Almost Super Mom

Doing my best to raise two humans

This House April 27, 2012

We made the choice to move out of our old home on Monday, yes as in 3 days from today.  The packing, loading, and moving itself isn’t such a big deal; the bigger issue is that our new house won’t be ready for us to move into until May 24th.  Soooooo… we will be spending most of the next 3 weeks in a hotel room or at Grammy’s house.  Not ideal.

As I was working on my to do list today before the movers come I stopped in my tracks and decided I wanted to remember this house.  I grabbed my camera and took pictures of all the rooms and yes I cried as I took photos of the kids rooms are remembered them as babies laying it their cribs.  I cried in my room looking at my bed and thinking about all those sleepless nights nursing a baby and all the nights I tried to sleep sitting up because pregnancy heartburn is so awful.  I sobbed some more in my kitchen thinking about the meals I cooked with G in the moby wrap or the dinner we ate with L in the bumbo seat at the table with us.  I cried, I let it all out and I cried… not because I love this house so much, but because this is my children’s first home.  There won’t be another home like this one.  I cried because they are growing up and I feel like and I am missing it somehow.  And I cried because that’s me, I cry.

After the crying my head was clear.  I thought about the weeks ahead, packing, staying in a hotel, the 12 hour drive to our new home, more hotels, unpacking, and our first night in the new house.  None of it will be easy, but that’s life.  I must put a positive spin on this!  Staying in a hotel isn’t ideal, but at least I don’t have to clean.  It gives me more time to spend having fun with my kids swimming in the pool, going to the park, eating a picnic lunch, and just staying in the moment with them.  Instead of trying to keep them busy so I can do dishes or mop I can enjoy watching them play together or even play along.    Sleeping over at Grammy and Grandad’s for a few nights isn’t perfect either, too much sugar and not enough sleep make kids (and mama) a bit cranky.  My in-laws are wonderful, they love my children more than anything and they always make us feel welcome.  I am planning on taking the kids to the children’s museum by their house as well as a trip to Farmer Tom’s to ride some tractors, but honestly my kids just love hanging out at Grammy’s house with all her toys!

This move is going to happen, how I deal with it is totally up to me.  Saying good-bye to this house will be hard, but I love our new house and I can’t wait to get there.  I hope there are some families with preschool age kids near by so we can make friends… but that is a whole other post.

 

Seeing it from his side April 22, 2012

Last night my husband stayed home with the kids so I could go out with some friends for sushi, it’s the only weekend I will have time before we move.  He was glad to give me a small break because he had spent the day getting ready to leave for 6 days on a business trip.  I hate it when he has to travel.  He only travel a few times a year, but the kids and I miss him like crazy.  I also hate it when he travels because I am the Mom and the Dad for a few days, as if being one parent isn’t hard enough.

When I got home everyone was asleep, tiptoeing in the dark I tripped over his luggage and I was immediately angry.  Not because he had placed his suitcase right in front of the bathroom door, but because it reminded me he was leaving.  As I was wiping of my make up I thought about how jealous I was that he would be in a conference room all day with to caterer meals.  After the conference he would head out for a few drink and dinner with some coworker, then back to his room to watch TV without interruption.  I would kill to eat 3 meals a day period, forget about gourmet dinners and martinis.  I crawled into bed and tried to forget about his trip… with no luck.

This morning I woke up still a little pissed off.  We drank our coffee and I tried not to let it show.  He spent most of his morning hanging out with G, watching cartoons, playing cars, and rough housing.  He even asked me to wake L up early so he could hang out with her too.  I knew it!  He felt guilty about all the fun he was going to have too!  I imagined him on the plane listening to his Ipod and relaxing; not handing our kids snacks or balancing 674832060 toys and a DVD player like I have to do when I fly with the kids.  I imagine him having time in the airport to get a coffee and read the paper while waiting for his plane, maybe he will have time to take a nap today so he doesn’t get jet lagged??  There is no nap in my schedule.  Why does he get to be the cool career guy?  Why does he get to go to big conferences and mingle with other adults?

