Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sometimes we just need a break

Last week was tough in mom land.  My nearly 7 year old has taken a liking to arguing with us about EVERYTHING from what his bedtime is, to wearing a long sleeved shirt to school, to whether or not he is in fact chasing his brother around the house (he was).  We tell him to stop talking back, he shrieks, I'M NOOOOOOT!"  FYI son, that's exactly what I'm talking about.  There have been some major meltdowns over Legos, allegedly ill-fitting socks, what he's bringing for class snack, and homework ("Just because there IS homework in my homework folder doesn't mean I have to DO homework!").  The simplest of things seem to have become a debate or a negotiation (Me:  Bedtime in 5 minutes!  Him:  No, 6!  Me:  Bath time!  Him: No!  Tomorrow!).  I felt like every single conversation with him resulted in an argument and/or me or my husband yelling.  Despite the fighting and yelling, he and his brother still found time to follow me to the bathroom, follow me outside and follow me to the kitchen.  As soon as I walked in the door, they demanded snacks (hello, they had been home with their father for 45 minutes before I got there.... why am I the only one who can get them snacks?), demanded dinner, demanded I find this or that.  When I finally got a chance to sit down, they literally sat right on top me.  Why, when there is plenty of open couch space, do they insist on sitting on ME?  The name mom was spoken (shrieked, cried, yelled) no less than 18,000,000 times in the span of 3 hours.  By the time bedtime hit, I was stressed, emotional and exhausted.  I just wanted some SPACE.  I wanted to lay in my bed in the quiet and enjoy the softness and security of my pillow and blankets.  So when I went to get into bed and saw my little one laying there in MY spot (OK'd by my husband), I started to cry.

I was completely overwhelmed last week.

Usually when I feel overwhelmed, it is quickly followed by guilt.
Why can't I handle this better?
Why am I yelling at my kids like that?
I am a terrible mother.
Why don't my kids wear cute matching outfits, cook me breakfast and read books in bed together like my friend Jenna's daughters do on Facebook?

And you know what the answer is?  I'm human.  And I need to un-friend Jenna (just kidding Jenna).

It is OK to get overwhelmed.  It is OK to cry. And yes, it is OK if you yell at your kids sometimes. Because you're human (and sometimes, they just really deserve it)! What you need to remember is, you can't take care of others until you take care of yourself.  When you are stressed, or overwhelmed, or just have nothing left to give, STOP and take care of YOU.   Better yet, take care of you before that all happens!  I'll admit, this is a hard one for me.  I feel bad taking time for myself.  I feel guilty.  I feel like that is not being a good mother.  But the truth is, I can't be a good mother unless I am first a good ME.

This past weekend my parents took the kids overnight.  I read, I relaxed, I napped.  My husband and I went out to breakfast and binge watched The Walking Dead.  It was bliss.  It was just what I needed.  And yesterday when the kids came home, I was back on my game.

Sometimes, we just need a little break.  I know that's not always easy and at times, seems impossible.  But I tell you, you need it.  It could be a solo trip to Target.  A quick work out at the gym.  A long, hot bath behind a locked door (and give your husband and children strict orders you are not to be disturbed).  A walk outside.  Meeting a friend for coffee.  A quick drive with the radio blaring your favorite songs.  A trip to the library (oh, the sweet silence of the library!).  It doesn't have to be a weekend away (although that is certainly nice!).  It can just be an hour or two escape to re-group and revitalize your mommy soul.   Don't have time?  Can't fit it in?  YES YOU DO and YES YOU CAN.  Make time.  Pencil, no PEN yourself into your planner.   Schedule time for YOU.  Even if it's 10 minutes a day just to sit quietly with yourself and be able to hear your thoughts. Or 10 minutes to sit quietly with yourself and think about absolutely nothing.  You can do it!  Challenge yourself to do it!  It's OK to take a break sometimes.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Friday Favorites

Friday!  It's here, it's really here!  Was this the longest week ever or what??

