- My baby seems to go through cycles with her feeding. These are often called “growth spurts”, but my infant seems to go through them more frequently than what is typically documented in reading materials. So I’ve taken to calling them cycles. She has gone through a cycle this week, where she has been eating a lot. Instead of sleeping a 5 hour stretch at night; this week she nursed at least every two hours at night. She also ate frequently during the day. I’m very sensitive to the supply and demand issue. So if she eats more, I produce more milk. Yesterday, she went back to eating every 2-3 hours during the day and sleeping a long stretch at night. My milk production did not diminish. Therefore, I’ve been like a fire hydrant, sprouting leaks and spraying all over the place. I had to change my pajamas at 3 am and will be washing the sheets today. Bailey takes it all in stride, just holding her mouth open at a distance and catching her dinner. I dreamed last night that my milk curdled in there! It was a nightmare actually. Breastfeeding has its challenges and nuisances, but it is something that I think is best for baby and therefore I will put up with more laundry to achieve. Plus the hubby seems to find the wet t-shirt look amusing.
- Chloe took a power nap earlier. The second she woke up, she was talking. She began describing to me how she couldn’t see when her eyes were closed, but she could see a little with them squinted, and all the way with them open. It’s nonstop. The Duracell bunny concedes defeat in her presence. And she thinks she knows everything. No, really, she said to me this morning “I know everything.” She enjoyed my dinner I made last night and wanted it for breakfast. I explained it was all gone. She argued that with me when she saw a box of bow tie pasta with a bit left in it on the counter. Hard to explain to a 2 year old that fettuccine alfredo doesn’t come out of the box that way, that it must be prepared. She had to chew on a piece of uncooked pasta before she believed me. Then she took the box to her kitchen in her room to cook it properly. Aside from nonstop talking and knowing everything, she’s practicing her anger management. Instead of the usual screaming, she’s taken to telling me “Mommy, I’m mad!” Yesterday when she was skipping around at the party, some men chuckled at her antics. She told me “Mommy, I’m mad!” When I asked why, she responded, “I don’t like when people laugh at me.” If this blog ends up only being a place for me to keep record of her behavior, then it will be well worth my time.
- As I ran around in my front yard with a butterfly net trying to catch snowflakes, I looked up at the other houses to see if anyone was watching me act like a moron. Then I looked at the huge grin on Chloe’s face and decided I didn’t care. I love how something so simple can be so fun to a kid. I love how being with them is infectious and you find yourself enjoying the simple things in life as well. Only a child can make a grown man wear hair bows and drink imaginary tea from a pink cup. I can often get carried away in the tasks of being a parent and wife. If it weren’t for the infectious joy of play I experience with my kids, I might just get lost in the piles of laundry. Instead, Chloe’s imaginative vibrancy is like a lifeboat that pulls me to sanity.
That is all 🙂
- I try to understand it, and maybe that’s my problem. Maybe it can’t be explained. Maybe it’s one of those strange phenomenons that just happen. I ask you, why can I no longer be on time for anything? Ahh, but wait. I mentioned last weekend that I manage to get to work on time. Its because I don’t have to take the kids to work with me. I can get up in the wee hours of the morning and pretend I’m a young, single gal again, only having to bathe and dress myself. But when you push the time down later to when those kiddos are about to wake, and then worse, when they do; forget about it! I always dress myself first thinking if I get myself out of the way, I’m saving time. That’s all well and good, until you get stained by pee, poop, spit-up, or all of the above. Then there’s the mood of the child to consider. If you’re staying at home, your child will wake up smiling and singing. If you have somewhere to go, they’re suddenly gonna want to sleep in and any attempts to try and wake them brings about fits of crying and spittle soaked pillow cases. Every child will be hungry and need to be fed. Each child will soil there pants as you’re heading out the door. I planned to leave the house 30 minutes earlier than I needed to this morning. I arrived at my destination 5 minutes late. Big sigh. I’m beginning to think that no matter how far ahead of time I start the process to leave the house, I will still end up late. It’s something that I just need to accept. I can start being on time again when the girls leave for college.
