Monday, December 19, 2016

This One's Not Funny

This blog isn't funny or clever. 
But life is. 
And so are moms. 
Isn't it funny how they're are always right? 
I'm still waiting on that to describe me... 
My mom always thought I'd grow up to be a teacher even though I wanted to be a hair-cutter-girl, a nurse, an occupational therapist. 
She was right - I came around to what I'm sure is my calling. 
And I love it. 
I sometimes feel guilty about that, especially when others talk about how much they hate their jobs. I feel guilty that I love my coworkers, dealing with a circus, my kiddos. Things get crazy sometimes. There are days I really want to quit. 
But when I compare it to other jobs I've held, this one take the cake --- easily. 

One of my favorite times at school is right before Christmas break. 
It's wild and truly a mad house! Not only are the kids anxious, but the teachers are, too. 
I love seeing the kids come in lugging bags of gifts or treats for their parties. 
I love the joy kids get from sharing Christmas cheer. 
From a homemade card, to nicely wrapped gifts - the joy is the same. 
This year, among the candles, candies, and niceties I received, one gift stands out. 
It was from a little boy that I just adore - I seriously love this kid. He stood over my desk and pointed to a bag with no name on it. 
"That's from me." 
Inside was a rice crispy treat and a small plastic flute. 
He sheepishly grinned as I hugged him and said my thanks and vowed to learn to play a tune over break.
I love it. 
Regift or not, he thought of me. 
That's when I got it --- it's the thought that counts.
Does it make me an adult that I understand that old adage? 
Probably so.
And I'm ok with that. 

This year, I'm embracing the thought
I've not stressed over gifts or scheduling. 
We're geared up to enjoy our time together. 
I'm making a point to spend quality time with family, catch up with friends, and soak up the moments - even if they are a bit different this year. 

This is the first year I will not be waking up at my parents' home in Tennessee. 
Typing that now, it kinda makes me get all teary eyed. 
But it's time to begin new traditions. 
Our families have graciously rearranged traditions to accommodate our wish to wake up as a family in our house. That also makes me get all teary eyed. 
I'm so excited to see my family this season, to spend time with them laughing and sharing stories. 
I can't wait to see LC experience Christmas morning. 
I can't wait to see the joy on Adam's face as he watches her. 

So, here's to new traditions.
To not stressing over the gifts I haven't bought.
Or the cards that still haven't been sent.
To not flipping out over the special Santa cookie plate or milk glass we don't have.
To remembering the thought that means so much. 
And to enjoying the moment. 

And now for a few moments from last year ---

Look at this little one last year!!!


Christmas 2015 - 5 mo

Christmas 2016 - 17 mo

And now cue the tears! ;)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

I'll show you mine if you show me yours...

Wouldn't you know it -
 - on the one day of the week I can sleep in, I can't.

It started pretty early today - around 3:30 a.m. - when LC began fussing in her crib. I tried to let her fuss herself back to sleep, but it was soon evident that she needed a little help. I tip-toed out of the bedroom and into the living room where the dogs were curled up snoozing in the warm glow of the undecorated Christmas tree. Stealthily making it past the fur babies, I strategically picked my footing - around a minefield of blocks, bracelets, and stuffed animals - and made it into LC's room. There she sat, bare feet sticking out of the crib, tiny hands holding onto the rails, and tears streaming down her face. She just needed mommy. I wiped away the tears and rocked my precious baby back to sleep. Even though it was crazy early, I wasn't quite ready to put her down. The quiet, still moments with LC are few and far between, so even at 4:00 in the morning, I must cherish them. I rocked on and reached for my phone.


No one was up, but I hadn't surfed in a while.
I love seeing the posts and pictures - nosing in other people's lives.
But how often does that nosing turn toxic?
How many times have I looked at photos posted of friends out having fun and compared that to my current reality? That most often occurs at the most difficult times.
The times that I am exhausted. House an utter disaster.
Sleep deprived.
Covered in food or snot or milk --- none of which were mine...

The comparison game began as I rocked and rocked and rocked.
I tucked LC in and made the perilous journey back to my bedroom.
But I couldn't sleep.
The wheels were turning - the Facebook photos lingered in my mind.

The perfect Christmas decorations.
 --- mine are in the attic.
The great Christmas card family photos.
 --- nope. We didn't get one of those.
The friends out having fun.
 --- I spent Friday night at home.