Before I dive into my favorites, I have a little confession.  My Christmas tree is still up!  Am I the only one?  Please tell me I'm not.  I also still have my outside Christmas lights on.  My plan is to take care of all that this weekend.  Wish me luck!

OK, now onto the favorites.  

I saw this on Facebook and I'm absolutely sure someone made this especially for me. Oh my gosh, this is me to a tee!  I am getting this sign!!

Another gem from Facebook this week.... Yummm...whiskey sours!

This guy turning 4 was also a favorite.  Love this little man with all my heart!

I may have also celebrated a birthday, although I can't say that in itself was a favorite.   Nor was the fact that my fondue plans got cancelled due to a stomach bug and a winter storm.  BUT, what WAS my favorite was this amazing chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting my husband got for me from Coccadots.  OMG it was heavenly! 

Are you a fan of New Year's Eve?  Honestly, I usually am not.  This year we decided to take the kids to Dave and Busters instead of just sitting home or finding a babysitter and going out solo.  And you know what, we all had so much fun!  It is probably my favorite New Year's Eve in recent memory.  I'm so glad we went!  

Ok, my last favorite may seem kind of weird.   I was leaving for work the other morning and saw all these turkeys on my neighbors lawn.  Isn't that cool?  I mean, there's just something so fun about a flock of turkeys  (or maybe that's just me)!

Well there you have it...my first Friday Favorites of 2017!  Now it's onto the weekend.  We've got a busy one coming up! Saturday A has soccer,  and N has a soccer game AND he is starting karate back up.  Then Sunday is A's birthday party.  And of course somewhere in there I need to take those pesky Christmas decorations down!

What do you have on tap this weekend?

Linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What We're Reading Wednesday

I saw this link up this morning and was so excited I had to hurry and put a post together so I could join in the fun!  I can't wait to see what you all are reading and hopefully get some suggestions to add to my own reading list!

First, let me tell you about the last 2 books I read.

I most recently finished What Alice Forgot.  I received this book through a book swap and finally got around to reading it.  I LOVED IT!  I can't believe I waited so long to read it.  This book kept me thinking for quite a while...what would my life be life if I woke up as my 29 year old self?  What would I do differently?  I think many of us would like the chance for a do-over in our lives.  Alice gets that chance.

Prior to reading Alice, I FINALLY read A Man Called Ove.  I adore Fredrik Backman's books and had already read My Grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry and Brit-Marie Was Here.   I think Ove is my favorite book yet!  It's charming, funny, sweet, sad, and uplifting all in one!

Now let's talk about what's on my TO-READ list!

Fredrik Backman recently released a novella, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer.  As Backman states in his letter to the reader at the beginning of the book, "This is a story about memories and about letting go.  It's a love letter and a slow farewell between a man and his grandson, and between a dad and his boy. 

Honestly, I originally stayed away from this book because I felt it was just too depressing for me to read.  But the more reviews I see, I know I just can't pass it up (even if I am crying for the next week)!

Next on my list are 2 Liane Moriarty books- The Husband's Secret  and Truly Madly Guilty.   Since I enjoyed Alice so much, I thought I would give some of the author's other books a try!

So what will YOU be reading this year??

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

7 steps to the best kids party ever!

How to have an amazing "kids" birthday party in 7 easy steps.

1.  Don't have it at your house

2.  Pick a party location where you don't have to do the set up.

3.  Or the clean up.  Especially the clean up.

4.  Have an awesome looking cake or cupcakes.  Bonus if it tastes good too.

5.  Have food.  i.e. pizza, hot dogs, nuggets.   Have drinks,  Kids love juice and orange soda at birthday parties.  And parents love when their kids come home on a sugar high.

6.  Make sure there is a physical activity involved to tire those little buggers out.

7.  Don't have it at your house.

Can you tell I'm in birthday party mode?  Kid #2 has his birthday party this weekend and kid #1 has his at the end of the month.  Having 2 winter babies makes for a very expensive December and January around here!

