Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hugs, Not Drugs

My husband had knee surgery and all of my Christmas help went home. Since their departure, it's been a blur of ice packs, physical therapy, meal service for 2 big eaters and trying to get over my cold. Needless to say, things have been crazy-busy and I was running out of steam trying to keep up. I'm hoping that after reading the above, you won't judge me for what happened next...

So, I was cleaning our room and put my very curious son next to me while I tidied up, threw snot rags away, picked up dirty clothes, ect. He was playing with his toy and I was keeping an eye on him as I ran around like a cleaning lady on crack. He got quiet and I knew he had done something he didn't want me to know about.

Indeed, he had just helped himself to one of Trait's prescription painkillers that had fallen on the floor.

You want to see me go psycho-Mommy? That about did it. I jammed my finger in his mouth and gagged him, trying to get out the little blue pill he was chewing on. I was able to get it out whole and then I made a mad dash to the sink to rinse his mouth out. As he sputtered and choked, still unsure why Mommy ruined his fun, I started running around my house, trying to find where I put the damn Poison Control Number. (It is now happily installed in my speed dial for any future incidences...) I'm sure they get hysterical parents all the time, but I appreciated how calm she was:

Poison Control, this is Toni

MY BABY TRIED TO EAT A LORITAB!!! He's drooling blue powder, but I got it all out, rinsed his mouth and made him gag. Do I call 911??!! MY BABY TRIED TO EAT A LORITAB!!!

If you got it out whole and rinsed his mouth, he's fine.

Huh? (sniff, sniff) Will he go into a coma? (sniff, sniff) Do I need to take him to the hospital? (sniff, sniff) I promise it was an accident!

If you got it out whole and rinsed his mouth, he's fine. He just sucked off the coating.


Anything else?

No, that's about it. (sniff, sniff) Thank you.

I held him and cried the rest of the night. Then, I called my sister and told her I was sick so she'd come rescue me. And, she did.

Mommies need to be rescued, too.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Year Ago Today

A year ago today my heart burst open and has never been the same.

Happy 1st birthday, little man.

All is Merry and Bright

I was cooking up a storm for 2 weeks. I had been planning for 2 months. I had sent the schedule to everyone arriving and planned corresponding activities for each day. 13 family members were coming to my house for Christmas, and I was ready to make it fabulous. You know, hostess with the mostest. I couldn't wait to hear:

*Wow, Sara, what a fun and organized holiday you've arranged for all of us!
*What delicious meals! Can I have the recipe?
*I'm having so much fun, we'll have to do Christmas every year at your house!

Then, the big bummer happened. My husband had knee surgery and I got strep throat the day before everyone arrived. My beautiful plan came crashing down before my eyes.

After my penicillin shot, I had to rest and recover for 24 hours, leaving my family to fend for themselves. As I drifted in and out of consciousness, I thought about the mints I was going to leave on everyone's pillow and the homecooked dinner I needed to get started. I couldn't even lift my head from my pillow to greet everyone, though.

Then, a really beautiful and unplanned thing happened. My precious family took over my meals, my grocery trips, (I believe we were at 9 when they left yesterday), my son's care, my husband's post-surgery care and clean-up duty.

I actually went to my room and wept at the love I felt. It hit me: this is family. I don't think they cared that I couldn't do it all. I desperately needed them, and they took care of everything, right down to Kleenex with lotion and extra paper towels.

I've never had such an incredible Christmas, or a more timely lesson about what's important in life.

Merry, merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Little Prince has Challenged the Queen

I am noticing an alarming trend in my sweet baby boy. The first time he did it, it was because my Mom was washing his hair and he truly hates to have clean hair. We laughed it off and I told her it served her right since he seems to like her more than me. However, he did again yesterday when he wanted me to get off the phone and I ignored him.

He bit me and then rammed his head repeatedly into my leg.

I could understand this if it was my sister's kid. As a toddler, she bit anyone and anything for a period of time in which Mom took her to the doctor because she thought something was medically wrong. In fact, if memory serves correct, she bit me on the hiney and drew blood. Sisters are a blessing, I tell you!

