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Sunday, April 28, 2013

I have completely lost it!

I came to the realization today, that I have completely lost it. Slowly, it has been creeping up on me the past few years. Now, I can no longer avoid the undeniable.

What's that you ask, that is so deserving of such a dramatic opening? My ''Cool Card.'' Yes, my licenses have been permanently revoked! I am officially no longer considered cool.

Here is a list of the crimes I have committed, in the past couple of years, that has caused this legitimate action to take place.

  • I have done the Mom Dance. In case you are wondering what awesome moves this consist of or secretly wondering, if you are guilty of busting out into it. I can teach it to you really fast. Ready? Ok. Now clap hands, then snap fingers, and repeat. All the while, shuffling your feet from side to side. If you are doing this or have done this, you are on your way to being an ultimate cheese ball. The upside, is that you now possess the power to embarrass the crap out of your kid. You're welcome!
  • Googling slang terms. Google is a great friend of mine. I use it to find information of all sorts. Including the meaning of TBHLMS, and DDT. These are just to name a few, of the very many, abbreviations that are used online these days. I still haven't moved past LOL!
  • It takes me five minutes to read and understand a text that resembles this: gr8 2 c u 2day! Btw be bk soon. I hv sum1 u need to c.. K?! TTYL:) 
  • The thought of even staying out past 10:00, causes me great anxiety. It interrupts my boring routine of mindless internet surfing and cuts into my "me" time. Besides, anything past 8:30 a.m. is considered sleeping in!
  •  Running away the neighborhood children for being too loud. Yes, I became THAT woman one night. My daughter was trying to sleep and they were disturbing my Bible study. Here is my cool choice of words, " You guys need to quiet it down out here! Where do you live?!? Who is your momma and daddy?!?"
  • At a redlight, I am listening to the news radio. While finding out the weather forecast of the week, so I'll know how to dress my kids in the morning, the guy next to me is blasting a song, about how he ''Woke up in a new bugatti!'' BTW, if you have to google this song, you need to turn in your licenses immediately, because of it's absurd popularity.   
If you also, find yourself doing one or more of the following above, it is safe to assume, that you have or are in serious danger of losing your ''Cool Card.''

It's ''Cool'' with me though, I'm right where I want to be!   

Friday, April 26, 2013

I am a Real Housewife of Atlanta

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are familiar with the reality t.v. show "The Real Housewives of Atlanta."

Although dangerous, I've been doing some thinking. Why is it called the "Real Housewives?" None of the woman are actual housewives.

Being that I am a housewife, that lives in Atlanta, I decided to list ten differences between myself and the woman who are cast on the show, just for fun.

  1. Instead of carrying the latest Chanel bag, I'm all over here like, ''Check out this purse I found at  Goodwill and it's never been used!!''
  2. Rather than having lunch at a swanky restaurant with my girlfriends, mine consist of a pack of peanut butter crackers, while on the phone with my sister.
  3. The only kandi I know, is the kind I tell my toddler she can't have for breakfast.
  4. The "Gone with the Wind Fabulous" twirls I see, are that of the agitator inside my washing machine. This I'm thankful for!
  5. I do not drive a 70,000.00 car, but I've got seat warmers... Woot!
  6. My hairstylist, are a bunch of Youtube videos.
  7. While they, upon greeting, are kissing each others cheeks, I'm wiping buttcheeks.
  8. They are pictured holding fresh peaches, and I pour mine out of the can.
  9. They argue about a '' Donkey Booty'' video, while I'm trying to keep my three year old's hand out of hers!!
  10. Instead of worrying about being tardy for the party, I just hope my child isn't tardy for the potty.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I live every woman's dream! (apparently)

Cruising through facebook the other day, I seen something that made me a bit irritated. It was an e-card that said the following "I hear you. Raising a kid and running a household keeps me busy, too. I also have this gig on the side called a full time job."

Now, what I consider to be ignorant remarks, usually does not offend me. But since I have been a stay at home mom for the majority of the time I have been a mother, I'm really getting annoyed at the stereotypes that are placed on myself and other women who have this way of life. My counter arguments have always been a soft "it's not as easy as you think" or the famous "I do work!"

