Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We May Not Have It All Together, But Together We Have It ALL.

I have an announcement to make:

I think I'm finally getting a hang on this whole *Mommy Thing*. Less than a year ago, I used to gawk look at seasoned mommas and think, "How does she do it?!" Her hair is freshly washed & smells like cucumber water, she's rocking a cute outfit, and tampons aren't falling out of her diaper bag. Staring at what I assumed was *perfection* I felt like I was drowning in the pool of motherhood, barely able to come up for air. 

Months ago I was lucky if I got out of the house before 11. 

& Me Time? pshhh! What's that?!

A mommy friend of mine was over a while back when she accused me of being told me I was one of Those Moms: TheMomWhoHasItAllTogether.

My first thought was, Who me? Are you talking about me? Because I don't see anyone who has it all together here.

My second thought was, Ohhhhh... now I get it! All those other moms--you know, the ones I thought had it all together? They must be just like me! 

They must stuff unsorted laundry behind closed doors. justlikeme. & they must sani-wipe like their life depends on it five minutes before company comes over. justlikeme. & they must trade a dish of potpourri for a pile of Boogie Wipes. justlikeme.

Yes. Yes, they must. 

We moms can do ANYTHING! But we can't do EVERYTHING!

When my mother comes over, stares at the disaster zone clutter, and says to me, "Why don't you put this away as soon as you walk in the door?" or, "This {insert.item.here} has been sitting here for weeks, Katie..." I simply reply back, "A messy house is a happy house... it means we're busy making memories!"

{fortunately, my mom knows better now not to say anything... ;p }

But I digress.

The thought of people thinking I HaveItAllTogether makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside {thanks, brittany. ILY.}. It's probably one of the best compliments a newish mommy can get. 

However, I wouldn't HaveItAllTogether if it weren't for making some adjustments in my life:

The utmost important tweak {in my opinion} I've made was waking up earlier. 5:45am earlier. This was a big jump for me because my sweet little one sleeps in until 8:30/9! {please don't hate us...} I used to wake up when she woke up. You'd thinking sleeping in until mid-morning would be quite pleasant, but I found myself frantically scrambling to GetItAllTogether! It was no bueno, my friends...

Now, I have from 5:45 until 8:30ish to ease into my day on my own time. It usually starts off with a cup of tea, a quick stretch, check/respond to emails, pay bills, & do all the odds 'n ends I'm too tired to do in the evening. I almost always have time to write, eat, & beautify myself. Then, when Emmy wakes up, she has my undivided attention.  & I'm not running back and forth between changing her diaper and scarfing oatmeal down my throat.

I was sooo not a Morning Person, my whole life, but now I am. My mind is clear and fresh, and I plan on keeping it that way!

{a little tip on turning myself in to a Morning Person is placing my iPhone alarm out of arm's reach. aka... getting my tush out of bed!}

& how do I try to keep my house clean? By worshiping the queen of the Happy House. I'd be lying if I said I didn't fall off the band wagon every now and again, but her routine and process has helped this momma out, y'all!

Also, to say I'm O.B.S.E.S.S.E.D. with Jen at IHeart Organizing, would be an understatement. She rocks my socks off! I highly recommend you check out all her hard work. It has changed my life for the better. Super corny, I know--but it's true :)

Being a mom is always going to be a work-in-progress. Things don't necessarily get easier... you just find ways to manage better. & over time, you might just *fool* some people along the way that you HaveItAllTogether. 

Now, excuse me as I'm off to scrape the snot off the diaper bag, and eat something other than Veggie Straws and Starbucks coffee.

*

Kids or no kids, what do you do in order to HaveItAllTogether?


Loyally,
Katie


Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Happy for the Day



{One of my all-time fav quotes... got me through some tough times!}

Keep moving, friends!

Loyally,
Katie

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happenings! + Pics

Who wants to see pictures of Emmy Grace?!

I do! I do!



