“You’re Gonna Miss This”

“You’re gonna miss this // You’re gonna want this back // You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast // These are some good times // So take a good look around // You may not know it know // But you’re gonna miss this”

– Trace Adkins

I love this song.  It’s a song that has particularly stuck with me the past fifteen months of my son’s earth-side life.  I give myself this gentle reminder during the days I feel like I could pull out my hair while curled in a ball and stuffing my face with ice cream in the closet.

Today he was ready for bed and went to sleep an hour and a half earlier than usual.  I nursed him and he started dancing around the room leaving me wondering if he was really ready for bed.  A few moments later he turned off his tranquil turtle night light that he usually adores, walked over to me and put his head on my lap.  Seconds later he lifted his arms for me to scoop him up.  Little mister burrowed into my chest/belly and gnawed on his hand for a good five minutes, soaking my shirt with the endless amount of drool that comes with trying to cut four teeth at once.  Soon his little body relaxed, arms around me, and I bumped him higher on my shoulder where he snuggled in and his breathing feel into a soft rhythm blowing against my cheek.

I thought…I have a laundry list of things I could get done with this extra hour and a half of peace in the home without a little one running through it like a tornado…or I could sit here, snuggle and rock…because I can.

Because I am going to miss this.

I am going to with these days hadn’t gone by so fast.

So I rocked.  And as I snuggled my little boy I began to reflect.

I love the season of life I am in right now.  It may be hard at times, but it is so sweet and beautiful.  But I do miss other seasons, just a little…

I miss the late nights of Halo (which I am terrible at, but the guys put up with) until 4am at our Detroit apartment – often several nights a week…only to wake up for a 6am client at the gym and to go back to bed immediately after.  I don’t know how I stayed awake enough to train her.

I miss the Thursday night prayer meetings we had in that same apartment, where a half dozen friends would gather and we would record praises for the week and prayers for the coming one.  I still have that journal.  And still pray for the item we listed first every week that we are still trusting God for.

I miss the hours we would spend at the rock wall on campus – working a route, practicing butt starts, setting routes and becoming pretty decent climbers along the way.  Turns out 2-3 hours in the evening a couple times a week (before retiring to the apartment for Halo) really does something…and gave this chick the ability to do a pull up or two.

I miss that season where it seemed we hardly had two dimes to rub together and even put a car into storage for half the year to save on insurance costs since we weren’t really in need of two cars anyway at the time, but we had SO MUCH FUN.

I miss the quirkiness of storing our chest freezer in the spare bedroom closet of the Pontiac apartment…and how maintenance would give me the strangest look because of it.

I miss the ability to walk a couple buildings over to the tennis courts where I learned how to keep a ball INSIDE the fence…I am still a pretty shoddy player, but I was able to practice a lot!

I miss being able to walk across the street to a sub-par grocery store, but a conveniently located grocery store none-the-less instead of having to hop in my car when I need something the 24 hour easy-to-walk to CVS doesn’t have now.

I miss playing the game with my hubby of “who is going run outside to lift the gate” for a friend who was coming to visit us at the apartment on the rare occasion that the gate was actually down…and then getting up the courage to run through it with my car when my card (along with everyone else’s in the complex) wouldn’t work to make it go up in the morning when we tried to leave.

I miss the pick-up games of soccer, largely comprised of international students from around the world…and the world cup viewing parties we would have at apartments or on campus on a laptop.

I miss being able to sleep in until 9:30 on a Sunday morning and then rushing and blaming each other when we were late for church at 10.  Shoot, I miss being able to sleep in until 9:30 ANY day…ever.  Or being able to sleep through the night without waking once to pee, listen to determine if the cries will stop or just intensify or simply waking for no good reason other than my body is used to it by now.

I miss being able to stay out late (and by late I mean past 8:30) without trying to find a babysitter, because the boy’s bedtime is at 8:30…or heading out with my hubby on a whim because we felt like it or a friend wanted to hang out at 10pm.

But in the middle of missing those amazing memories and moments, I wouldn’t even think about trading the present to go back for them.  Because I know I am going to miss these moments.  And if I spend too much time wishing for the past or longing for the future I am going to miss making memories today.  Hard days are hard days and we all have them…with or without kids, with or without jobs, with or without money and if we stop, we can find beauty in the midst of the tears and chaos.  And then we pause…because when we find that beauty, we know that we’ll be able to look back and say “I miss those moments.”

