Friday, June 27, 2014

Moms-to-be, you MUST do this!

It was a harsh cry that broke the silence at 5:00 am this morning.  The monitor on my nightstand vibrated from the sound.  Immediately, I jumped from sleep-mode in to mommy-mode.  I grabbed my video monitor and watched as poor Kendall stood in her crib, clutching her blankie.  That was the signal that something had upset her and she was not about to go back to sleep on her own.  Not a problem at all.  My girl needed me and I was there.

After nursing, snuggling, and trying to settle her down for an hour, she was asleep.  Hallelujah!  There was just one major obstacle that stood between me and my bed: her closed bedroom door.  As I sat in her glider and watched her fall in to a blissful sleep, I wondered, “How in the heck am I going to get out of here?!”  There were so many things that could and WOULD wake her up. 

First, let’s just state the obvious: my creaky bones.  I am twenty-eight years old and have the creaky bones of an eighty-year old woman.  The second I try to slither out of the chair my knees are going to crack, followed by my feet and ankles, then finished off by a lovely medley of all the vertebra in my back.  Even without anything else standing in my way, my own body was its own noisemaker.

Second, the floor.  It is carpeted, but there are some vents under the floor that make a pretty loud, hollow sound.  Since it is under the floor, I clearly can’t fix it.  Although even if it wasn’t hidden under the floor, I probably couldn’t fix it anyway.  Whatever.  There are noises and I can’t fix them. 

Lastly, the dreaded door.  It creaks.  It is a brand new door that we had installed when we did the nursery, so it isn’t old, just squeaky.  I was going to have to crawl my rickety body over the minefield that was her floor, over to the door, gently peel it open without making ANY noise, and escape through it to safety (and sleep).

Naturally, that didn’t happen.  My body failed me as I set off mine after mine in the floor.  Luckily, I made it over to the door, hidden behind her dresser.  I couldn’t see her, but she wasn’t crying.  I gingerly lifted my arm to turn the handle, pulled the door towards me and CREAK!  And she was up, crying and demanding I stay in the room until she was good and asleep.  Hidden I stayed for fifteen more minutes until she was truly asleep and I was able to slide through the six inch gap I left myself. 

Moms-to-be, learn from these mistakes!  As you finalize preparing your child’s nursery for their homecoming do not overlook one of the most important areas of their room – the door!  You may have all of the diapers, wipes, onesies, and receiving blankets you could ever possibly need.  Yet what you really need is some WD-40.  Grease down those hinges.  Make sure that door is totally quiet when you go to open or close it.  Better yet, grease down the hinges of every door in your entire home.  You never know.

Then, get yourself some glucosamine and chondroitin.  I can’t be the only one who is noticing their bodies are falling in to disrepair.  (And I do Zumba, so we all know that I should be in peak physical condition.)  It should help lubricate your joints so that it isn’t your tip-toeing out of the room that is going to cause your sleeping baby to awaken.

Take it from me, these are a few, overlooked fixes that could be the difference between this:

and this:

Good luck!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

You'll understand...

…when you’re a mom.  Ugh.  That is such a frustrating phrase to hear…when you aren’t a mom.  What do you mean I don’t know what all-encompassing love is really like?  How can you say that I don’t understand what it means to be so tired that I could cry?  Why do you think I can’t relate to your life as a mother?

Easy.  Because you can’t. 

My husband and I were married for three and half years before Kendall was born.  During those three and a half years we were able to live our lives as carefree twenty-somethings.  We went out to eat when we wanted to, drank wine when we wanted to, left the house in a moment’s notice, and were completely absorbed in our own lives.  It was wonderful!  Yet this carefree existence made it really hard to relate to a few of my friends who already had children.  Why were they ALWAYS late?  Why can’t they just get a babysitter and come to hang out with us?  What do you mean you are cancelling our plans?  I DON’T GET IT!

Of course I didn’t get it.  How could I?  When I had to get ready to go anywhere, I was free to shower in peace.  I could dry my hair, put on my make-up, and spend as much time as I wanted standing in front of my closest choosing an outfit.  I didn’t need anyone to babysit my dog, Chloe.  She was pretty self-sufficient, so long as there was food and water left for her.  And other than grave illness, there was very little that would cause me to cancel my plans.

However, once I had Kendall I slowly began to understand.  Leaving the house is an art.  Forget getting myself ready, how about getting a baby ready?  Was she fed?  Has she napped?  Did I pack her diaper bag with four diapers, two clean outfits, a few toys, milk/ water, snacks, bib, spoon, etc.?  What if her nap ran longer than I expected?  I dare not wake her.  I’m going to be late.  Or how about the two dozen times we got in to the car only for her to poop at that exact moment, requiring a trip back in to the house to get changed?  I understand why you were late.

Why don’t you get a babysitter?  Um, how about because I don’t want to.  Save for the glorious summer months, I work full-time.  I am a teacher, which means that my hours of operation are from 5:00 am until TBD.  School ends at 2:30 pm.  My ride home takes between an hour to an hour and a half.  Then once I am home I have lessons and grades that could take me until 9:00 pm to as late as 12:00 am.  There is no rhyme or reason to my schedule.  So when you want to plan a whole Saturday to go out and about to an event that is not at all baby friendly, do not even consider asking me to get a babysitter.  Because guess what?  I don’t want to.  I don’t want to give up my precious time with my child to go out.  Sorry.  Actually, I’m not.

(And now that it is summer and I am blessed with being home all week with my little girl, I still may not want to “get a babysitter.”  No offense, but listening to my daughter say, “Hop!” when I ask her what a bunny does is infinitely more fun than anything I would have been doing with you.)

As far as cancelling our plans, something has come up.  My kid is sick.  I am sick.  I am too tired.  I feel guilty asking my babysitter to come and sit with a teething baby.  I have mastitis.**  Any and all of these have been my very valid reasons for cancelling plans.  And no, I can’t just bring my child.  Unless where we are going is around the corner from my house and child-friendly, don’t even ask. 

It was such a pain to hear all of the new and glorious things I would learn when I was a mom, especially when I was CERTAIN I already knew them.  How wrong could I have been?!  I had no idea.  The love I have for my daughter is all-consuming, amazing, and miraculous.  I cry thinking about it and her and how she is the greatest blessing of my whole life.  I could have never perceived what that love would be like.  Ever.  And it is that love that has changed me.  It makes me tardy for events, makes me not want to go places, and it makes me flakey, and flighty, and a different person than you used to know. 

But don’t worry, you’ll understand…when you’re a mom. J

**For the record, when a woman tells you she can’t go out because she has mastitis, the appropriate response is, “OH MY GOSH!  I am SO sorry.  I will pray for you!”  Because it is that bad.

Summer fun with my lady

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Back to Blogging

Wow!  It has been quite a long time since I have been able to get on here and share some of my favorite tips and products.  No worries!  I haven’t had a change of heart and decided to keep them a secret.  Rather, I have just been extremely busy.  Between redoing the basement, Kendall’s birthday party, my twin sister’s wedding, and the end of the school year I was running myself ragged.  Therefore, I gave myself a few weeks to recharge, fall in to my new (and favorite role) as stay-at-home-mom for the summer, and get some things accomplished around the house.  Now that those things are completed, I will be back with some new posts, so stay tuned.  For now, enjoy some pictures of my basement and my sister’s wedding.  

Wedding Fun

Me and Kendall at the ceremony

The Bridal Party

 Basement Transformation

This room became...

This room!

With these carefully painted shelves

This bar became...

This bar!

With Cole Hamels

*I can share my tricks of painting the paneling and transforming the room in to what I think feels like a very comfortable family room.  Enjoy!