- The girls and I went to a retirement ceremony for a very special woman in our lives. My Aunt, my Mother’s only sister, retired today. My children are very special to her, and we were honored to be invited for such a special day. The thing is, she’s a very special lady to me. There are not a lot of people around anymore who know our full history. When I was my Mom’s only child, my Aunt was a big part of our lives. When my biological Father left and cleaned out the bank account right before Christmas, she bought my Christmas presents. When I was a little tomboy 4 year old, she took me shopping for panties with ruffles and black patent leather Mary Janes. She even got me the Michael Jackson Thriller shirt I desperately wanted. (We all have things from childhood we regret). When my Mother and I moved here from California, we lived in her back bedroom until we got on our feet. Most importantly to me, is how my Mother loved her sister with all her heart. When I’m with her, I can see my Mom in her. And I know when she sees me, she sees her sister also. But we don’t just love each other seeking someone who has left us. It’s more than that. I suppose all I can say is I love her. I’m glad I have her. I’m glad my children have her. And now that she’s retired, we’ll see a lot more of her.
- While there are many changes that occur when you become a parent, there is one that really knocks you down a peg. When you have children, you are no longer the important one. Childless readers, you will see. During Holidays, you won’t really get gifts anymore. Your kids will. When a family member calls, they don’t so much ask about you as much. They wanna know how the kids are. Today when we went to the party, I may as well have been introduced as Chloe and Bailey’s Mom, as compared to Brie. Sure, my name might have been mentioned, but all people saw were the kids. You suddenly become the faceless shape hovering over the baby while people ohh and ahh over him or her. You might as well be invisible. That is, until one of your kids start crying or doing something wrong. Then you’ll be remembered, but they won’t likely call you by name. Instead they’ll say, “Ohhh, it looks like somebody needs their Mommy”. When I look at people admiring my beautiful baby or laughing at Chloe’s antics, I can think of no other people I’d rather play 2nd fiddle to. You’re no longer # 1 when the babies come, but suddenly your heart has changed and taken on the Mommy character, and you realize you don’t mind. Nope, not even one bit.
That is all. 🙂
- How we rock a baby to sleep at our house: I am rocking the baby, who is almost asleep. Chloe comes in and yells, “I’m gonna brush my teeth.” She has no volume control. I mouth “Ok. Shhh.” She screams “Ok Mom. I’m gonna brush my teeth now. Bye.” She slams the door. I rock. Baby is almost back asleep. Chloe throws door open and exclaims, “I’m brushing my teeth. I’ll let you know when I’m done.” Me, “Be quiet.” Chloe screams softer “Ok Mom. I’ll shut this door and let you know when I’m done.” She slams door with me hoping she’ll take a while. I rock. Baby closes her eyes. Chloe bursts through the door, “I gotta pee!”
- Shopping is a lady’s favorite pastime. That is until they have children. Then it’s a hurried chore. I don’t know if I’m unrealistic or saddistic. Either way, for some reason I thought it would be brilliant to go shopping for my husband’s Birthday present with a 2 year old and 11 week old in tow. First mistake, I had no idea what I was getting him. That means multiple stores with lots of looking. Second mistake, I forgot the stroller. That means carting an infant carrier around at stores without shopping carts. Third mistake, not putting a dog leash on my toddler (or at least slipping her a Valium). In the shoe store, Chloe had a tantrum. Quick exit and one punishment later, she was tolerable for the second store. Third store, it was time to feed baby. Then it was potty break and diaper change. In the next store, I couldn’t get good control of Chloe and Bailey was tired, so we went to leave. My phone rang so I stopped to dig in my purse for it. The caller says “Hey. What’s going on with you.” My reply. “Chloe’s gone!” I thankfully was able to spot her already at the back of the store. And she was ducking under a clothing rack, pulling her feet out of sight just as I walked up. I spanked her right there under a rack of ladies slacks. Bailey fell asleep. So being the adventurous soul I am, I decided to go grocery shopping next. Actually I figured it had already gone so bad, I might as well just keep going and not drag this madness into another day.
- Sadly, all that shopping with multiple pit stops, got me home late. 8 pm is late when you have young children, a trunk full of groceries, and no dinner made. When you have an infant, every task is centered around them. They must be fed and their other needs attended to before anything else you want to do or rather need to do. Even as a second time Mom, I still can forget this. I think I have enough time to complete certain things, and am quickly put in my place. As I’ve said before, parenting is a humbling experience. I think God planned it that way. What better tool is there to use to teach us self sacrifice, patience, humility, and unconditional love than that we gain from a child.
