Materialism Purge 2.0

And the time has come again where I need to get rid of stuff around the apartment. This will be the second purge of material possessions in less than a year! There’s just too much stuff! And between Savannah and Austin and all the toys the two have accumulated, there needs to be a balance! I feel at the age of 30 I’m mature enough to get rid of things I no longer use to make room for toys!

But seriously, I have a lot of crap that is in good condition and could be put to proper use by other people. Some things can be sold, some things can be donated, other things can just be given away! It’s beginning to make less sense to hold onto things that I haven’t used in over six months and won’t get to using in another six months. That is my new personal rule: if it ain’t being used and it ain’t getting used, give it away!

I want my home to feel like a home! The only clutter I want to dig through are my childrens’ toys. So this next will be an interesting one! Hopefully I’ll be able to get to my desk by the time I’m done!

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Terrible Twos and a Newborn

So by the grace of God have I survived this past month. I knew it was going to be an adjustment for Savannah once Austin was born, but I underestimated how much of an effect it would have on her. I know every child reacts differently to things. When my little brother was born, I was excited and couldn’t wait to hold him. Depending on which way the wind is blowing, Savannah may or may not be excited about her brother’s existence. Some moments she’s announcing his diaper change while I’m changing his diaper. Other moments she’s trying to take down the Christmas tree or slap me because I can’t immediately give her the attention she wants. It’s all expected and I’m handling it with a lot of patience, prayer, and the occasional very stern mom voice.

But let’s throw something else into this lovely equation of going from one child to two. Savannah is two. And she’s in that sweet spot of being a two year old where all hell can break loose at any given moment and I forget to call on the name of Jesus and ask Him to take the wheel. She lets off screams at decibels that shouldn’t exist. She’s a tornado, hurricane, and tsunami all in one when making a mess. She’s a freaking bottomless pit who eats more cereal and chicken nuggets than a grown-up. She treats naptime and bedtime like it’s a capital punishment. And she tends to have monopoly on my iPad with ABC Mouse and on the television with Mickey and the Roadster Racers. Meanwhile, Austin is either noisily sleeping or noisily eating. My desire for a third child went out the window in my second trimester of pregnancy with Austin. But now that he’s here, the idea of making him a middle child has been obliterated! I’m thankful for my daughter and son.

I know one day I’ll look up and Savannah will be off to college and Austin will be asking if he can have her room. I know the days are long and the years are short. And as stressful as it can be raising tiny human beings, I wouldn’t trade any of these moments away for anything. Sure, I wish Savannah would be less of a daredevil and listen more. And yes, I wish she would stop taking my food, but one day I’m going to look up and she will a civilized human being who’s ready to take on the world. And a day will come when Austin sleeps through the night and he’ll be crawling behind Savannah trying to keep up. I’ll have to endure his terrible two phase and I’ll probably want to relocate him to his grandparents permanently, but the day will come when he’s a grown man with a family of his own.

One thing is definitely for sure though. I won’t be in short supply of writing material anytime soon!

Sleepless Nights

In the short two years since giving birth to Savannah, I quickly forgot about the sleepless nights situation. Now, fast forward to my precious three-week-old son, Austin, and I’m quickly refreshed on how many nights I won’t be getting any sleep. I mean thankfully, I have enough coffee to run my own coffee shop if I wanted, but still a few hours of sleep won’t hurt either.

And speaking of sleep, Savannah and Austin are both taking a nap right now and instead of being sleep myself, I’m writing this blog and eating the cold chicken nuggets and fries Savannah didn’t want to finish for her lunch. Yes, I’m complaining about being tired, but not taking advantage of a prime opportunity to get some rest. I’m weird like that. Also, I’m enjoying the peace and quiet, save a few grunts from Austin as he passes gas in his sleep. I’m glad he’s cute and adorable!

Anyway, it was about four months before Savannah fully started sleeping through the night. So, I’m hoping that Austin follows the same timeline, but he probably won’t because every child is different. All right, I’m going to go to sleep now. Maybe I’ll get ten straight minutes of sleep before one of my littles decides to wake up!

The Things About Kids

I’ve come to realize, I never really put my daughter’s name in my post. I mean, if you click on the “Who I Am” link, you’ll see her name and my son’s name, even though he hasn’t made his grand arrival yet! He’s being shy, until December! Anyway, in light of making being changes with my writing, I’m realizing that my writing flows better when I’m more personable. So from here on out, instead of saying “my daughter,” I will say “Savannah” because that’s her name.

