The Funky Mommy

As you may have noticed, I’ve been ignoring my blog lately. Not only that but I’ve also been less active on my personal social media accounts, haven’t been interested in keeping up with what’s going on around the world (something happened in Egypt, right?!) and I’ve been in somewhat of a funk. The worst part of is that I couldn’t even begin to tell you what’s caused this. It’s not that I’ve been depressed or that anything in particular has happened because neither of those are the case.

I feel like my life is at a crossroads. I’m approaching 30, have a toddler who will inevitably start to ask questions about life in the near future, and I have no definitive answers to give her. I feel lost. I feel confused. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m going through a bit of an existential crisis. I watched a Ted Talk the other night about the importance of being a twenty-something and it really rang true. So much of my life, especially in terms of how I view the World, has changed over the last seven years. Now I feel like I’m in a defining moment. I need to figure out who I am, what I stand for, and what kind of legacy I want to start working on to leave behind one day down the road (hopefully a legacy I’ll have another 60 or 70 years to work on).

I’m certain I’m not the only person, or parent, who has ever struggled with this issue (What do I believe? How do I convey that to my child as she grows?)  and you’d think I would have this figured out by now. As I work towards getting out of this funk I’m in, I’ll keep you guys updated. I’m committed to getting back into the swing of things in terms of my blog and keeping up with it but I also felt that it was important (and necessary) to explain why I’ve been MIA lately.

Until next time…

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It’s Just Pictures: Johnson Family Farms in Belton, MO

I had the opportunity to attend an event at Johnson Family Farms last week in Belton (a small town about forty five minutes from where I live). The morning was hosted by a local magazine and online publication called iFamilyKC (you might remember that I’m blogging for them). You can find my Johnson Family Farms review here but I also wanted to share some pictures that I took while we were there..Enjoy!

Belton MO Events at Johnson Family Farms Flowers at Johnson Family Farms It's An Ordinary Blog Johnson Family Farms 2 Johnson Family farms 3 Johnson Family Farms 4 Johnson Family Farms Belton MO Johnson Family Farms Johnson Farms Belton Johnson Farms in Belton Johnson Farms Kids at Johnson Family Farms in Belton Johnson Family Farms 2 Johnson Family Farms 3 Johnson Family Farms 4 Johnson Family Farms 5 Johnson Family Farms 7 Johnson Family Farms 8 Johnson Family Farms 9 Johnson Family Farms 10 Johnson Family Farms 11 Johnson Family Farms 13 Johnson Family Farms 14

Happy Mother’s Day

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Three years ago today was a little difficult for me. My husband and I had been trying, unsuccessfully, for five months to get pregnant again after experiencing a loss in November 2009. I’ll always remember the feeling I had on June 22nd, 2010 when, after several positive pregnancy tests, we found out that we were going to be parents. It was a feeling of pure joy. I felt it again, a little more intensely, on October 4th, 2010 when we found out that the baby growing inside me was a little girl. Both of those moments were trumped with C’s birth in February 2011. I felt  (and still feel every day) so incredibly blessed. Motherhood is my greatest joy, my biggest passion, and my most precious gift.

I was surprised yesterday afternoon with an early Mother’s Day gift. After playing outside for a little while, my husband had me go inside before he and C did. When they walked through the door, flowers in hand, my daughter came up the stairs and said, “Happy Mother’s (Day) Mommy!”.

I’m not big on commercialized holidays but I do think it’s nice to honor the special people in your life on their respective days (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, etc) and hearing my daughter wish me a Happy Mother’s Day (along with a hug and very thoughtful flower presentation) was the best gift I could have gotten. It brought me to tears. Today was wonderful. We slept in (until 9:30!) and then got up and had a nice breakfast together as a family. We ran errands, got the supplies for C’s new big girl room (more on that later), ran some errands, and then enjoyed a nice Lunner (lunch/dinner) at McAlisters. Tonight we’ll watch the season finale of Survivor on CBS before C goes to bed for the night. I literally could not have asked for a better day. Thanks to my husband and my amazing daughter (who can’t read this yet) for making this day such a special one for me. I love you guys to the moon and back.

To all of the wonderful moms out there, including my own mom (hi!): Happy Mother’s Day.

I hope that this day has been a great one for you. 🙂

 

The Strong Willed Child

| Difficult | Stubborn | 

There are a lot of labels we put on individuals in life. Perhaps accurately. Perhaps unfairly.

But I don’t believe in labels (unless, of course, your label for me is awesome).

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My two year old is amazing. Being her mom is, hands down, the greatest joy in my life but not every day is full of puppies, rainbows, and glitter. The “mean mommy voice” surfaces far more than I’d like and I often find myself saying things like, “You need to be ALL DONE!” and “Your behavior right now is UNACCEPTABLE!”. Parenting, for me, becomes a balance of lessons and love. (Read my post “Walking the Line”: On Parenting). My child, like many other others, enjoys doing her own thing. She likes to make her own choices (even when they don’t fall in line with what my husband or I want), and she isn’t always receptive to change. Maybe it’s just a phase that she’ll grow out of, maybe not. As frustrating as that can be, I don’t necessarily see it as a bad thing.