When he was ready to leave he loaded the car and came back in to say goodbye to us.  The kids were waiting at the top of the stairs and L shouted  “Daddy, dadddyyyyy” the minute he came in from the garage, like he had been gone for ages.

“Are you going to work Dad” G asked.

“Well sort of, I am going on an airplane and I’ll be back in a few days.”

“Can I come?”

“No buddy you can’t”

“But why? I wannnttt to come with you.”

My husband tried to scoop G up, but now G was running down the hall yelled “I’m getting my shoes, I want to come too.”

I looked at my husbands face, a man who NEVER show emotion, and I knew his heart was breaking.  He held L and squeezed her tight; he laughed when he asked for a kiss and she puckered up and planted one on him.  He hugged G and told he would be home soon and he was sorry he had to go.  He told both kids he loved them and to stand at the window and he would wave to them as he drove out.  We hugged and he said “Why do they have to make it so hard?  I miss you guys already.”  All I could do was squeeze him tighter and try to hide my tears.

I watched the kids wave good-bye and shout “I love you Daddy” as he drove away and I thought about how I felt.  All morning I had thought about all the things he was going to GET to do, but I had not thought about all the thing he was going to MISS.  He was going to miss sleepy morning smuggles and tight goodnight squeezes.  He was going to miss blueberry yogurt covered faces and bath time splashes.  He was going to miss watching Discovery Channel and sharing popcorn with his buddy.  He was going to miss laying down in bed at night with the one he loves and waking up to the sound of “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy are you up?”  He was going to miss L saying all her new words and G counting to 10.  He was going to miss all the tantrums and all the funny things our kids do daily.   He was going to miss so much and I was pouting about missing out on a bagel tray for breakfast.  Really outs it in perspective doesn’t it?

I have received 5 texts from my husband since he left 5 hours ago.  Sometime I think we talk more when he is away because we realize how much we need each other to keep going.  He will call every night to talk to G about his and say goodnight.  We will all miss each other like crazy, but his job keeps us feed, clothed and a roof over our heads (and 2 weeks a year isn’t so bad.)  He will be back on Friday and until then I will be Mom and Dad, we will eat cheese and crackers for dinner at least once, we will go to the park a lot, and G will watch a little extra TV, and L might have to whine a bit while I fix dinner (unless we have cheese and cracker) and that is all okay.

 

Versatile Blogger??? Right here! April 21, 2012

I am not a professional writer, I am an Almost Super Mom.  I started this blog so I could look back and remember how crazy my life was when my kids are grown and to share my life with other parents (it’s nice to know you aren’t the only one feeling the way you do.)  I was super thrilled when Vicky nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  What does it mean?  Do you get a prize?  Nope no prize.  It means that someone reads and likes my blog, woooohooohooooo!  I never imagine I would have any followers let alone an award, my mom would be so proud.

Part of the Versatile Blogger Award is sharing a few blogs I like, so I listed a few below.

Mama Raw

Our Sustainable  Coastguard Family

Homekeeping Adventures

Mama Nervosa

No Apologies Parenting

The other part is sharing a few things about me that you might not know, here goes…

  1. I never planned on being a full-time stay at home mom, but by the second day we were home with G I knew I couldn’t ever leave him at a daycare.
  2. You know I am a coffee drinker, what you don;t know is I am a Folgers girl.  No fancy coffee here, Folgers and great value vanilla caramel creamer every morning (and some afternoons.)
  3. I hate running, it’s not fun, but it keeps my fit and I love the feeling I get when I’m done.
  4. Before kids I was an accountant, and safety manager, and a CNA.  If I had to choose one to go back to I would choose accounting for sure, I love numbers.
  5. I have spent most of my life on the back of a horse, 3 years ago I gave it up to spend more time with my kids.  I miss it terribly and I will get another horse when my kids are 30.
  6. I had no idea how to cook when I left home, I ate mostly easy mac and grilled cheese.  The first time my husband told me that microwave french fires and hamburger helper wasn’t a home cooked meal I was in shock!
  7. I am a labor and delivery junkie/ lactavist.  If I could be pregnant, give birth, nurse a babe til 6 weeks then give it to someone else to raise as a career I would. (It sounds kinda awful when I type it out huh?)  I love pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding.

