Admissions of a Tired Mom – Part 6

1. I bought more personalized stationery.  I couldn’t help it.  It has rainbow unicorns on it.  (Yes, I am aware that I am 37 years old.) It also has woodland creatures.  And apparently I have a thing for woodland creatures.
Unicorny.  This is the Animal Tale stationery from Tiny Prints.

Unicorny! Animal Tale stationery from Tiny Prints.

2. Those big crystals of sugar they put on the top of muffins? I HATE THEM. Stop wrecking my muffins!
muffin

 

3. I wrote a list of things that I really should do to make my life feel more comfortable, well-rounded and full.
  • Read – really read – a poem every day (or heck, at least once a week).
  • Have fresh flowers around.
  • Grow something (not just children).
  • Have a nice bed.
  • Eat more fish and more green things.
  • Go to the theatre – and not just musicals.
A pretty good list.  And while my mattress IS of legal drinking age and needs to be put out of its misery, my list also offered me some lovely perspective. It doesn’t contain items like survive, heal, or feel respected and loved so maybe I’m doing alright.

 

4. I’m pretty sure most people drink too much water, or think they need more water than they do. Really.

 

5. My mom was right about a lot of things:
  • As you get older, your hair gets less greasy. Thankfully, true! 
  • You should keep track of the Christmas presents you give, so you can keep things even and avoid giving the same gifts 2 years in a row. Yes. You think you will remember, but you won’t.
  • There is value to comfy undies. Duh. I have no idea why my sister and I fought her on this one.
  • Sometimes you will forget which baby is in the baby picture. I didn’t think it was possible to be unable to recognize your own children in photos, but sometimes I’m baffled even though I birthed them!
A Pickle, a Plum and a Pistachio.  Who is who?!  I have no idea!  (Actually I do, because I assembled the collage, but you get my point...)

A Pickle, a Plum and a Pistachio. Who is who?! I have no idea! (Actually I do, because I assembled the collage, but you get my point…)

Plum is Three

My dearest Plum, 

Sweet Baby Girl

I was about to write your brother’s “Happy Birthday” post when I realized that I never wrote one for you.  Alas, your March birthday – right in the thick of winter and our family’s craziest time of year – means that your big 3rd birthday recap is 2 months late.

 Birthday #3

The way I feel about you, the way I love you is difficult for me to type out in words. Not just because the feelings are so big, but because you are a complicated and amazing little person.

 Bed head

You are my girl.

Love this Goofy gals Mom love

You are so able to go with the flow. Until you aren’t.  

image (2)

You know what you want. 

Anna loves balloons (1)

We never have to wonder about what you’re feeling, though I often wonder what you’re thinking.

All style (1)

You have worked so hard lately to understand your very big feelings.  I’m so proud of you for this. And I’m so proud of how you’ve put words to them.  

Joyful (1)

Sometimes you thrive on your successes, working to be a big girl.

She found a highlighter (1)

Sometimes you choose to do whatever the heck you feel like.  I love this about you, although it can make parenting you a challenge.

So serious.

You challenge me, you always have.  I hope I help to guide you to good choices, without tamping down your spirit, your pluck, your voice.

My Anna (1)

You are silly.  You ask good questions.  You are learning how to be in charge of yourself. 

Joyful Anna

You are brave. Not a daredevil, but brave. Braver than I ever was.

Edits-0074

Your waters run deep, my little girl.  This is so very obvious to me, and perhaps why it is hard to describe and define you. 

DSC_0421 (1)

I am sometimes too hard on you – and perhaps expect too much. After all you are only 3.  I’m not sure why I do this – maybe because we’re so different, or maybe because we’re so alike.

 Outside fun. Spring finally (1)

Happy birthday dearest Plum, you are my heart.

Things I Love Thursdays

I’m a sucker for stationery. Right this very minute I have 3 sets of personalized note cards sitting on my desk. And return address labels and stamps?  Don’t get me started.  

So I’m kind of geeking out about these clever letterpress cards by Sapling Press (also on Etsy). They get ideas from websites and their favorite Twitter feeds, and then make beautiful goofy cards.  

check stupidparenting milkshake   spongepumpernickle john

And a few oldies but goodies that are making regular appearances at my house at bedtime?

