Transitions

At this point I have transitioned from new mom to just mom to mom of two. And with this latest transition I have realized something…I am a much better mother to two kids than I ever was to one. Now let me say nothing pissed me off more than being told that you weren’t really a parent until you had more than one kid. That thought process is rude and categorically untrue. But, for me and my journey through motherhood, I have discovered that Jack is getting a way better parent. And by default so is EJ.
I was fairly relaxed mom with EJ. I was not one of those hyperactive new moms that fretted over every little thing but I was lacking in confidence. I was wading through unfamiliar waters and with everyone’s willingness to share their opinions with me all the time I was left totality insecure about my decisions. I wondered way more than I ever should and poor EJ got a momma who was a tid bit stressed out.
I took a hard look at myself the other day and I realized that I am so much more relaxed and gosh darn it I am confident. These boys are mine and I know what is best for them. I know that Jack may be just shy of six months but this little guy needs lots of sleep and that means to bed he heads at 6:30pm. Yes, that is early and all the books say another feeding should happen but for him I know its what is best. He, also, has the driest skin in the world so bath time is limited to twice a week. I know that EJ has to have structure or he goes insane and days that aren’t structured well tend to end in screaming from everyone. Its just little things that I know about my kids that no one, not even dad at times, know.
I can trust my instincts and let life happen. We have a schedule and most days its the way life goes but I also let things interrupt it because that is life and my kids need to learn to be flexible. I know that EJ throws huge temper tantrums and the best way to handle it to send him to his room immediately. Time outs and redirecting may be the thing to do now but for us does not work. I am ok with telling others that. I don’t kept my difference in parenting styles to myself. I just do what works for us. And sometimes that all you can  do is just listen to gut and say a prayer it works.

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Advice and Crazy Moms

A friend posted this article on the book today and I found it so interesting. 
Among discussing the ridiculous rivalry that exists in within the realm of Motherhood today it also had her advice for new moms. Honestly, I wish I had read this before EJ was born it may not have made a difference but it really is some of the best advice. There is nothing as wonderful or crazy as motherhood, nothing. But, with all things there is a learning curve. The person you become when you are under extreme sleep depravation is unrecognizable. The emotions are all over the place and not taking time for yourself will result in one insane momma, trust me I know. I learned the hard way. Take a moment and read it. It’s a good read for sure. 
What are the most important pieces of advice that you can offer to new moms?
JZ: Here are some healthful tid bits for women to savor as they embark on motherhood. Trust yourself. Rely on others.  Ask for help. Seek support. Connect with loved ones. Take time for yourself. Expect to feel amazing, awful, and everything in between. Throw perfection out the window!
Be present. Get professional guidance if you feel you want/need it.  Read books about parenting if you find them helpful but ultimately be sure to integrate their wisdom with your own mothering methods. Respect your body and the postpartum journey. Curb unrealistic expectations. Be the role model you always dreamed of having.  Be wholeheartedly honest with yourself. Experience whatever it is you are experiencing. Denying feelings does not make them go away.  Feelings are feelings not facts. Change is possible. Communication is key. Depression and anxiety do not go away on their own.
Rest when you can.  Honor your emotional temperature.  Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about being you.  It’s never too late to revisit your childhood experiences – doing so will benefit and enliven the family you’ve created. Don’t take little people’s behaviors personally.  Newborns/infants do not manipulate.  Treat yourself like a queen when you can (whatever that means to you).  As soon as you feel you finally “figured it out”, “it” will change.  Be flexible.  LAUGH. Address burning feelings. Whatever you are feeling, other mothers have felt.  You are not alone.  No feeling is off limits. (New) motherhood is ubiquitously overwhelming.  Sleep deprivation can make you meet a version of yourself you never wanted to know. There is not one way to give birth, feed, sleep, or raise your child. Do what feels resonant for you and your baby, not what is trendy.  Plan and then roll with what arises. Play and enjoy the ever-changing ride!
Jessica Zucker is a psychologist in Los Angeles specializing in women’s health with a focus on transitions in motherhood, perinatal and postpartum mood disorders, and early parent-child attachment.