So that is me in a nutshell, pretty awesome huh?  If you like my blog check out the other listed here (yes, I know I am supposed to list 15, it’s a work in progress…)  And thanks to all my readers!

 

New Mantel Decor April 20, 2012

Filed under: Stay at home mom,Toddler Mom — chrisrardin @ 2:24 pm
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There is a Tonka car carrier filled with matchbox cars on my mantle.  Why? you ask.  Because on Tuesday I decided I was tired of yelling at my kids, I was tired of  make empty threats, and I was tired of not enjoying them (the kids, not the threats.)  After bathtime I told G that I would play any game he liked, or watch his fav cartoon, or do a craft alone with him once his cars were picked.  Which ever cars were left on the floor at bedtime would be put away and had to be earned back, fair enough, right?  Once L was asleep I gave G 1 more reminder about the cars being picked up and my promise of spending to alone time with Mama, then I finished cleaning the kitchen.

I watched him play with several other toys and never go near his car carrier and matchbox cars.  I wanted to take his hand and say “Son please pick up your cars so we can cuddle and watch Umizoomi.  I don;t want to have to take your cars away.”  I resisted the urge and continued with my own chores.  As bedtime approached I offer to help him pick, his reply “No, you can go ahead and pick up.  I don’t feel like it.”   So I broke the Love & Logic rule (I am such a rebel) and reminded him one last time about taking his toys if they were not cleaned up.  He just looked at me and kept playing.  At this point I was a little annoyed.  We started our bedtime routine and read books, all the while I tried not to be bad at him for not picking up like I had ask him too.  I picked up his cars and placed them inside the car carrier and parked it on the mantle, right where I knew he would see it in the morning.

When we asked about the truck the next day I informed him that he had to earn it back, as you can imagine it didn’t go over well.  He threw an enormous tantrum and I let him do it; this is something I have been meaning to work on.  I need to let my kids deal with their own problems and not try to make G’s problems my own.  After what seemed like hours he asked again for the truck and I repeated my early comments; and he cried some more.  He asked again and this time he asked what he could do to earn them back.  I had already decided that he could empty the small trash cans in the bathrooms into the kitchen trash for me.  He didn’t like my idea.  So today is Friday and the truck is still on the mantle.

What have I learned from this?

  1. My kid is as stubborn as a mule.
  2. My kids have too many toys, because he has managed to find other toys to replace his beloved car carrier.
  3. Sticking to my guns isn’t easy or fun.
  4. Being a parent means making the right choice not the easy choice.

Yesterday we packed up and headed to the Botanical Gardens to help us forget about Wednesday’s struggles and we had so much fun.  No one cried or screamed, no one hit or pinched, we just had fun!  And we needed it!  When we got home he looked at the truck and said “I guess I need to empty the trash to get it back huh?”  No crying or complaining he just shrugged and walked away.  I suppose at some point he will decide we wants it bad enough, but until them it will be adding to the decor on my mantle.

Anyone have a great parenting story to share?

 

 

 

Give yourself a break April 17, 2012

Through clenched teeth I whisper “Son that is a maraca, not a hammer.  Please don’t hit anyone or anything with it, you can shake it and dance only.  Mama will help you find another toy if you can’t use this one correctly.”

G doesn’t even look up, but he stop beating the walls with the maraca.  I continue to brush my teeth until I hear a shake shake shake thwack.  Not good.  I walk out of my bathroom to see G staying by my dresser with a big chip taken out of the side.

