Hello, My Name is Michele, and I am a bratty judgemental mother.

***I originally wrote this post on Dec 18, 2011. I don’t even remember it, but after taking a HUGE blogging break I just recently have felt like I needed to come back and do it again. Browsing through my past posts it is interesting to see how much of my life and perspectives have changed. I don’t know why I hesitated to push the publish button on this post almost 4 years ago, but I’m going to go ahead and do it now. It isn’t perfect, and I didn’t go through and edit it, but I think it still might speak to someone.***

You know what I’ve noticed?

Other moms are crazy.

And extremely judgmental.

And generally wrong about most things.

But so am I.

It is a vicious circle too. For instance, when you first announce that you are expecting, you get bombarded. It is a lot like trying to fit a four-year degree in “Mommy-hood Preparedness” into nine months. Especially for those of us that weren’t planning to start a family so soon, we didn’t get the opportunity to study ahead of time. At first you are all ears, taking down notes, and trying your hardest to do everything that every ‘teacher’ tells you. But soon you start to wonder.

Are they really who I should get advice from? I mean, this ‘All-Knowing Parenting-without-Fail Book’ says the exact opposite of what they are telling me. Not to mention, I would never be okay with my child acting like that. Obviously more discipline and consistency on our part as soon-to-be parents would eliminate this behavior. They seem to have taken the easy way out. I would never do that.

I would never do that. Famous last words if I have ever heard them.

Then your baby is born and a weird thing happens.

You never sleep again.

It is amazing how a sleep deprived state can cause you to come up with perfectly logical excuses for why it is okay that you don’t do all of the things that you set out to do as a fully rested/functioning adult who could still read and comprehend books above the pre-school reading level. Maybe those moms weren’t so crazy after all.

But then, it happens again. You get past a growth spurt and suddenly your baby is the happiest, calmest, most amazing baby there ever was. Too bad those new moms won’t listen to you, you have all the answers. Plus, they absolutely should not be listening to the moms of the babies older than yours, those kids are TERRORS. My child will never act like that.

Oh really?

But than they do, but now instead of the cause being bad parenting you attribute it to a phase that your little one is going through. Totally out of your control, right? But at the same time you might start to sympathize with the other mothers that tried to warn you and you try to warn the newer moms of what is coming. However, like you they just don’t get it.

Do you see the pattern too?

In simple terms, to me, the cycle looks like this.

1. Incident — Something that another mother or her child does that bothers you.

2. Denial — This includes thoughts like: “I would never do that as a mother!” or “My child will never be allowed to behave like that.”

3. Bliss – “See, I know what I am doing, that other mother had it all wrong! Maybe she should take a lesson or two from me! AKA Wonder-Mom!”

4. Tragedy – The tables turn and out of desperation you do the thing that you swore you would never do or your child does the thing that they were never supposed to be allowed to do.

5. Understanding — The Ah-Ha! moment. You realize that the other mom may have been onto something. Or at the very least you begin to understand where they were coming from when the incident occurred. Part of this phase is being judged by other moms, to whom the normal response is: “Oh, you just wait! This will happen to you/your child eventually.” Or sometimes, just a knowing smile. (Of course they are now going through the denial phase.)

But then you see another mother (or maybe the same one) doing something else you don’t approve of/ think is correct and the cycle repeats itself again. And Again. And Again.

Maybe this isn’t true for everyone, but I keep seeing it over and over again with mothers that I know in real life, on the internet, and all too often – to me. It is almost like we can’t help it. Like a part of trying so hard to be the best mothers in the world for our kids is judging others in how they are doing.

I don’t know if there is any way to completely break the cycle, but for me just knowing that I have a tendency to get sucked into it is enough for me to take a step back and give all the mothers around me a chance. To just listen to what they have to say and if nothing else file it away in my mind. As much as I don’t want to have to use it someday, there will more than likely come a time when I am thankful that I listened instead of judged.

One of my favorite things about Spring is the flowers.

Especially when you have enough to cut and put in a mason jar on the dining room table. They make a house a happier place to be. Here are some pictures of our first table bouquet of the year. Can’t believe how early our flowers are blooming this year! We are so blessed that the previous owners of our house took the time to plant all kinds of flowers all over our property! From late March til late August there is always something new blooming! They were amazing gardners. The plants are pretty hardy too, since magically Bran and I have not managed to kill them yet (even with the crazy hot summer we had last year!)

 

What are your favorite things about spring?

Ade, you can’t potty with your pants on.

Do you have any idea how many times I have heard/said this statement recently? More than a bajillion. Ever since introducing Ade to her new potty chair, that is about all that she wants to do. Especially when we want to use the bathroom.

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So true. And often she just sits down on her potty without taken her pants off because she is so excited. She is big you know. (We are working on it.)

For those of you who might not believe me about how much she loves her potty I have a video for you. Warning: There is an adorable little nakey girl in this video. If that offends you, then don’t watch, but she had just finished with her bath and we weren’t about to put her PJ’s on just to take them off so she could go ‘potty’.