There seems to be this battle, of the moms who work outside of the home (I don't use the term "working" mom, because both work) and the stay at home mom. Who has the upper hand? Who is superior and more ambitious? Who does more? My opinion on the matter is, neither! Being a parent in general is hard. Both endeavors have their perks. I do not believe that one trumps the other and each of these worlds, needs to be respected.

I stay at home because financially, it makes more sense for our household. It would cost us more money for me to have a job outside of the home. Between gas and daycare alone, would be my whole paycheck. Not to mention, that we would eat out more often and other expenses.

I do not stay home because I am a spoiled, kept woman. We are extremely frugal and modest when it comes to money. We have a budget each month. Planning for emergencies and rainy days are our top priorities. I have learned how to be resourceful and I have learned to distinguish a want, from a necessary need, yes, the word necessary is very important here.

Work, yes, I do work. I work ALL day long. I do not take breaks, watch t.v., and most days I don't even eat a decent meal. Lazy? Some days, I wish.

I've heard, ''when I get home, I do the same thing you do.'' Yes, it's a stressful part of the day, isn't it? Well, thats what we do all day. I find it almost funny, when people think I don't need a break from my chores or children, because I do not work outside of the home.

It is estimated that a stay at home mom's work, is worth a salary of 112,962 a year. Putting in around 94.7 hours a week.

Working outside of the home allows a break from motherhood, and studies have shown, that mothers  have less worry, depression, stress, and anger. Also, women that return to the workforce shortly after childbirth, report better physical and mental health.

The grass isn't greener on this side ladies. Don't believe me? There are countless stories, like the ones herehere, and here, of women who have done both, and chose to go back to work.

Listen moms, what I'm trying to say, is that we are both exhausted and in desperate need of a vacation. One path is not harder than the other. We both have to make these sacrifices for our families. We each, have things to cross off our to-do list at the end of the day.

I see what you do, using your sick and vacation days to take care of a sick child. Feeling guilty because you make it home just in time to put your little ones to bed. Heartbroken, because you had to miss another milestone. I see you, I just want you to see me too.

I want you to see how we long for some adult interaction, to drive in the car by ourselves, blasting our favorite song, which we may sing horribly to. I want you to see my puked on shirt I am currently wearing, while patting a baby on the behind that I'm trying to get to sleep on my chest, because he is fighting it. All the while, typing this article with one hand. I want you to see, how it pains me that our work is underappreciated and how staying at home, to raise my children, is not considered an honorable job. 



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How I became a better wife

Four years is not a very long time to be married. But, during these years, I have learned an awful lot about what it takes to make my marriage work. That's right, I said it, learned.

See, I thought that being a wife, was something I was going to be naturally good at. I mean, I can cook, clean, do laundry, and I truly love this man that is standing at the altar before me. That's enough right? Love. 

Little did I know, I was about to understand the meaning of the phrase "sometimes, love just isn't enough." 
I was about to understand what the true meaning of the altar (any structure upon which offerings, such as sacrifices are made) really meant.

These are a few of the many things I learned:

Contentment-  I had to learn to love and embrace my life the way it is. I found myself always wanting more or something different out of my life and was sure that whatever "this" was that I longed for would make me happy. I was looking to my husband to fulfil all my needs to be happy, which is an unrealistic expectation to put on anyone. I had to understand that happiness comes from within, learning to be thankful and content with what I had and who I was. Happiness, is not a person. Someone can make you happy for a moment, but happiness, in my opinion, is your view of life. It is a way you choose to see the world and your circumstances.

Say you're sorry- I cannot express the power of these two words "I'm sorry." We all have bad days, overreact to things, are out of line and are in the wrong. Letting your partner know that you recognize your faults and bad conduct, can heal what otherwise would have been a wound that festered into resentment or more controversy between each other. The whole "I speak before I think" is something we all have been guilty of at times. It is nothing to be boastful about. It is not only damaging, but foolish behavior. Learn some self-control. It can be hard, for some more than others, to apologize. If you are on the receiving end, this is not a time to lecture. Accept, forgive, and move on.

