babies · Mom Life

A Letter To My Four-Year-Old, Stay You

Dear Kaleb,

You came into this world at 7 pounds 4 ounces without shedding a single tear. You had no fear of birth. The lights and coldness did not faze you one bit. Still to this day you show no fear. You show bravery in each and every day you tackle.

My pregnancy with you was surreal. Before I knew it, it was over. My belly grew each and every day, gaining a few stretch marks along the way. When morning sickness hit, I would plead to you to give mommy a break. I used to sing to you. When I was feeling down, I would place my hand on my belly and talk to you. I told you how loved you were. I would tell you silly stories of my life before you.

I remember the first time I held you. I could not believe it. I was a MOMMY. I did it. I survived child-birth and brought this beautiful blue-eyed boy along with me. All the hustle and bustle going on in that room, but my focus was on you. How perfect you were. You rarely cried and when you did it broke my heart into a million pieces.

You took your time with learning how to crawl. You were very particular in how you wanted to do it. Around 11 months, you started to pick up speed and by your first birthday you were unstoppable. I remember the day you stood by yourself for the first time. I had handed you your sippy cup and we were getting ready to go outside for a bit. I turned my back to gab something and turned around and there you were. STANDING!! I screeched in excitement and cheered you on.

You waited until Mother’s Day to take your first steps. I expected you to take off as I had seen every toddler do, but not you. One foot at a time, step by step, you walked. I was so proud of you for each step you took. Every time you would fall, you;d pick yourself up and smile while I gleamed with pride. I am your biggest fan. I hope you always remember that. I will pick you up every time you fall and push you forward to be your best.

You don’t meet a stranger. It scares me to death so I always keep you close. Every person you meet is your best friend. I tell you “Don’t talk to strangers” and your response is “Mommy, he is not a stranger. He is Steve, the pizza guy and he drives a blue truck!”

When you walk into a room in instantly lights up. Everyone’s gaze is on you. Your smile can make anyone smile. When someone is down, you have this way of cheering them up. How? You are only four. Your kindness and compassion  cut through anyone’s bad day.

Kaleb, you are so smart. I can teach you things and you pick up on them so quickly. Your knowledge greatly exceeds any expectations I could ever have. There is nothing I have tried to teach you that you have not learned.

We butt heads at times, but I know it is because you are just like me. Hard headed, independent and strong-willed. Neither of us want to accept no as an answer. We would always rather do things our way and by ourselves. Who needs help? Not us.

You used to need my help. I treasure those memories. There are a handful of things you need my assistance doing and I will them for as long as I possibly can.

I never wished for you to grow up. Every second with you I wanted to last a lifetime. Time is an evil process that slowly takes you away from me it seems. Each day you need me less and less. I, however, will always need you.

You are and forever will be my baby. I know you don’t know it, but you saved me. At a time in my life where I just wanted to give up and let the darkness win, you were there. Just simply THERE. My reason for getting up every morning, striving to give you the best.

I hope you know how loved you are and how hard I have worked to give you everything you deserve. Everything I never had. Everything you need and so much more.

I don’t think I ever truly believed in love at first sight until you made me a momma. You are so perfect and such a blessing to everyone’s life you touch.

You question everything and while it drives me cray sometimes, I hope you never stop. Question everything in life. Find out the answers. Never accept no as an answer. Stay independent. Be strong-willed and push to be your best. Stay you, Kaleb. Don’t allow this world to change a single thing about you. I love you and every aspect of you. So, please, stay you.

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babies · Mom Life

25 Ways To Be A Better Mom

I’ve always been told that as a mom, if you often wonder if you are a good mom, then you are. I still find myself sitting down several times a day pondering. Am I a good mom? How can I be better? My 4 year old and I put together this quick list for any moms out there who want to be a better mom!

