Monday, April 23, 2012

My Definition of "MOM"

When I first started staying home, I met a lot of new women.  People would ask me what I did, and my response was "I am a Creative Specialist for Domestic Development".  The reactions were always very interesting!!  People seemed intrigued by my fancy career choice!  When they begin asking questions, I filled them in on my job responsibilities...  Cooking, Cleaning, Diapers, Laundry, Shopping, Loving on my Daughter, REPEAT!  People would always laugh when they finally realized my job title was just a fun way of saying I am a Stay at Home Mom!  Home or not home, MOM has so many meanings!
When I try to define it. this is what I get...

moth·er 1  (muth-er)
1.  A woman who loves, cares, and raises their children, always providing support and compassion. 
2.  She prepares 3 meals a day (even if it is a hotdog and applesauce situation).  She sings "The Wheels on the Bus" for an hour straight to keep everyone happy in the car.   She has learned to hide the spit up stain on her shoulder with her purse strap.  Poopy diapers don't phase her, and potty training is her newest goal.  Going shopping has a new meaning, and purchases are usually not for her.  She can buckle a car seat with 1 hand.  She can locate and retrieve a sippy cup in the back seat while driving.  She's best friends with Santa, and pretty chummy with the Tooth Fairy.  She manages to shower almost every day, and on some occasions all of the kids are clean at the same time!  While she isn't without flaws, she tries her best to make sure that everyone around her is happy... even though most days, it feels like a complete waste of time. 

4.  A woman who does the work of twenty, for free!

Growing up, I never gave my mom enough credit.  I didn't realize how hard it was to be a mom until I was one myself.  I know that is generally the way it works!  On many occasions I find myself calling my mom and apologizing!  "Mom, I am so sorry for poking you in the eyes when you would fall asleep on the couch"!!  Being a mom is the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever had the chance to do.  My kids are gifts, and I am honored to get to raise them.  As much as I want to call them mine, they belong to God.  I am so lucky that he is letting me borrow them, and I hope that I make him proud.  I appreciate my mom, and as Mother's Day approaches, I find myself thinking, once again, that there really is no card or gift good enough for the occasion.  I hope my mom realizes just how grateful I am for everything she has done for me.  I can only hope that I make her proud of me as a mom too!

 - Jessica

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Abbienese Update

One of the most interesting parts of having a toddler is listening to their ever advancing vocabulary!  I thought I would update with some of my new favorite words that Abbie says all of the time!

"Oh, I load it..."              (this means she LOVES it!!)
  "Bady ok"                   (just checking on her brother!)
"Abbie do it"             (Abbie wants to do it by herself)
"I Hungry"                  (Pretty obvious... she's hungry!)
"I Big Girl"        (This means... at the moment... I dont 
                                       want my paci!)
"Big Slide"                      (She wants to go to Inflation Nation!)
"Ina watch Monsters"     (She wants to watch Monster's INC)
"Ina see Siah"                 (She wants to see her friend Josiah)
"Poopy Bottoms"            (Dirty Diaper!)
"Iant some pease"           (I want some please!)
"I hep me"                      (Help me)
"Abbie pecious"                              (Abbie is precious!)
"Go walk stoller"           (She wants to go on a walk with her baby doll stroller!!)
"Bebe"                          (Blankie)
"Aff Aff Aff"                  (It means off, or she wants something open... and she always says it 3 times!)
"Iant reasons"                (I want raisins)
"Dis one"                       (This one)
"hot coffe"                      (hot coffee)
 "I foud it"                     (She found it, and she YELLS it every time!!
"take basss"                  (take a bath)
"pay paydo"                  (play playdough)
"mommy home"             (MOMMY HOME!!!)
"daddy woke"               (daddy went to work!)
"abbie wake"                (her announcement to us every morning!  Abbie awake!!)
"it hit me"                      (Something touched her!)
"A B F G"                       (the alphabet!)
"school bus wr you"       (school bus, where are you?!?!)

I am sure I will think of some more! She has so many... the girl NEVER stops talking!

 - Jessica

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Day in the Life of this SAHM...

I was reading a story this morning that got me thinking!  Several of my Facebook friends had read an article and it was posted on my news feed.  The article was entitled "This is What a Stay-at-Home Mom Does".  Basically, someone wrote into an advice column and stated that they felt like their "friend" who was a stay at home mom, was lying about being so busy.  This person didn't understand what could be so tough about staying home!  Reading it first infuriated me, and then I realized that people who don't stay at home with their kids, or do not yet have kids... probably don't understand what a job it is to be at home.  It is a blessing, a HUGE blessing, and I am grateful that I get to do it, but it is a JOB!  So, after reading this article... I decided to document my day!  Now... I want to warn anyone who reads this... do not judge me as a mom!  It is so unfair to judge a mother.  Until you have walked in her shoes for a day... make no assumptions, and realize that everybody's situation is different.  So, this is a day in the life of me!

