Friday, February 20, 2015

"I will not yell today."

Image courtesy of 
imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I'm a yeller.  I admit it.  I've always been a little louder than the average person.  It helps on the stage, because there it's called "projection," but in real life, it's just talking loudly or yelling.  I also have a temper.  It's not something I'm proud of, but there it is.  My ex husband can attest to my temper as he has had the unique experience of seeing a cast iron skillet flying toward his head after calling me a bitch during a particularly nasty fight.  My current husband can attest to the fact that I'm better at controlling my temper than I was back then.  So at least there's that.  I'm easily frustrated.  I lack the patience that my mother has in spades.  I wish I had inherited some of it.

"I will not yell today."
I start every day with this mantra.    It usually lasts about five minutes.  Then the toddler sticks his hand down his dirty diaper and fingerpaints on the wall.  Or headbutts his little brother.  Or pulls a dining room chair into the kitchen, climbs up onto the counter, and throws half a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts onto the floor for the dogs to eat.  Dogs who, by the way, eat dog food that costs $60 a bag and is grain-free.  (honestly, they eat better than we do!)

"I will not yell today."
But then I do.  And he shudders.  And says "I'm sorry, Mommy.  It's okay."  I sink down onto the floor and give him a hug, fighting back tears as I say to him "I'm sorry, baby.  It's okay."

I can navigate a board meeting like nobody's business.  I can handle myself at a networking event like a boss.  I can create marketing plans and crisis communication plans and create winning copy for brochures, magazines, and anything else that needs words, but I can't figure out the right gentle words to use with my two year old, who I love more than life itself.  I struggle to figure out how to apply the business skills I worked so hard to attain to this new job - this full-time Mommy job.  I know they have to apply somehow.

"I will not yell today."
It's almost 10 a.m. and I have so far succeeded.  I know it's inevitable, but that doesn't keep me from trying.  Every single day.  Because I know he doesn't mean to frustrate me and because I know that he's the best boss I've ever had.  Even if I fail, I know I can keep trying.  Because he's the most forgiving boss too.  I mean, it's not like he can fire me.  Not yet, anyway.

What do you struggle with as a mom?  Do you use any kind of mantra or something else to help you?  Let's share with each other so that we don't feel so alone.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A new face

What Happened?
Those of you who have been coming here since 2004 will notice something different.  In an attempt to breathe new life into this old blog, I've changed the name, purchased a new domain, and will be writing a lot more.  What started out as a blog to chronicle my life as a recent college graduate working her way through her chosen career and writing fiction for fun is evolving to a blog about being a mom to my two boys and building a freelance writing career while staying at home with them.  It's always an adventure, right?

Why Not Just Start A New Blog?
Well, this one has been with me for nearly 12 years.  It's impossible for me to even fathom losing all that history.  It seems to me that it might be fun for other people to go back and read posts from when I was single, from when Jon and I started dating, from our wedding, and so on.  If you like what I'm saying now, take a walk through the archives and see how things have changed.  It has been an interesting ride from there to here.

Why Girly BoyMom?
Well, like most women, I always thought I would have a little girl of my own.  I grew up thinking about how I would share Anne of Green Gables with my own little Anne, using the Anne of Green Gables cookbook to make special treats from Prince Edward Island to delicately nibble on from our white-gloved hands (because we would also be playing dress-up, not because we ordinarily would be wearing white gloves, lol)  Buying prom dresses, planning a wedding, make up, tea parties, ballet recitals.. all of those uber-girly things were the things I was looking forward to doing.  And then God decided to give me two boys.  Don't get me wrong, I'm THRILLED beyond words about my two boys.  They are the lights of my life and I wouldn't have it any other way.  I'm embracing the #boymom life as wholeheartedly and enthusiastically as I would have embraced tea parties and gloved hands.  And I am also aware that boys can have tea parties and may enjoy wearing white gloves.  (Not Nathan, he's what the older generation would call "all boy.")  All that to say, this girly girl is learning how to live with boys for the first time ever, and it has been quite an adventure.

PS.  I am still planning to make them watch Anne of Green Gables and prepare and eat Prince Edward Island treats with me.  ;)

What Will I Find Here?
Well, pretty much the same stuff you've always found here!  It is still a blog about me and my life.  It's just a very different life than it was when I started this blog.  Look for posts about being a stay at home mom, a freelance writer, starting a business, crafty things, cooking/baking, and of course, my boys.  So it's not really a mommy blog and it's not really a writing blog - it's a blog about all the things that make me... me.  I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Boardroom to Playroom - The beginning



What happens when a working mom becomes a stay at home mom without really preparing for the transition?  Chaos!  That's my life right now, and while it is, at times, very hectic, I couldn't be happier about the way things are working out.  But why and how has it worked out this way?  Let's start at the very beginning...

Our second son was born on December 18.  I had arranged for a 12 week maternity leave, but as the weeks went on, I started to worry about my coworkers and whether or not the company could spare me for that long, so I decided to go back sooner than originally planned.  It turns out, they could spare me after all, as my position was eliminated while I was on leave and just a week before I was supposed to come back, I was offered a new position.  I told the management team over two years ago that if I didn't enjoy my job, it wasn't worth it for me to go to work every day.  If I was going to leave my children for 11.5 hours a day, it had to be for something I loved.  The new position was not going to fulfill that requirement, so we talked about it and made the decision for me to stay at home.  

So here I am, with little mental or physical preparation, finding myself in the role of full-time, stay at home mom to our 2 year old and 2 month old boys.  It is quite a change, let me tell you!  I'm currently approaching everything like I would approach it at a job.  Playdates are meetings.  The kids are the bosses.  Each task or activity we undertake during the day is an assignment.  It's working so far, helping me approach this with the amount of dedication and seriousness that it deserves.  (Is seriousness a word?)  