So I rocked and snuggled for a half hour or so – with my drool soaked shirt, son on my chest and baby in my belly kicking at his/her older brother.  I smiled and I cherished the moment, because I know I am going to miss this.

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Brave enough to banish guilt

I had a meltdown this morning.  Sobbing I texted my hubby to pray for me because I just couldn’t handle my son anymore for the moment.  He is a 13 month old ball of uncontainable energy with that utterly defiant, boundary-pushing, toddler streak going on.  After a terrible night of almost no sleep after 3am for no legitimately good reason – at least in my mind – he was being a nightmare.  I can only take so much food throwing, biting, hitting, hair-pulling and whining.  I snapped…and for a not-so-brief moment I wished that he wasn’t my child…that I was simply babysitting him for the morning and pretty soon his mom was going to pull up and happily take him off to anywhere but my house.  But alas…he is mine.  And he isn’t going anywhere.  My wonderful hubby asked if he needed to come home…no…I just need you to pray I replied.

I was not very beautiful in word, thought or deed this morning.  I yelled, I fought back…I maybe, probably pulled his hair a little harder than what I normally would do to get him to release mine.  Sure, some think that you should never-ever-ever pull their hair back, but let me tell you – when I start to go for his, he lets go.  I was feeling like a terrible mom.  In one breath I was yelling at my toddler and in the next sobbing telling him that I know I wasn’t being a very good mommy, I wasn’t being nice, but I couldn’t handle him.

I think in these situation when we are at our wits end and desperately praying we don’t completely screw up our kids because of these days it is really easy to feel guilty.  Guilty that we aren’t holding it all together.  Guilty that we yell when we “know” the mommy we met at the park would never raise her voice.  Guilty that we sit in a corner playing a game on the phone for 15 minutes…or 30 while our kid(s) wreck havoc on the house…paying attention only enough to hear them bustle about – at least they are alive.  Guilty that we aren’t enjoying every minute because it goes so fast as we have heard five billion times.  Guilty because because when they fall off the coffee table that you have told them they couldn’t climb on like a broken record you don’t feel bad…and since the fall didn’t look too bad, you don’t even make a move in that direction.

But you know what?  This morning – I felt brave enough to banish the feelings of guilt.

Because NO mommy has it all together.  Because EVERY mom curls up in the corner of a room or stays much longer in the bathroom to avoid interacting with their child(ren) at some point.  Because every mom makes a disciplinary decision that in hindsight, probably wasn’t the bed.  Because every mom wishes that their kid would grow out of some stage…no matter how fast the time actually flies.

So instead of feeling guilty I simply chalked it up to what it was – an awful morning where I was not in the place to handle my kid well.  It doesn’t mean I love him any less for wanting to wish him away momentarily.  It doesn’t make me an awful mommy.  It doesn’t even put me close to taking the title of the worst mom.  It means I am a mom.  Experiencing the fullness of this mom journey and job.  The good, the bad and the downright ugly.

Postscript:

Thankfully today, we caught a break.  Instead of the 45 minute naps that he usually likes to take, my little boy has taken TWO blissful…and I mean BLISSFUL hour an a half naps.  It doesn’t always happen, but when it does…it’s magical.  God knew I needed a little “magic” this day more than most.  Either that or he heard the desperate cries of a hubby who didn’t want to come home to a completely frazzled wife. 🙂  I was able to journal, spend some time with Jesus AND work on a craft project I have been making painstaking slow progress on.  Should I have done some work…sure…but I did what my soul needed in order to be refreshed and press forward as a better mom and wife!

 

I thought it was peanut butter…

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Life is an adventure with me for sure!

It was one of those mornings a few weeks ago where everything was going decently well…we were happy, the house hadn’t yet been wrecked by the tornado that is my son (and it was already past 8am!), and I probably only got up two times in the middle of the night as opposed to four our five.  And then it happened.  A moment that made time stand still and burned itself permanently…in detail…into my mind.

We had just finished breakfast – toast with peanut butter & jelly alongside some banana slices.  I got Joshua out of his high chair, setting him down on the ground to go play while I took just a couple minutes to respond to an email I knew was waiting for me.  I sat at the dining room table while he played contentedly a few feet away in the living room.  Moments after I began typing I heard him grunt…and poop.

