Posts from the ‘The Daily Brookie’ Category

The (Sometimes) Daily Brookie

And then I became a real working mama.

It sort of happened overnight.  Literally.  I asked a friend if her company was hiring on a Sunday, and the next Monday I was sitting at my new desk.  On the outside it seemed easy, meant to be perhaps.  But on the inside, I was waging a war with myself.

In the week leading up to my employment, I found myself suddenly bursting into tears at the drop of a hat.  There’s something that I’ve never lied to y’all about – staying home with your children is hard.  Like, hard.  There’s never a break, or a sick day.  But there’s something else I won’t lie to y’all about – leaving you children to go to work is hard.  Heartbreaking more accurately describes what I’ve felt.

Deep in my heart, I know that Little T is okay.  He’s with kids near his own age, he’s learning, and he’s absolutely very well taken care of.  But darn my own vanity – I find myself wondering throughout the day if he’s crying for Mama, or if he needs me, or if he loves his teachers more than me.

Never fear, I’m reassured every evening when Little T comes racing through the front door hollering “Mommy!”.  That’s when I know that he loves me just as much as he always has, that he won’t forget that Mama loves him so much, even if she has to leave him at school every day.

There is something that I’ve been struggling with as a new working mom, and it’s something that I feel every working mother has struggled with at some point in her mothering/careering balancing act.  The Schedule.

For the first time in my life, I know what people mean when they say “There just aren’t enough hours in the day”.  You’re not joking, my friend.  There aren’t.  Not even close.  In a perfect world, the day would have just about 37 hours.  The work day would stay the same, but there would be more time for snuggles after work, more thought put into what I’m going to throw together for dinner, more loads of laundry done after the little is tucked away in his Thomas the Train sheets, and a few more chapters to read before I pass out from sheer exhaustion.

Even the weekends don’t offer much solace.  Weekends around here are spent visiting the grandparents, being outside in the nice weather, and cooking steaks and pork chops on the grill with our closest friends.  It’s hard to fit in the not-so-fun things between the fun ones.  Who wants to rush back in the house to sweep and mop in between ice-cold beers in the front yard and watching the little ones splash in the blow up pool?  Not this girl.

So, long story (sorta) short, things are slipping around here.  The laundry doesn’t stay caught up, my floor could definitely use a good scrubbing, and those dishes in the sink aren’t going to do themselves (however much I wish they would).

But there is one thing that’s not slipping, and that’s the love and snuggles that I get to give my little buddy every evening.  I think I’m okay with a dirty floor, as long as there’s a little guy that knows his Mama loves him.



The (Sometimes) Daily Brookie

The date night.

I love date night.  Last week, I partook in a date night.  Alone.  With myself.  It.  Was.  Awesome.

Thursday afternoon, T called to let me know that he would be taking Little T on a weekend trip to the deer lease.  I immediately had a panic attack.  Take my baby?  For 3 days?  Without me? I’m not afraid to admit, the idea grew on me.  After my initial heart attack subsided.  I could clean without tiny hands undoing my work.  I could read in silence, with no Elmo in the background.  I could go to that movie that I saw the previous week again, with no one judging me.

So, I planned a date night with myself.  I went to my favorite nail salon and got a (much-needed) pedicure and manicure.  I went to the mall and walked around leisurely, without worrying about keeping a small person entertained with an endless pile of Goldfish.  I saw a movie at 8:10pm on a Thursday night, with only 4 other people in the whole theater.  And the best part?  I didn’t have to worry about a bedtime.

Of course, I missed my small human.  And if we’re being honest, I missed my big human too.  My boys make my world go around.  They are the center of my universe.  Nothing else matters, as long as they’re taken care of.

But sometimes you have to take a step back, and think about yourself.  Was a manicure and a pedicure an absolute need?  Not really, but I sure do feel better about myself when my hands and feet are pretty.  And if I feel better about myself, I can be a better wife and mother.  Trust me, it makes sense, at least for me.

I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember.  I can be having the worst possible day, but a new book will remove the clouds that hover overhead.  If I wake up in a horrible mood, I know that a little makeup and clean hair will do wonders to brighten my outlook on life.  If I look bad, I feel bad.  It’s that simple.

I challenge you to do something for you.  And only for you.  We spend so much of our time (especially my mama and wifey friends) worrying about others, and taking care of others, and making sure everyone’s needs are met before our own.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  But we also need to put ourselves first every now and again.

So, do it.  Do something for yourself.  Dinner can wait a few minutes.  I promise.


