Motherhood

“Well I Don’t Love You Guys.”

My daughter told me that she didn’t love me for the first time tonight.

It was at bedtime and she had just gotten in trouble for getting out of bed for the tenth time that night. She wanted us to read a story to her, but she chose to stay up late and watch tv, so she doesn’t get a bedtime story. That was the deal. And we are learning how to stand firm on the agreements we’ve already made. She won’t learn if we give in to her every demand.

She had already declared that she didn’t want any hugs and kisses and when I was telling her that we loved her as we edged toward the door, she yelled, “well I don’t love you guys.”

And I surprisingly took it really well!

I just told her, “well that’s okay” and walked out of the room.

I’m so shocked that I’m not huddled in a corner somewhere crying and distraught, being bombarded with negative thoughts about failing as a mother. But I actually feel like I am winning as a mom for being so okay with her words. Toddlers are hard. I call Hazel my little threenager, because the attitude and dramatics is very real, but I just have to remind myself that she’s trying to understand and grow into herself and that it’s not personal.

So I’m going to take this very small personal win and move on with night, because she is literally singing herself to sleep as I type this. 🙂

Family

When I Think About Grandad

Grandad and Me Circa 2014

When I think of Grandad…

I think of cheeky smiles. Grandad was such a jokester. He was always poking fun and ready to have a good time. Listening to him laugh at his own jokes or smile so big when he was telling us a funny story was such a treat! My favorite Grandad anecdote was him listening to you complain about something hurting only to tell you not to worry he’d just cut off your finger to distract you.

I think of big hearts. Grandad had the biggest heart. He was the kind of guy who was always willing to lend a hand, a ride, or the shirt off his back. He also used that heart to love Nilda so fully! Although he was a bit rough on the outside, I always knew he loved me and was proud of me.

I think of car show t-shirts. Seriously, he used to wear those a lot! But really just cars in general. He was such a car guy. I loved going to look at all the cool classic cars he was working on. He had the classic Roadster, but my favorite was the Edsel. He also shared my love of Jeeps and gave my beloved Cherokee a home and an upgrade.

I think of spontaneity. He was so full of life and adventure. He went where the wind took him and did whatever he felt like it. From motorcycle trips to camping to flying to the Philippines. I loved hearing him tell stories of the places he’d been, the people he’d met, and all the fun he had along the way!

I think of the fourth of July. It is my favorite holiday because of him. Visiting Grandad’s felt like traveling to a new world. There was so much land to discover, games to play, and places to explore. And when the sun started to go down, we would all get so giddy to go out and shoot off fireworks. It was always the best time!

I think of hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Grandad really knew how to pick ‘em whether it be childhood parties at Ponchos, frito-pie at Mary’s, or chicken fried steak at the R&K Cafe – I knew it would be good food and even better company.

I think of mountain dew in a koozie and wearing socks w/ sandals.

Lastly, I think of friendship. Grandad could make a friend anywhere! He was just so friendly, down-to-Earth, and unapologetically himself that you couldn’t help but love and accept him. What you saw is what you got when it came to Grandad and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Uncategorized

Life Update // A Year Later

Hazel (3) & Jameson (16 mo)

For those of you who might still be around – I am still here. But just barely.

I’m going to be real honest with you friends, the past year has been tough. Like really, really tough! It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions and happenings. Lots of one step forward, 10 steps back. Lots of trial and error. Lots of tears. Just a lot!

Being a mom of two is no walk in the park. Parents make it look so easy, but it is anything but. I read back on my posts about parenting Hazel and I want to laugh. Just fall into hysterical belly laughs, because I was so full of it. I had no clue what I was doing and for her it worked. But guess what… for him – it doesn’t. Nothing does actually. And now that she’s a toddler, nothing works for her either. Most days I feel so exhausted and hopeless and I wonder why I thought this would be a good idea or why I thought I’d be good at it.

Also being married with kids is also no easy feat. Marriage is hard to begin with and then you add in little people to that and it gets ten thousand times harder. So many opinions and emotions. So much stress. So little time. I truly think time is one of the most difficult things to lose – you don’t have much time to yourself and you don’t have much time to just be together. Sometimes it feels like a full-time job just managing time.

But we are all alive and trying. Emphasis on trying.

On a different note, there has been some good in the past year.

My obsession with reading really took off and since I last posted, I have read 128 books. Yep, you read that right! And it feels freaking amazing! It’s the passion I forgot I had and I am so so so so happy to have reconnected with it.

The hubs got a new job at a new coffee shop and it was been a great move. It’s not as close to home, but the company is pretty great and they respect work/life balance much more than the previous one.