I decided to take two minutes to finish the email before changing his diaper…it would give him a chance to make sure he got it all out anyway!  As I was typing out the last sentence or so Joshua came up next to me and handed me something – its a new skill he has been learning.  I glanced over…said thank you and took it from him.  He started to walk away and I turned back to the computer.

This, my friends, is when it happened.

I looked down at my hand and noticed some peanut butter on my finger.  We had just finished breakfast and sometimes I can be lazy about thoroughly wiping everything off my squirmy boy’s hands.

So I licked my finger to get the peanut butter off…

…except…

IT WASN’T PEANUT BUTTER!!!!!

I looked in horror at Joshua as it dawned on me that I just tasted AND ATE my son’s POOP.

“Ahhhhh, I just ate your POOOOOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!” I cried to Joshua as I bolted up.

I ran to the sink, washing my hands and my tongue…trying to get that horrid taste from my mouth and then scooped Joshua up…noticing that his hands were, in fact, covered in poop.

I changed his diaper…one that shouldn’t have left him with poopy hands based in it’s shape, consistency and where it landed in the diaper (TMI??) and then realized that he reached inside his diaper to access the poo.

After the battle that was changing his diaper and trying, unsuccessfully, to prevent him from sticking his poop-covered fingers in his own mouth, I was terrified.  Terrified of going back into the carpeted living room that my little boy was playing in when THE INCIDENT occurred.

I walked in…making sure Joshua stayed behind me to avoid further messes.  Immediately I saw a wooden tray that holds puzzle blocks, on the floor, covered in poo.  Whew, I thought.  That’s easy to clean, sanitize and whatnot.  Dodged that bullet.  Then I took another step into the living room and on the other side of the recliner I saw a large poop mess, freshly rubbed into the carpet.  A spot about the size of an average adult’s hand.  Seriously?  I guess when little man does it…he really does it.  Can I just say…I am incredibly thankful for wet vacs and carpet shampoo!

Moral of this story?

Don’t EVER assume it is peanut butter.

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All is forgiven little one…off to other adventures and stories!

Things I love about being a mom…

As any momma knows…this parenting gig is hard.  It doesn’t matter if you have one, two or ten kids.  If you have a child that sleeps like a dream or one that revolts at the thought of sleep.  If you have been a mom for two weeks or twenty years.  If you work outside the home, stay home or land somewhere in between.  If you have a bunch o’ money or are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

It’s hard.

Hard, oh really?
Hard, oh really?

I’ve been at this mom gig for almost 9 months now…to one fabulous little boy…who does not sleep like a dream, but I guess he could be worse.  He’s been walking for almost a month; that makes things challenging/interesting/fun/hard.  I land somewhere in between with work – working part time with part of my part time being at home (which sounds awesome…and sometimes is…but sometimes isn’t) and then working a couple hours two nights a week as a personal trainer (so does that mean I work like 3/4 time total?) – definitely not having a bunch o’ dollars, but we have a comfortable home that I love and we can pay our bills.

There are days that pass by faster than I can blink and I am left mourning the fact that my little boy is growing SO FAST.  Then there are days that drag so slow I am constantly looking at my watch to see the minutes tick by as we wait for nap time, and then when dada comes home, and then sweet, oh sweet, bedtime.

But after having a rough night last night and first couple of hours of the day (seriously, little mister woke up on the wrong side of the crib this morning and then when I brought him to bed with me to snuggle and sleep for another hour or two after dada goes to work as is our usual routine, he tossed, turned, kicked, pulled my hair, grabbed my nose, bit my chin, etc for the longest time…we maybe dozed for 20 minutes…and then it took him a good couple hours to find his normal pleasant disposition) I paused for a few minutes to reflect on the joys that I have found and the things I love about being a mom…

…and then the little monster mister work up.  After my first typed sentence.  He woke up SCREAMING.  And screamed, and screamed.  And saw the neighbor pull into his driveway…and he craned his neck to look to see if his dada would come out of the car.  And screamed when the neighbor did.  And then finally dada pulled in the driveway, took him into his arms, and all was well with the world.

Dada for the win.

