What is it about spring that makes you want to clean? I always thought “Spring Cleaning” was a myth of sorts, but after today I think it may actually be a primal response. As of the first (this coming Thursday) John and I will have lived in our new town home for 4 months, and after moving as many times as we have, (seven times in a year in a half!) I know that it’s just between the 3 and 4 month mark that you finally unpack your last box. John may be experiencing some sort of nesting of his own today, he organized the entire garage, emptied out a desk we are attempting to get rid of up stairs, set up the baby swing, and moved the dresser we had the living room TV on upstairs so we could finally organize all of little man’s clothing. Oh, and he mounted the TV, which some times makes me feel like I live in a day care, but I’m just glad to have the space. I write as if we have all this stuff, but we really have purged so much crap in the last seven moves. But somehow there are still those couple boxes we both refuse to throw away. My philosophy has always been the less crap you have the simpler life can be. So while we did a lot of projects today, it didn’t really take more than a couple hours because there wasn’t that much more purging to do.
I attempted to do lots of cleaning on my own today as well, but because of all the nesting I have been doing for the past couple weeks already, there wasn’t much more to be done. I spent the morning cleaning the kitchen, but now as I sit here at the end of the day, its dirty again. Story of my life. I didn’t even do any laundry today. Oh, but I did bake today! I’m still in that Early Latent Labor, where I’m having hours of timeable contractions that just stop randomly. Last night I was awake until 11pm, woke up at 3:17am (like every night) and was awake until 7am when John and Juliette got up. I was having contractions every 15 minutes or so, then nothing. I was exhausted today, but I remember this from my last pregnancy as well. I don’t know if its subconscious anticipation that the contractions will turn into real labor, or if I just really can’t sleep, but all I know is that chasing a toddler is hard on 4ish hours of sleep.
The photo above was taken about an hour ago, as John was preparing Juliette for sleep. Those two don’t have the happiest of times trying to go to bed, so I tried suggesting they read a story. She normally is a kinesthetic learner and must. touch. all. things (but I think that’s most toddlers, honestly) but tonight she just laid there and listened to him read. I just heard him open the door about 15 minutes ago (my cue that she’s asleep and the room is safe for entering) so I’m assuming it went better than normal. I mean it probably took him 30 minutes to put her to sleep, plus shes down a lot earlier than normal. She’s probably tired from all the spring cleaning too. I want to start helping her learn to fall asleep herself, but honestly I can count on my hand the number of times she’s just fallen asleep without any sort of coaxing (rocking, humming, cuddling). I have always just followed along with however she chose to sleep, whatever she felt soothed her best, but I’m hoping to make the big girl transition into her own room soon. And eventually being able to let her put herself to sleep. Part of me wonders if that is even realistic. Can a 15-month-old really just fall asleep? Can my 15-month-old put herself to sleep? I just don’t want to force her to do something for my convenience…. I have some reading to do.
Before I sat down to write this I was in Juliette’s room (but not the one she sleeps in) stuffing her cloth diapers and I was just reveling at how blessed I felt. I mean, I know I’m blessed. I know that being a stay-at-home-mom is one of the biggest blessings there is, but really, how do I deserve this? How do I deserve this life? I don’t. I have never done anything phenomenally moral in my life. I have never helped anyone in extreme need. I love to live my life by karmic law, but really what good have I done? I really want to hold onto this season for so long because I know how life works. There are ups and downs and I’m so terrified for when this ends, so I want to enjoy it now. I feel thankful for this season and I hope I make the best of it. I hope I can really do good in this season so that it makes the next one a little easier.
I just found out Kawaii makes newborn diapers now, so I may have to go browse their website for the next hour or so….
Continuing on in the 30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me series, I realized I probably won’t go exactly in order. Some posts are longer and harder for me to write and in fear of becoming stagnant, I would prefer to keep writing other posts and go back. So, what are the 5 things that make you most happy right now? I’m glad you asked!
1. Juliette – duh. I know, I know. I’m a biased because she’s my daughter, but she is seriously the funniest, craziest little person I have ever met. I love her fake laugh – it just makes me think she must find herself hilarious. I love this cough thing she does when she is frustrated. I love how hard she tries to tell us things, and have conversations with us, but she speaks toddler and I really don’t understand it! I always think of this poem whenever she talks to me.