As you can see from the photo below, we are still behind in the hair department ;) I promise it's there--it's just very light and fair. But man, all those pretty flowers and bows are collecting quite a bit  of dust on her dresser... 
*
People, we have a walker runner! & there's no stopping this chick. She loves to explore! I sincerely  love that about her.
 *
Just my daily routine... updating Emmalyn's life in my "Mom's Calendar"
{while Indy hopelessly barks at every.single.breathing.thing. outside}
 *
With Mimo, Papo, & cousin Lucas at Daddy's basketball game. It's heartfelt to hear Emmy cheer, "Go, Daddy, Go!" & clap those cute little baby hands.
*
& just so Indy doesn't feel left out...
 *
Emmy L-O-V-E-S her weekly music class! The first couple of times she cried and wouldn't leave my side, but now--she goes up to the other kids and is obsessed with the instruments. Still working on getting her to sing the songs AT music class, instead of just at home.
 *
Play date with her favorite cousin. She simply adores him! Seeing the two of them interact is what life is all about!
 *
Emmy's newest (& favorite) expression: "The Cheese Face"
No complaints here.
*
Before her 15-month shots... I love this chick!
 *
Said in conga-line fashion: "Pee pee in the potty! Pee pee in the potty!"
For the last few days now, Emmy has gone pee pee in the potty 3 times! {& one #2!}
I've been introducing the potty to Emmy before bath time, and after lunch/whenever I get the feeling she needs to go. I figured I'd test the water (--er, pee?) to see if she's interested before going gung ho.

*Question for Mommies: How did you potty-train your kid(s)? Please share!!
 *
Impromptu date night with The Hubs!
Dinner & Put-Put
 He won by 2 strokes, BUT I found all the hidden items in the scavenger hunt. Go me! :)
 *
Sleeping Beauty, always with a book. Everyone knows Target shopping wears a girl out, yo!
 *
The love of my life...

So there you have it, folks! I hope that puts a smile on your face.

Stay tuned for Emmy's 1st video blog!

Loyally,
Katie

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Amazing Life.



*
Tell me... What's amazing in your life right now?

***

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Do I Dare?

What do Phil Dunphy, Schmidt, Rachel Berry, Dan Humphrey, Karen Cartwright, Sheldon Cooper,  and Dwight all have in common...???

They're taking over my life!

Goodness gracious, y'all... I watch a lot of TV.

I hadn't really given it much thought until people shared on FB that they were giving it up for Lent. My yoga instructor gave it up for a whole month (and counting) just to better herself.

I don't know if I could do the same. Could you?

I watch TV so I don't have to think. & to have a good laugh. After a long day, my husband and I like to vege and cuddle on the couch, while watching our DVR'd shows.

Taking my writing class made me see how much TV sucks up my time!

My TV Lineup:

Monday
Two Broke Girls (3o min)
Gossip Girl (1 hr)
Secret Life of the American Teenager (embarrassingly, yes; 1 hr)
Smash (1 hr)

Tuesday
Glee (1 hr)
New Girl (30 min)
Last Man Standing (30 min)

Wednesday
Whitney (30 min)
Are you there, Chelsea? (30 min) 
Modern Family (30 min; although I wish it were an hour!)

Thursday
Grey's Anatomy (1 hr)
Big Bang Theory (3o min)
The Office (30 min)

That's 9 hours!

Now, I never watch these *live* so let's take away about an hour's worth of commercials, 'kay?

So that's 8 hours...

BUT--let's not forget sporadic bursts of TV throughout the day... Today Show, Live with Kelly, House Hunters, Ellen Degeneres....

So let's add on 10 more hours (2 hours a day, per 5 days a week)...

Now we're at 20!

Oh, wait... what about the weekend?

Let's add 4.

THAT'S 24 HOURS OF MY LIFE.... gone!

Do you know how much I could get accomplished in 24 hours?!?? That's like adding an 8th day to my week!

For one, I could read and comment on all of your blogs! Ha!

Orrr.... I could clean house, work out, write, change the world, shop, bird watch, ...

Granted, I don't play catch-up on my DVR until Little Miss is either napping or down for the night, so my time isn't taken away from her. However, The Fresh Beat Band may just be my new BFFs. They're life savers for letting me switch over the laundry, cook, pee...

Anywho! Do I think I could ever give up TV?

Hmmm....

Ummmm....

Hmphh...

yes

no

yes 


Aw, who am I kidding?!

I do think I need to be a little *choosier* with my time spent watching TV.

But who would I give up?! LonelyBoy? Schmidt? Cameron & Mitchell? Mr. Schu? Amy Farrah Fowler?

Ohh the agony!

;)

***

So what shows take over your life? Which are your absolute faves that you could not give up?! What would you do with all that *extra* time? Or, if you're my idol not a TV watcher, how do you do it?

Loyally,
Katie


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Short Life.