If her personality at two is any indication of how she’ll be as an adult (maybe minus the crying at nap time and the difficulty sharing with friends), I am confident that she’ll go on to do amazing things. She’ll march to the beat of her own drum. She’ll be confident enough to do what she thinks is right instead of following the crowd. She’ll set goals and work hard to achieve them. She will have a vision for her life that is uniquely her own and she will work hard to make her dreams come true.

No matter what she does or who she grows up to be, I will always love her.

I will always be proud of her. She will always be my little lady. 

So maybe the world views raising strong willed children as a challenge but I view it as an opportunity to grow the kind of human being who will one day go on to make great differences in the world around them. In the meantime, we’ll continue setting boundaries, teaching her lessons about life, and loving her each and every day.

iFamilyKC Fun at Gage Center in Blue Springs, Missouri (Pictures)

If you’ve been following along you may remember that I blog for iFamilyKC, a local resource for families in the Kansas City metro area. As part of my blogging arrangement, I have the opportunity to attend fun events and visit some great places in the area. On Saturday, my husband and I brought our daughter to an event at Gage in Blue Springs. I’ll post a link to the review, along with more information about the center, on my Facebook page (have you ‘liked’ it yet?!) as soon as it’s available. Until then, I hope that you’ll enjoy some of the pictures I captured of the event.

Gage Logo

Gage Center Blue Springs, MO

Inflatable Slide

DodgeBow

Toddler Room at Gage Center in Blue Springs

Gage Center Blue Springs

Toddler Room Gage Center

Toddler Area at Gage Center in Blue Springs, Missouri

Gage Center in Blue Springs, MO

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iFamilyKC Event at Gage Center In Blue Springs

iFamilyKC at Gage Center Blue Springs

Rock Wall

Gage Center in Blue Springs MO

Toddlerisms: I Need A Glass Of Wine

What do a tampon, a hot dog, and a glass of wine have in common?!

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The other day, when I was in the bathroom, C picked up a tampon (unused, in the wrapper). Not wanting to make a huge deal out of it, I let her play with it and we moved on…Fast forward a couple of hours:

As I was preparing food in the kitchen, my two year old daughter came up and asked me for a hot dog. She’d just enjoyed a snack an hour before so I told her that she would need to wait until dinner before she could have anything else. Then she told me she needed the hot dog (as if that would make a difference). So I said to her, “Ohhh! You NEED a hot dog?! Well…Mommy needs a glass of wine.” She smiled, repeated what I said, and left the room.

About a minute later she came back, handed me the tampon, and said, “Here you go, Mommy!”

So apparently my child thinks that the times when I need a glass of wine are also the times that I need a tampon.

*SIGH*

Our First Ever “Messy Night”

Messy Night

Our involvement in our local Parents As Teachers program not only introduces us to some incredible ideas for fostering our toddler’s development but it also awards us some opportunities to connect with our local community. Last week we attended an event, sponsored by Parents As Teachers, called, “Messy Night”. We arrived, signed in, and then navigated our way through several stations designed to engage children in fun, creative activities. I was surprised by the turnout of families with young children. It was enjoyable to watch my child lead the way and I learned a few things about her along the way…

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My child loves anything related to music so it was hard to break her away from the interactive activity they had at the event. There were a couple of songs that she’d never heard before and the look on her face as she intently listened to every word was amazing. She loves Play-Doh, painting, and coloring which are all things that I knew before but one new thing was how much she likes to play with shaving cream. It’s definitely an activity I’m going to bring outside over the summer since it’s easy cleanup and a fun way for her to experience a different texture. I learned that she doesn’t care for play mud (made out of soap) and, unless you’re doing music, she prefers to lead the way instead of having structured play.

Toddler Messy Fun

If you have a Parents As Teachers organization in your area, I definitely recommend signing up for it. We requested to be in the program when I was working because I thought it would be nice to have an additional resource to help us figure out some great, creative ways to spend time with C while building on her skills and abilities. Now that I’m not working, we like having that resource to know what areas she’s doing well in and tips for things we can be doing to help her develop new skills.

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It’s Just Pictures! (Just Some Recent Photos)

With Easter last weekend we had a lot of great photo opportunities. I shared some of them on my Easter post and a couple more on posts throughout the week but here are the rest! Last Saturday we went to a great event in Blue Springs, Missouri (just outside Kansas City). It was sponsored by local church groups and a few businesses in the area and featured inflatables, games, live music, an Easter egg hunt for the children, and lunch for everyone who participated. My toddler enjoyed every bit of it (so much so that we had a hard time getting her out of the bounce house). Take a look:

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Here’s one of my absolute favorites from Easter Sunday. I took this one at home while C was climbing up and down our stairs counting:

“One-Two-Three-Five-Seven-Nine-Ten!”

