.a peek inside the thoughts of a stay at home mom....

a peek inside my thoughts on motherhood, life, love, and anything I decide to talk about!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Time to catch up!

Let me start by saying that I am so sorry it has taken me forever to get a new blog up! I already have some pretty loyal readers that have been asking why I haven't posted in awhile. :o) So, this post will get you all up to speed on what's been going on since I last posted.

Well, on November 19th ( about 4 days after I posted last), my nephew, Everett  James was born at 10:30am! 8 lbs 7 oz. 20.5 inches. 10 fingers, 10 toes, and absolutely PERFECT! For those of you that have been reading my blog (or even those who haven't) I posted an entry titled : Angel babies in heaven...and here on earth.  This was talking about my nephew, Aaron (who turned 2 on Dec 2nd) that became an angel 8 hours after he was born, and the anticipation of the arrival of Everett James. You can refer to that to get up to speed on Aaron's condition.  November 19th was a very emotional day not only because a new little boy was born into the family, but because he made it into this world so safely, breathing fine, perfectly healthy all with the help of his Guardian angel big brother, Aaron!

I will only speak for myself when I say this (but perhaps others have felt this way too) , but when I was pregnant with my son (who is now 4) I took for granted that he would be healthy when he was born. Why shouldn't I automatically assume that there would be no complications? Every doctor visit went great, ultrasounds all checked out. Thankfully, everything was fine when he was born. However, what I came to realize though is that in life you can never just assume ANYTHING.  My sister's first child was fine...perfectly healthy and we just assumed that the second pregnancy would go the same way.  Then, Aaron brought around a new way of thinking. To expect the unexpected. I'm not saying that everyone who is pregnant should be a frightened mess in worry while they await their new arrival. It should be a happy time no doubt. All I'm saying is... when this happened to our family, it really made us all appreciate life. I think in life we all go through the motions at times and just expect the things that are supposed to happen (like pregnancy, childbirth, etc) to just all go so smoothly and it usually does. Then, there are a special set of circumstances that really make you step back and reevaluate life. Well, that's just me anyway.

So, needless to say the day Everett was born we were also thinking of Aaron. We were all so overjoyed and relieved to know that our new little miracle was perfectly healthy, and that the only place he would be going would be home with his parents and big sister. Even though it was a joyous time, it was also a very hard and confusing time as well. When I got the call from my mom that Everett arrived safely, I felt relief as I mentioned but also a sense of loss all over again. I thought of Aaron and it felt like the breath had been taken out of my lungs. Almost like I found out he passed away all over again. In the midst of my hard silent cry, I felt a warmth surround me. It was comforting and calm. I calmed down  and got myself together. Then, I thanked Aaron. I thanked god. I thanked anyone "upstairs" that helped aid in Everett arriving safely. All throughout the day I was mixed with excitement, joy, and then sadness and loss. Every time I would get that little twinge of heartache I would feel that presence again. Reassuring me that Aaron was ok and that EVERYTHING was ok. I would like to think that it was Aaron with me... or perhaps someone else. Whether it sounds crazy or not, it comforts me to know that a higher power was with me that day, not letting me be consumed with the loss of Aaron but helped me to remember him and yet be so so happy and elated about my new nephew being born!

When I saw Everett for the first time it was so wonderful. I thought I would be a complete and utter mess, but surprisingly I kept it together. I was just overtaken by his beautiful little face, his wrinkly hands and feet. Just completely in awe of this little miracle God blessed this family with. I haven't seen him as much as I would like to since he's been born. Unfortunately, life and child illness(the flu) and such as gotten in the way. However, I talk to my sister nearly everyday and happy to report that he is still doing well. Getting very big, nursing well, SLEEPING well! LOL! His big sister Ava has had a time trying to get adjusted to him but all in all she is a good big sister that loves her brother very very much!  I now present (about 6 weeks late...) Everett James!

Since his birth here is what has happened. About a week before Christmas (  I think it was around Dec 16th or so) My poor babies came down with the terrible intestinal flu that has gone around. Nathan was the first one to catch it on a Thursday. He started with the poops... then the vomit. Oh boy!  Friday night around 11:30 pm  my little girl was up next. She had a puking marathon every half hour to hour from 11:30 pm to 2 am.  She seemed to bounce back pretty quickly, however, Nathan is a different story. It just wanted to hang on to him for some reason. He was sick for about a week luckily we was feeling much better by Christmas. I even called the doctor a few times and asked that now that the puking had stopped and he just had diarrhea every now and then (about once every other day) would he be ok to see the rest of our family on Christmas Eve and Day? I was informed that as long as he has no fever, he is holding food down, and for the most part is acting like himself again that it would be ok. Even with the pooping he was having here or there. Just be sure to wash our hands well and not share food etc. etc.  So, we saw our family Christmas eve and day and had such a wonderful time! That Monday I found out that almost everyone we had come in contact with on those days is now sick!!! That is crazy...I feel so bad and I didn't think Nathan would still be that contagious. I went by what the doctor said and thought everyone would be ok. So, now our plans for New Years are shot because all of our babysitters (family members) are sick and I just want to air on the side of caution and not have anyone else around them too much at least for the rest of this week just to be sure they are ok and not going to get anyone else sick. 

