Grateful {.012}

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This weekend was filled with Jayden and I catching up on house work & a mini trip to the library.

At the library he had a blast climbing on the little play set and doing puzzles. There was a mentally challenged child there that wanted to read books with him, but he was a little rough. I could tell that his caregiver couldn’t control him, so I kind of had to step in. It was really uncomfortable for me since he wasn’t mine and I wasn’t sure how the child was going to react. But, Motherly instinct to protect Jayden when he couldn’t protect himself {the child was at least 7 or 8}overrode all of those feelings. I’m just grateful that Jayden didn’t get hurt and I didn’t go crazy {not on the child, but on the caregiver}.

Everyone deserves to be made a priority and taken care of. That little boy was just swept under the rug and wasn’t being paid any attention. I’d act out too if no one paid me any attention.

Of course I’m grateful that Jayden did not have any birth defects and can function and communicate with me. But, more than anything, that incident made me realize how thankful I am that Quentin and I were prepared to love him with all of our hearts, give him the attention he needs and deserves & give our lives for him if it came down to it regardless of his condition.

It’s the simple things that make the difference. But, if you think about it, that kind of love is pretty complicated. You never really get it until you’re a parent.

Kids spell love T-I-M-E.

John Crudele

Laundry {.011}

Laundry is terrible. We all know this. Lately it has been unbearable. It just seems like I don’t have time for it and when I do it’s not enough time to complete the cycle {wash, dry, fold}. Jayden loves to help sort the laundry and put it in the dryer. It makes things run a tad bit longer, but it’s totally worth it to see him excited about helping Mom.

I mean, realistically it’s my own fault. The problem is I’m not organized when it comes to getting it done or putting it away. There is one basket for my baby boy and one basket for Quentin and I. That’s it. I don’t sort colors or anything, which makes the process a whole lot longer than it needs to be. In a perfect world I could literally throw the laundry in, fold it, and put it away. That’s it. The reality is – that’s obtainable! I just have no idea how to get started. Well, I shouldn’t say that. I’m just afraid that I’m going to get this awesome system in place & not follow through with it, therefore wasting my time & possibly money.

So, I’m calling out to you blogosphere! How do you keep your family’s laundry clean on a consistent basis? Do you wash twice a week? Once? Do you use a special sorting system? What time of day do you choose to do your laundry? Who gets involved? Just tell me everything! Let me into your house and take me through a day in the life of your laundry because Lord knows my laundry needs serious lessons from a professional.

I believe you should live each day as if it is your last, which is why I don’t have any clean laundry, because, come on, who wants to wash clothes on the last day of their life?

 
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Me & My Teddy {.010}

The attachment to an inanimate object phase has begun for Jayden. We cannot do a single thing without “Teddy”. Teddy needs to brush his teeth, cuddle, and wash his face whenever Jayden does. It’s adorable to see him attached to something/someone besides Quentin and I. However, in the morning when I’m rushing around to get everything and everyone ready – it’s not so cute. Brushing Teddy’s teeth is not on my agenda at 6:00 in the morning. I try my best to keep my cool most of the time, but when I don’t want Teddy involved and the clock is not on myside I scream, “Teddy doesn’t have TEETH!”

And of course he looks at me with the puppy dog eyes and I give in {I am the softest parent on earth}. I am the softest parent on earth. Other times, I’m glad he’s attached to Teddy. It’s almost teaching him to cherish people more and be more responsible. Since Teddy is involved he wants to do more cuddling and cleaning with Teddy then by himself. I guess having a partner in crime always makes the tasks in life more fun.

Long live Teddy!

 
Children do not give up their innate imagination, curiosity, dreaminess easily.
You have to love them to get them to do that.
R.D. Laing

Who Farted {.009}

So after walking in the house and taking my shoes off. The interesting toddler convorsation begins.

Jayden: Ew! Stinky Feet!
Me: My feet stink?
Jayden: Yes!
Me: Well, do you like my nail polish?
Jayden {While running toward the dinning room table}: I’m hungry!
Me: So, I’ll take that as a ‘No?’
Jayden {He turns around and looks at me with the most serious face}: I don’t like it.

He hurt my feelings.

I’m sniffing around because I smell something unpleasant.

Me: Did you fart!?
Jayden: Noooo.
Me: Who farted then?
Jayden: Teddy! He no ask potty!
Me: Oh! Teddy didn’t ask for the potty huh?
Jayden: Noo.
Me: Okay. That’s okay.
Jayden: ::Gives Teddy a hug and kiss:: It’s okay Teddy.

That was a 50,000 on the ‘Aw, that was so cute!’ scale. And as far as I know, that scale only goes up to 10!
Lord knows I wish I caught that on camera! But, hopefully God will allow me to have that memory embedded in my brain for the rest of my life. One of the cutest full fledged conversations I’ve ever had with my little man.