However, this is my angel and I have no idea where this came from. It's like one day he woke up and decided to "sport a 'tude." It must be from my husband's side of the family, or, even more scary, some of Aunt Amy's genes were leaked. Whatever the case, I think I am entering the part of parenthood that includes boundaries, time-out and a good sassing. I'm ready though, I've been sassed by the ultimate disciplinarian that was so good at keeping me in line that, even at 30-years-old, she can control me with "the eye." *shivers*

In other news, I went to my husband's office party and fell off my diet wagon. Stupid, sexy chocolate brownie. My attempts since then have been half-hearted as I can't seem to keep up with the holiday rush on 800 calories a day. So, I have to do this "ruin my life" diet again after the New Year.

Until then, I am stuffing myself with red velvet cake balls that put the "merry" in my "Merry Christmas!"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Dreamt About Hamburger Helper Last Night

It's Day 3 of the "ruin Sara's world" detox diet.

I went to my second training session and am proud to report that I did not pass out, throw-up or yell at anyone. It was much less mortifying than my first visit.

I did, however, have to do 2 humiliating exercises called the "crab-walk" and the "fire hydrant." That's right, the "fire hydrant." Guess what that consisted of? Me hiking my leg like a dog for 45 reps. The "crab walk" involved sticking my arse in the air and walking like a crab twice around the studio. To add insult to injury, I kept falling down because I was trying to hurry to lessen the time my trainer was staring at my jiggly derriere.

I'm so glad he chose that moment to burst into singing the theme from "Spiderman."

I finished the day off eating a big plate of green beans and edamame. I wanted to grab my husband's plate of Hamburger Helper and make a run for it, but I figured I'd better be sweeter to him after the Jello incident.

8 more days to go!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm Friggin' HUNGRY!

My special detox diet started today. I woke up ready to take on the 10-day eating plan, but noticed an intense reaction ensued when my husband eyed my sugar-free Jello. It reminded me of when he eyed my food when I was pregnant.

Complete irrational food obsession.

I don't get to eat much at all, STAY AWAY FROM MY FOOD, PAL! He didn't help things when he logically stated that he could go buy me more Jello and orange juice. A hungry woman is not a rational woman. In my defense, I did tell him I would need extra grace this week. Poor guy.

So that's how my day started. Then, I had two 11-month-olds all day, and they chose today of all days to fight over every toy in the house. I noticed myself getting weaker and more tired as the day went on. This was Day 1:

Breakfast-Toast, 1/2 an orange
Snack- Cereal Bar
Lunch- Salad (I was tempted to get a taco salad from Taco Bueno since the diet wasn't specific..)
Snack-Sugar-free Jello
Dinner- Zucchini and edamame

It's now 7 p.m. and I'm getting ready to go to bed. I have another training session at 6 in the morning. I don't know if even the Backstreet Boys can help me now.

Monday, December 8, 2008

You're Looking a Little Pale...

So, I went and met my personal trainer on Saturday. I kept my head hung in shame as he measured every inch of me and put me on the scale. I kept waiting to hear, "I don't know if I can help you," but thankfully he was super-positive and told me that we all have a starting point. He immediately put me on a cleansing diet which will, after careful perusal, probably ensure that I will be cranky for the 10-day duration. It involves lots of fruit, salad and lean meat. And no donuts.

This morning at 6 a.m. sharp, I came face-to-face with the consequences of not working out for a year and a half. (I did power-walk and do yoga, but rarely broke a sweat...) Landry put me on the treadmill and I almost lied and said I had bad knees to get out of it, but thought better of it. After ten minutes of rocking out to the Backstreet Boys, (I don't want to hear it, Ty), I was huffing and puffing and wondering if it was over and I looked like a bikini model yet.

Far from it.

I did squats, crunches, leg presses, weight training and lunges, all the while cursing the cupcakes I stuffed in my mouth over the weekend. (Note to self: never tell your personal trainer about the cupcakes. He'll punish you.)

After 45 minutes of a 1-hour session, I started feeling dizzy. I mentioned that to Landry and it was like an alarm went off. "Lay down NOW and breathe!" He ran and got cold towels and put them on my neck and ears. (Apparently that cools you down the quickest.) I also was very pale and shaking.

How embarrassing.

My work-out was officially and prematurely over. I got to lay on a bench for the remainder of my time and stretch. He said my reaction was normal and that I would get stronger. I then limped out of the studio, determined to never be in such bad shape again.