Boy Momma

Source: etsy.com via LA on Pinterest

This is me, at least for now. I pray that one day we add some pink to our world but for now I find hot wheels in my make-up bag and trucks in bed. I bathe off dirt and stickiness many times a day. My son literally growls at me and runs away laughing. The movie Cars is shown on repeat here and I laugh to myself as I watch my boy and his father wrestle on the floor every night imagining to myself the picture that it will soon be with 2 little boys loving on their daddy that way. I believe strongly in that boys are boys and that their heart is different from start. I know that even though Momma wants to stop every fall and comfort every hurt that they have the need to explore and see the world in a way that I may never fully understand.

I love some of things I have found lately via Pineterest (move over facebook this now the world’s greatest time suck) and thought I would share it with you. If you are a boy momma you will most likely be able to relate to these things just as much as me.

A Mother’s Day Challenge

As yet another year races by I find myself faced with my 3rd Mother’s Day. I have mixed emotions about Mother’s Day much like Valentine’s Day I find the day to be more a marketing ploy than anything. Mothers & Fathers alike have big, hard jobs and they should be honored for it but I think it should be a daily thing not a once a year I will stop and say your great.
In all honesty the year it meant the most to me was a year that some claimed was not mine to celebrate. I was carrying him in my belly instead of holding my baby boy in arms and some felt that I had not earned my mom card yet. I was just about full term and pretty miserable thanks to high blood pressure and irregular contractions. I will probably be myphed for the rest of my life for those comments because there is no harder job than baking a baby. In my mind your a mother the minute the + sign appears, end of story.
So this Mother’s day, I challenge you to look to the pregnant women in your life and stop for a moment and give them some love. Stop yourself from sharing battle stories, imparting advice or telling them to enjoy the peace now because all hell is about to break lose just say congratulations you are about to get the best gift in the world. Because really, they are and the rest of it is just a mix of good and bad days. And the good make the bad more than worth it because they are your kids. A living, breathing reminder of your love for your partner. Proof that even with all the bad in the world, there still is good.

You know your pregnant when

You stand in front of an open fridge and freezer because you are that overheated

You sit down on the ground to watch your son play on his swing set only to realize that you may not be able to get back up. 
Your son sleeps with you and your husband and instead of loving the family time you contemplate moving rooms because you are not only being kicked from the inside, someone on the outside is kicking you too!
Life pisses you off. Seriously, life is on my sh*t list today. 
You are starving and nauseated at the same time. 
Don’t you wish you pregnant?? 
Honestly, I am super thankful that I can not only make a baby with ease. I carry them with little issues but seriously y’all its hard work this business of baking a baby. 
Men have it way too easy, way too easy. 

A day in the life

Today I have
*showered
* made muffins for the boy’s breakfast
*made my husband a breakfast sandwich & packed his lunch
* Made and consumed a few cups of coffee
* changed 3 diapers
* cleaned up one very bloody lip and provided lots of Momma cuddles and soothing
* made 3 burp clothes for baby Jack
* Prepared dinner and smelled the goodness all morning
* Enjoyed a pb & j with my little boy and laughed over a banana
* Successfully messed up and cleaned a kitchen
* completed 2 loads of laundry
* dealt with both good and bad behavior

and its only 1pm. A day in the life of the momma is a busy one. One that I love more and more with each passing day.

