Monday, September 24, 2012

Mommy Guilt Monday 3

Thank you so much to all those who reached out to me after my last Mommy Guilt Post. Apparently it is difficult to leave a message on this blog and I'm not sure if there is anything I can do to fix that. I'll try to figure something out.

I am beyond thankfully there are many other Mommies, besides myself, experiencing Mommy Guilt and are willing to share it! Some of my favorite Mommy Guilt responses were: having to leave your child at the bus stop because you couldn't take them to school, traveling for work (but kinda enjoying the break away from it all), ignoring their nighttime calls (for water or another hug/kiss) because of exhaustion and need for quiet time, letting the T.V. babysit your oldest while the youngest and you nap (FYI: this particular Mommy is 8 months pregnant with an almost 5 year old and 3 year old--hey, no judgement from me), having to drop your oldest off at school while the younger two get quality Mommy time at home, and the coffee before anything else in the morning came up time or two.

Well, I hear ya Mommies! Phew. This Motherhood thing is tough. Just remember, as one Mommy who responded pointed out to me, Good Mommies feel guilt because they are thinking of their children first. That comment made me feel a bit better and I hope it does the same for you.

Well, thanks again for sharing. I urge you continue to share something new every Monday with me.

Speaking of sharing...I'll start...

(1) I feel Mommy Guilt when I tell little white lies to Reese. They are little (which makes them harmless right?) and usually for her own good or to divert a meltdown, so I do it. For example, while Reese was at M.D.O today I decorated my house for Fall. Man I love Fall. Totally off the subject, but it's true. Anyways, so I made a "Candytropolis"--or at least that's what I'm calling it. Basically I decorated my entire dining room table with containers of Halloween candy. See what I mean.

It seems like a bad idea--building a "Candytropolis" with a 20 month old living in the house--right? Well, I've always wanted to make one of these and since I had the time today I did it and without really thinking about Reese wanting to eat all of this candy. So, when she came home today I almost immediately heard her squeal at the sight of all this colorful goodness. To tell ya the truth Reese hasn't experienced much candy in her short life, so to her it could have looked like colorful (anythings) sitting on the table. I used her lack of candy knowledge to my advantage. I said, "Oh yes! Aren't those pretty? Look at all those colors! We can smell them, but we can't taste them." (LIE! LIE! LIE!) I let her smell a few (which didn't actually have a fragrance) and then put her down. She smiled and ran off to the other room. In her absence do you think I did nothing but smell these pieces of candy? No! I'll confess--as soon as she ran out of the room to play with her toys in the living room--I devoured a mini Butterfinger, a mini Twix, and a mini Milky Way bar (the key word here is "mini" people) and all this happened before she had a clue what was going on.

Man! I am going to bed tonight with a load of guilt for doing this, but it was sure tasty. Plus, my blood sugar was low. It was medically necessary.

(2) I have Mommy Guilt when Reese doesn't know how to do something. Of course, I know, there's ALOT she isn't able to do yet because she isn't developmentally ready for it, but that's not the "stuff" I'm talking about. Ok, let's see...for example, I took Reese in for her 18 month check up and the nurse asks, "Can Reese stack at least 3 blocks on top of each other?" I say, "We have blocks at home, but she's not that interested in playing with them, so Ummm...I'm not sure." (In my head I'm thinking--I should be encouraging her to play with blocks more! I wonder if she can stack 3 blocks?) Or how about the time when we were eating lunch with another little girl Reese's age who ate applesauce with a spoon--extremely well I might add. (In my head I'm thinking--I should have introduced her to a spoon sooner! I shouldn't be so worried about her making messes with utensils--after all that's the only way she's going to learn! Bad Mommy!) I'm not really this crazy about Reese's development. She's going to learn some things faster than others and some things at a slower pace and that's fine by me. I just can't help but feel like it's something I'm doing or not doing when she hasn't mastered a certain skill that most can do.

Does anyone else ever feel like this?

(3) The last Mommy Guilt reveal for the day has to do with the way Reese eats. See, Reese used to eat really well. She ate a variety of foods and a lot of them. Well, the older she gets the more resistant she's become towards food. This is a normal stage for toddlers--I know-- and she's exerting some of her independence, but it's still frustrating at times. Here's the thing: I don't push food. I refuse to. When she says, "All done" almost immediately after starting a meal I respond with, "Make sure you get enough, because we're not eating again until (x, y,z)." I don't want to encourage her to clean her plate, because I want her to have control over her eating in some regards. If she's not hungry--she shouldn't be forced to eat just because it's dinner time. I still feel she's a good eater, just not the great eater she once was.

