remove your own foot from your mouth. Yes my friends from long ago, I am sorry. I now realize how hard it is to raise a family. I know how hard it is to work a job outside the home while doing it. I know how hard it is to kiss your babies goodbye as you walk out the door. My only solace is my faith in God. I take peace in knowing he has my children in His hand. I take comfort knowing He is aware of my dreams and desires I hold in regards to taking care of my children. This is not something I’ve perfected. I am not ashamed to say that this is something I’m working on. I have to remind myself anew every time I walk out the door. He is in control. I trust in that.
That is all 🙂
- Tomorrow I go to work as a Registered Nurse. That’s my part-time job. My full-time gig is Mothering. Today I took more notice of the different parts that contribute to the whole of my job description. Whenever I cook breakfast, Chloe always wants to help. We enjoy scrambled eggs around this house. A toddler’s idea of helping includes a lot of standing right at your feet and positioning themselves to cause you to trip over them as you move about. They also want to do the stuff you would rather them not. Well, that’s a given in all things. When speaking on helping out, they want to do the tasks that will make the most mess. Chloe likes to crack the eggs into the bowl, but immediately cries out “oooh” and wants her hands washed. She also likes to do anything that involves the butter, since she is addicted to eating it straight from the tub. It would be much easier to do it myself without her well-intentioned help, but I know it’s good for her to help. This is the part of my Mommy resume where I can jot down patience, communication, and interpersonal skills.
- My child is constantly learning and is always listening. I speak on her level, but I don’t baby talk or try to dumb things down. I use big words and a multitude of them. Today I was asking her a question and said “that requires an answer”. She was unfamiliar with the word “require” apparently, so she asked “what is that Mommy? Why do you say requires an answer?” So I explained it to her. There are so many things that are foreign to a child so young and they are like little sponges. When you look at it that way, you realize that there’s a lesson in everything you do, and an opportunity to mold a young mind. As we were walking today, Chloe finished a packet of fruit snacks and threw it down. This was a perfect opportunity to teach her not to litter. I had her take it to the nearest trash can. This portion of the Mommy resume would say Interpreter, Teacher, and Environmentalist.
- We went to the park today. I’m of two different minds about my public park. On one hand I think it’s very nice with a walking trail and nice playground. On the other hand, I don’t like to go when I see all the cigarette smoking, unsupervised bigger children, profanity, and R rated graffiti. I know I may sound silly or overprotective, but I don’t care. I use to smoke. I was a Sailor, so the profanity is a given. I use to be one of those unsupervised kids. So I’m not looking down my nose at that stuff; it’s just not what I want my kid around at this point and time. Somehow I end up going back thinking I will see the park differently. I took a picture of Chloe that I thought was rather cute. When I looked at it later, I noticed the word shit spray painted above her head. Nice. That’s one for the photo album. But she does have such a good time there! This part of the Mommy resume would say Bodyguard, Watchman, Defender, and Tour Guide. I would likely need to attach a second sheet to include on my Mommy resume all my secondary duties. Thankfully I won’t need the resume. God already gave me the job. I’m always on duty, get paid in hugs, and have no retirement plan in sight. I always knew I’d find a job I loved!
That is all 🙂
- It’s a Motrin kinda day. If they didn’t put me straight to sleep, I might even dig out the full bottle of Lortab they sent me home with after Bailey was born. What’s wrong Brie, you ask with concern. Well, you know since I’m extremely brilliant and all, I decided to embark on my very own fitness journey from my living room rug. Perhaps you’ve seen the infomercial for this wonderful product called P90X. I actually ordered it after Chloe was born. I recall sitting up in the bed with my boppy pillow and nursing my first born at 2 am. That was when I first saw this epic DVD compilation that featured flabby men and fluffy housewives regaining the buff bodies of their youth. My first thought was “I can do that!” My second thought was that’s a little expensive. (I am such a cheapskate that I’m surprised I don’t make Ben pee in a jug to save on the water bill). So naturally I rerouted to eBay to find the product at a cheaper price. I then rushed to purchase the product 1/2 price from an unknown seller from China with great reviews. I later, when my package was late and untrackable, discovered the reviews were all suspiciously from the same reviewer. Yes. I ended up purchasing it from the official Beach Body website. Even seeing the name of that website makes me shake my head at my own unrealistic expectations.