That is all 🙂
- Love is _______. Love is giving up control of the remote. I used to be a fean for Discovery Health shows like Doctor G and Mystery Diagnosis. Last night I realized Chloe had been gone with her Dad for 20 minutes, and I still had it on Nickjr. Love is when my husband always lets me eat first. I know he’s hungry too, but he, without fail, always takes the baby and holds her so I can eat something first. Love is when I allow Chloe to help me fix breakfast simply because it gives her such joy. Sure she makes a huge mess and spends more time eating butter straight from the tub or scratching her back with the spatula, but I always let her help anyway. Love is overlooking little things that don’t matter, like hairs left around the sink or leaving bowls of cereal milk on the counter overnight to curdle. You realize you do some disgusting stuff too, but they reciprocate the ability to accept idiosyncrasies rather than nag. Love is looking at the clock longing for your sweetheart to return home, not just because you need a helping hand, but because you want a hug. Love is cleaning poop out of panties for the third day in a row without chastising or demeaning the one responsible for the task, but remembering that they’re trying and praising them for it. Love is never getting angry about the fact that right when you put on a nice shirt, it’s gonna get covered in spit-up. I could go on like this for days. Love is smiling about the fact that I could.
- There are countless times I wish my Mom was alive so I could tell her something. Today, I specifically wanted to apologize for my former 20 something, childless self. I recall visiting the house when I would come home from leave. I would see dusty shelves and grease spattered kitchen walls and think, “Why doesn’t she clean that up?” The Navy had left me with a personality that craved cleanliness. Even when I left the Navy and moved back to Mississippi, I would spend all day every Saturday cleaning my house from top to bottom. Today as I “hit the high spots”, I noticed dusty shelves and grease spattered kitchen walls. I laughed in spite of myself. I realized how wrong I’d been all those years ago. No Mother has time to make a home spotless, only time to make it livable. And more importantly, even if you had the time, would you want to? Why waste time moving items to dust shelves and scrubbing kitchen walls, when it can be better utilized playing Hungry Hippos or building a blanket fort. Then you can spend the little time you have to clean, picking up tiny balls from the board game and folding blankets to put away. Sorry Mom. You had it all figured out the whole time.
- This morning I was thinking how sad it was that Marlie would have to go back to her Mom’s house today, right after having the party last night. She got a new bike, but wouldn’t be able to ride it. I recalled the same thing had happened at Christmas. She got these great toys, but didn’t get a chance to play with them. It made me sad for her. When Ben was home on lunch break, he told me he had arranged for Marlie to stay an extra night so she would have a chance to ride her bicycle after school. I was so pleased for her, and that Ben was thinking the same thing as me. When she got home, her and Chloe had an ample amount of time to bundle up and play on their bikes before the rain came. When it did begin to fall, it also ushered in a wet, and unexpected husband. I was pleasantly surprised that Ben could get the night off. Now there will definitely be no dusting or scrubbing. There is too much fun to be had.
That is all 🙂
- I simply adore flannel pajama pants. They especially feel good after having to wear wet jeans in the aftermath of a cold downpour of rain. They are especially warm when you have a 14 lb living heater balanced on your lap. I must say she’s the cutest heater I’ve ever seen. She is laughing and cooing away at me, causing me to frequently pause as I jot my thoughts down. So if this seems more fractured than usual you know why. Also, if you notice even more grammatical errors than usual, I’m gonna blame that on the sweet little foot kicking my phone. I stop frequently to pretend like I’m eating her toes. This causes a cascade of more giggles, which I love. I see a beautiful little version of Ben when I look at her. I can think of no better view as I reflect on the day.
- I mentioned the rain. We ran through it to the jeep after my step-daughter Marlie’s Birthday party we had for her tonight at her Grandparent’s. It was a great time. Marlie turned 10 this past week. I first met her at age 5. It has been so special watching her grow. I am really enjoying the transformation lately, as I can recall going through the same thing as a girl. She has started, over the past few months, to begin showing signs of maturity. She does little things around the house that show me she is growing up and starting to think like a young adult. It really surprised me at first. On the other had, right after doing something really adult like, she will run off with Chloe and they’ll come back with markers on their face. I remember as a kid when I started to worry about my appearance and wanting to dress like my older girl cousin, but then still wanted to play with frogs and Barbies too.
- We opted for a toy present for her, but an ageless toy. We got a bicycle for her. I know she liked it. She had outgrown long ago her princess bicycle she got for her 5th Birthday when we first met. We still have it in the shed though, and Ben has promised Chloe he will get it aired up and ready for her. I look forward to Spring when we can all ride together. Her cousins were at the party which made for a super fun and super loud, rambunctious time. Ben made pizza for everyone and we finished it off with cake and ice cream of course. There was screaming, laughing, running, presents, poop in panties, and a baby that napped through it all. As the day comes to a close, no nap by Chloe and school tomorrow for Marlie, insure bedtime is soon. Even super fun days must end.
