Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Don't Forget Me

There's been some obvious neglect going on around this little blog in regards to a certain member of our clan.

It's Mauve! Or, around Isaac, we refer to her as "the dog." Mom & Mauve sound pretty similar, so we're starting with dog and working up to her name to hopefully eliminate any baby babbling confusion. Because apparently when I was a babbling baby, my mom often confused "bunny-unny" (my favorite toy) with "Bert & Ernie" (the sesame street characters). Incidentally, I'm pretty certain Isaac is saying some form of the word "dog" which when repeated over & over, sounds pretty close to Dada. I guess nobody wins this one. I digress.

Oh, the dog the dog the dog. Sometimes you're a handful. 

Sure, you may shed a whole coat's worth of black hair each and every day.

Sure, you may stare and drool over every meal we eat in your presence.

Sure, your dumps are the size of small countries in our back yard.

Sure, you sigh and groan when someone wakes you up from a peaceful slumber.

But I know you love us with every little fiber of your doggy being. 

You're loyal even when we overlook you or fail to play with you. You're our great protector, but are always quick to give love and slobber to new friends and visitors. You love Isaac and grow very concerned about him when he makes that loud, shrieky noise. You're patient with him and his little fingers when they want to poke your nose and pull your fur. You're faithful to always camp out and nap right under my feet, even if that means I inadvertently step on you on an almost daily basis. You might just gain about 10 extra pounds catching all of Isaac's thrown food, but I am thankful for our little black Hoover. I know you can tell when I'm overwhelmed and having a bad day, because you give me that look and then stay out of my hair. Your antics still make me laugh, and now make Isaac laugh too.

You're a good girl, Mauve.

Even though you'll never actually read this post.

Because you can't read.

You're a dog for goodness sake.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Happy 10 Months Buddy!

We are so close to the 1 year mark! It makes me sad to think that my little baby is now much closer to being a boy and quickly distancing himself from being an infant.

Isaac, you're 10 months old!

This past month was honestly a rough month. The first half of the month was nothing but sickness and teething. Isaac had a stomach virus that overlapped with a cold and at the same time, cut TWO more teeth. It was brutal. Naps were non existent and tears of discomfort (for him) and frustration (for me) were frequent. I wondered for a while there if I'd abandon my idea of having a baby Mims #2! Ha!! I'm thankful to be on the other side now with a happy, well-rested baby.

Your tooth count now is 8. You're working on another tooth (looks like a canine), but aside from lots of drool and chewing, it doesn't seem to be bothering you yet. You've put those 8 teeth to good use in both inadvertently biting mama (yowch) and eating table foods (yay!). Nowadays, you're eating whatever we're eating and loving it. Despite not liking them at first, you love to chow down on a banana. I still stay away from foods that are tough to chew or brittle, but everything else is happily gobbled down. Trying to feed you and eat my own meal has become a little bit of a balancing act and I wish I could put food on your high chair tray, but you'll pick it up and throw it. The dog loves all these little snacks, but mama doesn't appreciate food throwing, so mostly we stick to eating from a fork or spoon. Hopefully the throwing is just a phase. Sticking with the mouth, you're becoming more chatty each day, sometimes just babbling, but I've also been able to make out a word or maybe even two. You're saying Mama and Dada TO us and ABOUT us these days, as if you have put together that I am Mama and Jordan is Dada. You also know what your yellow rubber duck is and can say "duck" and sometimes I think you say "dog" when you see Mauve. Truly, there's nothing more heartwarming than seeing you look up at me, smile, and call me Mama. Oh, I just love you to bits and pieces.

 While you might be ahead of your contemporaries in tooth count, you're not making much headway in the locomotion department. We've really seen a stubborn side come out of you this month while really working hard on crawling. You are just happy to roll around the room and still want no part of crawling. We've had more than a few meltdowns while trying to play on your tummy or help you up to all fours. I don't really know what your hold-up is, because you can both push your trunk up on your hands and push your bottom up onto your knees, but just refuse to do it all at the same time. To say that I'm stressed about your lack of crawling/walking/cruising/etc is definitely an understatement. I remind myself frequently that you'll eventually be moving, but hearing stories of babies several months younger than you who are already crawling or even walking is just disheartening.

We visited the pool this past month. Shame on me for living in a beach town with a pool down the street and not taking my baby swimming until he was 9.5 months old. I'd like to work more trips into our schedule in the near future, because you really seemed to enjoy floating around and splashing with the other kids. You've become so easy to take out, especially now that you're mostly eating table food. You love interacting with other people and can charm a restaurant with a shake of your head. I hope you are always this happy and laid-back.

You're still wearing size 3 diapers, but could probably move to a 4 and be just fine. We haven't seen the doctor this month, so I can only guess that you're about 23 pounds now. 12-18 month sizes are fitting you well, although I still squish you into smaller sizes every once in a while. You're nursing four times per day and eating three regular meals. I don't really know what I'm doing, but I think we'll try dropping a feeding and adding a snack in the next few weeks to get you a little more ready to wean at 12 months. We'll just have to see how that goes. You're still sleeping 7pm-7am and take 2 naps during the day, although your naps are always a battle and the second nap is always very short. I think maybe you're just not that into naps, but we'll give you the opportunity regardless.

