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Not all parenting stereotypes are false.

Growing up, I always heard jokes about how parents would hide treats from their kids. Then when I got older, I would see funny cartoons about mom’s hiding out on the toilet trying to savor chocolate without their children finding out, just so they didn’t have to share.

#truth

#truth

Well, this weekend, I got to experience that. It actually hit me… that I am that stereotypical parent. That all of those cartoons were actually a “thing” and were real life. Early last week I got a small bag of potato chips at the store. I love potato chips. I would eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, if at all possible. But since a recent doctor’s visit revealed that I was clinical obese, oh yes, obese, I no longer get to enjoy my guilty pleasure.

After a two month hiatus from the gym due to lack of time, and after begin told that I was obese (I blame it on how short I am), I have returned to the gym, restricted my already twig and berries diet, and am trying my hardest to be a better me. So when I bought this bag of chips at the gas station, it was an indulgence. It was a treat. I didn’t open them right away. Even though I wanted them that very minute, just making the purchase calmed my cravings for the time being. I tucked the chips away in the back of the cabinet. A special treat for myself for a later day.

The dynamic duo!

The dynamic duo!

Well, that later day hit me this weekend. I decided to volunteer to have a sleepover at my house with my niece Madison, as well as having Turner. I never mind it. Those two play so well together, and despite the clutter of constant toys and books littering the living room, and an occasional slap for one of them not sharing, it isn’t a tough job. But in the middle of watching those two, it hit me. The uncontrollable urge, the sensation, the burning desire to devour that bag of chips to the very last crumb.

But what was I supposed to do? There was no way I could have enjoyed even a single chip without that two scavengers clawing out my eyes to get a taste. I just was not going to let that happen. I could taste the succulence of those cheddar and sour cream slices of heaven, and I was not about to share with anyone. With my eyes glued to the kitchen cabinet protecting my treasure, I debated every possible tactic I could take to get a moment alone.

My first born!

My first born!

My efforts were hopeless. No matter what scenario I came up with, I just could not see it ending well. And despite being able to literally smell the goodness from the air tight container protecting the nectar of the gods, I left the chips high up in the cabinet.

This is what my life has come to. A hungry mother so stingy and stubborn that I would rather not get even a little taste of my addiction than have to share an ounce with my son and niece. But hey, that is motherhood right?

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How old is too old for trick or treating?

Last night we took Tuner to our county’s annual Halloween in the Park. About 40 businesses, organizations, and churches set up tables around the rec park on a trail where kids can get candy. It is a pretty neat event and is a great one-stop-shop for trick or treating.

Turner was a race car driver and we were his pit crew!

Turner was a race car driver and we were his pit crew!

Turner is only 17-months old, so Halloween for us is less about candy and more about making him look adorable in a costume. Our plan for last night was actually to collect a little extra candy to give out to the trick or treaters that we will get at our house tonight. (Side note, this is the first time I have ever lived anywhere that will have trick or treaters and I am so excited. We have literally spend hundreds of dollars on candy and have the house fully decorated.)

Our house has been decorated since the last week in September!

Our house has been decorated since the last week in September!

In a sea of Elsa and superhero costume, comes a teenage boy. His acne covered face and squeaky voice let me know he couldn’t be more than 15. You are never going to believe what he was dressed as… a SPERM! I kid you not. Andrew and the others I was with last night didn’t believe me, but I had seen the costume before… after all, I spent plenty of time in college. A teenage boy, dressed as sperm at a family, county sponsored function, walking around getting free candy from places, several of which were churches.

When I first spotted him, he was alone. He proudly swayed past friends in the line to enter the park, who despite being his peers, were oblivious to his costume and as he walked off all tried to figure out what he was. My first thought was, maybe his parents don’t know what he is, but if they do, they ought to be ashamed of themselves. A couple of minutes later, as the trick or treating line looped around the park, I spotted him again. This time, realizing that not only was his parents aware of his costume, there were trick or treating with him and wait I assume to be his two younger siblings. How were they not horrified? In an event where the average age should be 10, here is a teenage boy, with parental support, rummaging around dressed as a sperm. My mind was completely blown. If you are at an age, to where you dress like a sperm, you are far too old to be trick or treating.

This isn't the teen, but this is the costume he was wearing!

This isn’t the teen, but this is the costume he was wearing!

He wasn’t alone in the “too old to be trick or treating” category. As Andrew and I circled the park with Turner and my 2 1/2 year old niece, we were passed in line by grown adults. Some in costume, some not, all seeking free candy. I don’t get it. I at least don’t mind the candy for adult who dress us, but to be in your late adult years, in everyday clothes, walking around with your adult friends, with a bag, sometimes more than one, asking for candy… what is wrong with these people?