The evolving role of Mom

It’s no secret that I am doing exactly what I was made for. I am good at this job of mine. You know the job where I manage a husband, a toddler, and a house. I can stick to a budget with the best of them. I can sniff out a bargain on just about anything. I am creative and organized and very clean. And most days I wake up very happy to yet another day doing what I love for the people I love the most.
Not to say I wasn’t a great at my profession. I am good event planner. I can create it, organize it and implement it and some days I miss the face paced world of suits, flowers, and tablecloths. I laugh to myself as I reflect on days not too long ago where while in a suit and heels I stopped traffic in Downtown Atlanta so I could get my chartered buses lined up for a shuttle. I used to thrive on clipboards, spreadsheets and budgets. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely do not miss the hours and crazy clients. I do not miss that my only free time ever was before 10am on even given day and the special day of others always took precedent to any plans I ever formed.
I get asked often if I will ever go back to it or some other profession. I find it funny that this day in age it is just assumed that once school starts our job at home is done. I, personally, do not feel that way at all.
Once school starts managing life is a priority. Suddenly, we are juggling school, homework, extracurricular activities and emotionally supporting the needs of an entire busy family. The availability of Mom to handle all kinds of new roles to me seems to be an asset. Whether it is running carpool, errands for the weeks needs and making sure healthy food is readily available for hungry busy kids I feel like a Mom’s work is not done.
Just because the bottles have been retired, diapers have been replaced with underwear and babies are nothing more than a memory it doesn’t mean Mom is any less important. I admire working moms, I honestly think I would loose my cookies if I was one. We would certainly live on takeout with dirty clothes in squalor if I tried to juggle all those responsibilities but I do feel like as society we need to back off the pressure of stay at home moms. I spend a lot of time justifying why I am just not sure that in 5 years I will restart my career. Of course, if its a financial issue I will do it in a heartbeat but if we can afford to not I am not sure I will. I pretty sure I would be more useful being a room mom, a chauffeur and making sure that if my kids want to do something that logistics will not be the reason we do not do something. Am I the only who feels this way?

The difference of a new pregnancy

Can I just say that I thought I had a handle of what being pregnant entailed after, you know, experiencing it once before. As I watched the plus sign appear there was no panic of what! there is a baby in there and there is only one way out! There was no how am I going to feel? Is Craig going to run away from home for watching me simultaneously loose my grasp on reality and gain a few pounds? Instead I smiled to myself, remembered the wonder of a new baby smells and cuddles and thought to myself I got this.

And then I got sick. It started slow, a little sick to my stomach one morning and within a week, well, I wanted to die. If I started throwing up I could not stop until there was a total system evacuation. If I manage to stop myself from throwing up I could barely muster up the strength to get off the couch.  With EJ I was fine, never once got sick. Let’s all remember who missed the first trimester completely. Yeah, I felt that good. This time around I would have never missed anything. I have honesty had moments where I would give anything to loose my sense of smell. I can smell out ANYTHING, anything I tell you. And that is not a great gift with a toddler in diapers, two dogs and husband who isn’t bothered by dirty dishes.

With EJ all I did was sleep. I would be asleep by 7pm and sleep until 7 or 8am the next day. A few slight wakeful moments but nothing major. This time I am part bat. I am so nauseated at night that my prescription medicine often does not even work. I lay there on a heating pad because my slight bump is already causing lower back pain and my hips feel like they are being cranked open. I can’t get comfortable and am not even that tired. 

So fellow Mommas don’t think you got this when the time comes for number 2 or 3 or 4. Because if I have learned anything every single pregnancy is very different and there is nothing standard about growing a human.

Manic Meal Planning

I have been doing it on and off for the last few months… Meal Planning that is. And when I do it successfully I am always so thankful. Yes, I stay at home and one would think I would have plenty of time to dream up meals on the fly.
But guess what? My child ate my brain.
It started off slow with bouts of preggo brain. “Oh I forgot to renew my car tags.” “Oh I forgot to clean the bathroom before company.” Minor things that were fixable, not a huge deal. However, it has progressed into full on motherhood dementia. Like I left the water running in the sink and left the house for 2 HOURS. You read that right, for 2 hours the water in my sink ran NONSTOP. Awesome.
And guess what my least favorite time of the day is around 430… its EJs cocktail hour. And normally results in him being fussy which makes Momma fussy. And the strong desire to throw my hands in the air and yell “I just don’t care.. Take-out it is” results.
Which completely counteracts my desire to be waistline and budget conscience. I started slowly with making lists on Sunday when the sales come out. Planning our meals accordingly and attempting to shop ONCE each week. No daily 20 dollar runs for dinner. I am by no means an expert but its been working. Yesterday I score $150 worth of groceries for 90 bucks by sale shopping and using coupons. And no I do not buy a bunch of junk. I am big on staying away from processed foods, the result of growing up in a Cardiologist’s family. I grew up believing that salt was the devil’s dust.
Because I am nice I thought I might start sharing some of my easy recipes that work great for meal planning aka if you so choose you can make ahead and heat up. But in return please share some of the goodness you make. Variety is key. I have a spreadsheet going of all my meals and it helps me lots.
Our dinners this week looks like this..

