Mom Brain

There’s so much discussion about how pregnancy changes a woman’s body, but I wasn’t quite prepared for the following reality that is:  Mom Brain.  It’s REAL, my friends.  Very real!  And it’s as if those adorable, dimpled fingers reached into my mind before exiting my womb and scrambled my intelligence into a jumbled mess.

Now I can’t even talk correctly.

Mom Brain Strikes Again

Last night, I was trying to talk to Nate about yogurt parfaits. Yogurt! And instead, my conversation went something along the lines of, “I should buy some granola for your… your ugh… ugh… the ugh… it’s creamy… the ugh… oh man, what’s it called!?! It’s white…”

And poor Nate is shouting out answers like, “Icecream! Milk… Lotion!”

Seriously, our marriage has become a reality game show.  Who knew that having a simple conversation could be so difficult!

Oh, and don’t get me started on numbers. Someone just mentions the word “math”, and I drop into the fetal position.  Please, PLEASE, don’t ask me to add or subtract numbers anything bigger than would be appropriate for a first grader.  I’m a mom…  My brain is on an extended vacation.  

I seriously can’t remember anything.  If I don’t park in the same spot at the grocery store each week, game over!  I’m that woman pretending to chat on her phone while walking up and down the parking lot, trying to find her missing car.

(Wait, you haven’t done that before?  Oh the fun that you’re missing)!  

All the time. I’m pretty sure I’m going to die of Alzheimer’s someday.

Don’t worry, I fully utilize the panic button on my key fob if necessary as well.  In fact, I know that other moms use theirs to find lost cars as well (let’s be honest, ladies), so we might as well rename the fob’s function.  Forget “panic button” or “car alarm button” and call it what it is…  It’s a “mom lost the car” button.  In fact, instead of beeping obnoxiously, the car should respond by calling out, “Here I am, Gorgeous!”

I’ll take any compliment that I can get!  And basically any help that I can get too…

I at least used to have my little boy fooled into thinking that I had everything under control, because – let’s face it – little boys think that their moms know absolutely everything.  But now that he’s the mature age of three, he knows better.  Just the other night, I was trying to give him and his screaming sister a bath.  (Baby screaming just adds to mom confusion, I find).  I consoled Kaitlyn, saying, “It’s okay, Baby.  Mama will bring you upstairs to get a bottle in a minute if you can just calm down.”

“Mama,” Brady corrected, shaking his head.  “We already upstairs!”

Thanks for pointing out the obvious, my child.

His new favorite thing to say is “Mama, you silly!” when mommy brain strikes, and I do something ridiculous  And trust me, ridiculous follows me around these days like a shadow, so it’s a good thing that I can laugh at myself.

I blame it on Pinterest for having me sleep deprived. #Funny #Quote

Case in point…

I had a meeting recently with someone of social status. Let’s just say that I wanted to make a really good impression. I’m talking trading out my typical attire of boot-cut jeans and flannel for black slacks, heels, pretty blouse, and a cardigan that was the perfect balance of feminine and business. I was the image of confidence when I stepped into the woman’s office.

*I am woman, hear me roar*

(Why is it that everytime I use that line in my blog, I’m leading into a really embarrassing story?).

Anyway, the meeting went really well, and I drove home in high spirits. Once back at my house, I eagerly ran through the meeting with my husband, telling him all the details. Then I froze. I had been just bending down to pull off my cute heels, when I felt a piece of fabric just peeking out at the bottom of my pant hemline.

So you know how sometimes, after washing and drying clothes, a drier sheet gets stuck to an item; and you find it later when you’re unfolding a towel or trying on a pair of pants?

Well, apparently, this can happen with underwear.

And – after doing laundry – a piece of my underwear had apparently been stuck in my pant leg and worked its way down to my ankles.  That is where it – thank you, Jesus – caught on my shoes and only ever-so-slightly ducked below my pant’s hemline.

You guys, I went through an interview and walked out of an office with a thong dangling out of the bottom of my pant leg.

THIS! This is why a mom NEEDS to look in the mirror before heading out the door. Or why she should actually look at her clothes when she’s putting them on…instead of blindly throwing things on her body while she’s also trying to watch a little boy and a baby. THIS is what happens when a woman is subjected to mom brain.

