Stop Wishing it Away

Listen, I am just as guilty as the next guy. I find myself either saying or thinking, "Man I can't wait until..." Until what really? What exactly am I waiting for? More time to spend alone? Each stage comes with its highs and lows and I don't foresee the next phases of my daughter's life getting much easier. I look back at her as a baby and think "wow, why did I think that was so hard?" She literally laid there, ate and drank. But it was. Sometimes I look at her and think to myself "who are you?" We are in what everyone refers to as the "Toddler Stage" and I don't get it. She doesn't toddle around, she is a raging ball of energy that consumes every ounce of my daily sanity. I have in fact re-named this stage to the "Trying to keep her alive" stage :). If you are a mother of a child around this age, then you totally know what I am talking about. I could make a million excuses why I have not blogged in forever but it is because when I do get a minute to myself I would rather watch some stupid mindless TV or shove my face full of food then to try to prompt my brain to work. Over the past few weeks I have had 2 working moms tell me they have no idea how I stay home with her because they are going crazy during the Summer. Yes, I do have my crazy days and I like to think I am getting good at crazy! Like my previous blog post, I have so much respect for working moms as I don't know how YOU all do it. But we are women and we always figure it out :). I don't want anyone to think that I complaining, because I am not at all! I am just sharing one mother's stories to share a laugh with that one mother who can relate. This is real life. Back to the stage I call "Trying to keep her alive". Seriously, the second I turn around she is into something she shouldn't be and she knows it! Making an extra mess on top of the one I am currently cleaning up. Then when I turn around to start on that mess, she has mastered the door handles and helped herself into the garage and has started learing how to use the power tools. It is quite comedic to see a 25 pound child carry a leaf blower, I guess I should just be thankful she can't start the mower. I don't know what I will do next when she learns how to unlock the doors....A few weeks ago I was calling her name because she was quiet and we all know that is NEVER a good thing, no response. So I kept calling and getting more anxious with each yell. I heard a few squeaks and laughs from her only to eventually find her in the dryer.....yes you heard me right. Happy as a clam making the dryer spin by crawling in it.


I am seriously thankful each night that she is alive and well after the day's end because with each day it gets more and more risky! If I told everyone everything my sweet child has done, I would expect DHS to show up at my door step. I swear that is why play dates were invented. A mother's vent session on how we suck as parents, but hey it could be worse, right?! Like I said though, why do I keep wishing it away? With all of the stress and work that comes with raising a child, these are the memories I will always cherish and the stories I can't wait to share with her. Still when people ask me about having another baby, I kindly state that when God gives you perfection the first time, you just stop :) Haha. I don't tell them that in reality I would be in the loony bin with another child like the one I have. Her energy and spunk succeeds mine ten fold....and I AM young....or at least I tell myself that.

20 short months ago God knew exactly what he was doing when He gave me you.

I have heard of the "why" stage but we are in a whole other stage that is taking the cake. Everything right now is followed by two words. They may sound simple to you but when you live them daily, I am lucky I still have hair. She says "touch it" after EVERYTHING. Almost to the point where my husband I am actually looked it up on good ol' Google making sure she didn't have some disorder. I am not kidding. She is so inquisitive which is great, but does she really need to touch everything? At Target for instance, those stupid big red balls outside scream to children "TOUCH ME". So I am that parent taking her over to the ball to touch it to avoid a melt down. Or for instancec, we can be at home and she will say "fan" then I will say "yes, that is a fan. Good job." And with that comes a "touch it." WHY? Why in the world do I have to reason with my child in every department store as to why I cannot reach the lights on the 20 foot ceiling and that she really can't touch everything? So after another trusty Google search, I ran across an article that made me stop and think. She is learning, her brain is telling her body to explore and to touch what she is saying. Go ahead and laugh, yes I already know she is learning but to hear someone put it down in less harmful words changed my thinking a little. Like as if the article was like "which idiot googles with concerns of her child learning?". Really though, why do I let it bother me so much? What is a couple more seconds out of my day to allow her to explore? Well a lot actually. I have this plan and agenda for the day of how it should go and I did not put in pit stops for touches! Sounds so stupid when I type it out how I actually think. What could really be that important? I doubt if I don't let her touch somethings she will end up in a slow learning class because of it and no I don't remember if my mother let me touch and explore as much as the next person, but I am a very hands on visual learner and I have a feeling she is the same. I have to learn to let go of some of the control. It is a slow process but taking that step back is good for your body. I am not kidding. Being able to laugh about somethings and skip other things is kind of freeing. It's like the Island people. You go on vacation and they have no clue what time it is, no schedule and seem to have no worries. She has a way of knowing just what I need in life. I needed that small reminder to slow down and just enjoy this ride. It doesn't last forever. I want to be that Grandma walking into Target someday smirking at the sweet mommy and daughter touching that big red ball and remembering how I used to do that and how simple it seems.

