Thursday, October 31, 2013

I'm a Royal, Hot Mess, Doing the Best I Can Mom

I really want to be "that mom." The mom that is always put together and can handle a multitude of stress with the greatest of ease. I want to be the mom who's kids never have boogery noses or food crusted to their faces. I want to not be constantly picking dog and cat hair off my kids clothes. I want to put healthy homemade meals in front of them every night. I want to sew for them AND make them costumes and damn it... I want to bake for them!

I want the house to be permeated with the smells of fresh baked cookies, cupcakes, and breads. I want to be the working mom that bakes their kid's treats for the Halloween party and doesn't just buy it at the store.

I want all of these things, but you know what? Turns out it's not my style.

You see, my style is to appear put together (most of the time) when really I'm just taking every day one minute at a time. Who knows when my panty hose will run, my shoe with get scuffed from our stupid rock-lined driveway, the button will pop off my pants, I'll loose an earring or the under-wire in my bra will poke its way out of said bra and then deep into my side boob.

I'm learning I'm more of "that other mom." The mom that is wiping off her kids faces as she's taking them out of the car to head into daycare. I'm the mom who is so excited to look at the thousands of pictures she just took at the Zoo only find there is food crusted to her baby's face in all of them.

I'm the mom who last night very meticulously removed all of the pet hair adhered in a static cling situation to my son's fireman hat before I tucked it into his backpack for the Halloween party.

I'm also the mom that can't sew to save her life. That button I mentioned that popped off my pants? Yeah... I'm gonna need to buy new pants. I can't even sew a button so I'm for sure not sewing any Halloween costumes!

And baking? Bwahahahahaha!!! I'm the mom that ruins box cake. BOX CAKE.

Last night I was the mom who tried in vain to bake the easiest monster cookie recipe I could find for Little C's Halloween party. I read over the ingredients and the instructions at least a dozen times and then I set in. I even let C help me as I was envisioning us chatting and laughing the whole time. Bonding over butter and sugar. Letting him lick the spoon and thinking I was his hero as I pulled the delicious cookies from the oven.

But remember? I'm "that other mom." C was a good little helper and we were having a nice time. We got the dough to the perfect monster green and then it was time for it to chill in the fridge. C retired to the play room to watch a cartoon. Thank goodness he wasn't in the kitchen because as I was transferring the dough to the fridge I dropped it.

I dropped the dough in it's GLASS mixing bowl and in a nano-second there was glass shattered all over the floor, I had a bleeding foot, and my perfectly green monster creation lied on the cold kitchen tile riddled with shards of broken glass (and pet hair).

Hubs did all of the clean up, I tended to my war wound, and there were no cookies for the party. We scrapped the homemade meal for dinner that was in its early stages of production and ordered Thai.

I was sincerely devastated only because I was trying really hard. But now I know I was trying really hard to be someone I'm not. I don't bake and that is OK!

I'm a working mom and there are going to be times where phoning it in is not just okay but necessary.

I don't sew, but my kids have a wonderful Nana that does. And there are also these things called "stores" where I can buy costumes!

I have to pick pet hair off of my kids clothes but they have furry companions that love them and that make our family whole.

My kids have food on their faces when I drop them off to school because they have just been fed and I'm sending them off to have a fun-filled day with a full belly and we are fortunate for that.

Some days I am a "super hero" mom and some days I'm a royal, hot mess, doing the best I can, mom. But to my kids I'm just, "mom." Little C will never know how much I wanted to proudly display my monster cookie creations for him at his party today. But what he will know is that I'm there with him and I bet he will even be proud to have me.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween 2013: A Letter to My Pumpkins

Dear Little C and P-Nut,

Halloween 2013 is right around the corner and last weekend we got you both suited up in your costumes for a fun-filled weekend. I have to say you both make the CUTEST fireman and ladybug I. have. ever. seen.

See what I mean? You guys kill me with your cuteness!

But I did not sit down to write this post about how stinking cute you both are, that speaks for itself! I wanted to share with you how much I enjoyed the past weekend. We did so many fun things and my mama heart was bursting with love the entire time.