That is all 🙂
- It’s been one of those days. It started when I opened my eyes and the clock said an hour after my alarm was supposed to have gone off. No time for looking adoringly upon sleeping babe this morning. I pride myself on being at work on time, especially since it remains the only thing I can seem to be on time for. I didn’t shave. Those who know, know that saddened me. I did wash myself. Couldn’t skip that. I was thrilled that by some mystical occurrence, my hair looked better than it did before I went to bed. That is until I looked at the back of it in a mirror. I figured I’d have to face the day head on, literally. I’m not sure how I managed it, but I arrived at the time clock 4 minutes early. Maybe I take longer shaving than I thought.
- For some reason, the way the day started, continued on. I was one step behind all day it seemed. If something could go wrong, it did. If a patient had no pain yesterday, they were crying with it today. If a patient was clean and dry all day yesterday, then they suffered diarrhea today. If a Dr let things ride yesterday, then they felt inspired to try something new today; a lot. I rolled with the punches as only a Nurse can. When hearing someone had a perforated viscus, I thought about wanting a biscuit. That’s how we are. I had sweet patients that helped my mood. One was so sweet I wanted to put her in my pocket and take her home, and she made my day well worth it when she called me in to tell me thank you and how sweet I’d been to her.
- I feared when I got home that my day was following me. When I walked in the door, I saw a game of Hungry Hippo being played. Chloe looked at me and starting crying. Then Bailey looked at me and started crying. Thank God Ben didn’t cry too. Maybe the girls are taking the vibe from my own still messed up hormonal balance. I actually cried at the beginning of Duck Dynasty tonight. Actually the girls were just tired and hungry after a long day for them too. You get fed according to age around here. Bailey ate first. Then I cooked for the girls. Chloe’s comment about dinner: “Corn makes me happy. Green beans make me sad.” Like the sweet little patient at work did for me, my sweet little family also make it all worth it. When you love someone, even acts of service for them make you fulfilled and happy. It’s been a long day, but overall a good one. I will fall asleep easy, feeling deeply satisfied, and sleep like a rock.
That is all 🙂
- I rather enjoy how a daily dependence on God can change your entire perspective on life’s little circumstances. I was just speaking with Ben about this the other day. I told him of recalling an event where it really hit me that God had changed my personality. Back in the summer, our vehicle broke down outside of Decatur, AL. The old me would have cussed a blue streak, then begun to worry about what we were gonna do, expenses of a tow truck, etc. Then I probably would have felt real sorry for myself and my circumstance. “Why does this always happen to me?” mentality would have taken over. Instead, I got a blanket and cooler of water, and some toys for Chloe from the back and we had a little pit stop. We thought logically and calmly. We praised God it wasn’t worse. He realized that all things work for His good, so there was a reason this happened. We trusted Him. I know I still have a long way to go with that, but I’m amazed at how far He’s brought me.
- I found it really hard to leave for work this morning. When I woke and looked into my precious baby’s face, I didn’t want to put her down. As I went to leave, I kept going back and looking at her, praying for her. At work, I found myself thinking of her frequently. I looked at photos of her and smiled. When I picked her up, I could tell she had missed me too. We played, smiled, and laughed for some time until exhaustion won over. Then she talked to me, making sounds similar to a Tom cat (her way of fussing at me that something’s bothering her). I currently have rocked my sweetie to sleep after much patting of her dimply little bootie.
- Chloe, on the other hand, seems to have not missed me a bit. She was too busy getting spoiled today by her Great Aunt. I had to beg for a hug when I got home. But she did take the time to show me her painted finger and toe nails, her new purse (filled with $), a new magic wand, new hair bows, a new book, a Dora cup, Dora toothpaste, and a garden decoration (since Daddy ran over the last one). Then she had a new Dora book from her Nonnie. How could I compete with all that? She also does not want to sleep with us tonight and is currently in her bedroom with her big sister. I felt a bit better when Ben just told me he had to beg a hug too! Well, I still got one of my babies in my arms. (For now!)
That is all 🙂
- I find myself in an interesting part of my journey with Christ. I feel like God is trying to tell me something, or perhaps prepare me for something. I can’t explain it really. I’ve noticed different devotionals, songs, and scriptures all seem to be pointing me towards something that I think will be quite profound when I figure it out. What I said there made me smile. There I go trying to figure things out for myself again. I pray, and ask for prayer, that I will hear God’s voice and His will for our life’s as He is ready to reveal it. Rather, may my eyes and ears be open. It gives me great joy to know God is alive and speaks. I feel that joy most days, thankfully. I suppose it’s that joy that causes me to react to life like I do. What else could explain how when I glimpsed myself in the rear view mirror and I was squinting, causing crow’s feet to multiply around my eyes, I smiled in spite of myself, seeing it as a sign of the experience God has granted me these 35 years. Whatever crossroads He may have in mind, I find myself excited at the prospect.
