Mom. Mum. Mummy.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ahh, toddler-hood. I'm loving (and loathing) every minute of it. There are most definitely days that I feel sad and miss snuggling up with a little jelly bean on my chest (well, he wasn't a little jelly bean...) and I miss watching him in his peaceful state in the bouncy seat with sweet melodies playing in the background.
Now, there's a lot of noise. 
Banging. Clanging. Crashing. Thumping. Shouting. Screeching.  
There's also a lot of bumps and bruises--including myself when I get the occasional toy thrown at my face from a mere 3 inches away. 
And then there is the ever-so-lovely "Stewie" phase. If you aren't familiar with Family Guy, here is my life at any given moment, of any given day:

I swear this is on repeat 24/7 365. This child is stuck to me like glue and absolutely must have my attention at any given moment. God forbid I don't acknowledge him within 1.384 seconds or all freakin' hell breaks loose. 
And don't even get me started when I  a.) leave the room  b.) drop him off anywhere c.) hand him to someone else because this kid acts like he's having an appendage ripped from him. It's these moments that I wonder if staying home with me is really the best option. Or, that I wish I did more things where he spent more time with other people instead of hanging on my left ankle.
But yes, there is a sweet side of toddlerhood that I'm absolutely loving. Throwing a party over little accomplishments like saying a new word or learning how to use a fork. Watching him run frantically for 30 minutes straight and detour to come give me a kiss. Listening to him make kissy-sounds to call the cat and say "Maweee" (for Marlee). Or even after the chaotic drop-offs at the gym daycare, he throws his toys to the side and comes running the second he catches a glimpse of me. 
No, it's not easy. Yes, toddlers are damn near cray-cray, but all the sweetness totally makes up for the craziness. Even if I do live with Stewie...

5 Things That Made Me Happy This Week

Monday, January 26, 2015

It's so easy to write in a state of frustration or whenever I want to bitch and complain. Words pour out, my fingers are usually trying to type to catch up as quickly as I can formulate a sentence in my brain. What does that say about me? I'm not sure. But since I'm here all day with a dog, two cats and a baby I feel like I have to complain to someone, so there's my justification.
But to switch things up a bit, I'm going to write about 5 things that made me happy this week. Maybe that will inspire you to look for things that made you smile or feel grateful this week, maybe it won't. Maybe you'll look at this and think, OK--let's get back to the bitching and complaining. I understand. That's way more entertaining.
Either way, here goes:
1. Our nightly dinner dance parties. Every night usually around 6:30 p.m. we've had a family dance party in our kitchen. Lucca runs right into the kitchen as if it's his stage and starts to move, then demands some tunes. He's not partial to any particular kind of music-- his favorites are pretty across the board from Biggie to Wheels on the Bus. It's my favorite time watching him figure out his own moves, stop, close his eyes Mariah Carey-style if he hears a good vocal,  and come back with a different step. Always on beat. Always.
2. Lucca is talking, ALOT. No surprise here, right? But the number of words he's started saying this week just blows my mind. Honestly, when this kid starts talking for real, I'm scared of what is going to come out of his mouth. He has become a parrot as well, repeating everything we say and learning quickly.

I also might be the worst parent as I searched for "Babies Saying Curse Words" on YouTube for about 45 minutes. Lucca has tried to say "fox" and "fork" this week and well you know,  I'm immature and think his version is absolutely hilarious. 
3. Going out in the snow on Wednesday. I wanted to take Lucca out in the snow as it was falling on Wednesday and I really wish there were someone there to witness the spectacle that went down in my foyer. Just picture  the scene in "A Christmas Story" and there ya go. Lucca couldn't move an inch and as I tried to simultaneously put on his boots and mittens, he layed out flat on his back. Luckily, we were both laughing.

When we finally made it outside, he kept saying "Oh no! Oh no!" while he watched the snowflakes cover my hat and jacket. I built a same-size snowman for him and I think he was more scared of the thing than impressed by my skills. He must have said "mama" 345 times in twenty-minutes. 
4.  FaceTime with the Fam. FaceTime is the best. I probably FaceTime my sister at least once a day to show her the shenanigans that are going in my house (one night he actually called my sister himself on the iPad). Lucca has finally figured out how to actually converse on FaceTime without grabbing the screen, and this week we talked to his grandmother, grandfather, aunt and cousins. He loves seeing their faces and talking and when he's done, he  simply says "bahh" and moves right along. 
5. Celebrating a friend's birthday on Saturday night.  Greg and I ventured into the city to celebrate our best friend's birthday and stayed out until 4 a.m. Yes, you read that correctly. 4 A.M. I'm more used to waking up at 4 a.m. to a fussy kid, not drinking and dancing until the bar closes (those were the days...) But if it weren't for the coffee and Redbull beforehand, I never would have made it as I usually am under the covers once Lucca is asleep.  Yep, I'm pretty lame.