It bothers me that we only put the pretty stuff out there to see.
It bothers me that it's in my nature to compare.
So that's why I always try to include a little bit of crazy.
Try comparing yourself to that.
I can't be alone in the comparison game, right? Please tell me I'm not the only one!
Maybe we can compare the crazy instead? I'll show you mine if you show me yours...?
Surely you too live in chaos sometimes.
If not, think you could just tell me a little white lie to make me feel better? Isn't that what friends do? ;)

Whatever the case, here's a tour of my crazy.
Pitty me.
Laugh at me.
Or laugh with me!
Whatever the case, remember that we're all just doing the best we can.
And sometimes our best is just gonna be a little crazy.

Let's begin with meal time ---

Gotta learn to use a spoon...right? 

And we obviously need to rub our entire face when eating beans. Duh. 

Routinely forgetting to use a bib. #MomFail
Next up are a couple photos from the "While You Weren't Watching" series. 

Rolls and rolls of fun.

Here, LC is covered in coffee.
Don't worry.
It was cold coffee.
Because who has time to sit and actually enjoy a cup of coffee?

In my defense, it was on my night stand.
She must have gotten taller...

These are from the Fall Family Photo Fail series. 
Adam and I had a fight on the way there. We were late. And LC busted her nose at the end of the session. So glad I wore a nice cream sweater...

Bad hair.
Double chin.
Loads of fun.
*eye roll*

Yep. Keeper right here. 

And how could we leave off the wonderful attempt at a family photo on the beach?

And I'll leave you today with a great video of LC and me playing Peek-A-Boo. 


Bless it. Don't worry, though. 
She didn't even cry! 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Writer's Block

You should be ashamed of yourself.
After all this time together - all the real talk we had during my pregnancy, during LC's first year of life - all that time together and you never told me!
You never once mentioned that ---

it doesn't get easier.
It just gets different. 
It gets weird. 

The reality of it, though, is that I can't entirely blame you! Mom (and dad!) life is tough. Tougher than I ever thought it would be. Man, I totally get it that we're all down here in the trenches just trying to survive. Trying to find that lost shoe. Trying to clear a path through the house. Trying to make sure that we all go out in public fully clothed and free from wearing lunch in our hair. While rewarding, I go to bed each night purely exhausted. Sometimes I sleep like a log, other times I sleep so little that I still rock the zombie mom status the next day. It's all good though. 

But all that's to tell you ---- 

it doesn't get easier.
It just gets different. 
It gets weird. 
And you never mentioned that to me. 

I have this idea.
This idea that scares me silly.
But an idea, nonetheless, to write about about it.
About growing a baby.
And about surviving the little monster.
And about how fun that little monster gets to be.
I would LOVE to write a book about it.

Hahaha, with allll this free time I have... ;)

But anyway, LC is so much fun now. She pretty much runs the show here, and we're cool with it.
I'll leave you with pictures because I just can't seem to find the words anymore (dreaded writer's block?!?). And besides, pictures are fun!

Wardrobe is ready for Halloween!

Mom: Human Jungle Gym

LC at Isom's Orchard pumpkin shack. 

Really, who has time to smile for a picture when there are Cheerios and chips to be had?
She's definitely my child. 

This was taken on LC's first birthday. :) 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Year One

My Darling Daughter,

Well, we did it.
365 days later and you are still alive.
Your father and I are still married.
And we've only thrown one remote and one frying pan.
(Forgive us, but you just wouldn't stop crying!)
Ah, those were the early days. Last July. August. And probably September, too. All that crying.
Allllll that crying.
But now, my beautiful girl.
Now your smile lights up a room, my life.
Your infectious gap toothed grin, proudly displaying your 8 pearly whites.
Those razor sharp teeth which can clamp down on anyone (mostly me) with unparalleled strength for a mere 16 pound person.
And after that powerful chomp, you laugh.
Not because you intend to hurt, but because it's funny.
My face rearranged into a grimace from the pain, quickly changes once again as soon as your bubbly giggle fills the room.
Just like your toys.
They fill the room too.
Every corner, flat surface.
They're everywhere.
Just like you.
Scooting. Crawling. Walking.
You've left no room untouched.
No cabinet unexplored.
No dirt untasted (poor houseplants).
You've conquered it all.
And yet there's so much more that awaits you.
And us.
What new adventures will year 2 bring?
Only time will tell.

Happy birthday.
And thank you.
Thank you for bringing me the joy I didn't know I needed, more love than I knew possible, and the wrinkles I won't admit to having.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

4 Things I've Learned

It's 6:00 on a summer morning.
I'm up and coffee is in hand.
I'd love to still be buried in my covers, snuggling in my warm bed.
Remember my girth? Sheesh. This was my last
picture before heading into the hospital!
But if I want any chance of alone time, I must be up before the enemy.