This Christmas we pretty special though (despite the illness everyone contracted later on) because it was my daughter, Madeline's FIRST Christmas! Also, this was the first year that Nathan really figured the whole Santa thing out and was anticipating his arrival greatly! We got a new tree this year, Nathan helped pick out the decorations, we baked cookies for Santa. He had me write him a letter (in his own words) and set everything up for him the night before (including reindeer food) This was also the first time both of the kids visited Santa. Nathan would always scream at the sight of him in the mall in years past... but maybe because he was a big brother now, things were different. He was very excited and so willing to show Maddie that Santa was a nice guy and just like a grandpa! However,  Madeline had a different opinion of Santa. While we were waiting to get their picture taken, Nathan was chatting it up with Santa while Maddie was giving him the "evil eye" safely in Daddy's arms. Then, it was time to sit on the Fat Man's lap. Oh boy, that did not go well. Nathan did great! Maddie...well, see for yourself: 

This is the greatest picture ever! We have it in such a cute frame too. Then, you get close and see the horror! It always makes me smile!  Despite Madeline not being to fond of Santa, he treated her well on Christmas. :o) Maddie had such a good time on her first Christmas. She did get a bit overwhelmed though because of everything going on but it was still a great time for everyone.  Nathan enjoyed himself too of course! Here are some pictures of our Holiday:
Nathan at Grandma Paula's house on Christmas Eve

Madeline getting great to open presents at Grandma's house on Xmas Eve!
Our happy little family on Xmas Eve!
Me and my love
The letter Nathan had me write to santa

The milk, cookies, and reindeer food Nathan set out for Santa
What Santa left behind
On Christmas morning before the kids woke up

My babies posing with their pillow pets
Patiently waiting to tear into those gifts!

Besides ringing in the New Year on Friday, we are anxiously waiting my daughters 1st birthday on Jan 5th! Then, on Jan 15th my husband turns 30! We have a busy busy couple weeks ahead but they are going to be amazing. Now that hopefully the illness is out of the way we can just have a great time! :o) I will post on these events I'm sure, and I will start keeping more regular posts too!

How did everyone's Christmas go? I would love to hear from you. Or, just anything in general that has been going on since I've been on away. What are everyone's plans for the New Year? Resolutions??  I hope everyone has a fun and very SAFE New Year!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

When all else fails.... sleep on the floor!

I'm sure being parents we've all had one of those nights. You know, the one where you think you are going to get a good nights sleep and just before your head hits the pillow, your precious little bundle starts crying. You do anything you can to stop it, but it's just no use. You better get comfy because it's gonna be a LONG night!

My husband and I recently had one of those nights with our 10 month old daughter, Madeline. It started out nice enough. We got the kids to bed at the usual time and popped in a movie. Well,  I'm so pooped by the end of the day that when it comes to putting the kids to bed, I'm about ready to go as well. So that means whenever Mike and I try to watch a movie together it turns into Mike watching the movie, and I'm sawing logs on the couch, by the next morning I ask him if he can fill me in on the movie.  Inevitably, that's what happened. At one point, I woke up and I couldn't find Mike. I called for him and he was in the kitchen with Madeline making her a bottle. This was at about 1 am.  So, he starts giving her the bottle and trying to get her to get sleepy again.  I'm sitting up with them. Being the wonderful man that he is he looks at me and says, "Why don't you go up to bed and get some sleep since both kids will be waking you up around 7 am" He worked on Saturday...so when he does I won't sleep in on Sunday (which tends to be the day I get to) because that just doesn't seem fair. 

So I  go upstairs and try to get some sleep. Then, at about 1:45 am I hear Maddie cry again and my husband getting frustrated. (meanwhile, my son is completely passed out unaware of anything going on...THANK GOD!) I called to him and told him to bring her in the bed with us. We haven't had to do that in quite a long time. He brings her to me and then gets himself ready for bed. All the while, Maddie starts smiling and giggling...mixed with a time or two of faking me out where I'm thinking this is going to be it and she will fall asleep, YEAH RIGHT! At some point, I manage to snuggle her to sleep and about an hour or so in she pops right back up!  So, at that point Mike takes over again. Same thing happened. Maddie popped up smiling so I took her back for another try. When she decided to poke me in the eye and slap me in the face is when I decided enough is enough.  I took her into her and her brothers room. (Nathan still completely crashed) and I lay her down in her crib, tucked her in and held my breath. I was confident that this time it was going to take. However, as soon as I get close to the door...she starts to cry. This lead me to believe that maybe my poor little dumpling experienced her first bad dream. She did not want me out of her sight.

After coming to this realization I quickly run to my room, grabbed a couple of pillows and blankets, and proceeded to camp out on the floor of their room closest to Madeline's crib. I got as comfy as I could and I saw Maddie's little head pop up. She then sleepily pressed her face against the bars of her crib. I could see her head getting closer and closer to her mattress. I guess just my presence was enough to make her feel safe and willing to give into the exhaustion. 

Even while I am beyond tired... just the notion that my baby had to make sure I was with her in order to  go to sleep made me feel so good. Moms (or parents for that matter) don't usually get showered with praise, and I don't need it. It's these little times that make it all worth while. What my little baby did was praise enough in my eyes. It was so cute watching her little head shoot straight up while she was fighting sleep, wanting to make sure one last time that mommy was going to chase the bad dreams away. It must have worked, because I woke up two hours later (at about 6:30 am) and Madeline was crashed. I mean, mouth hanging open, heavy breathing, eyelids twitching kind of crashed. So, I quietly snuck out of the room and lay in my own bed for an hour before both of my angels woke me up ready to start their day.

You would think that after an exhausting night of broken sleep that getting up at 7:30 am would make me a very crabby mommy. When really, I surprised myself. I was in a pretty decent mood. I felt for the most part...well rested and ready to start the day. It's amazing what you can do when you go in "mommy mode". I also have to give credit where credit is due. My husband is such an awesome dad. Whenever we hear one of our children in the monitor crying or calling out, he is usually the one that goes in their room first to investigate.Even if it is in the middle of the night and he didn't get to bed until midnight or so. I am so lucky to have a partner like him.

