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Everybody Warns You {A Reflection on the First Year of Motherhood}

Posted by & filed under Babies, Daily Life, Family, Motherhood.

I lot has happened over the last year.  I learned, I grew, I broke a rule or two, and became a mother. I have known this day was coming for the last 12 months.  It was a day I had mixed emotions about even all those months ago; I would waver from excitement, to trepidation, to downright sadness all in the matter of minutes.  And all along the way everybody warns you just how quickly time goes.

Everybody Warns You - A Reflection on the First Year of Motherhood

 Everybody warns you that you only have an infant for a matter of weeks.  Everybody warns you to take hundreds of pictures.  Everybody warns you to imprint that perfect, newborn smell.  Everybody warns you to rock your baby to sleep when they need it.  Everybody warns to you spoil your little one with all the cuddles in the world.  Everybody warns you to live in the moment, to embrace it all, and to love it all.

A Reflection of the First Year of Motherhood

And that’s exactly what I did.

While I am not trying to say the past year has been a walk in the park; being a mom is the hardest and the best job in the world.  There were days filled with challenges and moments where I questioned my every move.  There were days that I was so exhausted I didn’t know how I was going to make it until Matt got home.  Everybody warns you there will be hard days.

However, I have embraced it all.  Treasured it all.  I wouldn’t trade one thing, one rough moment, one hard day, one exhausted hour from the last year.

While everybody warns you of the immense love you will feel,  you cannot really understand what they mean until you are standing in the shoes of motherhood.

During this past year of motherhood, I have learned how to love more completely. My life was suddenly filled with a purpose that I didn’t even know was missing.  My life was filled with a love for things I didn’t even know existed… like the perfect weight of a baby asleep on your chest. Or the way your heart melts when they hold your finger for the first time or intentionally smile at you. Those initial coos, which turn into babbles, which turn into words. They are the true music to your soul.

Everybody warns you of the overwhelming, life changing, unconditional love you will feel for your child.

That first, no ALL of those, open mouth slobbery kisses.  I can NOT get enough of those slobbery kisses.  Watching your baby hold up their head, then roll over, sit up, crawl, and walk.  Every milestone is sweeter than you could have ever imagined.  You are cheering and laughing and crying as you beam with pride. When your baby looks at you, and you just know they love you even though they cannot say the words.

IMG_0369

During my first year of motherhood, I have cried and laughed more than I could have every imagined.  I have been more exhausted and functioned on such little sleep, that I truly amazed myself with what I could actually accomplish.

There have been times where I was confused and I questioned every decision I made.  There were times I trusted my gut, and other times I had to poll every single person I knew.  I read books, I turned to Google, I asked for help from those who love me most.

I’ve kissed boo-boos.  I’ve survived two colds, one virus, two nasty rounds of a tummybug.  8 teeth were cut between the two boys, more shots were given than I care to remember.  We survived growth spurts, and cluster feedings.  I’ve patted bottoms, rubbed backs, and sang Jingle Bells at least 2,000 times to help two precious babies fall asleep.

I’ve read hundred of books.  I’ve sang songs and danced.  I’ve been a one woman circus providing love and entertainment; giving my boys the opportunity to explore and learn and grow.

I’ve nursed, fed, and nurtured two hungry, hungry hippos babies.  I’ve learned the importance of embracing a mess, and allowing the housework to wait. I’ve learned to be a careless mother when it comes to all the extra.

Everybody warns you how quickly this year will go and I knew it would fly by.

Everybody Warns You -

So I watched, and listened, and soaked it all in.  I wrote in baby books, I took pictures, I shared funny anecdotes on social media and flooded everyone’s accounts with hundreds of pictures of my babies. I savored every second of the last year.

Every second.  The good, the bad, the ugly; I promise they were all savored.  Every diaper changed. Every bottle washed. Every load of laundry cleaned.  Every first. Every last.  Every moment. It was all savored.