Oh, and the first thing she says is “No, Ima goin’ potty. Bubye” and at one point she signals ‘more’ other than that you are on your own. We don’t understand her  90% of the time either.

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An Answer to Prayer

For any of you that have been keeping up with my family, you know that my daughter had a cardiology appointment this past Tuesday. We were extremely worried for this appointment considering the results from 6 months ago.

At that appointment the doctor was concerned because she had dropped from the 40th percentile in weight to the 3rd. He was sure that this dramatic of a drop in weight indicated that her ASD was stunting her growth. If this was the case, than Ade would need to have open heart surgery to correct the ASD sooner rather than later. Something I freaked out a little about here. He gave us 6 months in which the goal was to keep her from dropping any further down the charts. If she was stable or showed any signs of gaining he would postpone the surgery for a little while.

Well, the little stinker apparently loves dramatics, because this appointment was another shocker.  Not only is she no longer in the 3rd percentile, she isn’t even in the 40th. She is now firmly in the 45th percentile according to his charts.

That’s right, I said 45th!!!!! She didn’t just stay stable, gain a little, or return back to her previous percentile; she gained past that.

The doctor was astonished, asking if we had changed her diet in any way or found out that she was allergic to something (like milk). He stood there and shook his head for a few minutes before announcing that he would not need to do a costly echocardiogram this visit nor see her for another year! He said at that time he would do an echocardiogram and that although he is fairly sure her ASD will need surgical correction (at the age of 6) there is a chance that it may never bother her enough for even that!

Are you as floored as we are? We stumbled through the rest of the conversation with him and the nurse and remember very little of what was said because we were so stunned. What a difference 6 months (and countless prayers from those of you that read this and many others we know) can do! This is better news than we could ever have imagined.

Thank you everyone who has been keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. I have no idea how to express just how thankful we are to every one of you!

What an incredible answer to prayer!

I’m doing it again.

I’m freaking out.

AJ’s Cardio appointment is in a week. Those 6 months have gone way to fast. WAY TO FAST.

She has gained about 6lbs in the last 6 months. Turns out, there are a million different Infant Growth Charts out there. They range from placing her in the 90th percentile to the negative percentile. So I did a little research and according to the CDC’s website the ‘official’ chart is the WHO Child Growth Standards. Her weight at her last appointment 6 months ago placed her a little bit below the 50th percentile.  Her current weight places her firmly between the 50th and 85th percentile.

To say that I am happy about that is an understatement. However, being the fretful mother that I am I can’t help but wonder if it will be enough. He obviously is using a different kind of chart, since he said she was around the 4th percentile at her last appointment. What if her growth isn’t enough according to his charts? What if he still recommends that she have open heart surgery?

Please, pray that it will be enough and that we can put off another cardiology appointment for another year. Please.

15 Philosophies To Live By

By: Little Miss Ade-Tude

  1. No matter how sick you are, always find time to get out your crayons and draw a picture (it doesn’t have to be on paper).
  2. The grass may not always be greener on the other side, but the food is always better off of someone else’s plate.
  3. If it is on, I must turn it off. If it is off, I must turn it on. If it is folded, I must unfold it. Always be very proud that you can help mommy with this.
  4. “NO!” is just a really fun, new version of peak-a-boo.
  5. Also a fun game, running around with sharp/pointy things like pencils. For some reason Mommy always wants to play the “NO!” game during the running game. Weird huh?
  6. If Mommy’s hands are full, I must be carried. If Mommy is in a hurry and wants to carry me, I must walk alone. Plus, holding an adult’s hand just slows me down.
  7. If it can’t be eaten or make a cool noise than I don’t want it. Unless someone else wants it, than it is mine.
  8. If something upsets/scares/angers me it is obviously the adult who is closest to me’s fault. Obviously.
  9. Bedtime does not always mean that you have to go to sleep, it is also an okay time to stand up and yell things at your bedroom door. Also, you can throw things if you want, but it you throw your pacifier that is mommy’s fault, not yours.
  10. The more potential food has to stain, the greater the coverage area when it is hurled.
  11. Each day you should have a new favorite toy/food/stuffed animal/blanket/nap schedule, while completely despising the previous days favorite.
  12. The intensity of your tantrums should always be directly proportional to the amount of people around to witness.
  13. The amount of sound from the other room is inversely proportional to the amount of trouble you will be in when Mommy/Daddy walk in.
  14. Phone calls are the best time to do something EXTREMELY naughty.
  15. The best time to ruin an outfit is when you are out of the house and your parents have forgotten to bring along an extra set.

Today I am Thankful…

To wake up before everyone else to a quiet, messy lived in home. To have the chance to sneak in and watch my baby girl sleep, crunched in half, butt in the air snuggling her favorite ‘Porper’ (stuffed puppy).

Then I walk down the hallway, which most of the time feels to narrow, but today instead of the narrow horrible paneling I focus instead on the hallway closet that has a rather large stockpile of food. I smile to myself remembering my husbands panic when our supplies fall below 3 months worth of food (in case of an emergency). Now I am thankful the head of my household’s passion lies in preparing his family for disasters instead of the million other hobbies he could have. I am thankful, because I know he prays every night to God to keep us safe, because he knows that he can only do so little and that he needs our Heavenly Fathers help.

