Mom's Corner

This is just a phase…they won’t want these things forever

So I’m sitting on the couch with my husband and settling onto the couch when I hear “mommy?” for the umpteenth time… The first time was around 8:30. Then 8:47. Then 8:52. Etc, etc.

This is just a phase.

This is just a phase.

This is just a freaking phase.

My toddler has been an independent sleeper since she was 6 months old. We hardly have any issues with getting her to bed and her staying there.

Until recently.

Maybe she’s still hungry. Alright, here’s a snack. Maybe she’s not ready for bed. Okay, you can play a little longer. Or….maybe she just needs me. Okay, let’s go in your room together and I’ll put you back to bed. I laid her down started brushing my finger across her face as she rubbed her eyes, tickling her back like I do for her sister, humming a song, until she points to the space to her left and says “Mommy, too?” She wanted me to lay next to her. So that’s what I did. I climbed into her crib and curled up next to her. She slid her little arm under my neck and hugged my head against her body.

And it hit me. Hard.

I realized I have not laid down with her to put her to sleep since she was 6 months old–she’ll be 2 next month. I laid there and watched her slowly blink away the day as she played with my hair. I did that until I noticed she was starting to fall a little deeper into her slumber and decided to get out before I ended up waking her as I did it later on. So I got out and stood by her crib and repeated my earlier actions. I brushed my fingers across her face. I tickled her back. I glued my eyes to her little body. I watched the rise and fall of her chest.

And I cried.

I cried because I feel like I lost a year and some change putting her to bed and leaving her to self soothe, rather than basking in the moment. I watched how beautiful she looked while she so peacefully lay there, slow-blinking, and then shooting them back wide open to make sure I’m really still there, then slow-blinking them shut again. A step that she repeated over and over until she gave into sleep.

I stood there and soaked it all up. The way she picked her nose until she was almost asleep and then switched it up to her hands behind her head flipping away at her earlobes instead. The way her hand fell down to her stuffed monkey to make sure it was still there after she closed her eyes for the night. The way she said “Mommy?” when she sensed me backing away.

The way I succumbed to her needs and laid on the floor by the crib with my arm between the rails and held her hand until it was limp and her breathing heavied.

When she was out for the count I carefully tip toed away, I closed her door, went straight to my husband, buried my face and I cried even more. Why didn’t I do this more often? Why did I wait this long? Why haven’t I done this sooner?

I feel like I robbed myself that time because she is so easy at bedtime that I didn’t even think to do it. I was so focused on her being an independent sleeper that I missed out on those peaceful moments for so long. I wanted to rewind time and snuggle her more and for even longer. She was breastfed until 6 months old when I started working again so I would normally come in, feed her to sleep and go back to my bed–and she and I were okay with that.

Or at least I thought I was until that moment. I pride myself in thinking I soak in many of these little moments, but clearly–at some point–I slipped. Maybe I feel like being at home all day with her compensates for missing other things. Maybe I am so eager to be able to sit in silence and read a book, fill an order, or watch a show without distractions. Maybe it just became so routine, it didn’t cross my mind until the recent events of her escaping her bed/room that I just laid her down, did our kissy/peekaboo/hair in her face routine, and kiss her again, that it didn’t occur to me that she’d crave for me to stay with her until she fell asleep.

I mean I do it for her older sister a lot of times–but she’s also old enough to ask for it.

And I know that I want to embrace these moments because just as quickly as I wish this phase away of her constantly getting out of bed… gone will be the days she actually wants me to. So until then I’m going to remind myself…

…This is just a phaseshe won’t want this forever.

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Life change · Mom's Corner

I will ALWAYS wonder who you would have been

1 in 4 women suffer a pregnancy loss and I am the 1 in those 4.

Earlier this year I found out I was supposed to be a mom to another baby due on, or around, November 4th.

That baby didn’t make it to today, nor did it make it very far into the pregnancy to begin with. I never would have realized how that would make me feel until it happened to me. I have had two very healthy and successful pregnancies prior to that and it didn’t even think to wait until after the first trimester was over to announce it to family because the thought of losing this baby didn’t even cross my mind.

Until I went into my first appt and my doctor told me we should be able to see SOMETHING on the portable ultrasound monitor even after I mentioned slight bleeding. She then moved my ultrasound appt up to the very next day–to my surprise–to confirm what she didn’t see on the monitor.