Everybody warns you to enjoy the moment.  I have, I truly have.

Becoming a mother is without a doubt the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. Becoming a mother has allowed me to become who I am supposed to be.

So today we celebrate all of this! We celebrate the joys, and the heartache.  The laughter and the tears.  We celebrate every decision made and everything we have discovered along the way.  We celebrate living in the moment and embracing the mess.  We celebrate dirty dishes in the sink and toys all over the floor.  We celebrate the growth of me as a mom, and the growth of my babies into big boys.

Today we celebrate!

First Birthday Smash Cake

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Where the Wild Things Are First Birthday Party

Posted by & filed under Babies, Projects.

This past weekend we had the boys first birthday party.  Their official birthday is not until this week, but we knew it would be tricky to celebrate during Memorial Day weekend.  

Ever since the boys came home from the hospital, we have read them the book Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.  They have always loved the book.  I knew Matt and I might have our own pair of Wild Things on our hands when the boys would smile at the pictures of the wild rumpus.  

When we started planning their birthday and were trying to decide on a theme, a Where the Wild Things Are first birthday party seemed like the perfect idea! The boys don’t watch TV, so they aren’t into Elmo, or Sesame Street, or Peppa Pig, or Diego, or any of those other common first birthday themes.  But they love books!! And their favorite book truly is Where the Wild Things Are.  Both Matt and I have it memorized from reading it so often, and the pages are already well worn with love! 

 

Their party was a true celebration.  A celebration of them, as well as Matt and I.  The first year of parenthood is not an easy one; there were lots of curveballs thrown and learning that must be done.  But we not only survived but we thrived.  

When I think back to our 4 pound, NICU babies, I am truly in awe of just how far we have come.  When the boys were born they needed assistance for breathing, for regulating their body temperature, for sustaining their blood sugar, for eating, and on, and on.  Some days it felt like I would never get to bring my babies home.  But I did! And sooner than the doctors predicted.  They have been kicking butt since day one, fighting to be strong, happy, wild things!

At their first doctors visit after they were discharged from the hospital they were a month old and there were not on any growth chart because they were so small.  During this first year the boys both needed physical therapy for a couple months to help them gain some muscle control and tone.  There was concern that one of our wild things was deaf, and we had to have extensive hearing tests done.  We had hurdles to hump, and mountains to climb.  But jump and climb we did!

 

At our last NICU follow up, their team of specialists all struggled with what our “homework” should be.  Normally at these appointments I am given a list of tasks to work on, stretches to complete, items that the boys need extra help with.  But not at their one year follow up.  They are exactly where they should be, doing exactly what they should be.  They came in to this world as our wild little fighters, constantly defying the odds, and have continued to do so throughout this first year!!

 

And that’s what we celebrated! Their ability to defy the odds.  Their ability to eat and crawl and stand and take a few steps.  Their love of reading.  Their love of family and friend and one another.  We celebrated all of their success with those who love them most.  It was a truly wonderful day that I will never forget!!

I thought I would share some photos of our Where the Wild Things Are First Birthday Party with all of you! I hope you enjoy them! XO

Where the Wild Things Are Birthday Party - Mommy and Me Outfits Where the Wild Things Are - Cupcakes and Cakepops Where the Wild Things Are First Birthday Party Decorations Where the Wild Things Are Party - Favors

Wild Things Birthday Party - Outfits
Twin Where the Wild Things Are First Birthday Party

Wild Things Party - Presents 2 Wild Things Birthday Party - Presents Wild Things Party - Yummy Presents Wild Things Party - Green Ball First Birthday Smash Cake Wild Things Party - Highchairs with Smash Cakes Twin First Birthday Smash Cakes Where the Wild Things Are Photo Booth With Boat
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When in Doubt, Wear Your Sassy Pants #TWSS #linkup

Posted by & filed under Link Ups.