After being released from the psychiatric hospital last year, I struggled a lot with controlling my thoughts. I would get *flashbacks* of the horrible things I mentally conjured up pre-hospitalization.

Are you familiar with the song If I Die Young by The Band Perry? Band member Kimberly's voice is heavenly--a unique and distinct sound that I've come to incessantly enjoy {TBP are currently my #1 fav on Pandora}

But for almost a year, I would instinctively turn the station whenever I heard If I Die Young, without a second thought. I’d hear my husband say, “Hey! That’s such a beautiful song.” To which I'd respond, “I know, but I don’t like it.”

The lyrics just hit too close to home for me:

     Lord make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother
     She’ll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors, oh well
     Life ain’t always what you think it ought to me, no
     Ain’t even grey, but she buries her baby

     The sharp knife of a short life…

Hits. Home. Hard.

Why?

Because that could have been me.

It pains me to say it out loud, which is why I’m writing it instead.

Every time I’d hear those words, a pit would form in my stomach. Guilt, shame, and embarrassment would drown me. Listening to that song, no matter how beautifully written and sung it was, would bring me back to the time when I was at my lowest. How selfish of me to think that taking my own life would make me feel better. But with postpartum depression, you can’t help it. I couldn’t choose not to have these thoughts, no matter how hard I tried.

When people would tell me, “Mind over matter”, I wanted to sock ‘em a good one! Seriously.

Now when I hear that song?

I feel empowered.

Yes, that could have been me… the sharp knife of a short life

But it wasn’t.

I released myself from that stinkin’ thinkin’ and beat those thoughts deep down to the core of the Earth.

Adios, nasty thoughts. You don’t live here no more!

After all the cognitive therapy I’ve gone through, I’m able to send any negative thoughts into the ether and be done with them. The truth is, thoughts are constantly fleeting through our minds. It’s our decision whether or not they stick around for a free meal.

True, I needed medication to give me a jump-start, but that’s okay. For me.

I no longer have *those* thoughts, (thank God!) but whenever an unwanted thought (for example, imagining a car accident involving family) pops into my mind {every one of us have had fleeting thoughts like these} I simply choose a different thought. I’ll think about playing in the park with my daughter, or the latest episode of Modern Family or New Girl…

It took time for this to become a habit of mine, but it works.

It’s rather difficult to think negatively when you’re too busy thinking positively!

***
Are there any "tricks" you have for getting out of that "stinkin' thinkin'"?

Loyally,
Katie


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Making things happen, yo!

I bow down to Working Mothers. I don't know how they do it! I teach dance one day a week (next year will be two days), but I don't consider that "work". It's more of a hobby to me. It's hard enough to take care of a soon-to-be (eek!) toddler, but throw in a full-time job (?!!) well, that's SuperMom status to me, girlfriend!

Being a SAHM can be difficult on a girl's mental capability. Singing "Wheels on the Bus" 56.5 gazillion times, putting on tea parties, banging on Tupperware drums, and modeling macaroni-and-cheese spotted T-shirts all day can take a toll on Yours Truly. 

The aforementioned is precisely why I'm expanding my horizons. It's been a long time coming, but through a lot of soul-searching and prayer, I've decided to delve into the world of freelance writing. With the professional instruction of Meagan Francis ( The Happiest Mom), and the encouragement and constructive criticism of my peers, I am jumping in & going for it!

Only a few weeks into Meagan's class, and I've already learned so much about myself. Currently, I'm working on a postpartum depression essay (which is harder than I thought because it's such a long and personal story), figuring out how I want to market myself, and experimenting with pen names....

I'm excited to welcome this new and challenging journey in my life--it's exactly what I need to balance my sanity. I realized I needed something maturely stimulating; something that involves learning and adult interaction. Sure, I'll still talk about poop on occasion, but I'll be doing something mature with that poop! ;o)

It's a very vulnerable decision for me--as I'm not notoriously known for putting myself out there; but if I want to live life to its fullest, and get something I've never had, then I have to do something I've never done. This includes hitting bumps and making (probably embarrassing) mistakes along the way, but I'm OK with that. I'm only human.