I went to therapy. And I could probably use a lot more of it.

I found my best friend through a social media for books. Turns out she was in Canada this whole time and I can’t wait to meet her in person!

We did some house work. We now have hardwood floors that the hubs put in himself. I also painted a striped wall. And we built bookshelves. More on that later!

So if you can’t tell, I’ve been kinda down in the dumps lately, because life is hard, but I love looking back on happy posts on here, so I thought I would try and get into it again. Emphasis on try. 🙂

I hope you are all well. Tell me something good that happened to you in the past year!

Books, Reviews

Second First Impressions Book Review

Have you ever been caught off guard by the sound of your own heartbeat? Maybe you’ve pressed your ear weirdly on your pillow, and now all you can hear is your own proof of life. You are confronted with your mortality in a base, clock-ticking kind of way: you have an engine room, and it has a finite timeline. What a miracle and a privilege. – Ruthie

After reading two intense adventure books, I thought this book was really slow when I first started it, but it was the best surprise!

Plot Summary

I’m not great at describing book plots, so enjoy the one provided from the back of the book:

Ruthie Midona has worked the front desk at Providence Retirement Villa for years, living on- site at the beck and call of the wealthy residents – and the rare tortoises that roam the manicured lawns. She has her routine, and not much ever changes. Until she lays eyes on Teddy Prescott, the son of Providence’s new owner and her new neighbor. Tall, tattooed, and with the most magical on Earth (just ask him), Teddy’s in town saving up money to pursue his dream of opening a tattoo shop. He’s the definition of risky, and Ruthie’s dazzled at first sight – until he mistakes her for a little old lady.

Luckily, Ruthie has the perfect revenge for Teddy’s insulting first impression. Her most eccentric residents have just places (yet another!) ad seeking a personal assistant to torment. The Parlonis are ninety-year-old, miniature menaces, and not one of their assistants has lasted a week. Ruthie knows a quitter when she sees one and is more than happy to offer up Teddy.

To Ruthie’s surprise, Teddy proves to be the ultimate hire, charming his way through the entire villa and into her heart with his joyful, never-serious outlook on life. But with the future of Providence hanging in the balance, and Teddy’s family’s plans threatening to shatter Ruthie’s safe little universe, will Teddy be there when it really counts?

What I Thought

This book pleasantly surprised me and gave me all the sweet and good feels!

After skimming some of the reviews on Goodreads, this book has gotten a bit of dislike… mainly for not being relatable or for the main character being to meek and blah. I find that assessment very unfair, because I happen to relate to Ruthie in so many ways – it’s kind of sad actually. At one part, I took a screenshot of the page and highlighted parts that sounded like me and sent it to my husband and best friend who laughingly agreed. I think discounting a book for a character not that all around relatable or someone you want to aspire to is silly, because everyone is different and I think it points out that she has reasons for her behavior as well as recognizing where she needs to grow. For those curious, here is the excerpt that describes me: “ID,” the bartender calls out in a forbidding voice when I reach the top of the stairs. “Wow, okay,” I reply and hand it to him. “I’m twenty-five.” He checks it, rechecks it, then chuffs a laugh. “You look about twelve.” I’ll take being mistaken for twelve over a Golden Girls cosplayer any day. As I tuck my ID back into my purse I briefly consider getting wasted. Maybe I’ll drink straight from that bottle of green stuff back there. I’ll leave my car here all night and order my first ever Uber home. Like no joke, I’ve had these very thoughts and conversations. So, in Ruthie’s defense, she is relatable to sheltered, sweethearts like myself. 🙂

I’d like to take a second and just say that I adored Teddy. I thought he was fantastic, adorable, and charming. I like how misjudged he was because of his appearance as a rich, confident, bad boy because of his tattoos, motorcycle, family, but as you learn more about him and see how he interacts with literally all the characters, you see that he is so much different and more than that. The “bad boy” trope is just so big right now, but most real girls don’t actually want a bad boy. We want someone to respect us, adore us, cheer us on…. so I reeeeeally appreciated that this book took a different route. I loved the explanation as to why Teddy was interested in Ruthie – because girls like Ruthie can be a catch for all you haters. And I felt that he truly treated her well and their friendship-turned-relationship was so so so sweet and it felt like something out of my very own dreams. I feel like the author got into my head from a few years ago and wrote a feel-good book just for me!

