Disney World, Halloween, Magic Kingdom

Prepping for Not-So-Scary 2018

My family will be going to Disney World in October, and we will definitely be catching a Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party while we are there!

Working out costume ideas for a family of four isn’t super easy, especially since we have two boys and not a mix of boys and girls.  Plus we are going with some of my husband’s family, so we will have a large group!

So far the thought is we will likely do….

meet the robinsons

Meet the Robinsons!

Two main boy characters for our boys, and a TON of main characters for us grown-ups to choose from.  Plus, the Smuggler and I like to pick costumes that are easily recognizable, but not common (aka not Dalmations or the Incredibles, which a ton of families at Disney do and are adorable…  buuut, we like to stand out).  Also, imagine the photo ops in Tomorrowland!   Ahhh!  This could change, but so far everyone seems agreeable to the film choice.

 Image result for huzzah gif pirates

Normally I wouldn’t post about this until later, but I think I may actually try to make part of my costume this time, so I’ll be posting more as I collect costume pieces and work on making whatever I can’t buy.  I’m not a great sewer, but I’ve been inspired lately by some newer cosplayers that I follow on Instagram, so maybe I’ll give something simple a try, like a skirt or something.  We will see!

I love planning Halloween early! Do you have any great costume ideas for this year?

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mothering

What I need to be a mom

This was a full bag of chips.  Brand new.  Opened about five minutes ago.  I walked away from a bag that I thought was safely on the counter, then while completing another task I heard:

crinkle crinkle crinkle
WHSOSOSHSHSOISHSHHSH (the sound an entire bag of chips being dumped out upon itself from four feet in the air)
tappitysmack (the sound of the empty bag landing on a pile of chips)

After one yelp of “Noooooo!” coming from my lips, I died laughing.  Of course the bag of chips would dump if it was full.  Empty bags don’t have the decency to make little messes while the full ones are there.  I have no idea what made it suddenly turn over and spill out, but since I’m the last person to touch the bag, it’s probably something to do with how I left the bag.
I saved most of the chips, as the majority of the chips fell upon other chips, and those bottom chips landed upon a mostly-clean blanket. I have no qualms about eating close-to-the-floor chips, though I won’t serve them to guests.

But this episode got me thinking, what if this happened and I wasn’t a mom?  I feel like there are so many things that I now don’t freak out about after doing the mom gig for two years, and I think these are the most important requirements for momhood.

What momhood has taught me I need:

I NEED TO LAUGH.

Laugh when something (non-dangerous) spills.   Spills are funny.  If you have a dog, 99% of the time you don’t have to clean it up anyways, and if it’s not breastmilk there is definitely no reason to cry.

Laugh when poo gets places you never knew poo could.  Or breastmilk.  Or spitup, or drool, or anything else gross.  It’s actually pretty funny, and messes are cleanable.  Embrace your inner eight-year-old who loves fart jokes.

Laugh when your toddler says “Pull my finger!” during the quietest, most solemn part of Mass.  Multiple times.  Loudly.

I NEED TO REMEMBER THAT CHILDREN ARE WASHABLE.

Children make messes.  Children adore messes.  Did you know yogurt was basically food paint?  I didn’t, but my toddler did.  The good news is that children are completely, 100% washable with mild soap and water, and occasionally a washcloth is required for spots that need extra scrubbing.
That brand new, adorable outfit?  It’s gonna get ketchup on it. It doesn’t matter that the child has a bib on that covers his entire torso, ketchup will get SOMEWHERE on that outfit if it is served.  And that’s ok.  Ketchup washes out.
Mud will eventually get on Sunday clothes.  That’s ok.  Better to have an amazingly good time with church friends than to sit quietly, annoyed you can’t play because the outfit is too nice to breathe in.

Oh that reminds me, clothes are washable, too.  *gasp* Who knew??

I NEED TO EMBRACE MY MOM-TYPE.

