Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Domestic Goddessing Sanity-Savers

Domestic goddessing can be a drag sometimes.  It can be mundane, crazy, fabulous and terrifying all in one day.  Here are my top 5 sanity savers:

1.  Boxed Wine.  I keep a box of wine in the pantry so that I can have a glass in the evenings.  Don't be snooty- they make very good boxed wine these days and it will save you from wasting a whole bottle when you just want  a glass or two.  My faves are California Black Box, Pepperwood Grove and Bota Box.

2.  Party Music.  I keep a fun playlist of music on my I-Pod for when I'm cleaning.  It pumps me up, I get things done faster and it inevitably turns into a dance party for me and my son.  Oh- and I try to listen to kid music as little as possible.

3.  Synchronized Nap Time.  It doesn't always happen, but I work all morning for it.  Just an hour and a half to read, enjoy a cup of tea, call my sister  or enjoy silence.  Beautiful silence.

4.  Mommy Exchange.  I'm blessed to have always lived by amazing fellow stay-at-home-mommies. We trade baby-sitting once a week.  My son gets to play with buddies, and I get to run errands without his helpful assistance. 

5.  Tony Horton's 10-Minute-Trainer.  It's a hard workout- but it's short and that's all about this mommy is going to get of uninterrupted time.  I exercise during my baby's morning nap, and my son knows to play independently or  his hiney will be marched to his room.

Mr. Helpful

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dream Home and Discontent

One year ago my husband had 2 days to move to a different city and start a new job.  Since that threw us into a tailspin of decisions, we opted to rent a small house in the city until we are settled here and know where we want to live.  So, here I am, a stay-at-home-Mom in a very tiny after day...4 people sharing a bathroom the size of a postage stamp.  Don't even get me started on my closet for I might weep.  Eventually, we will buy a home with some land and we won't be crashing into each other all day.


I caught myself grumbling about it and immediately felt terrible. This isn't the first time I've been here. I know what it's like to spend years wishing for something bigger and better.  My family spent 18 years saving and planning for the "dream home"  while living in a small house that we outgrew.  I look back on my childhood, and we were always looking and praying for the perfect dream home and growing increasingly unsatisfied where we were.  I wish it wasn't like that.  I loved my childhood in our little house in the country with the occasional coon that ran amuck in the closet.  (Really, it did.  And it bit my Dad.  And I think Mom threatened to sue someone, but I'm not sure who was responsible for the rouge critter.)

I made a deal with myself that I wouldn't waste this time in our home grumbling and pouting.  Nope, I'm going to organize, rearrange, down-size and enjoy it, even when my kitchen-the-size-of-a-closet starts to get me down. 

We're making memories here- important memories.  I was 31 months pregnant in this house.  We brought our baby girl home in this house.  We learned to be a family of four in this house.   All of our family have come to visit and love on our babies. I learned how to take apart a dishwasher in this house.

Who knows, I might get my big, fancy house and miss how crowded it is here.  I might miss only having to clean one bathroom.  I might miss how our 3 bedrooms are crammed right next to each other and somehow my children are both in bed with us in the morning.  Heck, I might even miss how one person is always doing the bathroom dance while yelling at the door, "ARE YOU DONE IN THERE YET?!"

I'll wage a war on my discontent, because we're a family and that's enough.  I won't miss this time with them wishing I was somewhere bigger and better.  They are my bigger and better.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mooched Mommy Idea #16: Defeating Winter Chap

Babies with chapped cheeks bum me out.  It looks painful and I want to smear lotion all over their sweet faces.  Even if they're not my babies...which would be I keep my lotion to myself.

Winter chap and the kisses from 6 grandparents could leave my babies with red and raw cheeks, but my Mom mooched this idea when my sis and I were babies and shared it with me:

Mary Kay's Night Emmolient Cream...better known as "the pink stuff.'

It's amazing.  I would never lead you astray when it comes to beauty products, my friends.  I put the thick goo on my babies' faces every day and they have yet to get chapped cheeks or lips.  It can withstand the dryness that the winter brings and I even use it on my face if it starts to get itchy and uncomfortable.

Go buy some right away.  Your skin will thank you.  To my 3 male readers:  you are not too manly for the pink stuff, get yourself to your local Mark Kay rep immediately.

Happy baby cheeks:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Mommy Cheerleader

What are some of the things you do regularly in your practices of parenting? 

My mummy friend, Sarah, had an on-going series about this topic and invited us to join in!  And so, here is mine:

I regularly do cheers from my junior high and college cheerleading days to motivate my son.


I  had started to become a nag.  I nagged my son about hurrying to get out the door.  I nagged him again to get in the car QUICKLY.  I nagged him to get out of the car QUICKLY.  I nagged so much he finally began telling me, before I could nag,  "MOM, I'M DOING IT KLICKLY!"

And it hit me:  I did not want to be a nag.  First, who likes to be around a nag?  Second, when has constant badgering ever really had a positive effect?  I don't want his memories of his childhood to be of me, mommy dearest, shrilling at the top of my lungs for him to HURRY!  CLEAN!  WASH!  OBEY!

So, I laid to rest the nag, and I resurrected the cheerleader.  Oh yes, yours truly and her white legs cheered in junior high and college.  I remember every cheer, every move, every dance and every stunt.  I decided to use this useless knowledge to motivate my little dude.

When it's time for us to leave the house and he won't hurry?

L-E-T-S G-O, Let's go!  Let's go! 

When it's time for him to clean his toys at the end of the night and he is not interested?

Be aggressive, B-E aggressive!  B-E-A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E, aggressive!!!