I am thankful to have Sundays off this holiday season, because I didn’t last year. I am thankful for the opportunity to go be with my church family every week if we choose too. I am also thankful that God doesn’t care if I worship him in a formal church or with my family snuggled around me in bed reading the Bible to my daughter on Sunday morning. There are times that I feel closer to God outside of church, and for that I am extremely thankful.

I was sad this week about Thanksgiving because we are not going to be able to travel to Missouri to see my family there again this year. But, last year we were able to have Ade’s first Thanksgiving together, as a family of three and I will cherish that memory forever. This year, we are getting to spend it with Bran’s mom and step-dad, and I am thankful for that. I want Ade to remember Thanksgiving as a time to spend with loved ones, and not always the same ones because we are blessed to have lots and lots of loved ones. For that I am thankful.

This morning I logged onto Facebook to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and the first thing to catch my eye was a post from a friend about her less than a year old daughters trip to the emergency room last night. It took my breath away as I prayed for her and her little girl and with my sigh of relief that she was okay I was thankful. Not just that their scary moment was over, but that even though I am always worried for my daughter and her heart defect we have never had to rush her to the emergency room. For that, I am so very thankful.

Thinking about Ade and her heart condition my mood changes, because even though she is healthy we have been fighting with her medical bills. Nothing outrageous, but still cumbersome. Then I remember, that even with those that we are still paying on, we have paid off a considerable amount more. For the ability to keep paying our bills in such an uncertain time, I am thankful. For both of our jobs, I am thankful and for Bran’s opportunity to go back to school and finish his degree (and us to be able to afford it) I am thankful.

But most of all today I am thankful for Thanksgiving. Not because tomorrow is Black Friday, or because it is a day for me to be thankful, but because it is a day that reminds me that I should be thankful for EVERYthing, EVERYday.

 

I realize that a lot of people are using this quote, but I want you to really think about it and not brush it off because you have heard it before. It is a great reminder for all of us, for every day.

Happy Thanksgiving!

How Pinteresting Thanksgiving Edition

Because it will be here before you know it!

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Turn the quiet up, turn the noise down.

Please?

I feel like there is too much ‘noise’ going on in my life right now. Too many things to worry about, too many things changing, and too many things staying the same.

You know what this means? This is going to be a whiney post, but at least I’m warning you ahead of time.

Right now we are right in the middle of the third week of having a new employee in the lab. She is great, but for a certified lab that means total chaos. I realize that anytime there is a new employee anywhere there is chaos, but this is my place to complain. Along with the addition of this employee comes an even larger work load. The problem is that now we have three people’s work load… on two people.

Thankfully, like I said, the new girl is great and she is handling mine and my coworkers crankiness phenomenally. I’m positive that is the reason that this transition is going so much smoother than I ever thought it could.

But that isn’t the end of the work trouble. I was given a new title which I’m pretty sure is fake. But yet somehow with this new fake/joke title arose responsibilities. So now I am of course worried that I’m not being taken seriously. (Of course that isn’t entirely new because my age isn’t changing fast enough).

Oh, and the rules are changing on how the lab will function on holidays so I will be screwed out of 1/3 of them. I should be glad to have a job right? And not worry about what holidays I’m going to have to work. I should. I’m trying, seriously trying.

To top it off there have been some recent health issues in my family. I don’t know how much I can say but someone I love dearly was recently diagnosed with cancer and has been receiving treatment. Thankfully the course of treatment has now come to an end and I am praying that it took care of the cancer in its entirety.

Plus a bajillion little things going on ALL.THE.TIME.

Wow, that is a lot of whiney paragraphs. But you know what makes them all disappear at least for a while? This face:

Oh, and the fact that Ade has more than doubled her vocabulary in the last 2 weeks. Also, Halloween is coming up (in case you didn’t know that) and I am enjoying making my baby girl’s costume (the turqouise onsie arrived today).

We are also planning a meet and greet with the lovely lady from Laughter and Lattes and her family sometime soon. Plus family pictures and a charity bowling night on Nov 5th (of course I will post pictures, don’t worry).

In the end, I guess some noise is good, it’s just time to learn how to tune out the bad before I go deaf.

March of Dimes Walk Update

Along with my mom, we packed up Ade and drove a little over 2 hrs into Oklahoma for the March for Babies walk that I talked about a few months ago. We had a blast, not only getting out to support a great cause, but spending some quality time just us girls. It was a beautiful 85*F out, so we shed our jackets from being in chilly Kansas and enjoyed the weather on the courthouse square of Perry, OK. It was a short event, but totally worth the drive and time it took to participate.

It’s really a beautiful little town. I wish I could show you, but you know me, I am horrible with remembering to take pictures. We are already planning next years walk, although we are hoping to be able to make it to a Congenital Heart Walk (the closest one this year was in St. Louis and we just couldn’t make it) next year along with the March for Babies walk closer to home.

I really want to encourage everyone to get out for these events! I’m sure you can find one happening near you at least once a year and it is a great time to get your family out and involved with a great cause!