Some Fathers Day Words that don’t quite fit into a card.

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They say (whoever they are) that watching your husband be a good father is the most attractive thing he can do. They are not kidding. Not even a little bit.

My son has recently decided that 8am wake ups are simply not early enough, and that 5:30am wake ups would be a little bit more exciting. No matter what time we put him to bed, how long of a nap he had the day prior, or how much energy we allowed him to run off at the park before bed, like an alarm clock… He is up at 5:30 every weekend. The first few times that this happened, I let out a complainy little groan, rolled over, and mentally pleaded with my son to go back to bed. As I did this, my husband (who was easily just as tired as I was) hopped out of bed, grabbed my son, changed his diaper, and brought him into our room to hang out in our bed with us while we tried to fully wake up. My husband did this without me saying a word about it, and I thought to myself ‘oh man that was wonderful. I guess it will be my turn next time’. But then next time came, and again, my husband was the one to jump out of bed without any hesitation or negativity. The following weekend was the same way. And this time all that I could think to myself was ‘this guy that I married is the absolute best’.

My husband has been this way since day one. During my pregnancy he took me to get an Oreo shake each and every time I craved one, spoiled me with gifts, kept me company while I was miserable during bed rest, and he attended every doctors appointment with me. While I was in labor, he rubbed my head and did everything within his power to help (like ask the nurse once every five minutes when the epidural guy would arrive). The day we brought our baby home, you would never know how exhausted he was as he sat there holding our sleeping little Liam, staring at him with overwhelming amounts of pride. During the 5 month long period of multiple middle of the night wake ups, he made sure to help me with at least one wake up a night… Even when he had to be up for work at 7 in the morning. When he comes home from a long day of work and finds out that our son has been testing me all day, he sends me off to go get my nails done or take a bath. When the park is empty and Liam needs a playmate, my husband steps up for the job, chasing him around the park making loud ‘scary’ monster noises while Liam runs away from him squealing with joy. Through the diaper changes, and the endless messes, and the doctor appointments, and the tantrums, and the little baby colds, and learning to walk and talk and eat solid foods, my husband has been there for every single moment of it. Not because i ever once had to ask him to be, but simply because he wanted to be.

My husband is the type of man that every baby deserves as a father, and every women deserves as a husband. He makes mistakes, but does everything in his power to correct those mistakes immediately. Not even a few hours go by in my day in which he is not reminding Liam and I how much he loves us. He works incredibly hard and deals with a ridiculous amount of stress to ensure that Liam and I are taken care of, and he never stops talking about the future that he wants (and I know he will) provide for us. He is really terrible at giving back rubs that last longer than 1.5 minutes and he turns all of the lyrics to my favorite songs into parodies relating to gassy bodily functions. He puts the air in the car on full blast when it’s not even seventy degrees out and he always…and I mean ALWAYS wins the movie picking battle. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because at the end of the day, no matter how many very intentional attempts he makes at annoying me, he certainly keeps things amusing while he takes care of his people… Protects his people… Loves his people. And I am so very proud and blessed that my son and I get to be his people.

Happy Father’s Day to a man so great that I feel the desire to write a million braggy blog posts about him. My baby’s daddy, my best friend, my husband.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

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A letter to my pre motherhood self.

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Dear pre-mommy me,

A short time from now, you are going to be blessed with the craziest ball of energy you’ve ever seen. He will look just like you and act just like his daddy. He will say no to absolutely everything (even when he means yes). He will throw entire bowls of food on the ground and laugh in your face as you tell him to pick it up. He will cover your white coffee table in dark baby cub paw prints… Five minutes after you’ve cleaned it. He will roll around the dirt in the backyard at least twice a day (and usually try to snack on it as well). He will deny the plate of dinner you set in front of him 5 out of 7 days of the week. He will test your patience. He will make you question yourself and your parenting abilities. But more than any of that, he will make you a better person. He will give you the title of mommy, and you will wear that title with pride.

Because pride is the feeling in your heart when you look into the innocent eyes of the little human being that you created. Pride is the feeling in your heart when your little human shouts an enthusiastic “HI!!” to the sad stranger walking by and manages to make that stranger genuinely smile. Pride is the feeling in your heart when your little human figures out a new word or follows a new direction.

