Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Mommy Emotions

School is starting and we are all seeing our Facebook feeds fill with adorable pictures and excited posts from parents.  In one week, my munchkin will be starting preschool and in an odd twist, she is the one who is excited and I'm kind of dreading the day. 

I remember crying my first day of Kindergarten and begging my mom to stay with me.  I probably did the same thing the first day of First Grade.  For being a military brat turned military wife, I'm pretty terrible with separation.  I cried seeing my parents leave when I started college and I still cry every time I have to say "see you later" to them.  I'm an even bigger crier since I became a mom...thanks hormones! 

If you caught me on a normal mom day, you'd probably see me frazzled on a playground trying to get my strong willed child to listen.  You may find me using the television to babysit her so I can clean the house, and you'd definitely see me losing my patience more than I would like.  I get overwhelmed with parenting sometimes and am lucky to have a husband who encourages me to get out for a girl's night or a solo trip to Hobby Lobby.  I appreciate those little breaks and use them to recharge my sanity.  But I'm also the mom who truly enjoys my grocery trips with my daughter and likes having a little buddy to run my errands with.  What am I going to do for 10 hours without her??? 

She will only be in school two days a week this year, but I've never been away from her that much.  She is so excited to start school.  She talks about making more friends, learning new things, and singing fun songs like Daniel Tiger does.  This morning she told me "When I go to school, I don't need you there.  You can just drop me off and pick me up when school is over."  Way to rub it in kiddo!  I know school is going to be a great thing for her and she is so ready.  Now I hope I can get myself just as ready in the next week.  There will be tears...from me.  I will probably go home and feel like it's just a little too quiet without the nonstop questions.  Maybe my craft room will finally get some use, or I'll read a book.  I'm definitely going to try cleaning the house without little feet leaving smudges on my freshly mopped floors.  But there will definitely be tears.  Let's be real, the tears have already started. 

  Luckily I have an amazing group of friends who have agreed to meet me for lunch that day.  One friend even volunteered to cry with me- and if that's not friendship, I don't know what is. :)  I know eventually I'll get to the day when I'm high fiving other moms as watch our kid's enter their new classrooms, but this year I'm going to let myself cry a little. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Munchkin's 3rd Birthday Party!

It's probably time I posted about my sweet girl's 3rd birthday party- you know, since it's been a month! 

Months ahead of the actual date, I started asking munchkin what kind of theme she wanted for her birthday.  I crossed my fingers she wouldn't say Frozen (I'm a fan of the movie, but I wanted something different).  It took a couple of weeks for her to decide between Mickey Mouse and Hello Kitty, but she did eventually pick Mickey Mouse!  Then the planning started.

I knew I wanted to craft most of the decorations because it would be cheaper than buying it and Pinterest had already given me such good ideas!  I also decided on a "Pin the nose on Mickey" game and a piƱata to entertain the kiddos. 

My lucky little girl had such loving people celebrate her special day with her!  My parent's drove out from NM and my aunt and grandma came from AL.  We wanted to keep the party pretty small, so we invited just a few of munchkin's close friends.  I heard that when kids are this young, it's best to let them have as many friends at the party as the age they are turning.  Since she turned 3, she had 3 of her friends and honestly, it worked out really nicely that way!  Nobody got super overwhelmed and it was easy to wrangle them up for games and food! 

Since I love to bake, I have a goal to make all of her birthday cakes until she is begging me not to! :)  She kept telling everyone she was really excited to have a candle on her cake (she's had one each year, I don't know why it was so important for her this time!) and I had remembered seeing a video going around on Facebook about this lotus birthday candle.  It looked awesome, so I googled it and found it on Amazon!  The candle might have been the hit of the party- it lived up to the excitement and even set our smoke detectors off! 

Eventually the kids started getting tired and we knew the party was coming to an end.  We are so thankful to everyone who came and helped make our daughter's 3rd birthday such a special one!  She is still talking about it a month later! 
For your viewing pleasure:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Learning to ask for help

My last post was about the joys and difficulties of raising a two year old.  This post is about one of the ways I've gotten through the tough times.  This past year I had to learn a very valuable lesson- I had to learn to ask for help.

 I am not someone who likes to admit I can't handle something.  I especially don't like admitting I'm having a hard time parenting my child.  I am always afraid that I'm going to get judged for saying "You guys...I need a break from my kid."  Why is that so hard to say?  Once I actually tell my friends that, I'm met with smiles, nods, and "Oh I've totally been there".  We all have those times when we just need to get away.  It doesn't mean I don't love my daughter, it means that maybe it's been an extra long week or month and I'm feeling overwhelmed. 

I'm blessed with family and friends who are always willing to help out.  My husband travels for work sometimes and there have been a few times when the trip falls at the same time my kiddo and I are barely crawling through the days.  My mother-in-law flew out from Ohio one of those times to keep me company and help give me a break.  Let me tell you, it was just what I needed.  She would have munchkin outside playing or working on an art project and I was able to get chores done easily.  I even took the most amazing nap! 