So, to move on from that intro of a tangent, Savannah keeps life very interesting for me and my husband.  We’re both firstborns and we never gave our parents that much grief. We saved that for our teenage years. However, both of us have younger brothers, who were the wild childs. We really thought Savannah would take after us as firstborns, but she took after her uncles! So, we’re really hoping our second born, Austin, will take after us in being more laid back. I have more gray hairs at 30 than I thought I ever would. I’ve also had many heart attacks as well. My sole objectives as a mother with my daughter was to love on her every day, introduce her to Jesus early on in life, and show her that anything is possible. I figured she’d be the walk in the park child. I was so wrong! Now granted, she gets more kisses and hugs than she knows what to do with, she’s been to church enough to know she’s going to get Goldfish crackers and toys to play with, and she’s pretty headstrong on doing what she wants. So I’m succeeding in my objectives, just not the way I thought I would.

The thing about kids is they show you a lot about yourself. I’ve learned where I need to be patient. I’ve learned where I need to be more sterned. I’ve learned that sometimes being the fun cool mom in the moment is better than being the tyrant dictator who demands the sippy cup be picked up off the floor. I don’t have a bad daughter. Savannah is wonderful and amazing and she’s the motivation that keeps me going every single day. But when she yells “Help” while I’m walking out of Wal-Mart with her (and people are looking) and flips herself off the couch and shoves more food in her mouth while she’s already choking, I wonder if she’s trying to shave years off my life. The she quickly answers the question with “No” when she decides to give me a kiss out of the blue, or a hug, or my absolute favorite, cuddle time! She’s a precious little menace or an adorable little savage depending on the day. Either way, she knows how to pull on my heartstrings.

Savannah keeps me young. She reminds me to live life and to stop taking everything so seriously. She reminds me to dream and use my imagination. She helps me see the familiar with fresh eyes. She reminds me there is a God and He’s a very good and awesome God. She makes me want to become better because I want to live and lead by example. Having kids is a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences. Some days feel like they will never end and some days go by too quickly. But whether she’s trying to give me a heart attack or a very sticky kiss, I enjoy it all. One day, she won’t be this sweet two-year-old asking for chips and cookies for breakfast. She’ll be leaving for college.

“The days are long, but the years are short.” I’ve heard that many times and I believe it. So, I’ll take each day in stride. I’m pretty sure everything Savannah didn’t do in her first two years, Austin will. One adventure is going to follow another. That’s just the thing about kids. There will be different personalities and different experiences. But it will be one home full of love, happiness, and zero dull moments!

 

Mother of Imperfection

Oh, if there is one thing motherhood has taught me very quickly is that failure is inevitable! And in learning that failure is inevitable, it’s freed me up to learn as I go and it’s teaching my daughter, that yes, sometimes her mother sucks, but her mother loves her very much! I honestly don’t know why the thought of  “getting it right” ever went through my head. Now, I’m obviously not going to fail in the department of my child’s well-being, but sometimes I’ll forget to let her food cool off a little longer before giving it to her. Apparently, when she was a crawler, I dropped her once not realizing it while I putting her down, but that’s according to my husband, and she showed no indication of having been dropped, so the jury is still out on that one.

Failing has also taught me to roll with the punches. Learn from the mistakes and don’t make them again. How I respond to those mistakes is what makes me stronger and draws me closer to my daughter. Once I accidentally made her bath water too hot and I beat myself up over it for hours. I was distraught enough that my husband had to run the bath again because I didn’t trust myself. I’m passed that fear now, but my daughter never got mad at me. She wasn’t looking at me like, “You savage, you tried to burn me with the water.” No, she splished and splashed in the bathtub, fought us while we dried her off and got her dressed, cuddled with us during storytime, and kissed us good night before bed. Where I saw myself as a failure, my daughter just still saw the mommy she loved very much. So, I don’t beat myself up over the mishaps. I make sure they don’t happen again, I remember my child loves me, and remember that I’m not a terrible person.

I have no intentions of screwing my children up to the point they cannot be functioning adults. I have to remember that’s not what’s happen when I fall short of my expectations. My daughter knows she’s loved and taken care of and she’s one of the happiest babies I’ve encountered in my life, so I thank God for that! And when my son gets here in December, he’ll learn along the way just how much he’s loved and taken care even though his mother is going to make a whole new set of mistakes with him.

I’m not a perfect person. Only perfect person I know of is Jesus Christ. I will not get everything in this life right, I’m not supposed to. And I’m thankful I’ve learned this two years into being a mother because it frees me up to remember I’m still loved even when I make mistakes!

 

Hover Mode Deactivated

I’ve come to the conclusion that if I want to accomplish anything during the day, I cannot keep hovering over my child. Yes, she’s two. Yes, things happen quickly. But I do not have the time to hover over her every move. Now, I’ve recently come to this conclusion, so I’m still getting used to the decision I’ve recently made as a mother.

The first reason why I cannot hover over my daughter all the time is because it doesn’t teach her independence. It also means I will never get anything done throughout the day. If she’s in the living room watching Frozen or Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, I’m not a bad mom for going into the kitchen to clean it up after breakfast or lunch. I can see her in the living room from the kitchen and if she’s glued to the television, I know she’s not going anywhere. I check on her periodically and she’s either still glued to the television or she’s messing with the television. Do I trust my two-year-old? Definitely not! But is she learning that even though Mommy is not right there, she’ll still get caught doing something? Absolutely!