- It’s a 90 day program. I’m proud to say that previously I adhered to the program 7 days a week, without fail, for 45 days straight. That’s pretty good I think. I guess you gotta do the full 90 days though, since I lost exactly 0 lbs previously. I had better luck taking the stairs at work. Since I had such a stellar result last time, I naturally decided to dig it out of the closet this week. I felt pretty confident after Bailey was born, but the past couple of weeks I’ve found myself really critiquing my figure and the refusal of the scale to budge from the stubborn number it’s stuck on. So Monday I decided to start with my main complaint area and put in the 15 minute video titled Ab Ripper X. Doesn’t that just sound like a nice little workout to get you started? I also did 10 minutes of the Cardio workout. Don’t laugh. I’m sure I would have done the whole thing if the baby hadn’t woke up! Yesterday I felt just a twinge of soreness in my upper abdomen and thought “maybe I’m not as bad off as I thought!” I thought this even as I knew better. Sure enough, today I awoke and realized I must be leading a double life as a secret agent and overnight I was tortured for information by beating me with sandbags on my ribs and thighs. Earlier I sneezed and the aftermath made me want to cry.
- So why do we do this to ourselves? I know from the last child that until my body is ready to loose the weight, I’m not going to. I realize that while I’m breastfeeding so frequently, that I’ll constantly be starving and can take no supplement or the like to diminish my teenage boy appetite. My poor husband tells me this a lot. He has to listen to my mumbled insults of myself. I got to thinking about it and I realized I’m probably not being very appreciative of the body God gave me and He probably doesn’t take joy in me insulting myself. I can desire to lead a healthier life by eating fruit instead of chocolate. I can exercise to strengthen the body I’ve been gifted with. I can desire and make changes to return to the weight that my body is most comfortable with. What I cannot do is degrade myself when it’s not quite there yet. Self hatred will solve nothing and only sadden those who love me like my husband. And what of my impressionable two year old? What am I teaching her? So today I vow to take it a little easier on myself and to love me a little bit more. I could love me a lot more if it didn’t hurt to open the fridge, but it’s a start. Right?
That is all 🙂
- I saw a commercial today that featured a carpet shampooer. I could care less about the product. What drew my attention was that the woman had white carpet. Not off-white; it was white. She had a white sofa too. Then I noticed kids toys on the floor, and that’s when I realized this commercial was based in an imaginary world. There’s no way a Mom who has young children could have white carpet and furniture. I really think that commercials, TV shows, magazines, and some crafty websites, I won’t mention by name, can make a Mom feel inadequate or sub-par. I’m not really sure when I would find time to shampoo my carpet or make avocado dip with different vegetables cut into shapes to resemble a rainbow and clouds for dipping when I can barely keep dishes washed and laundry done. I’ll admit I try it. I made eggs inside toast with star-shaped cutouts the other day for breakfast, but that’s a rarity. I’m usually happy if I can get breakfast made for Chloe before its lunch time. Maybe one day I’ll try buying lingerie bags for every family member’s socks (“to make laundry a cinch!”). For now I’m just happy to find Chloe’s socks throughout the house before the current load going in the washer hits the rinse cycle.
- I would love to have one of those picturesque comforter sets I see in the beach house scenes in home & garden magazines, but let me tell you how that would go for me. This morning I went to change the fitted sheet on the bed. You see, my sheets get stained with kid pee and vomitus, etc., so frequently and therefore get washed so frequently, that when Ben went to pull the sheet taunt, it ripped. So this morning I changed it out and made the bed. Then I folded some blankets and placed them neatly at the bottom of the bed. I felt quite accomplished and went to get dressed. I turned around and found a two year old jumping on my bed with both blankets thrown around her. A pretty little comforter set with perfectly placed pillows just would not do right now. I probably should find the time to shampoo the carpets though. Earlier I spotted a bare butt toddler running around. Upon questioning, she took me to the scene of the crime. There in my bedroom, carpeted floor was a pile of urine soaked Dora panties, purple pants, and socks sitting in a wet spot next to my secret stash candy jar of peanut M&Ms. It’s hard to take a pee break when you’re sneaking delicious chocolate treats.