Respect- Respect one another and each others wishes. If they ask something of you, it is not the time to be rebellious and have a don't tell me what to do attitude. Usually, it is something within reason that is making them uncomfortable or to feel disregarded. Even though at times I felt I wasn't treated with respect, I swallowed my pride and gave nothing but respect, that's when I found, it is true, you have to give respect to get it. Sometimes you have to take a humble approach and be the first to give it. Lead by example. Stop waiting on the other to make the first move, you both will be waiting together and miss out on the opportunity to strengthen your bond.

Seek wise counsel- We all have well meaning people around, at least I hope, family and friends are. But sometimes, they do not give the best advice. They see us hurting and can't help but to ridicule our spouse and take our side. This can be detrimental for a marriage. Then, when you guys work it out, they can be left with hard feelings toward your other half, that may always linger.  For me, I value the advice from someone who can see the situation for what it is and can tell me when I'm wrong. Someone who reveres marriage and knows that I cherish mine as well. This is not the time to post it on facebook and see how many "likes" or comments you can get, dropping subtle hints of what it's about (clearly everyone knows) just for your own self-pity. No matter how much you say things like,"I'm strong, I can make it through this" It's a pity party. Got it! Good. This is a private matter, that should be handled maturely and with care.

Prayer- I always save the best for last, although it shouldn't be the last thing you do. This is everyday life. Ask the Lord for you to find contentment with what He has blessed you with, give you the right words to say when you want to say all the wrong ones, help you to be humble and show you how to respect your partner.

Ask for guidance on what to do when you feel as if everything is spiraling out of control. Do not pray that He changes your partner, you pray that he changes you. You see, who are we to ask Him to change someone else, someone who He created for His purpose? Do pray FOR him though. Trust that I know from experience, it will happen in the Lord's perfect timing. He may not be the early you're searching for, but he is never late. Be patient.                      

Monday, April 22, 2013

A day in my toddler's shoes

" I want to go outside!" shouted my three year old. It was a beautiful spring day and my husband volunteered to watch the baby. So I thought to myself, I could use the fresh air, sit down, relax, and surf the internet while she played "OK, let's go!"

We went through the laundry room and headed for the backdoor. On the way, she saw one of her favorite stuffed animals Clifford, and a ''magic wand.'' She grabbed them up and off we went. Once outside, I quickly tried to set up post with my computer and phone. But she kept coming over, wanting her shoes off, her shoes on, back and forth. Then I realized, that she just wanted my attention and for me to play with her. Something I haven't done much of since the baby had been born two months before.

She approached me again, I closed my laptop and looked at her. ''mommy, will you take me to the forest?" Mind you, we leave in a townhome and far from any forest. But I stood up, brushed off my behind and said, "Sure, come on!"

Riding her trusty steed Clifford, we came upon a gate that led to the forest. Using her magical wand, we unlocked the gate and off we went.

What a beautiful place, this forest. The trees were so tall, almost blocking out the sun! We picked up boulders as big as rocks and watched eagles soar as if they were just regular birds. We battled creatures that  resembled bugs and saw a lion that looked like a dog, he saw us also, but the princess assured me he was just there to potty.

It wasn't long before she spoke of her prince charming, "I want to go see daddy." I smiled, and we headed back to the castle hand in hand.

I needed to be reminded that a child views this world much differently than we do. I needed to remember that, what's just a walk around the neighborhood to me, is an adventure for her. The innocence of a child's mind. I didn't even get mad later that evening when she dumped a pack of crackers over the balcony into the yard and told me it was for the doggies. I am thankful for this day, I am thankful I decided to take a walk in my toddler's shoes.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

5 Things I remembered but forgot about having a newborn

When I found out I was pregnant with my second, I felt the same flood of emotions that I felt with my first. Scared, excited, anxious, and happy to have a second go at motherhood. I also felt a sense of calm because I already knew what to expect such as, doctor appointments, test, and also that labor can go many ways, but hey!, at least I had given birth once before.

I also started to remember how tough it can be at times and the inevitable challenges that lie ahead. My daughter is now three, so it was still a bit fresh in my mind. The difference, is that I remembered, but forgot how it feels to be in that present moment.