Yes, I am clapping, stomping and jumping my heart out while he giggles and does what I've asked.  It changed everything, really.  We're happy when we're hurrying, when it's time to clean and any other time he lacks some motivation.  In fact, just the other day, he wanted a snack and I was reluctant to put down my book and go get it for him.

"MOMMY! " he shouted, "L-E-T-S-G-O!  Let's go!  Let's go!"

And I smiled the entire time I got his snack.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Raising a Daughter

Guy Delcambre's blog post, Saving a Little Girl, got me thinking tonight.

I have a little girl now; I think I'm still surprised about it.  I was so sure my life would be full of a herd of little boys, and then she came along:

Oh my,  how I adore this little sweet pea.  When I hold her and think about this special mother-daughter relationship that I get to have with her, I am often reduced to tears.  I want to tell her everyday how wonderful, lovely and amazing she is.  I want her to know how much her Jesus loves her.  I want her to be strong, confident and exactly who she was put on this earth to be.  I want to shield her from all of the ugly this world hurls on females.

I know the wolves will come.  They will lie to her, they will try to rob her confidence and steal her joy.  I got a small glimpse of it when a well meaning friend hoped my healthy daughter would be "thin and beautiful" when she outgrew her fat rolls.   I tried very hard not to kick my friend in the shins for such a ridiculous remark.

So I started making a plan:

I will not call myself fat.  (Idea mooched from Sarah at Emerging Mummy)
I will not refer to the little dudes in her life as "boyfriends."  (Seriously, why start that crap?)
I will encourage health; not skinny and airbrushed.
I will build her up.
Lastly, and most importantly, her father and I will stand between her and that pressure with our big Can o' Whoop Ass.  

Because she's our girl.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mooched Mommy Idea #15: The Mommy Hat

As much as it pains me to admit it, my mommy-style is somewhat.....lacking.  Yes, my friends, sometimes the effort and  the glam is simply not there.

I recently discovered a way to jazz it up a bit when I ran into a college buddy and fellow domestic goddess at the park.  She looked adorable as I was slumming it in my ponytail and Velveeta-on-my-sweatpants look.  Her look was simple, really.  She took a super-cute hat and paired it with the classic jeans and t-shirt.  That's it- and she looked fab.

I immediately went to Ross and bought 3 hats. 

It works!  No matter what I'm wearing, a stylish hat and some red lipstick rocks the mom look even if my outfit is blah.  Or splattered with baby goo.

My idea is so popular, even Angelina Jolie had to copy me:

This is what I look like now.

Of course.
Some ideas:

Tah-dah! (I apologize to my male readers for completely wasting your time with this post.)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lilah Joy's Birth Story

“Honey, take your time, cause I don’t mind, waitin’ on a woman.”
-Brad Paisley

We had been waiting for what seemed like an eternity for our little lady to arrive. My friends and family were afraid to text or call me anymore. My husband didn’t know which woman he was coming home to at night. I had tried every natural method to go into labor, and at the end gave up on it all, sat on the couch, cried and ate nachos.

I went to the point that my doctor and I weren’t comfortable waiting anymore, so an induction was scheduled. I cried for 3 days about it since I wanted an all-natural experience, but I wanted a safe arrival more so we arrived at the hospital, excited and scared, at 5:30 in the morning to start the induction. I curled my hair and everything.

I heard that Pitocin contractions were more intense, but I was convinced that I could power through it and, hopefully, deliver my daughter in a short amount of time. Seriously, I was already dilated to a 3 and my body had been labor-ready for almost 3 weeks, (my doctor had been telling me, “any second now!”) I was convinced that my body just needed a little push to get the party started.

The contractions started around 8:00. My wise and fabulous doula was there, coaching me through the pains. My husband, sister and mother took turns massaging me and encouraging me. At this point, I was still laughing and telling stories in between contractions. Natural birth? Bring it!

Then something started changing fast. I had less time in between contractions and they were at maximum intensity for way too long. I braced myself; I just knew I was in transition and I would get to push and finally meet our daughter. My doctor came in to check my progress, and I assumed she would tell me that I was dilated to a 10. I prided myself and my brave 3 hours of natural labor.  Iwas ready for the great dilation news!

“You’re still a 3.” My doctor quietly said.

And I lost it. I mean, really lost it. Like, no emotional control. I had been in horrible pain that I thought was progressing my labor, but it turns out I was just in maximum pain and still at a 3. I now hated the number 3. And I gave up, right then and there.


My husband and doula reminded me of my well-thought out natural birth plan while my loyal sister shot out of the room and yelled up and down the hall for the epidural fairy. My Mom and my doula coached me through the contractions from hell and my husband consulted with my OB. I tried to focus, but I was really trying to figure out how to rip out my IV’s and run for the door.

I continued to fall apart. I was biting the bed and yelling “MAMA!!”. (Cause when you hurt like that, only yo momma can make it better). My doula and my Mom got bossy, (I needed it), and I tried not to vomit as the contractions ripped through my body.

Anyone who came between me and an epidural at that point was my enemy.

30 agonizing minutes later- the elixir of life was coursing through my body. Apparently, it was just what I needed because I dilated from a 3 to a 10 in 2 short hours. My doctor walked in and said it was time. I remember saying, “I get to meet her now…I finally get to meet my daughter!”

My husband held my hand, my mother cried, my sister took pictures and my doula faithfully kept to the remainder of my tattered birth plan. 2 pushes later, Miss Lilah Joy finally, and I do mean finally, graced us with her arrival. When my son was born, I wept. When she was born, I laughed…and I couldn’t stop laughing. There was this perfect little lady in my arms. And yes, she was very much worth the wait.