- I remember my Mom worked full time as a RN when I was little. Yet, she managed to be so involved with everything I did. She spent a lengthy amount of time coloring on my paper sack book covers for school, drawing in great detail my favorite cartoon characters. She was quite the artist. I tried to tell my classmates I did it! She cooked food for class functions. She even dressed as a peanut for my Field’s Day and cheered my class on to victory. We were Price’s Peanuts. I’ve blogged before how her house was not spotless. It was never like a Hoarder’s episode or filthy, it was just what you would call “picked up.” She had a lot of glass trinkets picked up over the years, but they got dusted infrequently. I recall all the time and effort for me when she wasn’t working, and I’m certain now that she had her priorities really straight. She is gone now, but I never wonder if she loved me. I know I was the most important thing, and she didn’t have to enlist crafty meals or time saving tips for me to see that.
That is all 🙂
- A random thought for the day. I think it’s cruelly ironic that sending children outside to play to get them out of your hair, ends up causing more hassle than it’s worth. Any Mom looks forward to warmer weather so she can send the kiddos out to play. It takes a lot of patience and imagination to deal with young children suffering from winter’s cabin fever. So it’s naturally a joy to send them out when spring comes. This also allows a chance for Mom to get some spring cleaning underway. So you go to cleaning those floors that are finally free of toys and running children, or even small ones underfoot trying to “help”. Ohh, you’re so pleased with yourself. But, no! They come back in! And when they do, they are covered in mud and dirt. And guess what? They track that mud and dirt all over your clean floor. Now you’re cleaning floors and children. Any ground you gained is quickly lost. Sorry dear Mommy, you were tricked. But you’ll do it again and again because by golly, those 30 minutes of quiet in the house and that 15 minutes of shiny floor was pure bliss.
- You’re probably gonna laugh, but you’ll never guess where Ben and I went while on our date. Well, probably you could. We went to Walmart. Now we did go to dinner first and we rented a movie and watched it at home at the end of our date. The important part was that it was just the two of us. When you don’t have children always at home, you can take for granted how special it is to watch a movie uninterrupted and be able to hear it. Or you forget what it’s like to eat a full meal in one sitting while it’s hot. That’s how it was with the Walmart thing. We always have kids when we go. So you’re yelling “stay with me” or “don’t touch that”. I’m breastfeeding or taking Chloe to pee and holding her when the scary toilet flushes. Last night Ben and I walked leisurely through the aisles spending as much time as we wanted looking at this or that. Our only responsibility was ourselves. Even though it was Ben’s Birthday, he bought me new pots and pans. I guess he saw it as a gift for him too.
- I’m really enjoying this baby. Everyone knows I enjoyed Chloe. I still do! When she was a baby though, I was a new Mommy. I found myself anticipating her next milestone. I wanted her to hurry up and sit up. Then I couldn’t wait for her to crawl. Then I wanted her to hurry up and walk. This time around, I’m more aware of how mean time can be. I know how fast it will slip by. I’m really enjoying and savoring Bailey’s every smile and every coo. She is such a happy baby and her mood is contagious. I am madly in love with her laugh and her chubby cheeks and fat legs. I’m so glad that this time around I’m only working part-time. The decision to downsize our home so we could up-size our home life was brilliant, and I would suggest it to anyone who asks. There will be time later for a bigger home if that’s what we need. Right now all my children ask of me is my love, and I’m happy to oblige. Up above when I spoke of cleaning the floor, I did, but I also went out there and played with them too!
That is all 🙂
- In the Summer of 1997, my husband Ben and I went out on our first date. We went to Tupelo for dinner and a movie. I remember we went for a walk in the park after our movie, not wanting the night to end just yet. We shared our first kiss on a deserted park bench under the moonlight. I still shake my head at one memory from that first date. We were waiting for our movie to start and he said something to tease me. I can’t even recall what if was. What I do remember is that I went to playfully bite his shoulder (don’t ask me why I did that on a first date!) and managed to get my braces caught in the weaving fabric of his shirt. It actually pulled thread loose. Talk about embarrassing! But somehow he managed to make me feel secure and easily brushed the incident aside. I knew then that he was something special. And he wasn’t a bad kisser either.