From the boardroom to the playroom... who knows what will happen next...

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt

I like to keep things fun and sometimes a little silly.  I didn't get Jon anything big this year, just a few random small things.  To keep it interesting, I set up a scavenger hunt in the house.  Here's what I did, and how you can do it too!



Step 1
Pick out a few random gifts.I did 3, which I would consider to be the minimum.  You probably don't want to do more than 5 or so.

Step 2
Decide where each one will be located.  I went simple and used the kitchen, living room, and bedroom.

Step 3
The clues.  I wrote silly poems.  You don't have to rhyme if you don't want to, but I think a cute poem makes it more fun.  Clues can be as easy or as difficult as you want.

Step 4
Wrap the gifts.  I used the same paper for all of them to keep things uniform.

Step 5
Write or print the clues and attach to the gifts.  Don't forget - put the clue for the next gift on the current one.

Step 6
Write an introduction to the game so the person knows what's going on.  I put the intro on a card and set it up on Jon's nightstand so he would find it when he woke up in the morning.

Step 7
Place your gifts - I recommend doing this when the person is asleep or not at home.  You could also send them out to get something from the car or something if you can place the gifts quickly!

Enjoy watching your loved one hunt!

This is also an awesome activity for kids, especially those who are learning how to read!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dear Nathan (25 months old)

Dear Nathan,

Well, we made it through your 2nd birthday.  I think you enjoyed your train birthday party.  It was so much fun putting the whole thing together.

What are you up to these days?  Well, you love playing with my tablet.  You have several games on it that you love to play.  I never see you concentrate as much as you do when you play with that thing!  You are obsessed with Thomas the Train and Dinosaur Train on TV.  Luckily, they are both available on Netflix, so you can watch them whenever you want.  We do try to limit your screen time, though.  It's important to play with other things too.  You got a lot of trains for your birthday, so you've been having fun with those.

You went to the fair for the first time ever this month.  You loved the carousel and the bear ride.  You didn't want to leave the petting zoo area.  I can't wait until you are old enough to ride the "big rides" with me and your dad.  It will be a blast!

You are talking more and more.  We love seeing what you will say next.  That's all for now.  I'll leave you with this picture of you playing with my tablet.

All my love,

Mommy


Thursday, October 02, 2014

An unexpected change

Motherhood changes a woman in so many ways.  Your body changes, your priorities change, even the way you want to spend your time changes.  I can't count how many ways I've changed in the last two years, mostly for the better, in my opinion.

But something happened recently that was very unexpected.  A change I didn't anticipate.

When I was 13 years old, I dyed my hair for the first time.  It was a magical moment!  I was no longer limited to the sandy brown (or dirty blonde, depending on who you were talking to) hair I was born with - I could be anything I wanted!  I started with a gorgeous golden blonde, moved toward platinum for awhile, then experimented with several other colors, including red and black.  Some were pretty, some were striking, but they were all interesting and fun and new.  And after all, it was just hair.  It would fade or grow out if I didn't like it.

For several years, I had settled into a pattern of going red in the fall, and then moving more toward a medium blonde shade in spring and summer.  Recently, it was time to go red again.  But when I stood in the hair color aisle, my toddler in the shopping cart seat, I looked at all the boxes of fun hair color, then back at my sweet boy's sandy brown hair and decided not to do it.

You see, my natural hair color matches his.  It's something I've always been surprised and happy about.  His dad has very dark brown hair, so we assumed he would follow suit.  Imagine my shock when he ended up looking more like me.  And I want to keep it that way, at least for awhile.  I put back the box of red and tousled his beautiful sandy brown locks.  I may get something to cover the two silver strands that popped up recently right above my forehead, but I don't think I'll be drastically changing the color anytime soon.  Because right now, we match.  :)


Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Dear Nicholas (Third Trimester)


Dear Nicholas,

Hi there, little guy!  It's your mommy.  I know I haven't done these for you like I did for your brother before he was born and I'm sorry.  Blame him - he is keeping me very busy these days!  But know that I love you both and am very excited to meet you!

You are 28 weeks along right now.  That's the beginning of the last trimester of pregnancy.  You move around a lot now, especially after I've had something to eat or drink.  You're not getting the hiccups all the time like your brother did - thank you for that!  ;)  Pregnancy is a very different experience each time - I've heard this my entire life, but never realized quite what it meant until I got pregnant with you.  Even the process of getting pregnant was different, as we had to get some medical intervention to make it happen.  But we wanted you, and we were willing to do whatever we had to do to make sure we could have you.  When you get here, we will feel like our family is complete.  And that's something very special.

Let's see... what will you want to know later?  People always ask about cravings during pregnancy.  I have had a few very specific cravings with you - nothing strange, just really specific.  Like the day I really wanted ice cream.  It had to be vanilla with hot fudge sauce.  And about once a week, pasta is the word of the day.  Toward the beginning of the pregnancy, about three mornings a week I wanted a sausage, egg, and cheese croissant from Burger King.  The drive-through lady got to know me pretty well!  Now, I pretty much just want to eat everything anyone mentions.  So a coworker said "cheesecake" earlier today and now I really want some cheesecake!  It's a very interesting thing.

You like music, or at least you seem to.  I love to sing along to the radio or my iPod in the car and at work, and you really become active when I do that.  And the other night, when I was singing to big brother before bed and he started singing along, you liked that too.   You react to the dogs barking too - don't worry, they are not scary and you will love them.  Nathan already enjoys playing fetch with them and I know you will too.  I'm guessing each of you will develop a relationship with one of the dogs, so that one will become "yours."  Nathan seems to be really close to Kaylee right now, but we will see what happens after you get here.

We are looking forward to meeting you!  For now, just stay safe in there and keep growing.

All My Love,

Mommy