Father’s Day

Happy Father’s day to all the men doing the most important job in the world!!

I want to take this time to thank the important fathers in my life.

First off, I want to say a special thanks to my sperm donor. The man whom I have never actually had a conversation with. He left my mom when I was a baby and that was it. So seriously THANK YOU for leaving. You are clearly not someone I needed in my life and because you left I got my dad.

To the only man I have called Dad, thank you. Thank you doesn’t really cut it. You stepped up and took on the challenge that is me when you were so young. You sacrificed so much for all of us. You taught me about good music, football and politics. You showed me how much you love me time and time again. We have butt heads more than once, and they are some pretty fond memories now, lol. I love you.

To the father of my older kids, thank you! I love being a mom and I love being their mom. We don’t see eye to eye on things but our love for them is never ending. Between our drama there are good memories that I will never forget.

Finally to my husband. Where do I start? You started being a dad before we were even married. You love all three of our kids so much and do anything for them. So much so that Mackenzie is aware she has you wrapped around her finger, lol. You go above and beyond on a daily basis. You bust your ass to make sure we have an amazing life. I love watching you to learn how to parent a baby/toddler. The joy on Tobias’ face when he sees you after work and listening to the kids run to give you a hug are some of my favorite moments. I love you.

Happy Father’s day!

Truth of Motherhood

I have seen many posts shared on Facebook about motherhood and how we (women) lose ourselves when we become mothers. They talk about the guilt and the weight gain, the depression. And that is only part of being a mother.

So much changes after women have kids, and I don’t want to demean what men go through, I can’t speak of it personally though.

Our bodies are never the same; fat in new places, stretch marks, nipples twice the size and darker. My breasts look like deflated balloons when I’m not breastfeeding.

The hormones we have racing through our bodies is INSANE. It’s similar to SC weather, 30 degrees at 7am and 70 degrees at noon, snow the next day.

The first time we hold the baby that’s been destroying us for 40 weeks is …. I can’t even think of a word. We go through the traumatic experience of labor and then we are handed this tiny human who depends completely on us. And though there are plenty of books, they don’t actually help you with your first post labor bowel movement or survive that first night home.

The love and compulsion to keep this little human safe is overwhelming. We have never felt this strongly about anything and it is terrifying. The first time they get shots and let out that shrill cry, the first time they have to “cry it out”, the first bruise/fall. Learning the heimlich for babies because your daughter is actually choking on an apple. The fear and sadness that we feel, going through these totally normal and necessary moments in our babies lives.

Our heart, or a large part of it, is literally walking around outside our body.

We want to be the best mother we can be, whether we are a stay at home mom or working mom. We sacrifice ouselves, body, sanity, sleep, diet, health, careers, all to be involved. Society tells us whatever we are doing is never enough or good enough. We push ourselves to the limit.

I wasn’t actually going in this direction when I started this post, but the blog took me here.

What I am saying here is motherhood is hard, again I’m not demeaning fatherhood, and moms if you read this. I salute you.

Next blog- Keeping Your “Self” in Motherhood

Merry Christmas!!

Christmas has come and gone now. The gifts have been unwrapped, toys played with, food eaten and kids are now asleep.

Well most of the house is asleep. I am up finishing my book

I am going up to bed, but I thought I would blog the day.

Our Christmas Eve went according to plan completely. Dinner, church, toast, opening one gift.

If you are a parent or an aunt, uncle, grandparent or anyone who helps with a child you know the rush and work that gets put in on Christmas Eve night after the kids are asleep. There is last minute wrapping, toys that need to be built, organizing of the presents and various other tasks. All for giving our kids the most magical Christmas ever!!

On Christmas morning the nerves and excitement are coursing through your veins hoping they love everything, even though you won’t get credit for everything you did *Santa*. But it is all worth it to see the smiles on their faces

This year was a hard one for me. I did not buy my older 2 kids (9 and 8) a single toy! Not a one.

I did not come to this decision lightly and I went back and forth multiple times. My kids don’t play with toys much anymore AND they have so many that they really didn’t NEED anymore. I decided to get them gifts that they would use more than once and things that would stimulate their minds.