“Son hand me the maraca” (while prying it out if his hand) “Mom needs a break.  Please give me 2 minutes alone in my room to cool down.”

My son knows I mean it and he walks out.  I return to the bathroom to try to finish brushing my teeth.  30 seconds later there is screaming coming from my closet.  I fling open the door to see G wrestling with L over a doll hair brush.   My inner calm, relaxed, trying to be perfect mom would probably put on a fake smiley face and weird voice and tell my kids something along the lines of  “Children please don’t fight.  G do you see that L had the brush first?  Did you ask her is you could have a turn when she is done?”  Then we would all hug and go on with our blissful day.  That is NOT what happened.

I scooped G up and carted him to his room, once I plopped him on his bed I yelled “Since you would not allow Mommy to take a 2 minute break you must take a break here in your room.  Do not come out until I come to get you.”  Followed by me storming out and slamming the door.

A few minutes later we were in the car and the kids were chillin’ in the back with their snacks, I had sometime to think about what went down.  I felt awful about the way I acted.  Why couldn’t I just relax?  Why could I find a way to not yell?  Why couldn’t I be that Super Mom I always want to be?  I wallowed in the Mommy Guilt for a few minutes and decided to look at the bright side, we learn from our mistakes, so what did I learn?  Nothing I didn’t know already…

Parenting is not always sunshine and rainbows, it is hard work, it isn’t always fun and it certainly isn’t easy.  Sometimes we screw up and say things we don’t mean.  Sometimes we yell.  Sometimes we just lose our cool.  We are human too.  Because I already knew all that I decided that today was just a reminder, we all have bad days and tomorrow is a new day.  It’s going to happen, it just is.  Today I cut myself some slack and I think more parents should do the same.  I am a stay at home mom now, when I worked outside the home I  had crappy days at work too, but I never quit.

After lunch my kids were giggling and giving me much needed hugs.  I realized that they were over it, they weren’t giving a second thought to my blow up this morning.  Once it happened and I apologized for losing my cool they forgot all about it and they love me not matter what… just like I love them.

Now that I’m done being all mushy and sentimental here are a few pics to give you a laugh:

Listen the first time

 

Dad, Dad, Daddy, Daddy, Daaaaadddddd

 

Vacation much?

 

Have a great day and give yourself a break sometimes, we are all doing the best we can!

 

 

 

Slow cooker tamale pie remix April 16, 2012

I just made a great tamale pie!  I mean it was awesome, tasty, yummy, easy to make, frugal, and everyone in my house loved it!  Before I go any further this is my disclaimer:  I am NOT a food blogger, a chef, or a gourmet cook.  I AM a stay at home mom that like to cook.  I love to use my crockpot.  I love to cook fast frugal meals.  I try to keep thing moderately healthy (i.e. at least a veggie or two and not deep fried.)

Now that all that stuff is out of the way… I love Crockpot365, love it!   I saw this recipe a few months back and it was good, so I put my own spin on it.

The filling:

2 chicken breast (boneless and skinless)

Adobo chicken seasoning (as much or little as you like)

1/2 can drained and rinsed black beans

1 bag frozen corn

1/2 block of dream cheese (I had some leftover in the fridge from a previous dish)

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup of salsa
I put the chicken and seasoning in the crockpot for 2-3 hours on high then shred and add all the other filling ingredients.
Cornbread topping:
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 t baking powder
I mixed up the dry ingredients and mixed the egg and milk  separately; covered them both and put in the fridge for later.  After the chicken was done and all the filling was mixed up I mixed the cornbread topping and pored it over top.  I continued to cook it on low for 3-4 hours.  It made enough for us for dinner and leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
I think this would also make a great freezer meal!  Next time I will make twice ans much filling and scoop out half to freeze before I pour on the topping. I will also double  the dry cornbread ingredients and put half  in a ziplock for later.    If you try it let me know what you think.
 