At one point during the night, Greg turned to me and said, "What's it feel like to be released back into society!?" Oh, man, it was awesome. It felt great to be around friends and have a good time knowing Lucca was having a blast sleeping over at my mom's. We need these nights every once in awhile and I'm thankful we have a rotating team of babysitters to make it possible.

It was a great week and I'm still smiling about it. I'm really hoping it carries over into the week ahead!

Parenthood=Several WTF's Per Hour

Saturday, January 17, 2015

This past week was yet another week where the days just flew by so quickly that when I look back, I'm not sure exactly what I accomplished. We had some good days--we had a pretty nice routine down and had fun playing and running around town. Then there were days that I thought would never, ever end. Thursday was a God-awful day with a seriously unpleasant trip to the doctor for Lucca, but then Friday came in strong with a promising outlook for the weekend.
I know what you're thinking.  Relax, you've got one kid, why are you complaining? I get it. I'm not going to lie, I thought the same thing pre-Lucca. One kid? Ha! Piece of cake. I don't think it's impossible. I also don't think I have it any harder than anyone else. I just like to be honest about the reality of being a parent (especially a new one who doesn't know what the hell they're doing) on a day-to-day basis. I have some really great, fun, fulfilling days with my son and then I have days where I think, "What the hell? Why is this happening right now?" 
And I think that's just it-- parenting is such a freaking roller coaster that it takes every single ounce out of you. It's like a crazy Ex who is sweet to you one moment and then turns around and goes completely bat-shit crazy on your ass.
One of the best quotes I ever saw on Pinterest (one of those days when I was like man I need to pin some great quotes today) was this:
 I'm currently experiencing life at several WTF's per hour.
That IS my life. Why/What/When/Where the F@*! all day, everyday. Use your imagination with any combination of phrases. I'm pretty sure I've thought it or said it at least once. And if you're a parent, to one kid or a whole damn soccer team, then you know what I'm sayin'. WTF, Parenthood.  
So on this lovely, sunny Saturday morning, we're currently seeing the sweet side of parenthood. Third cup of coffee, the sound of Lucca snoring through the baby monitor, a clean house, a cooked breakfast and a day open to possibility. 
But don't be fooled, parenthood's bat-shit crazy side is sure to show up on my doorstep--unannounced and demanding to be acknowledged. 
WTF, Parenthood. WTF.

Home Sweet Home

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ever since Greg and I officially lived together, we have moved a total of 4 times in the past six years. We've had roommates, lived in a one bedroom apartment twice, and transferred area codes. We've lived in 3 different cities just while being in Northern Virginia. All this time we've been renting and have been praying of our "dream home". We've attempted at least 3 times to make the leap to buy a house but big things got in the way-- a wedding, a baby, a new job. It's been a long haul, and I want a house of our own so bad it hurts.
I left the 'Burg behind so quickly when I left for school that I almost regret it.  I never came home that first summer after my freshman year like most of my friends. I was so ready to move on, grow up, get an apartment and make Richmond my new home. But I miss my childhood home, I miss my old neighborhood, my favorite places around town... And even though I didn't go back, Richmond did become my new home for the four years I was in college. I started another chapter of my life there--found new favorites, met amazing people (my husband, for one...) and made the best memories. And since we moved up to Northern Virginia after graduating, I'm still trying to make this place my home. It's just taking a lot longer than I thought.
I have the best memories as a kid in my house and I want that for Lucca and for our little family so badly. I want to make memories in a home, a real home--I'm just not sure where that is. I want him to remember the types of trees we have in our backyard and which are best for climbing or remember the way our house smells and which parts of the floor creak where you walk. I want to build a treehouse--an actual tree house in a tree just like my Dad built for us. I've never had a special feeling about anywhere we've lived thus far and don't really feel like where we're living now is "our house". I hate that.
Right now, it's temporary. It's where Lucca will live as a baby while we work hard toward our goal of buying a home, a real home. Yes, I know "home is where the heart is" and all that BS and although I'm happy as long as we're together, I want something for us. By us. Blood, sweat and tears kinda deal. I want to accomplish this goal that we've been working toward for what seems like FOR-EV-ER. I want something that my child(ren) will miss when they're older.
I can't believe I'm about to say this (let's blame the wine) but I want a house that we can fill with kids. Not like, Duggar style (come on now, we all know how much I LOVE being pregnant) but truly-- I want to make a home for our growing family. I don't know where that home will be, I don't know when any of it will come to fruition, I just know I want it. Bad. 
And now, I will watch Fixer Upper on HGTV and wish Joanna and Chip would magically appear on my doorstep to help us find our dream home. Ugh, a girl can dream...  


A Note To My Former Self

Friday, January 9, 2015

There are so many things I said before having Lucca that I swore I would never do. I also had a perfectly painted picture of how life would be like with a baby. I look back on my former self and just want to laugh in her face. 