I will not lie, motherhood is just as scary as you’re expecting it to be. You’re faced with decision after decision and you won’t know if you’ve made the right decision until after the choice has been made. You will make mistakes, but there is no mother who hasn’t. You will do your best, and at the end of the day, that is what your son will see.

Rest up, for motherhood is exhausting, and like a guard dog, you will never truly sleep. But for every night of 2am wakes up, there is a morning of sweet snuggles. For every tantrum in the middle of the grocery store, there is a playful dance in the middle of the living room. For every time that you look in the mirror and miss your old body, there is a happy little boy running around as reminder that the changes were worth it. For every doubt you have, there is a sweet little hug as confirmation that maybe you really are doing it right.

During the quest to be a better parent, Google will be your best friend and your worst enemy. So will social media. You will find yourself constantly comparing yourself to other mothers, forgetting that your life does not need to look like anyone else’s. You will struggle to allow your little one to leave the protection of the safety bubble that you’ve created for him (even if it’s just playing on the jungle gym with another toddler). As cliche as it may sound, follow your heart. Follow your mother instincts. They will always point you in the right direction.

Of all the titles you can have in this world, mommy is certainly one of the best. I know that at this time, the only thing scarier than the idea of giving birth is the fear of being a bad parent. But fear not, for epidurals are a gift from the heavens and the happiness that motherhood fills you with will forever outweigh any worries you may have.

I guess all of this can really be summed up with this: motherhood is awesome (even if it doesn’t feel that way in the midst of a restaurant tantrum). Don’t be afraid, be excited. For there is a little boy who is about to REALLY make life interesting.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

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When I have kids…

“When I have kids, they will never throw fits in public”.

“When I have kids they won’t be picky eaters”.

“When I have kids they will be off the pacifier before they turn one”

“When I have kids I’m going to breast feed for at least 9 months”.

When I have kids… When I have kids… When I have kids. We have all said it or thought it AT LEAST a few times prior to poppin em out. But when they’re actually standing there in front of you screaming and throwing their body all around in public because you gave them a yellow tortilla chip instead of a blue one, anything you thought about “when you have kids” just flies out the window. Because the truth is, sometimes your kid is going to throw a fit in public for absolutely no obvious reason, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Sometimes your kid is going to refuse to eat the healthy freshly cooked breakfast you set in front of him, but will happily eat the sweet potato cereal puffs that have been sitting in his snack container for a week. Sometimes giving your kid their pacifier when it’s the only thing that will get them to sleep is the best option you’ve got, and sometimes your milk production slows down far before you’d planned it to.

Nothing about parenthood is predictable, but that’s the beauty in it. “When I have this kid, I will love him more than anything in the entire world”… I thought to myself often as I watched my son somersault around in my tummy. But it is impossible to understand or predict how overwhelmingly true that is until your little one is snuggled up next to you in bed saying “mama” as he nestles his head into your neck. Every fit, every tantrum, every ‘hand in the toilet for the third time today’ incident is instantly forgotten with one sweet little smile.

Last week while on vacation in Newport, my husband and I took our son to breakfast. The establishment was full of business folk looking for a little peace and quiet before starting their busy work days. And what a surprise… Our son spent the entire 30 minute meal screaming because he didn’t want the strawberries and potatoes that we got him. We both left in somewhat of a bad mood, only to take him back to the hotel room in which he threw another giant fit because he couldn’t play in the bathroom. Right as I hit my limit, my son started crawling around on the floor uttering the sweetest “meow” sounds I’ve ever heard, pretending to be a kitten. And just like that, I’d forgotten about all of the chaos and all of the times that I had ever been ridiculous enough to think “when I have kids, they will never misbehave in a restaurant”.

The next day, my husband had to tend to business in the area, so I decided to have a day date with my son. I found a Barnes and Nobel near the hotel, got my ice coffee, and took him to the kids section of the store. It all was going great for the five whole minutes leading up to the moment in which my son found a toy that he wanted. I told him “no”, to which he responded “BYE!!!” and took off running towards the elevator with said toy. As I went to chase him, the weight of my purse on the back of the stroller caused it to tip backwards, sending my coffee flying and giving my son just enough time to reach the elevator. I jumped into the elevator and swooped him up just before the doors closed. And yet somehow after all of that, we left the store that day with a stuffed animal in hand, despite the many times in which pre baby me thought “my kids will never get rewarded for bad behavior”. But you know what? After the elevator incident, he cuddled up in my lap for a few sweet moments of book reading…found a stuffed animal he liked… imitated the sound that he thought it made….and then nodded his head yes so very enthusiastically when I asked him if he was going to be a good boy. So yes, I bought my baby that souvenir polar bear stuffed animal (that he thinks is a cat). And what do you know… He was a perfect angel baby for the rest of our day date and that stuffed animal has been his favorite possession ever since.