 

1. Give Eskimo kisses

2. Give A High Five

3. Do A Craft Together

4. Play Dress Up

5. Build A Blanket Fort

6. Dig In The Dirt

7. Play In The Rain/Water

8. Color

9. Make Up A Silly Song

10. Make Favortie Snack And Binge Watch Favorite Shows/Movies

11. Say “I Love You”

12. Jump On The Bed Together

13. Dance Contest

14. Say “Yes” More

15. Play Hide & Go Seek

16. Take Turns Reading Books To Each Other

17. Treasure/ Scavenger Hunt

18. Say “You’re Really Good At That”

19. Create a Song Together

20. Play Air Guitar

21. Play Tea Time

22. Paint A Picture Together

23. Climb Trees

24. Pick Flowers/ Make Table Decoration

25. Piggy Back Rides

 

I’m sure Kaleb would also want to add “eat snacks all day” as well…. But we all know that is not happening. We do however have days where we snack MORE often. He LOVES strawberries, so these are often included in snacks. Hope you enjoy this list we put together! Keep your head up mommas. There is no way to be a perfect mom, but there are a thousand ways to be a good mom!

Can you think of anything you would add to this list? Try asking your children! You will be highly surprised at their answers!

babies

Why I Haven’t Slept In A Year (Momsomnia)

The answer to this inquiry seems simple, right? I have 2 kids. I just don’t believe that stating “I have kids” says it all.

Last night my husband dozed off while watching episode of The Walking Dead. I was in the kitchen cleaning up from dinner and tucking our oldest up for bed (as he calls it). I came in and put his phone on charge and turned his headphones off and put them away so he didn’t strangle himself in his sleep with them. A bottle was made for our youngest and he was laid down. I took a quick shower before cleaning up the bathroom. Around this time when I sat down to do some word searches (helps my anxiety) our 4-year-old came in the room complaining about who knows what and woke the baby back up. The oldest finally went to bed after being tucked up again. It was during this time I noticed the litter box needed to be cleaned out. I cleaned as our cat, Albus, stared in amazement as always. Two hours later the baby falls back asleep after another bottle. It is now 11:30pm. Everyone in the house is sleeping. Why aren’t I? Not only do I have an issue falling asleep, this time of peace and serenity is my only ME time.

I stayed up blogging and planning, searching for words and journaling. I played a few of my favorite games on my phone. The fridge and cabinet were at my disposal. I could eat without someone staring at me eyes wide in awe. There were no butts to be changed. No faces to be wiped. No floors to be swept. No books to be read. No tickle fights to be lost. This time of night I don’t have to be MOM. I can be ME again. I can relax and unwind. My thoughts can be my thoughts and not filled with questions, demands and cries from little ones. After I had some time to myself I finally laid down to sleep. Right at this EXACT moment our youngest woke up. I made him a bottle, but I was up again! My brain would not let me stop. I went ot the kitchen and did some organizing of the pantry and cabinets. I, once again tried to lay down and sleep.

It was a nice thought…. Our baby woke up yet again. Another bottle was made and he went back to sleep. I did a few more word searches to try to ease myself into a deep slumber. I drifted off to sleep somewhere around 3:45am.

I was woken to the lovely sound of my husband’s alarm at 4:30am. I got up and made his coffee and packed his lunch. Made yet another bottle for the baby and changed his diaper. Unable to fall back asleep I turned to my laptop for some reading. Now, here I sit at 6:41am. If I do fall asleep I will be grumpy and super tired and exhausted when our baby wakes up at 7-8am. If I don’t sleep, I will be exhausted later in the day.

Many people would say “Go to bed earlier.” or “Nap when the kids nap.” To clear one thing up, it is extremely rare for BOTH of my kids to be napping at the same time. These genuine moments are when I take the time to get tasks done that cannot be done when they are awake and clinging to my legs for dear life.

Our morning starts out with breakfast for both kids. After breakfast, teeth/gums are brushed. Then, we begin our learning. Each day we do different things. Some times we are outside, working in workbooks, using counting blocks, playing with play dough, lacing cards, etc. During this time, I practice sitting un-assisted with the baby or learning signs. We have a quick clean up session before lunch and then nap time. Usually the baby takes his nap first (he lives on his own schedule) and then the toddler finally gives  up and naps. Rarely are they napping at the same time. I take this time to prep for dinner and do any cleaning needed for the day.