I almost cried when I went to bed last night after setting up because we celebrate Christmas with my family. My brother has 3 boys and their piles were HUGE, piles of toys.

I knew my kids were going to see those piles and compare theirs, which were much smaller.

*this is our first Christmas with one income and in the past, even as a single mom I SPOILED my kids*

I tried to think positive and say that they would appreciate what they got.

It was as almost true. My son loved what he got, his big present was a build your own computer kit and monitor. He will be able to code his own Minecraft games.

My daughter did not appreciate much at first, she saw the size difference between piles and she was jealous. She smiled as she opened her gifts, but there wasn’t her normal joy. She didn’t get a “big” gift so to speak, she got roller skates and a radio/bluetooth speaker for listening to music.

I was hurt and disappointed to say the least, but there was nothing I could do. The parents open their gifts after the kids and then we eat breakfast.

After breakfast she came to me with her skates and asked if she could try them. I was so excited!

We went outside and practiced… this was her first time in skates

She did well, which is normal. She excels at anything physical.

After that her whole attitude changed.

I felt so much better.

And despite not recieving any toys, my children never once said, I’m bored!!

Some random pictures

Oh yeah… I got a DSLR camera!!

Mom, Where’s the Meatloaf?

If you know that line then you have seen Wedding Crashers. This blog has nothing to do with Wedding Crashers and everything to do with meatloaf.

If you are a mom and have a son like mine who hates anything green, then this is the blog for you!! I have tricked my “green hating” son into eating carrots, green beans and peas while eating his favorite food. Meatloaf.

I have tried so many different methods to make my son eat the food that he hates, which is mostly healthy stuff, but not always with him.

I tried

1. You will sit at this table until you eat all your food. Can’t watch your tv shows if your kid is sitting there, it’s basically a reward.

2. Screaming and yelling. That just doesn’t work people… ever

3. You’re grounded from… he just plays with something else

4. You’re grounded from everything! Follows you around and asks where babies come from, or makes new toys out of toilet paper rolls and other trash items

5. Catering to what he wants. It takes 45 minutes for him to poop because his body has no fiber

It is hard being a parent and the last thing any of us need is something to make it harder.

Enter my lots of Hidden Veggies Meatloaf

Ingredients, ground beef (can be chicken), bread crumbs, egg, bbq sauce and baby food… yep my secret ingredient is baby food.

I don’t measure anything by the way, I just “feel” what the recipe needs.

Blend all ingredients together

That’s a lot of bread crumbs… I felt too much

Cook at 450 for about 45 min to an hour

You have a happy kid who doesnt know he’s eating carrots, peas and spinach.

This idea is pretty versatile as well, you can use it for meatballs, in spaghetti sauce, if you coat them well, even chicken nuggets would work!

I am guilty

There were happy moments and bring joy to me remembering them

I have mentioned before that I was married before. It didn’t end well, in fact most of the marriage wasn’t great. We were 2 kids who got married “to do the right thing” and we failed.

I left.

When I left I started a whole new life, new email address, social media accounts, the works.

I was single for 3 years after I left, I was damaged and broken and then I met this wonderful man who was and is ok with my faults and fears. He strives to help me heal and we have a great life together; storybook great.

I’ve been going through my old Facebook account because Matt likes to look at pictures of the kids as babies and compare them to Tobias.

I have mixed feelings about looking through the past because there are terrible memories like this

(There’s a story there)

And though painful, I’m actually ok with those because it confirms why we aren’t together.

But there also moments like these

Look how young we were! Full of hopes and dreams.

There were happy moments and bring joy to me remembering them

But is that ok?

I wouldn’t give up what I have right now for anything, but does that mean I have to hate my life before?

I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place in my situation. On one hand I have this amazing husband and I don’t ever want him to think I have any regrets. On the other, I now have knowledge and maturity and when I think of my past I remember the moments I wish I would have used them.

My ex and I have a touchy relationship, pain and anger harvested on both sides. We do our best for our kids.