That's What She Said A weekly linkup, we share a quote and you share a post! Writers Bloggers Word Lovers Women's Words Quotes

Join us each week as we provide you with a quote (by a woman); and you let that quote inspire your written word! Allow it to lead your writing in whatever way works for you. And we mean that! Literally, wherever it leads you to write is wonderful, and perfect, and worthy of sharing! Share, share, share! Let yourself be inspired each week at That’s What She Said! Write on!!

  • #1 rule: Have fun and be creative 
  • Go find out what she said. Check out the other blogs linked up and show them some love.
  • Don’t hold back! We want to read what you are writing.
  • Okay, we do ask you to hold back ONLY if you are NOT following the rules. This link-up is for those who are inspired by the quote of the week. Get inspired!
  • Not a rule but a suggestion… please share That’s What She Said on your social media. Example: Join @Mrs_AOK & @Courtneynoel Tuesday’s for #TWSS a weekly link-up inspired by women’s words.

 

Your Hosts Hosts TWSS Thank You Heart Thanks for sharing you flaws and all, last week!

And thank you Multitasking Momma for suggesting this weeks quote! Do you have a suggestion for us? Let Dean or I know!

You need three bones| Reba McEntire Quote| That's What She Said Link-up

How truthful is this?? We need hope, we need confidence and courage, and it doesn’t help to laugh along the way.  Reba’s words got me thinking about other things we might need in life, like pants.  There are several types of pants, yes you read that correctly… there are several types of pants you need to thrive in life too.

Sassy Pants

These might just be my favorite pants to wear.  Now, I don’t wear them every day, because most days I can leave my sass at home.  But on the occasion that I need to stand up for myself, someone I love, or something I believe in, these pants are a must! I think in order to be successful, in order to thrive, you have to be able to channel your inner sass when needed.  Sassy pants give you the confidence to stand up for and fight for what you want.  Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for being passionate!

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 6.55.55 PMSource: ECards

Big Girl Pants
When life gives you lemons.  When it rains, it pours.  I could go on and on with cliches that all basically state the same thing. Sometimes life just isn’t fair. Sometimes life goes an unexpected way and what you really want to do is stay in bed all day.  But in reality, that is rarely an option.  Instead, you have to be a grown up, you have to play the adult, and therefore wearing your big girl pants are a must.  In order to thrive you must pull yourself together and attempt to find the best in any given situation. 

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 7.11.35 PM

Source: QuickMeme 

Yoga Pants
I couldn’t talk about the necessary pants of life without talking about the ultimate pair of pants… yoga pants.  Because you know what else you need in life to thrive? A little R&R.  And is there anything better than putting on your favorite pair of yoga pants after a long? I would argue no.  When days are long, when life is busy, it is important to take time for yourself. It is important to wear those yoga pants and curl up with your favorite book, or binge watch your favorite show on Netflix.  Maybe if you’re lucky Ryan Gosling will bring you some champage while you are getting your R&R on.  

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 7.11.07 PMSource: MemeGenerator

So what are some things you think are needed to thrive in life??

Show us yours

 

Sophia Amoruso
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5 Parenting Rules I Broke in the First Year

Posted by & filed under Daily Life, Family, Motherhood.

The reality of being a mother, and how you imagined motherhood would be, are often different. At least for me they were!! I had all these grand visions and ideas of things I would and would not do. And in my dreams, it was all logical and all made perfect sense. But when reality rolled around…. well it may have still been logical but it no longer maybe sense to me. So here are 5 parenting rules I broke in the first year of motherhood.

5 Parenting Rules I Broke in the First Year

Bath Time
Let’s cut to the chase here… the boys do not get baths every day. There I said it. Weight off my chest. Baths are a lot of work. I mean a lot!!! And really do they need a bath every day?? Some days we don’t even leave the house!! So why give them a bath?? After swim lessons? Of course. After crawling around at story time? You bet. But not everyday. Sometimes not even every other day. But that’s ok by me. They are clean and happy little guys, I promise. 