My point in all of this is that in the parenting world, things don’t always go to plan. Even if you are an over the top organized planning freak like me, shit happens (literally… sometimes your kid is going to poop in their diaper just as you’re walking into dinner). Going against all of the “when I have kids…” that pre parent you ever uttered does not make you a bad parent, it makes you a completely normal parent… A completely normal parent who is learning and evolving…A completely normal parent who is doing your best… A completely normal parent who probably deserves a really long bath, an early bed time, and a pat on the back (or a rub on the back if your significant other is feeling generous).

Cheers,

T.W.C.

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Liam and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Twos.

“Do NOT throw another piece of chicken into my water”, I told my son as I returned to my dinner after rinsing out the chicken that he had thrown into my glass moments earlier. I had spent an hour and a half preparing a lovely feast for my family and after a long day of errands and toddler chasing, all I wanted was to enjoy a warm meal. And yet what do you know… In the split second between setting my water down and picking my fork up… *plop* another piece of grilled chicken sat in my water cup. Normally I might have found this slightly amusing. Maybe even funny. But not at the end of the week I’d just had. You see…my son has hit early onset terrible twos. Dun dun dunnnn.

Funny to think that just a couple of weeks ago, I was writing away about what great behavior my son had been displaying. It was fun while it lasted.

I completely understand why the terrible twos exist. My little man just reached the age in which he is no longer a baby, but still cannot fully express himself the way that he wants to. I’m sure it’s frustrating and for that, I give him as much patience as I can. However that being said… The terrible twos are taking EVERY ounce of patience that I have.

My son’s most recent fits have included riveting displays of drama following me telling him:
-that he could not consume a bottle of hot sauce.
-that I would not put his socks back on after he had pulled them off three times
-not to roll over my toes with his golf club catty
-not to eat lotion
-to stop chewing on DVD cases
-And of course… me telling him it’s nap time.

His fits last for anywhere from one minute to twenty minutes or so, and his favorite place to throw them of course is in the middle of large public settings. The fits include him dramatically throwing himself to the floor, some sort of fake crying/screaming combo, attempts at hitting the adult responsible for ruining his fun, and my personal favorite… Running off towards the laundry room, slamming the door, and pouting in the corner between the washing machine and the wall.

So what is a parent to do? My only answer… The best we can. Just like the ‘waking up every two hours’ phase and the ‘spit up on 6 outfits a day’ phase and the ‘I’m going to suddenly start waking up three times a night despite the fact that I’ve been sleeping through the night for a year now’ phase, this too is just that… a PHASE. He might test my patience and I might still have a bruise on my forehead from the fit fueled head butting that took place last week, but at the end of the day, he is a toddler. He is growing both mentally and physically. He is frustrated. He is testing boundaries and learning what he can and cannot do in this world. It is my job to guide him into understanding right from wrong. It is my job to teach him manners and to teach him to communicate what he wants in the best way that he can. But most of all it is my job to love him. Through every fit, through every tantrum, through every melt down, the best I can do is show him love. Show him understanding. Show him patience. Even if that means collapsing into my bed at 8pm due to the pure exhaustion that all that patience has brought on.

I have to look back at the pre baby me and laugh at the fact that I once told myself that ‘one day when I had children’, the terrible twos would not phase me because I was a two year old pre-school teacher with enough experience to tame any unruly child. HA! The truth is, no amount of experience will prepare you for the day your child throws an Oscar award winning level of fit in the middle of a small restaurant at ten in the morning. No amount of experience will prepare you for the first time your child violently throws a cup at you because you told him he had to finish his lunch before he could play in the backyard. And no amount of experience will prepare you for the feeling in your heart when at the end of a horrendous tantrum, your toddler walks up to you, wraps both little hands around your neck, and gives you a big fat slobbery kiss. Nothing can prepare you for parenting…No amount of experience or reading or advice. Parenting is simply about taking it one day at a time..one tantrum at a time.. One hug at a time..doing whatever feels right, and hoping and praying that you’re doing a good job of it.