  If we have a situation like the one I have described...he always takes the first shift and only if he has exhausted all his options and nothing he does is working, will he then  ask me if I can take over. I never asked him to do any of this. We haven't been in fights lately about who does more at night (at least night not that I can remember)... he just does it all on his own.

We truly are a team. Especially after having the second baby...we seem to be in sync more than ever. It's never spoken. We just do it. Our marriage has become very much like a dance. In fact, I really like this quote I found on the subject of marriage.  "Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner." - Amy Bloom

I know I did get off topic a bit but I just felt it needed to be said. I'm sure a lot of you mamas can relate to the late night wake up calls...followed by the impromptu camp outs.  So next time, if I find myself in this same situation, I'll just remember.... When all else fails, sleep on the floor!  :o)

Monday, November 8, 2010

What ever happened to the terrible two's?

When I first became a mommy 4 years ago, everyone warned me about the terrible two's. They said you will start seeing bits of it the closer he gets to two, and then once he hits two you will wonder where your nice little boy went!  :o) Well, I sort of had a cruel joke played on me.

As Nathan was coming up on two I was waiting for a glimmer of the "red eyes" to flash. Nothing. He turned two and I admit...it was a little bit trying, but all in all his two was a breeze. I'm thinking to myself, "Ok, cool, maybe my son won't experience the terrible two's and he can just be my sweet little boy and bypass that nasty stage altogether. Boy, am I a lucky mommy!" However, I was not prepared for what was in store for me next.

You want to know what happened? I'll tell ya..... HE TURNED 3!  Nathan went from my nice sweet little boy, to this incredible hulk like creature virtually overnight! The arguing started. He threw tantrums that he couldn't be talked out of. Screaming and arguing in public places started happening more frequently.  He started to throw things when he got angry, and listening to me was the last thing on his agenda!

The only thing worse than three is 4! The closer he got to 4, the more mouthy he became. Boy, let me tell you, back talking is in full force right now! He also has started asking someone else when he doesn't get the answer he likes. If we are at my mother-in-laws house (or anyone elses house for that matter), he'll ask me or Mike for something. We say no. He then goes to grandma, an uncle, or an aunt and proceeds to ask them for what he wants. They are none the wiser to what we had just told him, so they give him what he asked for since he asked THEM so sweetly. We have since informed them of this and they come ask us first... or say, "what did mommy and daddy say?" But the little stinker was getting away with it for quite some time.

The other day he asked me for a sucker. I told him that he could not have one because we just had cinnamon rolls for breakfast. How about he waits until after lunch? (if he eats a good one mind you!) He then looked at me and said, "No, but I want one now." Again, I calmly told him that if he is good, eats a good lunch, and doesn't bother me about the dang sucker again that he can get it after lunch. Nathan looked at me grabbed the sucker, and in the calmest voice possible says, "I think I'm going to have one!" I could feel the blood boil within me. Still keeping my composure, but raising my voice to a stern tone this time I said, "Absolutely not!" You want to know what he said to me after that? "Ok, well can I go ask daddy?"  Did he really just say that to me? I couldn't believe that he actually did. Looking back on it now though, at least he asked. LOL!

"No" is a popular word in his 4 year old vocabulary now. Talking back and mouthing off are his favorite pastimes at the moment. I always say that I bet 4 is just a tiny glimpse into what teenage years might be like. Anyone I've told this to says ,"oh no...this is NOTHING compared to what he'll be as a teenager. You'll only beg for him to be 4 again!" First of all, that scares the crap out of me to be quite honest. Second, I know teenage years are going to be hard to say the VERY least. But, I'm still thinking that the terrible three's and the furious fours are at least a touch of what's in store for me and my husband when our kids reach puberty.

Don't get me wrong, Nathan is still a great little boy. Very loving, and affectionate. He's helpful and polite. I love him and my daughter, Madeline more than life itself.  I just don't like this little "creature" he turns into when he doesn't get his way, or when he gets angry. It's like I can hear the quote of the incredible hulk in my head saying , "You won't like me when I'm angry."  Hopefully, my daughter will give me some time before she starts "changing colors". She is only 10 months now. Maybe, I have some time to enjoy her sweet little face and the fact that she still loves me and doesn't look at me like I'm the dirt beneath her feet yet.  LOL! It'll come though. When it does, I still don't think I'll quite be prepared.

I swear, some days when Nathan busts out with the "furious 4's" the only thing that saves him is the fact that he is so darn cute! I always tell him (so does my husband) when he gets in a mood... "You're lucky your so cute!" :o) And boy...he sure is! ♥

Have any mamas out there experienced the terrible two's? Or perhaps...thinking they may have bypassed them only then to experience the terrible three's and furious fours?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My kitchen is my therapist

My husband and I got into a fight last night. It was a pretty good sized one, but that isn't very common for us. An argument of that caliber usually happens once or twice a year I'd say. We have since made up, but I still felt angry and on edge. I needed something to help me wind down, relax, and let go. Today I decided to call upon my kitchen to help calm myself and find my center again.

When I get upset, whether I'm sad, frustrated, angry, hurt...I find myself gravitating towards my kitchen for comfort. Not to eat, but to cook!  It's kinda like when I enter this peaceful room...everything negative I was holding onto just melts away. My kitchen in a way, is like my therapist. It doesn't give me the answers on how to solve my problems. Instead, it gives me the tools I need to figure things out.  The bigger the emotion I'm trying to work through, the bigger the meal tends to be. Today...it's pot roast! (I haven't quite figured out what's for desert though) Yeah, our fight was a doosey. LOL!