Did I mention the 50-something woman that was working circles around me? Nah, I'll save that humiliation for another day.

Friday, December 5, 2008

My Saturday Torture Session

I can't avoid it anymore.

I won 4 sessions with a personal trainer at a charity event about a year ago. That's right, a whole year ago. I've tried to pawn them off to my husband in a great showing of self-sacrifice. However, they're about to expire and I have no other choice but to go in and hear the thing that makes a postpartum woman cringe:

Her body-fat check and BMI.

I know what's going to happen. He's not going to be impressed with my excuse that I had a baby a year ago. He won't be impressed that I went off sugar for the whole month of October. I also doubt that he will give me a high-five for doing yoga in the morning about once a week.

He's going to insist that I stop making excuses and start taking my health seriously.

In preparation, my husband is taking me out for cheese fries and buttercream cake tonight.

I, too, am ready to take my health seriously.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Adventures with Little Boys

This is a sampling of how my day has gone:

"No, son, we DO NOT play in the toilet, there's millions of germs and we certainly DO NOT splash the water on Mommy."

"No, son, we do not push Lola down when she has a toy you want. Is that a good choice?"

"Are you supposed to pull all of the tissues out of the box? No, sir!"

"You do not get in your wipey box and eat the baby wipes! Stop biting Mommy, these things could give you the trots!"

"You are going to the island of safety, (the pack-n-play), until Mommy calms down."

And, after all of that, the little stinker said "Momma" for the first time.

I'm a big puddle of lovey goo now.

I think I'm also in big, big trouble.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fancy Goes to the Mall

I ran over my cell phone.

I wasn't mad or PMS-ing, it was just an unfortunate consequence of being too busy and having a sick baby. Being without a phone proved to be similar to being without my morning coffee, so I made a mad dash to Sprint to correct the problem.

Looking back, I can only imagine how I looked as I stormed into the mall, spotted an available Sprint employee from across the room and shouted:

"I ran over my phone! Don't try to sell me anything fancy, I don't text, I don't bluetooth, I don't internet and I don't take pictures! I have a sick baby and I NEED A NEW PHONE NOW!"

I must have looked frightening in my sweats with Velveeta plastered on them and my lack of hair products and lipstick, (sadly, I am one of those people who look ghastly without lip color). I should have looked in the mirror before I went to the mall on the weekend after Thanksgiving. You know, the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

Within 10 seconds of my grand entrance, I had 4, yes 4, employees setting up my phone, filling out my rebate form, and taking my credit card. The sweet employee was telling me the features of my new phone and somehow slipped this in:

"You know, ma'am, this our most dependable, sturdy and strongest phone. It's not fancy, kind of like you, but it's so reliable."

Yep, that's me now: sturdy, strong and not a bit fancy. Maybe it was the Velveeta that gave it away?

Friday, November 28, 2008


My New Year's resolution in 2007 was to have an "attitude of gratitude." At the time, I had become a whiny 5th grade teacher that complained more than my share about my students, salary, and loneliness. So, I made it a point to reverse that rottenness and focus on the fabulous things in life.

In the spirit of my '07 resolution, here's my "Thankful List" for 2008:

-A little boy that laughs at puppies, cries when his Daddy leaves for work and holds my heart in his pudgy, little hands

-A husband that says "you were right" on occasion and brings me flowers or cheese fries when I've had a bad day.

-Being 1 hour from my family instead of 7

-My incredible friends that run when I need them, laugh when I screw up and don't really mind that I feel I am a medical expert now that I have a baby

-My family, who have given me such a rich heritage and such a warm place to come home

-My husband's family, who make life so much fun

-The annual family football game, especially since I didn't get picked last this year

-A new home with my very own bathroom and hot pink laundry room

-A Dad that listens, a Mom that encourages and a little sister that kicks arse

-A God that loves me....truly, really loves me

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Snotty Nose and the Drama Queen

It finally happened. The thing I've been trying to avoid for 11 months.

My baby is sick.

It started Wednesday night with a fever over 102 degrees, (which makes a new mom freak), and continued into the weekend. My arm and hip ached from holding him all day, and we lived on fast food for a week because I couldn't put him down to cook.

