Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thoughts on Number Three

So, My husband and I are expecting our third child in April. We are thrilled and excited. I always feel like being pregnant is such a beautiful gift and waiting to meet the new family member is much like the anticipation of Christmas as a child.

While I admit that my family is growing rapidly, I will have a three year old and a nearly two year old when number three gets here, I have been shocked, appalled, and down-right hurt by the some of the comments I have gotten regarding this pregnancy.

Of course my family and friends have been supportive and wonderful but some of my acquaintances have been completely ridiculous.

Some exact quotes from people that I shared the news with include:

"Wow, maybe you should learn to keep your legs closed"

"are you trying to break some kind of record"

" you know what causes this, right?"

"like you aren't having enough problems with the kids you already have?"

And maybe the most hurtful of all, a simple eye roll just to let me know how stupid I am.

Since I am kind of a wimp when it comes to confrontation, here is my response to them.

This baby was not an accident, no baby is. This baby is a beautiful hoped for, dreamed about, answer to prayer. I am not breaking any records, as a matter of fact three children is not really a ridiculous amount,I would welcome more. My mom had seven children and I was the last, so I am glad she was not as selfish or shallow as you people all seem to be or I wouldn't even be here.

Yes I have problems with my kids. Everyone does. Maybe the difference is that I am willing to share them and my failures with other people.

And lastly, to the eye rollers, although I don't need to explain myself to you, I will.

There are many reasons we should not have another baby. Your eye rolls were probably thinking about them. Maybe you were reminding me of the fact that we are outgrowing our house, or that we don't make a lot of money, or maybe it's the fact that we will not be able to have "our own" lives.

Maybe you were alluding to the fact that our kids will not get new cars for their 16th birthdays, or that they will need loans for college, maybe you were looking at us and thinking that the last thing we need is more to do, less sleep, and more responsibility.

Maybe all of these things are true, maybe. But to me, they just don't matter.

No all of these reasons, excuses, are wasted on me. You see no number of cons could ever add up to enough to erase the one pro on my list.

Two tiny hands with fingernails like tiny polka dots, eyes staring into mine trusting, loving, and waiting for life to begin. The smallest cry in the middle of the night for our late night feeding, the first smile, the first word....

One tiny reason and it blows all yours away, one tiny heart beating away and already capturing my own.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cake Batter Rice Crispie Treat Cookies---DELISH!!

When I stumbled upon these on Pinterest, I was intrigued. I had a hard time believing that anyone could really IMPROVE a rice crispy treat because they are so awesome as-is. I went to Gimme Some Oven  for the recipe and let me tell you, it has been done! These treats were just as easy as the original and even MORE delish!

The recipe is basically just normal rice crispy treat cookies plus 1/3 cup yellow cake mix and sprinkles half stirred in and half on the top! How easy is that??  The full recipe and instructions are available at her blog that I linked above!

The cake mix cuts out some of the straight sugar flavor and gives it an extra punch that is just out of this world! I can't wait to try it with other flavors and mix-ins!  I know I am going to enjoy personalizing this one-and eating it too!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Beating the Funk

I seem to have found myself in a funk. Funks can be tricky. They don't come in as obviously as you would think. There is no definite starting point or a moment you can pinpoint or blame. No, funks are sneaky.

One day you realize you are frowning more than you are smiling. Or perhaps, you notice that you can't remember the last time you laughed. The glass starts looking half empty, and it seems there is more to complain about than to be grateful for.

That has been me lately. The funny thing about funks is that they self- perpetuate. Once you become negative, your funk becomes everyone's problem. You are overly sensitive and that comment your husband makes that would usually makes you laugh makes you mad instead.

Still angry from that, you yell angrily at the toddler who has spilled her drink on the floor. She is crushed but she won't say that,she will just look for another way to get you back. Probably, she will fill your sink with toothpaste.

Frustrated, both from the mess and the fact that you blew up at her, you will check on your son who you can smell from across the room. You will angrily pick him up and carry him to change him. He will sense your hostility ( from pooping his diaper? Like he has a choice) and begin to cry.

Now everyone is unhappy. And do you know how that makes you feel? Yep. Even less happy than before. So the cycle continues... That is until you stop it.

Today, I decided to stop the funk. I am done letting the little things bog me down. I do not want to live full of worry and regret, I want my joy back! I am trying to smile more, to dance in the kitchen more, to tickle more, to forgive quicker and anger slower. And you know what ? I think it's working!!

Choose joy. Life is short and the ones you love deserve your best.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Great Gift Idea #1-Sears 4 Qt Slow Cooker for $10 and free shipping shipped to store!

I am going to be posting some deals on my blog as well as my normal musings:) If you know me , you know I love to save money.  I frequent tons of savings and deal blogs every day and want to pass on these deals to my readers!  On the Sears website they have a 4 Qt crockpot for $10. This is a great price and would be a great gift for someone starting out or even a college kid in an apartment:) Select ship-to-store and you also pay no shipping, just pick it up at your nearest Sears when it comes in!