 Cooking/ baking is a release for me. Maybe it's all the chopping (out aggression). Or perhaps the measuring. You have to have a clear head and steady hand. I don't have too much time to dwell on negativity because I need to complete the task at hand.  If I did dwell, I could lose count of measurements, or worse... chop off a finger!  It forces me to let go. :o)

Perhaps, it's the satisfaction I get from putting all of this effort into such a feast. The beauty of  the ingredients sitting together in their respective pots. The colors and aromas are a wonderful thing to behold. Maybe it's the calming sounds of the simmering liquids and the whistling steam. It's the look of the finish product. The taste of my efforts that don't go unnoticed. The feel of the delicious food in my mouth sends a pleasing signal to my brain. The look of satisfaction on my family's face when what I've made hits the spot. It's a treat for all of the senses.

Even if what I'm making doesn't seem to turn out quite the way I wanted it to, I am able to clearly and without harsh judgment reflect on what could make this even better the next time around.  The kitchen doesn't argue with me. It doesn't give me it's thoughts. It is just simply there, listening quietly to what I have to tell it. It's there with everything I need to cook my way through my thoughts and feelings. It's there when I have successes and failures. It lets me know when I need to calm down and take a step back. Take my time. Otherwise, there will only be charred remains of the once promising meal.  Don't get me wrong, I cook when I'm happy too. I get the same sense of calm when I do. However, when I'm mad or on edge it's just such a nice release. It keeps my hands, and my mind busy. It gives me the time I need to just be able to let go!

When I come out of the kitchen, I feel like a new woman. All of the stress and negativity is washed away. My face becomes soft. My mood becomes light. Happy with being able to let go and move on.  :o) Maybe my romanticized view of my kitchen is strange to some... or some can relate. I just know it helps me find my center. It's my "happy place" :o)

What are some things that help you wind down or let go?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Oh... the wonderful world of genital nicknames!....

From early on we taught our 4 year old son that when it comes to private parts we call them by their anatomical name. Since we've been doing that, Nathan will usually correct me if I slip and use a nickname for a private part.  Anyway, on Tuesday Nathan and I had a very strange but funny conversation.

It all started when I out of nowhere, I got a sharp pain in between my legs while we were sitting down to lunch. I yelled out in pain. Nathan looked at me very concerned and said,"What's wrong Mommy? Are you ok?" I turned to him and said, "I"m fine honey. Mommy just had a pain in her.... uh....cooter." He looked at me and laughed, "No Mommy don't call it that."  I say, "fine....my vagina."  He laughed and said, "oh mommy...that's a silly word." I told him that it's actually the right word for it. (which he knows). He then told me, "yeah, but you laugh when I say it." I smiled and said, "well, that's just because it sounds so cute when you do."

I then looked at him and asked him if he remembers the name of his boy part? (almost just making sure he still wants to use the "right" word for it) I said.."Do you have a peanut?" "NO mommy." He said laughing, "I have a penis!"  I then asked him if he new what else he had. He looks at me confused and said no. So, I decided that he should know fully what he has down there. I told him that he has a penis and testicles.  Well, I thought for sure he was going to shoot juice out of his nose. He was laughing and said "No mommy! Don't say that!" So joking (and taking it too far like I tend to do) I said, "fine, how about balls?' He shakes his head. "No!"  I say, "Okay, Okay...you have a coin purse." Nathan looks at me, smiles and says, "Okay."  Almost like...sure, I can deal with that.

We both started laughing so hard. He wanted to call his daddy on his lunch break. We did. My husband answered and Nathan proudly exclaimed, "Hi Daddy, I have a penis and a coin purse!" At first, my husband couldn't hear what Nathan said. So Nathan said it again. When Mike finally figured it out, I heard him shout to his coworkers, "Guess what my son just said!"  :o)

  I still think about that conversation and just start laughing. He said it with such innocence which makes it even funnier. I realized that he is now getting to the age that he thinks the correct anatomical terms sound funny, weird, or gross to him.  Apparently, he is okay with the word penis. Vagina is pushing it (which I can't blame him on that one) and forget about ever uttering the word testicles! The term "coin purse' is much more suitable in his eyes! LOL! Growing up I was always weirded out by those terms too. Why couldn't they make the word for the female anatomy a little less gross or ugly sounding? Why couldn't it be  prettier sounding like a word derivative of a flower or something. Life would be a lot more interesting if we could walk around saying, "Cooter, Vajayjay, Pee pee, peanut, balls, coin purse and be taken completely seriously. I'm just saying.  :o) Now, this doesn't mean that when he's taking a shower or bath that I will tell him, "Make sure to wash your coin purse." But, maybe we can stick to the word "privates" until he gets a little more comfortable with certain anatomical terms.

That leads me to my question for you all. What do you prefer to tell your little ones? Do you teach them the anatomical terms? Or, do you teach them the nicknames for private parts and just deal with the correct terminology when they get older? Or, a little bit of both?