My son, I love you so very, very much. You've brightened my life in ways I couldn't have dreamed. You test my patience and sometimes make me want to pull my hair out, but I could never ever never love you less... only more. Besides, as a friend told me, I think parenting is all about drawing me closer to Jesus and scraping away the ugly sinful bits. You make me want to be a great Mom.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rough around the edges

It's been 10 days since Jordan and I started our daily household chores and overall, I think we're both really pleased with the way things have been going. It seems backwards, because everyday I'm cleaning something, but I feel like I have more time in the day to do things with Isaac or for myself. I can take a nap or watch TV or blog without feeling guilty for choosing to relax instead of straighten up. I've had time to re-incorporate running and exercise into my weekly routine. The house is probably the cleanest it's been in at least a year (more than likely longer than that). The chores have all repeated themselves at least once or twice and things have become easier and easier to accomplish throughout the day. Shockingly, it took me only 10 minutes to fold and put away a single basket of laundry... as opposed to the hour it typically takes me to fold and put away about 4 overflowing baskets.

That 10 minutes included folding a king-size fitted sheet.

All in all, I'm thinking that we'll stick with this plan for a while (hopefully). In addition to finally growing up and becoming an adult in regards to housework, there are some other changes underfoot. My husband has started getting up an hour earlier each day to exercise, read, and eat breakfast before going in to work. I'd love to say that I join him when his alarm goes off at 6am, but I am still too attached to my warm bed and fluffy pillow. Secretly, it's a goal I have for myself, but the laziness in me has won out each morning. Until I can force myself up, I'll groggily cheer from the sidelines. For now, I'm just thrilled beyond words to be freed from the stress of a cluttered house.

It doesn't take long to realize that having a child makes life messy. While the literal spaghetti-in-the-hair messy certainly applies, I'm more so referencing the I-dont-have-it-all-together kinda messy.  And I'm FAR from a perfect mama. In fact, the longer I'm a parent, the more messy and imperfect things begin to look. Like when I was at my wits end a few weeks ago dealing with a sick and teething child who was too tired and cranky to nap. I may or may not have laid him down and turned on the vacuum cleaner to drown out his wailing. Or that time I was out of the house and had forgotten my nursing cover or a blanket and instead used a shopping cart cover to conceal my breastfeeding son (and my boob) while eating lunch at Chick-fil-A. Howabout when I forgot to pack something for Isaac to eat for dinner and ended up feeding him a ritz cracker and half a carton of diet yogurt. Just last week, I was too lazy to dig Isaac's toothbrush out of my overnight bag and instead wiped his teeth down with the washcloth I'd bathed him with.

I'd just like to point out that Isaac is still a healthy and happy child despite all of my recent less-than-stellar choices.

It's just kind of incredible how parenthood becomes this giant spotlight or great big magnifying glass of all of your most ugly tendencies. Selfishness. Impatience. Jealousy. Stubbornness. Anger. If I thought I had a handle on these emotions before, well now they stare me in the face day after day. When life revolves around caring for a child that has no ability to care for himself, selfishness must take a backseat. (even though most days I still just want to do what I want to do.) Patience is tested to its absolute limits on those afternoons of endless crying. Jealousy becomes ugly and comparison steals all joy. I dig my stubborn heels in and fight back against unconquerable battles. Frustrations turn to anger and before you know it, I'm throwing a book across the room and calling my husband to come home and rescue me.

Wow. I can see clearly now how wretched I truly am.

And how desperately I need a Savior. 

A great, big, powerful, love-me-harder-than-I-know God who can pick me up when I am on my knees. The One who reminds me that parenting my son is my greatest calling and is quick to extend grace to a tired mama. The One who has promised that life wouldn't be easy. The One who speaks and reveals Himself through my baby's giggles. In a moment, my heart fills with love and I can't help but smile, hug, and kiss my precious boy. My strength is renewed for a moment and the marathon continues.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Putting Things Together

Wow, I got so many sweet comments and encouraging notes from you awesome blogfollowers in the wake of my last post. It was a needed boost and I appreciate every single one of you (except the one person who decided it was a good time to jump ship... #doomonyou).

After spending a few days feeling sorry for myself, I knew something needed to change in order to make some forward progress. I'd neverevernever call myself an organized person, and if you saw my purse, car, or one of 3 junk drawers, you'd totally agree... BUT! I realized quickly that in order to save myself a little sanity in the long run, I'd need to brush off the uncoordinated and embrace some structure. As a side note: at work, I'm OCD to a fault. I think most nurses tend to be. We're superstitious creatures, always believing that the pregnant-lady-bus will only make a stop at our hospital when we're the least ready. Murphy's law is real and alive, which means preparedness is next to godliness in Labor & Delivery. As it just so happens, cleanliness is also pretty high up there too... you know... the same hand I use to eat my lunch with I also use to check a cervix.