2. This Weather. I know that we are going through this second (or third maybe?) winter, but I love having the windows open, hearing life. It’s only cold really late at night/early in the morning but warms up significantly during the day. I always feel the outside calling to me, like I need to just go, and be outside. But there are a million and one excuses why I don’t. Of course.
3. This Blog. I’m just going to be honest. It’s the first thing I have felt passionate and committed to in a LONG time. I have been doing this for what, a week, but I constantly have ideas. If anything it fulfills that part of me that is desperate to journal, but I have no time or energy to write. And I really am looking forward to coming back to this in a year or so, and seeing where we were, and what we were overcoming and giving the future me a little hope, and a chance to see some progress in our life.
4. Being on leave from school. I am taking some time off school before/after my guy comes for obvious reasons, but being home in the afternoons with John and Juliette really makes me happy. I am more exhausted than I was before, and the house is more of a mess than it was before, but at least I get to see my girl to sleep every night and make sure she eats a big dinner so she will sleep well. And I don’t mind not having to stand and do hair for 5 hours a night 🙂
5. Blue Bell Ice Cream. I’m just going to put this in here so I can get the blog up, but since its been on sale at the grocery store it sure has made me happy. And started up my sugar craving again, which I mean that part sucks, but whatever. I enjoy a nice mug of ice cream in the evenings when we watch That 70’s Show or Dexter or some weird movie on Netflix.
Life is looking up right now and I’m really, really thankful for that. I am fighting so hard to keep that positivity for us because its so easy to be stressed and worried about how much we don’t have at the moment. But things are looking up, and maybe just cause its Friday.
Post #3, I’m on a roll! I changed the name of this because Johnathan isn’t technically my spouse, yet. But, he will be.
I met John when I was 16, kind of in passing. It was at least enough for us to add each other on Facebook. We debate the reason we even started talking, but my version is that I was with my brothers, and they were poking fun at me and he jokingly made them feel bad for picking on a girl. The reason this is debated is because John would never normally do that for anyone. He is the fun-poker! But anyway, we really began our friendship a year or so later while I was living in Texas. I posted a picture of a painting I had done, he liked it, I commented on a picture he drew, conversation ensues. He was in a relationship at the time, I was single, but he started cyber-stalking me. Liking all my posts, commenting on my statuses, etc. We started debating religion and life and it was really nice for me to talk to someone so different from me. I was a very rule following religious person and he was very grace-minded and that was nice. Frustrating, but nice. Over the next 8 months, his relationship ended and our friendship began to grow. I remember being completely against the idea of dating him, because he never followed any rules or he would get as close as he could without breaking them for the sake of fun. It annoyed me and frustrated me, but in the end its the quality I probably enjoy most about him, the part of him that balances me. What was the most attractive quality about John, which is probably a major turn-off and con for most women, is that he was so strong-willed. I’m a very opinionated person, and most guys just rolled over when it came to decision making and I was in the room. But, he never let me be the decision maker. He always had to have the last say, and I knew that I needed that. He was attracted to how smart I was as well, which I have mentioned before has always intimidated people but not him. We began an intentional friendship in January 2011, and began dating in July 2011. By May 2012, we were expecting our first child which threw our relationship through the ringer. It challenged us so deeply to accept the fact that we had to grow up. I was 19, he was 21. We went through a lot over the next year or so. Part of the thing about having a kid so young is having to grow up with your partner. Grown ups have babies, and when you are not there yet, you have to get there together. You have to learn responsibility together.
I can describe our relationship in one word: balance. We are opposites, in most everything in our relationship. He’s the ultra-modern, movie guy. I’m the hippie, home-made, vegan. He’s very street smart. I’m book smart. I like to take walks, he, well…. he doesn’t. And as frustrating as it can be for us at times to find something to do together that we both will enjoy, it’s the part of our relationship that has saved us and kept us together for so long.
We are still so young, I’m 21 and he’s 24. And we both admittedly have so much to learn. We both get impatient with each others immaturity but we both understand that we are becoming grown ups together and we cant be expected to act like it just yet. But we have come a long way. I don’t think we have actually had a big blow up in over a year, no threats to leave and imagining life without each other. We are committed to one another, which I think is so rare.