I figured with this post, I'd lighten the mood and do something lighthearted and funny since it is Friday! I hope everyone has a great Friday, and a fantastic weekend!!  ♥

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My tattoos tell MY story

I read a post on a site called Cafemom that was titled: "Women with tattoos are bad moms". I clicked on the post and proceeded to read it. This woman has tattoos and at the time she was pregnant. An older lady had the nerve to come up to her in a grocery store and say that women covered in that "garbage" are bad mothers. I tell ya, some people really have the balls to say such a hateful thing like that.  I personally take major offense to this because I have a ton of tattoos! I plan on getting more.  Does this make me a bad mother? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

If some people actually cared to ask, they would know that a lot of people's tattoos tell a story.  Even if some of the tattoos don't mean anything in particular... they are still an expression of that person. The collection of tattoos on their body (or perhaps just one if that's the case) tells THEIR story. Each tattoo was chosen and placed on their body as a certain representation of their personality. There are fun, cute, humorous, and dark tattoos. (and many more) Each tattoo I chose to put on my body is a little slice of me. It expresses the many sides there are, and it isn't so cut and dry either. I don't mean look at each tattoo for what they are and say..."oh she has a skull, so she must like skulls or be a Satan worshiper." LOL! Some tattoos we have can express a slice of us by the manner in which they were chosen. Perhaps, someone may have chosen a certain tattoo on a whim one day. This could say that they are spontaneous and carefree! :o) This is just an example. I'm not saying this is true for everyone.  All I'm saying is, don't judge a book by it's cover....especially if you only look at the ink.

It's funny because it's like the left side of my body has tattoos that are family related. The right side has tattoos that I just like!  I have my son's name on my arm (soon to get my daughter's) I have a fairy with stars around her that represent my kids, me, and my husband. I have some tattoos on my back, the back of my neck, leg, finger, both arms, foot, wrist.... WOW! Lock me up! Call DCFS! I'm a horrible human being!!!  :o)

Whenever I see a woman with tattoos and she is also a mother...the last thing on my mind is that she must be a horrible mother. I'm fascinated by them. In fact, I may seem rude because I stare. I love the way they look. I love the different types there are. Black and gray. Color.What they mean. I felt this way about tattoos even before I had any. What's wrong with self expression?

A tattoo to me, is no different than changing your hair color, putting on make up, or changing your nail polish.  That's like me going up to a complete stranger and say," Excuse me, but women who wear that shade of lipstick are hookers."  I have had some looks from people (and I'm sure I still get them). I noticed it when I was pregnant too. I just let them look! My husband has done most of my tattoos, so they can admire his work all they want. :o) 

Who are you to judge someone based on how they look?   It's nice to know that in the year 2010 we are still judging and discriminating. Sure glad we have come such a long long way. I know it's hard, but we need to try not to let other people's ignorance offend us. (even though I stated above that I do take offense to this statement...what can I say, I'm a work in progress!) . Before I close this "rant" I wanted to share a poem that I wrote expressing the TRUE definition of what a mother is to me...Tattoos and all! ♥

My definition of a Mother

She banishes the monsters under the bed,
And softly places a goodnight kiss upon my head.
She holds my hand when I cross the street,
And helps me tie the shoes on my feet.
She lends an ear when the going gets tough.
She lets me know that I AM good enough!
She encourages me and showers me with praise.
She still manages to smile even on her bad days.
With her, I always know I'm protected and loved.
This "she" is my Mother I so fondly speak of.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What I want for my kids.

A lot of parents say that they want better for their kids than what they had.  For me, this statement is not true. I'm not saying my life is perfect. Or that my childhood was one of fairy tales. I didn't have lavish things, and I still don't. Some things happened in my life that weren't so great either. Some of the negative stuff that happened in my life (like parents getting divorced for example) I don't think I would have changed if I could, because those events helped to make me the person I am today.  My kids actually already have more than I had early on in life. They have two parents that are together and have such a deep love for one another. My children also have ONE home they can call their own and not have to go to another one every couple of days. That's pretty good so far! :o)

My parents are divorced and worked hard to provide for us. The things my parents "gave us" are what my husband and I are already giving our children. My parents taught me the importance of working hard for everything you have. They taught me to be proud of my accomplishments and the little bit that I have worked hard for. I was taught that you don't have to have all the newest "things" to be happy.  My mother in particular, taught my sister and I to love ourselves, and how to be happy with who we are.  We have a pretty good sense of self and strong family values. As a child, I always knew I was loved and my parents always made it a point to tell me and show it. I never ever questioned their love for me and my sister.  I was taught respect, patience, and how to have an open mind. I've been taught how to take care of myself, and yet I always know I can go to either parent if I need them to lend an ear.

I want my children to have a strong sense of self. I want them to be proud of who they are and what they have done in their lives. I want them to be strong, independent individuals. I want them to be generous, kind, loving and have a good heart.  I want them to be able to have the tools to make good decisions, and if they don't...I want them to have the strength and knowledge to work through them and move past it with dignity and grace.  This and so much more.

My husband and I are already working hard to instill these values in our children, and my son is already picking them up. He is such an amazingly bright little boy, who already has such a HUGE heart.   My daughter is still pretty little, but she is just as amazing. I can't wait to see the type of person she turns out to be.
There are times when I don't feel like I am being the best mommy.  Then I see my daughter smile at me, and my son comes up and give me a hug and tells me how much he loves me. I think to myself,  "I must be doing something right to be showered with so much love from them"

Life is full of twist and turns, ups and downs. It is up to the parents to give their children the right "life tools" and confidence to get them through the roller coaster of life. I know my parents sure have given that to me.  I pray I succeed in passing those tools down to my children . Those are the things I want for my kids...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pass the trans fats please!