I will never be a Type-A, Montessori-style mom.  I just won’t.  I am a full-fledged Type-B, make-up-fun-plans-as-we-go kind of mom.  I’m a toys everywhere mom.  I’m a crafty mom.  I’m a teaching mom.  I’m a read-a-story mom.  I’m a last-minute-playground-day mom.  I’m a mom who prefers to cuddle and play on the floor than stick to a strict schedule (though I do try to keep meals, naps, and daily routines like getting dressed, bathtime, and bedtime regulated, as I’ve found that does help my kiddos have a better day).  I’m a mom who would rather have quality time with her kids and be happy then cry at the end of the day because I feel like I can’t keep up with other people’s Type-A expectations of what MY mom-life should look like.  Which leads to….

I NEED TO REMEMBER THAT IF MY KIDS ARE HEALTHY, HAPPY, GROWING, AND LEARNING, THEN WE ARE DOING GOOD.

My husband has to remind me sometimes that yes, there are toys everywhere, and the dishes didn’t get cleaned before bedtime, but I spent time with our kids and they feel safe, loved, and are happy.  They are passing milestones early.  I’m good at teaching, and don’t have to rack my brain to notice “this is a teachable moment” so my kid gets his daily dose of learning.  I just… do it.  It’s party of my mom-style, and if my kids are doing well, I know that I am doing a good job.

I NEED TO ACCEPT HELP.

Ah, my biggest struggle.   Notice it doesn’t say “ask” for help.  I suck at that, too. Both my husband and my best friend have emphasized to me recently that I need to ASK for help, and that asking is not a sign of failure (because in my mind, it totally is).  Accepting help should not make me feel hours of slimy guilt in my gut, though it does.  I’m getting better.  And thankfully I have a hubby who will rub my shoulders when I feel like I a guilty failure (which I believe is the cure for both feelings), and friends who will randomly come over with wine and run loads of laundry without asking.

I NEED TO SNUGGLE.

Everyone benefits from snuggles.  Right now I’m technically snuggling my baby as he sleeps strapped to my chest in a baby carrier. I love to snuggle my toddler when we read a book or watch a show (that latter one has been the norm this week because this Mama Bear has a head cold… ugh).  Spouses like snuggles, too.  And the dog.  Everyone loves snuggles.  I’m getting good at just going up to my husband and instead of griping, asking for a long hug.  Best remedy ever.

I NEED TO PRAY.

And it’s perfectly acceptable for a mother’s prayer life to consist of two prayers:
“Lord, give me grace to handle this moment.”
&
“Lord, let my kids be okay, and grow to love you.”

That’s what need to be a mom.
Laughter. Soap. Accept myself.  See the successes. Help. Snuggles.  Prayer.

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Thanksgiving Days-My Own Challenge

My friends on Facebook are starting up with the “{insert number here} Days of Thankfulness.”  Which is nice.  It’s sweet.  It’s great to give thanks.

(Of course, a very, very few of these Thanks-giving Posters give thanks in November, but the rest of the year almost every post chews out a stranger or acquaintance for doing something they found inconvenient.   I think they remembered that Santa only starts watching people in November, and are working the elfish system.)

I digress.  I do like the idea of giving thanks for a month, just to get in the habit.  Kind of like giving something up for Lent to get in better spiritual habits, only this is to get into the habit of being thankful.  Because seriously, Americans celebrating Thanksgiving have a whole dam’ lot to be thankful for.

We’re not being bombed.

Our kids aren’t living in a war zone.

We’re allowed to worship who we want, how we want.  (Even if other people sometimes give us crap for it.  But that comes with the territory.)

There’s not a caste system here.

People get to pick their spouses.

People get to vote between crappy people to run the country.  (Maybe not a plus, but hey, it’s ‘Murican Freedum, right?)

So I figure, this November, I’ll hop on the Giving Thanks train.  I’ll even attempt to do it daily.  Starting today, so I’ll say two things I’m thankful for today, and keep doing one per day until Thanksgiving.

And I invite you to join me.  Be thankful for one thing every day.  You don’t have to post it on Facebook if you don’t want, though that and Twitter are both good options.  It doesn’t have to be a monologue.  I encourage you to not monologue unless you’re an amusing, accomplished writer. Be genuine, short, and sweet.