Wake up, it's 6am
Brady is crying and ready for a bottle...
I change him, while Derik gets a bottle ready.  Derik feeds him, and we lay back down with him in our bed
Drift off for another hour, until I am jolted awake to Abbie knocking the gate at her door over! (The babysitter didn't know how to latch it last night.)  Changer her diaper, and put her in bed where she very loudly does role call!  "Abbie's awake", "Brady's sleeping", "Mommy's sleeping", "Daddy's Sleeping"... "Get up Mommy, Get up Daddy"... she goes through all of this about 10 times!  Finally she tells us "I'm hungry", so we stumble out of bed and head downstairs.  Its now 8am, While Abbie eats breakfast, Derik and I enjoy a bowl of cereal.  After, I worked on cleaning the office for 15 min.  This room has become a junk heap and I WILL get it clean before 2013!  I work on the family calendar, and get it up to date with Derik's schedule, doctor's appts, and various meetings.  After the kitchen is clean, I take Abbie upstairs so she can color.  I use this as a teaching opportunity.  We work on colors, and I try to have her pick out the color that I say.  Eventually, she is over it... and begins playing in her room.  I give Brady some tummy time and some focused attention while she is entertaining herself!  Derik is heading to work, so we give hugs and kisses and send him off.  It's time for Brady's morning nap, so he goes down... It's now 11am.
While Brady is asleep, I do "circle time" with Abbie.  We sit on the floor pillow in her room, and sing several songs.  We talk about what day it is, and work on spelling her name.  After circle time... I let Abbie pick out her outfit, and then we fight for about 10 mins because she doesn't want to wear what she picked out!
Now she wants to play dress up, and when I pulled out the Snow White dress, I saw a spider.  I head outside to shake the spider out of the dress.  I never saw where it went... fabulous!  I go back in and make my bed and Abbie's bed.  We need to kill a little time before lunch, so we go downstairs and blow bubbles.  After bubbles, I have to mop... there are bubble circles all over the foyer!  I make Abbie's lunch, and while she eats... I feed Brady a bottle.  It's noon.
Abbie says "All Done", but with the baby in my lap, I simply wasn't fast enough!  Brady and myself were a bit startled when the plate hit the floor!  She ate all of her lunch, so the mess wasn't that bad, but I clean up, and clean her up.  Grab her blankie and her paci, and we head upstairs for nap time.  I change her diaper, and put her down, and head downstairs to change Brady's diaper.  I start a load of laundry, and Brady begins to meltdown.  I hold him for a bit, and once he is calm and ready to crash out for another nap... I lay him down.  I use the hour that they are both asleep to watch "Scandal" (one of my new fav shows), and eat my lunch.  When it goes off, I fold the first load of laundry, and catch the first 20 mins of "Grey's" before Abbie wakes up.  She asks to watch "Monsters" and eat a snack. (Monsters INC... its her favorite movie, and we have already watched it once this morning.) I need to finish laundry... so I cave and let her watch it again with a snack.  Its now 215pm.
I fold 2 loads of laundry and begin to put them away while she eats her snack.  While folding the laundry, Abbie randomly says "I love you mommy", and makes my day!  I start a load of sheets, and head up to put the laundry away.  Brady cries, its time to eat, so I stop, and feed him a bottle.  It's now 330pm.  After he eats, I go upstairs and start to put clean sheets on the guest bed, when Brady cries downstairs.  I go put his paci back in, and head back up... Abbie follows.  As I put sheets on the guest bed, because Derik's parents are coming to visit tomorrow, Abbie goes through a "Goodwill bag" in the corner, and finds some new dress-up clothes!  I return downstairs to fold another load of laundry, I'm not sure what we had left to wear... I think everything in this house was dirty!
I head up to finish putting all of the laundry away...
Abbie wants to play in her room, so I open the curtains and the curtain rod falls off the wall!  I install a new curtain rod.  (Fortunately, we had a few extra!!)  After installing the new rod, I change Brady's poopy diaper.  Abbie then come to me and says she has pooped.  I change her poopy diaper, at least they were both done at once!!!  I sit for a second to catch my breath, and check Facebook on my phone.  I HATE THE NEW FACEBOOK APP FOR IPHONE!  Abbie wants "pretty toes", so I paint her toenails, and we head downstairs.  The sheets need to be dried, and I have a load of cloth diapers to be washed... it's now 430pm.
Brady is melting down, so I try to console him, and Abbie decides the she wants to "hold you" at the same moment.  I cant hold them both, so I send Abbie to look for school buses as a destraction!  ITS SPRING BREAK!  I know there aren't going to be any school buses, but she stops crying and seems to be fine watching for them!  Brady falls asleep.  I start the load of diapers... they have to be stripped before washing, so really it is 2 loads!  When I turn around, I see that Abbie has helped herself to the animal crackers!  The best part is... she took the bag out of the box.  Took the bag to her "spot", and put the box back.  She was hoping no one would notice I guess!
I give her a few and a meltdown follows because I won't let her eat them while she watches Monsters for the 3rd time today!  I begin making dinner, and remember I am missing an ingredient... a salad for dinner sounds great!  I wash 5 bottles, while Abbie is throwing a tantrum at my feet.  This one is because I won't give her MY water cup!  Yesterday she spilled all 32 ounces of water that was in it on the floor!  She is NOT getting that cup!  In her tantrum, she spilled her animal crackers and most are now crushed.  I clean up the food that she never really wanted in the first place, and begin making her dinner.
To avoid more tears while her dinner is cooking, I send her to make mommy dinner in her kitchen while mommy makes hers. My dinner is fried popcorn & strawberries!
I FINALLY give in and turn Monsters on AGAIN because that battle never ended and I'm sick of fighting it!  She can watch it while she eats... yes that makes 3 times today!!!  SAY SOMETHING...
Brady needs a bottle, so i feed him a bottle, holding it with my chin as I finishing making her dinner!
Abbie & Brady eat dinner.  It's now 545pm.
Once Brady is content, I put him down.  Abbie is confined in the high chair so I don't run the chance of being locked out! I run to the mailbox... Score!  My new dryer balls are here!  Very exciting since I have a load of diapers to dry!  I bathe Brady while Abbie finishes up.  Once he is ready, I get Abbie in the tub!  It's 630pm now!  Abbie plays in the tub for a few, and after she is clean and "winkled" we get out and get ready for bed.
Thankfully, Brady really likes his mobile, and is entertained enough that I can get Abbie ready.  The teeth brushing is a battle tonight, not sure why!  But, after... we say prayers, and lights out...
Grab Brady... Head downstairs.  This is when I find the time to type this blog!  It was 7pm when I started, and it is now 753pm!  Abbie has gotten up twice, and Brady is ready for another bottle.  I will feed him, and then sit down to eat my dinner.  I will FINALLY manage to get a shower after I eat, and then Derik should be home!  Did I mention that I have major back issues right now, and have to ice my back with each bottle that I feed Brady?!?!  I also managed to drink almost 64 ounces of water today... my chiropractor would be so proud!!!
SO... for anyone who thinks that staying home with your kids is an excuse to sit on your butt all day... you are SADLY mistaken!  The saddest part is... today wasn't laundry day!!!