A moment lasts all of a second, but the memory lives on forever.

Unknown

Birthday Bash {.008}


Swing baby!

So, my little munchin’s birthday is coming up {April 29TH to be exact} & I am so excited he’s turning three! He is developing so well and we {Quentin & I} are so proud! Since late March we’ve been throwing ideas around about where we want to have his birthday party and who we want to attend, blah, blah, blah. We were thinking about the park {what we did for his first birthday party}, a kids gym {like gymboree}, Quentin’s Mom’s house, a kid’s science center, and no party at all {yea, we got that frustrated with it}. Thinking about the pros and cons of each thing is what lead us to our final decision.
The venues that we were thinking about were too expensive for the alloted time and how many people we’d like to invite {30+}. I want a quick celebration, but 90 minutes is way too quick! To make sure that all of the kids at Jayden’s school can celebrate with him I’m just going to bring treats to school! The party will be for friends and family that don’t live all that close.
Another thing I didn’t really take into consideration the last two birthdays was what Jayden would like to do. It’s so easy to get caught up in what seems cute, what other kids will like and if the party location is a good radius for everyone to attend {blah, blah, blah}. Which all seem like important factors, but none of them should come before Jayden’s preference {it’s his day after all}. So, I sat back and thought about what he likes. He likes cars. He likes to run around. He loves to babble about cars. But, the most important thing that I remembered is that more than anything on this entire earth {yes more than cars}, he loves spending time with his parents. When he can have quality time with us, he is the happiest kid in the world. He always asks to “way down” and get “huggies” when he has us all to himself.
I have made a consious decision to make every single year my son is on this earth filled with experiences.  Gifts are nice, but all of the gifts we got him since he’s been born get played with for a couple of months, then he goes on to something else. Jayden has everything a little almost-three-year-old could want/need and more. He’s a pretty simple kid and can keep himself entertained with a spoon. Everything else is a bonus. The memories associated with the experiences Quentin & I gift him will last a lifetime, and so will the pictures.
The final decision is having a friend/family house party & a science center/lunch day with Jayden, Quenitn and I only. What I would have given to spend an entire day with both of my Parents when I was younger, even now it would be nice {they’re divorced by the way}. There’s nothing like bonding time with thoes that mean the most to you. He’s number one in our lives and we’re number one in his; it’s a perfect date.
I’m such a sappy nerd that I can just picture his glee when he realizes that Mommny and Daddy aren’t on the phone all day, shuffling back and forth, cooking, cleaning and all of that other stuff adults have to do. That day also happens to be the exact date of his birthday. I gotta tell ya. I’m counting the days. I cannot wait. I wish I could tell him and have him understand. He’d pee his pants. What a way to celebrate.
And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.
It’s the life in your years.
Abraham Lincoln

Easter Weekend {.007}

Toddler Shoes
Father & Son

Last weekend was filled with:
A trip to Quentin’s old school. Cute sayings by Jayden. A visit from Grandpy. No cooking {YES!}. Short naps. Spring breeze. Cruising downtown. Looking for new digs. Church. A well behaved young man. Son & Daddy bonding time {No school for Jayden on Friday…or today!}. Freshly made granola. Farmers market goodness. Sleeping in ’till 7:00AM {That’s a treat for me}.

Most importantly. I got to experience all of those wonderful things with my family. That’s what made my Easter so special.

How was your Easter weekend?!

Keep the Love Alive {.006}

 So, I went to grab some lunch from the fridge this morning & Quentin told me that instead he wanted to take me out to lunch. My first thought was “Oh how sweet!” I can’t remember the last time we sat down and had a meal together. I literally can’t. It’s a gift and a curse. With success always comes some sort of sacrifice. Thankfully, we love each other enough to make sure the other knows that they are loved – always

Lunch time roles around and we head off to a shopping center with some restaurants nearby. We can’t decide what to eat right away, but eventually settle for Panera Bread. We are about to walk in and the couple walking out with their baby says, “They have no power.”

I was like “WHAT!?” out loud, even though I meant for that to stay in my head {Yup! I looked crazy}. We continued down the sidewalk to the other food places. Subway – no power. Chipotle – no power. We just could not win! So, we drove out of the area and found a local spot to eat. 

We are looking for a new place to live so Quentin brought his laptop with him so he could show me the places he found. What he showed me was so inspiring and exciting! Places in the city, places in the county, newly remodeled some with old charm. A mix of everything! When he showed me each place all I could think about was: “Is there a park nearby? Is there enough room for a pet? Are there hardwood floors? Is the neighborhood safe enough to walk around?” – all Mommy questions.

It is so incredibly interesting to think about what your pre-baby mind cared about versus the mind of a Mommy. All questions and reactions stem from a place of protection, concern, and the desire to give them everything and more.