Clean Faces
I swear I wash the boys faces. I swear, before they leave their high chairs I give them a nice wipe down from head to toe. And then something magical happens, we go outside, or run some errands, and the lighting is different. And suddenly, their faces don’t look all that clean. Suddenly I see the blueberry and avocado on their chin. I see the peanut butter and sweet potato on their forehead. And suddenly I look like that mom who has dirty babies.

Complete Outfits
Oh pants. Pants are the bane of my existence. And not because they aren’t adorable. Have you seen a pair of plaid shorts in size 6 months!? They are seriously adorable. Adorable, but not practical. When you are changing a babies diaper 8-10 times a day, times two, that’s a lot of pants on and off! Too much on and off of you ask me. Thankfully we live in sunny Arizona and this works to my advantage! Now don’t you worry, if we leave the house pants are a must. But kind of like the bath, if we are hanging around at home are pants really necessary? We vote no. A onesie or a shirt will suffice. 

Using a Changing Table
I always thought moms were crazy who just changed their babies wherever. And I was an avid changing table user for months!! We had one in our room and one in the boys room. And even if we were out in the family room, I would happily scoop up the boys and carry them to one of the changing tables. But one day that all changed! Any guesses when that day may have occurred?? When my two wiggle worms started rolling. Suddenly I hated that changing table. I feared removing one of my hands from their little wiggly body to grab a diaper. And grabbing a diaper is kind of a necessity when changing a diaper. So suddenly the floor was looking mighty good. I packed up our two changing tables and haven’t looked back once. 

High Chair Covers, Shopping Cart Covers, and a Wipe for Everything
This rule has only been half broken. Actually probably less than that; let’s go with 15% broken.  Because 85% of the time high chairs are covered, shopping carts are covered and the sippy cup that falls on the gets wiped with the appropriate wipe. But then there is that pesky 15%. Those times when one baby is crying, one baby drops their sippy cup, I am pushing a stroller, and carrying groceries.  Somethings gotta give, and that sippy cup just might get a wipe off on my shirt.  Or those times when I have to get the boys unloaded from the car and carried into a restaurant by myself. I only have two arms. I need to carry two babies and my diaper bag. Sometimes those high chair covers just don’t make the cut. Don’t worry the boys get baths those nights. 

And for good measure and just so you don’t think I’m totally “that” Mom, here are three rules I did not break this first year…

Screen Time
As an early childhood educator I have heard it all and read it all as far as infant brain development and screen time goes. I was adamant before the boys were even born that they would not watch TV or play with my iPad for the first year+ of their life. And this is something that has stuck. The boys do not watch TV, I don’t even have the TV on when they are in the room with me. We listen to music, or the house is quiet. And we are ok with them. They boys did have a 15 minute love affair with Elmo and the gang when one of the bubbas fell and got a black eye. I needed them to sit still, which is not their forte, so I could keep some ice on his eye. Elmo did the trick. 

No Sweets
I was also adamant about the boys not having sweets and sugar before their first birthday. Don’t get me wrong, I love a tasty cupcake and I would eat French toast for breakfast every day if it wouldn’t make me gain 300 pounds. But I wanted to make sure I gave the boys a healthy foundation and introduction to food. And I have. There is nothing the boys will not eat. They have tried nearly every fruit and vegetable under the sun and happily eat them all!

A Firm Schedule
I remember being in the hospital on bed rest, I was telling my Dad all about this book I was reading that would help me get the boys on a predictable feeding schedule. And he laughed. “Sure”, he said, “you’ll get those babies on a schedule and they will eat when you want them too.” And then he laughed again. And when the boys first came home from the hospital, I thought, “Shoot, my dad was right.” Maybe I couldn’t get them on a schedule after all. But after watching their patterns and knowing how to help them, I successfully got my babies on a schedule. And by the time they were 5 months old, they were sleeping through the night. 12 hours!!! Now I know our schedule can be hard. They go to bed early, dinner out isn’t really an option, unless we go early enough. But we don’t give up their schedule for anything. Literally nothing in this last year has made us change their schedule. And we are all happier for it. 