So I am.

But this time last year.
I was probably up pretty early last year, too.
I was so big that sleeping was difficult.
Errthing was difficult.

This past year has flown by.
Time flies when you're having fun, right?
Time also flies when you're functioning on very little sleep and act similar to a zombie.

But through sleep depravation, intense fatigue, and many a sticky situation, it's been the best year yet.
In honor of being retrospective this morning, I thought I'd share a few things I've learned along the way.

1. Priorities
I never thought it'd happen to me, but it did. I became that person who snaps a million photos of my child and wants to share all of them. Because everyone needs to see just how cute my favorite girl is, right? I have approximately 800 photos on my phone. Any guesses on how many of them are of LC? Nearly 500. And then there are the ones I've already uploaded to my computer.... Someone told me I'd run out of space on my phone due to photos. I didn't believe them. How could someone do so many interesting things that I need to take a bjaillion photos? Oh little did I know that even avocado covered faces are cute if it's your baby's face!

2. Mom Status
I always wondered why moms all seemed to wear high waisted pants and have short hair.
I totally get it now.
It's been almost a year, and my body is still hanging on to some of my baby/ice-cream/pizza weight. It's mostly in this odd floppy part of my belly, and that's ok. I'm working on it. But man do those high waist pants do wonders of for the mushy belly! I totally get it. And the hair. Aside from taking forever to dry (and what all can LC get into while I'm under the dryer...?), long hair is perfect for LC to pull! I know, I know, LC. It's so funny to pull hair when it elicits a shriek from mom!
I'm halfway to true mom status: I have those high waist pants. Short hair, though? It's about to happen!

3. Germs
Admittedly, I've always been a bit of a germophobe.
Open a door? Germ-X.
Touch a shopping cart? Germ-X.
Wave at a stranger? Germ-X.
Ok, not really that bad, but you best bet that I always had some hand sanitizer ready. Now, though. I'm not NEARLY as germophobic as I used to be.
Open a door? Eh, my hand's not sticky so it must be ok.
Touch a shopping cart? Let me wipe it down real good with this baby wipe...
Drop a piece of macaroni? It still looks clean.
There are more important things to worry about than germs.
Like keeping my hair out of LC's reach...
Easily my favorite picture of LC & Adam.

4. The Hardest Job in the World
Momming is the hardest, yet most rewarding job in the world.
Because of this tiny person, my body is a wreck.
My hormones are a mess.
I've cried more in the past year than probably my entire life.
I've smiled more in the past year, too.
I've slept less.
I've appreciated more.
And I've seen my best friend turn into the most amazing father.

Zombie Mom

LC enjoys pancakes.
She may look just like Adam, but this photo proves she is mine.
We eat the same way. ;)

Getting her ducks (and octopus) in a row. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Beach Baby Advice

Hellooooo, summer!
My oh my how I've waited for sweet summer to arrive.
And boy did we set it off with style!
Immediately after school was officially out, as in one hour later, we departed on our first real vacation as a family of three. I say real vacay because we've taken weekend trips. But this --- this was set to be five nights of pure bliss, complete escape, the ultimate relaxation opportunity after the most challenging school year of my career.

Supposed to be.

Isn't that how it always goes, though? You set out and have these grand plans? Then they all change. But not because you want 'em to. They change out of necessity. Well, my big plans of "pure bliss, complete escape, and ultimate relaxation" changed.

Adam, LC, and I went on a beach trip with another couple; dear friends of ours who will be celebrating their second anniversary this month. They don't have any children, but they love LC oh so much. Well, I think they still do (after all her tantrums and whatnot...). Being around them for five nights really allowed Adam and me to reflect on our pre-baby life vs. our baby life.

As Adam and I drove back home, we had an opportunity to come up with some things we'd like to tell our younger selves - or maybe even pre-baby couples - about beach vacations.

1. Enjoy spontaneity. 
     Routine is everything. Put it on a t-shirt. Tattoo it on your ankle. Break your baby's routine and you ruin everything. This first lesson was learned early on. Like 4:30 a.m. early. 

2. Sand must be one of the plagues. 
     Sand gets everywhere. And it sticks around like an annoying younger sibling. Babies are just naturally sticky to begin with, so baby + sand is bound to be a dangerous combo. That, coupled with the fact that babies LOVE to put everything in their mouths is just great. Sand clump? Lemme eat it...  Don't be surprised to find some sand in your baby's diaper. Both when you go to change it today AND when you change it tomorrow. And that baby powder everyone tells you to use to help get the sand off sticky baby? It's just as bad. Now the sand is on the bottom of your feet, and you (as well as the house) are covered in a fine dusting of baby powder that just won't go away. And the baby's trying to eat that, too...