The (Sometimes) Daily Brookie

Love at first sight.  Do you believe in that?  I do.  Kinda.

At the gym today, I overheard (read:  shamelessly eavesdropped) on two girls on the treadmills in front of me.  They were discussing the possibility of love at first sight.  One girl was vehemently denying that any such thing exists.  “It’s just not possible,” she cried out.  “In order to truly love someone, you have to know them.”  True, I said in my head, very true.  “Not true,” argued the other girl.  “You can love someone immediately.  You can look in their eyes and know that you love them.”  Also true, I thought.

After they left their treadmills to go onto their next fitness endeavour, I was left wondering where I stood on the issue at hand.  But if you know me and my spouse, you don’t have to ask.  I absolutely believe in love at first sight.

The first time I met T, I was 18.  It was the weekend after our senior prom, two weeks before our high school graduation.  My two best friends, Sara & Amanda, and I were exploring our newfound independence from our parental units, and were granted a night out to a local festival without supervision.  It.  Was.  Awesome.  (My mom has always been the over-protective type, and a night out without her was something of a rare treat.)

While walking around the fairgrounds, taking in the sights, we ran across a large group of loud boys.

One of these boys shouted at us and walked over to introduce himself and his friends.  Picture a scene in a movie, when a girl meets a boy and the air around them seems to sparkle, the sounds around them become background noise and the song “Dreamweaver” starts playing somewhere in the shadows.

No, T was not the boy who “hollered” at us.  He’s not really the hollering type.  But when I was introduced to him, I’m sure that my heart stopped beating.  I was in love.  I’m still not sure what it was about him that made me fall immediately head over heels.  Perhaps it was that perfect smile, or those eyes that keep you wondering whether they’re blue or green.  Or maybe it was that not only was he the most handsome guy I’d ever seen in my life, but he was so unlike any boy I’d ever liked before.  Way back then, jeans and boots weren’t really my type, but he blew me away in those Wranglers, worn boots, pearl snap, and straw hat.

After we declined their invitation for a beer, (we were 18, and still deathly afraid of rule-breaking) I turned to Amanda and said, “I’m going to marry him.”

And two years and two months later, I did.

(Please know that T will tell you he did not experience love at first sight.  He thought me pretty, but not someone who he felt like pursuing, as we didn’t even exchange contact information.  That came later, when fate stepped in and had us run into each other again and again until he finally gave up and realized that we were supposed to be together.  Don’t mess with Fate mister, she always knows what’s best.)

Only one other man has ever held my heart from the moment I looked into his eyes.  If I’m being truthful, I loved him with my entire being when the pregnancy test said “Pregnant.”  I was reserved in my love for my baby at first, experiencing a loss will do that to you.  I didn’t want to get too attached until it was “okay” to, until I felt safe in my pregnancy, until my doctor said “Alright, everything’s good now.”

When we saw his tiny body on an ultrasound screen, I was in love.  Hearing the nurse tell us that it was indeed a boy (when I’d been calling it a “him” for weeks) made me fall even deeper.  But nothing prepared me for the overwhelming feeling of devotion and love that would come when I was handed my small son.

Since I had to have a C-section, I was unable to hold Little T immediately after his birth.  I wouldn’t have trusted myself to hold him even if they’d let me.  I felt so worthless and tired, and tried to regain some sense of reality in the recovery room, while T escorted Little T to the nursery.

But three hours later, when T handed that small, helpless little being to me, I was completely unprepared for what was going to happen.  When that little guy opened his tiny eyes and looked into my face, it was as if he was saying “Hi Mama, I’m glad we’re meeting face to face now.”  And I couldn’t help but agree with him.

What about you?  Have you ever experienced love at first sight?  Or do you think it’s a bunch of hokey?  I won’t be offended, promise.  🙂

The (Sometimes) Daily Brookie – The completely random version.

Y’all know me; I typically try to organize my thoughts for these particular posts.  I like to focus on one subject, and write about it until I’m tired of thinking about it, and you’re exhausted from reading about it.  And you’re probably cursing me thanking me for bringing that subject to light.

But, so much has been going on here, that it’s harder than usual to organize everything in my mind.  With that being said, here goes nothing.

We moved.  We’ve had enough of trying to sell the same house for so many years.  Our house had been on the market from the summer of 2008 to 2010.  We had renters for 2010-2011 (who were supposed to purchase the home, but that’s a different story for a different time, and one that frankly makes me steaming mad).  After our renters vacated, we put the home back on the market in early November 2011.  We finally pulled the trigger and decided to move back in and take it off the market.  And by we, I mean me.  I just couldn’t see the point of leaving a perfectly good (not to mention beautiful) home empty.  Especially with only a few showings in a two month span.  So, here we are.  Back in our first home in Houston.  Back in my ginormous bathroom (my girls know what I’m sayin’, the thing is huge), and back in a place where I was happy.