My doctor said to keep an eye on him and watch his fever. Ever the drama queen, I took his temperature, shot saline solution up his nose, and called my mom every 2 hours. I might have over-used my calling privileges to the nurse at my doctor's office as well. When I brought him in today, she immediately recognized my voice and knew why I was there. I'm not even embarrassed.

It hit me, sometime between tearing through Target looking for the perfect vaporizer and trying to figure out a way to sleep in his room that I am, oh crap, the mom now.

My friend Carolyn read my thoughts when she said, "you're wondering what you did wrong." Yes, exactly. How could he get sick when I've done everything the books, doctors and mommies told me?

The answer didn't come to me until Dr. B. took one look at my panicked face and said, "Sara, you can't keep him in a bubble." She's right, and I'm going to struggle with that until my son looks at me, one day, and tells me the same thing his daddy does:

"Leave me alone, I'm a man and I have the constitution of an ox."

Thank goodness, my poor, 'ol heart can't take much more of this.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Can't Help It!

Every mommy gets more unsolicited advice than they will ever want. I used to get all testy when a well-meaning mom would give me suggestions. How dare she! Of course, now that I am a mom, I find myself "sharing my thoughts" before biting my tongue when I realize I'm doing the exact same thing I used to gripe about. Even though I think I have some fabulous tips, I will keep them to myself unless asked...and, write them on my blog to no one in particular.

What I've Learned in the First Year of Mommyhood: Part I

1. Stop reading so many parenting books, they'll make you crazy. My husband was going to revoke my library card at one point. That said, these are my only recommendations:
  • Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth (the baby sleep BIBLE!)
  • The Baby Book by Dr. William Sears
  • The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood by Dr. William Sears
  • Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron
  • Baby Laughs by Jenny McCarthy (she's hilarious and I needed a laugh!)
2. Try the attachment parenting theory when they're newborn, there is NO FREAKING WAY you will ever put a newborn on a schedule until they're fat, happy and less gassy. you'll start sleeping again around 4-months.

3. Get over life never being the same.

4. You know those nice clothes you used to wear? Get yourself to Wal-Mart and be introduced to your new wardrobe for the next few years. Yeah, you know you look sexy in those Hanes t-shirts! Work it, baby!

5. Krispy Kreme has a drive-thru. Use it on those really bad days. Don't even be ashamed.

6. Things to register for: A Medela Breastpump, a video monitor, (it's not a waste of money if you're paranoid like me and check on your baby every 10 minutes..), a bottle warmer, and an easy stroller.

7. Get out of the house at least once every day. Fresh air is revitalizing.

8. Give your baby 1tsp of flax oil everyday after they're 6 months old and you will never have constipation drama again. Try to make sure your husband is on duty when that flax kicks in.

More to come, I have to get this all out before my friend has her first baby. It's like I have advice diarrhea!

Friday, November 7, 2008

My Rampage

I didn't want to be that mom.

You know, the know-it-all that walked into her pediatrician's office with an armload of research and 1,000 questions to squeeze into a 10-minute well-baby check-up.

And then he came along, and I can't stop reading and questioning.

I'm learning, after countless hours of research and interviewing, that the current load of vaccinations given to children could have an adverse affect on their health. There are compelling arguments for both sides:

Why would I subject my baby to a disease if I could protect him from it?

Why would I inject my baby with a substance that has been linked to autoimmune disorders or, quite possibly, autism?

I thought my biggest battles would be the sleepless nights and the "extra love" that hangs over my jeans now. Not so much. I've scoured the library and the internet looking for information to give me peace and knowledge about vaccinating our son. I've quizzed parents, nurses, doctors and health nuts, trying to find a solid answer. I've been told a range of things from, "stand your ground, girl, this is your baby and the doctors don't know everything," to, "there needs to be more vaccinations because, praise Jesus, they are just wonderful."

I trust my mommy instinct. I trust, after all of my reading, that the mommies are on to something, and they won't be quiet about it until appropriate research is done into this very important matter. So, I'm going to continue researching, asking and terrorizing my pediatrician. (I think I'll bake her cookies next time...)

Why be a nutcase about it?