So with that said, wish me luck and courage! :)

Loyally,
Katie

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

PPD: Discouraged

The following is a journal entry, written on 2/2/11, while fighting postpartum depression:


I am feeling discouraged right now. Three-4pm seems to be the time of day that gets me down. It's really frustrating. Right now, I feel like, "How can I do this everyday? Is this really my life? When will it all be over?" I know I'm not supposed to project predicaments in to the future because I'm going to feel different then, than I do now, but I can't help it. I don't know what I need. I was doing so well this morning. But now? Now I feel very discouraged and incapable. It scares me because it's not who I really am. It doesn't make any sense. My dream was to be a stay-at-home-mom. So why is this happening to me? Why am I so miserable? This isn't suppose to happen to me. I feel like I'm being punished.


To read more about my PPD journey, click here.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

OBSESSED.

Obsessed does not even begin to describe how I feel about this girl...


 This chick has been growing & learning like crazy, y'all!
She's over 15-months old now. Can ya believe it?!!?!

Every night before bed, I quickly jot down whatever it was we did that day. I also write down the day's "First's" if there were any. & most of the time there were!  
It's hard to keep up and remember e v e r y l i t t l e t h i n g Emmy is learning.


'They' say, Early Walker, Late Talker, right?
Well, around these parts, we have an Early Talker, Late Walker.

Emmalyn took a couple of steps right around her first birthday, but had absolutely no interest in taking things further. Honestly, I could care less because I wasn't ready to chase after her. People at playgroups would say things like, "She's not walking yet? How old is she?" & sometimes I'd respond back with a, "Nope. Not yet. But have you ever seen a five year-old who wasn't walking because they didn't start right at 12 months..?" Seriously, people.

What Emmy lacks in the mobility department, she definitely makes up for in the verbal department.
Girlfriend can talk! and talk... and talk... and talk...

& not only that... she can identify all the words she can say!
It would be practically impossible to remember all the words she knows if I didn't write them down.
Thankfully, I have a little Type A in me, and have conveniently kept a journal.

My Little PSA: This is a total 'braggy' post about my girl. What mama doesn't like to brag every now and then? Am I right?! So yeah, consider yourself warned ;)

Without further adieu, I present to you...
The vocabulary of Emmalyn Grace:

Auntie
Ava (her baby bff)
ABC's
all right
all done
Amen
apple
again

*

BopBop (what she calls my dad)
ball
bell
bless you
bear/grrr
baby
bunny
(ba)nana
bye bye
butterfly
book
brush teeth
bath
big
belly/button
(Chicka Chicka) boom boom
 
*

chicken/bak bak
cheese
cheers (clanks cups together)
cat/meow
cow/mooo
(Ch)eerios
cool
choo choo

*

Dada
duck/quack quack
dog/ruff ruff
dragon
dance
down

*

Emmy
Em-me-me (Emmalyn)
eyes
ears
eggs
Elmo

*

fish/(moves lips up and down)

*

GG (what she calls my mom)
good girl
night night
good morning
goody goody (like in the song)
gorilla/ahhh (while thumping chest)
good job
grapes

*

head
hello
hi
hungry
hug/aww...
hi baby
here you go

*

Indy
I love you
Itsy Bitsy
I missed you

*

Jingle (the husky pup/book)

*

kiss (kisses, blows kisses, eskimo)

*

Lucas
lion/rawr
lady bug

*

Mama
Mimo (what she calls my MIL)
more
Mick(ey) Mouse
make up
monkey/ah ah
mouth

*

necklace
nose
no

*

("How old are you?") one/holds up one finger
oh no
out
owl/hoo hoo
one, two, three
okay

*

Papo (what she calls my FIL)
please
peaches
potty
pretty
pear
pat-a-cake
peek-a-boo
pumpkin
poop
(p)iano

*

row row

*

Santa/ho ho ho
stand up
see ya
bah-berry (strawberry)
 moomie (smoothie)
uh-ghetti (spaghetti) 
shoes
socks

*

thank you
turkey/gobble gobble
Twinkle, Twinkle
tree
toes
that

*

Uncle
uh oh
up

*

water
(purses lips together and blows out air to whistle)
walk/ing
weee...!

*

yee haw
yes
yellow

*

Songs Emmy can sing/sing-a-long to:
ABC's, Wheels on the Bus, Barney's I Love You, Twinkle Twinkle, Row Row, Pat-a-Cake, Selena Gomez's Love Song


& honestly, those are just the words I've remembered to catch/write down. It's unbelievable to me just how much information my daughter retains!


Happy Sunday, Y'all!
xoxo

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