I do actually love to party plan, but I have a tendency to get carried away.  I like there to be a theme and I like everything to coordinate around that theme.  So let's say I'm planning a pirate party...  we must have pirate plates, cups, and napkins.  Pirate party hats.  Pirate eye patches.  Pirate invitations.  Of course a pirate cake.  The party favors must be pirate-themed (maybe little treasure chests for everyone with chocolate gold coins inside?), the guest of honor must be dressed as a pirate or be wearing a pirate shirt.  You see where I'm going here.  And although it's so much fun to have a great theme, it does get extremely pricey.

So yes, I am still going with a theme for my little guy because I just can't resist (Blaze and the Monster Machines!) but I have scaled back, especially on the party favors and decorations.  And for my older son, the "theme" will only be represented by the cake and invitations.  

Now, if you're wondering about #1 and #7 on my list, let me just say this.  If you like cleaning and stress and mayhem, you should totally have the party at your house.  But if you don't like these things, DON'T!!  OK, I'm kidding (partially).  So far, we have had 1 kids party at our house.  And while my son absolutely LOVED it, it was a TON of work for me.  It was a ton of preparation and cleaning, and then cleaning up afterwards.  The kids were INSANE.  Some of them hung out much longer than they should have.  And in the end, I spent just as much money (if not more) than I would have if we had it somewhere outside the home.  So for me, it is much less stressful (and more enjoyable) to do parties at a "party place" where everything is taken care of for us.  Of course, as the kids get older and maybe want smaller parties with just a couple friends (and I am no longer going theme-crazy), I am open to having parties at the house again!  

In the end, I know neither my kids nor their friends will remember or appreciate the wonderful theme parties I created.  All they want is to run around and have fun, and maybe eat some cake.  Oh, and get presents of course.  

What are your tips for having a great kids party?  Do you like to have a theme?  Can you help me overcome my theme compulsion?   

Monday, January 2, 2017

20 Questions

Happy 2017!

I thought I would start my blogging year off with a little "Get to Know me" fun!  Maybe you're new around here, or maybe you've been around for the long haul, but either way, you might just learn something new about me!

1.  If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?
Well hell yes!  Imagine all the fun we'd have!

2.  Do you use sarcasm a lot?
What do you think?

3.  What is your eye color?
Hazel (brown and green)

4.  How tall are you?

5.  Scary movies or happy endings?
When I was younger, I LOVED scary movies.  But now I'm all about happy endings. :)

6. Favorite smells?
Lilacs, fresh cut grass, apples

7.  What was your favorite subject in high school?  Least favorite?
Favorite- English and Social Studies   Least favorite:  MATH

8.  Do you have any pets?
2 dogs currently- a beagle mix and a lab

9.  What sports do you/have you played?
Soccer, track and field, cheerleading,  Some basketball and softball back in Jr. high.

10.  Favorite Perfume?
Falling in Love - Philosophy

11.  Favorite non-domesticated animal?

12.  What's the furthest you've been from home?

13.  What would you/did you name your children?
Well, if it wasn't for my husband's vetoes, I would have named my boys Gabriel and Aiden.
If I had a girl, it was going to be Abigail or Carly (I was also partial to Emmaline).

14.  What type of phone do you have?
Samsung Galaxy.  I refuse ALL iproducts!!!

15.  Do you speak any other languages?
A little, tiny bit of Spanish

16.  Favorite book?
My favorite book of all time is The Little Prince, with Are You There God?  It's me, Margaret. a very close second!

17.  Back sleeper, side sleeper or stomach sleeper?
Side sleeper

18.  Do you play any instruments?
Flute and saxophone

19.  Favorite song?
My favorite ever is Weekend in New England by Barry Manilow.

20.  Favorite singer/band?
Well, Barry Manilow of course!  Also Barenaked Ladies, Great Big Sea, Bon Jovi.  Sometimes I like to get down with a little DMX and Flo Rida too!

Happy New Year, friends!  Hope you stop by again soon!