- Today my husband and I went out on a date for his Birthday. I was so very excited. We did not go to Tupelo because we didn’t want to waste 2 hours of our sacred time together driving. I realized that we only do this about twice a year, usually for a birthday or anniversary. I mentioned this to Ben and asked him “Do you think other people with kids go out alone so little?” He replied, “Probably not, but a lot of married people with kids don’t have a relationship like we do.” I do think we should probably spend more time alone than we do, but I’m so very grateful that we are able to work together to keep our bond so strong. We don’t allow the busyness and interruptions of life to take away from our relationship together, and that makes me grateful for us.
- I am blessed to be married to my best friend. I spend most of my time with this BFF. He tells me if my outfit makes my butt look big or if I need to get my hair done. He listens to me rant about the kids or just in general to my outbursts. He knows when to comment and when to just listen. He is my biggest fan and greatest supporter. When I complain about my figure, he’s quick to tell me to quit cutting myself down because I’m beautiful. He’s always quick to compliment me. He notices the small changes I make with my appearance. He also notices when I clean extra or add something new to dinner, and always mentions that he does. This makes me feel appreciated. He always makes me laugh, the belly busting kind of laugh that makes me feel young. When I watch him with the girls, I fall in love with him all over again. Nothing is so handsome to me as when I see the genuine smile on his face when he looks at our daughters. Nothing makes me admire him more than when I see him rocking our daughter to sleep, or playing ball with her, or fixing her hair. I am so in love. He loves me for me. He makes me feel special and I couldn’t imagine my life without him. Happy Birthday to you Ben. I am so grateful that God gave me you!
That is all 🙂
- As I tip-toed through the house this morning, I thought “if only my family knew how much I intercede on their behalf.” As I look at my children, I pray for their safety and health, while praising God for the gift of their life. I pray for anyone who cares for them, that they will hear God’s voice for their safety and well-being. I pray for my husband, for God to lift him up and pour out His spirit upon him. I do this daily, but it somehow feels special to walk through the house, touching their foreheads as I pray. When I leave for work, I hand my family over to The Lord. It’s not only committing them to him, but also surrendering control to Him. I’m not sure how I could leave for work at all if I didn’t put them in such capable hands.
- Even though my smart phone picked it up right away, my body seems to have missed the boat on springing forward. I feel like my energy and motivation has still been one hour behind the rest of the day’s momentum. Even when you only work two days a week, the same evil gnome exists. I’m speaking of the little guy who controls time. He still puts the clocks on fast forward when I’m off work, but puts them in slow motion when I’m at work. Combine that cruel creeping of a day with my dragging body and it’s worse than watching turtles race. The strange thing is that it was really busy at work with short staffing, but a unit full of patients. That should have made the day speed by, but every time I glanced at the clock, it was hours behind what I thought it would say. So be it the evil gnome or spring forward fighting back; I may never know. I was ever so grateful, though, to pass the reigns and resume Mommy duty at 7 pm.
- Good to be home. I’ll share some immediate observations: Chloe is like a tiny mentally ill patient escaped from the asylum when she is sans nap. I believe she set a new record tonight for saying “hold me”. Bailey has got to be the best baby ever. She is always laughing, smiling, and making Mommy proud. My husband is absolutely adorable when he falls asleep sitting up. Who am I kidding. He’s adorable to me no matter what he’s doing. Remember the movie Goonies? Remember when Chunk is being interrogated by the bad guys and “tells them everything” when asked? That is my stepdaughter Marlie. I asked “what did you do today?” A series of run-on sentences describing every aspect of her day followed, from where Ben was sitting when she woke up, to what she ate for lunch, all the way to what she was playing before I walked in the door. The micro-machine man couldn’t have told it better. Cracked me up. For such a fighter of sleep, Chloe can pass out in record time. Nothing warms you up after getting wet in a cold rain than cuddling with a warm baby. Nothing will feel better after today than the pillow top mattress on my bed.
That is all 🙂