Everywhere I look I see ads telling you to eat only organic foods ONLY, no high fructose corn syrup, no trans fats,No Soda, Don't even drink JUICE, No processed foods EVER!! You see diet ads for Nutrisystem, Jenny Criag, Weight Watchers ALL THE TIME!  Well, I think this all needs to STOP or die down a bit because it is FREAKING PEOPLE OUT! I can really only speak for myself but it was helping to make me more neurotic than I already tend to be. Now, I'm not blaming the world for all of my neurosis so I don't want people to think that, but this doesn't exactly help.  :o)

While it's not good to eat Cheetos like they are going out of style, or wash it all down with a big bucket of sugary Koolaid. I think this is all getting a little ridiculous now. What happened to the days when I was growing up (which I know, wasn't all that long ago) , or my parents for that matter? I remember eating good foods of course, but I also remember eating hot pockets and drinking a Pepsi.  (not all the time of course)  Money was tight then too and we had Hamburger Helper ,canned fruits and veggies in our cupboards which we are now supposed to never ever feed our children in this day and age.  I turned out just fine! I'm healthy.  I stay active. I've never have had  HUGE weight issues. ( besides these pesky 30 lbs I can't seem to shake since becoming a mommy)

Whatever happened to MODERATION?  I even talked to my kids pediatrician about this. I told her that when it comes to feeding my kids, I found myself freaking out when I would open up a can of vegetables... or fruit. I almost felt like I was being a bad mom. Let's face it, times are tough and canned veggies and fruits go a long way. Now don't get me wrong, I do have fresh fruits and vegetables in my house too, but canned goods help to supplement.

Anyway, getting back to the doctor...when I explained how I was freaking out about canned foods but informed her that I rinse the canning liquid off first before I cook it, she looked at me and said, "well, you turned out ok didn't you?" Shocked, I smiled and said, " I sure did!"  She told me that she agrees too that people are freaking out more than they should these days and she doesn't see the harm in eating canned goods. I told her how when I was a kid my mom made Koolaid with suagr without a second thought and gave it to us. The doc laughed and said everything in moderation is ok in her eyes and we shouldn't be so uptight. THIS IS COMING FROM A DOCTOR!  :o) Boy, did that make me feel better. Knowing I am not a terrible mother for giving my children these foods that I GREW UP ON.  I make sure they eat their fruits and veggies everyday and knowing how I give it to them is ok. (frozen, fresh, canned I mean)

Chips and sweets are treats of course, but what I'm getting at is that society is now looking at canned foods in that same category as junk. I even once read that canned fruit (even in light syrup or juice) is just like giving your kid a candy bar.  So naturally, when I read that (before the talk with the doctor) I freaked out and wanted to throw it all away and just buy all fresh stuff. While I would love to do that, our budget just doesn't allow for it. We do what we can and make sure we our doing our best to feed our kids a balanced diet even if some of it does come from cans.

Now...what is wrong with JUICE? I've also seen that we shouldn't even drink JUICE... not even 100% and the only thing we should have is water or maybe SOME milk! WHAT!?!?!?!?!?! I drank juice as a kid.  My son drinks juice (but I do water it down). I monitor what he drinks and eats and how much he has. I cut him off when I feel he has had enough.  I know all of this "Health Craze" (for lack of a better term) that is going on is because America is considered an "Obese Country". Or, I have read something to that effect. So now, that means on every channel you will see these commercials or flip the channel and see the biggest loser or some other weight loss show to further pound it in our brains to never ever think about a soda or processed food again. And stop ever contemplating going into a McDonalds for the rest of your life!

You know what is making our country fat? Is it the McDonalds or Starbucks on every corner? Is it the newest chip or cracker out on the market? Is it the high fructose corn syrup or trans fats? NO...It's US! I mean people as a whole.  It's lack of self control, lack of moderation,and inactivity. No one is forcing you to pull up through the drive through and order a Quarter pounder with cheese. No one is holding a gun to your head and telling you to drink soda, eat chips and never exercise. If these things are the case, then the marketing companies are really doing their job! Wow... for fast food chains, and snacky food commercials to be blamed for our country's weight and laziness is crazy!

It is the parents jobs to teach children healthy eating, self control, and MODERATION!  I think that moderation is the key. It is ok to indulge on the "wrong" foods that you enjoy every once in a while, but not to try to sustain life on them. It's not so cut and dry or black and white. I feel teaching moderation is better because it teaches balance. Also, it's not everyone elses fault if we are not teaching our children to be active, or being active ourselves. It's not Mcdonalds fault if we are sitting in front of our TV eating their product and gaining weight by the day. Not only should WE be taking responsibility for what our families are eating, but we also need to be accountable for how active we are! Teach your kids (and yourself) to not sit in front of a tv all day. Go outside. Get some fresh air. Take a walk. Go to the park. That's what my kids like to do. I'm sure I am just rambling now, but hopefully you all get the gist. I just wish we (America) could just lighten up a little.  Stop being so darn stressed and obsessive all the time. I am not bashing anyone who has a 100% clean lifestyle, or anyone who is vegan,  or doesn't believe in eating any processed food or anything like that. I am simply pointing out what I see as far as ads and stuff go that are trying to put the fear of god into that parents that feed their family like I do. By no means do I feed my family a buffet of chips and candy for our meals. However, I don't see the harm in having to use canned veggies, fruits, drinking juice etc. etc.  I know I am doing the best I can for my children and they are healthy, active individuals who are flourishing!

So with that I say...pass the trans fats and I'd like to wash it down with some ice cold high fructose corn syrup if you don't mind!  :o)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Angel babies in heaven... and here on earth!

Not quite sure how to start this entry today, so I'm just going to dive right in. My sister is a couple of weeks away from her due date (hopefully baby will come sooner!). She is pregnant with her 3rd child. It's a boy, and his name is Everett James. We are all so excited and anticipating his arrival greatly! In fact, Sam, my sister....is over 37 weeks along and she is already dilated to 2 cm!! She has been having contractions that are starting to get more uncomfortable but just not consistent yet. So, she is getting closer and I hope that for her sake (because she feels like poop) that Everett will decide to make his debut soon!
With every baby that comes into this family...we are all overjoyed, elated, thrilled beyond words.

