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Macgyver Mom

We’ll it happened again – motherhood has allowed for very little time, and I have been unable to post in such a long time!  We went home to Colorado in early July to visit and it has taken every bit of the last month to get things back in order and get out of the “vacation” mindset. The boys handled the 40 hour round trip drive as good as can be expected, and we only added an hour extra each travel day for diaper changes, and dog walking (yes we also took our dog). We had an amazing time, but as always with kids there was a funny story to share.

First I wanted to let everyone know that we successfully cloth diapered throughout the whole vacation! Four days of traveling by car, two nights in a hotel, and seven days split between three locations.  It took some planning but wasn’t a big deal. We used the Grovia system while on the road, and went back to our Fuzzibunz once we were in Colorado.  No messes in the car, no diaper rash, no packing cases of diapers, no problems at all.

This story of mine consists of baby wipes, Fabreeze, a breast pad and a comb – Macgyver Mom to the rescue.

One of the reason we had went home was so my husband could re-enlist his mom. She is also in the Air Force. It was a very special occasion, and a very rare one at that. The photographer on base has been taking pictures of re-enlistment ceremonies for 15 years and had never seen a mother/son one, so it was very cool. Julie, my mother-in-law had invited her close friends and co-workers, including a three star general she worked for and his wife. Bottom line there were several people we hadn’t seen in awhile and several important people to meet.  Side note – this was also the first time I was officially an “Air Force wife” as opposed to a girlfriend (there’s a huge difference as you know if you have an experience with the military, regardless of how much time you have been a girlfriend).

We shuttle through the building to the room where the ceremony takes place all seven of us along with a hyper three year old and a stroller. Imagine a maze with narrow hallways, no idea where you’re going and everything looking the same. In addition to all this maneuvering Julie, bless her heart, wants to introduce us to everyone along the way as well – more small offices and more stop and go.

We make it to the room. Felix and Julie are making their rounds talking with the guests. I get Dylan situated with snacks and toys, and Tillman has decided to wake up. Now I will tell you I had help. Aaron and Noel, my brother and sister-in-law are always more than willing to help, but as the moms will understand, when they’re your kids you’re always worried. I also gotten used to Felix and I doing things on our own, so sometimes I even forget to ask for help.

Tillman begins getting fussy, and whining. Dylan’s with Aaron and Noel. Felix comes over to make sure everything is okay. I was hoping Tillman would sleep through most of it, but no luck so I pick him up out of his car seat.

Imagine in slow motion: Mom reaches out to pick up baby. She pulls baby up to her. Baby reaches a vertical position and when inches away from Mom PROJECTILE VOMITS! Three separate times.

The ceremony hasn’t started. I just parked the stroller, we are settled in the front of the room, and I haven’t even met or said hi to anyone yet.

Felix stares in awe, and reaches to grab him to which I say, “Don’t touch him! I don’t need you getting dirty too!” Okay let’s be honest I probably snapped at him both of those comments. Once Tillman is done I set him down and clean his face. Lucky for him there was nothing on his clothes. Of course! I on the other hand am covered from my neck down. The only positive was that the dress I was wear was in a pattern that camouflaged the mess. I tried to be as discreet as possible while I handled it, and cleaned up with the above items. Baby wipes to clean the mess itself, although there wasn’t much hope for my dress, which had a silk liner on the inside that was now sticking to me. A breast pad was used to dry the mess that the wipes left. A comb was to brush out my hair that was also caught in the line of fire, and Fabreeze was to cover the spoiled milk smell that now was making me sick.

I had to sit through the whole ceremony, and lunch after in my “throw up” dress, wondering if the chemicals in Fabreeze would bother my skin or my brain more. I also made it a point to not get to close to any of the guest, so they wouldn’t recognize the smell that they use to freshen up their living room with. Thankfully, I didn’t have to say “Oh that no it’s not Chanel No. 5 that’s clean laundry scent.”