You know how they say that one’s life can flash before their eyes? This happened to me in that moment… Except I imagined – in a split second – all of the ways I would have reacted to underwear dropping out of my pants during an important meeting with a businesswoman that I wanted to impress.

Like maybe I would have just stopped, dropped, and rolled on top of it.  (Embarrassing… but still less embarrassing than scattering intimate clothing onto an office floor). Or I’d freeze in place, stepping on top of it and pretending to receive a very important phone-call that would conveniently keep me standing there until the woman had to leave for a drink of water…  Or I could have dramatically shouted, “What’s that?!”  And when the interviewer was turned, I could have quickly kicked the underwear into a nearby potted plant.

Missing...

 

All these ideas rushed through my mind as I was standing there in my kitchen and holding a piece of underwear that I had just pulled out of my pant leg. Because had this happened, it would have gone down as the most embarrassing moment of my life.  And trust me, my list of embarrassing moments is pretty long and juicy.

I could write a book!  Or at least a ridiculously long blog post…

Mom brain.  It’s terrifying.  It’s hilarious.  It’s real.

And so far, it isn’t getting any better.  Oh thank goodness my kids are cute!  🙂  They make every single one of these moments worth it!!!

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I Blinked

I blinked…

I blinked, and suddenly we jumped from here…

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… to here.

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I breathed in your sweet, newborn baby scent…

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… only to find it replaced with the delicious aroma of orange baby shampoo.

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I laughed and clapped in glee to make you smile…

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… only to find you laughing and clapping back.

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I encouraged you to explore…

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… and you never stopped.

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We celebrated your first milestones and holidays…

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…and all too soon, we’ll celebrate your first birthday.  (My baby girl, it’s only three months away)!

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This feels like just yesterday.

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But then I blinked.

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Being a mom is so bittersweet.  Watching your precious baby grow and experience new things is the most incredible, beautiful of experiences.  But you know that you’re going to miss holding them in your arms and kissing that soft, baby fuzz on top of their head.  Because even just thinking about it makes you ache a little.

Slow down, baby girl.  Slow down just a little.

Mommy Monday – # 4

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I’m fairly certain that the originator of this little nugget of wisdom must have been a mom.

Kiddo skins his knee:  I want to be the one who kisses it all better.

Kiddo experiences something new and exciting:  I am thrilled to see it through his eyes.

Kiddo has a fever:   I need to be the one snuggling him close and kissing his warm forehead.

Another child takes a toy from my kiddo:  I want to be the one who uses it as a teachable moment.

Kiddo has a bad dream:  I rush to his room, because no one else can wipe away the tears like I can.

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But then one of those days happens…  One of those days when you stick your hand in poop, tantrums started at 6am, babies fuss for no explainable reason, and there are tears over spilled milk.  (Your tears…  Because you’re that tired.  And the entire gallon of milk glug-glug-glugged over your kitchen floor, and you’re standing there – juggling a child on each hip – wondering how you’re going to clean up the dairy tsunami).  And you think to yourself, “How soon can I get away from this insanity?”

Being a mom has this interesting flip flop affect for me when it comes to energy levels.  I thrive on the mom life…   I love messy baking projects, stacking colorful soft blocks, blowing bubbles in the bathtub, and snuggling close during an episode of Curious George.  But then, at the same time, it’s also draining.  Like even though I know that I’m doing the most important job (and a job that I love more than anything), I just need that little break once in awhile to have an adult conversation.  Or that dinner without dodging flying macaroni and cheese.  Or even that moment to sit down and breathe.

To just breathe.

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I need that short bit of absence to make the mom life feel a bit fonder.  🙂  Because while I couldn’t bear to be away for too long, I really do enjoy the moments that I get to be away for just a bit.  Mom life is beautiful.  But it’s also busy.  Messy.  And when I don’t get a bit of a break, I find myself on the fast track towards losing my patience.

Sometimes I just need those moments away from the diapers, bottles, meal planning, and baby raising.

For me, something as simple as walking through Target without the kids is ‘just what the doctor ordered’.  Why is it that Target has the ability to make me so cheerful?  Seriously, it’s like they have an addictive, happy mist that they spray throughout the premises.