Tonight, as we pass out the very expensive candy we have been collecting for months, if adults, or a teenage boy sporting a sperm costume knock on our door, I will find myself hard pressed to give them candy and not tell them how rediculous they are.  Grow up, Peter Pan.

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Another mommy realization I have wanted to avoid

I gave in this weekend. I guess I didn’t really give in, I just learned to accept some of the things that come along with motherhood. For the first, in the 17 months since I have had Turner, I bought larger sized jeans. I know, I know, it sounds impossible, how could I be walking around if I never bought larger jeans? Well, I haven’t. I bought two pairs of maternity jeans that I occasionally still wear when I am low on laundry, plenty of leggings that are one-size fits all, and then I would torture myself and squeeze into the size 2, or 4 depending on the brand, that I wore before I ever got pregnant.

I have been terrified of getting larger jeans. I mean, Until college, I was a size 0… because that makes since… for clothes to be sized at a 0. But that is what I was. I was proud of that. So when I became a size 2… I was a little sad about it. Then I got pregnant and well… ballooned because of Turner… but then after Turner became a year old, I decided that I could no longer blame my excesses weight on the baby, and have to call it what it is… just me being in poor health.

I lost a significant amount of weight on two different occasions since Turner. The first for our 1st Christmas photos, and the second for our wedding. The first time I crash dieted, and the second I worked my butt off. Both worked well and I was happy, but neither were sustainable. 1) I really like cheeseburgers, and 2) I hardly have time to shower each week let alone find time for the gym.

So I have to accept that fact that I am no longer a size two, and even though some fade or couple month long goal may get me there again… I won’t ever be able to stay there… so I bought the next size up. Well, to be honest, I bought a couple sizes up. No need to get into actual numbers or sizes… but I did it. I finally bought jeans that I can sit down while wearing on the first day of wearing them. You know, on day 3, right before it is time to wash them again, they fit perfect. Well, now, my new size- we will call them size-real jeans, fit on day one. They are comfortable and still hug my momma curves, and I don’t even have the painful lines and creases on my hips anymore!

This is something I have struggled with for a really long time. I didn’t want to wear a larger number in jean size. I would rather squeeze into the size 2, regardless of how unflattering they were, than bust my ego with reality. But Sunday, while fighting back tears and disappointment, I bought my new jeans.

But this isn’t a sign of weakness or acceptance. Because I will get fitter. I will lose a little bit of this baggage. It is just going to take time and a lot of dedication that I am going to have to dig up from the deepest depths of my soul to find, but I will do it… again!

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This is a rant. This is nothing more than a self-indulgent, cryfest, and since I don’t think things like this belong on FB, I am going to put it here where I feel like it is safe. You are more than welcome to not read beyond this. But I have to write… it is how I process, and this is here, so I am going to do it.

I am exhausted. I am exhausted in every aspect of my life. I am so tired of working three jobs. I am so tired of balancing every responsibility that comes with being a mother, a professional, an adult. I am so tired of feeling like I am not doing it enough or trying my hardest. I tired of feeling inadequate. I am tired of having a never ending to-do list and no matter how much I cross things off my list, for everyone that gets marked off… five more appear. I am tired of not being able to do something I would really enjoy because of the 10 obligations that take priority. I know that this is life. I know that every other person in this world feels like this at times and everyone has their bad days. Some just pour a little more wine at night…well my way of getting through it is writing it here just as fast as my little fingers can type and imagine that I am screaming from the mountaintops to get it all out. I have to. It is eating me alive.

I want to take a shower whenever I want. I want to actually be able to just go take a shower. Not have to plan it. Or not have to miss another day because I can’t physically put Turner down because he is crawling up my legs and clinched so tight to my chest that I have bruises. I want to be able to sleep in my own bed. Night after night I fight with Turner and he just refuses to do anything I want him to and I find myself sleeping on the couch, covered in the most perfect little human being’s sweat because it is the only way I can get him to sleep.

I want a clean house for more than 5 minutes. I want to actually clean my house more than a quick 15 min pick me up before company shows up. And this isn’t even Turner’s fault. I just mean the clutter, the junk mail on the counter, the pan from last night’s dinner and the never ending sink of dishes. I just want it to go away and stay away. By the time I get home, get dinner ready, get Turner fed and ready for bed, of course only after reading him his favorite book the mandatory minimum of 15 times, I have an ounce of energy left, and typically that is used to put on pjs… on the nights I even do that.