But could it be better?

Does it need to be better?

Screenshots worth 1000 words

So I have a lot going on in my life currently, mom, starting a business, house, work, weightloss, wife, pet mom, friend, daughter and the list continues.

Sometimes I have a hard time keeping track of my life. I have a dry erase calendar that I write things, apts, parent teacher conferences, trips on but that isn’t enough.

One thing that I do to help keep my life in order is take screenshots of things that I have to do, remember, look up, laugh at, share with my husband.

These are some of the ones I plan to keep, some of them are Christmas ideas, murder mystery podcasts to check out, diet ideas to look up or try. The tattoo is a response to my sister, letting her know which one I thought was the best. Where to find renaissance festival coupons, measurements in cm for Wish presents. And of course my Hogwarts house, because that’s just important to know.

These are how I keep my life in order. I go through once or twice a week and clean out the ones I don’t need anymore.

I was recently at a meal prep party and I mentioned that is how kept my life in order; to my surprise another mom chimed in that she does the same thing!!

It’s funny that the comment made me feel so justified in my actions, but in retrospect… it isn’t really.

Moms are so hard on themselves, we hold ourselves to such a ridiculous standard and it’s nice when someone else does something as weird as organizing our life with screenshots.

The Inbetween

I realize that’s not a real word.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a blog and I’ve been feeling guilty about it! I really enjoy taking time out to write these and I’ve been working on the same blog for over a week and it just isn’t right yet.

This past month has been so busy for me it’s hard to concentrate on writing right now.

August is the home of our anniversaries (marriage and dating), both of our birthdays (husband and mine) and back to school for the kids. So we’ve been busy!

The business received several orders for artworks, signs and coasters.

I started working out 2-3 times a week with other moms (I am not a social person so that’s new to me). In the same category, I’ve been talking to the moms at the kids bus stop. I am almost considering a girls night out with them… but it may be too soon.

I got put back on meds for anxiety and depression, that is an ongoing adventure that’s getting a blog for sure!

I’ve been working some weekends cleaning houses, which is ironic because my house is usually a MESS!

My sister is talking to me again! I thought she was mad at me… I tend to say really stupid/hurtful things and usually not on purpose so I was really worried I did it again… but she was just busy (so she wasn’t really not speaking to me, but I felt unspoken to) .

Life has been pretty great lately, I’m feeling proud of myself for everything that I’ve got going on and the meds are working so well that I’m not worried about the other shoe dropping!

Vacation, Had To Get Away

Less than an hour into the trip we had a baby screaming and 2 kids whining, asking if we were there yet…. SERIOUSLY????

So here we are, 2 adults, 2 kids and one baby packed into a car for what should have been a 9hr drive to go visit one of my brothers in Florida. Tobias is not happy because I woke him up instead of the other way around, he wouldn’t latch on (I am breastfeeding him, which I do not know if I have mentioned) and he is already in his car seat, which he hates. I was hoping the kids were going to go back to sleep since we woke them up so early, but not so much.

Less than an hour into the trip we had a baby screaming and 2 kids whining, asking if we were there yet…. SERIOUSLY???? To say that I had explained how long this trip was going to be 100 times is an understatement.

My plan for the trip was to pump milk by hand and have the kids feed him with a bottle to help prolong stopping. So when the baby started getting fussy I looked in my diaper bag for my pump, not there. I looked in the Walmart bag of snacks, not there and my brain flashed to the kitchen counter where I remember them being last and I start freaking out. My husband being the calm rational soul that he is pulls over into a parking lot so I can feed the really upset baby before anything else. It takes Tobias a few minutes to calm down before he will finally latch on, but first feeding is successful and I change his diaper to get that out of the way. Next Matt proposes we look for a Wal-Mart to buy a pump for the trip to continue with my plan, he stays so calm and tells me over and over again that I am not a terrible mom because I forgot something. As I start to calm down I remember picking up the pump and putting it in the glove box with the nipples and the milk saving bags. So we are back on the road, only 40 minutes behind schedule.