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Anyway, I had some money set aside to spend this week, but – spoiler alert – I ended up using it on kid’s clothes at Old Navy.  😉  Still, I decided to walk through the women’s clothing section of Target to window shop the spring fashions that were on display.  I haven’t checked out the clothing there in forever, so it was a real treat.

Florals were out in full display!  You guys, I am soooooo obsessed with florals now.  Almost as much – if not slightly more – than stripes.  (Although it has to be the right color of floral…)

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This navy blue floral dress (on sale for $25) was definitely my favorite.  It was the perfect balance of cute and flirty and would make for an adorable outfit (especially when paired with the right jewelry or a jean jacket).

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I also LOVED this ‘love’ gray sweatshirt.  The fabric was heavenly soft and the fit was really nice.  But it was gray, and I own sooooo many gray things.  I’m really trying to bring color back into my life!

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The print on this dress was really cute, but it fell too short for my liking.  It definitely wasn’t mom-safe on me, because I wouldn’t be able to bend over in it.  😉  (Do you like how I tried it on with my jeans underneath?  I’m totally starting a new trend)!

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Just walking through Target and trying on a few outfits was just what I needed after my insanely busy mom week.  🙂  Per usual, I was very thankful for my mom time out… and VERY blessed to be able to come home to the family I love more than anything!

 

Fit and Fab Friday

Being a mom, I’m already juggling a million things at a time during the course of a day.  I mean, to be honest, I wouldn’t even remember what I ate for breakfast, except for the fact that I eat the same thing every single morning.

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Cereal…. because it’s not boring if you love it!

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So to expect me to work towards all of my yearly goals right from the onset is kind of expecting too much.  I can’t handle that kind of responsibility.  Slow and steady wins the race if I want to achieve my goals without getting frustrated by them.

It took me years to learn this valuable lesson…  But better late than never!  🙂

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Last month, my main focus was mental health.  I made a bit of time for myself each week, which I honestly hadn’t done in years.  I made sure that date night each month with Nate would be a priority.  And I decided to really work on my attitude…  To focus on my successes and achievements instead of letting myself get caught up in what didn’t get done yet or what still needed completing.

And honestly, I feel as though I rocked all that in January!

So this month, I’m excited to start a brand new goal while still continuing to make personal time a priority.

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February 2018 Goal:  Start Working out!

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If I can work out a few days a week, I’ll be SO happy and proud of myself.  Ha, ha.  I’m not going to have mileage or days-a-week goals quite yet.  I’m just going to start and do my best, letting my body and schedule pave the way.  (The kiddo’s are up a LOT during the night these days, so I don’t want to push myself too hard.  I’m pretty exhausted and need to make sure I’m not pushing myself too hard).

It’s been so long since I’ve had a consistent, running routine; and I’m really excited to start back up again.  I was also excited to try out my brand new Brooks sneakers.  (Spoiler alert:  I LOVE them)!!

Tonight’s run went REALLY well!  I was able to run 2 miles, and – honestly – my breathing and energy levels were great throughout it.  The only thing that made me keep the pace a bit slower was my bum knee.  That old knee injury always bothers me when I first start running again, and I don’t want to re-injure it. So I kept a slow-and-steady pace and also made sure to ice my knee once I was finished.

I’m blessed to have a treadmill in our basement, so it was pretty easy for me to fit in the workout after putting Kaitlyn to bed.  I definitely prefer running outside, but this will work for now!

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Eventually I’ll work on mileage goals and increasing speed.  (I’ll also eventually work on my nutrition, because I really should cut out added sugar and empty calories).  But like I said, slow and steady…  🙂

Here’s to another successful month!

 

So….. I was going to write a delightful, little blog post tonight.  But then the kids fell asleep early.  And the hubby is working late.  And “Confessions of a Shopaholic” was on television…

So here I am instead, comfy in bed, watching one of my favorite movies.

I’d forgotten how cute this movie is!!  I’m pretty sure that this is one of my favorite chic flicks, right up there with “27 Dresses”, “Bride Wars,” and “13 Going on 30.”

