Friday, February 24, 2017

I don't want more babies; I want more time

'Oh my God, its a boy! Honey, its a boy!!' I exclaimed loudly as my husband and I sat across from each other at a diner, hands shaking as we pulled out the ultrasound pictures revealing the sex of our third baby the technician had carefully sealed in a white envelope. The smile on my husband's face, the pride and excitement he felt radiating across the table, his eyes filling with tears, 'I thought for sure it was another girl', he whispered.

'A little boy; Momma's little boy', I thought to myself, as I sat quietly beaming in my living room, my hands caressing my ever growing stomach in small circles. Our excitement was palpable; after two baby girls in 3 years, we were suddenly walking a path into unfamiliar territory. Our brains rapidly started shifting gears; it was time to sell the baby girl clothes in boxes in the basement, time to paint over the light purple room with butterflies on the wall, time to buy clothes from the little boys section I had admired from afar, afraid to get to close should my dream of shopping there never come true.

A few months later, with a closet full of little boy clothes and a grey and navy nursery complete, we brought home our perfect little man and I knew, deep in my heart, that this was the last baby we would ever bring home from the hospital. The labor pains I felt days prior were the last contractions my body would produce as it prepared to bring another life into this world, the emptiness I felt in my stomach after nine months of being filled with a growing baby was now permanent, the sweet, powerful harmony I heard as my son cried out and took his first breaths was the last that would fill my ears.

It took a few months before I felt strong enough to say the words aloud, still fearful I might regret them as soon as they left my lips, but I knew it was a conversation that needed to be had. From the moment we opened that white envelope, I had known our family was complete, that this chapter of our lives was coming to a close but saying the words, starting the conversation, took a strength I had to dig deep in my heart to find.

What I finally realized is that I don't want more babies; what I want more than anything is more time with the babies I already have. I don't want to become a Mom again; I want to be transported back to the moment I first became a Mom and held my beautiful baby girl in my arms for the first time. I have no desire to comfort another crying baby in the middle of the night; I want to go back in time to the nights my middle child screamed with colic, hold her tight and rock her calmly through the night instead of feeling frustrated and annoyed and desperate for sleep. I don't need to hear another toddler say his or her first words but I would give anything to spend another day just sitting and listening to my two year old babble, in the sweetest voice I've ever heard, as she made sense of the world around her. I don't want to nurse another baby; I want to go back to the last time I nursed my baby boy and savor the moment, hold him a little closer, breathe in his sweet scent, and enjoy every last second of our year long nursing journey.

I remember thinking, on the days that were so long and so hard and when I felt I had failed in every single way imaginable, 'they are young, they wont remember this day.' But what I failed to realize was that just as quickly as they forgot the mundane, boring days watching me do laundry and scrub bathrooms, the memories of those ordinary, quiet, beautiful moments of cuddling a baby and a toddler and reading endless stories to them on the couch would begin to fade from my memory as well.

The realization that our family is complete is so bittersweet. Holding my nieces and nephews as newborn babies will forever leave my arms aching and my heart flip flopping as I breathe in their sweet newborn smell and caress their soft cheeks. Attending my close friends' baby showers will always remind me of the excitement and joy I once felt counting down the days until my due dates as I anticipated the unknown. Watching a small toddler stumble around the park on shaky, uncoordinated legs will continue to take my breath away as I remember the first time my babies walked into my outstretched arms.

Babies have the power to heal, to give your life purpose, to force you to grow up, to transform you into a better version of yourself, and to create joy like you've never felt before....but I know, with every cell in my body, that another baby would only leave me wanting the one thing I can never get back---more time.

**Follow me on FB {Whine Thirty} and by email {link above on the right} to be sure you don't miss a word of my nonsense!**

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Life Unfiltered

Someone please tell me that I'm not the only one who, after one {too many} glasses of wine on a Friday night, finds themselves sucked into the world of Instagram and ends up obsessively clicking catchy hashtags and fantasizing about farm house sinks and ship lap and natural light streaming through windows onto perfectly stained and restored hardwood floors only to be violently snapped back to reality with one glance around my living room that, after 7 years, still has bare walls and no window treatments. All it takes is a few hours spent with Chip and Jojo on a Saturday morning to make me seriously consider either moving to Waco, TX and camping out in one of Jojo's silos until she agrees to let me on the show just to get rid of me or lighting a match and setting my house ablaze in a effort to wipe the slate clean and start this whole house thing over.