I want work to be easy. I want things to be outlined and not questions. I want a clear understanding of tasks and what things mean. I am SICK to death of stupid questions. And this is applied liberally throughout all of my jobs. If I get one more self-explanatory question, that could have been easily solved with a little common sense thinking on someone else’s part other than mine, I might physically explode.

I want things to work as they should. I want my phone to stop freezing for no apparent reason. I want my tablet to open the program I asked it to, and not go off on a exploration of the device’s inner being before giving me a word document. I can’t afford to buy new versions of these things, that are not even a year old, because they are failing to operate as they should. Just work. Just freaking work. You have one freaking job. Just do it.

I want people to stop being awful. It is exhausting watching so many people be so terrible all the time. Just stop. Be kind.

I want to slow down. I want to take time to enjoy right now. I want to stop thinking about that every weekend I have from now until eternity is already booked with work or some other obligation and just enjoy today. Enjoy this very second… well not this one because as you can tell it isn’t the most pleasant… but you catch my drift.

I want to feel like something I have done or something that I do is sufficient. Not even extraordinary, just sufficient. I want to feel accomplished, respected, accepted, sufficient. I want to feel like I am doing all of the things that I am doing, all of the things that are driving me insane and making each day a little harder than the last, that somehow it is all worth it. That I am working toward some greater goal and plan that will one day come to fruition and be glorious. While I am sure in an hour or two, I will certainly feel like that, but right now, not a chance.

I want a haircut. I want to have enough time to go get my haircut. I want enough time to go buy a pair of jeans that actually fit me. I want enough time to take Turner to the park. I want enough time hold Andrew’s hand and just talk to him.

I really, seriously hope that no one is reading this at this point, and if you are, I am so sorry that you wasted so much of your day on this. I just needed to vent, the breathe, and to feel something, even if is is a feeling of complete chaos and total loss of control and ambition.

But now, I have felt those things, and although I am certainly not cured of the slight feeling of drowning and self-laothing.  I will take a deep breath, and continue about my day.

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We have officially introduced the time out.

Turner is almost 17 months old. He is very stubborn and very strong-willed. He fully knows right from wrong. He completely understands when he isn’t supposed to be doing something, and most of the time, he does it anyway. So last night, after taking one too many swipes across the face, I put him in time out.

He hates it. He knows it is not a good place to be. I put his little nose in the corner and stand behind him while explaining what he did wrong and how he shouldn’t do it. He fights it with every ounce of his being. He tries to wiggle free and tries to reach for me with a river of tears streaming down his face. It is tough. When he is reaching for me, and just wants to nuggle his little head up against my chest, it is hard not to resist. But I know I have to. After all, he is my child, and I was hell as a child. So I know what he has in him, and I know that if karma has anything to do with it, I am in for a real treat these next few years.

My little nightly terror.

My little nightly terror.

It is tough. I don’t plan to put him in time out for everything, just things I truly think he understands he shouldn’t be doing, like hitting. I want to call adult protective services… he is the worst momma-abuser. He doesn’t just hit me. He leans back and puts force into it before he slams his five little sticky, slobbered covered fingers across my check. And he isn’t afraid to use a weapon. Before I even had time to brace for it, he full-force slammed a golf ball into my nose. I wouldn’t mind some cosmetic work, but I would prefer to avoid it being because my toddler started the process.

In addition to time out,  I think I am about to get a lot more stubborn when it comes to Turner’s sleeping… or the lack of. Last night, like most nights, he woke up shortly after 3 a.m. for his nightly romper room. It is exhausting. I am constantly tired, and grumpy, and resentful, and it is about time he gets used to sleeping all night, alone, in his own bed. While it is far easier to rescue him from his crib (if he will even sleep there to begin with) and put him in bed with mommy and daddy, I know we just can’t keep doing it. I can’t take many more nights on the couch, because that is his choice location for his slumber. It doesn’t mesh well for me.

We are about to have one disappointed toddler. But I think it is time that mommy and daddy establish who is boss!

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Catching up while just trying to keep up!

I desperately miss writing on here. I will 100% make more of an effort. Sometimes, life just gets in the way.

We just survived our first fight with pink eye. It started in Turner’s right eye, then moved to the left. It didn’t really impact him too much. I have always said that Turner is the least sick sick kid I have ever met. Nigh time was rough. When he would wake up with his eyes matted he was understandably afraid and confused, but other than that, it was business as usual.

pink-eye-sick-baby

Turner’s eight tooth has broken through, and that caused more tears and fuss than the ear infection/pink eye. I hadn’t even realized the new tooth until he started gnawing on the coffee table, that is his go-to teething toy despite our best efforts to prevent it. It is so crazy to see all those teeth. He is 16 months now, just hit that milestone on the 30th. Just a couple of months ago when we had his 1 year pics taken he had half the teeth and looked so much younger. I just want to freeze him.

photography

My amazing sister, Ruby Peoples Photography, took incredible 1 year pics of Turner!