After nap time, we have a snack and read a few books and then I start dinner. When my husband gets home he takes a shower and then we all sit and eat dinner. Dinner time is always hectic in our household. Right after dinner we have some family time, tablet time for the 4-year-old and then both kids take a bathe. Our oldest brushes his teeth, uses the bathroom and then lays down for bed. As any mother knows, this is the time your child will all of a sudden become thirsty or still be hungry. They need to poop. They have a serious question to ask you. After you’ve read them 5 books, they request 10 more. They want to know what the plans are for tomorrow. How many legs does an elephant have? Why do we pay for electric? Who drives the fastest car? What happened to that toy that they left at the doctor’s office a year ago? (Usually this leads to lots of crying)

I begin cleaning the kitchen up from dinner and getting the baby ready for bed. Some time is spent with my husband with the help of some squealing and drool from the baby. Then my nightly routine begins all over again.

Between pregnancy back pain and a baby who wakes 5-6 times a night, I’d easily say I haven’t slept through the night in a good year.

“Just hire a baby sitter.”

We are on a budget. Babysitters are not within that budget. Even if we did, I cannot bring myself to be away from our baby just yet. He had many issues as a newborn and I fear that since he cries quite a bit someone will hurt him out of frustration. I have many fears and worries when it comes to this subject.

“Why doesn’t your husband help?”

My husband helps a lot even though he works full-time outside. There are some nights, mainly on the weekends, when he gets up once or twice with the baby. I don’t have to get up those times but I still hear him crying and wake up.

Until my next full night’s rest, I will live off of coffee and energy drinks!

babies

My Top 5 Must Have Items In My Diaper Bag

I have found that with each of my boys this has been different. Here are my top 5 must have items for each baby besides the obvious diapers, wipes, etc.

 

Kaleb Aiden

  1. Receiving Blankets. He spit up A LOT. I would have at least 4 handy in my diaper bag at all times.
  2. Pacifier. He was my binky baby. He had to have that and his blankie or else he would REFUSE to do anything especially sleep.
  3. Lotrimin.The only time he would get a diaper rash is when he was teething. They would come on quickly and make his little bum bleed. The only thing that worked for these rashes is Lotrimin or a store brand that has the SAME active ingredient.
  4. Puppy Pad. What an odd item, right? I would use these to change him on in restrooms. After use, they were tossed as to not bring germs into my diaper bag.
  5. Change Of Clothes. I cannot count the times he coated our clothes in spit up. A change of clothes (or 2) were a neccessity!

 

Kamden Alaric

  1. Orajel. He is a hard teether. No diarrhea like with Kaleb. Instead, he gets miserable. This helps soothe his aching gums.
  2. Light Up Toys. He had a rough start and the only thing that gave him comfort many times is something that lights up.
  3. Amber Teething Necklace. He usually wears it, but after it is cleaned it sometimes gets tossed in there so it is not lost. I found mine at a local thrift store for around $25. If you order online, make sure you get authentic amber.
  4. Tylenol/Motrin. He started teething at 2 months. At 7 months he has 4 teeth. His teeth make him MISERABLE. This helps ease his pain so he isn’t so grumpy.
  5. Gripe Water/Gas Drops. I selected both products since we used them for basically the same thing. Kamden was tongue-tied and fought awful gas issued early on. We did our best to prevent it, but the gas drops and gripe waters were life savers!

Every baby is different. Both my boys are complete opposites so my diaper bags were completely different. Everything I thought I would need for my second baby I have barely used. Kaleb was very self-reliant and never wanted to be held. Kamden is attached to my hip since he had issues early on. We tried EVERY soothing method ever.

It is best to be prepared as possible for a new baby, but you can never be 100% prepped!

What are your must have items in your diaper bag?