Because he's worth it- and I'm just a little nutty anyway.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lessons from My 9-Month-Old

Being home with my little guy has forced encouraged me to be more contemplative and enjoy the small things. As he clapped delightedly for the colon cleanse commercial I was watching, I thought about how he makes me see the joy in everything.

Here's a few of my "Cale Lessons:"

-You never know if something is tasty unless you cram it in your mouth and clench your jaws so mommy can't fish it out.

-Any occasion is a good time to poo. Loudly and with gusto is the preferred method.

-Smearing spit and drool on a mirror is best when it's freshly Windexed. It's more artistic that way.

-It's holier to sing and shout to God when everyone else in church is quiet and reverent.

-If the outfit isn't comfy and play-worthy, it might as well stay in the closet. Even if Mommy spent a large sum at Baby Gap.

-Empty tupperware and a wooden spoon are better toys than anything Fisher Price could put out.

-Why have teeth if you can't practice biting Mom until she won't nurse anymore?

-Mommy will hurry faster if alligator tears are involved.

Yep, folks, I didnt learn this stuff in college.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Operation: Cute Hiney

Okay, we're into our second week of no sugar, fast food, soda, or cheesy goodness. The first week was killer. I had a headache for 3 days straight and I was lusting after Ben and Jerry. (It's ice cream, people!)

I'm slowly getting used to snacking on fruit, almonds, low sodium pretzels and gum. Yes, gum is a genius way to curb your eating when you're not really hungry. When I feel like eating the walls because I want a french fry, I have a stick of gum and wait it out.

My plan was going pretty well until my husband sent me this to show me where we could go after our sugar hiatus ended:

Where's the damn gum?

Friday, October 3, 2008


I took my son on a much-needed grocery trip this afternoon. As I returned the cart to the proper holding place I was met with the cart attendant who had a huge grin on his face. I surmised it was one of these reasons:

1. He was impressed that I could unload groceries, hold a fidgety 9-month-old, and still return my cart.

2. He thought my son was so darn cute with his mohawk.

3. I forgot to wear my wedding ring and he was flirting.

The real reason for his ever-increasing grin became apparent when I looked down, and saw that my precious son had pulled down my shirt to give everyone in the Wal-Mart parking lot a good look at his dinner. Sigh.

Me and my ego quickly scurried to my car.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Big Health Plan Update

I want a hot fudge sundae.

No, I DESPERATELY want a hot fudge sundae.

So, we started our spanking new health plan. I had no idea how much sugar I pounded in my mouth until the withdrawals started happening sometime this morning. Enormous headache. Flu-like symptoms. Overall crabbiness.

And this is only Day 2.

The shame.

My sweetie and I were starving by dinnertime last night because, apparently, we weren't quite sure how to eat well, so we ate little at all. I'm off to the grocery store to buy healthy snacks today, and the only thing we could come up with were grapes and Chex Mix. Geeze, you would think two educated adults could do better than this.

Any ideas?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Biggest Loser

Something occurred to me as I was shoving Oreos in my mouth for breakfast and my baby was watching, quite fascinated: I have bad eating habits, and he's starting to notice. Although I feed him organic oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, he's eventually going to catch on that's not what mommy eats, and want in on the fun food.

I am making a change, and I am insisting my husband help me.

We watch tv's Biggest Loser religiously. It's a reality show in which 20 obese contestants go on a hard-core eating and exercise plan in hopes of being the "biggest loser" and winning $250K. It's inspiring and informative to say the least. Although we're not in the kind of health trouble the contestants face, we need to make some changes.

So, I checked out Jillian Michael's, (the trainer on the show), book, "Making the Cut," and have a jump-start health plan for us to start next week. Bear in mind, I said health plan, not diet. To me, that means cutting out my Paula Deen casseroles, (oh, the humanity!), and injecting more fresh foods and lean meats. I'm going to make a point to schedule exericise and time to plan out healthy meals and snacks.

Alas, I might never have Jillian's abs and hiney. My husband wisely said he couldn't tell a difference, though. However, we have to start taking our health seriously and set up our little kiddo with a healthy future.

So, things might get cranky at our house for the month of October. Good-bye, my loves:

Hello, getting my butt kicked:

Monday, September 22, 2008

10 Secrets to a Happy Marriage

I got this e-mail from one of my college mentors. I added some of my own...

