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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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.

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.

baking · cooking · Mom's Corner

‘Made with Love’, really means I licked the spoon and kept using it..

… but that’s okay because I didn’t make enough cookies to share my cooties with anyone but my household.

& If I’m being really honest, I tried to make them big enough to where there wasn’t enough to share at all.

Tonight I did something for myself. (If you read my last post about lost missing time, then you know its past 10:30pm and this is my me time). I baked my favorite cookies in the entire world. Chocolate chip!

(Yes, the photo credit for tonight’s photos in this post goes to yours, truly)

Baking is not my niche and I’m only alright at cooking. I probably have a handful of1-read-directions-on-box-2-throw-box-away-3-11821347 recipes that I’m actually good at that don’t consist of mac n’ cheese, spam and rice, and brinner. I’m not sure if you do this, too but this photo (to the right) may as well have been done by me. I am horrible at following directions step by step!

But! This one time I am very glad I did. Because these cookies came out as perfect as can be. I usually look in the oven around the suggested cook time and think “I may as well eat the cookie dough raw if this is when I’m supposed to take them out of the oven”. I then proceed to leave them in just 5 minutes longer. Which in the world of cookie baking is so dumb.

Don’t do it!

Not if you want baked-to-perfection soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies. Which is the way God intended them to be. (Or maybe, just how I’d hope he’d want them to be). Anyway, I wanted to share a bit of my evening with you guys. Enjoy these [almost] professional photos taken with my iPhone 8 Plus camera.

**Also! If you can see any of my kitchen decor in the background behind those mouth-watering cookies, (I know my “professional” photos make it hard to pick out, ha!) just know that I was inspired by my super friend, Jennifer’s Home Design photos. I know I mention how baking isn’t my niche up there ↑↑↑ but home design is definitely hers! Check out her Facebook page JEM Home Design or her Instagram: @littlebeachcottage you won’t be disappointed!**