It all started on Friday night when we took you out to dinner with our whole family. Your great-grandparents were there, your grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. One of your cousins asked Little C who his best friend was. After a brief pause C said, "my Dad." Everyone got a huge kick out of that and I glanced up at your Dad's face after your announcement and he was beaming with a prideful grin ear-to-ear. You two... Ack! It gets me every time!

Next up we took you guys to Boo at the Zoo with your Nana on Saturday. We have never seen the Zoo as busy as it was and all the kids in costume were a hoot! I think we probably saw the least amount of animals in all our trips to the Zoo but the most fun was had riding the train and the carousel.

Little C, you rode the train with Nana and the huge smile on your face was so special to see. That train is one of your favorite things and you never tire of it's slow moving loop around the grounds. Next up was the carousel and it was a first for P-Nut! Two very precious things happened on that carousel ride that I hope I never forget.

P-Nuckle, you couldn't wait for the ride to start. You sat on your animal and bounced your sweet little legs, clapped, and smiled. But once the ride started going, you lunged your tiny arms tight around my neck and it took a second for you to resume the care-free fun you were having before. Soon you lighted your grip on me but never took one hand off the collar of my jacket. It's pretty minor, but having you need me like that felt pretty good. You are such a brave little baby but I get it, even brave girls need to hold on every once in a while.

C, you rode a giant tiger on the carousel right next to your sister and I. Nana stood by your side ready to provide comfort and stability. But wouldn't you know... You didn't need her to hold on once! Of course Nana and I were so proud of you but the moment that made my heart swell was when you announced to the both of us, "Look at me! I'm doing it all by myself!" And with the supreme confidence of a big boy you looked down at me as your tiger was on its way up and said, "I'm not even scared, Mama!" Your pride and your confidence in this feat was so much fun to behold.

And speaking of confidence...

Walking like you own the place! Seriously, I could walk behind you for miles. You are so sure of yourself and your saunter instantly brings a smile to my face.

Saturday night the four of us carved pumpkins. Well, Mom, Dad, and Little C carved pumpkins while Baby Sis looked on and provided her moral support. Your Dad helped the most with design and execution. They turned out pretty good!

After pumpkin carving we introduced you guys to the wondrous, the glorious, the oh-so-delicious...


P-Nut, you just had yourself a million graham crackers (you seriously can't get enough) and the rest of us enjoyed our ooey, gooey treats. 

We all went to bed on Saturday night with full bellies and your Dad and I went to bed with full hearts on top of it!

And just when we thought this already blissful weekend couldn't get any better... it did!

Sunday we had to divide and conquer our errands, Mom and C went to Target and Dad and P-Nut went to the grocery store. In the spirit of the season, we let you where your fireman costume after you begged us to and as we were walking up to the store we received many smiles and comments. And as we were almost to the front door another mommy told us we should hurry because there were REAL FIREMEN right inside! 

We entered the store and the firemen where walking the other direction and were kind of far away. That was of no concern to your 'ole Ma! I scooped you up and took off after those men (only slightly looking like a crazy person) and I was able to get their attention (again, only slightly looking crazy). 

Now this is when I about died from a cuteness explosion...

Little C, you marched right up to those men and without hesitation you proclaimed, "I'm a fireman!" They all shook your hand and introduced themselves. You told them how you were a captain and you showed off your hat and your boots. You looked them straight in the eyes and you spoke very clearly; you were completely in your element. 

They told you they were looking for a captain for their crew and their truck was parked right outside. Before we knew it we were being escorted for a tour of their engine! As we approached you noticed it was a ladder unit and one of the firemen was very impressed with your knowledge. 

You climbed right in and I was able to fumble my phone out of my pocket and through shaky, adrenaline stricken hands I was able to snap one decent photo to capture the moment.

At this point I asked you what do firemen do? You said, "save the people!" One of the men asked you who you were off to save and without hesitation (and as no surprise to me) you enthusiastically said, "MY DAD!"

It broke my heart that he wasn't with us when this all took place and when I recapped the story for him he even got slightly verklempt. (Don't tell him I told you. He has a tough guy image to uphold)

So there you have it. My very long reflection of a truly memorable weekend!