So the next day I went downstairs to radiology and she tried seeing the baby from the outside… she then directed me to empty my bladder and she’d be right back. (And if you haven’t experienced this yourself, you’ve probably seen in movies that this isn’t a good sign). I went to the bathroom, peed, and heard a very audible sound hit the water in the toilet. I knew I didn’t have to do my duty… so I knew exactly what just happened.

I washed my hands, stood over the toilet, covered my face and I uncontrollably sobbed for a few minutes as I took in the realization that I won’t be meeting this baby in November. The ultrasound tech knocked on the door and asked if everything was okay and I told her I’d be out in a minute. As weird/gross as it sounds, I didn’t want to flush…

Did that mean I was flushing the baby down the toilet? Was the baby even in that mess? Maybe this is just something out of the norm happening and the baby is really okay! So I reluctantly flushed and walked into the room.

She could tell I was just bawling–there was no hiding it. So she proceeded with the endovaginal ultrasound and confirmed there was no longer a baby to be seen. I told her what just happened in the bathroom only minutes before and she apologized for my loss.

On my drive home and to my third day of work to a new job, I called my husband and I let it all out. I had a mini panic attack at the idea I probably just flushed our baby down the toilet like it was bodily waste. I also felt immense guilt. Was it something I did? Did I eat something I shouldn’t have? Was it the copious amounts of coffee I drank? Was it me stressing over maintaining a perfect figure? What on earth did I do wrong that took my body’s capabilities and turned them against me? I would have loved that baby more than my own life.

I think after having two kids already, my emotions were skyrocketed due to thinking if I had miscarried during either of my previous pregnancies I never would have been able to enjoy my girls like I do. What could this baby have been like? Would the baby have been the boy I was hoping for next? Or another girl we could have used our other girl name we chose for? Would this baby have finally looked like me?

So… Chances are very high that you know someone who has suffered a pregnancy loss that you know nothing about, because they either never made it far enough into the pregnancy to be comfortable to announce it or because almost as quickly as they found out the exciting news it was taken away just as such. It’s something that weighs heavily on many parents’ hearts. I know October was pregnancy and infant loss awareness month… but I wanted to wait and see how I’d feel about writing about this until the date came around when I should have been a mother to three beautiful babies. So here I am.

One day I will meet my baby beyond the pearly gates… until then I will remain eternally grateful for the two amazingly beautiful girls I have been blessed with.

Here’s to all the babies we never got to meet, or got to meet but will not get to watch grow up. Some babies were only made for heaven.

And to all the parents who have suffered the same… My heart goes out to you.

Life change

True Colors— my epiphany moment

I had an epiphany moment in this morning thanks to an amazing mentor I crossed paths with in the last few days. I have posted a lot about needing to love yourself and I try my hardest to follow my own advice but let’s face it…

We are our own worst critics.

I have been failing myself at walking the walk. Not only that–I just fail myself daily. And on top of that, there are people out there that I know, love me… that fail me also. I am trying to learn that it’s not only me failing myself.

This post is more of a self reflection post more than anything and is probably my hardest to write… so if you aren’t here to relate or share in these experiences with me please stop reading now.

I have people I go to and share my joy with that laugh at me instead of relish in my excitement. I have people I go to who put me down constantly and belittle me in moments of frustration. I have people I go to when I need to vent and instead of being a listening ear and providing insight, they turn my issues around and make it about them and how “there are always people worse off” or “I’ve been there, you don’t have it that bad…”. These people I go to are all people I love dearly.

Now if you know me, you know I come off as this super confident, happy go lucky, funny, pretty girl, who seems to have her life together. The thing is… while I know how to be that girl. I am not that girl.

I struggle with so many things. I struggle with being happy and staying that way. And nine times out of ten it’s me beating myself up because as soon as I find myself happy about something I immediately think of reasons that turn it into sadness or anger. Or when I find confidence in something, it’s immediately knocked off my shoulders by the voices in my head and there I am again sulking… probably over nothing.

I ran into many people this week who came up to me and said things like “you are someone to miss when you’re not around“, and “who could forget you?!“, and “I would recognize you in a room full of people, your presence radiates confidence“, and “you always know how to make the uniform look good“, along with so many other nice things… and you know what?

