- The battle of the boss continues. My adversary is a mighty one. Yep. Go ahead, laugh. My battle for “who’s the boss” is with a two year old. Sad really. An example, on the way to Walmart:
Me: Mommy’s hungry. We’ll stop somewhere to eat before we go to Walmart.
Chloe: No! I wanna go ride the horsey at Walmart first.
Me: Well. We’re going to eat first.
Chloe: No. Horsey first! I’m the boss and I say horsey first!
Then she continues to repeat “horsey first” over and over as I drive.
- I’ll be completely honest. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve never done this terrible two thing before. Before the above conversation, she raised her voice at me about something else. I said back to her “Don’t you raise your voice and yell at me!” At that moment, I realized I was yelling at her. She’s getting it from me. Raising children is such a humbling experience. Earlier as I rocked the baby, I looked down at her beautiful face and told her I loved her. I prayed at that moment that I was doing right by her. What I mean is, sometimes I feel like I don’t give this baby near as much attention as I did Chloe. I let her cry unattended a lot more. So on one hand, I got a baby I feel like I’m neglecting, and on the other a toddler I feel like I’m making so many mistakes with!
- I drive to Walmart with my kiddos in the back, and my feelings of inadequacy riding shotgun. Once in Walmart, we head to Chloe’s favorite restaurant. We go once a week to McDonalds and it’s typically the one in Walmart. It’s at that moment that Chloe starts bawling because I got her an apple juice box instead of the talking cup featured on the high chair tray table (it doesn’t even exist!!) and the baby starts screaming at the top of her lungs (it is time for her to eat again already!!). I first grab Bailey from her carrier because her cry is a lot louder and easier to stop. She has liquid poop saturating the left side of her sleeper. I wrap her in a recieving blanket and go to exchange that darn juice box for a kid’s cup. I bring the cup back filled with orange soda and Chloe continues to cry since its not an animated talking cup like on the tray picture. I place a passy in Bailey’s mouth and retrieve the Happy Meal (which took 3 min and 30 precious seconds to cook). I prepare Chloe’s meal. Then I give my infant a baby wipe bath in our shopping cart, complete with a change of clothes. I don’t want to offend other patrons with my naked, poop stained kid, but the thought of dragging our entire set up with Chloe in a high chair eating nuggets to the diaper change station is too daunting. Once finished, I sit down to breastfeed Bailey in our little corner. As I watch Chloe, I remember I haven’t eaten yet. I’ll also add that my Dad called in the middle of it all. As I watched Chloe smile at me through French fries (like not a tear had fallen), I wondered how completely unprepared and ridiculous I sounded to my Dad or looked to the girls at the restaurant counter who were staring at me. It was also at that moment that I realized it didn’t really matter. I’ll just keep going, keep trying, keep growing. I’ll love my kids and do the best I can. Will I mess up? Yes. Will I give up? No. Will I still smile at the end of the day? Yeah. I’m smiling now. Despite it all, I am.
That is all 🙂
- Children can certainly help you gain a new perspective on life. That’s a mighty vast subject, so let me narrow it down a bit. Children help you realize you can’t take anything for granted. Something as simple as eating a snack can become unobtainable. Usually, you’re hungry. You eat. That’s not always so with kids. Enter fussy baby. You can’t even put them down to fix a sandwich. You put them down long enough to fix a microwave Mac & Cheese for the other one, and the loud, screaming cry pierces your brain just enough to make you consider jumping through the kitchen window. So you do what you can and grab a box of reduced fat cheddar cheese bits (Kroger’s lovely version of the Cheezit). Reduced fat or not, it sounds awesome to your grumbly tummy. Alas, it sits beside you, but might as well be in Texas. One hand plugs the passy in baby’s mouth, while the other succumbs to carpal tunnel causing pats on the back. Where’s my third hand your brain screams. Just a taste of cheesy goodness would quell your appetite. Not for now Mommy. The babe’s eyes are closing, and you know any false move could disrupt the gravitational pull of the ensuing nap. Sadly, the snack must wait.