Our relationship is so special to me. It’s not perfect but that’s ok, perfect isn’t good for me. I used to strive for perfection in all the little things in my life until I finally surrendered to what this relationship gave me. It broke down so many ugly things in me, and has changed me into a person that I really like. This relationship has created in me a “go with the flow” personality. I have become so accepting of people’s flaws I can actually enjoy being with imperfect people. I love Johnathan for what his love has taught me. And I am beyond thankful for him everyday.
His sacrifice for his kids and I is tremendous. He works full time (more than full time!) and supports us so that I can be home with Juliette, and attend school at night. He has put his dreams aside (just for the time being) so that I can go reach mine until the tables can reverse and I can support him while he chases his. He pushes me and encourages me and wants so much success for us that it’s contagious. I want success for us. He relaxes me when I stress and helps me think when I’m being unreasonable.
I’m a lucky girl, I will never deny that.
This is post #2 of the 30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me. Describe 3 legitimate fears of yours, and how they became your fears.
1. Having to parent my children by myself.
This fear comes from multiple places. a.) having divorced parents b.) a long history of insecurity with whether people even like me or not c.) damaging my children by not being the one who is pouring into them the lessons they need to know about life.
So, starting with the divorced parents thing. I am lucky that I didn’t have a very nasty divorce between my parents, largely in fact to my step-mothers influence in my father’s life and advocating for me not to have to live through that. But nonetheless, divorces are damaging to children whether amicable or not. I had this revelation at the age of 17, when I was living in Texas with some roommates that it was the first time in my life I wasn’t packing up a ton of my stuff to go stay with another parent every weekend. That was really hard for me to get used to. Even now at 21 years old I FINALLY don’t want to move from where we are, at least not for a while anyway. Going back and forth between houses really messed me up. I never learned how to be content. I also didn’t learn how to deal with issues until I was an adult. I had a tense relationship with my step father but I never had to learn how to deal with them or change myself because I only saw him for 2 or 3 days at a time. It also damaged my relationships with people. I didn’t have the most social teenage years because when friends were going out for the weekend, I had to make sure I was spending time with my mom because she didn’t see me all week. Which leads to the second part of that, whether people even like me.
Outside of my relationship with Johnathan, I have never had a real relationship. Something I am proud of but could also be a big handicap if anything were to happen to him. Growing up I was always the annoying kid. In high school, I was still annoying. As an adult, I ave become way more reserved and less social, because I still have that fear that I am still annoying. I can count the friends I have on one hand (honestly there’s probably only one or two) and I don’t always know how I feel about that. I’m opinionated and smart (not to be cocky, but I really enjoy reading and learning new things). A lot of people are turned off by my knowledge. Somehow the smart thing has worked for my dad and sister, as they are very social and have lots of friends, but for me, not so much. So If anything were to happen to Johnathan I feel as though I would surely be a single parent, because no one could love me. He’s the only guy I have ever met that was attracted and not intimidated by my knowledge. I think that’s pretty sweet though!
The last part of this fear comes from an over-controlling-mama-bear place. I don’t trust people. I read too much and have too much of a opinion to just let other people raise my kids. If I was a single parent I would have to be the income for my family, taking away from time with my children and having to let other people raise them, and spend a majority of the time with them. I chose to have kids so that I could be there with them and watch them grow and raise to be kind, compassionate, world-changers. I didn’t have kids so that I could grow in my career, or that they could be in daycare (though I’m not bashing any momma who does, because for some moms that fulfills them) I am most fulfilled when teaching my 14-month-old new words and sounds, or when we go on walks, or when we eat lunch together and she feeds me grapes. I’m so fulfilled being a mother. To hand that position over to someone else gives me so much anxiety. My spine tingles just thinking about it.
2. Being “poor”.
I’m nervous with how to write this because I don’t want to sound pretentious or spoiled. I was blessed growing up to live without ever needing anything. Not that we were like rolling in dough, but our basics needs were always met. We were never hungry, always had clean clothes, always had power to our home, and when things broke we could afford to fix them. That is all I want in my life. I don’t need to have the best of everything, I just need good food, clean clothes and a warm home. So when money gets a little tight, I stress out. I just want my babies to have full tummies and clothes that fit. I don’t feel wrong in wanting this. I don’t feel any shame, but I feel that shortening it could be misleading.
I have seen a lot of less fortunate families, and lots of kids who wore clothes that were too small, and stained, and when they came into our home they were HUNGRY. I have seen kids just shovel cereal into their mouths and it broke my heart to wonder when they last ate. I never want that for my kids and I think its a great motivator for me.