Little C and P-Nut, I hope you know how much your Dad and I love you and how much fun we are having with you! P-Nut, your cuteness and your go-with-the-flow-ness has us adoring you every single day. And C? Your toddler confidence, the things you say and your kind heart make us so very proud. 

Happy Halloween you two! I can't wait for next year. 

All my love,

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Baby Update - Month 9

I'm a little late on this update but here it is nonetheless. Can you believe P-Nut is 9 months old?!? That doesn't sound as shocking as when I think about there being THREE MONTHS until she turns ONE!! That is cuh-razy.

Her 9 month check-up went very well and she is as healthy as a horse! Even with her stint with strep she didn't lose too much weight which I was relieved about. We were literally struggling for every ounce when it came to Little C so not having to worry about it so much with P-Nut has been such a nice change of pace.

We still suspect an aversion to dairy. So far butter doesn't seem to be an issue and if milk is a minor ingredient in something it doesn't seem to matter either. We recently tried to give her some regular formula and she instantly broke out in a rash and her stomach was very upset. Needless to say, we're sticking with soy!

Here are some more highlights: 

Teeth: Two pearly whites are fully through her bottom gums which makes for some pretty adorable smiles. 

Talking: She is quiet for the most part but when she chooses to she is babbling up a storm. No real changes in this department.

Standing: She now can pull herself up to standing no problem and can cruise like a champ! The other day Little C was running around the house and I started thinking how there will be two of them running amok before we know it. I think Sis is ready to get bipedal so she can keep up with her brother. 

Eating: P-Nut is enjoying table foods with us at dinner and I am so happy about that! It is nice to just give her bits of what we are eating instead of finding a time when one of us can spoon feed her either before or after dinner. Now, she just eats right along side of us! We are basically on a try anything and everything diet at the moment just to see if she likes it. Of course, when I say "anything and everything" I mean of the items that are appropriate for a baby, but not much is off limits. So far her favorites are:
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Avocado - cubed or mushed
  • Cauliflower - roasted with light EVOO, salt and pepper
  • Pasta - any kind, plain w/ light butter 
  • Black beans - whole beans
  • Green beans - steamed, given whole so she can gnaw on them
  • Rice
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Chili - we gave her a tiny spoonful with her pasta the other night and she really liked it. 
Bottles: We are currently weaning her from 5 per day to 3. It is time for her to start getting more of her calories from solids instead of formula.

  • She can wave. The cute baby open-and-close of the hand kind of wave.
  • She plays peek-a-boo anytime she is holding a blanket. It is so cute!
  • She loves, and I mean loves, to hang upside down. Sometimes when I'm holding her in my lap she will fling her head and neck backwards for me to dangle her. Her body lays in my lap and she just hangs her head back and we sway. She can't get enough! 
  • She loves swimming.
  • Her hair is slowly but surely growing in and it continues to be a shiny, bright blonde. 
Mama Update:
Not much to report here. Which I consider a good thing! I'm just loving life with my baby girl. :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Contentment: Is it Being Fulfilled or Settling?

There is something about this time of year that fills me with so much contentment. I consider this to be such a great thing!
I feel that “contentment” can sometimes get a bad rap for being viewed as “settling.” But I see it differently…
Being in my early thirties it is easy to always be in an “I want” mentality. I want to go further in my career, better job, I want to earn more, (or some days) I want to be able to stay home, I want a better house, I want a better car, I want to travel, I want, I want, I want. {click here to continue reading...

Friday, October 11, 2013

#12ThingsILoveAboutMe - October

Tomorrow is the 12th. Are you ready to love yourself this month?

I have a confession... Turns out it is harder than I thought to pick 12 things I love about myself. I feel like I've done the obvious ones already and now I'm trying to think about other things than just physical aspects that I love. I also admit that it can feel a bit strange for me to be flaunting these "things" about myself and sharing how great I am with the world.

But then I remember that is the whole point of this exercise. It may be a bit uncomfortable but why wouldn't it? I am living proof that after years of negative self-talk, re-training my brain to focus on the positive is not as easy as it sounds. I could probably look in the mirror and come up with 12 (or more) things I wish I could change about myself but that is precisely what this exercise is trying to abolish! No more self loathing!!!

Therefore... On to what I love about me!