Just another eventful day in the life of a Mom. Moral of the story: Always have an emergency kit fully of seemingly ridiculous items on hand, in the diaper bag, purse, or car. Do not waste your time buying dry clean only pieces of clothing because the one time you decide it’s okay to wear them they will be put to the test and NEVER let your guard down because the minute you let your guard down…

Looks like Tillman’s saying, “Mom, I can smell you over here.”

Tickets for Two

We found out via our mom’s group that our local theatre was showing children’s movies at 10am, two days a week for $1 throughout the summer, which I find to be great! Gives the kids something to do and offers the parents with more options as well. Not only was I excited about Dylan being able to see some of his favorite movies on a big screen, but I was also stoked because I didn’t have to stress over Dylan maybe talking too loud or Tillman maybe being a little fussy every now and then. After all it was an early show and it was specific to kids. I was excited and fully prepared for there to be talking, crunching, running, and some occasional crying.

Dylan loves movies, and used to go all the time with Felix and I when he was a baby. He slept through Sex and the City, Tropic Thunder and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Once he got older though and became a little more antsy we became movie renters instead of goers. Our new favorite thing that works for us with both boys is the drive in. We get to watch two movies for the price of one, bring our own snacks, and the boys can fall asleep at will. I decided the kids showings were the perfect opportunity to try a trip to the theatre.

We arrived a little late since the boys decided to sleep in, but were able to wiggle our way into some seats. Dylan sat high on his booster seat, crunching on his popcorn, and laughing away at Marmaduke. He did amazing, but it was a little sad to see him act so grown up. He even told the little boy in front of him who kept standing on his seat, “Excuse me please.” I was a very proud Mama. Tillman was a little rough to start with. He didn’t like that it was a little dark and he couldn’t see everyone. He’s nosey like that I suppose. I walked him around a little near our seats to put him to sleep and once I returned to my seat Dylan whispered, “Mom how are you doing?” He was very sweet, and patient. He also would periodically feed me popcorn (just one) ever so often, since I was holding Tillman and “didn’t have arms.”

All went well, and it was a success! As I’m packing our stuff up to head out I overheard two older woman sans kids complaining about the kid next to one of them kicking the seat, and how the didn’t understand why moms would bring babies yada, yada. Umm…hello are we supposed to leave the babies at home or stay locked in our houses until our children can walk, talk, and stay out of the way? Sure there was a little girl, maybe about one, who was fussy through most of it, but so what! Her mom was handling it and it was a movie specifically shown for the kids. I chose to take the “if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all” approach and walked away, but man I wanted to scream, “Stop being cheap and go see a movie that’s not entirely shown to small children.” Nonetheless, I didn’t let it ruin our day and both boys had a great time. We’re definitely going the rest of the summer!

Operation: Don’t Burn the House Down

Last week I got hit by a brick wall out of nowhere – a migraine struck around 11am. Dun, dun, dun. Meaning I was on my own for at least six more hours until Felix came home. I don’t know where it came from. I don’t have a history of them, which makes them even harder to deal with. It struck when I had the boys playing outside toys all over, heat beating down, sunlight in my eyes. I packed up everything and everyone as soon as I could and headed inside. In the time it took me to make Dylan and myself lunch I was in tears, and it hurt to blink. I tried to make myself eat and drink thinking maybe that would help, and it made me so sick, since I was already nauseous. Dylan was now finishing up an episode of SpongeBob, and let me say that obnoxious laugh is a million times worse with a migraine.

I rushed Dylan off to bed once his cartoon finished even though he had some of his lunch left.  After putting Tillman in his crib and hoping the little he had just ate would last at least an hour, I finally crawled into bed and tried so hard to calm down so I could go to sleep. This is when it turned into one of those awful “how does that even happen” moments…again!

I was dozing off to sleep finally able to get past the pounding in my head, and Tillman started fussing. I reluctantly opened my eyes, and even though I had closed the shades in hopes of shutting off the sun it still was agony. I pulled him into bed with me to stuff him full, and not even five minutes after we settle in he throws up! All over himself, my duvet, my pillow, and me. All I could think was, “Why NOW!?”