What’s your favorite chick flick??  🙂  

Mommy Monday – #3

This past weekend, the temps hit nearly 50 degrees, which was such a breath of fresh air after the bitter cold we’ve had up to this point.  Birds were singing…  Snow melted…  And I was hit with a very heavy dose of the running bug!

BAM!

To be completely honest, it’s been years since I’ve had a dedicated running routine.  There are so many reasons why (from difficult pregnancies, to C-section recoveries, to adjusting to life changes, to just pure laziness.  The list is rather long, and I won’t bore you with it).  But long story short, the last time I ran consistently was probably almost 10 years ago.

I’ve obviously run on and off again since then, but it just never reached the level I used to be.  When we were dating, Nate and I would take off and run for five miles before crashing at my place to eat macaroni and cheese while watching American Idol.  If I tried running five miles now?  I’d probably die.

I do still have no problem eating macaroni and cheese though…   😉  And I’m kind of excited about American Idol coming back.

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Anyway, I’ve had running fever for months now, and my body finally feels strong enough after my difficult C-section recovery.  So this past weekend, I decided to use my mommy time to drive to the mall and invest in a good pair of running shoes.  We have a treadmill in the basement, so I can start running now… and then be ready to transition to outdoor running this spring!

My last two pairs of running shoes were New Balance, and I loved them.  So I planned on going that route again.  Long story short, however, the sporting goods store had very few in stock and convinced me to buy a pair that I wasn’t really a fan of.  (And when I arrived home, I realized that they were trail running shoes, and so much heavier / bulkier than I  really wanted.  They were also dirt ugly, to be completely honest.  I definitely prefer running sneakers with pizzaz; and these were the dullest, most boring of grays).

Does anyone else have a bad experience when they go sneaker shopping?  I feel as though shoe salesman tend to be very much like car salesman.  They just want you to buy something, and they’re really good at convincing you of what you want.  (When I commented about how I wasn’t a huge fan of the shoes, the salesman convinced me that I just needed a pair of inserts and new socks.  And per usual, I convinced myself that he was right and bought all three items).

The moment I walked into my house, I had buyer’s regret; and I was totally stressed about it.  So much so that my mommy morning kind of felt like a failure, because I’m supposed to feel better after my time away from the kids.  But the rushed shopping trip to the mall had just totally left me frustrated.

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I called my brother, which is something I should have done from the beginning.  He runs marathons and crazy distances on a regular basis, so running is kind of his thing.  Sure enough, when I explained to him that I need shoes with a lot of comfortable support (due to my knee and foot injuries), he knew just what to recommend me.  I had never heard of the sneaker brand Brooks, but he highly recommended them.  (Apparently I’ve been hiding under a rock, because everyone else on the planet seems to love them.  Ha, ha!  Sooooo many of my friends have been telling me that they own Brooks sneakers and really like them).

Nate was taking Brady to the park to run around, so I decided to head back out with Kaitlyn to return sneakers… and to buy a new pair.

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The afternoon trip, thank goodness, ended up being GREAT!  I had no problem returning the sneakers and then drove to a different shoe store, which had more patient employees.  Kaitlyn was in such a good mood and just smiled and laughed at me the entire time.  In fact, having her with me was kind of fun.  🙂  I don’t get alone time with her very often, so it felt really special.  And this time, I found the perfect sneaker for me! The Brooks Ghost sneaker was just what I had been looking for in comfort and in style.

I’m pretty much obsessed with them, and I think they’re going to be my favorite new shoe!

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I LOVED my afternoon out with baby girl and I love my new sneakers!!  So despite the slow start in the morning, my mommy afternoon was absolutely perfect.

And now, I’m finally ready to start running!

Loved is Best

I hadn’t realized just how judgmental some moms and mommy groups can be until I became one… Although to be completely honest, I can’t say that I have always been without blame either. It’s ridiculously easy to find a poor mom at fault when you see her raising her voice in the store and chasing after a strong-willed child who refuses to listen. Then you become that mom; and you suddenly realize that all the patience, loving discipline, and prayer in the world doesn’t create a perfect son or daughter overnight.

It takes consistency… patience… consistency… patience… consistency…

Yeah, well, you get the idea.

Nate and I always used to joke that we were going to have a stubborn child, since we both have a pretty good dose of it ourselves. But man, we had no idea. So here I am, that mom at the store with the child who’s knocking things off shelves or having a tantrum in the carriage.