Here are 5 things that I remembered but forgot:

  1. Sleep deprivation: I forgot how it was to feel as though you had been drinking all night and had the worst hangover that could never rival your early twenties. Trying to plug your phone charger into their pacifier (true story!) Taking everything your spouse says to you out of context, "Yes! I would like some freaking butter on my toast!! How dare you?!?"
  2. Feeling sexy: I already felt the sting of how my stomach would look after giving birth, as a friend of mine describes the feeling, "Looks like a deflated balloon!" I forgot how it really felt to feel so fat and unattractive. I want to wear a t-shirt in the grocery store that says, "Yeah well, I just had a baby a few weeks ago! What's your excuse!" Hiding my naked body from my husband better than Osama bin laden hid from the U.S. Which both were eventually found.
  3. House in a mess: It looks like a tornado came through my home, forgot something and came right back through. Sitting here in this spot, just turning my head left to right, I see shoes on the floor alongside a bottle, shoes on the stairs, Easter basket, napkins on the couch, hair brush, diapers, a play mat, and Oh! My sleeping baby. Yes, I know, he's sleeping. Start picking up!! But being that this is my second time around, I'm not only more insane but wiser. It is truly Murphy's law when children are involved. As soon as I reach for the napkins, laying on the couch beside me and walk to the trashcan, Bam!! he's wide awake and crying. If I sit here, getting nothing accomplished, he will sleep for two hours. Sigh...
  4. Showers: Ah! You mean that thing you used to get under and water comes down on you out of that silver thingy? Where you took one every day just after a night of uninterrupted sleep, so you could get yourself sexy, right before you get started on your housework? Right.... They still make those?
  5. Soak it all in: What I forgot with my first and remembered with my second. All too soon these days will be a distant memory. Gaze longer at the wonderful blessing you received from our heavenly Father. Take in all the baby's firsts. The first and every time he coos, those gummy smiles he flashes at just the sound of my voice. The way his head snuggles in between my shoulder and neck, like the perfect missing puzzle piece. The way he looks with wonder at the beauty this world has to offer, eyes full of curiosity at the things that you and I have seen millions of times, taking for granted the magnificent view that the Lord has created for us. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Art of Placenta Printing

The other night, while feeding the baby, I was browsing online and found myself in the weird part of the internet. I came across an article about Placenta Printing. I have never heard of this, so I decided to check it out.

Basically, you take the placenta after giving birth and cover it with ink. Place it on a flat surface and press a piece of art paper on top of it. Carefully pull it up and you have a print of your placenta that resembles a tree! Some moms paint it and place it in a frame. Personally, I will stick to the traditional baby book.

Intrigued by this, I went just a bit further into my research. Boy did I open up a whole new world that I didn't even know existed. Turns out, there are a number of people who offer to do this service ( I tell ya, you can make a business out of anything ) and more! Yep, for a price of about $250.00, you can also have what is known as Placenta Encapsulation. Say what! That's right, you put the placenta in a dehydrator, grind it up, and fill capsules to be taken orally ( take two of these and call me in the morning! ) It doesn't just stop there folks, some women do everything from consuming Placenta smoothies, Placenta tea, cooking it, and Dun, Dun, Dunnnnnn.... eating it raw!

The theory, I repeat, theory behind this, is that it can replenish depleted iron, increase energy, increase milk production, promote a faster postpartum recovery, fight off the baby blues, postpartum depression, and much more. For me, I'll stick with the coffee and zoloft ah thank you! I was aware that this is practiced in other parts of the world, such as China. For centuries, many cultures have buried the placenta as a way to honor it. I was ignorant to the fact that it has become a growing trend in today's western culture.

I'm not here to put down anyone who makes the decision to practice this. I just had no idea of the so many things people do with the afterbirth. I have posted a couple of links for you guys to check out if this peaks your interest the way it did mine.

Placenta ServicesHuman Placentophagy

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Letter to a Mom

When someone has a baby in our church or surgery, we have what we call a Care Calender. It is a Calender that is sent to the members of the Church via email. We sign up and take meals to the family that can use some extra help.

This past Saturday we signed up and took a meal to a couple who just had their first baby. My husband had to take the meal inside because I was in the car feeding the baby. He came back out and said they were asking for tips and advice. My heart went out to them because I remember my first year as a mom all to well.
I sent her an email and I wanted to share the letter that I wrote.

