Mommy Monday

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Something I’ve been working on lately is trying to not freak out about every little mess the kids create. I know what you’re thinking, “But Jessica, you seem so easy going…” Oh yeah, I’ve got patience for daaaaayyyyssss….(#sarcasm)

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I think I’ve come to grips with the fact that the living room and my kid’s rooms will never be sparkling clean for more than ten minutes at a time and that my car will perpetually have goldfish cracker dust and chocolate milk splatters everywhere. But when it comes to dirt/mud/grass/anything that should stay outside coming inside, well…that’s a whole different story.

The other day Huff the Tot wanted to play outside. Even though it had been a little rainy the day before, I figured it would do us all some good to get outside. I grabbed Huff the Babe’s bouncy seat and we all went outside for some sunshine. While HtB played happily in his seat, HtT was running around, looking for butterflies. I decided to get some steps in and just walked around the yard. It got quiet and I looked over to see HtT digging in the mud and using it to “paint” on the fence. Her pink pants were now a lovely shade of brown up to her calves and her hands were caked in mud.

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I was about to say, “Stop! Get out of the mud! You’re making a mess!” but I stopped myself. She wasn’t hurting anyone, she wasn’t in any danger, and I reminded myself clothes can be washed. Instead of scolding, I walked over to her and said, “Hey sis, whatcha doing?” She looked at me and, for a moment, I think she thought she was going to get in trouble. When she saw I wasn’t freaking out, she smiled wide and said, “I’m painting, Momma! Look! Its us!”

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My heart was so full! A moment later, my resolve was tested again. Huff the Tot eventually grew tired of the dirt and started swinging on her new swingset. Suddenly she jumped off and shouted, “I HAVE TO GO PEE PEE!” and ran to the back door.

CRAP! I thought. She’s going to get mud everywhere and I’m going to have to clean her off and ack! I gotta get the baby! 

Being the control freak I am, I ran and grabbed her up before she could go inside.

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I had her kick off her flip-flops and let her go to the bathroom. “I’ll be there in a second!” I called to her. “I need to get Bubby inside!”

A million scenarios ran through my mind and they all came to the same ending: there was going to be dirt and mud everywhere. I knew there would be a teeny little footprint path all the way to the bathroom as well as handprints on the walls. (Try to keep a threenager from touching the walls with dirty hands. See how THAT goes for ya…)

After I got HtB inside and settled, I went to the bathroom to help HtT. This is what I saw:

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I very easily could’ve freaked out. My head immediately went to: “She’s going to be soaking wet! She shouldn’t be sitting on the counter, what if she fell?! Great, now I’m going to have to clean the sink for the second time today…” But, I took a breath.

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Again, she wasn’t in any immediate danger. She was doing something helpful. She took it upon herself to clean herself up–my kid was exhibiting initiative and independence, how could I possibly be mad about that?!

I didn’t get on to her. I grabbed my phone, snapped a pic and said, “You’re doing a great job cleaning up!” My daughter beamed at me and said, “Thanks, Mommy! I’m a good helper, huh?”

It did my heart good to see my kid so excited. Would she have been so willing to be helpful had I gotten on to her outside and put the kabosh on playing in the mud instead of letting her just be a kid? Thankfully, I won’t know.

Now I’m not saying I’m perfect because lawd I know I’m still a control freak and like things done a certain way. And I may not ever be 100% okay with mud, dirt, and gunk. But, for now, I will revel in my tiny victory and use it as motivation for next time.

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Mommy Monday

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Here lately, I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to teach Huff the Tot about kindness and empathy. (Daniel Tiger is a GREAT resource for this! Plus, that kid has a song for errything!) I want her to be mindful of others as well as of her own emotions. I picked up a few books from the library, but this one was my absolute favorite:

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Its called, Have You Filled a Bucket Todayand it is AMAZING! The book describes how everyone, all over the world carries around an invisible bucket. And when your bucket is full (of good thoughts and feelings about yourself) you feel happy. But when your bucket is empty, you feel sad and lonely.

The book goes on to explain how we can fill other’s buckets (and, in turn, fill our own) and become “bucket fillers”.

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It also tells how there are some people who try to take good feelings from others’ buckets, thinking they can fill their own buckets but that will never work. These people are known as “bucket dippers”(i.e., bullies).

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This has been great for Huff the Tot! I’ve read it to her several times and she has said, on more than one occasion, “Mommy, I {insert something here such as “pick up my toys”, “draw you a picture”, or “build you a castle”} and I will fill your bucket up!”

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There are a TON of activities on the book’s website as well as on Pinterest! So you can keep the learning going with fun coloring pages or crafts! I think this would be a GREAT porject for an elementary school class as well! Heck, I think everyone in the nation could use some bucket filling nowadays!

 

Have you ever read this book? What did you think? Have you read one that covers the same premise? Share in the comments below!

Mommy Monday

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This week, my sweet little boy turns one. I know, I can’t believe it either! It feels like yesterday I was waddling around saying, “Get this kid out of me!”

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It has been a blur of a year. Between Huff the Babe not sleeping through the night for his first nine months of life to me switching careers, to Huff the Hubs starting grad school and also trying to potty train Huff the Tot, the past 362 days (he’s technically not a year old until Thursday!) have passed by in a haze of diapers, nipple cream, and lots of Diet Dr. Pepper.