Whoever invented bath crayons is a genius!

Finally what really inspired me to finally sit down and write a small post was at dinner last night. My husband works a lot of long hours and 95% of the time I cook dinner at home. It is much easier and I like to do it. Of course the other reason is that I have a 20 month old. Now you get it. So there is this new Mexican restaurant literally 1 mile from our house and they are usually not formal quiet places to eat so I thought perfect place to grab a bite. I made the mistake of telling the gentleman that we did not need a high chair if we had a booth. For the first 3 minutes she sat down then proceeded to spill the chips, knock over her water, and get the refried beans all over the seat. Nothing to harmful, just stressful when you are trying to eat and not piss other customers off in the process. I know I shouldn't care what they think or say but if I am honest, I do. I get anxious thinking that I am a bad parent and I can't get my child to behave. I could be like that woman in the paper who fed her child a margarita in her sippy cup and claimed she didn't know it had alcohol in it, but then I would be lying. EVERY mother knows what has alcohol in it :)

Of course we had to TOUCH the fish :)

My husband was sitting across from me, not helping the situation of course and I found myself getting mad, like almost snapping at her. She was climbing all over me, standing behind me on the booth pushing me forward, playing with my hair, and hands around my neck in a hug like form. I  snarled and told her that I am with her all day long, you would think she would be sick of me by now. But as soon as I said that I don't know what came over me but I simply told my husband that I should just cherish it because in a few short years she won't even be eating dinner with us and she may not want to love on me like that. My mind was screaming at her but my heart was full of grace. I turned to her with my teeth still clenched together and smushed both of her cheeks with my palms and gave her nose kisses and told her that I loved her, like I try to do multiple times each day when I really just want to scream or cry. She let out a giggle and put her baby arms around my neck and said "ahh mama, lub you." My heart is hers forever. She has no idea the stress and angst she can cause me to feel but somehow she can simply make everything bad go away in an instant. Those blonde curls and gapped front teeth are the most precious thing I could wish for and here I am thinking it would just hurry up, grow up, and then all would be well. Again, just writing this out is hard because I can not think of anything worse that could happen, is her growing up and not needing me anymore and I just wished it away. So for now, stop the wishing away and start living in the present. You are needed.

With love, Lady and Red

You are My Sunshine

Where has the time gone? My baby is 1 today. So many emotions are floating around I can barely think straight, not to mention planning a Birthday and Baptism party on the same day! May have something to do with my craziness too, but it makes perfect sense, right? I could hardly sleep last night with so many thoughts going through my head like, "this is my last baby", "how could I love something so much?", and "am I doing it right?". It doesn't matter how many books are published on how to raise a baby, it is an instinct and somethings are just learned by trial and error. Too bad for her, the error starts and ends with her! So many things have changed in my life since she was born, I forgot how my life used to be, you know the FREE life. I am so lucky to have spent the time with her at home, no one could begin to understand how grateful I feel. IMG_2812 I now have a daily coffee date. We talk about how we slept, what we are going to do the rest of the day, then we call Nana to see how she is doing. I also have a permanent shopping buddy who will soon enough be embarrassed by me. I have a workout buddy who tries to get me to skip sessions all of the time. She is super helpful during downward dog. I suddenly become a bridge. No, my little stinker does not sleep through the night yet (yes I know she is 1) but it is MY fault entirely. There is something about knowing you will only have 1 child and every little thing they do is precious and will be ending in such a hurry you will almost had forgotten it happened. ( Don't get me wrong, I have my moments, and I am not perfect). Just like the parents who choose to be parents again and again and again. Did you forget that babies wake up and cry all night or that birth is soooo painful? Nope, you just know it ends and what you get with that is totally worth it. That is my attitude, whether it is right or wrong. It is right for me. You may hear me "complain" every once in a while but in reality I am trying to relate to other parents on that topic and agreeing so it is not a bunch of know it alls telling me what I am doing wrong. I am talking about a baby who just wants her mommy and I am ok with that. I get up, walk through the dark to her room, open the door, scoop her up and feed her the bottle. I nuzzle my face into hers and rock her while I enjoy the snuggles. I have sung "You are my Sunshine" to her since she was born and I put her back to sleep. It won't last forever.


