Monday, March 20, 2017

Mama Heart | When Mama Needs a Minute

I had big plans for today's naptime. Lately I've been able to get about an hour of kid-free time in the afternoon when Max and Louisa's naps overlap (Praise the good Lord). Last week, I watched Ellen during that time since I was feeling pretty icky with a cold, but this week, I planned to be more productive. Today I wanted to work out, maybe do some laundry, and get started on filling some of the wall frames I've bought over the past two months. I also needed to tackle the breakfast and lunch dishes that were cluttering up my kitchen.

But after I got Max down and then Louisa down, I decided that I just needed to take a minute. Most days, I'd feel guilty about taking this selfish downtime, worrying about the piled-up dishes and the stacks of dirty laundry and the other tasks on my never-ending to-do list; normally, I'd feel so guilty that I would force myself to get up and tackle all of those tasks instead of taking a breather, hoping to get some time to relax once I took care of all my chores, only to have someone wake up right as I sat down, which would inevitably frustrate me and put me on edge.

Today was different, though. I sat down with a blanket, my book (Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain), and a glass of ice water and devoured chapter after chapter while the kids and the dog snoozed (the book is so good!). I had zero guilt. I knew all those chores would be waiting for me later. I'd get to them eventually. I needed to recharge, to have some quiet time alone. So I took a minute (or sixty, but who's counting?!)

I'll tell you what, I'm so glad I took that time today. Max woke up from his nap and was inexplicably angry with me, so thanks to my quiet time, I had more patience to deal with his moodiness and eventually calmed him down.  After Max was settled with some toys, I cleaned up those dishes in the kitchen...and I also wiped down the table and counters, put away a bunch of dishes, organized my coupons, and started a load of laundry. My little recharge gave me more energy!

I know I could find tasks to fill every second of my day. There's always something that needs to be done. But one really important thing I need to be sure I'm doing is taking care of me. My evenings are pretty jam-packed with making, eating, and cleaning up dinner, giving kids baths, putting kids to bed, and spending quality time with Victor. Louisa is on her third week of awful sleep, so my nights are far from restful. Currently, I'm finding it necessary to take a minute pretty much every afternoon, during that glorious naptime overlap. Some days that minute looks like it did today, with me curled up with a great book. Other days it might include a workout, perhaps some crafting, maybe watching a show or taking a nap. Eventually I'll get back to tackling chores--uninterrupted--during naptime, but for right now, mama needs to take a minute regularly, and that minute needs to be a selfish one.

Don't be afraid to do the same, mamas. Some days, we just need a minute.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Currently | March 2017

It's time for another Currently post! I can't think of a better way to get back into the blogging swing of's been a while!

Needing | To clean my floors. Louisa's crawling everywhere and the state of the knees of her pants at the end of the day are indicative of how badly my hardwood needs a bath. Don't judge.

Loving | That Max is so excited about going to school. Last Friday, he had me pack his lunch in his lunch box so he could practice for school. Then yesterday he loaded a bunch of instruments into his backpack and waited by the front door, saying, "Fool bus, where are vou?" Never mind the fact that it was 5 PM...or that it was a snow day...or that he will be walked or driven to school...or that he won't even start school until September. He's ready NOW!

Giggling | Over Max's pose after Louisa got her newest set of passport photos taken on Monday (I had them taken back when she was just a couple of months old, but then we never applied for her passport, so we needed to take new ones). I had to have my foot on the stool and have Louisa sit on my leg to get a good photo, so Max thought that was the way everyone got their photo taken there. Too cute.

Louisa was about 2 months old on the left and nearly 10 months old on the right!

Wanting | New couches! We have leather-ish reclining couches right now, and while I love how easy they are to clean (just a quick wipe down does the trick!), I think they're ugly. One of the recliners on the big couch is broken, so we're looking into getting it fixed, and if that doesn't work, we might replace everything. I'm thinking something like this or this. I just have to convince Victor to get non-reclining couches. And that hasn't been going so well.

Listening | On Sunday while Louisa was napping, Max, Victor, and I hung out in our home office and watched Michael Jackson music videos on YouTube. Max loves "Beat It" and pretty much any other song that has a great dancing beat. He's even starting to sing along to the song!

Reading | I just finished All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner last night. It was okay; I've enjoyed other books by Jennifer Weiner more. I started reading Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain, and it's already got me intrigued. I always try to update what I'm reading and what I've read on Goodreads, so find me there if you want to follow along!

Watching | I watched the finale of This Is Us last night. There were tears. I'm so glad it's on for at least two more seasons! Victor and I watched Mike Birbiglia's latest comedy special, "Thank God for Jokes" on Netflix last weekend. I thought it was hilarious. I've always loved his stand-up. 

Sipping | All the coffee. Louisa's sleep has been awful lately, so I've been downing the caffeine. I also bought a bottle of watermelon wine for the snowstorm and had instant heartburn after just a few sips. So much for trying to let loose lol

Cooking | I made spaghetti for dinner last night, which Max refused to eat. He's refused it the last several times I've made it, which is discouraging because the kid used to put down two plates full in one sitting before. I also made Astleigh Hill's Shepherd's Pie on Sunday (highly recommend) and for St. Patrick's Day, I'm making baked fish and chips from the Skinnytaste Fast and Slow cookbook. A week of good eats!

Look at that enthusiasm. This was taken exactly a year ago yesterday, March 14, 2016.

Dreaming | Of Louisa only waking once throughout the night. Lately she's been waking up screaming 4-5 times. I'm wondering if she's about to cut another tooth, although I don't see any evidence of one popping through. Hopefully this terrible sleep phase ends soon.

Celebrating | The kids' birthdays in May, which means it's time to start party planning! I want to do a joint birthday party with a puppy theme because #crowdpleaser, but Max keeps saying he wants a dinosaur party with a dinosaur cake. I keep trying to convince him that a puppy party will be more fun, but he isn't buying it yet.

Swooning | Over everything Joanna Gaines touches. The kids and I watched a few episodes of Fixer Upper yesterday, and I've decided that Jojo just needs to come and work her magic on this house of mine. Seriously, Jo, take all my money and make my house beautiful, please and thank you.

Going | Nowhere notable in the foreseeable future, and I'm totally okay with that. I need to get this house in order and get my kid potty-trained, so staying close to home is exactly what we need!

Amazed | At how much Louisa is changing and learning lately. When we went to Arizona on March 1, she was crawling at a snail's pace. While we were on vacation, she learned how to sit herself back on her bottom from crawling, and she started pulling up on low-lying surfaces. Now she's a super-speedy crawler, and if you try to sit her down on the floor, she'll refuse to bend at the hip and instead tries to take steps while you support her. She's also becoming very independent and loves to crawl to find whatever strikes her fancy at the moment. I can't believe she'll be one in just a few short months!

She found Supergirl in a sea of Ninja Turtles and other superhero guys.

Hoping | This snow melts and the trees start blooming again. After having late-spring-like weather at the end of February and spending a week in Arizona at the beginning of this month, I am SO over winter!

Wondering | Which of my neighbors received my latest shipment of Chatbooks, because despite what the tracking info says, it most certainly was not delivered to my mailbox on Saturday. We get other people's mail at our house all the time, more here than anywhere else I've lived (which leads me to believe it's an issue with mail sorting at our post office/our mail carrier), and it's super frustrating. Hopefully I can track them down. I've already been in touch with Chatbooks and they're being super helpful, but I think the USPS needs to take the fall for this one. Or maybe whoever received the package by mistake can get it to me soon. Is that having too much faith in humanity? I mean, what random person wants 5 books full of photos of my family?

Hope you're having a warm, wonderful week!