Earning my title of Whine Connoisseur one early onset terrible twos tantrum at a time!

Cheers,

T.W.C.

PS: Now accepting all offers to babysit my son 🙂

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03.17.2015

I remember when my son hit the ‘how many toes can I fit in my mouth at one time’ stage, thinking to myself, “man, I don’t know if he can get any cooler than this’. Then when he hit the ‘gotta test my vocal range’ stage, I remember recording video after video and thinking to myself “man, NOW I don’t know if he could get any cooler than this”. Then he hit the walking stage and somehow managed to get even cooler. Now he’s in the ‘let me say bye to every person that walks past me ever’ and the ‘let me show everyone that wants to interact with me where their bellybutton is’ stage and oh my goodness I truly don’t know if this kid can get any cooler.

Liam was not the easiest baby. With a curiosity often too much for his own good, he became easily frustrated at the fact that he was unable to physically do the things that his mind wanted to do, and this frustration caused fit upon fit upon fit. It was frustrating to watch him be so frustrated, but at last, I think he has finally reached a stage where not only is his body capable of doing what his mind wants it to do, but more than that, he is more cognitively aware of what he is actually capable of doing.

Of course, my favorite new ‘Liam trick’ is his ability to show that he completely understands what I’m saying to him and to follow directions. “Lets go upstairs to change your diaper” I say… and he takes off running to his diaper changing table. “Lets put your shoes on to go outside” I say… and he goes to the closet, says “go, go”, grabs his shoes, and waits on the steps for me to help put them on. “Lets take a bath” I say… and he frolics towards the bathroom saying “ba! ba!” (which sounds a lot more like bath when you hear it in person). I feel as though each day I discover a new direction that he understands and a new word that he can pronounce. We’ve hit a major learning milestone and this kid is charging full speed ahead.

As my son’s various skills, tricks, and developments gain speed, so does everything else in our lives. My husband has been on back to back business trips, winning over one hotel at a time with his undeniably contagious smile and smooth mannerisms. Last week he successfully finished the first half of realty school, meaning that after just eight more weeks and the passing of his licensing test, I will officially be married to a Real Estate agent//linen and terry salesman. A random combination, yes… but this wife couldn’t be any more proud!

My husband and I continue to work hard towards living the healthy lifestyle that we promised ourselves at the beginning of this year. Down nearly 40 pounds between the two of us, we continue to push on. With the combination of P90X and a workout routine that I put together myself (we call it the only logical title… Bailie’s Assercize), we are pool ready and feeling confident. For the first time since gaining my pregnancy weight, I am happy to look in the mirror. I am happy to get dressed for the day. I am happy to go try on new clothes. I am happy with myself, and man does it feel great. I cannot obnoxiously preach enough about the importance of living a healthy life style. It takes less time to throw together a shake with some almond milk, bananas, peanut butter, and protein powder, than it does to get in the car and drive down the street to taco bell. It costs less money to scramble some eggs with some sauteed peppers than it does to buy a breakfast combo from Mcdonalds every day. Minor changes can lead to huge improvements. It’s just a matter of taking that first step and having the motivation and discipline that it takes to follow through. Not only will you be happy to have a ‘hot bod’ for pool season, but you’ll be even happier when you are capable of frolicking around at 70 years old telling everybody that “70 is the new 30”.

In other news, my husband and I have developed an unhealthy Game of Thrones obsession. I’m not kidding… we are obsessed in every form of the definition. We blew through the first three seasons in about 3.5 weeks and the only thing stopping us from blowing through season 4 is that Amazon seems to be taking its time to deliver it. It is March and we have already planned our entire family’s Halloween costumes around the series, and I don’t think I’ve been able to have a single conversation in which a Game of Thrones reference is not made. We haven’t even started the new House of Cards season because we do not care about a single other show on the planet at the moment. And I’m not even embarrassed. It’s THAT good.

So life continues on (although it may end when Game of Thrones does). Busy has become the new normal in our household, and while it can sometimes feel chaotic, it is a happy kind of chaos. My baby is full of new developments, my husband is handsome and highly motivated, and I… I have not one complaint about life. Other than the fact that Game of Thrones season 4 needs to be in my mailbox like, yesterday. We stocked up our wine rack last weekend, I made a super successful Trader Joes run this morning, my son finally sees the enjoyment in cuddling up on the couch, and my husband returns from a business trip tomorrow. Life is good, and that’s all there is to it.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

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02.24.15: A february update.