Truthfully, I wish I could be one of those people whose homes are so warm and inviting and so perfectly decorated that I felt comfortable inviting complete strangers into my world via the internet but I have 3 kids, a dog whose newest hobby is lifting a leg on my {finally} matching rugs, and a husband so trying to maintain that level of perfection would require heavy medication and more wine than my new found income could support.

In the spirit of transparency and because I'm certain {praying} there are other people whose homes make them feel as inadequate as mine does, here is an unfiltered look at my house hyped up on Insta-Crack and the reality of whats really happening behind those gorgeous curated photos we all drool over.

Instagram shot:
'Our recent basement remodel has me obsessing over clean lines and stylish ways to organize all the educational toys and learning resources my kids use everyday!' 

Real Life:
The educational toys are buried in there somewhere. 

Instagram Shot:
'Feeling so blessed as I stop and smell these fresh cut flowers after a busy morning throwing together a super simple, organic, gluten free, breakfast quiche my kids couldn't stop eating!' 

Real Life:
Why is there always a jar of peanut butter open on my counter.

Instagram Shot:
'Gallery walls are such a fun way to display family portraits! I threw this together with pieces I had just laying around my house and made the wooden arrows real fast out of my great grandmothers baby bassinet!' 

Real Life:
A trampoline, invisible window treatments, and Christmas decor that I was supposed to take down 2 months ago make this space feel both lived in and completely neglected. 

Real life is messy and cluttered and imperfect guys. Lets embrace it and stop comparing ourselves, our kids, and our homes to the mythical creatures on social media that make it look so damn easy and make us feel so damn inadequate with a single snapshot of their lives. I may not have ship lap covered walls, an open floor concept, or barn wood beams but our house is loud, full of love and I promise I always have wine...if that's not inviting, I don't know what is. 

**Follow me on FB {Whine Thirty} and by email {link above on the right} to make sure you don't miss a word of my nonsense!**

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Something More

When I started this little bliggidy blog 5 weeks ago, I had no idea where it was going to take me or if it would amount to anything more than just a tiny corner of the internet where a handful of people would visit to read my nonsense and laugh with me {or at me} as I recalled some of my favorite parenting fails and rambled on and whined about my hatred of snow days and piles of laundry and turning 30 this year.

Somehow though, its become something bigger than I could have ever imagined and as of this week, I am excited to announce that I'm officially a Contributing Writer for Disney's parenting website Babble.

Once upon a time, I had big dreams; dreams of leaving my footprint on this world and making millions and being uber successful in a corner office with a view and buying my wine at a swanky specialty store instead of RiteAid. Those dreams evaporated the day I found out I was pregnant and I did the math on how much my corner office would have to pay a college graduate with zero job experience just to break even on childcare costs.

Because that's what we do as Moms right? We sacrifice and we tell ourselves these tiny humans are more important than ourselves and we convince ourselves, day after day, that if they are happy that's all that matters. We grow them and nurture them and teach them and comfort them because being a Mom is the most important job, the most rewarding job, the only job that truly matters right? Yea well I'm calling bullshit guys. 

Over the last few weeks I've felt something I haven't felt in a really really long time--pride. I've created something, done something, for myself and by myself. My success is my own, not contingent on anyone but me. I have deadlines and contracts and spreadsheets to fill out and complete and submit. My inbox is filled with emails from people that aren't my kids teachers and Redbox reminding me its Friday and I haven't rented a movie in 3 days. I've had to put kids to bed and come downstairs to finish editing and emailing when it was quiet so I could focus and think straight without being distracted every 30 seconds.

And it all feels pretty freaking amazing.