Figuring out what to pack for Reese's lunches has been interesting since her M.D.O. is a "peanut free zone." I was asking around about what lunch items would be good to eat cold--besides a PB & J and lunch meat (which Reese doesn't always care for). Someone suggested chicken, so we stopped at Chick-fil-a and picked her up some nuggets. I packed them for her in today's lunch and apparently she loved them and ate everything else really well, too. One of the teachers was telling me how well she liked her chicken nuggets today and as I'm smiling I'm thinking Shhhh! Don't be so loud! I don't want the other mothers to hear that I packed fried chicken in my child's lunch today! Oh, well you do what works.

Like what worked today (for me) was buying these mini Red Velvet cupcakes.

If you look closely the package says these are "Two bite" cupcakes. I assure you this must be a misprint, because I inhaled one of these mini cupcakes in a single bite. Do you see a theme in this blog post? I do, too! I have a sweet tooth. I may need help with my sugar addiction. I use sweets as a survival tool for Motherhood.

And no--I am not pregnant.

The end.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mommy Guilt Monday 2

Well, not a single comment was left on my last Mommy Guilt post, so I am left to assume I am the only Guilt Ridden Mommy out there. Dang it.

Despite this, I am still forging ahead today revealing and releasing some more of my Mommy Guilt.
Here goes nothing...

(1) I have Mommy Guilt BIG time when I go on a Girls' outting. It is much needed to recharge my Mommy batteries, but still as I'm leaving and hear Reese call out for me or while I'm laughing with girlfriends during a dance scene in Magic Mike at the movie theater

I think of her and hope she's happy. Yes, I totally went to see this inappropriate male stripper movie with a group of girlfriends and it was a fabulous stress reliever. Thankyouverymuch.

A good friend of mine said she feels like something is missing when she's not with her daughter. She sees her as an extension of herself (like an appendage of sorts) and she feels lost without her. I have to say I often feel that way, too. I am so used to having Reese in my arms or tending to her needs it's hard to know what to do with myself when I'm separated from that for an extended period of time. This will lessen, I know, as Reese becomes more independent, but right now it rings true.

Most recently I went on a Girls' Day with a friend to celebrate her birthday. We drank coffee, got pedicures, had lunch, and did a bit of shopping.

Before that my sister-in-law, Amy, and I had a Girls' Night. We Painted Our Art Out and it was a BLAST! You must do this if you haven't. So. Much. Fun.

Wine and Painting--
What else could you ask for on a Girls' Night?

Action shots...
This shot of me was totally staged, but whatever!


Our finished masterpieces...
That's our painting instructor behind Amy.
He was such a goofball. 

This was a belated birthday gift from Amy for my 30th. What great memories. Thanks again Amy!

(2) I feel Mommy Guilt when I let Reese watch a bunch of T.V. Do any other Mothers out there feel this television guilt? It's not like we watch T.V. ALOT, alot, but more than I "envisioned" us watching. Reese loves to be outside, so we go on walks or to the park almost everyday. We also go to the different local libraries to check out books. We go to the Zoo, the Science Museum, and Gymboree Class every Thursday. And yes, I totally listed all of these "extras" to make myself feel better, but the truth is somedays (especially when Reese is sick) we watch T.V. Sometimes watching a favorite television show is the only thing that works. It makes her happy and content so I give in for survival. Her favorite shows right now include:



Now, before you start getting all "judgy" on me please know we don't watch these EVERYday, ALL day. Sometimes we miss Sesame Street at 9, but are able to catch Sid the Science Kid later that morning at 10:30. Sometimes she wakes up moody from her nap around 2 (right when Curious George comes on) so we watch it, we snuggle, and before it's over she's chipper again. Some mornings we watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as she's eating breakfast and I'm getting her ready for the day. She loves when Joe and I do the hotdog dance with her at the end of the show. If you don't know what the hotdog dance is you need to find out. In my opinion you aren't truly living until you've given it a go. It's a great way to start your morning off on the right foot.

(3) The last Mommy Guilt reveal for the day is I MISS TEACHING! Well, I am not sure I miss the actual teaching part, because I teach Reese at home. However, I do miss my teaching friends, having to be somewhere, and the families I used to work with. I certainly don't miss lesson plans and meetings, but all in all I do miss working outside of the home.