I did not believe a single one of them.

…and if I did it was only for a split second and I was back to thinking, “I’m sure I was only missed until I was replaced“, and “you’d be surprised how forgotten I feel“, and “that confidence is a facade, it’s how I mask being nervous” and “but have you seen how that person makes the uniform look?!“.

I do not know how to turn it off. So for those of you still reading and calling bullshit, this is why I told you to stop reading earlier.

Until I was able to talk to someone I look up to and we were able to talk about work, life, where we are at in our lives, “why’s” and “why not’s”, career path choices.

People like this are people I need more of. Then I reflected back and thought of the people I go to when I share my personal achievements and aside from my husband, most of these people are ones who hardly know me and I looked back at my messages and texts and I have found that they are the people I go to most when I want to share things because they seem to be the ones I don’t get judgment, humiliation, or belittlement from. I can always expect a “that’s awesome!“, or “good for you!!“, give me a reality check, or will always talk me back into doing something I’m already talking myself out of “do what makes you happy” they say…

The people I go to the most are people who hardly know me.

…they make me feel more like me. And maybe I’m wrong, they probably know me more than some of the closest people in my life because they let me truly be myself. And these people I almost never see, if at all.

I was watching Trolls with my youngest this morning and the scene where Princess Poppy–the ultimate optimist– has been defeated and Branch–the ultimate pessimist– who was someone she hardly knew anything about before their adventure to see the Bergens, sees her defeat and starts singing “True Colors” to her and brings her back to being herself. I started crying uncontrollably, immediately.

This is what has basically happened to me.

Be kind to people. Everyone. From every walk of life. Their battles may not be obvious. Just be kind, they may be like me.

Mom's Corner

Motherhood— Nature’s calling? Or straight up Nature?!

I see a crack of light and the silhouette it creates accentuating the beautiful gift God has provided me with– my oldest daughter… who creepily whispers my name early in the morning as she stands motionless in my doorway. OH. MY. GOSH. Why?! That’s right–school… and it’s picture day. That crack of light capturing her silhouette was my eyelids refusing to open as they were reacting to the bright light my daughter turned on.

I cross the rocky terrain that is my living room to reach my destination. The end is in sight (or the beginning, really, for that matter) and I can almost reach the coffee pot… I make it! But not unscathed by my surroundings as I stepped on a giant LEGO aka “breakfast” that my toddler “made” for me and put ever-so-sweetly in a bowl in my path to the kitchen.

I close my eyes for a [milli]second and listen to my surroundings. I take in the [not so] faint calls of the wild. The monkey’s howl, the lion’s roar, the cow’s moo, the cat’s meow, the sheep’s baaa, the frog’s “bibbit”, and the toddler’s cry! I hear the sounds of an endless flowing river that is Bubble Guppies and Paw Patrol babbling in the background… and I mean never ending and unfortunately somewhat catchy.

The coffee hits me at the same time as my hangry child’s stomach decides to scavenge for a ‘nack. So I plot my escape to the bathroom with a decoy of distraction with piranhas goldfish in a cup over by the couch and I make a break for it! But I am not fast enough. The toddler catches up with me as I’m trying to close the bathroom door and in fear of frightening the toddler and hurting her fingers I give in. She sits there feeding me piranhas goldfish as I do my business –she doesn’t take her eyes off of me.

My nose senses something’s gone awry and knows it’s time to capture the toddler and put her in a new net that catches her waste that is the diaper. But she knows what’s up. So I make my way into her room, grab my tools to clean a bottom and I see her. She lurks around the corner thinking I can’t see what she’s up to. So I back up out of her line of sight and I wait silently. I hear her steps as she creeps closer and out I pop with a playful roar and I tickle her to the ground. It’s all fun and games until she crocodile rolls away with remnants of poo on her rump. Not today, tiny human! Not today.

She’s fought long and hard and is ready to give in. But not before she pulls on my pant legs, plays with her food, pulls her sissy’s hair, fights with the floor, cries out for “douche“–which I translate as juice, colors on sissy’s homework, eats her prey dinner, gives me kisses, and says “nigh-night“.

Finally. Time for myself. I sit, close my eyes, and listen. No more roars, “bibbits”, or cries. No more rough, LEGO-breakfast terrain to trench through. No more secret passwords I mean…terrible, new-age math homework. No more toddler-chaperoned trips to the bathroom. No more hugs. No more “I love you mom“s. No more bodies in my arms to snuggle.