 

So there you have it, my daily dose of motherhood honesty! Please tell me I’m not alone. Please tell me that there are some parenting rules you too have broken!

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What Makes Me, Me

Posted by & filed under Daily Life, Link Ups.

That's What She Said A weekly linkup, we share a quote and you share a post! Writers Bloggers Word Lovers Women's Words Quotes

Join us each week as we provide you with a quote (by a woman); and you let that quote inspire your written word! Allow it to lead your writing in whatever way works for you. And we mean that! Literally, wherever it leads you to write is wonderful, and perfect, and worthy of sharing! Share, share, share! Let yourself be inspired each week at That’s What She Said! Write on!!

  • #1 rule: Have fun and be creative
  • Go find out what she said. Check out the other blogs linked up and show them some love.
  • Don’t hold back! We want to read what you are writing.
  • Okay, we do ask you to hold back ONLY if you are NOT following the rules. This link-up is for those who are inspired by the quote of the week. Get inspired!
  • Not a rule but a suggestion… please share That’s What She Said on your social media. Example: Join @Mrs_AOK & @Courtneynoel Tuesday’s for #TWSS a weekly link-up inspired by women’s words.

 

Your Hosts Hosts TWSS Thank You Heart Thanks for sharing your moms with us last week!Katy Perry - Thats What She Said| A weekly  link up inspired by women's words

I love me some Katy Perry.  I always have, and chances are I always will.  Ever since she Kissed A Girl, I have been a fan.  She can do no wrong in my eyes, and I am loving this weeks quote.  

First of all, Katy’s words have me singing that song Hey Leonardo and I had seriously forgotten about that song.  She likes me for me not because…!!!  Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I like me for me! Sure I have my quirks, my bad habits, things that perhaps drive Matt batty more in love with me.  

And I agree with Katy, for some reason, regardless of the good, bad, and in between, these pieces are all a part of me, and my life has worked out just fine by me… so I am okay with a lot of these things.  Things that may be strange, annoying, or different…. because it makes me, me.

I’m okay with the fact that I get cold when it is 70 degrees outside.

I’m okay that I would wear a pair of 4 inch heels than a pair of sneakers.

I’m okay not liking chocolate.

I’m also okay with the fact, that while I do not like chocolate, I seriously love brownies. I blame my BFF Amy for this addiction.  She has always made the best brownies.

I’m okay with having a bad habit of picking off old, chipped nail polish.

I’m okay with having 12 different pairs of boots. Boots that I am lucky to be able to wear for a total of three months.

I’m okay that I don’t have a very good singing voice.

I’m okay that my not so hot singing voice doesn’t stop be from belting out while driving in the car.  

I’m okay with the fact that I have a horrible sense of direction.  I have lived here for 8 years and still call Matt to ask for directions.

I’m okay that I love (what some might deem as trashy) reality TV.  

I’m okay with the fact that I cannot draw, cut, or really even trace a straight line.  Geometry is not my forte.

I’m okay with the fact that to this day I do not know my 9 times tables.  You want to know why? Because my teacher taught me a trick…. want to know what 4 X 9 is… using your hands put down your fourth finger, your ring finger on your left hand.  How many fingers are on the right of your ring finger? 3. How many on the left? 6.  4X9=36.  It works for every number.  Damn you math tricks.

I’m okay with the fact that I have cut back on blogging.  Sometimes living life is more important than writing about it. 

I’m okay with the fact that I do no like fish.  Unless it’s sushi.  Go figure.  Go big or go home is my motto.

I’m okay with the fact I can do nothing small.  I think this goes back to the whole, go big or go home thing!