10 Secrets to a Happy Marriage

1. God has you here to serve one another. Love acted out is serving.

2. Women need respect and nurturing. Love your wife so she knows you'd lay your life down for her. Continue to date her and admire her. Share a hobby - find something you can do to have fun together.

3. Laugh often.

4. Be patient. Love crumbles quickly under the weight of unmet expectations.

5. Spend more time trying to fix yourself than your spouse.

6. Keep short accounts. The Bible says, "Do not let the sun go down while you are angry." Make it a habit to forgive.
7. Determine up front that divorce is not an option
8. Learn about love languages. Not all people show love or receive it the same way. You want a back rub and your spouse wants a clean kitchen. The love languages are fairly simple: acts of service, time, physical touch, gifts and words of affirmation. Learn them. Love is better received when it's in the language that person speaks.
9. Words of affirmation are a love language for all men.
10. Men are born to be leaders. He cannot lead unless she gives him the confidence to do so. If you love your husband, build him up. Confident men do not seek love outside the home.

This is all good advice, but there are a few more secrets:
  1. For the love of all that is holy, put the toilet seat down so that your 9-month pregnant wife does not fall in.
  2. Farting is never appropriate or welcome in bed. No wafting the covers if "it was a good one."
  3. Doing the dishes is just as romantic as flowers, but we still want both.
  4. There's nothing sexier than your man coming home with a box full of cheese fries.
  5. Wives: don't be afraid of a little hot wax, that's all I'm saying...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Lessons with Dad

My Dad's in town to visit his grandbaby and try to slip him Diet Coke when I'm not looking. He also tried to give him honey, and much drama ensued. My son will, no doubt, have his first sugary treat with my Dad and I will be powerless to stop it.

But, that's not why I'm writing.

A funny thing happened last night. I put a box of Dad's favorite gourmet cookies in the guest room for him. I had not opened them, or let my husband know we had them. Is there anything better than a brand-new box of cookies?

My Dad's first response?

"Here, Sara Sue, have a cookie!"

Why? Because it has become his automatic response, after 30 years of being a Dad, to give to his kids first, and then himself. Me, I'm just now starting to learn that. Dad has had lots of practice after:

-Abandoning his hippie ways to provide for his family

-taking two girls on countless vacations when it would have been easier to leave our cranky hineys with Memaw (my sis and I would fight a lot on roadtrips. What else was there to do?)

-helping us with homework and inventing fun games to play together even though he probably wanted to veg on the couch after a long day at work

-sending those same two girls to college and paying for it all, even when a certain daughter went to an expensive private school

So, as I sat and noshed on my Dad's cookies, I thought it would be great if all parents were that selfless........including myself!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Having it All

The recent nomination of powerhouse Sarah Palin has been an exciting event for women everywhere. Although I am stoked at the possibility of change in government and a woman in the White House, my more selfish nature is a little overwhelmed by watching her balance 5 children, a husband and an incredible political career. Have I mentioned that getting to the grocery store is a major ordeal for me these days? How in the world could I take on government corruption as well??

I am still adjusting to the many changes that have come since December 27th:

What I would like to buy:

What I actually spend my money on:

How I would like to look while at home with my baby:

How I actually look while at home with my baby:

Message to Sarah Palin: Stop what you're doing, you're making me look bad!! (And, well, keep up the good work...I actually think you're a studmuffin even though just looking at you makes me tired!)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Favorite Mommy Quote

"If you bungle raising your children,
I don't think whatever else you
do well matters very much."

-Jacqueline Kennedy

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Just Say "No"

Mommy guilt. I've never been so consumed with anything like it in my life. Ever since Nurse Mara placed a rather red-faced little boy in my arms, I've second guessed everything I've done. It doesn't help that some "well-meaning" people have all the answers. Shame on me, I used to be one of those people. (Yes, I tried to apologize to all of the mothers I gave my advice to now that I've had a HUGE helping of humble pie!)

Mommy guilt is simply the guilt that comes when I can't do everything perfectly. Normally, I couldn't care less about perfection. Now that I have him, I'm frustrated with my lack of awesomeness. (A term coined by Uncle Ty.)

For instance:

*Do I vaccinate him? What about the autism-vaccination link? Am I putting toxins in my baby's body? If I don't, am I putting him at risk for a life-threatening illness? If I keep him in the house for 2 years, will that keep him safe?