This month I love that I'm a nice person.

Now that may sound ridiculous and completely vague so allow me to explain.

In 8th grade I was voted "Nicest Person" in our class and it was a pleasant surprise that has stuck with me my whole life. It took me by surprise because I didn't even know I was nominated for something like that or that my peers felt that way about me. To me it meant more that being voted for any other category and it made me feel very proud.

In school for as long as I can remember I always had friends in every "group" or "clique." I tried my best to be kind to everyone and I think people would say that about me.

I also have to admit that my niceness wasn't always a strong suit. You know the saying, "nice guys always finish last," well they say that for a reason. I can recall a number of times in my life where I did the right thing (at least in my mind) and it resulted in someone else taking advantage of my kindness for their own benefit. Sure I'd feel good for being kind but when they'd rub it in my face it made me feel like a chump.

I don't have a really good example to explain this more clearly but the other "nice girls" out there know exactly what I'm talking about. ::fist bump::

At times being nice means giving a lot of yourself to others without reciprocity.

Other times your kindness is met with gratitude and when you see how you've impacted someone for the better it is the most amazing feeling in the world.

You see, being a nice person may mean you get stepped on from time-to-time but it doesn't matter. I've learned over the years from getting burned when giving too much of myself isn't necessary. I'm a nice person, not an idiot.

So there you have it. This month I love that I am nice. I'm no saint and I'm certainly not perfect but I know deep down in my heart I am much more suited to be a nice person than a stone cold beotch. Now I may say some bitchy things, and I can cop an attitude with the best of them but I have a sincerely kind heart and that is something I am very proud of and that I love about me!

What do you love about yourself? Don't be shy! Share with me here in the comments or on Twitter using the hashtag #12ThingsILoveAboutMe.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Great Pumpkin (not so fun) Fun Fair

Hey guys! Little C here.

So you may or may not know that I am a major Mickey Mouse enthusiast. I beg my parents to watch at least one episode on the daily. I mean, what's not to love? Mickey and his pals are always doing super fun things and I just can't get enough!

Currently on rotation is my new favorite episode called Mickey's Farm Fun Fair. You guys!!! The gang has a fair with animals and games and surprises and it is loads of fun. So you can only imagine my level of excitement when my mom told me the other day that we'd be going to a REAL LIFE fun fair!

She said it was a Pumpkin Patch Fun Fair and that it would be our third year in a row attending.

2011 - I'm 6 months old and quite the looker!

2012 - 1 1/2 years old and I taught you all how to pick out the perfect pumpkin. Remember?

Of course I was so excited and I couldn't wait to do super fun things just like Mickey Mouse! So the whole fam hopped in the car and off we went!

Well, it didn't take me long to realize that this was clearly NOT like Mickey's Farm Fun Fair. Oh no. There were no games, no surprises and instead of Mickey's awesome tractor to take me on a spin...

(photo credit)

There was this...

Take a close look, people. Those aren't horses. Nope. They are donkeys! Yeah. A donkey-drawn carriage. I mean, where's the excitement with that?!?

I couldn't believe I had been duped! And what's worse is my parents then wanted me to act all happy and SMILE in pictures with Baby Sis in the pumpkin patch. Mom was like... "oh how cute, my two little pumpkins in the pumpkin patch!"

How original, mom. Really.

I didn't cave and I sure showed her how I was really feeling. There were no smiles, no laughs. Just pure, genuine...


That showed 'em! I decided to let Sis have the spotlight and I took my grumpy self out of the equation and kicked the proverbial can down the street in displeasure. 

"C'mon buddy," they'd say. "Cheer up!" "Give us just one smile." "Pleeeeeease..." Fine. You want me to say cheese? I'll give you cheese...


I felt better after that and I just couldn't stay mad at my Ma for too long. Besides, Dad came to my rescue and knew just how to put a smile back on my face.

That guy. He's the best!

My spirits lifted and we ended up having a pretty great time. I was the keeper of the map and led the way for us to listen to music, explored the grounds, and I even shared some love with the crazy donkeys. It was a fun day after all!

I even spent some quality time with Sis and I have to say, she's pretty cool. 