- A question plagues me. How can a laundry basket fill so quickly? I know this isn’t just my home. I’ve heard other women comment on the same thing. It’s almost like Garfield’s lasagna pan. It never empties. So I know I have a baby and that’s multiple poop and spit up stained sleepers per day. Check. Chloe goes through 1-2 outfits, pajama, and currently a couple of pairs of panties per day. Check. Even if I just sit around the house, my clothes are gonna be stained by little people body fluids too. Check. We got Ben’s flour saturated work clothes. Check. But, still, it doesn’t add up. I do multiple loads throughout the day, and eventually get them folded and put away before bedtime. (Ok. Sometimes a few days lapses between wash and fold. And sometimes they just get worn right out of the clean pile). Yet when I wake up the next day, it seems that darn basket is full again. I’m beginning to think there’s an evil gnome who plays dress up in everyone’s clothes overnight, and then pees and rolls in food with them on before discarding them in my laundry basket at dawn. Anyway. I’ll write more later. I got laundry to do right now…
- This fact is titled “what’s up with that?” I know. That’s a question. But it’s a fact that I ask myself that question daily. Chloe can pee in the potty, but refuses to poop in it. I’ve heard this is common, but it doesn’t make me feel any better when I clean poop out of her panties. What’s up with that? Chloe has been showing a renewed jealousy of the baby. When Bailey cries she tells me “Put her in the swing Momma. Let her cry.” When the baby cries, she chooses that moment to ask me questions, ask me to hold her, or ask me to get her something. She actually just hit the boppy pillow as I was feeding the baby and yelled “she’s not hungry!” Thought we were past the worst of that. What’s up with that? She’s even pulling the old bad kid routine again. She sassed me this morning, saying “Chloe’s the boss!” She’s telling me “no” way too much. She blew my mind today by telling me “I’m tired of you!” What’s up with that? Ben tells me I should spank her more. But I’m afraid if I spanked her every time, we wouldn’t do anything all day except give/get spankings. I suppose a better title would be “what’s up with my 2 year old?” And then as I wrote that question; I got my answer. She’s 2. I’ll keep doing what we’ve been doing. I’ll love her, discipline her, love her again, and repeat.
That is all 🙂
- Men cannot, nor will they ever understand, the dilemma that is trying on women’s clothing. I grab two pair of jeans in Old Navy. First off, they’re both skinny jeans. That is apparently the only type of jean sold anymore. Old Navy had 15 different names for them, but they were all skinny jeans. Sadly, skinny jeans look best on the body type that matches the jeans name. Ok. Fine. I surrender to the skinny jean fad. I grab two pair. They’re the same size, just different trendy names. One is called “Diva”; the other “Rockstar”! Wow. The names just make you feel sassy. I strut to the dressing room already feeling like a Rockstar Diva.
- I enter the dressing room with my pants and a few cute shirts to try as well. I’m immediately shocked that there’s a strange, pale woman with fried hair already in the stall. I almost cry out in terror, recalling all the murder mystery shows I’ve seen on Investigation Discovery. Will I be the next victim?! No. It’s not a mad woman. It’s my flattering reflection courtesy of those fabulous fluorescent lights they put in there. You mean I have to undress under these?! I feel like I’m on stage and the play is a re-enactment of one of those naked dreams you have. Just as I’m ready to take the plunge and disrobe, I hear Chloe knocking on the door to let her in. Her Father is out there, but apparently Moms are not meant to have private moments, ever. Now I can have a witness to the debacle that is trying on clothes.
- I get past the fact of how I think I look in that circus mirror. I even get past the fact that my breasts are so full of milk at this point, that I look like some bad porno. I put on the first pair. I’m delighted that they fit perfectly, if you overlook the excess skin still around my tummy that’s pouring over the edge. I tell myself that the right shirt could make it work. But they’re white. I remind myself of cookie hands and sitting on discarded fruit snacks. So I move on to the next pair. They’re a beautiful blue and the same size as the other pair. As soon as they go over my feet, I realize something is terribly wrong. I look at the tag thinking I grabbed the wrong size. Nope. Now I’m determined! So I insist on putting what feels like a pair of Chloe’s pants over my generous hips. I give up when I can’t even close the buttons. To be honest they weren’t even in the same zip code. Dang. Now I gotta pull them off. Glad Chloe was there. I held myself up by resting my hand on her head and leaned against the wall while I ripped the second skin off. If I had scissors, I probably would have used them. Skinny jeans I loathe you. Yes, men will never understand what we put ourselves through.
That is all 🙂
- It was an exhausting day at work. Some days are like that. Some days the patients are all a little bit sicker. Some days, the things that can go wrong, just do. Some days, the patients seem younger and younger, making you feel older and older. Some days, the family’s grief brings you down more than others. Some days, you just wanna question every decision you make, to insure it was the right one. Some days, you wonder if you’re cut out for this kind of work. And that makes you sad. Some days, you just want to cry. Simply put, some days, taking care of sick people is really hard! And some days, it’s harder than others.