Being in the car for 9(according to GPS) hours with your spouse could bring some to commit murder, and probably has. I on the other hand LOVE car trips with my man, he is my actual best friend and I love our time together. We make the kids use headphones in the car so we have some privacy to discuss whatever we want. Matt and I have some pretty funny conversations together because even though we are pretty different, we both think in a very similar manner.

For example, I am not sure what brought up Alaska, but I mentioned that my brother(the one we were not going to see) used to want to live in Alaska. That made me think of the movie The Proposal and as I was getting ready to bring that up Matt says “That was something they got right in The Proposal….” and he drifts off “You mean the shades to block out the sun which doesn’t set for awhile??” I reply because I was thinking the same thing. “Yeah, he says” and I say “Just like 30 days of night… or is that the sex movie, you know, with Josh Harnett??” He tells me I was thinking of the correct movie, the vampire one and then we start racking our brain for the name of the sex or lack there of movie that he did (40 days and 40 nights btw) and that makes us wonder, what happened to Josh Harnett??? Then we get into a discussion about how Chris Pine, who Matt insists came on the scene at the same time as Josh, just picked better movies and Josh just went away. I knew this wasn’t accurate so I risked getting extremely car sick to research this on my phone and I was correct. I did get extremely nauseous, but won that knowledge competition.

There isn’t much to do in a car when you have pretty bad car sickness(???) so you can talk, keep messing with the thermostat or radio volume so his OCD fixes it without him realizing it, watch your husband’s facial expressions as people act stupid on the road, laugh at him when he does something stupid, LEFT LANE ENDS, oh I should get over!! What did you think it was going to say??

Well we were in the car for 11 hours and made like 6 stops, mostly because of Tobias, but we finally got to the base and we started our vacations; but first, we had to get passes to get on base…

SAHM

I am exhausted and should sleep but if I do I don’t know when I’ll have time to write this.

I am writing this at midnight after taking my first REAL shower in about a week. I am dripping wet, sitting next to my bed. My legs are stinging because I rushed through shaving again. Better to have smooth legs in pain versus the forest that was growing. I am exhausted and should sleep but if I do I don’t know when I’ll have time to write this.

For the second time in my life, I am a stay at home mom (SAHM).

This was not my game plan after I got out of my first marriage. My game plan was actually to remain a recluse for the rest of my life BUT that is another blog for another time.

Now, I love my kids (as most moms would say) and I know that I am blessed to be at home with them, but I hate having people(women) tell me that in their bitchy tone. “I wish I was in your shoes…” “I would love to be at home all day” “what do you even do with yourself…”????

I’ll tell you Karen.

I work. My days start at about 530am and I’m working until 9pm. And guess what??? There are no state mandated breaks or lunches. I usually have to eat while holding a baby, in case you haven’t done that, it’s not pretty.

Today I was peed, puked, pooped on. I usefully have breast milk on me And now baby food as well! I had a migraine and a fever for the majority of the day. My son still screamed in my face for an hour because his gums and ears hurt and he was also running a fever!

A picture of us after running our errands this morning. I cleaned the kitchen, living room, my room and did about 6 loads of laundry. I had to cook dinner, lunch and breakfast and remember medicine for 2 kids. It’s summer vacation so I also had to have my big kids do their summer work. I also have my business to run so I have to continue on the website and plan new pieces. I an reading books on how to make my business successful AND occasionally I have to work out because I’m fat. Oh and I’m married so I have to make sure I don’t let wifey duties slip up.

So that is my day and it’s pretty average. So, I’m not just sitting around on my ass (though my ever expanding waist line says differently) AND I’m not getting paid. So maybe, Karen, have respect for the SAHM or shut your mouth. I earn absolutely every dollar, I don’t get paid.

Seriously though, I love that I get to be at home with my kids. I love that I’m reading, The Littles, with them and that we do science experiments. Only having the one income means that we don’t have a lot of extra money for fun, but I love finding cheap or free stuff to do with them. They are only young once and I want them to have great memories to look back on!