The princess-to-be goes on a quest to save her intended, Ronald, from a fire-breathing dragon. She outsmarts the dragon and then bids Ronald farewell after he doesn’t appreciate her efforts. He’s no prince after all – he’s a BUM.

Life gets a little boring if you eat the same thing every day, even if it is your very favorite.

Life gets a little boring if you eat the same thing every day, even if it is your very favorite.

Keep on, keepin’ on, my friends!

How quickly we forget…

A woman I know – a brand new mom – reached out on Facebook the other day to mention how much her world had been rocked by the arrival of her son.  She mentioned this without a positive or negative spin.  There was no whining or wonder, just a mom noting how much her life had changed and how much hard work parenting a newborn is.

Then came the responses. There were so many women telling her to enjoy her baby! Cherish these moments! Change is good! He is adorable! Welcome to your new normal!  Your life has been changed for the better! It is a love you’ve never known! Welcome to MY world – now you get it! You’ll miss these days when they’re gone!

Blarghggghhlll, these posts gave me reflux.

How do we forget so quickly?

Why does “We’ve done it, so can you.” sound so dismissive rather than supportive?

The subtext of so many of these types of comments seems unkind and unsupportive:

Enjoy your baby! (Stop whining. We’ve all been there.)

Cherish these moments! (Stop whining. Why dwell on the bad stuff?)

Change is good! (Stop whining. What did you expect?)

How do we forget that the newborn “new normal” is occasionally terrifying, always exhausting, and can throw a person completely off kilter, no matter how much they love the little milky, loose-skinned, froggy-legged baby asleep on their chest?

Smiling. And exhausted. June, 2010.

Smiling. And exhausted. June, 2010.

I think my poet friend’s response was best “You are doing it! And you can do it! <3 <3 <3 No subtext.  Just support and love from another new mom who isn’t so far past that newborn world-rocking that she forgets what it is like.

Because it is so hard – it is bigger, more all-encompassing than that even.  And you just do it.  You get through the days, you get through the nights. You have good moments, bad ones, lots of tired ones.  You call in your village if you have one.  Or you call your village if they are far away.  Or you call your doctor.  You accept help, pay for it, ask for it, or struggle through without it.  You do it.  You just do.

June 2010. Pickle, Baby Bear and Me.

June 2010. Pickle, Baby Bear and Me.

I’m making a promise to myself that I’ll try my darnedest not to forget the feelings, the exhaustion, the crazy way the universe shifted completely when Pickle was born.  And I promise my friends that I’ll never demand that they cherish their baby and enjoy every damn moment.  I’ll just love them, remind them of their own strength, hold them up when they need me to and bring dinner when possible.

Admissions of a Tired Mom – Part Five

1. My kids wear their shoes on the wrong feet ALL OF THE TIME.  I always tell them, but I don’t usually make them switch them if they don’t want to.

2. I dislike the word “cray” (meaning crazy).  The Brits and Aussies (Kiwis, too) are really good at slang. “Bro, this Chrimbo, I’m going to slap some shrimp on the barbie for brekkie before we open prezzies, s’truth!” (Okay, I probably butchered that a bit, but a basic translation would be “This Christmas I’m going to grill shrimp for breakfast before we open gifts.”) Cockney slang takes things to a whole amazing other level.  Americans?  We’re just not as good at slang.

3. I could eat Russell Stover pectin jellybeans until my tongue bled.  I’m not proud of this.

Nom nom nom.  Image from Russell Stover.

Nom nom nom. Image from Russell Stover.

4. I thought my brie and Juicy Juice dinner was awful.  Then I got sick, for quite some time. I lost my appetite and most of my sense of taste. So dinner a few weeks ago was croutons.  Out of the bag.  Because I couldn’t taste much.  We needed to go food shopping.  And they were crunchy.  And there. And I was tired. And I wanted to go to sleep, but I was supposed to eat something with my meds, and stay upright for at least 10 minutes (weird, instruction, right?).

Crunch.  Image from Pepperidge Farm.

Crunch. Image from Pepperidge Farm.