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And I am dealing with it by enforcing time-outs or taking away treats, but it’s not like I can wave my magic princess wand and suddenly tame my wild stallion of a son. Quite frankly, my son will probably never be tamed. (And trust me, if I had such a wand, I wouldn’t be wearing a hat so many days to hide my curls-gone-wild).

I truly believe that God is going to use this fiery, passion of Brady’s to do amazing things. So it’s not my job to break him but instead to guide him to make better choices, as he grows into a young man. But again, no wand… So, you know, consistency… and patience… and consistency…

But I see those faces… The faces of women who don’t have kids. Or those faces of moms who are raising sensitive, quiet little souls who demurely walk alongside the carriage with perfect attentiveness. I definitely thought that was going to be me, but it isn’t. And it’s not because of anything I did.

Every…single…child… is SO different.

And as adults, we should realize this and – in doing so – understand that raising these children amidst their differences will look different.

They will have different strengths. Different weaknesses. And those strengths and weakness include both the physical and the emotional side of things.

Some children will happily sit and play by themselves, while other parents succumb to turning on the television or ipad to get things done. Some children easily switch back and forth from breast to bottle, while others never adjust to that transition. Some kiddo’s are sensitive and need an extra dose of confidence, while others need to learn a lesson in humility. Some little ones live in a household that requires a mom to work; some moms desire to work; some moms long to stay home. Some women master cloth diapers, and others enjoy a good, dirty-diaper slam dunk into the trash can.

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So why are we playing the “I would never let my kid use electronics” game… Or jumping on the “those breastfeeding moms are always so better-than-thou” bandwagon… Or turning up our noses at moms who send their kids to school or who decide to teach at home. Or criticizing how much or how little time a mom is spending with her kids.

Why are we fighting each other when we’re all on such a different journey with one common goal: to love and care for our children?

Let’s face it, mommy guilt is cracking the whip enough. We don’t need fellow moms criticizing our choices just because our choices are different than theirs. Can we all just realize that different doesn’t always mean better or less than?

It just means different.

Not a competition

I try to feed my kids as healthy as possible and – when I can – serve meals that are from scratch. But guess what, my three year old ate two popsicles, goldfish, and a handful of blueberries for lunch. Yeah, I tried breastfeeding for as long as I could, but – last Sunday – I woke up and realized that ‘the girls’ were done and that my body was so malnourished from being sucked dry that my nails were literally cracking to the quick. Formula it’s been ever since (and – wow – how freeing every single day has been since then). I love a clean house, but it gets trashed at least once a week.

(Okay, fine, a few times a week, but who’s counting…).

Speaking of cleaning… I work from home; and I need to organize, dust, vacuum, tidy, and we’re-having-company-over clean every…single…week in order to prepare for the lessons I teach. Do you know how hard it is to clean your house to this level when you’re also caring for a baby and a strong-willed child? Yeah, I totally let Daniel Tiger and Curious George do the babysitting when I’m rushing around getting things done. And many times – GASP – I also turn on the ipad for a bit of creative learning with Elmo.

It’s my reality. It’s what I have to do in order to get what I need to get done… while also keeping my mischievous little boy out of harms way.

occasionally one has to scrape one's self off of the floor, peer about with crazed eyes, and remember this fact

That’s it!

We moms are SO hard on ourselves, however, that we live to be edified by others. We so effortlessly find flaws in our efforts that a differing opinion or way of doing something is only confirmation of our greatest fear: we might be falling short. We desperately want to be told that we’re doing the best of jobs. And so our insecurities are heightened when we see others living life differently.

Then the mom judgment begins. And we begin to take sides.

You want to know which side I’m on? I’m on the side of fed is best… clothed is best… diaper changed is best… educated is best… LOVED is best.

We’re all moms walking on our own, unique journey. Not one of us has walked in the shoes of the women next to us, so who are we to judge? And who are we to feel belittled by another’s choices?

We are ALL rockstars for loving fiercely, passionately, and selflessly. And just imagine how strong we could be if we looked out into the crowd and realized that the audience looking up at us consisted of other moms who – instead of judging us – were applauding in support and admiration. xoxo