Cool, and down-right gullible! At one point I thought I'd have a bit of big brother fun and I told Sis that the real reason we were at the fair was to find a good Gypsy family to send her home with...

Bwahahaha!!! Oh, Sis. It's too easy! 

Pumpkin Fair 2013 was great and I can't wait to see what next year brings! Until then, dudes. It's Little C... Over and out.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Don't worry, babies never get strep.

Sweet Baby P-Nut went down HARD yesterday. Man, oh man, was it a toughy to witness!

Sunday evening I noticed she had flushed cheeks and was drooling like a mad woman. She was in great spirits, eating fine, and her temp was only 99.9 so we assumed there was some teething going on... We were wrong.

She woke up in the middle of the night and threw up. Not baby spit up, full-on vomiting. We were able to get things under control and we eventually got her back to sleep. In the morning it was as if nothing even happened. She ate her bottle and kept it down and she was once again in a happy and playful mood. I had already called in to work thinking I'd have a sick baby to deal with but at this point I thought she pulled a fast one on us and was just fine... Until she wasn't.

In the middle of playing with her toys on the floor she reached up to me and practically climbed in my lap to rest her head on my chest. She did not want to move. I thought she was ready for a nap so I tried to put her down but she would not have it. So back to my chest she went.

Within seconds, not hours, not minutes... seconds, she became so hot but started shivering. I wrapped two warm blankets around her as I held her to my chest and it didn't seem to help. Then she start moaning. Her eyes were closed but she was not really sleeping. Hubs came over to look at her and it didn't take long for him to call the Pediatrician and say we were on our way. At this point her lips even started to turn slightly blueish-purple and it took a lot for us to get her to open her eyes. 

We were seen right away, her fever was 104.8 at this point and they tried to administer Motrin to help lower her fever and bring her some relief from pain. Of course she threw it up instantly. :( Her oxygen levels were good and her poor little heart rate was racing due to the fever. 

After her full assessment it appeared she had a virus of some sort and I could tell they were about to send us on our way and tell us to "tough it out." But as the doctor was getting ready to head out she said "I'd like to do a strep test just in case." "Don't worry, it is very rare for an 8 month old to get strep. I'm positive it will come back clear, but lets run it anyway."

And wouldn't you know... it came back positive! Next they said they were going to prescribe her amoxicillin and that's where being a 2nd-time mom was in my favor. I very sternly and politely said, absolutely not! I'm allergic to amoxicillin and so is Little C. We found out the hard way with him and I was not about to put P-Nut (and Hubs and I) through the same mess on top of what she was already dealing with. I'm sure the odds of her being allergic as well are pretty slim, but so are the odds of an infant getting strep and here we are!

We were prescribed some different antibiotics and sent home. She finally was able to keep some Motrin down and once it kicked in she went down for a much needed nap. We were able to administer the antibiotics, she started keeping fluids down and by the evening we had a whole new baby on our hands! Not 100% by any means but light years away from where she was.

Thank God for modern medicine and antibiotics! Now we just need her to get back to 100% and we are crossing anything and everything that we can possibly cross as well as taking every measure we possibly can to ensure Little C doesn't get it. Especially because I leave for a business trip tomorrow and I don't want to leave Hubs with a sick toddler.

You guys, what a crazy month it has been! Hubs and I have had some stress to deal with regarding our jobs, P-Nut was sick less than two weeks ago, I came down with the sinus gunk last week, Little C has the cough now, and then baby strep! The lack of sleep we've had lately is down-right laughable but we have handled it all so well. You'd even be proud of me because with this whole strep thing I really didn't get worked-up at all! I honestly was able to CTFD and take it all in stride. Of course I was worried about my girl and when she was almost unresponsive I did start to panic a little but soon snapped out of it and remained calm. I knew she'd be okay and I knew she'd be better soon. There was no point in getting worked-up.
After getting through Little C's allergic reaction to amoxicillin, his numerous tummy problems and taking into consideration the lesson's I've learned in dealing with it all, I'd say I handled this episode like a boss! 

Here's hoping things start calming down for us and we can stay healthy for a good stretch of time!

Have you had a baby with strep? Everyone happy and healthy with your fam? Any triumphs lately with being able to CTFD?