Up All Night

I screwed up again…

The 3pm energy drain hit me and I did it.

I had that one last afternoon cup of coffee.

Now it’s 1:30am. And despite the fact that both of my little angels (we’ll call them that now that they’re passed out) in their own beds, in their own room, and Michael is at work.

I could be downing a bottle of wine and watching Call the Midwife reruns. Or finishing The Sandman graphic novel I started earlier. I could be getting a couple hours of blissfully uninterrupted sleep. But no…I’m doing the fucking dishes.

“Why in earth would a woman choose to do dishes at 1am?” you might be asking yourself. The smart ass in me would say “cause the maid doesn’t come until Thursday”. And the realist in me says “cause I AM the maid”.

I also just switched over the laundry and set the diaper covers out to dry.

And now I’m wide awake…

My home isn’t spotless. In fact I’m fairly certain there’s thin (or thick depending on where you’re sitting) layer of white dog hair coating every floor of the house. It’s quite soft on the feet. Not so kind to my black wardrobe pieces.

And I don’t expect it to be. Having two small children has made me set my expectation levels incredibly low. And yet still I am surprised by how unexpected everything goes in our life. Life with small humans requires a lot of planning and preparation, both of which I struggle with.

The simple fact is that things can’t run smoothly in the mornings unless the kitchen is clean. Even my bare bones morning schedulencan be easily derailed. Everything takes longer if you have to wash a pan just to make some eggs, or shuffle things around to get to the butter dish. And god forbid there’s no sippy cups clean for her majesty Cedella’s morning juice.

And diapers? Well…we kinda need those. All day, every day. And they have to be washed before the stench takes over the girls room. We’ve got them both sleeping in there now…can’t ruin it with dirty diaper pail stink.

Did I mention both girls are sleeping in their own beds? All. Night. Long.

Yea, I may have postponed doing the dishes until 1am. And I’ll probably be tired tomorrow because I’m up so late. But today, I got an adjustment, ran into good mama friends and their kiddos, thrift shopped, hung outside with my big girl, finished a book and enjoyed a home-cooked family dinner.

I gotta say. Today was a good day.

Though could someone please remind me to stop drinking coffee at 2pm from now on. Yep. Feeling old.

But most importantly…

The dishes are done, man. ::wink wink::

Am I the only one that finds herself doing housework at odd hours of the day and night?

Guess who just climbed into my bed as I finished typing this? And no, it’s not the one in the crib.

Goodnight.

How I Stay Sane: a SAHM Guide

Part of the constant struggle of being a SAHM for me is staying busy. Not that I can’t always find a cobweb that needs sweeping or a dish that needs washing or a sippy cup full of spoiled milk that needs tossing, cause I can.

When Cedella was born and I was all alone with her all day I can remember how much I felt the urge to clean everything, always, non-stop. Then when I was IM’ing with friends a week or so ago (Hi Ashley and Nicole!!) I was reminded that in those days, keeping my child alive, fed and clean was priority one. Keeping the house clean was two. Keeping my husband fed and clean was three. And me? Well…I was probably around number 1001 on the list of priorities.

Over the past three years I have really expanded my social circle in Lansing and am so incredibly happy to say that I have real friends here. Friends to go to movies and awesome new restaurants with, that don’t mind if we talk about kids and husbands all night. Friends that are just as nutty and obsessed with baby carriers as I am. Friends that don’t look at me funny when I’d rather give my girls garlic, lemon and honey than antibiotics when they’re sick. And friends that I can trust the birthing of my babies and my kids lives forever after with.

It’s not easy this whole motherhood thing. But knowing that I have these woman, well that helps so much more than I ever imagined it would.

So with this incredible social circle I am able to keep sane on any given week.

What are my other secrets?

Secret #1: Getting out of the house!!!

It sounds simple. But anyone that has a 3 year old will tell you that getting them dressed and out of the door is a feat in and of itself. But add a second small creature (and their belongings) into the mix? Well you might as well be packing for a trek to the moon. So leaving the house with two may be intimidating and even sound counterproductive. But just the act of getting everyone into the car and heading out for an adventure is enough to clear any bad moods and put smiles and giggles back into the day. Fresh air and some fresh tunes on the stereo = happy family.