                                           Click here to go to the Sears website for the $10 Crockpot

There are some great ways to personalize this gift too! Include a book of your favorite recipes or this great book, available on Amazon from a penny + shipping if you don't mind used books!

Or you could include a grocery chain gift card inside, kitchen utensils, or dish towels!

Watch my blog for more creative gift ideas on the cheap:)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Reaching in the Dark

So after some advice from a friend yesterday, I came to the conclusion that not everything in life is a battle. I have always struggled with the concept of whether what a child needs or wants today is not always what is the best for them in the long run. I think that having this farsighted vision makes me feel like a better mom. But maybe sometimes, today is simply a day we are given to love our babies like crazy. Maybe sometimes, we need to be less practical, less "by the books" and more just "mommy".

So last night, after making Maya go to bed in her own bed. I went to bed with a plan. Not a plan to fix her, to train her, or to "beat her" at this bedtime war. No, I went to bed with a plan simply to love her, however she wanted me to, however she needed me to.

Sure enough at 1 AM I heard her little voice calling out to me. "Mommy?" " Mooooommmmy???" Already things were different. The pressure and frustration I usually feel when she calls my name were gone. Instead of viewing this as a battle I was losing or a task I was failing, I saw it for what it was a beautiful baby girl who wanted to be held.  How could I have been so blind? I went to her room and saw her there, beautiful blond hair messy from sleep, eyes big and happy to see me. "I was trying to sleep mommy but I woked up", she said with a smile.

The freedom I felt from being able to follow my instincts without guilt was amazing. I scooped her up and kissed her and carried into my bed. I tucked her in, told her I loved her and she looked with me with her sleepy little eyes and said "Thank you mommy, I  just want you close".

It took all I had to hide my tears from her. All these nights that I thought I was winning, all these struggles of doing what was right. They left  me fighting my heart, my motherly instincts, and they left her reaching in the dark for a mommy that was busy being right.

She went right back to sleep last night, she's actually still sleeping up there now, a tiny girl in a big fluffy bed. Through the night she would wake up, eyes still closed,  and I would feel a tiny little hand grasping in the air until it touched my face. I would hear a tiny almost imperceptible sigh of relief as she drifted back to sleep. A sigh I will carry in my heart forever, that for her, the most beautiful three year old in the world, I was enough.

Judge me if you must.  I may be failing by your standards  Honestly, up until yesterday, this would be failing by my own. But maybe I just don't care. Will it be harder for her later because of this? Maybe. Am I hindering her ability to sleep alone? Perhaps. But I guess we will cross those bridges when we come to them.   For now, my little girl believes that I care more about her than my rules and that is what matters to me.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Problems in the Bedroom ???

Since my children were old enough to sleep through the night, I have had a pretty fantastic experience. Maya has just always been the type of kid who asked to go to nap if we forgot to put her down. She never cries at bedtime, and has always rolled over and went back to sleep if she woke up in the night. Aidan is the same way. We plop into bed, he smiles, waves and closes his eyes. We don't hear from him again until around 8 AM the next morning.  Now, I have always kind of taken pride in the fact that my kids were great sleepers. I know that it is not necessarily a reflection on me, but I always seem to use my children's successes as a benchmark for my success. Now that I think about it, that's pretty narcissistic but hey-I'm being honest here. But if I am going to take credit for the last three years of great sleeping habits, then I guess it's only fair that the last month has left me feeling like an epic fail in that area.

Maya won't sleep.

My little girl, who has never had ONE issue with sleeping is now a complete mess when it comes to bedtime. She will go to bed, but gets frantic as soon as I tuck her in. Begging me not to leave her, clinging to my neck, crying until she is out of breath and a complete disaster. I sit with her, pat her, talk to her, she is perfectly happy, calm, nearly asleep...but the moment I get up to leave her room it starts again. It is exhausting and emotionally horrific to go through. Last night we did this 12 times before she finally stayed in her bed.

I have gone through every school of thought on how to handle this. I have tried ignoring her, but honestly I can't. I have struggled with sleeping most of my life and I remember how desperately I needed to so my mother on those scary nights. I have tried comforting her with as much patience as a mom can muster at 3 in the morning when she has been in her daughter's bedroom 12 times in a row. I bought her a new night light, added some white noise, prayed for hours on end...to no avail. Each time she wakes up in the night, it starts over. It destroys me.

I am not getting sleep. She is not getting sleep. We are walking disasters. But even more than that I think it bothers me that I feel so lost on what to do for her. I have reached the moment I feared most of becoming a parent. The moment when there doesn't seem to be a right answer. No quick fix on google, no product that solves it, no book that can explain it away. I feel like I have been exposed as the completely clueless adolescent that I am on the inside. I am not a super mom, I am not even a grown up. No, honestly, I want to lie in my bed and cry just like she does on these nights. She has found the chink in my armor. She now sees that not all things are in my control.

For the first time I can not calm her fears or solve her problem. I am failing her, and it hurts like crazy.