- I’ll throw a random fact at you. I shave my legs every day. I don’t care if I’m running late for work. It makes no difference when I’m working at home as a Mommy. I will find the time. I’ve had two instances in life where I wasn’t able to shave my legs. So I suppose the trauma changed me for life. The first was when I was a missionary in the interior of Guyana. There sometimes was no where to bathe, much less shave. I went 3 months straight without shaving. The second was in bootcamp. It’s hard to shave when you only have 60 seconds to shower in cold water with someone screaming at you the whole time. In both instances, when I finally could shave, I was already hearing little monkeys swinging on my hair trees, and as the razor cut, I could hear a tiny voice in the distance yell “timber”. So naturally, I now own stock in Gillette.
- Isn’t it funny how you can be dead tired after a long day at work, but when you get home and realize you’re off the next day; you’re hit with a surge of excited energy. Sure it only lasts about 45 minutes at the most, but it’s just long enough to have a disco dance party with a two year old. The goal is always to keep the momentum going long enough to love on the kids for an adequate amount of time, but then put them to bed. The hope is that there’s still enough gas in your tank to keep you up long enough to converse with the hubby. (And anything else that may entail). Ben is currently winding Chloe down, while I work the sandman magic on Bailey. So, wish me luck.
That is all 🙂
- I adore the fact that my hubbie sends me little messages throughout the day. Sometimes they are funny. Sometimes encouraging. Sometime loving. Sometimes provocative. The wonderful thing is that even if they’re a simple statement, it’s the thought that let’s me know he cares. We often can all get caught up and busy in every day details of life. With young children, it’s even harder to have quiet time together as a couple. For us, keeping the lines open, even if it’s just little text notes, makes all the difference.
- To be perfectly honest, the best thing about going to work, is coming home to hugs. It started when I went to exchange vehicles with Ben. He enveloped me in the warmest cuddle for such a cold night. It lasted a long time, and I didn’t want to let him go. When I got to Nonnie’s to pick up Chloe, she gave me her signature hug. She ran to me and jumped into my lap, wrapping her legs around me, and squeezing me with the sweetest love bug hug ever. I got home and got the gift of yet another cuddly, cuddle by my sweet love, Bailey. Being missed makes being away a little easier.
- I wanted to share something I read today. 1 Samuel 10:6-7. “The Spirit of The Lord will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.” When I read that, it just jumped out at me. It just rang so true. I often think of the person I used to be before, and am so happy to be a different person now. I used to fear how drawing close to God would make me change. Once I did, though, I discovered I could do so much more in this life. He made me a different person. He made me new. And now I can do anything, for He is with me. Love it.
That is all 🙂
- I have a lot of different emotions for a Friday. There’s no doubt that my hormones are still out of whack, but putting them aside, I think it really has more to do with what happens around me. I almost feel like I’m in the vortex of a tornado, and the forces surrounding me are moving much faster than myself. I often feel like my life is a race right now. If it were a NASCAR race, it would probably be the track in Richmond. It definitely feels like a short track, for I’ve been speeding all week and I’m back at Friday already. I have 5 days off every week, but they go by so quick. I can’t help but feel a little melancholy over going to work in the morning. I pray not to feel that way, but I can’t help feeling a bit sad about leaving my babies. Or sometimes I feel like my life is a circus. I’m certain it looked that way to the crowd of eyes watching the fiasco that was me bringing my kids and bags into Kroger and trying to secure a suitable cart. I certainly felt center ring as Chloe screamed shrilly that she didn’t want to sit in the basket and I muscled the infant carrier into another buggy. A teenage girl actually looked at me with disgust and said “Do you need help or something?” Glad I could prevent another episode of 16 and Pregnant. So there’s one emotion for you; melancholy, dipped in self pity.
- Don’t worry. I never let that one hang around for long. How could I? I’m usually so steeped in joyful amusement, I don’t have a chance. Bailey had her 2 month appt. yesterday. She had grown a lot. The chubby cheeks, pot belly, and Michelin Man legs had given me a clue. When you have to move fold after fold to clean the poopie, you’re doing good. 90th percentile in weight. Chloe is on her 2nd day of wearing panties with zero accidents. Ben and I are exhausted, but pleasantly so. Chloe kicks Ben all night. Bailey keeps the whole house awake with her grunting in her sleep. Ok, actually, she just keeps Ben and I awake. Chloe sleeps on, kicking away in her dreams. Ben said Bailey sounds like she’s climbing Mt. Everest. I suppose Chloe is running the Boston Marathon. Glad someone has the energy and physical stamina. So there’s another; joy intertwined with amusement and a side of exhaustion.