I started running.  Again.  Granted, I’ve only been one day (yesterday), but I completely plan on making this something that happens at least three times a week.  I’ve been feeling so unhealthy, gross, negative, please place any adjective you’d like in this sentence, as long as it’s a synonym of the previous.  Yesterday was my line, and I wasn’t going to cross it willingly.  I suited up in my winter running tights (seriously, the best $20 at Target I’ve ever spent, and for those who know about my love affair with Target, that’s saying something), and strapped Little T in his stroller.  I turned in 3.46 miles, with the help of my Ease into 5K app on the iPhone, and some awesome ducks that kept Little T entertained for the whole trip.  Of course, I stopped off at the small playground on our route back home in order for little brother to run some energy off.  Ducks can only keep a small man entertained for so long (about 3 miles actually).  I’m not going to lie to y’all, it felt good to run again.  I haven’t run in about a year, and it definitely shows, as today I can hardly walk.  But tomorrow I’ll hit the pavement again.  I need to feel good, and running helps me with that.

I’m slowly becoming crafty.  Which sounds pretty strange considering the craftiness gene practically runs rampant in my DNA strand.  My mama is an amazing craftswoman.  Tell that woman she can’t paint, fix, cut, or make something pretty, and then stand back in amazement and watch her do exactly that.  I’ve been crocheting for a few years now, nothing exciting or particularly difficult.  Mostly they’re blankets that end up in my ottoman, and I can pull them out in the winter months (however fleeting they are here in Texas), and share them with my friends.  But recently, I stripped and repainted our bathroom cabinets (way more labor intensive than it was difficult), and I also actually made something I saw on Pinterest.  If you’re not on Pinterest, do it.  Immediately.  Amazing website, and the creator needs a holiday named after them.  It’s that good.  I made a planner for the wall.That’s not mine, as I used awesome scrapbook paper for mine, and also used stickers for the days of the days of the week.  But, I actually made something I found online.  Something I haven’t done before.  I’m also working on a crochet rag rug.  See also:  way harder than you would think it is.  If you’d have told me a few years ago that I’d be following in my mama’s footsteps (no matter for slow or small), I’d have laughed at you.

I warned you, it was completely random.

Oh and also?  I’m still being present.  Of course, some days it’s way harder than others.  But it’s a work in progress.

The (Sometimes) Daily Brookie

In case you were wondering where I’ve been (which I know you probably haven’t), I’m taking a small time-out.  How is this different from the gazillion other times I’ve gone MIA on my writing, you ask?  I don’t know.

When I’m taking other blog hiatus (for lack of a better word, because I refuse to use to word lazy, or inattentive), I’m thinking about writing in the back of my mind.  I’m thinking of post ideas, books I need to review, the things on my mind that I feel like I need to tell y’all.  But this time, I wasn’t thinking about it at all.

I’m working on being present, on being more “right here, right now”.  I think we’re always thinking of tomorrow, next week, next month, and we forget about today, right now, this minute.

Last night, while enjoying a meal with my husband and son, I realized that said son will be two in May.  Two years old.  When did this happen?  Didn’t I just swaddle him and put him in his bassinet beside my bed yesterday?  Wasn’t it only a few moments ago that he looked in my eyes for the very first time?

I know that I can’t slow time, though there are so many times I wish I could, but I can do my best to be present in this moment.  I can take every day as it comes at me, and live in every minute of it.  I can (try) to stop worrying about tomorrow or next week, and relish in the fact that I’m alive today, and I have a family that loves me, and a beautiful husband and son that I get to love and take care of, and wonderful friends that I couldn’t function without.

If I had to call this revelation something, I’d call it a resolution.  I typically don’t do resolutions with the coming of the New Year, because they always fail.  But this is too important to fail.  This is my life, and I have to take it by the horns and live in it, not let it control me.

I challenge each of you to be more present in this moment.  At the end of every day, think of something good that you want to carry with you to tomorrow.  Write it down if you want, I try to.  Sometimes it’s a struggle to take something good from every single day, because we all have horrible days in which we just want to run back to bed and hide, but there is something to be learned from or cherished in every day.  It can be something as simple as a fantastic sandwich you had for lunch, or something more complex and meaningful like the way your husband looked at your over the dinner table, or the way your children said, “Night night, Mama”.