I should probably change my blog’s description to “occasional blogger”, since clearly blogging consistency is just not my thing. It’s not that I haven’t tried, really. It’s just that this afternoon my son woke up literally the SECOND I sat down to work on this post. Yesterday my small amount of ‘free time’ (if that’s what you would call it) was taken up doing the backed up dirty dishes in the sink and being taught by my sweet but very bossy Italian grandpa how to ‘properly’ cook chicken. The day before that was meal prep day and the day before that was errand running day and the day before that was pretend you didn’t wait until last minute to do all of your homework day and the day before that I told myself I would write this blog post no matter what… until my son decided he should dive all over my laptop… and the day before that we were on a last minute business trip in Santa Barbara. You get the gist. As much as I would love to sit down and provide updates and stories and recipe ideas and advice and all of the other fun and adorable things that super mom bloggers write about… I just have not had the time, and probably will continue to not have the time until this semester of school comes to an end.

So here we are, several long weeks since my last post. Our time has been spent partly trying not to think about the hamburgers that we could be eating instead of the turkey vegetable patties that we are actually eating. We continue to work out 6 days a week (mostly) and as exhausting as it has been, we have found much success with the p90x3 workout routine. Now personally down 12 pounds, and my husband down another 15 or so, we are finally seeing the progress that felt so far away just two short months ago. Adding green tea to our nightly routine has seemed to make a big difference in our fat burning ability and getting to bed at an earlier hour has made an incredible difference both mentally and physically. I have picked up a love and appreciation for essential oils, and although I am still stumbling my away around which oil to use for what, at least the oil diffuser makes our house smell pretty freaking good in the meantime. Keeping our goals in mind, we are pushing along. Between the focus on our healthy lifestyle and our focus on both finishing up school, we are left with very limited free time. My husband is just one class away from taking his real estate licensing exam and all that we seem to be able to think about are the exciting new adventures on the horizon. All I can say is that there are two well deserved (probably low calorie) drinks with our names on them once pool season is upon us!

In more interesting news, my son has recently added moon and night night to his vocabulary, while also getting a little bit better at not calling everything on his face an eye. He has gotten surprisingly good at following directions (when he wants to) and has figured out how to open the fridge and bring us the apple juice container when he’s thirsty. This kid has a love for the outdoors like I have never seen before, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have a backyard for him to frolic around in. Other than throwing our backyard rocks down the garbage disposal and crunching leaves all over the freshly swept patio, Liam’s favorite new past times have included dancing the most adorable of dances to any and all types of music, along with with a love for all things with four wheels. He points at airplanes and says “oooooooh!” and he can down a bowl of mac n cheese as though he’s in a food eating competition. We gave the potty a try the other day, but he thought that big porcelain bowl of water was the scariest thing he ever had to sit on… so we probably won’t be trying that again for a while.

As we enter this weekend, I look forward to my upcoming birthday celebration. I honestly could not tell you the last time that I had a night out with my friends and I am looking forward to it so very much. My blessing of a grandma is taking Liam for the night so that my husband and I can join our friends for a night of good food, good drinks, and good times. The reservations are set, my outfit has been picked, plans for the taxi that we will inevitably need have been made, and my nail appointment has been scheduled. All that comes between me and my celebration of 23 years of life is a few long week days, probably several rounds of dishes, a couple of homework assignments, and some dreaded workouts. But hey, it will make the days go by quicker… maybe? Kind of? Sort of? Probably not, but one can hope! In the meantime I will continue to fantasize about the cheat donut that I am going to consume the second I wake up on Saturday.

I’ve held my son hostage in his high chair for a few minutes too long now, and the second his strawberries are gone, I know the protesting will begin. With that, I will wrap this up and return to my mom duties/master chef dinner preparing duties with the pride of a blog post finally done!

Cheers,

T.W.C.

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Tis the season for pumpkin lattes and moving.

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The Las Vegas heat is finally subsiding and I’ve made my first batch of potato soup of the fall. I can finally justify wearing a sweater as I make breakfast in the morning and my little man has been sleeping in footsie pajamas. Fall is here and I couldn’t be more welcoming of it.