3. Loosing my kids.
I feel like this is self explanatory. Sickness, kidnappings, or just plain they don’t want to talk to me anymore and cut me out of their lives. A lot of this is just a momma fear. No mom wants their children to be sick or taken away from them, but choosing to cut me out of their lives comes from a personal place. I spent a long time not talking to my parents, because we differed in opinions in life, but I feel it is always the parents responsibility to mend the gap and create the compromise. No matter how old the child is. Parents are parents until death. Parents put their lives aside for the child until death. I never understood how my parents were “ok” with me refusing to speak to them. I never understood why they gave up calling me and trying to fix things. I could never do that. It’s part of the reason John and I are so big on the gentle parenting approach because that relationship starts now. My kids are their own people, with their own thoughts and opinions and one day they will become world-changers. I have decided now to start listening to my children. It’s their life, they are free to live how they choose. I am here to guide them, keep them safe and out of trouble, and to equip them with the knowledge of right and wrong so that when I am not around they will choose the right thing (side note: they are going to choose right because its right, not because they fear the consequence of doing wrong) I’m not here to control them and stifle who they are. I’m here to foster those wild fires of personality into controlled burns. To teach them to harness their power (that sounds lame, but I mean you catch my drift). This is going of on a tangent but maybe I will turn this into another blog post one day!
This blog didn’t take me nearly as long to write, score! But it is super revealing, and vulnerable and that was difficult.
As part of the first post of 30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me we will start with 20 Random Facts About Myself.
1. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.
2. I’m a failure of a vegan (at least currently). About a year ago I made the decision to become vegan and was doing very well, until I got pregnant. My iron levels were pretty low and its been very difficult to keep up with all the spinach and dried fruit. Fortunately, I should be delivering in about a month, Lord willing, and I can get back in the game.
3. The only thing I really want to be successful in is being a mom…. and being a master gardener.
4. I really really really hope we can leave Las Vegas within the next three years and move somewhere more nature-y.
5. I love nature. Plants, flowers, animals, oceans, all that. But Las Vegas really makes me hate being outdoors.
6. I have always wanted to be a mom, and I am so thankful everyday I wake up and there’s someone there to call me Momma!
7. There is a little hippie in me that runs most of my decisions in life. I would totally be the furniture-less, gardening, hand-made, laundry-hanging hippie if I weren’t so tired, and Johnathan didn’t think it was totally embarrasing.
8. I love fruit. And I want to eat it all day.
9. I love cake equally as much.
10. I believe the world can heal us all.
11. I wish there was a magical land that was always spring. 65-75 degrees always, and there were always blooming trees and flowers and there was no cold or hot weather. Spring land!
12. I have a secret knack for graphic design. I really enjoy doing it, its like a hobby.
13. I feel as though I’m the jack of all trades type of person. But that does mean I’m not really a master at anything, which frustrates me some times.
14. I really hate long nails.
15. I’m constantly planning and thinking of the future and the steps to get us to where we want to be. Constantly making goals, and reassessing life.
16. I will do almost anything to save/make some money.
17. I’m not a people person, I can’t really bring conversation out of people, but I can talk to a stranger if they are willing to have a conversation.
18. In fact, I rarely ever turn down a conversation, I just hardly ever am the one to start one.
19. I’m a super frugal person, but I will always by the top of the line when it comes to beauty products and computers/programs.
20. My kids really are the pride and joy of my life.
This took me two days, and three revisions to write. We need some work!
I started this blog as positive affirmations for myself. So one day I can look back on where I was and be encouraged or inspired to continue on. Days get hard for everyone, I’m sure, and motherhood is not for the faint of heart. So maybe someone else will find this encouraging.
To help me get in the swing of things I’m starting with 30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me that I got from babymakingmachine.com.
So, here we go:
1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears
3. Describe your relationship with your spouse.
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. What’s the hardest part of growing up?
14. Describe 5 and weaknesses strengths you have.
15. Describe when you knew your spouse was the one or how I fell in love.
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What do you think your spouse loves most about you?
19. How did you feel the moment you became a parent?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. Describe your relationship with your parents.
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. What’s your favorite holiday and why?
24. What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about parenthood?
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What’s your favorite quality in your spouse?
29. What are your hopes and dreams for your prosperity?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.