Sometimes I find it hard to understand why I have never felt this kind of love before and how could it exist when she has no idea what I am doing for her and her only way of displaying her love back is crying, or so it feels. So many adult couples go to counseling for this exact reason. They don't feel love from their spouse. Why do we expect to feel it from them but never complain that our infant just doesn't show us love? Just something to think about. I feel love when she needs me, recognizes me, and reaches out for me. Actually, she can just be lying there throwing a fit and I still feel that love for her. Crazy huh? Haha That innocent face when she wakes up has the biggest smile and she knows I will always come get her. She has no idea my love for her. This kind of love is priceless. I mean, who loves a stinky diaper, slobbery, whiney mess? I do. If this is what growing up entails with a baby, then I am glad to do it. If this is what makes me miss events, concerts, girls nights, and "me" days, it is ok. It will not be like this forever. Someday I will be like my parents and have no more children at home and I do not want to be sitting there wishing I had done more or enjoyed more things with her.


You my love, have taught me patience. The other day we were raking leaves and playing outside and she thought it would be fun to dig all of the mud out of my flower pots then proceed to roll in it like a pig. I could only laugh. Seriously, what could her little brain be thinking at that point? I took her in later for a bath before her afternoon nap. After she was up from her nap my husband came inside to shower, so he started the shower water to get it warm. He then came to help me move a few boxes to another room. I called for the baby but I could not find her. I started looking in her favorite places she is not supposed to play and finally found her helping herself to the shower. Fully clothed, soaking wet, playing. She then said "bath". So I let her shower. It is those kinds of memories I will never forget. Before you, I had nothing to be patient for.


You will forever be my baby and I just can't tell you I love you to the moon and back. I have never really understood that term (yes I know it is from a book) but I just tell her I love you forever. My love does not stop for you when it comes back from the moon, it is infinite. Cheesy? Maybe, but yet another trait I have picked up since becoming a mom. I am a ball of mush, weep at the sight of her smile. It took me about a month to actually watch the video of her birth, I couldn't get through it. I can still hear in my head the team of amazing people telling me the moment she came out, "Awe Ashley, she is beautiful." I look back occasionally through old videos of her and I "talking" when she could barely even get a sound out and tears form every time. I always wanted and wished for a boy, but it was never up to me. God knew what he was doing and I am forever thankful for my precious baby girl who reminds me daily, we are on her time now.

Sarah McConnell Photography

So just like the song, I have sung for exactly 12 months already and will continue to sing as long as she will listen: You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray, you never know Rowan, how much I love you, please don't take my sunshine away. I will love you forever. Happy Birthday Princess!