These past few weeks have been a bit hectic around our household after finding out that our landlord wanted to sell our current home. The house hunting began, and after viewing 15 homes (and chasing Liam up and down the stairs in each and every one of them), we finally found the perfect one. We had initially been upset about the idea of moving out of the home that we brought our son home from the hospital to. The home that housed so many of our family’s ‘firsts’. However, our new place is quite the upgrade from our current little two bedroom condo, and as moving day gets closer, I have become increasingly excited. As we remove the personal touches from our current home, it begins to feel less and less like we live here, and all that I can think of is how things will be in our new home. All the space we will have.. The backyard to play in.. The front porch to share coffee on.. The fire pit to drink wine around. We move towards the end of October, and I feel as though the end of a month has never felt further away. I know there is days and days worth of packing to do and I should appreciate the preparation time that I have, but impatience has gotten the best of me.

In the meantime I am left to daydream. I have at least 10 tabs pulled up on my computer at all times of various home goods sales that I am waiting to pounce on. I have been checking local puppy adoptions constantly in anticipation of the new puppy we plan on bringing into our new home for Christmas. I sit in bed awake at night figuring out where each piece of furniture will go in the new place and where each picture frame would look best on the walls. My daydreaming and fantasizing is ridiculous and out of control to say the least.

Between packing and daydreaming however, my family and I have been able to enjoy the peaceful coolness of the fall air. Our evening walks have increased and despite my hesitance to join the ‘basic white girl pumpkin spice’ bandwagon, we may or may not have purchased several pumpkin lattes in the last couple of weeks. My husband and I had the opportunity to attend a lovely outdoor wedding and ‘birthday season’ for my husband and many of our friends is quickly approaching. The pumpkin patches are finally being set up around town and the evenings are at last cool enough for me to wear sweats. I may be impatient and anxious, but being impatient and anxious isn’t so terrible when you’ve got such beautiful fall weather and activities to surround yourself with.

Although I will do my best, as moving day slowly approaches, you will probably continue to hear little from me as I’ve got packing to do, pumpkin patches to visit, and Halloween costumes to put together. I’m sure I will have blog posts galore of stories to tell and photos to share, but for now I am going to enjoy my favorite time of year with my favorite people and I encourage you all to do the same.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

The Mom Life is the Only Life for Me.

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I haven’t been blogging much lately, and I could go into another story about how busy I’ve been, or I can just tell you that I’m a mother. I’m a busy mother who cleans and cooks and teaches and plays and at the end of the day I just cannot always bring myself to write a blog post about all of the things that are keeping me so busy.

I often find myself feeling guilty for not doing more. Not writing more. Not photographing more. Not working out more. Not seeing my friends more. Not cleaning more. Not…doing…more. But then I look at my energetic little guy frolicking around the house, just happy to be playing with mama amongst his ever growing pile of toys, and I think that maybe I have done enough. My role as a mother is to raise a happy child, and I think it’s safe to say that I am in the process of doing just that. All that other stuff is just icing on top of the big cake of being a stay at home mom. The messes will be there to clean tomorrow, and my blog posts will eventually get written, but my son is one year and 2 months old today, and there will never be another day where he is that age. That tiny. That innocent. These days of cuddles and tickles will soon turn into days of high fives and baseball practice. When that eventually happens, I will do that extra load of laundry and workout every day, and maybe even finally return an old friends phone call. But for now, my baby is just a little guy who wants nothing more than to hang out with his mommy. And so that is what we will do.

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself involved in a conversation during which the person I was speaking to asked “how do you do it? You’re too young to stay at home with a baby all day”. The sassy Italian in me wanted to respond “you’re too old to be out partying all night”, but I refrained. The real answer is that yes, I’m young, but what are most young people doing? Trying to find their purpose in life. Trying to give their life a meaning. I’m just fortunate enough to have already found mine.

I remember when I was little, people would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, and the answer that first popped into my head was always “a mom”, but instead I replied with an assortment of careers that society deemed respectable. You see, even as a child I was made to feel that simply “being a mom” was not enough. You have to be more. You have to do more.

But I am a maid. I am a cook. I am a personal assistant. I am a caregiver. I am a teacher. I perform the tasks of multiple different careers all in one day, with no “days off”, and yet there are members of society that make me feel as though simply being a mom is not enough? This thought had me temporarily aggravated… Then, my son came waddling into the room holding out his fake telephone and saying “ello?”, and I remembered why I do all of this. Because it makes him happy. It makes my husband happy. It makes me happy.