Less Mess Craft: Cotton Balls April 6, 2012

We are leaving on Sunday for a week to go look for our new house.  I am super excited about it except for the part about flying with 2 small kids, or the almost 2 hour drive from the airport to the hotel, or staying in a hotel for a week, or the packing OH THE PACKING!  I do not like packing.  I believe I have myself and the children packed and ready, my husband is on his own.  I tried to get most of it done when my kids were sleeping but that doesn’t always work.  Like I said before I spend some quality time with them, then allow them to play alone so I can jam as much crap into a suitcase as I can as fast as possible.

I figured now would be as good a time as any to break out a sensory bin I have been holding on to.  Now you know how I feel about messy crafts so let me assure you this one was so not messy.  Better yet it only cost me about $3.  Items needed: cotton balls, plastic bowls, spoons, ladles, and plastic cups.

Cotton ball sensory activity

It doesn’t get much easier than that folks!  My kids loved it!  They spent at least a half hour scooping, dumping, pouring, and rolling in the cotton balls.  Just more proof that you don’t need to buy pricey toys to keep you children happy.

Dumping cotton balls everywhere

Now I will admit I did have to vacuum up some of the fuzzies left on the carpet after this little activity, but I was going to vacuum today anyway.  And honestly, I will break out the vacuum if it will buy me a few minutes of peace and quiet.

More cotton balls

Did I mention how much L loved it?  She was rubbing the cotton balls on her face saying “Den telllle” (Gentle for those of you that don’t speak toddler.)  Eventually they were all over the floor and she was rolling in them.

I will so be doing this again! After they were done we picked all the cotton balls up and stuffed them back into the resealable bag, how perfect.  I am hoping to save this idea for another day when I need a few minutes to make dinner, because dinner time is always a crazy time around here. If you have any great less mess crafts to share please feel free!

I will be house shopping at next week, so have a great week and Happy Easter!

 

Five books April 5, 2012

Today has not been very awesome.  Last night we got some news about our house selling and it wasn’t very good.  It has really put a damper on all our spirits.  I was on the phone for 3 hours this morning trying to make sure where I needed to send funds, who would take care of what, and getting all our ducks in a row.  Meanwhile L was sleeping and G was watching too much TV.  By the time I got done on the phone I was totally spent, I had nothing left to give.

I dragged them out to run errands that Had. To. Be. Done. Today.  As you can imagine it didn’t go well and we all cried in the car on the way home.  I needed a good cry, I felt so much better after letting it all out.  We had lunch.  The kids played while I cleaned up and it was nap time, I was ready for nap time.  Not because they were being out of hand but because I needed to recharge my own battery with some crochet and music.  L went down without a problem and G was next.  We always do 2 books at nap time, today he had 5 picked out.  I wanted mommy me time more than ever but I decided that my sweet boy needed my more.  We cuddled and read all 5 books and again I cried.  How is it possible that 1 little child can bring me back to center in less than 10 minutes?  What magical powers do they posses?

I am tucking this little memory in my pocket so the next time I am trying to rush through bedtime to get away I can pull it out and remember how I felt hugging my little guy.  It only took 10 minutes of my time, and really what is 10 minutes?

 

Frugal tips: coffee April 4, 2012

Filed under: Budget Meals,Recipes,Saving — chrisrardin @ 3:28 pm
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I am a frugal gal, I coupon, I shop the clearance racks, and I rarely throw away food.  It pains me to throw away food. I freeze any fruit that looks like it’s close to going bad and we use it for smoothies, my kids live for smoothies.  Getting back to the frugal part… I was really sick of paying big bucks for skin care products that don;t work or are full of chemicals and junk; so few months ago I started looking  into making my own soap, lotion, bubble bath, etc and came across a lady that used coffee grounds as a body scrub.  I was a bit hesitant but them I figured it couldn’t hurt, right?

Leftover Coffee Grounds

 

After my first coffee grounds exfoliation experience I was elated with the results.  My skin was so smooth and soft and I smelled like my fav beverage!  It is now a twice weekly ritual after my run that I scrub with my left over coffee grounds.