5. Rare moment of parenting genius? Buying my 4-year-old son a DUSTBUSTER for Christmas.  He and his sister love it.  They can carry it, it is noisy, and exciting.  They cruise around the house, dustbuster at the ready, looking for “yuckies” to suck up into its whirling vortex.  And when they suck up something they shouldn’t (there was a dollar bill on the floor?) we can simply open the DB up, and retrieve the item. And I never have to yell “Shut that thing off already!” because it is rechargeable, and needs to be plugged back in after 30 minutes of hunting yuckies. $40 very well spent.  Thanks, Santa.

Vrooooom.  Image from Amazon.

Vrooooom. Image from Amazon.

Happy Friday, and happy Spring!  Bring on the mud and daffodils!

PS – Not affiliate links, just for your convenience.

That was for me.

That extra episode of Octonauts I let you watch?

That was for you, because you’ve been helpful, patient and kind this week.

But that was also for me, because I needed 23 minutes to pack bags for tomorrow, load the dishwasher, feed the cat, and breathe, for just a second.

 

That third lullaby I sang tonight?

That was for you, because you love our rare quiet time together, my third child.

But that was also for me, because you are growing too fast, because the glider will move out of your bedroom too soon, and because your warm hand on my cheek and full face smile as I sing won’t last forever, it won’t even last the year.

 

That dance party in the kitchen?

That was for you, because you’ve been cooped up too long in this winter house and need to wiggle and giggle and move.

But that was also for me, because your shimmies, and beautifully un-self-conscious twists, hip shakes and jumps are so lovely, so silly, and so free, and someday you’ll worry more about how you look as you dance, and who is watching.

 

That late bedtime?

That was for you, so I can ease you into this time change.

But that was also for me, as you sat, gently combing my hair and we pretended to color and style, because someday soon, you’ll both be too busy to bother playing hairdresser with your mom, even if she lets you stay up late.

 

My babies, my marvelous little people, thank you for the gifts you give me every day.

three

Midweek Deep Thoughts

Have you seen Ugly Volvo‘s recent post entitled “All of my Issues With the “Goodnight Moon” Bedroom“?  It’s great.  And right on.  When you have to read the same book or listen to the same song over and over (and over), you can’t help but over analyze.  My children are currently obsessed with the Kidz Bop version on “Kokomo”.  (Excruciating.) The Kidz Boppers have changed the lyrics “afternoon delight” and “cocktails” to make them tamer. But they have left in the phrase “tropical contact high”.  For real?!  I shake my head in annoyance every time I hear that verse.  And then I immediately wonder “WHY AM I WASTING VALUABLE BRAIN ENERGY THINKING ABOUT THIS?!

If there is something better than the slightly crispy broiled cheese that hangs over the edge of a crock of French onion soup, I don’t know what it is.

Serious Eats recently posted a pretty amazing French Onion  Soup recipe.  This is their photo.  Click on the photo to take you to the recipe - and check out the blog post "How to Make the Best French Onion Soup" while you're there.

Serious Eats recently posted a pretty amazing French Onion Soup recipe. This is their photo. Click on the photo to take you to the recipe – and check out the blog post “How to Make the Best French Onion Soup” while you’re there.

The other day, a few gals commented on my have-it-togetherness. I found this hysterical. My hair was wet, I had just fed my kids bribery donuts, I forgot some necessary school item (like a coat for Pickle, in NH, in winter), I was exhausted and I had just discovered that the shirt I was wearing (to work) was coated in something sticky.  I didn’t feel together. At all.  I never do.  But, as these ladies noted, my kids are clean(ish) and happy and I’m pretty calm (perhaps, “tired and resigned to chaos” is a more accurate description).  Sure, I’m in desperate need of some mascara, but I’m doing alright when it comes to the big stuff. It was nice to stop for a second and reflect on that.  It was also a nice reminder that the folks I admire for having it all together probably feel the same way I do.

My little Pistachio just turned one.  He is awesome.  He is a baby optical illusion – people constantly remark on how large he is when he is actually quite average size.  He loves to dance.  He loves his brother.  He is the straight man in our family farce.  And he is a smart little dumpling who has recently started hiding his binkies, just because he can.  A few months ago I dedicated a post to him, and how often he looks at the camera, just as I snap the photo, as if to say, “Really?!”  He didn’t let me down on his birthday (see photo). But the part of that post about sleeping through the night?  Yeah, I take that back. Birthday wha?

Onward and upward, friends!