I was recently talking to a friend about this subject and we both admit that most of the time we don't ask for help because we don't want to be a burden to anyone.  I've offered to babysit for friends and I definitely wouldn't consider it a burden- I want to help and give them a break.  Maybe set up a schedule with a friend.  They can watch your kid while you run errands or get pampered, and then you can do the same for them. 

Asking for help doesn't make you less of a parent.  If anything, it makes you smart for knowing your limits. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

What having a two year old has taught me

"Good luck when she turns two!"

It seems everyone said that to me before my munchkin turned two last spring  Honestly, it scared me.  I had worked in daycares with two and three year olds before...could it really be that bad?  Are the "Terrible Twos" really that terrible?  Well...yes and no.  There were definitely days I wanted to throw in the towel and just leave her in her booster seat until her dad got home.  Days I wanted to curl up on the couch and pretend she wasn't screaming for no apparent reason.  There were also days that left my cheeks hurting from smiling so much.  Times where she would squeeze my cheeks together and tell me "You're my favorite friend!"

Things that didn't make having a two year old fun:

  1. The whininess that shows up right after the second birthday
  2. The tantrums
  3. The fact that my child would flat out ignore instructions
  4. Potty training
  5. Having my child argue back
Things that make two year olds so much fun:

  1. The fun conversations
  2. Hearing that I'm her favorite friend
  3. The independence she is finding
  4. All of our fun play dates and adventures
  5. Watching her learn each and every day
Honestly, sometimes I'm amazed we have made it through the last year without me losing my mind.  I had to try so many different things to make it through the tough days.  Sometimes I failed miserably and was left feeling guilty for yelling at my child when she was just frustrated that she couldn't help me understand what she needed.  Sometimes I remembered to take a few deep breaths, get on her level, and reminded myself that she is only two and sometimes I expect too much from her. 

What has worked for us:
  1. Time Out- If she has been warned and keeps misbehaving, she has to sit on her time out stool for two minutes. 
  2. Taking toys away- When munchkin is really not listening and time out and other discipline isn't working, I go extreme.  Twice this past year I have taken every toy (minus books and puzzles) out of her play room.  She then gets to earn her toys back with good behavior and chores.
  3. Taking a break- I'm with my munchkin all the time.  I chose to be a stay at home mom, so I am in charge of entertaining her, teaching her, and everything else during the day.  My loving husband encourages me to get out every now and then to take a break.  Girl's night is great for recharging!  Munchkin gets a break from me, and I get to step back and appreciate what I have. 

This face makes the tantrums a little easier

Now that munchkin is almost three, people are telling me that it's going to be harder than two was.  If that's the case, I'd love to hear any advice for handling it with grace!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Painting With A Twist

Last night I got to try something new and let me tell you, I had a blast!  My friend Heather was going to a Painting With A Twist class and her group had an open spot, so she asked me to join her.  I may call myself many things, but an artist is not one of them-I can barely draw stick figures.  To say I was nervous about the class would be a huge understatement! 

After we were seated at our table, we looked up and breathed a sigh of relief...they had drawn the hard stuff for us!  There was no need for me to freak out about writing big block letters and having them look the same size or even recognizable, I would just have to paint inside the lines!  Painting With A Twist encourages you to bring snacks and drinks of your choice for the class, so before the class started we snacked on fruit and cookie dough dip, and drank our sparkling cider. 

Once class started, I got a little nervous again.  The example had these really cool colors and the paints on my plate did not look the same.  That meant I would have to learn how to blend them and create different effects!  Turns out, the artist instructors are AMAZING and made the whole process way easier than I had worried about.  The class was very laid back and we all had some good laughs as we worked step by step as a group. 


It was really fun to see how we were all given the same colors and instructions, but put our own twist on our artwork. 

I am really pleased with how my painting turned out and can't wait to get a frame for it and hang it somewhere in the house!  Painting With A Twist offers tons of open classes, private parties, and even had a monthly charity event.  It's a great Girl's Night Out event and I think I may go back with some friends for my birthday later this year.  Has anyone else done one of these painting classes? 

Monday, January 19, 2015

A little bit about me

Hey ya'll, I'm Christina and I'm an almost 30 year old wife and mother.  My husband is a hard working, patient and loving person...and also the balance to my crazy self.  We spent the first few years of our marriage in beautiful Okinawa, Japan soaking up paradise while he served in the Marine Corps. 
Our daughter is almost three and has a personality the size of Texas-which is where we live.  She's smart, funny, and very active.  She definitely keeps me busy!  My days as a stay at home mom are filled with learning the alphabet, counting to 20, mediating play dates, and answering endless questions. 
I am lucky enough to have a husband who is so willingly involved in our daughter's life allowing me to enjoy some of my hobbies: cooking, baking, crochet, and other random crafts.  My plan for this blog is to share my thoughts, recipes, crafts, and experiences with anyone brave enough to follow! 
Welcome to my life!