Last night when I was snuggling him to sleep, it hit me. One day, he is going to be too big for this. I dread the day that when he gets sleepy he no longer wants to crawl up on the couch with me and let me love him to sleep. It is heartbreaking. I don’t ever want that day to come. Just the thought is borderline paralyzing.

We can scratch off every item on the 12-24 developmental check list. He is such a little person. It is mind blowing at times. Sometimes I let him run around the house barefoot and in nothing but a diaper because it is the only time he still seems like my baby.

Whenever he does anything, I just want to freeze it for a second so I will never forget. Like how his face lights up when a dog or ball comes on TV. How when I walk out to the mailbox he climbs on the couch and watches me from the window. How he takes his toy golf club and swipe hopelessly at balls in the living room. How he finds his spoon and attempts to eat blueberries on his own. How he never passes an opportunity to splash in a puddle even though just a few months ago he was petrified of water. How he pulls out the drawers in the kitchen and plays in them. How he grabs both of my cheeks and plants the sweetest kiss i have ever had right on my lips. All of these things. I never want to forget them. I want to always remember them.

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What 9/11 means for me now that I have a son of my own

Days like today I am especially thankful for being blessed with Turner. When I dropped him off at daycare, he clung to my neck. When I put him down, he turned around and grabbed my legs and tried to climb back up into my arms. I hate leaving him. It breaks my heart. But I am so extremely grateful because I know that today at 5 p.m., I will be able to go get him and everything will be perfect and sweet.

13 years ago I was sitting in my eight grade classroom. We were watching the daily kids news show that always came on the old, oversized Tvs that were fixed into the walls. The news, that usually covered healthy lunch topics and newest locker trends, cut to a serious report. A real news report. A plan had crashed into the World Trade Center. The United States was under attack. I didn’t even know what that meant.

9-11-skyline-night

While watching the TV, totally confused as to what I was being told, I watched as a second plane crashed into the towers. Was this real? What was happening? My best friend was in tears. Her grandfather worked in those towers in New York. Although we were in North Carolina, that attack hit home quickly. A teacher threw open our classroom door and called out to Shannon. She got up from her desk and left. It wasn’t until later that we found out that her grandfather had retired just days before the attack, and although his family feared he was in the towers retrieving his belongs when the planes struck, he was actually home safe. He was one of the lucky ones. So many others were not.

I wasn’t even a teenager. My small, innocent world didn’t even know what the word terrorist meant. I had no clue was was unraveling around me. It wasn’t long before my mother came to get my sisters and I from school. I didn’t understand that either. I had a volleyball game that night and I was starting, I couldn’t miss it. My mother assured me the  game would be cancelled, even though I didn’t believe her. That seemed crazy. We went straight to church. People were crying. They were praying. They were grasping onto each other as if it was the end of the world. And what I didn’t understand then, but completely realize now, is that it very well could have been.

Our nation was under attack. We were living through something that was unheard of for our generation. American soil was supposed to be safe and secure, how could this happen? It was devastating. It was confusing. It was real.

The days following we were glued to the television hoping for answers. Hoping for a promise of safety and reason not to worry. While our troops were rallying and preparing for a fight that is still continuing today, my family joined families all across America clinging to each other and hoping for solitude.

So on days like today, when I now have a family of my own. When I have a real being birthed from my own breath, I now know more than ever, and believe deeper and feel greater than I ever thought I could 13 years ago. My father and mother’s frantic, even manic reaction makes complete sense. They feared for their children before they feared for anything else. Their only thought was to hold us close. To physically guard us with their own lives.

Looking back, if I were in their shoes, I would have done the same. So today, when I get to go to Turner and pick up him, I will cling tight to him. Not because of a fear that I might lose him, but because I am thankful that for today, I have no reason to worry. He is safe. We are safe. This nation, although troubled, lost, and uncertain, is safe today.

Every day since September 11, 2001, we have grown a little stronger, stood a little taller, and become a little closer. Although tragic, confusing, and forever unjust, that day taught us all something.

Now, as a parent, I continue to learn from that day. It takes on a whole new meaning and gives me an entirely new purpose. A purpose for my life as it relates to Turner.