It can happen.  We can all try to be more positive people who take the good from things, instead of the bad.


The (Sometimes Even Twice!) Daily Brookie

Today, I had to go to Lowe’s to buy tile.  I don’t know if y’all have ever had to buy tile, but it’s a pretty stressful process.  Especially if you’re trying to match the tile that you’ve already got in your kitchen, which is utterly impossible.  Trust me.  I found a tile that I thought would at least exist peacefully with the tile we already have (tiling bathrooms, which aren’t in any immediate view of the kitchen, who’ll know that they don’t match exactly?), and I needed to purchase 6 boxes.

Something I learned today?  Other than never travel with your child without either a toy car or some Goldfish?  Tile is frickin’ heavy.  Seriously.  One piece of tile isn’t so bad, but when they box those babies up in a pack of 18?  Heavy.

As I was loading the second box of (heavy as Hades) tile into my cart, a middle-aged gentleman strolled by us.  The conversation we had went something like this:

Man: That looks heavy.

Me: It is.

Man continues to stroll on by.

For a second, my heart stopped beating.  What in the world has happened not only to chivalry, but to being kind and helpful in general?  Had I seen a person (man or woman, I don’t discriminate) struggling to lift something, I definitely would have offered to help.  Just the other day, I offered to help a woman load six cases of water into her van.  She declined politely, but at least I offered.

While the man was walking away from us, I turned to Little T and said, “When you’re big, I don’t care what you’re doing or who you’re with.  If you see a lady struggling with something, you’d better help her or I’ll whip your butt.”  He laughed, but one day he’ll learn that I am very serious.

I’ve said it plenty of times: Little T will know chivalry and politeness.  If I fail at everything else, and chivalry and being kind and polite are the only things he retains, I don’t think I’ll feel like a failure.  What happened to children saying “yes ma’am”?  I still to this day call my mother ma’am when she’s asking me a question.  I also make it a point to not say “yeah” in front of Little T.  He needs to learn yes and no, not yeah and naw.  I’ve got nothing against slang or cursing (because believe me, I do plenty of both), but I really feel it’s important for my son to be well-spoken and well-behaved.  Another thing I don’t do?  Say “what” when someone asks me a question that I didn’t hear.  I always say “pardon me”, or “excuse me”.  So will my son.

My son will learn to open doors for ladies (and I don’t care how young or old those ladies are, every girl is a lady), he will let ladies enter a building before him, he will open car doors, he will pull out chairs, and he will always, always, always offer to help people.

What happened to men standing when a woman approaches or leaves a table?  What happened to letting the lady order her food or drink first?  Where are the perfunctory, “You look very nice, tonight” compliments?  Why aren’t men opening doors for women?

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m all about women’s rights and being treated equally and blah, blah, blah.  But I feel like we’ve lost the principles that our fathers and grandfathers were raised on.

Papa T opens doors for me (not car doors, but you’ve got to be picky when it comes to marriage battles, trust me), he lets me order first, he offers to help me with things, and he still offers to piggy back me over huge mud puddles (I always decline though, as I’ll probably snap his spine).

I’m pretty sure a ton of people will agree with me on this:  our world is going to hell in a hand basket.  Perhaps if we were all a little more polite and helpful to not only the people we know and love, but to strangers also, this world would be a better place to raise our children in.

The (Sometimes) Daily Brookie

Today, my heart breaks a tiny, tiny bit.  For the past 19 months I have had a baby.  We still call him “the baby” sometimes, as in “Shhh, the baby is napping!”.  However, this week has opened my eyes to something.

That guy?  He doesn’t live here anymore.

He’s been replaced.  Now there’s a little boy living in our house.  A small person that now realizes I will actually answer to the word “mama”, that tries to make sentences like “Mama, ball?”, and that will now play with cars and trucks and blocks like he knows how they work.

Gone are the days when I could put him on a blanket in the floor and know that he would be content for an hour.  Gone are the days when he would let me snuggle him for hours without complaint.  Now I have a little boy who wants to grab everything that’s in his reach.  And trying to get in a snuggle?  Ha.  It would be easier to wrestle a sack of rattlesnakes.

He knows that a train says “choo choo”, and that shoes go on his feet.  When I tell him it’s time to get dressed, he immediately finds a flat surface and lays down so that I can change his clothes.

He’s growing up so fast y’all, and it hurts my heart a little bit.  I knew it would go by fast, but I didn’t know it would be rushing by quite like this.