I wouldn't change anything about the last 6 years of my life. They've been the best and hardest years of my life and I was lucky to be able to stay home with my kids and be there for them every single day. But it wasn't enough for me. It wasn't all I wanted to be. I'm telling you all what I wish someone would have told me years ago: its okay to want more. Its okay to have dreams and ideas and passions outside of your kids lives. Its okay to want more out of life than only being a Mom. Its okay to not know exactly what your 'more' is because its different for everyone and it takes time to find your way. And its okay to put yourself first every once in a while, to explore your dreams and take the steps to make it happen.

I cant say where this little dream will take me, how far I will go or for how long but, for the first time in a long time, the possibilities of what I can do seem endless. Being a mother is an honor and a blessing and so incredible....but so is the moment you receive an email that you just landed your dream job that allows you to still be a full time Mom AND be something more.

So cheers to you Mommas that are chasing after your dreams, cheers to the Mommas who are still trying to figure it out, cheers to the Mommas whose 'more' is staying home and being the best Mom you can possibly be, and screw it, cheers to me...I think I've earned it.

**Follow me on Facebook {Whine Thirty} and by email {link above on the right} so you don't miss a word of my nonsense!**

Thursday, February 9, 2017

I'm not winning this week. I'm whining.

Do you ever have those weeks where, as a Mom, you feel like you are just killing it? Those weeks where everyone is relatively happy and well behaved, you manage to clean your house from top to bottom without a toddler grabbing the toilet bowl brush and attempting to brush his hair with it, the laundry is all washed, dried, and PUT AWAY and you actually remembered to buy every essential ingredient for your dinners and execute them without flaw while getting showered with praise by your 4 year old as she proclaims it to be 'the best dinner ever!'? 

This has not been one of those weeks.

On a scale from 1 to 'My Kids Are Looking Into Legally Emancipating Themselves', this week has been a solid 7. The weather blows. Everyone is getting sick. The kids are getting cabin fever from being cooped up inside for the last 4 months. I've had a load of laundry in the dryer since Tuesday afternoon. Dinner last night was BLTs with a side of potato chips {Kettle cooked not fried so save your judgement}. We have family coming in for the weekend and I'm praying my motivation to clean the house arrives before they do. Oh, and Tuesday morning I was attempting to whine and complain to a fellow Mommy friend about the newest school fundraiser and I accidentally sent the texts TO MY KIDS TEACHER.


In my defense, it was early. I hadn't had enough coffee and my Mommy friend and my kids teachers' names both start with the letter 'K' and were right next to each other in my recent texts. But let me tell you, there's nothing that gets your adrenaline pumping harder and your hands sweating more than realizing you just sent a text to your kids teacher that reads 'Is it just me being a Psycho Mom or is this Candy Gram fundraiser super shitty? Reminds me of Mean Girls.'

Listen. I have never claimed to be a rational person. When shit hits the fan, my mind spirals faster than my hands on a wine bottle opener on a Friday night. Naturally, I started googling the other elementary schools in our area that accepted immediate transfer students and debating on actually doing my hair because, lets be honest, I never do and maybe it could suffice as a disguise during school pick up to hide my face and my shame. I immediately texted her teacher {for a third time, on a Tuesday morning before 8am} to apologize and begged for forgiveness and passing grades for my kindergartner that were a reflection of her work and not a reflection of her psychotic mother.

Thankfully, her teacher responded to me with the understanding and compassion that only a kindergarten teacher of 27 kids can possess without being heavily medicated and I quickly rescinded the offer I put in on a house in a neighboring school district.

The bonus to sufficiently embarrassing the hell out of yourself on a Tuesday morning before 8am is that you theoretically have all week to redeem yourself and turn things around. However, that load of laundry is still in my dryer, I have zero ideas for dinner tonight, my bathrooms look like a someone was trying to finger paint with blue toothpaste on the counters and all 3 of my kids were crying before breakfast this morning.

Screw winning this week. I'm embracing the w{h}ine.

**Follow me on FB {Whine Thirty} or be email {link above on the right} to be sure you don't miss a word of my nonsense!**

Thursday, February 2, 2017

I Wish I Had Resting Bitch Face

Have you ever seen those people who walk around in public and just look eternally pissed off at the world, angry to be where ever they are, and so unapproachable you kind of want to flash them a smile just to mess with them but you don't out of fear you might be the scapegoat for all their pent up animosity?