Sunday- Gumbo and Cheese toast
Monday- PW’s 16 minute Beef and Bean Burritos (I use ground turkey)
Tuesday- Ginger Chicken with Zucchini and Onions (a throw back to yummy goodness that is Benihana’s)
Wednesday- Kabobs (its predicted to be 80, seriously fall where are you?)
Thursday- Night out
Friday- Meat Ball sandwiches (turkey and homemade rolls)
Saturday- Deconstructed Chicken Pot pie

And that’s our week, you should also know I make the husband breakfast (breakfast sandwiches) and his lunch every day. His coworkers know when I fail to send breakfast because is mood is that bad and if left him to eat lunch on his own he either skips it or eats french fries. Which is a no go when trying to diet, which he is. So my family eats ALL its meals for around 120 a week. Pretty good, huh?

So if you want specific recipe let me know and I will post it. Do you meal plan? What are your tricks?

A shift in priorities

I have been halfway participating in Blair’s McFatty Monday for last 8 months. It hasn’t really been working for me. Others have had quite the success stories and me, well, not so much. It is not all my fault. I screwed with my hormone stability after EJ’s birth by inserting the Mirena IUD that was a really.bad.idea. I mean REALLY.BAD.IDEA.

I was wreck. I was certifiably batshitcrazy. I was miserable. I could not loose weight. In February, I wised up and removed the rod of Satan and things started slowly improving. Hormones can kick your butt. When I am jacked up on hormones I am a different person. No, seriously, I am. And guess what? I really do not like that person. I am short tempered. I hate my awesome husband for no reason and the worst side effect I am chubby. So let’s just say I cannot wait until the last baby arrives and hubs gets sniped. He can whine all he wants. LA on hormones strains our marriage and I went through childbirth. We will not even discuss the months leading up to it. That’s the least the men in our lives can do.

:: Steps off soapbox::

Regardless of the reason, I just have not been able to be successful in my attempts and that has been very discouraging and resulted in a lot of throwing in the towel.

Until today.

Until I watch the Doctors, a show I typically hate.

After watching a super healthy doctor eat a crappy diet with no exercise for 5 days and the affect it had on his body and mind something clicked. WOW, that is me.

My energy levels are not what the used to be.

I have a love/hate relationship with the greasy food I love. Hate the way I feel after said meal. Love the way it tastes so I go back for more. I used to be so healthy, so energetic, and so happy and care free.

Today, I am sleepy a lot. My skin has seen better days and life can stress me out in two point five seconds.

Yes, a lot has changed. I have child that I am responsible for. My job is at home now. Things have changed but my zest for life should be the same or greater and its just not.

So, today my priorities have changed, no more desperate attempts for scales to produce a certain number or for clothes to look a certain way. No more staring at old pictures and lusting after that flat, firm belly.

I am a Mother. I baked a baby for 10 months. I birthed him. I nursed him. I wear the armor of motherhood… loose skin, stretch marks, wider hips and not-so-perky boobs. But, I have a walking and talking product of my deep love for my husband. A child who stares back at me with my own eyes.

Instead of working towards a number, I am working towards health. A better blood pressure, an active life style and diet free of junk.

S0 what are your long term goals? How have your priorities changed?