Secret#2: Get Involved in Local Groups

I go to about 4 or 5 meetings/playgroups a month. Once a week at least. Counting it up that way seems like a lot, but it’s so worth it. Not only did getting involved in a local mom’s Meetup group help me to meet one of my closest friends, Leslie, it brought Cedella her BFF Anna. So thankful that for the small time I participated in the group I was able to meet Leslie (she gets bloggy with it at Pretending to be a Grownup, go visit her so she’ll write some more :)), and from there Katie. And being involved in both the local LansingBabywearers and Delta-Waverly La Leche League has allowed me to meet and befriend so many awesome mamas like Gwen, Cindy, Kristy, Meghan, Jessie, Zaje, Mia and the aforementioned Nicole and Ashley.  Not to mention our amazing birth center (which sadly closed in October) which brought me so many more life-long friends like Annie, Heather, Molly, Clarice and Audra. Finding all these outstanding ladies to connect with has been a life-saver. Knowing that there’s always someone to vent to or get suggestions from keeps me from feeling like my children are conspiring to kill me. Thanks ladies 😉

Secret#3: Getting dressed

Now I love my yoga pants as much as everyone else, don’t get me wrong. I can be found in them pretty constantly when I’m in the house. But I do not wear them in public. Unless I’m literally going to a yoga class. When I leave the house I get dressed like I would have when I had a job. Granted I wear more jeans than I would have to work, but jeans wash anyway sticky kid handprints better than dress pants. And I wear makeup. Full face, definitely mascara, sometimes lipstick (but usually chapstick). Every time. It makes me feel like a whole person and not only somebody’s Mommy. Though it may be hard to find clothes to accommodate both my mama body and my fashion sense (see RANT here) it’s worth it to find fun clothes that make you feel good about your self. Yes, it has meant buying a bigger size than before I was pregnant. But it’s worth every penny to feel cool and confident and ::gasp:: sexy again. Also, by getting yourself in order you project the image that you are organized and have things all together. That leads me to…

Secret #4: Let the House be Messy

Being all put together and fashionable in public no one will ever know or even care that your house is a total disaster. Because if you can put on mascara before a playdate who cares if your sink is full of dirty dishes, right? But seriously this is one of the biggest things I’ve had to let go over the past 3ish years. Since becoming a SAHM there is such a battle over what my actual role and job is. Am I Chief Child Care Provider only? Or Nanny with a splash of Housekeeper? Some days I feel like I’m an all-out indentured servant. But it’s ok, because after nearly a year of caring for a small child and trying to keep my house immaculate I gave up. Toys are always on the floor, there’s always a laundry mountain in the corner of a bedroom and there are dishes in the sink. And you know what else? My children are clean and smart and loving. They have oodles of time to play and learn and laugh with their mama. And that is really more important than spotless floors, no?

Secret #5: Invite Someone Over

But whenever you’re feeling like the entire cluttered mess is getting out of control and you just can’t take it anymore…invite some friends over to play, or better yet, for dinner. Cause then you have to clean the house. And usually you only have like two hours to do it. I get more done in that way than I ever do when I have a full day with nothing on the schedule. And usually it stays that way for days after. I hit every single room (except our bedroom) and the whole house is wonderful for at least a week. I’m seriously considering weekly dinner parties…

Secret #6: Stop doing things that you’re not getting help with.

Or perhaps my most important tip for household woes. When my husband stopped putting his dirty clothes in the hamper (cause I’m not his mama and refuse to pick his dirty drawls up off the floor two feet away from said hamper) I stopped doing his laundry. One day he had no clean underwear. He was a little pissed. I was more pissed. For the most part he’s pretty good about getting the things in the hamper now. And doing dishes. And every once in a while he surprises me by taking the garbage out before I’ve removed it from the bin and propped it up against the back door. It’s the little things…

Secret #7:  Alone Time/Mom’s Night Out

And my above all gotta-make-time-for-it secret is to get out of the house with only other ladies in tow and have some fun!! It could be dinner and a movie or dinner and drinks or just dinner. Huh. Apparently my girl’s night outs always have something to do with food. Or drinks. Well, let’s be honest, that’s a great place to start. Whatever you do make it a regular thing. I still go to the book club at my old library, driving over an hour in various weather conditions once a month to see my amazing book-loving friends. Not just because I can’t find another book club but because it’s my thing, my regular monthly night to talk to other adults. It is like air to me at this point. Plan these things in advance and just do them. If someone asks you to go do something without your children for heaven’s sake just. say. yes. And at the end of the night, when you’ve had a great time, schedule the next one!

Hope that some of this Mama wisdom is helpful to you. As always take it with a grain of salt and use whatever works for your family. But please, remember, your family only runs well if it’s engine, it’s brain, it’s soul, it’s Mother, is doing well. Take care of yourself and everything else will fall into place. We as mothers and women need to start treating ourselves with respect and loving ourselves. Cause we really do make the world go round.