Being a mom is what I do best. I care too much and I love to organize and cook meals and have full conversations with babbling one year olds. Diapers don’t bug me (unless there’s 4 poops in a row, then we have a problem), watching Disney movies is my favorite pastime, snuggling is my forte, and cleaning up messes makes me feel oddly content.

There is no doubt in my mind that living “the mom life” is exactly what I am supposed to be doing, and when you’re doing what you love, it is always enough.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

Being Happily Frustrated is a Thing

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Every single night Monday through Friday, I make dinner.. we go for a long walk.. we put my son to bed. Two minutes into hitting the bed, he passes out and remains passed out until the morning. Tonight was different. You see, tonight, we had a friend over. Overcome by the excitement of seeing a face  other than mom and dad’s, my son jumped from couch cushion to couch cushion showing off for our friend. Eventually his bed time arrived, so I prepared him milk and took him to bed as I always do. Seconds after tiptoing away, the screaming began. I knew he was tired. I knew he was ready for bed. I also knew that he was filled with excitement for the small change in routine. I went to his room and decided that tonight I would rock my baby to sleep as I did when he was just a little guy. As I held him in his rocking chair, listening to the sound of his sleepy sighs, I couldn’t help but to smile at the fact that my little boy was simply so happy that he could not bare the thought of sleep. I find myself doing this constantly through out each day.. smiling at something slightly frustrating that my son does. I mean, of course I wanted my son to go to sleep. I had had a long day with him and was tired myself, and wanted him to easily fall asleep just as he would any other night… But his little baby brain was filled with so much happiness at the fact that we had a visitor. Who was I to be upset about that?

Just yesterday, my husband and I watched as my son learned to climb the couch. And I don’t just mean climb on to the couch.. I mean climb up and walk around and climb over and crawl under the couch. He will go from one end of the sectional to the other, running as fast as his little baby legs will carry him, laughing the entire way as my husband and I hold our breaths in frightened anticipation of a fall. Initially, I had told my son no. No couch, no couch, I told him repeatedly for fear of having him fall off. But then I realized that he is a baby and the couch is new and walking is new and the world is new and he just wants to explore it all. And so I let the climbing begin. I obviously monitor him, however, I let him run free for the most part… and free he runs. I have never seen that boy happier than when he pounces around on those cushions. It is scary and it was originally somewhat frustrating… but it is also adorable and for that, it makes me happy.

We have recently found that my son seems to be really working his “problem solving skills” as well. He has had an obsession with the light switch for his closet since he could see what it was. For months I have watched him stand on the floor looking up at it with interest. The other day I was doing dishes in the kitchen, and decided that my son was far too quiet for my comfort levels. I went to his room and discovered that he had climbed on top of his play table and had managed to finally reach the light switch that he had longed for. My initial reaction was to lunge towards him in fear that he would fall off. My following reaction was to be absolutely amazed and proud at his newly found problem solving skills. I eventually took him down, but only after spending a few minutes standing next to him watching the pure joy on his face as he flipped the light on and off.

Then there was the diaper incident. Anything titled the diaper incident just cannot be good. Ever. My son has been struggling with a bad diaper rash recently, and my husband and I have tried our best to change each diaper within minutes of soiling. But sometimes you’re busy being a mom/housewife and you’re cooking dinner while simultaneously doing laundry and you just cannot change your babies diaper at that very second in time. So.. my son took matters into his own hands. He removed his diaper, and the discovery went a little something like…

husband: nooooooo… liam took his diaper off! Pooooooooop. Pooooooop! Hellllppppp!

You can fill in the details from there. We found ourselves so initially frustrated at the fact that he would remove his dirty diaper in the middle of the living room.. then, we realized.. it was really intelligent for him to recognize the problem and figure out what to do about it. I’m by no means saying that I find it appropriate for my son to take his dirty diaper off in the middle of the room, however, I can recognize how smart it was for him to recognize that his dirty diaper was causing his discomfort and that the solution would be to get rid of the dirty diaper. Again, slightly frustrating… but pretty freaking smart.

Since the beginning, we knew that our son would be a testy little one. He does not like boundaries, he laughs at the word no, and he enjoys doing things that he knows he shouldn’t. He has the energy of 5 babies and the charm of a puppy (along with the desire to eat out of a trashcan like a puppy). He is sometimes frustrating and nerve wracking and daring but he is also the most adorable thing I have ever seen and he fills me with so much joy that I find myself with goosebumps at the thought of how happy he makes me.