So five hours later I can sit down – after leaving dada at a game night with some friends because it was little mister’s bedtime and it was impossible for me to set him down in a different room with the laughter and occasional barking dog.  He didn’t want to miss the party.  So I left…and now, sweet silence.  I can write…

Without further ado…the things I love about being a mom:

– Little mister’s smile. Y’all that thing can melt my stone-cold heart in .000312 seconds flat.  It’s an arbitrary number

– The way he looks peacefully sleeping, all snuggled in my arms

– How he sometimes wraps his arm around me when he curls up next to me in the morning for our last hour or two of sleep

– His laugh.  It’s delightful

– The mom community I have been invited into.  My church does an awesome job of supporting mamas – in our mom2mom group that meets biweekly during the school year and coming this year in the MOPS group that will be meeting on the off weeks – and they provide childcare for it.  Tuesday mornings…if you are in the Auburn Hills, MI area you should definitely come!

– Nursing…I think if it wasn’t for nursing my active little mister wouldn’t stop for a moment during the day to cuddle

– Watching him explore the world around him and make new discoveries (like cool whip finger paint:)

finger paint

– His little arms stretched up to me, wanting me – even if it often feels like an inconvenience

– The faces he makes

– Listening to dada pray over him at night

– His excitement when you come home from being gone ten minutes or ten hours

– The fact that my little mister LOVES to be outside

– Knowing that, for at least this moment in time, dada and I are his favorite people in the world

It is such a privilege to be called mom (and I love the fact that he is starting to say “mama” and “dada” – legitimately, although not all the time).  The late nights, early mornings, not being sure when night became morning, messes, loaded diapers, endless laundry, frustrations, etc pale in comparison to the precious times with my baby boy and watching my hubby have those moments too.  Being a mom…it’s a hard job…but a job I love.

Baby puffy-things review

Now that the little mister is a little older (7.5 months already…how did that happen??) we have entered the solid food stage.  He still doesn’t have any teeth but he is a champ at gumming things and my little boy can EAT.  I am already fearing my grocery bill during his teenage years.

I know people who did just store bought purees, others who fed all homemade purees, others who swear by baby led weaning and then others like me who just fall into a fun hybrid of it all.  I bought some jars of organic baby food for convenience when traveling or out of the house.  I made some of my own. I have some of those squeeze packets that little man LOVES to suck from…he has a fascination with straws currently. I feed him a lot of what we are eating and just put it on his highchair for him to feed himself while we are eating.  We explore different foods and textures.  We make messes and we have fun.  He’s tried Kibbeh (and loved it…score a win on him liking Middle Eastern food!), barbecued chicken, meatballs, steamed broccoli, baked potatoes, mashed/pureed carrots, carrots from a roast dinner, yogurt, freeze dried yogurt ‘melts’ that remind me of astronaut ice cream, all sorts of fruit (he loves bananas!), and more.  Then there are those cereal puff things.  He loves them and they are so easy to put in a container and take on the go.

We’ve tried most of the organic brands available here outside of the Gerber Organic puffs because Kroger doesn’t sell them…I have to go to BRU for those and usually buy a different kind that I can also only get there.  Here’s my review/take on them:

Happy Baby: we’ve tried the sweet potato, greens and apple flavors.  The Happy Puffs brand is a little more bland than the other two on the list.  They were the first ones we tried (greens to be exact…spinach and whatever else they put in it).  The apple were my least favorite with the sweet potato being my favorite of the three – and Joshua seemed to eat those the fastest as well.  They do go stale faster than the other brands…probably because if you are not careful the top can look like it is closed, but may not be fully clicked shut.  They are also probably the largest in size.

Earth’s Best Organic: peach yogurt and blueberry yogurt flavors.  We found these to be pretty yummy.  Medium sized and the slowest to develop a stale taste – the top seals better than the Happy Puffs.

Plum Organics: spinach and apple flavor.  These were hands down the best tasting.  Seriously so good…I would eat them for breakfast if they actually had any substance to them.  However they have a HUGE drawback which has stopped me from buying and trying their other 4 flavors.  They were the smallest and most delicate puffs and half of them were broken and crumbled in the container.  This makes it really hard for a baby to pick up a piece that is so small.  I can the frustration for him.  I was left with a lot of crumbles on the high chair or floor as he would sweep them off.  So I probably won’t be picking any more of these up.

Plum Organics were also the most expensive per ounce at my local stores.  Earth’s Best was in the middle, followed by  Happy Baby being the cheapest.  I’ll likely stick with sweet potato Happy Baby and Earth’s Best for the brief time that I’ll be giving them to the little guy.  On another note…it has helped him with his fine motor skills development as he is given a lot of opportunity to practice grabbing and using his thumb and index finger to grab…and he is getting pretty good at it!