Love to each and every one of you who reads this.

Photo from one a Ladie’s Night Out last summer. These ladies. They help me stay sane by getting a little crazy. If you know what I mean 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Heart Day

As many of you faithful readers know Valentine’s Day is kind of a touchy subject around the Babies & Bacon household. I talked about why we don’t make a big deal of it HERE. And why I was pretty pissed we didn’t make any deal of it HERE.

But this year I was so incredibly surprised. Because for the first year ever Michael decided to care about Valentine’s Day in more way than one.

First of all he decided to take his little lady to a Daddy Daughter Dance with a couple of his friends and their daughters. Ironically enough Michael has a large group of high school friends that he is still pretty close to and of all the guys that have kids, almost all have daughters. It’s pretty sweet to see all these tough dudes with their baby girls.

Cedella was beside herself with excitement for the Party. She picked out which dress she wanted to wear. This one was picked for the twirly skirt factor. * Fashion side note: This is a Jelly the Pug dress that I bought for Cedella before she was born. She is only just now fitting it and it’s still huge. But I love it so. Isn’t it pretty?

So glad I took pictures of them before they left the house because there are only a couple pics of them from the actual dance. Aren’t they the cutest?

And making the goofiest face of all…

God I love these two.

They had a great time at the dance, even though Cedella wouldn’t leave her father’s arms except for the two minutes she sat down to eat a cookie. Here’s hoping that this begins a tradition of many more Daddy Daughter dances in the years to come.

And then there was V Day.

We woke up early and decided to start working on Valentine’s. I busted out the construction paper, foamies, glue and glitter at 7:30 am, cause I’m kinda crazy like that. Cedella loved it.

And though when she was done the floor looked like a stripper conversion, she made some beautiful art. Some of her work…

After we cleaned up the glitter-blizzard that was all over the floor we got ready for the day.

For the past two years we’ve gone for a Valentine’s Day pie eating lunch with our besties Leslie & Anna. But this year Anna’s baby sister was really ill, as was the rest of their family. And the plague settled into our house last week, so we haven’t been able to meet with them yet but tomorrow is the make-up date!

So instead we planned a girlie luncheon with my girlfriend Lucy. And where better for a group of ladies to enjoy a Valentine’s Day lunch? Olive Garden of course! Cause unlimited soup and salad and breadsticks is alright with me 😉

The girls waiting for our table actually got along quite well. Shocker.

Auntie Lucy and her sweetheart date. And yes, she bribed this photo op with rainbow colored clip-in hair extensions.

Me and my ladies. I even had my heart sweater on. Cause we like to coordinate like that.

Pretty sure Monk just said “Whatcha talkin’ ’bout Willis?”

We had such a nice date and the girls were so well behaved and Lucy and I are both chatty so we always have great time together.

The good was excellent as usual. And though I could have eaten four more of these little yummies, I only had one. And it was delicious.

After lunch we decided to take the girls to the mall playground to burn off some steam and give us grownups a chance to chat for a while longer. The girls were actually getting along with one another for a while. It is so sweet to watch them play together.

But then Ella got bored with being told to “be careful” and so she found a few Valentine’s friends of her own. Yes, those are all little boys. Sorry Daddy, the boys were crazy for her that day.

And Isora had a great time too. There was more than enough little things for her to climb all over. Looks a bit happy, no?

Ella even found a friend she has met before when her Jiddo takes her to play at the mall. The were really cute and insisted on holding hands every single second they were together.

And then we got home from our day just in time to meet Michael after work. And that’s when it happened. The core of the universe turned to ice and all that is unholy was disintegrated and the Earth stopped turning for just one brief moment.

He bought me flowers. A big ole gorgeous fragrant bouquet with not a rose in sight (I don’t care for roses.)

On Valentine’s Day.

On purpose.

And he even brought flowers for his daughters.

It was so unexpected and incredible and lovely. I almost cried I was so surprised.

Well played Mr. Eyebrowz. Well played.

And of course I didn’t have anything for him. Well, except for concert tickets to see one of our favorite singers, Erykah Badu, and a night out on the town. Which was…AMAZING!

So this is the first time in our history that we (meaning Michael) has decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day and I was caught totally off guard. But you know who totally got it? Cedella. She loved the flowers and kept saying how pretty my flowers were and how she got three flowers cause she was three now so she gets three flowers.

And THAT’S why we should celebrate. How was your Valentine’s Day? Hope it was special.

Thanks for reading!