Dear _____________,

I know how it feels to be a bit lost when it comes to your first born. I used to think that being a wife and a mother would be something I was great at and something that would come naturally. Some of it does come naturally, but for me, most was something I had to learn to do.

I can't tell you how to exactly do things because you have to do what works for you and your baby. What I can do, is tell you what I learned and give you some encouraging words,

First, I learned that babies, especially newborns, are moody little creatures. Only content for a short period of time. Don't take it personal. Your doing the best you can. You are both still learning each other. 

Also, at least for the first three few weeks, sleep when he does. It sounds really cliche but you have to remember that you are still recovering. Please do not put yourself at risk for the baby blues, postpartum depression, or severe bleeding. All three happened to me and it was horrible. It's simply not worth it. I took it very easy with my second born and had none of thee above happen.

As far as his sleeping, it could be a number of things. Gas, a touch of colic(our son has colic, but starting to get better) He may want to suck on a passy, walk around some, or simply be hungry. I do not have my son on a feeding schedule. I feed when he is hungry and however much he wants to eat. I had my first one on, every two hours, every three hours, etc... I still check the time to see when his last meal was so I can see if he may be fussing because he's hungry. I know that for my newborns, the first few weeks really was every two hours and that goes by so fast. It's already been two hours!! Haha..

I am no text book mom. I found that when I looked in text books, they would tend to make me feel inadequate as a mom. I'm not saying that they don't have some good tips to try, but at the end of the day, it's about what works for you and your baby and that takes time. The first few months, you can't put them on a schedule. We are on their time. A schedule will soon develop and you guys will set that tone together. Trust me. Some days it will feel like there is no end in sight. It can be frustrating and that's ok also, but know that all to soon, it will be a distant memory:) We live our lives faster than we realize, a baby truly makes you stop and smell the roses.

I am not afraid to tell you, that I cried my eyes out this past week. I was frustrated. I hadn't had a shower in a couple of days, washed my hair in three, my house was a mess. All I wanted was to brush my teeth, wash my face, and put on some deodorant! My husband was gracious enough to watch the baby for most of the day yesterday so I could get some things accomplished. 
I know it is ok to have those days and there will be many more to come, but that is all part of being a mom. Always remember that you are never alone in your struggle to get it right. I have to tell you, most times, I don't get it right. When the day has come and gone, I'm all over here like, supper is not cooked, my hair is a mess, I could fall asleep on rocks, but guess what honey!?!? The kids are alive!! Haha..

I have lots more to say on this topic and I wouldn't mind discussing it with you. Maybe I can come over one day or you can send me an email.

I saved the best for last because this is most important. Pray. Asked the Lord to help you, to sustain you. He will send you rest. This is a great time to draw him near to you. I found myself on my knees the other day, begging for him to guide me. He is most faithful and always pulls me through. 

I am real, raw, and nothing surprises me, so if you have any questions or need to talk about anything, just let me know. If you need anything at all, just let me know!

Family Update

Thought I would give an update on how the family is doing. 

Paloma is getting bigger by the minute. She really is growing into herself and wants to be more independent each day. I dude it myself!! are the words we hear more often than not these days. She is having a time adjusting still to the change of having a baby around, but it is a season that will soon pass, or so I keep telling myself. 

Raphael is also getting bigger by the minute. He smiles when spoken to and lets out the occasional squeal or coo. He is sleeping better at night, only waking twice and goes out for the night around 10:00 or so. He only cat naps during the day and wakes when you sit him down. He loves his daddy and they love napping together.

Christian is doing great. He was baptized on Easter Sunday and has became an official member of the Church. He has been working a lot lately, which means business is going good. He is also still adjusting to having a baby around, but he is doing a wonderful job at it! I am thankful and proud of the way he has helped me with the baby, giving me a break when it's most needed.

As for myself, I am doing fine. Could use some more sleep, but that will come sooner than later. I am happy to have my healthy, loving family. Each day we are growing and learning together. Although life can bring obstacles, at the end of the day I am a blessed woman and ready for anything.