My sister and I are super close. Well, when we were growing up we were always at each others throats, but hey, that's what siblings do right? :o) It's funny because as we got older, and Sam moved out of the house... we became closer than ever before. We were then and are now...BEST FRIENDS!  When she got pregnant with her daughter Ava, I was beyond thrilled to have a niece! Then, 3 months after she told me she was expecting... I found out I was going to have a baby too! (my son Nathan)  We vowed that our children will grow up being as close as siblings. I am happy to report that they have!  Even though Ava is not my biological child...I am so close with her I feel like sometimes I birthed her myself. I know my sister feels the same way about my children too. My sister and I live about an hour away from each other...but we make it a point to see each other as much as we can. (It hasn't been as much as I would like to lately, but money is tight these days for both of us) If we can't see one another...then we talk on the phone. Our kids talk on the phone to each other. This keeps their bond strong and they always miss the other one.  It is such a beautiful thing. Family is so important... and we have our parents to thank for that. They taught us that family is everything...and without it we have NOTHING.

When my sister found out she was pregnant for the second time... I was beyond excited. This time she was pregnant with a little boy named Aaron. Sam and Chuck (my brother-in-law) found out around 20 weeks that Aaron's heart had not developed properly. With extensive testing done, they found out that pretty much only half of his heart had developed. So, there was a plan in place...that once he was born  (a few days later really) the doctors would start one of many surgeries to come to get the little man's heart in working order. Well, when Aaron was born... the doctors found that there was more wrong with him then what they originally thought. Aaron could not be stabelized and he passed away 8 hours later.  On Dec 2nd 2010... my nephew would have been 2 years old. I don't like to say WOULD HAVE BEEN, because even though he is not on this earth with us today...he is always with us in spirit. So, let me correct myself. On Dec 2nd, 2010 my nephew, Aaron WILL be 2 years old.  I love him so much and I (along with everyone else of course) wish we could have had a chance to get to know him. When I found out that he passed away... I felt like the air was taken right out of my lungs. I cried for him, my sister, and brother in law.    However, my sister and her husband are very very strong people. They have found the courage to move forward and try again to have another baby. So that brings us to today. We are all anxiously awaiting the arrival of Everett James!

We have the same hope for Everett and my daughter Madeline... that they will grow up like siblings...and be so close throughout their lives. All of the children really...and I'm pretty sure we have instilled those values in them already...so we know they will be close for life.  As I think about the impending arrival of Everett, my mind always goes back to Aaron. I think about him often ( in general) and try to picture how he would have been at 2. What would he look like? What would his little voice sound like? What kind of trouble would he get into? Would he drive his sister crazy? LOL! Would Aaron and Madeline (my 9 month old) be really close too? How would everyone play together?  It's crazy to say, but sometimes I feel him with me. Maybe he is ... maybe he isn't. Maybe it's just what I would like to think. That's ok. It comforts me to think that way. I also believe that he is Everett's guardian angel helping him to make it into this world safely.  Who knows... without Aaron, we may not have Everett.

I love to write...and I really love to write poetry. So, as a tribute to Aaron, I have written a poem that I would like to share with you all before I sign off:

 Guardian Aaron

Even though your body cannot be with us today
I know your spirit is here in every way.
It's the sun, the rain, a smell in the air.
The way the wind blows through your mother's hair.
A touch, a smile, a warm embrace.
It's in the tears upon our face.
Not tears only of sadness, but also joy,
because with help from you we are welcoming another little boy.
You are helping to bring him into this world from above,
With a big brother's guidance and love.
You've helped your mother and father stay brave and strong,
and reassured them that it's ok to move on.

There is a favor however, I must ask.
It's big but a fairly simple task.
Please continue to guide this baby into your parents arms,
with intense love and safe from harm.
Please give us a glimpse every now and then,
of the boy you were
and the man you should have been.
As we all fall in love with Everett James
Just know that in our hearts Aaron McKray always remains.

Your Auntie loves you Aaron and you will NEVER be forgotten! ♥

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happy Halloween Everyone! Not sure how many people are actually reading this, but I just wanted to wish anyone who is reading a very happy and safe Halloween!

I love watching a the little trick or treaters in there adorable, some creepy, and some very creative costumes. My son, Nathan is very excited to trick or treat and to teach his sister how to do it. This is an exciting time for us to because it's my daughter, Madeline's, FIRST HALLOWEEN! My daughter is going to be a lady bug, and my son is going to be Super Why. For those of you who don't know who Super Why is...he a reading super hero on PBS.  It's so freakin cute:

This is a short post today. I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Halloween! I also wanted to leave you with this funny thought. As parents, we teach our children to not talk to strangers or of course...NEVER EVER accept candy from anyone you don't know. However, on Halloween we in a sense....encourage it! LOL! I think about that every once in a while and it just makes me laugh. Have Fun and be safe today!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Brains! Give me Brains!

  Madeline, my 9 month old daughter, is a spunky bright eyed little girl. Always interested in life, and everything around her. She is so precious and absolutely beautiful! However, there is one thing I've noticed about her (and other babies alike). So....In the spirit of Halloween I thought I would bring up more of a silly/interesting observation. Sometimes I feel like my wonderful little girl may have gotten some kind of virus that turns once normal people full of life...into a crazed zombie willing to do anything for BRAINS!