The day is done. My heart is full. And even with the chaos-clad days I have I still want to wake those sleeping beasts for just another kiss.

But I know what awaits tomorrow so for now I’ll take my rest.

So as the light closes on the horizon that are my eyelids– I sleep.

Uncategorized

Damaged goods- I miss the Me that only knew the good

Do you remember what you were like before you were ever damaged? Before life hit us with bricks named reality?

I miss the me that came before reality. When I actually believed that I am enough. I am not just damaged goods.

There are days I long for my youth. My innocence. When all I knew was that I was taken care of and I didn’t have any cares of what else this world had to offer except that I was going to be a singer and make lots of money! And be super rich!

I was going to grow up, get married, have kids, get rich and take care of everyone I love.

…Until I wasn’t. And am still not.

I miss the me before my first love heartbreak. That loved the guy I tried to love and love again, just to be hurt, hurt again, and then ultimately broken. When I knew how to fully trust a person without insinuating allegations over minuscule things. Who, despite all the crappy relationships I fell into, still trusted someone enough to marry them and start a family, that ultimately led to more trust issues and belittlement– and ended.

I miss the me who didn’t worry about what to wear or how much I should or shouldn’t weigh. When black and white striped shorts totally went well with a pink and purple polka dotted shirt and kids wouldn’t make fun of me for it. When I didn’t compare my own unique beauty to those around me– and then feel less beautiful because of it.

I miss the me before I had kids. Not in the sense that I have lost myself, more so in the sense that I worry so much more--about bad people, bullies, rapists, murderers, other drivers on the road and what other people are capable of doing to them if I even take my eyes off of them for one second. I worry about myself and beating myself up about more than my looks, but now about my parenting skills (or lack thereof). Am I doing this right? Are my kids happy? Should I do this or that? Can they see that I have no idea what I’m really doing and that I’m just winging it, most days, just to get through the day? Or that I am nowhere near as neat and organized as my mother was? And probably never will be.

I miss not having to worry about the bad in this world.

Because although I didn’t get it right the first time, I have found a love that mirrors mine. Who–even though, I have trust issues, anxiety and many insecurities–still loves me for me. Someone who would move mountains and help me carry my baggage and burdens. I have someone who sees the good in me and knows that I am enough.

…Even though lately all I see is bad.

I miss the me that only knew the good.

The good in this world.

The good in other people.

The good in me.

Life change

30 things I’ve learned in life– Welcome to my 30s!

(I started writing this a day and a half ago and never finished because, you know, parenting. Pretend it’s August 15th!)

30. THIR-ty. thir-TY!! 1988!

No matter where I place the emphasis in the word it doesn’t change the fact that I’m 3 decades old.

I woke up today to the sound of my kids (kids! Plural! I’m like an adult or something!). So my oldest likes to wake up at the butt crack of dawn and will help finagle my youngest out of her crib. And usually they play and let me sleep in for a little while (and by sleep in I mean laying here listening to them play for an extra ten minutes while I struggle with my inability to succumb to the fact I need to wake up) but not today! They giggled their way into my bed and my youngest slammed her body right onto my gut, followed by the biggest hug. My oldest slithered her way under the cover and into the nook of my arm and we tickled, and we cuddled, and we laughed (so hard that my oldest farted), and I woke up happy.

I know too many people who were not able to wake up on their 30th birthday and experience what I got to…because they never made it to 30. So here is my list of things I’ve learned/things you should start doing:

  1. Life is short. Stop wasting it on things and people that/who don’t matter.
  2. Drink more water. If you think you’re drinking enough, drink more.
  3. Don’t tell your secrets to your kids. They’ll tell any and everyone who will listen.
  4. Befriend the “weirdo” at work. I promise you’ll learn something amazing about them and maybe something about yourself.
  5. You don’t have to pay full price for EVERYTHING. There are huge discounts out there if you sign up for newsletters and look at other resources!
  6. If you want to do something for yourself, do it. Just do it.
  7. Don’t settle. Please don’t settle.
  8. …but also don’t have unrealistic expectations
  9. Read! Read a good book or a bad one! Just read. Your brain will thank you for it.
  10. Learn a new skill, or a hobby. If you don’t like it, then find a new one! You now know how to do something you didn’t know before.
  11. Tell everyone you love, that you love them. Make sure they know. Don’t let people who are important to you wonder where they stand in your life.
  12. Try to find the good in all things. There is always a silver lining.
  13. Bring wipes everywhere. (Especially if you have kids)
  14. Make someones life a little easier. Pay for someone’s coffee behind you in line, babysit for a much needed couple, invite someone over and make them dinner.
  15. Smile more often.
  16. Pamper yourself from time to time.
  17. Its okay to sit and do nothing once in a while. Life doesn’t always have to be busy!
  18. Not all people speak your “love language”. Try not to force someone to be like you or make them feel like they’re loving wrong.
  19. No matter how nice you are, there will always be someone who will judge you. Try not to let it bother you.
  20. Be more organized. I suck at this, like really bad. But I am trying.
  21. Your best friend may become a stranger. *shrugs*
  22. Making friends as an adult sucks. A mom adult, at that.
  23. Rushing causes more stress. Why are we rushing our kids out the door? Slow down.  Time goes by way too fast without us having to make it faster.
  24. Support your friends and family. Making them feel like what they do matters really does mean a lot.
  25. Do something that scares you. The adrenaline that will follow will be exhilarating (Doesn’t have to be skydiving, leaving a job to follow a different dream is one example).
  26. If you have kids, love on them any chance you get. They get annoying, yes. But the time you have with them while they are little is minimal and it flies.
  27. Print off your photos. I have 25k photos on my phone (I’m not even exaggerating). I print them off from time to time. Even if they just go in a box later on. Having something physical to look at is a fad that has almost been thrown out.
  28. Let your husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/family love you. Take their compliments. Leave your door open to it. You are worth it.
  29. Let go of grudges
  30. Love yourself. Seriously. No one can fully love you right, without you loving yourself in some way, first.

 

This list wasn’t as easy as I thought it’d be and partly thought up on a whim. However, I hope you enjoyed it.

Welcome to my thirties!!! Where I’m sure I will still not know what I’m doing.

Mom's Corner

My kids stayed with grandma for the night… and I felt lost.

So I turn 30 in 3 days.

…I mean 2 days (12:08am)

So my husband treated me to a night out. We went to a bar that had an amazing band and we went with a couple of friends we hadn’t seen in a while. And an hour into the night and I’m texting my mother in law to watch for my toddlers breathing because she was coughing funny earlier that morning. I wanted to enjoy my kid-free night so I waited for her response and I put my phone away.

I documented some of the night on Snapchat and didn’t do much else. We had a few drinks, played a game of bags (aka cornhole), and danced.

I looked at my phone again at 12:14am and replied to confirm that the kids were staying the night at grandmas house. We went home, watched some tv, and didn’t have to tiptoe or whisper.

But I did it anyway.

I was subconsciously doing mom things. I peeked inside my youngest’s room, I panicked for a quick second wondering if I forgot to go downstairs to read my oldest a bedtime story–until I remembered she wasn’t here. We aren’t used to having the house to ourselves. I’m not used to the kids not being around. I enjoyed the alone time with my husband. But I never felt so lost all at the same time.

I can do date nights. I can go hours away from my kids (although I do admit being away from my kids more and more the older I get, sucks!). But this whole overnight thing got to me. I love being the one who puts my toddler to bed and plays peek a boo with her blankie for a few extra minutes and kiss her little toes while she tickles her face with my hair. I love one on one time with my oldest while I tuck her in, read her a story and tickle her back. Or watch tv with her until she falls asleep with me on the couch.

That’s my job.

Yes I know. I know grandmas and aunties are fully capable of watching over my kids. I could not ask for better grandmas and aunties (and uncles) for my girls. But speaking of jobs, lately, working full time hadn’t been fulfilling. I had been looking left and right as to why that is and what it is that I’ve been missing out on. I have been home for a couple of weeks being solely a mom. A mom, a homemaker, a wife.

And I have never been so fulfilled at any other job as I have felt while being home with my kids being able to spend precious, frustrating, undivided, time with them.

So last night while I was out enjoying my husband and my kids were safe, playing with family, I was also missing my kids. I missed my mommy duties.