- It’s no secret that I am daily amazed, amused, and more in love with my two year old. Right now I’m sitting in the driveway, almost afraid to get out of the jeep. Chloe is asleep back there. I want her to at least have a 20 minute power nap in if she’s gonna wake up when I move her. I’ve been trying to decide what’s worse; no nap or a late nap. Either you have a toddler up at 11 pm or one so whiny by 6 pm that you want to pull your hair out. I used to force her into an early nap, but that’s proved too difficult since the baby came. At least Chloe does sleep in. And she has the cutest bed head I’ve ever seen. Potty training is going great. There’s rarely a peepee accident, but she’s still afraid to poop in the toilet. It does have it’s own fun challenges, especially since I’m allowing her to wear panties away from home. For example, she’s afraid of toilets that flushgvbbbbh loudly and doesn’t like using it there. That vghjjfd
makes it a problem for our Walmart excursions. Then there’s when you make them pee before you leave and they say they don’t have to go. Then you get everyone in the car and as you put it in reverse you hear “I gotta pee!” I now regret any smirking I did when my single self watched my sister-in-law go through that one. On a side note; there was an intermission up there. She did wake up when I got her out of the car!
- I’m so happy for my growing relationship with my baby Bailey. I’ve loved her since I saw her, but for me, the bond doesn’t happen overnight. It wasn’t like the baby books for me. When they place the wrinkly baby on my chest, I’m not at a full level yet. I love them and would jump in front of traffic for them from the get go, but as time elapses, I certainly like them a lot more. Maybe, somewhere, there’s a Mom who will read that and understand what I mean. Bailey will be 11 weeks old tomorrow. She is developing her own personality. She laughs out loud a lot now and tries to communicate. I love when she furrows her brow and looks at me questionably. I believe she will end up looking more like Ben. When I look at her, I just want to cover her with kisses. She is so sweet and cuddly. I love being her Mommy. Looking at her, renews my feeling that I was called to this, that I was made for it, and would rather do this than anything else in this world.
On another side note; I just found Chloe standing in the bathroom, beside the toilet, pooping in her panties. It’s a work in progress.
That is all 🙂
- It seems to me that parenting is often times like going shopping. You’re gonna see stuff you love, stuff you hate, stuff you can’t live without, and some stuff you wouldn’t be caught dead in. But, to be fair, it’s much more complex. I suppose you could compare it to a novel by your favorite author, or perhaps your favorite show on TV. Both will have parts that make you laugh and make you cry too, but overall you love it and would read it over and over or watch it again and again.
- I once worked at a pvc pipe factory as a young woman. I was required to remove pipe from the line and stack it on a rolling cart to be binded. Factory work is difficult often in the fact of its monotony. I respect factory workers to this day. Parenting can seem a lot like a factory assembly line, with you doing the same task over and over. Am I cleaning the floor under the kitchen table again?! Days as a parent can be filled with exhausting and exasperating moments. These moments will test your limits, make you scream, make you cry. Sometimes they’ll just make you throw your hands up in the air, wanting to give up. I do believe God secretly likes that. He loves when we admit we can’t do something alone and need His strength.
- Every good book or every show you can’t live without has those frustrating moments. You want to put that book back on the shelf or change the channel! Why did the hero have to cheat on his wife?! I can’t believe they killed off the leading man! But then they redeem themselves with those precious moments that melt your heart and let you know that all is right with the world and any little nuisance can be forgiven. (Yes. I’ve also been watching Downton Abbey). Such is parenting. As I’m cleaning up a gallon of spilt water from the bathroom floor, I peak in on Chloe watching TV. She sits there on the bed, wrapped in a towel, wet hair spiking every which way. The smile of wonder and amusement on her face while she watches the adventures of Calliou is completely precious to me. The baby can cry a hole in my head, but when she smiles and giggles out loud, the frustration I felt during the crying spell is forgotten. I love every precious morsel of it! My shopping spree is an adventure I never tire of. It’s a book I’ll never put down. It’s a show I will stay up all night to watch. One day they’ll grow up. One day the last season will play its final episode. My cherished memories will play them over and over like a favorite box set or coveted DVR recording. Each page will be dog-eared after reading it a hundred times over.
That is all 🙂
- 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 🙂