Let’s talk the love scene. I’ve already said that this book was basically written for me and the love scene was no different. It was hella romantic! But let me back up and say that this is chick-lit, not new adult or romance, so keep that in mind. The book is a love story, but it’s more about the getting to know you, becoming friends, accepting the feelings, and the love scene isn’t until the end. So getting back to the scene itself – I appreciated it, because of how sweet and realistic it was compared to a lot of the raunchy scenes out there. It is described as playful and affectionate. They chat a little in the beginning and laugh. There are kind compliments sprinkled throughout. Not to mention consent is present multiple times through phrases like “Want to keep going?” and “Can you keep going?” It was female positive (is that the word?), because the woman is treated as more than just an object or toy – “I never thought about my body as anything other than an instrument for him to find pleasure. All Teddy wants to do is make me smile and shiver, and his own body doesn’t seem to concern him.” It is obvious that feeling safe was a key in this scene from the way they communicate – “If I ever thought touching him in return would be awkward, I was wrong: we are friends above all else, and we can talk about these things: I can tell him how I want to try this, and this… He lets me.” And last but not least there was aftercare which you rarely ever see. All in all, this scene is spectacularly written. It was kind and sweet and vulnerable and sexy. I loved that the author showed you can write a wonderful love scene without making it dirty and raunchy.

The supporting characters grow on you as well. I wasn’t sure about Mel in the beginning, but as the story moves forward, I ended up really adoring her. The Parlonis were quite funny and I could picture them perfectly in my head. I really like elderly people too, so I found them very endearing.

So the book did start out a little slow. It took maybe 3 chapters before I started to really understand where the story was going and care about the characters. But I am SO GLAD I stuck it out, because this might be one of my favorite books now.

My Rating: 5 Stars

I loved this book and really appreciated how a lot of things were written. It was nice to finally have a main character I could relate to and see parts of myself in. It was fantastic to see a beautiful, kind love scene. I could go on and on. Anywho I recommend to those who enjoy chick-lit – a light-hearted, sweet romance.

Let’s be friends on Goodreads!

Uncategorized

Life Update // Getting Back to Normal

It’s been awhile friends. Sorry – not sorry – for that.

For those of you who don’t keep up with us on social media, Jameson is back home! He has been home for just under a month. I haven’t posted practically at all, because it has been quite the overwhelming, exhausting journey. He was released on a Friday evening and that Monday morning I started back to work. My in-laws were in town. Both them and my mom stayed with us for different periods of time to help out. We learned that week that Hazel had developed hand food and mouth disease, so she had to spend another two weeks with my mom. There were many follow-up pediatrician appointments for both of them. Lots of information to take in. There was a feeding tube and there still is formula thickener.

So let’s just say it took us awhile to fall back into our normal lives.

We were prepared for Jameson to be different than Hazel, but I’d say we greatly underestimated how different he would be. Obviously this isn’t his fault and we had no way of knowing that any of this would happen. It’s one of those things where you never think it will happen to you until it does. But we are relieved to finally have both kids back home with us. I won’t lie – it has been a stressful process learning Jameson. He has gone through so much in his short life so far. Being premature he was already going to be a bit behind for his age group, but then after being hospitalized he has been a bit fussier than before. We have to work extra hard at not comparing him to Hazel, because she was a rare, easy baby who slept through the night within a few weeks, had no issues eating after we switched to bottles and formula, and had the sweetest, easiest temperament. But Jameson is coming around!

Our Fourth of July was a good one! I got us altogether for a little family photoshoot and they turned out really cute. The day of, the kids and I went to a family swimming party. Hazel was a little fish and Jameson got to “swim” for the first time; he wasn’t a fan. That night, the kids had a sleepover with their grandparents and Jeremiah and I watched some fireworks. Then a couple days later, we went to our city’s firework show and it was so so so good! Jameson sported some huge headphones and slept through the whole thing and Hazel was giddy with excitement as she said “boom” between fireworks and proceeded to clap. She talks about them constantly.

I’ve still been reading a lot. Not as quickly as while we were in the hospital, but I still make a point to read every day.

While in the hospital, my health took a back seat. It wasn’t my top priority nor is it easy to be healthy while living out of a hospital room. In the first two weeks being home, I continued to eat like crap, drink way too much soda, and was still overwhelmed, exhausted, sleep-deprived, and stressed. But as things have settled and calmed down, last week I started to be mindful of my health. I have officially cut out soda – Dr Pepper – for 9 days and counting. I also haven’t had fast food in 8 days. For six days straight, Jeremiah and I cooked all our meals at home and did not eat out. Sunday was our “cheat” day… although we didn’t say we couldn’t eat out, we just didn’t and it has felt great! Today we went for a mile long family walk – the first significant walk I have gone on in ages. I’m taking slow slow slow baby steps to getting healthy again, but I want to work hard and lose the baby weight + hospital weight.

So that’s what we’ve been up to. How has the summer been for y’all?