"Motherhood is The toughest job you'll ever love" (so says the dishtowel hanging in my kitchen) and I believe that to be the truth. It's there to remind me everyday that I'm fortunate to be her mom and to be able to stay at home with her.

So, now it's your turn to unleash your Mommy Guilt into cyberspace. Just Do it. You'll feel better.

I certainly do.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

State Fair 2012

Well folks The Great State Fair of Oklahoma is happening this week and the Sanders' Trio couldn't be more excited. We were planning on only going once this year, but after all the fun we had today we might just go again later this week.

It finally feels like Fall outside and I'm lovin' it!
What about you?

We arrived pretty early and since the fair wasn't at all crowded (yet) we let Reese loose to roam wherever her heart desired. One of the destinations she took us to was this fountain.

Then we saw a longhorn and some horses. 
She really wanted to crawl in the stalls with them. 

She kept pointing saying, "Cow." "Moooo." 

I had to remind her which were horses. 
I would neigh and she'd laugh.

Is it OK to gnaw on corn on the cob at 10 am? 
Reese and I did, loved it, and we'd recommend doing it!

Corn on the Cob thief!
She loves it like it's her baby--hey, I know the feeling!

After a quick snack we were off to the Agricultural building. This is where Reese was able to pet and see all sorts of different animals. Like this freshly hatched baby chick.

Seriously made this little girl's day.

These must be the chicks' Mamas.

She was so gentle with this bunny. 
I was very proud of her.

They had this area called "Be a Farmer for the Day." It was a bit too old for Reese to understand, but she still sat there and watched the demonstration on how farmers plant seeds.

And how they pick their crops.

Apple Picking Fun!

She definitely knew what eggs were. She loves to help me crack eggs when I make them for breakfast.

Reese said "Baaaa" when we saw this sheep.

And "Mooo" again when we saw this cow.

At the Petting Zoo we got to pet a deer, a pig, goats, and llamas. Right after Joe took this picture this deer started to eat my shoe laces and while I was busy re-tying my shoes it tried to eat Reese's shirt. Needless to say we quickly moved on to petting the other (non-clothes eating) animals.

The very last stop was the Auto Show. Reese enjoyed getting in a few of the trucks--showing off her steering skills. Soon after this picture was taken Reese had a bit of a "I'm tired and overwhelmed so get me the heck outta here" meltdown. It was a doosey let me tell ya. We came home and she was asleep in a matter of minutes. Maybe her 5:30 mornings are finally starting to catch up with her? Yeah, I'm hoping that's a phase we're soon to be over with.

Nevertheless--meltdown and all--the State Fair 2012 ROCKED! Just like I knew it would.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Laboring on Labor Day

We almost always find ourselves laboring on Labor Day. Why is that? We are suppose to be taking the opportunity to relax on our extra day off from work, but don't. I labored by cleaning and doing some rearranging in Reese's room. 

This is a shot of Reese's room when you first walk in. 

I expanded her reading area a bit. She really does love to read, so I thought giving her a bigger area to do that was a good idea.

She still sleeps in a crib. I have no desire for that to change until she's ready. She still loves her crib and has never tried to climb out of it (thank goodness). Occasionally she even wants to be in her crib when it's not time to sleep. We have added a blanket and pillow though, so now it's a "big girl" crib. Reese still lets me rock her at night and sometimes in the mornings. I just love doing that.

This last room shot is where her many stuffed animals live and where you'll find her baby's crib. She checks on her baby most mornings and gives her a bottle. I have to prompt her many of those mornings by saying, "Reese have you checked on your baby? I think she's crying for you." She'll start making crying sounds and then run over to pick her up--still by the head of course. Learning to be gentle is something we're working on.

Joe labored by taking apart the downstairs coffee table. It's an injury waiting to happen so we've hid it for now until Reese is a bit older and not so high energy. In other words, it'll be awhile!

We bought and Joe put together a four seater chair and table set. Reese loves sitting at it while watching her cartoons and eating snacks. It's a perfect size for her and you can tell she feels so proud sitting there by herself.

Reese loves tinkering with Joe's tools. She loves figuring out how things work. She will "keep at it" most of the time until she's mastered it. Joe's very handy around the house. He can do all sorts of things. I told him he's going to need to teach Reese all the handy things he knows. He says he plans to if she wants to learn how. I think she just might.