 - Jessica

Monday, April 9, 2012

He is Risen...

Easter Sunday has come and gone, and it brought some sweet memories!  While this year marked Brady's first Easter, it marked Abbie's 3rd!  Since Abbie was a bit older this year and able to do some of the fun Easter activities... we tried to fit as many as possible into our crazy schedule! 

Taking Abbie on an egg hunt was a top priority!  I knew she would really enjoy hunting the eggs, and I didnt want to deny her of that!  We headed to Hampton Oaks nursing home with our MOPS group for a BIG EGG HUNT!  The residents at the nursing home had a great time watching the kids go crazy, but my smiles were stemming from watching my little girl!  She was very quick for her age, and managed to collect quite a few eggs!  I had such a great time watching her, and she had a great time too!  Opening the eggs was by far her favorite part!  Last year we didn't get to do an egg hunt.  Easter was a crazy time last year, as we were packing our house and heading for Richmond!

Doing Easter baskets was also very fun!  We didnt tell Abbie anything about them, so they were a COMPLETE surprise to her Easter morning!  I think we plan to do it a little differently next year, as opening baskets 45 mins before church led to a MAJOR meltdown!  However, she was so excited to see the baskets, and pulled everything out piece by piece to check out all of the goodies!  Pa Wayne & Nana sent her a basket as well, and she was more than excited to have a second basket!  She didnt get an Easter basket last year either.  With the chaos of the move, who had time to shop!!!

Being that Brady is 2 1/2 months old, he didnt know or care that it was Easter, but we gave him baskets as well!  Mommy & Daddy enjoyed the candy in them, and he will enjoy the goodies sooner or later!  The bunny brought him a soft lamb, a spring outfit, teething rings, a football, and a Curious George movie!

The only thing that we didnt get to do this year, was egg dying.  But, I am not one for big messes, and I hate the smell of hardboiled eggs!!!  So... maybe we will do them next year!

Hope everyone had a great Easter holiday... we did!  It was a little more "real" this year though.  My focus on Easter, was truly the reason we celebrate, and I am so grateful that Jesus died for me, saved me, and more importantly... my kids!  I cant imagine putting my child through the trials that God put his son through.  However, I am thankful that he did...

 - Jessica