I don’t know how I made it through a diaper and clothes change for Tillman, stripping and putting my bedding to wash, and changing myself without throwing up and my eyes falling out of my head, but we managed just barely. I was able to get Tillman back down, suck up all the tears I had cried and finally get to sleep, and those two little adorable terrors slept two whole hours, and I slept right along with them.

I woke with a severe headache, but the worst was over. Unfortunately, since I was out of commission for most of the day my house practically fell apart. All I asked of the boys was to not burn the house down, which I monitored from a fetal position on the couch for several hours. The house was still standing at the end of the day, but my goodness can things get out of hand! Luckily, I have a very understanding husband because it took every bit of the next 24 hours to catch up. Who knew? It does make me feel a little important though to know so much of our daily lives depend on me. Who says being a stay at home mom is easy? I used to until I became one. How about that for a big piece of humble pie!

Say What [pt. 2] | Memory Memos

The project continues with more funny ramblings from Mr. Dylan!

Dylan: “I can’t wait to go to school all by myself and leave Mama and Daddy here.”

Dylan to Tillman while Tillman’s crying: “Oh you’re talking about Daddy being at work. Oh you want Daddy. He can be here in no time.”

Dylan to Tillman while I change Tillman’s diaper: “You’re supposed to tell me when you have to go potty.”

Dylan: “Don’t worry Tillman I’m here.”

Dylan: “Momma went to the hospital and she bought me my baby.”

Dylan to Felix while Felix is punishing him and putting all his toys up: “Here Daddy you forgot these ones too. Whew! Glad that’s over.”

Dylan: “I have a little breast though, Mommy, not a big one.”

Part one.

Frazzle, Dazzle

I have found myself in completely new territory with my three year old lately. What happened to my sweet little baby boy? He has moments where I can still see him, but most of the time it’s some combination of an overemotional, high strung, yelling, ignoring, mean little person! I told my husband the other day, “I was prepared for diapers, bottles, sleepless nights, and the sweet ‘waa’ crying of a baby, but I didn’t sign up for shouting matches, kicking and screaming tantrums, and the endless ‘no’ that seems to answer every question I have. When things are mellow it’s heaven, but lately I even dread having to transition to another activity because a melt down is inevitable. On the rare occasion that we make a smooth transition I find that I’m still holding my breath expecting the worse.

I don’t walk on eggshells by any means, but because we have the same hard-headed personality (couldn’t he have just got my eyes?) it makes for quite a struggle. I’m finding that I spend too much of my time nagging or punishing rather than having fun. Now with my days running together I’m left with the chicken or the egg question – does he act up and then a nag or do I nag and then he acts up? I honestly can’t say, and either way I feel awful.

I also worry about this being a way of acting out with a new baby around. He’s been great with Tillman. Occasionally, he’ll push he’s swing faster than he should and wake him up, and recently we’ve found him pinching him, which I don’t understand, but considering what I expected it’s low key. I’m wondering if he’s channeling some of his feelings in a different direction that ends with him shouting and throwing things?

I feel that parenting is one question after the other, and the minute you find what works to answer the first question it stops working and you’re on to the next question. As stressed as I may be right now I know that this will pass, and I will come out stronger and smarter than I was, but Lord give me the patience and grace to see clearly to make it through.

These are the moments that I’ve realized in the past that have changed my life, and have given me such a new perspective on myself. From the very beginning I have felt love and excitement from my children stronger than anything I could’ve imagined, and it continues to grow. It’s those shouting matches that end with us both in tears hugging each other that have taught me the most. That breakdown in the supermarket has made me a humble person. I have found that I need work on my patience from the pumpkin carving and egg coloring he wanted to do by himself. I need to let go and have fun more often so that I may experience the joy that comes with blowing hundreds of bubbles for hours on end. I have learned the importance of being nurturing and understanding because when he comes crying into our bed at night there’s no better feeling in the world than being the only thing that can call him down. I suppose this is what I should be thinking about during the difficult times, but I can hardly here anything over the echoing “NO.”