But I also missed having alone time with my husband. I already had a kid when we met. So we’ve never really had that “just us” phase of our relationship. He gladly, without hesitation, jumped into a relationship with us two and stepped up to be the man and father he didn’t have to be. We rarely get date nights so I am thankful when we get them.

The ugly side of this all is that no matter what I do I feel guilty. Guilty that I’m missing my kids when its just us on a date night, guilty that I don’t get to be with my husband alone more often, guilty that my kids went to bed without me, guilty that I even feel guilty at all!

So I felt lost without my kids. So what? I’d get lost in the chaos of motherhood over and over again just to be able to re-experience the exhilaration of it all.

So I need to let my kids enjoy their other family members so that I can enjoy some time with my wonderful husband. Guilt free time. I need to let them get to know their family better. It’s not like they dread it. They enjoy going to see everyone. They love playing with our family and their cousins. I need to give myself a break step back from mom duties, even for one whole night.

Wife hat, mom hat. One piled on the top of the other. I can do it. I can find my way through motherhood without getting lost.

Life change · Mom's Corner

Duty is calling, and I must go

I knew what I was signing up for when I got my first job as soon as I turned 16. Responsibility, income, a new role. But I always took pride in working for my money. I may not have managed it very well when I was younger (and I’m still sometimes an impulse buyer), but it was my money. It wasn’t full time by any means since I was still in high school, but after school duty was calling… so I went.

I joined the military on active duty at 19, had a kid by 22, and deployed by 23. My squadron told me I was deploying when my oldest was still new to this world at five months old, with six months to prepare for my upcoming deployment. After her first birthday, shortly after Christmas, just a few really short weeks later I was at the airport (deployment bags in hand and my daughter on my hip) and the woman on the intercom said it was the last call for boarding. My overseas duty was calling and as my heart shattered, I had to go.

I came back from said deployment, eager to see my daughter, and ready to be home. I was speed walking through the airport, passing the much needed restrooms, but I didn’t care I’d pee my pants if it came down to it. I was coming down the hallway and could hear the distant laughter of my daughter drawing nearer and nearer. My duty lifeline was calling in a sing-song of laughter…and faster than lightning, did I go.

Monday through Friday I work a 9-5 (it’s really an 8:30-5 but who’s tracking?). I work for someone who has made their dream a reality. I invest my time so I can reap the reward of a middle class paycheck to be able to help provide for my family. So Monday through Friday at 8:30 am as I pay someone else to help raise my children, I have a duty to fulfill… so I go.

I worked all week and looked forward to this weekend… until I realized I may no longer be active duty but I am still in the reserve and instead of enjoying the weekend with my family, its my military drill weekend and have to work it to be able to maintain a military career status and reap the many benefits that come along with it. I get to see all the faces of my military coworkers for two days bright and early at 6:30am, so I reluctantly roll out of bed at 4:30am after hitting snooze, get dressed into my uniform, hop in my car, and I go.

After working all week– and sometimes 12 days straight– and checking my phone constantly for updates on my kids, when my temporary duties are up, and I’ve fulfilled the needs of my jobs I sign out of my computer, gather my belongings and I clock out.

This past month or so has had me reflecting on all the things I do and all the hats I wear. Although I keep my ABU (military) hat on the dash of my car as a reminder that I serve my country for anyone in the range of my family and friends to the man who could care less about why I’m serving.  My duty as a mother is my most important and it is the hat I wear with most pride. It’s a never-ending job and requires most of any and all resources I can provide. Becoming a mother has changed the way I view my life and what I define as successful. I can be great in all other areas and “succeed”, but if I fail in this one particular aspect of my life, to me, I will have failed at all the others. I understand the need to provide, and as a family we have that. But while I am alive I am going to give my mom-duties, and my babies, my best me yet…

Because my duties babies are calling… and to them–without fail–I will always go.

Mom's Corner · Uncategorized

Planning and Parenting- What a book won’t tell you

Alright. Since I’ve already crowned myself The World’s Okayest Mom— we all know I didn’t plan a whole lot prior to my oldest joining my life journey. I tried a liiiiiitle harder with my second, but knew there wasn’t much more out there that’s changed in the six years since I had previously given birth. One of those things being my personality. If you want to know what real motherhood is like, ditch the books and follow a mom blogContinue reading “Planning and Parenting- What a book won’t tell you”