Bringing up Bebe My Way

Let's go back to before I had a child....I was going to be the best mom, do everything right, be that parent that everyone envys, have the smartest and most well behaved child in the history of babies. Duh because I had never had a baby so how could I ever understand the reality of raising a baby? I read the book Bringing up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by: Pamela Druckerman. Sounded great, achievable, and ideal so why couldn't I be THAT mom? I can. I would casually talk to my mom friends about how I was going to accomplish this task and be that fancy French parent, heels and all :) 20140408-132501.jpg It became an ongoing joke, my friends would say to me how they couln't wait until I had a child so they could sit back and watch. One friend even bought me snack cups for my baby shower because I said I was NOT going to give my baby snacks, they don't need them according to the book. They should eat meals just like us. Right? I would love to think that I am still a great mom but ladies....this mom is gonna use snacks as blackmail, bribes, and silence (when she can start eating them of course.) But I am already washing up those snack cups for future use. I give up. One thing I have not let go is the way I dress. No friends, I did not take on the yoga pant wardrobe, never have, except actually going to yoga class. I swear it is the only way I feel human is if I continue to pretend I got sleep, got a shower, and had a warm meal, but it's all an act. I may look cute in the process but I am starving, dirty, and the bags under my eyes are covered with concealer. I kind of win. I swear my child is trying to win every Untapped badge available, if only there were one for breast milk not beer. I can feed her 20 minutes before we leave or I can try and squeeze in a feeding in the parking lot but for some reason she waits until the most inopportune time to want to eat. You name the place, I have breastfed there. Every mall-tapped, Smokey Row-tapped, Palmer's Deli-tapped, oh and Chocolate Story Book-yet again tapped. It was awkward at first because I try not to draw attention to myself but now...we whip it out just about anywhere. Sorry not sorry people. If you had to listen to crying instead, you would be begging me to make it stop. So you are welcome :) For those following my bottle saga (Breast or Bootle blog post) is still a battle of wills. I try daily but I am home all day with her and I choose peace over screams and she wins, I cave and the boob she gets. At my caffine fix mom date this morning, my friend suggested the MAM bottle, it worked for her so I guess we will be borrowing one of those now to give it a whirl. Add it to the list, why not right? Oh, and in my search of trying to replicate a boob in bottle form, Joovy, who has a nipple like your so called Boob bottle? (Please don't send me pictures if you do.) She wins.

20140408-132727.jpg The car rides are still painful with screaming and crying from start to finish, we are lucky for a silent ride. It is so painful that I bought an iPad case for the car to hang over the seat so she can watch her favorite Baby Einstein movie EVERY car ride. Seriously, how can this precious thing be so viscious? Geeze! What 5 month old gets to watch a movie every car ride? Spoiled much? We will see if it even works, hurry up Amazon and ship my package my sanity is dwindling away. I bet those French mothers are covering their eyes and ears over this one. Shopping with the baby is also painful. Come on child you are supposed to love shopping! She wants to be held and see everything, or wants to sit up as if her car seat doesn't sit up far enough. So she gets held the entire time so I can have some silence during my walk. I even went as far as asking the lady at Von Maur if they had baby care so I could actually try something on for once. They have everything else so why not? She kindly held my baby so I could try on clothes and spend some money. Too bad she caught me trying to sneak away and leave her with my baby (Kidding.) I will admit, when I see kids on those leashes I cringe, but next thing you know I will have one in every color and animal they sell! She wins always! People remind me daily that "oh little girls are so sweet now, just wait until 12 or 13 years old." What exactly am I waiting for? It gets worse? Aye ya aye! I am totally in for it and my mother would proably agree:) Paybacks. The new thing I am now struggling with the whole only child syndrome thought. Yes, she has siblings but they are older and it isn't the same. Babies relate to the whole baby talk thing. I YouTube babies and she talks to them, it is so cute. Is she socialized enough, is she going to be the sterotypical introvert nerd? Oh the stupid things I worry about. Sooooo....I signed us up for a class at the local library. Singing, clapping, and sitting in a circle with other babies and gaurdians. She seemed to like it but oh the things I do now with my free time is comical, the next thing you know my car radio will be nursery rhymes and I will know every word to every song, but I will still look cute singing it by golly! Haha good Lord. You should hear the amazing sounds I can make trying to entertain her 24-7. It's impressive.