Mommy Brain

There is a constant battle that happens in my house around 12pm everyday. Dylan has just went down for his nap. Tillman is either asleep or getting ready for a nap as well, and I am about to have an hour or maybe if I’m really lucky two to myself. What to do? What to do? Craft? Blog? Internet? Read? Clean? Cook? Sleep? Usually it’s one of the first two, occasionally it’s cooking and cleaning, but almost never is it the last one. Sleep. It’s hard to believe that just a short three months ago I was enjoying a great mid-day slumber. I was so tired throughout my second pregnancy that I decided to share in Dylan’s naptime every day. These days I probably need that nap more than I did then, but when I only have one or two hours of quiet time to myself I feel like I should be doing something productive.

I’m definitely more on a night owl and find it hard to get to bed at a decent time. Most of the time some of the things I didn’t get to do in the afternoon I try to stuff them in somewhere between my husband falling asleep and midnight. This isn’t all that great when morning rolls around, and Tillman’s calling for food at 6am and Dylan’s bouncing around talking about breakfast at 7am. I am able to have one day to sleep in – Saturday. Oh how I love my Saturdays. Felix gets up with the boys, and makes breakfast. I get to sleep in until 9am (those couple hours definitely help), and take a normal person shower…quietly.

Unfortunately, that one Saturday is not enough for me to catch up as I found out recently. I have accepted that operating on less sleep has it’s consequences. I realized this when I was checking my email one afternoon during “me time” and in the subject line I read “binkie sale” looked over to the sender column and it was from Victoria’s Secret. Confused. Did a double take and of course it was “bikini sale.” I’m not sure if it was the mom in me who doesn’t even register the idea of a bikini or it was the exhaustion that prevented me from clear understanding. Maybe the exhausted mom in me that was forming random baby words, since I’m pretty sure a “binkie” is correctly referred to as a pacifier in the business world. These little mishaps occur more frequently now, and finding pepper in the fridge isn’t all that uncommon anymore.

We have developed a loose schedule around here, and I know the sequence of things, but often the timing is off. I’m wondering if this contributes to my loss of sleep as well. I came across this blog which I have come to really like. It’s refreshing, and suggests ways to be the best you. The series they are taking about now is focused on making the most of your mornings. It makes sense, staying up late regardless of what you’re doing “borrows from the quality of the next day,” although it’s not always easy to fix. In an attempt to seize each day, and fix these “mommy brain” frustrations I am looking into myself. I’m trying to figure out what I need and want personally, so that I may be the most effective ‘me’ each day for my husband and for my children, and that may mean going to bed earlier to wake up earlier. Seems easy enough, now if I could just do it!

Say What [pt. 1] | Memory Memos

I started this blog as a way to journal, and remember things about my day or my experiences, and sometimes there is just a funny comment from my son or my husband that makes me laugh or cry or just feel special. There’s not much of a story to tell with them, but there are the sweet nothings that brighten my day and make me smile. So I’ve started this series called “Memory Memos” where I collect all those special comments.

Dylan: “Hey Mama, I’m respectful but I’m not berry nice cuz I’m a kid.”

Dylan to me: “I love you berry much…and something else. And daddy loves you.”

Dylan to me at bedtime: “Mama go upstairs and tell Daddy that you’re my girl, and he’s my guy.”

A conversation between Dylan and Felix: “Daddy that hurt my feelings cuz you yelled at me. Felix: “Come and talk to me.” Dylan: “Daddy I needed some time.” Felix:  “I’m sorry that yelled but it frustrates me when you don’t listen to me.” Dylan: “Well i wanted to play with you and you said to wait.” Felix: “I can’t always drop everything and play with you, but I will always try my best.”

If these statements/conversations prove anything about Dylan it’s that he’s insightful, possessive, dramatic, and sweet. 🙂