1. Before: "Everything has a place and toys don't need to be strewn all over the house. My house won't even look like we have kids!"
After: Toys. Books. Beepy things. Blocks. All over the Goddamn place. In the basement, in the living room, in the kitchen, in our bedroom. And what does the kid play with? Coozies, remotes, pots and pans and dog toys. 

2. Before: "I only need 1 stroller. Why do people have so many? Do you really need a jogging stroller to go jogging?"
After: One year later and I have FOUR freaking strollers. 1 is his stroller where the newborn carseat snapped into, 1 is an umbrella stroller, and yes, I have two jogging strollers. I thought I was getting a pretty damn good deal on the first jogging stroller I bought for $15 but later realized it's for more experienced stroller joggers. The second I also bought off an online yardsale site and I actually prefer taking that out for walks around the 'hood with the dog in tow. Have I done any jogging yet, you ask? Hahaha.

3. Before: "My car will always be clean, the way I like it. There's no reason to have food in the 

After: Toys. Books. Beepy things. Goldfish crumbs. Ritz cracker crumbs. Two-week old curdled milk in a sippy cup. Blankets. 4 strollers. That didn't last long...

4. Before: I hate baby gates! They take up space and look awful.

After: 2 play-yards (also known as "baby jail" ), 1 gate at the top of the stairs, multiple DIY blockades, as well as furniture straps, cabinet and drawer locks, every electrical cover imaginable etc. just to keep him contained and safe and make our lives miserable.

5. Before: I'd love to work from home. He will play and keep himself occupied and I can make a little money while I stay with him. 


The thing is, I'm pretty sure we all do this. We're a little judge-y and hoity-toity (even though we don't like to admit it) before we find ourselves literally doing the exact same thing we all said we wouldn't do. Or when we say how easy everything will be and how differently we'd do things as parents.


Dear Former Self,

Shit is about to get real

Shut up before you say you're whole house won't be consumed by every stage of your kid's life: first the baby swings, the playmats, then the exer-saucers and ride-along toys, strollers... It will. You will trip over your kid's shit every single day of your life. You will exhaust yourself just putting your kid's crap away that you will leave out all of your own crap, or vice versa. You will have a messy car--wait, you're whole life is going to be messy. You will find dried bananas in the back of your hair from when your kid ate them yesterday for breakfast. You will be so excited for trash and recycle days that you think its Christmas morning. 

Your house will be locked up like friggin' Fort Knox and you will become so limber stepping over two-foot tall plastic gates that you will be able to do it in your sleep. And you'll have to do it in your sleep because you will be so exhausted from sleepless nights and napless days while you try to work from home with your kid screaming in your ear.  

So shut up and brace yourself for what is about to come. Never say never. Just remember that.

-Present Self

Just Be.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

This past New Year's Eve, my husband said something that really struck a chord with me. He told me he's noticed that I can never just sit and "be". I'm always busy trying to do something... anything. Cleaning up toys, making lists, checking things off a list to put more things on a list, blogging, taking pictures, washing dishes... All typically unimportant things that can wait until a later time.

Initially, I thought this was kind of a shitty thing to say because of course I can "just be". But then I realized he was right. I'm always thinking of the next thing-- not just focusing all my attention on what I'm doing at that particular moment. 

I certainly don't think I'm alone in this.I think everyone, not just moms, has this problem. My mind is in a definite fog of a bazillion freaking things and as much as I say I want to be experiencing and living every single moment with my husband, my son, my family and friends, I'm probably not. Nope, I'm probably thinking of which stores I need to go to to buy items on our grocery list and also how to maximize my time without driving all over the damn place. Or I'm thinking I need to Google ski resorts to travel to in the winter because someone mentioned they wanted to do that so it needs to be done right now.  Or I'm thinking I need to pick up those toys sprawled out all the way to our kitchen or (God forbid) they will be there tomorrow morning when we wake up.

I get it, I need to get a grip.

I don't want to make any New Year resolutions because we all know how those end up... They start off great with good intentions but then you start to slip and give up all together. I don't want to label anything, I just want to be better-- for myself, for people around me. The world will not end if there is still food stuck to the highchair, or if I haven't checked the mailbox or thought about what to make for dinner in the next week. Leave it, just be, and get to it later. Or hell, if I'm feeling really bold, forget about it all together.

Here's to trying to "just be" in the days ahead...

I'm A Mother, That's Why I've Become A Bitch

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy 2015! I'm so excited to have a post over on my fave blog, Scary Mommy. Please check it out! 

"I have been a mother for approximately 441 days. Since day one, I have become an entirely new person. There have certainly been some really great qualities that I have acquired since becoming a mom, but mostly I’m a bitch. Here’s why."

- See more at: Scary Mommy

As always, thank you so much for your continued support!