Write your thanks somewhere.  Thankful for a family member?  Write them a note to tell them.  One line can mean a lot.  Shout out on Facebook.  Tweet.  Comment on this post so I know someone actually reads this thing and likes this idea.

Here is what I’m thankful for, for yesterday and today.

November 1: I’m thankful for a husband who listens to me and advises me when I have bad days, and is encouraging when I can’t find a good moment.  

November 2: I’m thankful for a happy, healthy, little boy who is able to use his brain, body, and voice and curious about everything in his little world.  

And since you patiently read through a long-ish post for a very short list of two things, here’s a pic of our little family from last Thanksgiving.

2
Our little turkey fell asleep after dinner.

Thanks for reading my blog!  It’s nice to have a place to jot my thoughts down.

I’m trying to come up with some new post topics, so if you have any ideas for me, whether it’s Disney, an every-day-life topic, or nerdy, or whatever, leave a note in the comments!  I love to hear what readers like!

Marriage, Uncategorized

Valentine’s Day

I have to take a moment and brag on my husband.

A couple of months ago, he started working long night shifts.  I know this isn’t easy in any marriage, since it had happened once before for a couple of weeks when we were first married, and it was tough being on opposing schedules.  But that was temporary, and this is his regular schedule now.  Toss in that we had an 8 week old baby when this shift started, and you can imagine that life has been a little hectic.

But recently, we finally started getting into our routine.  He gets home rather tired, goes to bed, wakes up in the afternoon to spend some time with me and the baby, eats dinner and goes to work.  It’s not ideal, but we’ve been making it work.

Since we’ve been working hard to save and pay off debt,  we agreed to have a simple Valentine’s Day.  No going out, no fuss, just enjoying spending time together when he got off of work.

My husband usually calls me on his way home from work early in the morning.  Usually he’s too tired to talk for long, and goes to bed shortly after arriving home.  But that morning, he stayed on the phone with me, talking about normal day-to-day things.  Finally he said “I’m home, be inside in a minute.”  The baby had woken up not long before, so I carried him with me to the door, and was met with a grinning husband carrying a rose, a heart-shaped box of chocolate, and two Valentines (one from him, and another from my son and our “first baby,” the dog)!  I had a huge smile on my face, and told him I loved it all, but that I didn’t have anything for him.  He just laughed, said that he was happy he could surprise me, and said that he didn’t want to break his streak of getting me roses every year on Valentine’s Day.

I was so surprised!  My husband had been awake for eighteen hours, worked his butt off all night and just wanted to get home to rest, but he stopped on his way home just to make sure that I had something for Valentine’s Day.  It reminded me that sure I had  a keeper!   But more than that, it made me realize that I must be doing a decent job of making sure my husband is happy he married me.

Marriage is hard work.  We work hard to be a team, to parent together, and to make each other happy.  Though our life has been crazy lately, we each have our frustrated moments (most of mine still pregnancy/postpartum hormone induced, yay!), we each have the end goal of making the other person happy.  I know my husband hits that goal every day, and I’m pretty sure I do the same.  Valentine’s Day was a pretty good proof for that.

Happy after-Valentine’s Day, hubby. Thank you for making me feel so special and loved.  :*

IMG_7753
My rose! 
Family, Husband, Moving, Pregnancy

Permission to rest? Granted.

I’m not good at giving myself a break.

When attacking a task or project, I’ve always preferred to tackle the entire thing, beginning-to-end, in one go.  Even if it’s a fun painting project, having to wait for layers of paint to dry frustrates me to no end!

Tackling a project before I was pregnant did not include taking breaks, unless it was for a quick meal or snack, or using the restroom, or getting some water, something fast before I would get back to work.

And now that I’m almost ready to pop, what is everyone reminding me to do?

“Take it easy, make sure you’re not doing too much since you’re super pregnant!”

“Don’t forget to take a break!”

“Rest a lot, both you and the baby need it!”

I’ve read a lot of mommy-blogs about “Things pregnant mommies want to hear.”  Apparently, “Rest up” is something all of those other mamas want someone to tell them.