It was just then when I realized how blessed I am to have the privilege of raising one of God’s children. Most importantly, God gave me a wonderful partner in life who can share in this journey with me and love to pieces every step of the way.

The hunt will still continue, but it’s nice to get some quality time in with Quentin. With so many exciting things going on it’s easy to let your relationship fall to the waist-side. Initiative is key & making time for each other is one thing we’ve learned to do. Time is not going to just show up out of nowhere with our busy schedules. We’ve got to keep that love alive.

When two people are meant for each other, no time is too long, no distance is too far, and no one can ever tear them apart.

 –Anonymous

Enjoy your Easter weekend. 🙂

The Meanest Mommy on Earth {.005}

I’m sure today I sealed the deal on that reputation with my baby boy. Yesterday morning was just not a good one for me. I woke up an hour and fourty-five minutes late {totally my fault. I just love hitting that snooze button} and that just threw my whole morning routine off. I am a perfectionist and if things don’t go the way that I planned them I immediately get irritiated. This really someting I need to work on.
So let’s take a look at how the morning routine is supposed to look like in a perfect world.
4:45AM Wake up {I know I’m crazy for trying to shoot for such a time everyday. Let me be!}
{Get myself together, do homework, finalize a blog post, & pretty much anything I want to do in peace and quiet: very important}
6:00AM Get Jayden’s breakfast together & let it cool{I am a terrible future wife and always manage to mess up my fiance’s breakfast – lessons in progress}.
6:15AM Wake Jayden up & eat breakfast with him.
6:31AM Start helping Jayden brush his teeth & take a bath etc.
{Put clothes is hamper, clean dishes, grab lunches, etc.}
7:25AM Shove the family through the front door.
Jayden’s school opens at 7:30AM and I like to get to work by 7:40.
Do you see how flipping fantastic that is!?
Today I woke up at 6:00AM. This means I had absolutely no time to myself. Irritating especially when I get quite a bit done durring my hours alone. After I got Jayden together I just had to get myself ready in rush mode. Of course he wants to be around me since we didn’t get to sit down together and eat breakfast like we usually do, but I was so irritated I didn’t realize it. When he was standing next to me while I was getting myself together I told him to “go by daddy”. He did. Then, he came back a few minutes later.
“Go by daddy!”, I yelled.
He ran away into the living room. I immediately felt bad.
“What’s wrong with you?”, Quentin asked.
“My whole schedule is off!”, I exclaimed.
Quentin made his way to the living room to check on Jayden.
I followed.
“What’s wrong stinky?”, He asked.
Jayden was laying on the couch with his thumb in his mouth looking out the window at the cars riding by. He had the saddest look on his face.
Quentin was about to console him, but I had to step in. I felt so bad for letting my issues affect him.
I grabbed Jayden and gave him a big hug.
“I’m so sorry,” I said. “Do you forgive Mommy?”
“It’s okay.” He told me in the softest voice.
And like he always does, he jumped up and started telling me about all of the cars and trucks he was watching ride by. Like nothing ever happened.
“Mommy! Wook! It’s a cars and swuck right dea!”
{Translation: Mommy! Look! There are cars and trucks right there!}
Everyone says he has my personality, but I don’t see it. I’m just as outgoing, but the way he gets over things is a quality I wish I had. Just another thing to work on.
 “Every time you get angry, you poison your own system.”
– Alfred A. Montapert

Five tips on how to NOT feel like baby poop {.004}

So, if you follow me on twitter, you would have seen my tweet stating:

Yup, it’s true. I don’t know how it happened. But, myself and Quentin are coming down with something. Jayden seems okay, just an occasional cough {I’m still keeping a close eye on him though}.

Today wasn’t especially terrible or anything, but I can certainly tell that I needed to sleep in. My body is just not having it today. Being a Mom is tough – especially when your sick. Jayden could definitely feel my energy – I just wasn’t myself. So instead of being a Debby downer and going into detail about how terrible I feel, I thought I’d share five tips for fellow Moms {or anyone really} who feel like trash, but have to keep the household together {go to work, shuffle the kids to school, make dinner, etc.}.

Green Tea

Tip #1: Look nice

This seems like a pretty simple one, but makes such a difference! When you look good you feel good. Let me clarify. I don’t mean look the way you do everyday. Spruce it up a little bit. Do you hair with a few soft curls, if you never wear makeup – throw some mascara on! If you always wear makeup, try out a new lipstick/lipgloss combination. Basically what I’m trying to say is set aside some time for you! Don’t wallow in your sick feeling with a dull hairstyle and “I-don’t-feel-good-but-I-have-to-get-up-so-I-threw-something-together” outfit {you know what I’m talking about}.