- I always feel pride for my girls and my selfless man, but today I got an extra measure of pride to add to my emotional pocketbook. I went to visit my baby sister. She is home now with a baby of her own. I really enjoyed watching her hold her son, so gentle, yet so natural. He seemed so comfortable with her, as only a child can feel in their Mother’s arms. She knew how to soothe him. We exchanged conversation on breastfeeding and I offered any meager tips I’ve picked up along the way. I brought her a quick meal I fixed. It felt nice to pay forward the generosity others had given me in the way of advice and food. I didn’t want to leave, but knew well enough that my children needed naps. As I drove away, I prayed for her and her son. There’s another; pride swaddled in love, with a cushion of nostalgia. As our day winds down here, Chloe watching cartoons, and Bailey napping in my lap; I feel one of the best emotions of all: peace, saturated with blessed contentment.
That is all 🙂
- Valentine’s Day is actually a special holiday for me. It’s not so much the actual day, but rather the memory it stirs in me. I returned back home to Mississippi in late 2007. It was a difficult time for me. I was suffering reverse culture shock after having been away from home so long. I was also going through an unexpected divorce. I won’t go into details about this past relationship other than to say, I didn’t seek God in the beginning or throughout the relationship. That in itself should not make its failure seem so unexpected after all. Either way, I was suffering from depression and found it difficult to reach for anything that brought true happiness. Within a short year of my return, my Mother passed away. This event only added to my already gloomy approach to life. I think a part of me felt like I thrived in this darkness. I would often jot down morbid poetry that Ben admits now frightened him at the time. 2. My dearest Ben was there with me through it all. Like the poetry, there were things I did he didn’t approve of and vice versa. The February after my Mom died I went card shopping for Valentine’s Day. It was only natural that he would be my Valentine, even though our relationship status was questionable. I had been pushing him away. I knew he still loved me, but was allowing me my space, perhaps because he wasn’t sure what else to do. I had cocooned myself into my living room, smothering in my own solidarity. As I stood in the store aisle reading through cards, I found one I rather liked. It had a silver heart attached to it that read “love always.” It hit me then, or rather God hit me. His voice in my head said, “Brie, if you’re gonna give him this card, you owe it to him to really mean it.” I stood there thinking it over and realized, I really did. I always had.
- I thought of a song this morning as I thought of my forever Valentine. Its lyrics go “Who will love me for me? Not for what I have done or what I will become?” My husband truly exemplifies Ephesians 5, loving his wife as Christ loves the church. After you’ve been rejected in life, you can often be afraid of love, especially a love that is non biased and unconditional. We love each other this way. Every Valentine’s Day I remember when I chose to not be afraid, but rather to love and be loved. Happy Valentine’s Day to my sweetheart of all times, my rock, my companion, my help mate, my lover, my best friend, my husband. I love you more each day.
That is all 🙂
- My little independent thinker, aka notorious toddler, otherwise known as Chloe, has made the decision that she is ready to potty train. If I were trying to potty train her, I wouldn’t even bother to mention it. I would realize that any vain attempts by myself to try and sway her towards doing something to make my life easier would only result in a dramatic crash and burn, punctuated with many crying spells. In this instance though, upon waking this morning, she proclaimed, “I wanna wear panties today.” So she has. She peed in the potty all day. One part of me is surprised. Another part of me finds it completely in line with how she does things. All of me is proud of my ever growing baby.
- Since Ben and I are like two big kids who can’t wait till Christmas morning to open our presents, we started celebrating Valentine’s Day today. Some will state it a silly holiday, saying you should show love to your significant other every day. I can agree with that, but when you never buy anything for yourself anymore and spend all your money on your kids; it’s a parent’s dream holiday. I try to not wait last minute to shop. In fact, I bought Ben’s gift last week. I realized I had forgotten the card, though, as I put my items on the conveyer belt. I bought a heart shaped pan and the ingredients for Chloe and I to make and decorate a cookie cake. First, Ben informed me this morning he was swearing off sweets. Then he came home from break with a very elaborate gift for me! Even though it was last minute, I have to admit I enjoyed shopping for gifts for my sweetie. As for the card, most stores were sold out except for ones for your three year old nephew. I ended up finding a suitable one at Kroger. He liked his presents and that was the best gift for me. Well, on second thought, the iHome dock I got was the best gift.