I’m okay with all of this, and more, because it makes me, me. 

So what makes, you, YOU!? I would love for you to link up and share with Dean and I.

Show us yours

 

 

 

 

Next Week's Quote

 

 

Join us next Tuesday as we let Reba inspire our writing!

You need three bones| Reba McEntire Quote| That's What She Said Link-up
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35 Things My Mother Taught Me

Posted by & filed under Link Ups.


That's What She Said A weekly linkup, we share a quote and you share a post! Writers Bloggers Word Lovers Women's Words Quotes

Join us each week as we provide you with a quote (by a woman); and you let that quote inspire your written word! Allow it to lead your writing in whatever way works for you. And we mean that! Literally, wherever it leads you to write is wonderful, and perfect, and worthy of sharing! Share, share, share! Let yourself be inspired each week at That’s What She Said! Write on!!

  • #1 rule: Have fun and be creative 
  • Go find out what she said. Check out the other blogs linked up and show them some love.
  • Don’t hold back! We want to read what you are writing.
  • Okay, we do ask you to hold back ONLY if you are NOT following the rules. This link-up is for those who are inspired by the quote of the week. Get inspired!
  • Not a rule but a suggestion… please share That’s What She Said on your social media. Example: Join @Mrs_AOK & @Courtneynoel Tuesday’s for #TWSS a weekly link-up inspired by women’s words.
TWSS Giveaway

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Your Hosts Hosts TWSS Thank You Heart Thanks for sharing your insight with us last week!    My Mother Kristin Hannah   I have a wonderful mother.  IMG_9644I know that I am to have the mother I do.  A mother who has guided and influenced my life for the last 28 years.  A mother who is now a Nana to my two sweet boys.  A mother who, despite being a Nana, does not stop being my mother.  She continues to parent, advise, and lend a listening ear any time I need it.  A mother who has taught me so many, many things. Countless pieces of wisdom and life lessons.  I am the woman, the wife, the mother, the friend, and the sister, I am because I have the mother I do.  35 Things My Mother Taught Me

You are worthy of all things wonderful and great.
Be kind; to yourself, to your friends, to strangers.
Listen to, and most importantly trust those feelings in your gut.
Give compliments to those around you.
Saying please and thank you go a long way.
Always call you mother, she worries.
It’s ok to make mistakes.
It’s important to learn from them.
There is nothing better than a freshly painted manicure.
Home is where your mom is.
It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Quality is always more important than quantity.
It’s ok to drink cheap wine.
Believe in the power of prayer and know that miracles happen.
You can never make too much food when throwing a party.
When you drive someone home, wait to make sure they get inside safely.
Early is on time, on time is late, and late is seriously unacceptable.
It’s important to remember your roots, but spread your wings.
No man will every love you as much as  your dad does.
There is nothing a little Garth Brooks or Tim McGraw cannot fix.
Traditions, new and old, are important. 
Cupcakes and cookies always taste better when made from scratch.
It is important to be able to apologize when you are wrong.
The world is not black and white; it is filled with millions of shades of grey.
Just because you can do it all, doesn’t mean you have to do it all.
Ask for help when you need it.
Everyone is worthy of love.
Take pictures. Print pictures.  Hang pictures everywhere!
Be quick to forgive, but never forget.
Good things come to those who wait.
Life isn’t fair.
A quick, 10 second tidy before walking out the door or before going to bed will make all the difference.
Do it yourself. Until you can’t.  Then call someone who can.
Sit down for dinner.  Put your napkin in your lap.  And keep your elbows off the table.
You are never to old to need your mom.

Thank you, Mom, for being YOU and teaching me how to be ME. I love you, Happy Mother’s Day.

Show us yours



Join us next Tuesday and tell us all the things you’re okay with as we let Katy Perry inspire our writing!Katy Perry - Thats What She Said| A weekly  link up inspired by women's words

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