*Can I supplement him with formula if my milk supply is waning? Am I putting even more toxins in my baby's body? What if the Enfamil company is just a big conspiracy to hurt our babies?

*Can I leave him with a sitter for some time off? What if he thinks I abandoned him? What if he's scared and I'm off shopping?? Oh, the shame!

*What if I feed him something that isn't organic? Will he grow another arm?

You get my point. I've always had a flair for the dramatic, but those thoughts have actually invaded my peace way too often. I need grace. I need to know that God is big enough to cover me and the mistakes that are inevitable. Grace is a necessity for the girl that made a "C" in prayer when attending Bible college. (No, I'm not making that up.)

So, good-bye mommy guilt. I want freedom instead.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Staying at Home

A thought occurred to me today: my brain needs more than housework and childcare. Every stay-at-home mom I've encountered has had a similar frustration, so I know I'm not the only one that loves my baby like mad but would still like to do something a little more creative than trying to change a dirty diaper while he tries to play in his poo. (Yes, it does require the same amount of creativity and willpower I had to exert in the professional arena...)

Maybe it's time to start my elite, all-women's, crime-fighting team. We would wear leather pants. Stretchy, of course, to accommodate post-pregnancy problem areas.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Grace-Based Parenting

On a recommendation, I picked up the book "Grace Based Parenting" by Dr. Tim Kimmel. After the onslaught of baby books I read when the little guy was born, I'm trying to be more choosy as I worked myself into a good panic after reading all of the ways I could be a bad mommy. However, Grace Based Parenting is a refreshing change from the "thou shalt not" books I've been handed.

The premise is that parenting out of fear leads to kids that can't function well in society and have trouble understanding God's grace. Dr. Kimmel writes that:

Rigid rules and checklists for "holy" behavior- mostly "don'ts" capped off by a highly scripted religious home life is and excellent way to wreck your kids. Grace-based parenting, on the other hand, mirrors God's love, reflects His forgiveness and displaces fear as a motivator for the choices we make.

Trait and I both attended conservative Christian universities. We both saw the same thing: students that had been shielded from the real world growing up and had an overly strict home life had a major freak-out when they had the freedom of the college life. For the most part, they couldn't balance that freedom with healthy boundaries. Their parents had kept them so "safe" growing up, but it seemed to produce weak adults that couldn't think for themselves.

So, the question is: How do I parent in such a way that shows him grace and yet teaches him submission and boundaries?

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Day in the Life of Mommy

One of my soon-to-be mommy friends asked what a day in the life of a domestic goddess looks like:


*It's a race to see who's needs are greater: His dirty diaper or my cup of coffee that will help deal with said diaper.
*Next, it's onto the breakfast table to shovel in a bowl full of oatmeal and fruit. I started teaching him sign language, so I try and add that in when he's not spitting his oatmeal at me.
*I look in the mirror to check on my tummy fat, and decide that I can still excuse it as "baby weight."
*I wipe the spit-up off my shirt and decide the shirt doesn't need to be changed....yet

*I look at my "to-do" list and am bummed that nothing is crossed off yet.
*I play with my baby on the floor because that seems more important than my chores.
*I run around like mad, performing various domestic goddess duties, (cleaning toilets, vacuuming the carpet, brushing my teeth, ect.) I might get a salary reduction if I don't keep up with these things.
*Late afternoon, I sit in front of the vanity and make an attempt with my make-up and hair products to look sexy and refreshed.

*I throw the little guy in my husband's arms and race to finish dinner. On a good night, there's vegetables involved. Sometimes, though, it's Hamburger Helper and toast.
*I act super-busy so that my husband will change the baby's diaper and give him a bath.
*Trait will, in fact, give him a bath but then I go hang out with them anyway because there's nothing cuter than a baby splashing and trying to eat a rubber duck.
*The little guy goes to bed so I can spend quality time with my main man, which usually involves romantic interaction and relaxation....or dishes and collapsing on the couch.

I'm glad I worked so hard for my college degree.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Diaper Duty

And women are the Drama Queens?!?!