Not me.

“Rest” is the one thing people keep telling me that keeps really ticking me off.

I want to yell back “You think I have time to sit before this baby comes?!  I need to unpack, get baby’s room ready, clean baby’s clothes, keep up with everyday house maintenance, take care of my dog, grocery shop, cook, and do laundry.  Oh, and I just freaking moved across the country to where I know almost no one, so I can’t phone a friend to come over to help in exchange for coffee and food.  So how about you fly over here and help clean and unpack if my resting is so important to you!?”

Of course, I don’t yell that, because I know everyone means well and wants what is best for me and the baby, and to yell all of that back would be rather unkind and unloving of me!

I have been trying to be good.  In between tasks, I make sure to take a break and sit for a little while, something Netflix and Game of Thrones books has made a little less annoying. But every time I’m resting, even when I can tell I need to take a break from unpacking, organizing, and cleaning, I find myself feeling guilty.

Can you believe it?  Guilty.  Like I’m doing something wrong.  Like I should be able to handle accomplishing ten tasks in a row, all of which require a lot of bending, picking up, moving, and being on my feet, despite carrying around an almost-full-term baby in my belly.  Even resting with my Hubby in the evenings after dinner, watching one of our favorite shows, I feel like I’m doing something wrong for not still cleaning, even if I’ve had a productive day and I’m having a good time relaxing with the love of my life!

My only explanation is that it’s nesting instinct gone into overdrive.  I was starting to think that the “Nesting Instinct” was just a rumor, but it is very real!  And for me, I’m pretty sure that instinct is being pushed along by the desire to not have anything left to do once the baby is here except heal, nurse, and give snuggles.  So until all of my nesting tasks are done, I feel guilty about leaving an important, pre-baby task undone!  How could I dare to bring that child here without every little thing in its proper place?!  (Yes, that’s the unreasonable pregnancy hormones talking.)

Hubby has been really diligent about helping me, and really trying to help me relax.  And I think he figured out the secret: on his days off, we get a TON of housework, unpacking, and projects done around the house, with me being project manager and him being muscle; me doing smaller, mostly-sitting tasks and him doing the lift-and-moving tasks.  And it’s been helping!  Our house is more open, cleaner, and more organized than it has been since we moved in, and it’s largely thanks to him telling me “Here’s what we’re getting done, and you’re going to do it while sitting.

But two straight weeks of “nesting, nesting, NESTING” finally pooped me out.

So after a weekend of tackling projects around the house, I was tired.  So tired that even after a full 9 hours of sleep (making a human bean makes you extra sleepy), I woke up tired.

So yesterday, after yet another OB appointment was finished and Hubby was safely off to work, do you know what I did?

I gave myself permission to have a day off.  It took some debating with myself, but I was pooped.  I had no motivation to get anything around the house done.

So I rested.  And it was good.

I made easy meals.  I cleaned up after them.  I took care of my puppy and played with her, let her in and out of the house so she could run around outside.  I did do one load of laundry, but only because we were completely out of socks.  (Oops.)  I unpacked nothing, all afternoon.

The rest of my day was made up of Netflix, a couch, crocheting, some research about baby things around the internet, and this blog.

And it was good.

I finally think my Hubby and family are right: mommies-to-be need to rest.  My not-vacuuming didn’t result in the house falling apart.  Everyone had the clothes they needed, even though the laundry wasn’t all sorted out in perfect piles.  And the few organizing tasks that are half-done aren’t any worse off for being ignored for one day; they’re still there, and I can tackle them later today.  Or maybe tackle part of it today, and part of it tomorrow, since I now know that little elves won’t come along in the middle of the night and un-do all of my half-done projects while I sleep.

So this mama-to-be learned her lesson: Resting is good, and even necessary sometimes.  Every day doesn’t have to be a full-on couch potato day, but I’m now okay with taking an hour or two to myself to recharge and relax, especially as I get really close to the due date.  (I have a feeling an hour or two may grow longer as the date gets closer!)

I’m giving myself permission to take breaks.  And it will be good.