 You have to witness it for yourself to really appreciate the humor in this. However, I will try my best to describe this hilarious sight. Ok...so my son, Nathan, will be minding his own business playing with his toys when all of a sudden here comes Maddie crawling over...then wobbling and yanking on her brother to aid in pulling herself up. All the while, mouth open, wide crazy eyes, drooling profusely....making grunts and groans. Destroying the city Nathan has just built with his mega blocks. Nathan tries his hardest to fight her off. He is successful in a few attempts. He gets his shirt free from her tiny clutches... and like a fearless leader, starts to rebuild his Megablock city. Only to be overtaken by this chubby little creature now overcome with the urge to cure her hunger.  At this point, Madeline continues to drag herself to standing. Once again yanking on Nathan's shirt, drooling...now clawing at his face. As she fully pulls herself up she takes her hands...grabs her brother's head and the I hear....:"Maddie, STOP BITING MY HEAD!"

If you could only see what I see. It is hysterical! Sometimes babies will bobble around and chew on everything in sight. Drool, grunt, groan and unsteadily pull themselves up using furniture or in Maddie's case... her brother. I really took a step back and looked at her actions especially when Nathan is on the floor playing with his toys...and all of a sudden Maddie will just descend upon him in zombie like fashion. 

Tell me though...does this look like the face of a zombie?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Random thoughts of a stay at home mom

I'm not quite sure how to start since this is my first time blogging. Normally, I think I'll just recount the days events (with two kids that can get pretty interesting at times) and bring up some random thoughts / issues that come to mind. Things that stay at home moms... or really all moms go through, think, feel, are ashamed of, proud of etc.   This is my first blog ever so please bare with me. So, here it goes....welcome to the "Adventures in Mommyhood"

One thing I would like to bring up is the self esteem of a stay at home mom. People like myself, and other moms that I have spoken to. I used to have a lot of confidence ... or superficial confidence perhaps? I had the time to do my hair and make up. I had the money to shop for new clothes and shoes ALL THE TIME!  I could go into a store and pick out a small or extra small shirt and a pair of size 2 pants.,..not try them on, purchase them, and be on my way knowing that the items I have just selected will do just fine and look AWESOME on me!  Well friends, when I entered the land of Mommyhood.... all of that "superficial confidence" is GONE! Now, it's comfy yoga pants, nice baggy shirt that I don't mind if baby puke gets on it, air dried crazy hair that will end up on the top of my head by days end... and a bare face without a stitch of makeup. Not to mention the 30 pounds I've lovingly collected along my 4 year journey in this beautiful land that is mommyhood! 

I say superficial confidence because along the way since becoming a mother, I realize that there are more important things in life then a size 2 waist... all the nicest clothes, make up etc. These things made me feel good but only on the outside. When you strip it all down and you are just bare naked, vulnerable you... you tend to do some soul searching and find the more important things in life... and the things that SHOULD give you all the confidence in the world.  Some people have the luxury of having it all... everything for yourself and your children. I am not bashing those women in any way. I am just speaking of my own experience and of other moms in my situation. When money is tight, and you have to decide between things you WANT for yourself, and things you NEED to get for your children/family, there's no argument. The babies come first! Mommy will have to wait. That doesn't mean that a mom doesn't DESERVE to treat herself every once in a while to a nice shade of lipstick, or a cute new top. When you don't have the means to "treat" yourself EVERYDAY to the things you once took for granted... they become more of a real TREAT...a reward if you will for all of your hard work and sacrifices that go along with the role of mommy. 

I am still working on trying to find my inner confidence in this new mommy body I have acquired. I still ask my husband everyday if he still thinks I'm pretty if I don't wear make up or straighten my hair all the time. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful husband who makes sure to tell me everyday how beautiful I am, and shower me with affection!  A lot of women have these insecurities because of a certain image women are supposed to uphold to. Celebrity women aren't doing us regular women any favors! For all of you moms that are back in your pre baby shape...my hat is off to you! You go girl! For all you women that are like me and have new mommy curves, and a little more cushion for the pushin' but haven't figured out how to own your new body yet....I'm right there with you.  The things I realize I need to be proud of is the fact that I grew two human beings safely inside my body. The fact that their little angel faces are here because they were created out of love between me and my husband. The fact that I get this great opportunity to stay home with my children and care for them myself and not have a babysitter. The fact that at least one parent (being me) is here to see their first anything and report back to daddy and share in such a wonderful moment.  My stretchmarks, love handles, extra weight  should not be seen in a negative light, but serve as reminders of how strong of a woman I am to have housed and birthed two such extraordinary children...badges of honor of the battle I survived (the battle that is pregnancy and childbirth). 

The title "Stay at home mom" needs to be announced with pride! Which leads me to my last thought of the day. I've had plenty of people ask me what I do for a living... and I always reply, "I'm a stay at home mom". The response I get is... "oh that's great that you don't have to work!" Well, sorry to say, and if I've opened a can of worms...so be it., BEING A STAY AT HOME MOM IS A FULL TIME JOB! I may not clock in or out, I may not get my two 15's and a 30 min break, I may not get a paycheck...but stay at home mommy's are on the job 24-7! No breaks, no sick days, no vacations! It is a job shaping and enriching the lives of innocent human beings. Blank canvases with no knowledge of the outside world. It is your duty to help guide them (and their fathers too of course!) and teach them how to be decent people that will do good and have a good heart.  Never ever say to someone... "Oh, I'm just a stay at home mom"  I admit I have caught myself saying this before... but not anymore! It is a great job to have and it is my honor to have that title!

In closing...I'm sorry if I have rambled... or maybe not made much sense at times. I'm sorry if I have offended anyone, but my thoughts are not meant to offend. They are just my opinions and thoughts on mother hood in general.  I would love to hear if any of you have any feedback or thoughts you would like to share.  As mommies we are all in this together. We are beautiful, strong, amazing creatures and we should all hold ourselves in the highest regard! I have much much more to say and share but that will have to be saved for another day. Mommyhood awaits! ♥