My Summer Olympics at the Trailer House

I spent Tuesday night on my couch cheering on the USA Women's Olympic team. My stomach was in knots as I coached them onto victory. When I got in bed that night, I gave my husband the gymnastics salute before leaping to my side of the bed. There's just something about the Olympics and gymnastics that make me feel like I could be a champion.

In fact, my love of this sport comes back to haunt me every summer Olympics when my mother proudly reminds me of my "porch rail balance beam" performances. Yes, one summer, after watching Shannon Miller leap around in effortless back flips and twists, I marched out to the back porch to give it a try myself. For weeks that summer, I did daring performances of great artistic and technical difficulty. I sweat, I toiled and I pushed myself to the limit. Outrageous enough, I was not accepted by the team even though I had this fantastic move:

Oh man, I'm glad I found someone to marry me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

To My Mom and My Aunts

I don't know how anyone makes it through life without the kind of Mom and Aunts I have. True, they're not "blood" aunts, but we like to think God forgot to put us in the same family. (Is that irreverent?) They are my wisest counsel and closest confidants. And, most importantly, all 3 of them are a helluva good time.

To My Mom and Aunts:

Thank you for showing me grace when your fabulous advice was met with deaf ears and a roll of my eyes.

Thank you for seeing me through every badly-chosen boyfriend, and reminding me that the "right one" is out there, (and...he was, indeed!)

Thank you for not letting me out of the house when I stuffed my bra with cotton balls. (Yes, I now agree that it looked "unnatural.")

Thank you for watching with delight when we all did a synchronized swimming routine. You even took pictures.

Thank you for nursing me through a bad experience with tequila. I forgive you for putting Taco Bell on my pillow and then laughing hysterically when I ran for the bathroom.

Thank you for bringing me gourmet chocolate cake when I was pregnant.

Most importantly, thank you for walking with me through life and bringing the fun factor to maximum potential. You make my life richer and I love you madly.

A Beautiful Thing

A refreshing breeze is drifting through my house. My mind is clear, and my morning coffee is now a treat and not a requirement. I feel like a new woman.

My son is sleeping through the night.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


As I opened a kid-friendly box of Cheerios, I was greeted by this:

Seriously? The movie is PG-13, his mouth has been ripped open by a knife, and you people want our kids to play with this thing?? I made a very "outraged consumer" phone call to Cheerios. I have no doubt that they are furiously trying to correct their blunder...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thoughts on Turning 30

As I was dropping my husband off at the airport, he mentioned that my current attitude about turning 30 depresses him. I must confess that it depresses me, too. I just have this sinking feeling that life will never be as fun after this birthday. Yes, I realize this is irrational. Yes, my dear friend is currently kicking cancer's ass and has something real to complain about. Yes, I hear "30 is the new 20."

I look at everything differently now. Maybe this dread stems from all of my favorite things being replaced by a new attitude about them. For instance:

Traveling Through Europe
20's Sara All I need is Aimee, Amy, my filtered water bottle and my Visa.
30's Sara Will my baby be alright? Can I leave him for more than a week? Will this cause permanent damage? I should use this money to save for a new house.

Traveling anywhere
20's Sara I'll stop for gas and Starbucks and be there in a few hours.
30's Sara Do I have enough milk? Where is the emergency pacifier? We need to stop for a diaper change! Call them and tell them we're 2 hours behind schedule. Ugh- it's not worth it, let's just stay home.

20's Sara Oooh! That's cute- should I buy it now or wait until Amy buys it and then borrow it?
30's Sara Is this on sale? Never mind, I'll just get spit-up on it. I don't really have anywhere to wear it to. How much money is in our account after buying diapers and an economy-sized box of wipes?

Going Dancing
20's Sara Who's bringing the pre-dancing wine? I'm going to wear Amy's new black dress!
30's Sara Wine makes me sleepy- I need an espresso. I need to pump or I'll leak all over Amy's dress and then she'll take away my closet privileges. I hope we come home early, the baby wakes up at 4. Just how strong are these control-top hose??

Ahhh....seasons. I was reminded of how seasons change as I was driving home and trying to decide if buying a Starbucks was too frivolous of a purchase. That thought would have never crossed my mind a few months ago. I have to laugh at it, and at myself. So, I must now reluctantly embrace the 30's Sara, because I think it's going to happen regardless of how I claw at my 20's.