Somehow when we’re counting with her she remembers four, six, and eight but when she’s going at it solo the numbers seem to slip her mind.

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Toddlerisms: Is My Child Insane?! (And Other Fun Stuff)

They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result…

So why does my toddler keep asking me for cookies?!

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Missed my last couple of posts on Toddlerisms?! You can find them here:

The Terrific (But Sometimes Terrible) Twos!

$#i!+ Happens

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If I had to use three words to describe the things that have been coming out of my child’s mouth lately they would be…

 | Hilarious | Shocking | Sweet |

Hilarious:

C managed to climb into her booster seat as I was preparing dinner. She buckled herself in and then realized she couldn’t get out on her own.

C: “I stuck, honey!”

Me: “What did you just call me?!”

{She looks around for a moment, confused, and pauses before answering}

“Mommy.”

Another hilarious new habit she’s developed  is tattling. She now tells on my husband and me when either of us do something she doesn’t like (read: told her “no” or sat her in time out). She comes running into the room: “WHAT DID DADDY DO?!”

Prompting me to ask her, “Well, C, what did Daddy do?!”

To which she usually responds by telling me (or my husband) that she wasn’t allowed to have a treat, or that she had to sit in time out. Within the last week or so she started tattling on the dog. Sometimes she even picks fights with the dog just look at us, expecting us to get the dog in trouble. It’s very bizzare.

Shocking:

We don’t usually keep c-o-o-k-i-e-s in the house so on the rare occasion that we actually have some they’re much like the Sirens in the Odyssey calling to her every time she approaches the kitchen. The other day I made the mistake of buying some Famous Amos cookies from Costco and just like the magnets that those little bites of delicious sugary goodness are, they kept drawing her closer and closer. Thankfully, she’s not quite smart enough to know what the bag looks like and so she mistakenly took my Twinning’s English Breakast Tea for cookies. When I corrected her and told her that the little packet was not a cookie she argued with me…for five minutes.

C: “Cookie Mommy!”

Me: “That’s not a cookie, that’s tea.”

C: “No! Cookie!”

When I say that this continued for five minutes…I’m being serious. Five minutes.

Want to know who won the argument?! I’ll give you a hint: it was me.

Sweet:

I’m going to let you in on a little fact secret…I value sleep. A lot. Maybe more than a cat. As you can well imagine, it’s hard to come by with a toddler in the house. That said, my daughter is incredibly sweet. Every time we snuggle together she pats my pack and says, “Shhhh! Mommy, go to sleep.” or “Night, night Mommy. I love you.”

She got a mini pack n’ play for her baby doll for her birthday. Watching her put baby to sleep at night is incredible. It’s the exact script my husband and I follow for C’s bedtime routine.

Step One: Hugs

Step Two: Kisses

Step Three: More hugs (for good measure)

Step Four: Lay child (or doll) in bed

Step Five: Say, “Night, night C! I’ll see you in the morning. Love you!”

Walking The Line: On Parenting

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As my toddler daughter continues to develop, change, and learn about the world I, too, am growing as a parent. One thing I’ve come to realize over the past few months is that being a parent is really a big balancing act and the future of your child is what’s at stake. One of the toughest things about being a mom is finding that perfect balance between letting your child express their creative individuality and ensuring that they learn the proper boundaries which will help them later on in life. How strict is too strict? How lenient is too lenient?

At two years old, C is constantly on the go. She likes to explore, try new things, and test her limits. I try to give her just enough room to be herself but not enough that she might accidentally get hurt or break the rules we have in the house. But it’s hard, parenting. Sometimes I get frustrated and I raise my voice. Sometimes I lose patience and stick my child in time out when I probably should just sit down and talk to her calmly. Sometimes, okay a lot of times, I feel like a complete jackass. Those are the moments when I realize that we need more balance.

As a mom, I need to understand that my daughter is not perfect. I need to recognize that I’m not perfect.

I need to be okay with that.

I have to learn to take the extra time to help my daughter through a rough moment when we’re out in public instead of offering (sometimes) empty threats of timeout at the store (I have actually had to sit her in time out at Target). I have to recognize that just as I’m learning what it means to parent a toddler my child is learning what it means to be a toddler. I can’t even imagine how difficult that must be for her (it’s probably a good thing that we don’t remember those years) to have this great big world full of challenges and things to explore and to lack the ability to fully express her wants and needs with the people who are responsible for her safety and well-being.

Finding that balance requires me to take a step back, a deep breath, and to look at situations more objectively. To remind myself that my daughter is young and that the moments of frustration she has are only temporary and that it’s my job to help her through them. Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world but it’s definitely one of the most important and it is so, so worth it.