I am not one of those people.

Apparently, I have been gifted {cursed} with a face that unconsciously invites random strangers to approach me and say wildly inappropriate things to me without thinking twice. Granted, the majority of my admirers are over the age of 70 and male so there is some level of inappropriateness that I find extremely amusing and almost welcome, but most of the time, these encounters have left me wishing I could get a small case of RBF {Resting Bitch Face} and cruise through life striking fear into the souls of anyone who thinks twice about approach me. Here's a few of my all time favorite random encounters:

Awkward Encounter #1-- Picture me, 9 months pregnant, waddling around Meijer and silently cursing whoever owns Meijer for not gifting my store {and me} the blessing that is curbside service when I am approached by an innocent looking elderly gentleman in the cereal aisle.

Elderly gentleman- 'You are very pregnant! How far along are you? When is the baby coming?!'
Me- 'Yes I am. Hes due in 2 weeks but I'm praying God has mercy on me and he comes tomorrow.'
Elderly gentleman- 'Oh you wont make it 2 weeks! That baby is coming soon! You are carrying very low.'
Me- {Awkward laugh} Well lets hope so.
Elderly Gentleman- Well good luck to you! Babies are such a blessing. He is definitely coming early. I can tell. I delivered my son 50 years ago in the back of our car so if you get to the produce section and he starts coming just holler for me and I will come deliver him for you.'
Me-- 'Thank you. That's very comforting. I will yell for you if I start giving birth near the bananas.
Elderly Gentleman Who Just Offered To Deliver My Baby In The Produce Section- 'I'll keep my ears peeled just in case! Take care and good luck! Enjoy that baby!'

Awkward Encounter #2-
Me, again at Meijer because well, I'm a Mom of 3 and don't get out much, standing in line and silently cursing whoever owns Meijer and thinks its a good idea to only have 2 cashiers working when the store is busy as hell but grateful they have free wi-fi so I can scroll Facebook while I wait for three hours.

Lady behind me in line- 'Excuse me Miss?'
Me- 'Yes?'
Lady- 'Would you mind watching my cart? They never put the diet Mt Dew up here and I need my diet Mt Dew.'
Me- 'Ummm sure. No problem. The lines not moving.'
Lady- *walks away leaving her entire cart including her purse in my care as she walks to the other side of the store to find her diet Mt Dew*
Lady Whose Lucky I'm Not a Convicted Felon and or Thief- 'Thanks. I hate how they don't put these in every aisle anymore. I need my fix! *pops top on unpaid for diet Mt Dew and starts chugging*
Me- 'No problem! Don't worry I didn't have enough time to go through your purse. Haha!'
Lady Who Didn't Get My Joke- 'Yea. Okay. Good. Thanks.' *Side-eyes me like I'm the strange one in this scenario*

Awkward Encounter #3:
Standing outside my kids preschool classroom waiting for the door to open as a snowstorm reeks havoc outside.

Grandfather of kids classmate: 'Its getting nasty out there.'
Me: 'Yea I know. My husband works in Auburn Hills..I hope his drive home doesn't take forever.'
Grandfather: 'I used to work down that way too. 75 is horrible in these conditions. I wont even drive it anymore.'
Me: 'Yea there's a lot of traffic during rush hour. It usually takes him 45 minutes but tonight it will definitely be over an hour.'
Grandfather: 'I wont drive it anymore. Years ago, it was snowing like this and I started fishtailing and I bumped into a car. I tried to stop but I kept sliding so I just kept going. They were okay though.'
Me: 'Oh well that's good.......'
{Uncomfortable silence}
Grandfather: 'Don't tell anyone.'
Me: 'I wont.'

                          {The Queen of RBF}

In all honesty, my non-Resting Bitch Face keeps things interesting and I've come to appreciate the fact that there is always a possibility I might run into some more absolute nonsense that breaks up the monotony that sometimes {always} is my life. And to all my pregnant Momma's and Momma's to be: if you ever go into labor in Meijer near the bananas, call me first. I know a guy. 

**Follow me on FB at {Whine Thirty} or by email {link above on the right} to make sure you don't miss a word of my nonsense!** 
Scary Mommy