Tip #2: Fake a smile

You’d be surprised how well this works. We have more control over our bodies than we think we do. The mind controls everything. You can literally trick your body into thinking you feel better than you do. Your brain releases endorphines {which are natural pain killers} and serotonin every single time you smile. These chemicals will help you relieve any pain {including mild headaches} or stress your under. All things seem stressful when you’re sick. It seems like no one is cooperating with you. Smiling through the frustration and laughing at the minor snags in your day will help you feel tons better.

Tip #3 Listen to your favorite song

Music is your mood with a beat. Listening to one of your favorite songs totally lifts your mood. One of my favorite songs right now is Tonight is the night by OutasightIt is everything I like in a song. Upbeat, catchy, positive & most of all it sounds like the artist had a great time creating the track. I don’t have time to sit at the computer and download every single song that I like, but Pandora helps me discover new music and get a taste of what I already like. The radio is still cool too. Just embrace a good song!

Tip #4 Drink Green Tea

Antioxidants are your body’s best friend. Unfortuntately, with the fast pace environments we are usually in we skip getting thoes antioxidants from fruit. Make sure the tea is warm when you drink it. When your body is nice and warm it has a better chance of fighting off a virus. Plus, it just feels really god going down. So curl up with a nice book, grab a blanket and drink up!

Tip #5 Drink 100% Juice

This is hard for some. When you aren’t feeling well only drink 100% juice {& water of course}. Don’t drink juice from concentrate, kool aid, lemon aid, or soda. Why? It takes quite a bit of energy for your body to get rid of all of the artificial mess that you put in it {junk food eaters, ever wonder why you’re so tired – you’re not alone. I’m guilty too}. So, if you take the time to put super good stuff in it you’ll recover much faster! Plus it actually tastes a lot better than the stuff with added sugar and juice from concentrate (to me anyway). It’s a win, win!

I hope these tips help you get over your cold if you have one. It seems that no matter what season it is, I know someone who has some sort of cold. Allergies can sometimes spark a cold as well.

As the day went on and Quentin and I went about our days each of us started to feel better. After working out {a great stress reliever} Quentin didn’t feel so sick anymore and after talking to a friend I started to feel better as well. My friend and I were talking about school {I’m a college student}, life and just finding ourselves and young professionals and young people in general and she said this to me:

“…take your time. Same thing goes for school. You are amazing for being a full time mother and getting your degree! I always say time is…just that. You’re young and vibrant. There is no need to rush, all will fall into place exactly how it’s supposed to be. Just stay positive and stay away from flying debris.” {I told her my household was a tornado, which is far from an exaggeration in my eyes}

It just goes to show that doing things you enjoy like talking to friends or working out {basically, sticking to your normal routine} can really make a difference in your overall mood. It also relieves a bit of stress. So, if your feeling under the weather. Feel better!

“The best of healers is good cheer.”

Pindus

better than mommy {.003}

jayden's toothbrush & toothpaste

6:31AM. this is usually the time i have jayden brush his teeth and get ready for school. this time the routine changed a little. as soon as we got into the bathroom – he asked for “daddy“. i told him “daddy” was still sleeping. immediately, without any hesitation – he started crying. not like “tears-are-just-casually-running-down-my-face-and-i-hope-this-is-enough-to-make-you-realize-i’m-upset” kind of crying. i mean bawling out of control crying. i asked him what was wrong and all he could mutter was “daaaddyyyyyy,”. i knew there was something deeper than that wrong with him but, of course he couldn’t articulate it to me. all he knew was that whatever bad feeling he was experiencing, only daddy could fix it.

so, what did i do? took him do daddy. and mind you i cradled him in my harms and stroked his head for some minutes before this {felt kind of insignificant at that point}. instead of telling him to “suck it up” and brush his teeth, i remembered how it felt to be a kid and how it’s nothing personal, but one parent just does something for you that the other can’t in some situations, {that’s why God gave you two}. as much as my feelings were hurt, i knew he needed his good-ol dad to make things right. i can’t blame him for wanting his daddy all the time, he’s always driving to his clients early in the morning until the late evening {he’s a personal trainer & his schedule is jam packed}.

i hoverd over our bed with jayden crying in my arms & of course that woke quentin up. jayden cried, “daddddyyyyyy!” one last time and menuvered his way onto quentin’s chest.

immediately – the crying ceased. it was almost as if someone had pushed the mute button on the television remote & jayden was a television {i really wish i could do that in real life sometimes}.

quentin asked, “what’s wrong stinky?” {that’s one of the many nicknames we have for him, it’s a long story}. he didn’t say a word. he was just – silent. we looked at eachother & shruged.

a couple minutes later jayden hopped up and ran to the bathroom. as he ran i asked, “are you ready to brush your teeth like a big boy?”.

“yes!” he replied, as if nothing ever happened. that little boy gets over whatever hurdles are plauging him so quickly. and so the day continued. quentin and i still don’t know what was wrong with him. as long as he’s happy, that’s all that matters.

“one father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.”
– george herbert, outlandish proverbs, 1640