So here’s how you do it… it’s very difficult so prepare yourself.  Remove leftover coffee from coffee pot and pour it into a plastic bowl, carry it to the shower, get in the shower, scrub your body with the grounds and breathe in the lovely coffee smell, get out and slather on your fav lotion.  Done deal, super easy and frugal!

If you have some liquid coffee leftover I found this on pintrest that might interest you.  I am also a fan of homemade frapachino type drinks.  I don’t have a recipe I just throw cold coffee, ice, caramel or chocolate, sugar, and milk in the blender and let it go.

Any other frugal recipes to share?

 

Mirena, Migraines, and a Mean Mama- Adios Mirena April 3, 2012

Filed under: Mirena — chrisrardin @ 1:39 pm
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If you don’t like reading about contraceptives, libido, depression, rage, and migraines then you might want to skip this post.  I try to keep this fairly upbeat around here but I needed to write this post and share with the world.  I consider it kind of a PSA.

I got my mirena out yesterday and I am so happy about it! No, we are not trying to add to our family.  I had it removed because it made me a different person (at least that is what I think) I will keep you all posted on how I feel.

Here is the back story:

After Liv was born my OBGYN suggested the Mirena because we didn’t want a more permanent solution yet.  It was inserted in March and the procedure was pretty quick and painless.  A week later I got my first killer migraine in almost 4 years, I couldn’t take my regular meds because I was nursing so I suffered through it for 4 days.  I also spotted for the first 3 weeks I had it.  After the migraine the overwhelmed feelings started, I cried all the time.  At my 4 week check up I told my OBGYN everything and asked to have it removed, she stated that I was feeling this way because I had 2 kids under 2.  It was normal and if I wanted she would get me some anti depressant, although she felt that I didn’t need them.  I declined the meds and the mirena stayed put.  Over the following months the migraines came at least 3 times a month and always during my period (which was light spotting for 3-4 days.)  The headache would start the day before my cycle and last until the end and no about of sleep, ice, pain meds or caffeine helped.  The depression became a big monster that consumed me, I cried everyday and no one understood what I was going through.  Then the rage came, I was angry at everyone.  Kids spilling food, dog barking, my Husband not meeting my ridiculous expectations, and it was frightening.  I felt like I wasn’t myself and I had no idea how to fix it, I saw a therapist twice and I had no luck.  Every time I left I felt worse because her suggestion weren’t helping me and I was feeling more overwhelmed then ever.

Fast forward to last week…

I had a migraine for 5 days and I was over it.  I called a family doctor and she got me in that day!  I told her my migraine history and she offered to prescribe the Imatrex I was on before and a daily med called Topamax.  (I haven’t taken the Topamax yet I am waiting…)  She asked for my medical history and I told her all about it and I mentioned I had the Mirena, so she asked what I used before children and I told her Depo.  She raised her eyebrows and asked about my migraines while not using the Depo or Mirena and I told her I didn’t have any (maybe 4 a year) while not on the drugs.  So she suggested I have it removed and do a low dose birth control pill.  She informed me the hormone in Depo and Mirena are the same and known to cause migraines especially during your period.  Hmmmmmm I wonder why no one told me that before?  Then I shared my rage, depression, and weight gain with her and she agreed that it might me related to the Mirena, but there was only 1 way to find out.

Yesterday…

I had my appointment to have it removed and it took all of 3 minutes with no pain or spotting.  I am excited to see how my body adjusts without it.  I started on Junel Fe pills last night and she recommended back up birth control for 3 weeks.   I feel liberated and I plan to share my story with my readers over the next few months.  I am hoping the changes will be: no more depression, higher libido, overall happier, weight loss, and of course less migraines.

I know all birth control is not the same for everyone, I have 3 friends that love the Mirena.  It just wasn’t for me.  Please feel free to share your experience good or bad because I would love to hear about it.

 

 

 
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