The second reason I’m learning to stop hovering over my daughter is she has moments throughout the day where that independence I want her to learn is actually showing up. She will go in her room and start playing by herself. That leaves me open to start a load of laundry or fold the load I just took out of the dryer. Granted, there are times where her playing in her room turns into throwing diapers and shoes on the floor, but there’s nothing breakable in her room, so it’s “Clean up, pick up, put away,” time and we go from there.

The third reason why I’m learning to not hover over my child is because I don’t want her to hover over people. She learns her behavior from her parents. I have to realize that as long as she’s under our roof, my husband and I will be the first example she sees of something. My daughter is a strong-willed individual. When it comes to her snacks and toys and television time, she knows what she wants. When she wants to play by herself, she does. When she wants time and attention with her parents, she’s going to get it with no-questions asked. But while she’s off doing her own thing, I’m doing mine. And my thing is usually cleaning up, cooking, attempting to go the bathroom, or trying to do something on the creative side.

The biggest realization for me though about not hovering is the bigger accidents that have happened with my daughter, her father and I were within arms reach to grab her, but she moved faster than we could. I cannot protect her from everything. But if she makes it through the day alive then my job as a mother has been executed well.

Stay-at-Home Mom

So, my journey as a stay-at-home mother will begin at the beginning of September instead of the end of October. Doctor’s orders have a way of changing things, so for the duration of my pregnancy with my baby boy, I’ll be home having fun with my daughter, freaking out about where everything is going to go in the apartment, and pouring over Crockpot recipes to figure out which one I’ll finally make first.

Granted, all of this is happening sooner than expected, and yes, I’m totally freaking out about it, but I’m also really happy and excited. I have to trust God in this next chapter in life. I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know Who holds that future, so with that knowledge alone, I know my family and I will be okay! We will be more than okay, even when we don’t feel like we are.

I’ll have to get into a new rhythm once I have my weekends back. Instead of leaving for work at six in the evening every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I’ll be eating dinner with my family and getting my daughter ready for bed. Instead of sleeping half the day on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, I’ll be up and cooking breakfast for my family or negotiating with my daughter as to why she can’t have pudding for breakfast. Not coming home at seven in the morning on Sundays means I can start going back to church and that is something I’m very excited about.

Getting used to not bringing in an income on a regular basis is also something I will have to adjust to as well. I have to realize that my worth and value are not tied to a paycheck. Being home with my family and making sure they are taken care of is important to me. Also, I can look for ways to become more creative from home, which shouldn’t be too hard with a toddler.

Life as I know it is about to become more interesting. And I’m looking forward to every moment of it!

Writing Hiatus

Well, last weekend I found out I’m pregnant with my second child and that exciting (but very surprising) news put everything to a halt for me. Well, for the most part, all of my creative endeavors came to a halt. I just needed some time to focus on the game-changing news that a new little human will be added to our family in December.

But I’m slowly coming back around to writing. Life has taken me and my family in a new direction, so naturally, I feel that my writing should as well! I’m just excited for the next chapter that is to come and I would like my writing to reflect that accordingly!

Mama’s Baby Girl Pt. I

So, I don’t baby my 21-month-old daughter. If she falls and hurts herself, there are two responses I give her based on the degree of the fall. The first is, “You’re fine, it scared you more than it hurt you.” And she’s up and running again. The second is, “Come here, let me make sure you’re okay.” And her response to that is the main reason why I won’t and don’t baby her. She fights me, or her father, or anyone for that matter when we check for blood, scraps, or any injuries. She goes from crying because she fell, to crying because she got picked up for inspection to make sure she’s okay. And ten times out of ten she’s up and running again before those tears have even dried. She did that when she fell in Jackson Square in New Orleans and she did that when we were home in Alabama and she face planted on concrete from running too fast.

I just don’t baby her, mainly because she hates it. And secondly because I don’t want my child growing up thinking the entire world has to stop when she gets an ouchie. I don’t want her to take something minor and make it major because of the attention she can get from it. She’s an only child and the only grandchild for all her grandparents, so she has more than enough attention. But my firstborn is a sassy, strong-willed, independent, rough and tumble little girl. She gets up after a fall and she goes even harder than before when playing. She laughs more than before the fall. She’s tasted concrete, grass, carpet, and dirt, and survived. She’s done free falls off the couch, fallen of the bed, ran into walls, slipped on hardwood, smashed her fingers, fallen off her dad’s lap while swinging, busted her lip, and the list goes on, and it will go on as she gets older.

If it were left up to me, I would duct tape to her crib and call it a day. But she’d figure a way out of the duct tape and then climb out of the crib. She’s a fighter. She’s determined. She’s a pint size of fierce. She’s a little version of me, and that’s the third and final reason I don’t baby her -I hate that shit!

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