Side note over.

Back to changes: One of the things that can really manifest unneeded stress in my life is the condition of my house. In 3 words: it's never clean. Which bugs me. And the guilt & frustration become cyclical: I feel guilty that my house isn't clean, so I work on the things that scream at me the loudest. After completing said tasks or running out of time, I don't even allow myself to feel gratified by the work that was accomplished because there's still so much to do. That's where the frustration creeps in. It feels like the work is never done and I feel guilty all over again that my house isn't clean. And around and around in circles we go, where we'll stop, nobody knows. Hint Hint: A monthly maid service would be the greatest Christmas/Birthday/anydayoftheweek present ever. Just throwing that out there.

Despite feeling a little like a 7 year old trying to earn an allowance, I made myself (and my husband... he's not exempt from this) a chore chart. It seemed like the easiest solution. For years, I've done the "clean-the-entire-house-in-one-day" thing, but it was an all day event that I just don't have the time for anymore. So I broke it down and listed out the daily, weekly, and monthly things that needed to be done around the house to keep it orderly. In the words of Professor Umbridge:
Not only did it include cleaning, but it also allowed a day for meal planning and a day for grocery shopping. That way, hopefully we don't spend unnecessary time fretting over what to make for dinner. Also, I shouldn't find myself staring into the pantry like a deer in headlights wondering how I'm going to turn pinto beans, ramen noodles, and marinara sauce into "dinner." In the end, I wanted something that would take some weight OFF of my shoulders. I'm hoping that by the end of week #1, the house will be looking pretty close to great. Ideally, once we're really in the swing of things, it shouldn't take long at all to complete each day's task (because of course, it's only been a week or less since it was last cleaned). Not like how it took For-Ev-Er to clean my bathroom the other day because it had been entirely too long since it was last cleaned. And entirely too long = I can't even remember the last time it was properly cleaned. Also, I won't have to feel guilty about leaving something out or not getting to everything, because there's a designated day for each task. Here's what it ended up looking like:
Household Chores
  • Sunday: Laundry & Meal Planning
  • Monday: Grocery shopping & 1 "Monthly Chore"
  • Tuesday: Vacuum & Mop
  • Wednesday: Laundry & Change the sheets
  • Thursday: Bathrooms & Empty all trash cans
  • Friday: Vacuum & Dust
  • Saturday: Rest!

Daily: Make the Bed, Put the dishes away, Pick up around the house x15 minutes
Monthly: Week 1: Dust the blinds and ceiling fans. Week 2: Pull weeds Week 3: Clean out the refrigerator. Week 4: Clean out the cars. 

Jordan and I have decided we're going to make a valiant effort to fulfill each day for a solid month and then reevaluate from there. At the end of our trial run, we may move days around, increase or decrease the amount based on how the month went. Of course, things aren't totally limited to their respective days, i.e. if Mauve tracks mud through the house on a thursday, the floor will be mopped. If Isaac spits up in our bed on a monday, the sheets will be changed then. I may come to realize that I've totally forgotten something important or that pulling weeds really is the bane of my existence and should be removed at once from the list of monthly chores. Fingers crossed for a successful and less stressful month.

What works in your house? Do you have designated cleaning days? Fly by the seat of your pants? Have a housekeeper? 

Monday, August 5, 2013

[insert title here]

We're [still] dealing with baby sickness here in the Mims house, which has brought productivity to a standstill.  I can't really justify using nap time to blog, considering there's at least 3 loads of laundry that need folding or drying. I'm convinced nowadays that laundry is never "done."

What I should really say, is that I can't really justify using ANY nap times anymore to blog. My time is better spent elsewhere. To be painfully honest and transparent, I'm struggling to put interesting content on here. Grasping for topics. Holding myself to a "numbers" standard ( x number of followers, x amount of blogs per month, etc.) Trying to navigate the whole tweaking of photos and creating little graphics to add that punch & pizazz that all the cool blogs have. It's all just become a burden. Each day my brain tells me "it's been __ days since you last blogged, time to start typing."

Shut up brain.

I've had my share of stresses heaped upon my shoulders in the last month which have absolutely nothing to do with blogging and haven't been shared in this forum (with the exception of Isaac's virus... or now viruses. Darn you summer cold). It's becoming overwhelming just dealing with the many pots that are boiling over on my proverbial stove. Instead of moving the task of blogging to the back burner, I'd like to just dump the whole thing out. Press delete. Or at least make it private. SO many things take precedence over this it's hard to carve out the time it requires. Those of you moms of multiple children who also work and crank out interesting, funny blogs with photoshopped photos and artist-quality graphics get two high fives from me. I can't even pretend to have it all together.

Maybe I'll have a writers block breakthrough and start churning out the posts. Maybe it'll be a couple of weeks before my digital words grace the screen. I've got to shake off this funk I'm in. Only time will tell how long that will take.

Until then,
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