Thankfully, it wasn't all laboring on Labor Day weekend. I got to break free for a few hours to celebrate this handsome Labor Day birthday boy teenager. I actually attended two celebrations for him on the same day. Man, where does the time go Jackson? All grown up.



(13th) Birthday to you, Jackson!

Hopefully, it was filled with love

and labor free!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mommy Guilt Monday

Why do Mommies feel so guilty?

Is it just me? Please tell me it's not!

I have Mommy Guilt all. the. time. people.

Guilt for the things I did.

Guilt for the things I didn't do.

Guilt for not knowing.

Guilt for knowing and not doing.

The list is truly endless.

To help rid some of my Mommy Guilt I plan to unload some of it each Monday. If you're a Mommy reading this I fully expect you to join in and respond with some of the things that give you Mommy Guilt. It can be old guilt or new guilt. PLEASE join me! Don't leave this Mommy hangin'!

Ok! Currently I have Mommy Guilty about...

(1) Turning the coffee machine on each morning BEFORE anything else. Like greeting my daughter, or fixing her a cup of milk, or changing her very wet diaper. I said it. There I feel better. On to the next...

(2) Leaving Reese in tears this morning at Mother's Day Out. Full on tears. The ones where she's reaching out to me, and crying so hard she can't catch her breath. That sucked big time and this momma feels guilty about it. I looked at her in this condition and just walked out. I am not sure if I'll ever feel right about doing this.

(3) Hoping Reese gets all the poop out of her system either while Joe's watching her or at Mother's Day Out. It's one less dirty diaper that I'll have to change. I know, you may find this silly to feel guilty about--right? As Reese's Mommy I should want to change all her diapers. Well, I don't.

Are You Mom Enough to admit what gives you Mommy Guilt? I don't even know what that Time Magazine article meant when it asked "Are You Mom Enough?" Did anyone else? It just made me feel even more Mommy Guilt about not breastfeeding Reese longer and letting her sleep in bed with Joe and I.

Please unload your Mommy Guilt.
There will be no judgement.

Now I must have another cup of coffee to enjoy with my Biscoff cookies. Have you ever had a Biscoff cookie? If you haven't go immediately to the store to buy some. It's my cure for Mommy Guilt. Or, really they're a cure for most anything!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Calm Before the Storm

Well, "before the storm broke", the storm being Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, we had an awesome weekend. It all started at the Zoo on Saturday. This was the first time I've noticed Reese truly "getting it." You know, recognizing where we were, the animals we were seeing, saying the noises they make. It was pretty neat to see her into it and understanding it. The weather was absolutely beautiful that day and all the animals were out, too, which isn't always the case.

One of our first stops was to see the elephants. She ran to the elephant statue and insisted Daddy make an elephant trumpeting sound. Joe can actually make a very authentic elephant noise. It's impressive.

I can't make an elephant sound to save my life (it sounds like a kazoo), however, seal noises are a completely different story. Hey we all have our hidden "animal making sound" talents. What's yours? 

Mother-daughter picture.

Reese was SO EXCITED when we saw all the primates. There was one right up to the glass--looking straight at us. Reese kept going "hi" "hi" and laughing. She was also making her monkey noises. This is for sure her animal noise speciality.

One of our last stops was the Children's Zoo section. It has a waterfall that flows into a rock creek bed for the kids to play in. They also have a mini splash pad. This area of the Zoo is always a highlight.

This girl loves getting wet, so I always pack a change of clothes. After she got as wet as she possibly could (and changed) we headed to pet the goats. Since she didn't feel like petting the goats she instead sucked her thumb while bench sharing with a goat. Both are acceptable.

On Sunday we had a nice family day shopping. Reese did something at the mall for the first time. She rode a coin toy machine. Yep, she's never done it! We let her choose which one she wanted to ride and she went for the fire truck. Papa Bear would be so proud.

I had never wanted her to ride these things because I know how germ invested they are. This is actually laughable now that I know on the night this picture was taken Reese spiked a fever and then broke out into a rash the morning after. I know she didn't get it from this machine, but I wonder how many other kids caught the virus, already in her system, after she rode it?? Hmmm.

Well, tomorrow Reese will be returning to Mother's Day Out after beating this nasty, nasty virus. Did I mention it was NASTY? I must say thank goodness for M.D.O because this Momma needs a day's rest after the last couple of weeks!

We rode this storm out.
This post is to remind me how nice the calm was.

Sometimes all it takes is a good storm to appreciate the calm. It does for me at least.