3. See food. 
     That's about all you'll do. You will no longer taste that delicious $20 seafood platter you've been longing for. By the time you wrangle the baby, painfully contort your sunburnt body to retrieve the toy from under the table, clean up the drink spill, and apologize to the strangers giving you the stink eye due to the baby's surprisingly loud pterodactyl-like scream, your food will just barely have warmth remaining. Then, before you start baby wrangling again, you will inhale your entire platter of food at an alarming yet impressive speed.  On a good note, though, doesn't speed eating increase your metabolism? At least that's what I tell myself....

All in all, we had a great time.
Great memories.
AND great pictures. :)

Hmm, wonder why we're up so early....

Hmm...wonder why someone's already napping....

I don't even know. 

My girl loves the sand. 

LC is pictured here in escape mode. :P

Quite possibly my favorite. 

Now I share a photo that almost caused me to pee my pants. This is a photo I share with you simply because I want you to experience the same Can't-Breathe-Almost-Pee-Your-Pants belly laugh that I had when I first laid eyes on this photo. Honestly, I'm not sure how or WHY I made this expression. I mean, is this even real life? It can't be. I don't even know. 


Just know that I must really like you to share this. 


No words.
Just no words. 

Did you pee your pants?
I hope so.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Post Where I Whine About My Mushy Body

It's been a while since I last posted.

It seems like life just gets in the way.
Meetings. Naps. Baths. Playtime. Grocery shopping.
It all tends to pile up and muddle my days. However, I'm working on it. I'm working on carving out little pieces of time for myself - time to do what I want, what makes me happy.
But it. Is. Hard.
I don't have to tell you that, though.
Painting my toenails, writing blogs, relaxing in a bath, shaving my legs ---- they all seem like luxuries these days. Haha!

This is my crazy child.

This is my child giving me a heart attack/eating the high chair at a  pizza place.

My child trying to eat me.

So, where to begin with an update...?
Maybe starting with my Nosy Nelly would be easiest.
My best gal is now 9 1/2 months old. Well, really she's nearing 10 months old. That, my friends, is just flat out crazy.

At 9 months old, LC...
- LOVES baths
- would rather explore the house than play with toys
- crawls all over the place
- can pull up
- says "dada" and "uh oh" quite a bit

Now for the ugly part.
At nearly 10 months postpartum, I still admittedly rock my maternity jeans.
Ughhhh. I can shimmy into some of my pre baby clothes, but I have all these strange lumps now. And I'm so squishy! I gained nearly 50 pounds when carrying LC, and I am still hanging on to at least 5 of those pounds. But I feel like it's in different places. Am I the only one? Please tell me no.

I'd love to have lost all of my baby, my pizza & ice-cream weight, the time LC turns 1 year old. I don't feel like that's asking too much. Two months until she's one. That's 8 weeks to get it right. I can do this. Right????

I guess I'm putting this out there - publicly whining about it - so that you'll keep tabs on me. Check in, ask how it's going. Knock the candy bar or ice-cream outta my hand. That kind of stuff. It's pitiful, but I can't do it alone. I just can't --- I've tried! Without folks pushing me, checking on me, encouraging me, I slip back into my lazy couch, pizza routine. I'm a boss at meal planning, but it's just so easy to choose Zaxby's or Dairy Queen over my healthy meals. Ughhh. First class ticket on the struggle bus, guys.

Adam recently started an Adovcare 24 Day Challenge and is loving it. He's lost weight. Feels better.
And I'm jealous.
I want to look better.
I wanna have more energy.
 I wanna fit into my clothes!!!

So, with that being said, I've decided.
I'm gonna do it too.
And let me tell you, I was skeptical.
I'm always skeptical of stuff you buy.
But seeing is believing, right?

I'm gonna start a 24 Day Challenge on May 1st and you're welcome to join me. I can help us meal plan if you help keep me in line! :) There's a short video on the challenge that I watched; I found it to be pretty informative.

Either way, please check in with me.
Ask me how it's going.
Read my blog posts for updates.
Ask if I forget.
And don't hesitate to be mean to me if I'm slurping down a Blizzard. ;)

LC's 9 month photos - this is the first photo of us together that I actually like - I didn't cringed at the way I look!