In my entire life, I would have never paired the words happy and frustrating… These were always two entirely different emotions to me. Then I became a mom. Children will test you. They will push you to your farthest limits. But they will also make you smile bigger than you ever thought possible. They will make you cry with happiness. They will make you live in the moment, and they will open your eyes to how quickly each day passes. You find yourself staring at the perfect little human that you created, and no matter how frustrated they may make you, at the end of the day, they are still your perfect little human.

Cheers,

T.W.C

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When did “discipline” become a bad word?

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When I became pregnant, I was young, scared, and paranoid that everything that could go wrong would go wrong. I ran out and bought a baby heart monitor that I would lay In bed with every night. I bought the pregnancy books and I had a new list of questions for my doctor every visit. One of my biggest ways of coping with my constant fears and questions was pregnancy chat forums like babycenter and circleofmoms. On these sites, I could find women with all of the same crazy questions and concerns as me. Not sure if that’s gas or a baby kick? There’s a forum for that. Is being this tired normal? Forum for that. Can I eat that food? Forum for that. These forums helped calm my nerves and guided me through my pregnancy complications and bed rest. After enjoying these forums so much while pregnant, I naturally turned to them as well once my son arrived, but I’ve quickly become more and more disappointed by what I’ve found on these sites.

I recently began having issues with my son while at restaurants. The second he turned one, it was as though a switch was flipped and he suddenly began acting out at restaurants in a way that was obviously disturbing to those around us. It upset me that not only was I being glared at by those around me, but even more, it upset me that nothing I did to soothe my son seemed to work. Being a first time mom, I had no idea what to do in these situations, so I went to the internet in an attempt to seek advice. Upon finding an open forum started by a mom with the exact same issue as me, I was completely disappointed with the responses I found. Fellow mothers were taking over the forum and absolutely destroying the mother who simply wanted advice as to how to teach her child to behave in a restaurant. One mothers response in particular stood out to me. She said something along the lines of “you are a terrible person for trying to train your child. Children should not be trained, they are not pets”. Excuse me? Since when is teaching your child good behavior and proper manners  treating them like a pet? Has the current generation of child raisers become that morphed in their thinking that they view discipline as an abusive practice? I would like to apologize to anybody offended by my thoughts on this matter, but I can’t, because I truly am not sorry for thinking that children should be raised to grow into respectable adults.

I am honestly nervous about the future my son will face. Raising a well behaved and respectful child is proving to be a more and more difficult task when surrounded by a world of new age parents who view teaching respect and good manners as an abusive practice. Teaching your child right from wrong.. Teaching your child how to behave in public.. Teaching your child to respect.. These are things that I feel are common sense, and by no means does teaching my child these things mean that I love him any less. While I realize that he is still young and is unable to communicate his feelings, it is my job to use my judgement to determine how to respond to the situation, and it is my job to respond in a way that my young son will understand. It is not mean to encourage my son to have good behavior… it is mean to allow him to grow up thinking that he is free to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. I feel as though there is a very negative connotation tied to the idea of “disciplining” your child. Discipline does not have to be harsh and it does not have to be mean. Discipline and good behavior can one hundred percent be taught through love, respect, and understanding.

I have found that raising my child is not simply me raising my child. It feels as though there are always watchers. If I tell my child no in public, there are parents who look at me as though I am cruel. If I let me child do what he wants in public, there are parents that look at me with disgust. There is no way to please everyone, so with each day and each public outing, I am left to make a decision not for the public, not for me, but for my son. I want my son to grow in to a strong, respectable, polite man. I could choose to overly baby him now. I could choose to let him do whatever he wants. I could choose to let him call the shots. But when would that end? At what point would he suddenly become the respectable man that I wish for him to be? It does not just suddenly happen. Good behavior is something that starts young. It is something that must be taught, and it is something that takes time. So what better time to start than now? I am not “training my child like I would a dog”, as the forum mother said. I am simply teaching my child to be a good person, and I am doing my best to teach my child that in a way that he understands.

I would like to know what other moms think about this topic. I am not here to argue, and I am completely open to hearing all opinions. As I’ve said before, I am a first time mom. I am stumbling my way through parenthood and hoping I making the right turns along the way. If you have any thoughts on this matter, I would love to hear them.

Cheers,

T.w.c.