- I was planning to spend some time with Chloe this week anyway, but the potty thing made me want to even more. I told her we were going on a date. We took Bailey to my Mother-in-Law’s and we were off. We went to Gooseberry and enjoyed yogurt complete with toppings. Chloe chose sprinkles and gummi bears for her chocolate yogurt. She then ran circuits around the drug store aisle, which I allowed for a short time. She helped me pick out her Dad’s gifts. And by help me, I mean she ran through the store hiding in between racks, climbing on displays, and forcing me to drag her by her arm across the floor as her little limp legs dragged the ground and she screamed “let me go!” I suppose I thought it a brilliant idea to go shopping at 6 pm after no nap all day and a gummi bear sugar crash. We kept going. In K-Mart, she donned a hat she called a “giddy-up hat” and sampled every item she could get her hands on. I had told her she could get something for peeing in the potty. I tried the keep walking trick. I circled around and followed her as she wandered aimlessly in that silly hat saying “I’m looking for my Mommy.” She was too enthralled by neon pink nail polish to be truly scared. She finally settled on a huge Dora coloring book. Our date had come to an end. My heart was happy when she stated in the car, “I don’t wanna go back to Nonnie’s. I wanna keep playing with you.” Before I could respond, she was asleep.
That is all 🙂
- I’ve been trying to get back in the swing of things on the Gowen home front. It’s almost like my brother was right about the hospital waiting room being the Twilight Zone. I certainly felt like I was returning from an alternate reality last night. The absolute blackness on the highway at midnight only added to my exhaustion. Bailey took some time to be convinced to fall asleep for the night. I longed to stay awake with my sweetheart and tell him the excitement of my day, but the rhythmic motion of rocking the baby lulled me away as well.
- Chloe had not stayed awake as long as the rest of us. So she was understandably ready to roll this morning. Oh how I had missed my little tornado yesterday! She apparently missed me too. She greeted me this morning as I sat on the commode by saying, “I can’t stand it any longer. Take off your boobie so I can have it. I haven’t played with it in days and days!” No, you didn’t misread that, and yes, it’s a direct quote. Bailey has napped a lot, allowing Chloe and I time together. It apparently isn’t enough, though. Even as I sit here rocking Bailey to sleep in another room, Chloe keeps coming to the doorway screaming “watch me!” As she dances to Dora. Every time, I say “Shhh… Good job” and she screams back “oh thank you, thank you!” It’s a wonder the baby ever naps at all.
- Earlier I watched old episodes of Downton Abbey, with a sleeping Chloe on my lap. There was a part where a young maid said to a lady of the house, “You all are raised that way, to believe that every dream you have is within your grasp to be accomplished. We are not taught to believe that.” It made me think about how opinions on that differ between a believer and non-believer. If your faith is rooted solely in your own abilities, it may be quite easy to believe you can’t do something or that your dreams cannot be accomplished. But when you place your hope and trust in a Loving Father God, He gives you the strength, endurance, know-how, and confidence to see your dreams realized. When we rely on our own devices, we are almost like a lower class, incapable of achieving greatness for lack of resources. But as a child of God, we have been bestowed a great inheritance, that once realized and claimed, makes us capable of obtaining many great dreams and achieving many great heights.
That is all 🙂
- It’s a boy! My baby sister had a baby. I feel so many emotions right now. I held her when she was a baby, and it seems almost strange to me that she is now having her own. Before we could see her, they sent a video of her holding little Jaxon. Her profile looked exactly like my Momma. I pictured Momma holding her 21 years earlier and I almost fell apart.
- We were at the hospital about 12 hours. It made for a long day. I had Bailey. I was proud she did so well, but nursing all day on the calories derived from a bag of Doritos and Reese’s cups left me drained. I don’t know what people did in waiting rooms before smart phones. We all took turns sharing one charger. Thankfully my Dad didn’t electrocute himself using his pocket knife to remove the child proof device from the outlet. My brother said a hospital waiting room is like the Twilight Zone. After watching 13 hrs of The Weather Channel, I have to agree. I saw a proud new, young daddy in there. I smiled as he told someone on his phone, “Sorry dude. I gotta go. I got a baby to take care of now.”
- When I walked into the delivery room, I was surprised to see my baby sister had been replaced by a woman. Her countenance had somehow changed. Her eyes showed a wisdom that had not been there before. I cried as I put my arms around her neck. “I’m so proud of you.” I said, pointing at her son, “Look what you did!” Already sounding like a Mom, she told me calmly, “Don’t cry.”
That is all 🙂