20140408-132620.jpg Yes, I know she is only little once and it's only for a short while, but if you can not vent or laugh at your awesome parenting skills along the way, admit your faults, and try something else, what fun would it be then? The best part about these memories is that a year from now I will look back and wish that those problems were our only "issues" again as they will seem so minimal. But in the moment, right now, it is a monumental battle with my parenting knowledge. We will see who wins next time :)

Holy Week

No I am not referring to Ash Wednesday, I am simply stating what a week and it's not even Friday! Like holy moly, holy toledo, and holy crap. Lots of ups and downs and yes, I still blame hormones? Is that allowed? In my last post I talked about how it annoys me when people comment on how "tiny" my baby is. I can let a lot of things go but this I couldn't. Nothing makes you feel worse than someone thinking you aren't caring for your child. I know this sounds stupid but I seriously started thinking, am I doing something wrong? Or not doing enough? What's a girl to do when my princess won't take a bottle...still, and can't eat that much cereal to boost calories significantly? I started wondering about my milk supply. I saw a FB post of someone's 12 ounce pump and know there is no way I could get that. That is dairy cow status and that must make me a baby cow. Darn you Facebook. Maybe my baby is not getting enough milk? Well, I will start eating more protein, butter, and carbs, that shouldn't be a problem :) I also know people swear by Fenugreek pills. So I bought them. WHY WHY WHY do they make me freaking smell like Mrs. Butterworth's syrup! I even made my hubs smell my pits (lucky guy) to see if he could tell...Yep. Awesome. Does this happen to everyone or am I special? On top of all of that, I am going to increase my water/fluid intake. We shall see if any of this helps. If you have other a sister out! Holy moly.

Wednesday's doctor appointment couldn't come soon enough to prove to myself that I was doing a good job with my baby. Yes I know how to care for her but I had and still have my doubts. My poor hubby is probably tired of me asking if she's getting bigger or growing like she should. He probably wants to cover up people's mouth when they start to say how tiny she is because he knows that's one more blow to my already beaten heart. How can something so cute and "tiny" cause me this much stress? First blow of the day came when the doctor's office called me at 12:00 when her appointment was at 1pm, stating I need to reschedule (if I don't want to wait 2 hours) because they were behind. Lady, you have NO idea how anxious and upset I have been about this appointment. Plus I rearranged her naps for this and now you want to switch me to tomorrow? Good thing I have no life. Talk about tears. Ridiculous I know but I had mentally preparred myself for her shots and wanted to put my mind at ease about her growth. Now we wait until 9:30 am Thursday. Holy toledo.

I think my baby knows how to make me feel better because she decided she would start rolling over. Kind of like " see mom, im getting bigger and you are doing a good job." God I love that baby girl. Sorry I didn't alert the FB media with that milestone but I don't want any other moms thinking because their baby isn't rolling over there is something wrong :) Oh and some more tears came with that too, hormones again. Mom now equals mush.

Today was the day. 9:30 am is not an ideal time for us but the earlier the better for me and my crazy brain. Well folks, I am not starving my child and her growth is not stunted. Her weight was 11lbs 14.6 ounces still trending on the growth chart. Her head and length have taken a huge leap! I guess I will have a smart string bean?? No worries from the doctor and no more craziness from me until next week. Kidding. Funny how that one person can put your mind at ease. I especially loved it when I asked the doctor for advice and she told me to wake her up every 3 hours at night ( to make me feel better) and feed her. Ummm lady, we already do that. Next. Try a bottle or extra feeding. Ummm won't take a bottle and is on the boob 24-7. Next. Hello Diva! That is one thing we agreed on. Holy crap.

If any of you watch the Bachelor, I am kind of like Jaun Pablo. Except I'm female, speak English, and not looking for love. But right now my favorite thing to say is, " it's ok." Seriously though, it is. She will only wake up every few hours and nurse for such a short time. I love rocking and feeding her, holding her tiny baby hand and kissing her sweet cheeks everytime I put her back to sleep. It's okay that she doesn't take a bottle right now. Before I know it she will be taking a sippy cup. Yes, I want a date night, yes I want a break, but I will get all of that and more soon enough. Before you know it she will be getting into the car and leaving for college, then I will give anything to get back that every 2 hour feeding and that time just to hold my sweet baby. Each time I nurse her I notice her legs get a touch longer. She now dangles them on the chair as compared to how she simply fit in one of my arms when we brought her home. I will never get any of that back and that's ok, I will live in each moment and take joy from it all. I need to learn to trust myself and my instincts, besides, momma knows best.