When I first found out I was pregnant with a little boy, I won’t lie–I cried. I was so scared. I knew NOTHING of little boys. I was raised with two sisters and all I wanted was three little girls. After seeing the major indication that we were expecting a boy, all I could picture was the rambunctious, loud balls of dirt that played on our street when we were kids. I saw the climbed fences, the desire to play sports (hard pass), and the difficult task of raising a son that was not a misogynist and treated women with respect. How were Huff the Hubs and I supposed to navigate this boy world?!

But then, I held that little boy in my arms for the first time.

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All of my anxieties cleared. (Well, not all. But I definitely felt more at ease.)

All I saw was my sweet little guy. The little one that I had felt inside of my for nine months. The little guy that I would snuggle as I nursed him at 2:00 a.m., bleary-eyed and full-hearted. The tiny boy that would lay his head on my shoulder and snuggle me with such affection. The little man that HtH and I would raise to be a good, Godly man who will hopefully show Christ’s love to everyone he meets.

And, yes, the little boy that will climb on everything and always be covered in some kind of goo, dirt, or slime (much like his older sister).

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I won’t lie, there have been some moments of being a boy mom that I hadn’t anticipated. Like the level of fear I had every time I changed his diaper while his plastibell was still on.

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Or finding a way out of answering Huff the Tot’s question of “What’s that?” while changing HtB’s diaper…

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And even though I’ve been more exhausted and, at times, more overwhelmed  and have less free time than I ever thought possible…

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It has still been an amazing year. And I’m so excited to see what kind of person our little man becomes!

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Happy {early} birthday, sweet boy! I love you!

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Mommy Monday

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Before I had kids, I read A LOT. There was a time I could be found most days with a book in my hand. Then I started ghostwriting. And then I had kids. And my reading log went from about 40+ books a year to maybe four. I’m trying to remedy that, though, which is why one of my goals for 2017 is to read more. I want to read, not only for my own benefit, but I want my kids to see me reading–I want to raise little bookworms!

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So any time Huff the Tot wants to read a book, I {most of the time} happily oblige. Here lately, her book of choice has been an old book of Huff the Hubs’:

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This book is all about Louis Pasteur, the inventor of the rabies vaccine (and pasteurization of milk!). HtT likes to read this book about 2,000 times a day, so it was no surprise to me when she came to me and said, “Mommy, my horse died. Her has the rabies germs.”

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Y’all, I can’t make this stuff up.

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And even though it may sound a bit morbid that my kid is pretending her horse died of rabies, I still think its awesome that my three-year-old is remembering and comprehending the story, as well as building her vocabulary! Those are just a few of the phenomenal benefits your kiddo gets just by you reading to them!

Do you read to your kids? What are some of their favorite books? Share in the comments below!

 

 

Mommy Monday

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I’ve been off my game lately when it comes to blogging. And showering. And fixing my hair. And doing laundry. Why, you ask?

Kids.

Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE my kids. They are the reason I get up every day. (Literally. You can only pretend to be asleep for so long before your toddler knocks on the door, asking for chocolate milk.) But seriously, I love my kids with all my heart. They give me SO much joy! They also give me so many headaches. Because parenting is basically cleaning up after little dictators that push you super close to the edge of a cliff before swooping in and doing something so adorable that you forget all the crap they put you through. And then the next day it repeats.

To keep myself from going completely crazy, I like to read funny tweets from other parents to 1–let me know I’m not alone in this fight and 2–help me to laugh to keep from crying. I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you, because, I’m sure you need a giggle as well!

 

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Seen any funny parenting tweets? Send them to me on Twitter at @thehuffmanpost!

Mommy Monday

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Anytime I get on Pinterest to find some sort of fitness pin, I see all kinds of workouts that are designed to help people get into shape while watching their favorite shows/movies. Like this one:

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So I started thinking: “What if there was a workout like this but for moms?” I couldn’t find one, so I thought up a few exercises to help you mommas out there add some fitness to your day!

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Sound familiar?

 

Mommy Monday

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Before Huff the Hubs and I got married, I was very much an early bird. There was a time in my life which I would get up at 4:30 a.m. and run 2-3 miles, everyday, with my sister. We had to wake up that early so both of us could shower (we were still living with Mom and Dad) and be out in the door in time to be at work by 7:30. I did that for a solid two years.

Now?

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Seriously though. With Huff the Babe not sleeping through the night for the better part of last year, there was no way in Hades I’d be able to get up at 4:30 (though, chances were I’d already be up anyhow) and workout.

But once we FINALLY got that little turkey on a sleep schedule, life became much more manageable. One of my goals this year is to wake up an hour before the kids get up so I can workout, eat breakfast, and get myself ready for the day. I’m only a week in and I’ve got to tell you, it has made a WORLD of difference.

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I’ve found I feel much more ready to face the day when I’ve had a chance to get stuff done before the kids wake. Not only that, but I feel like I’ve been spending more quality time with the kiddos because I’m not distracted by trying to get a million things accomplished. And, best of all, I can nap while the kids nap in the afternoon!

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This season of life is tough, but this change (waking up early) definitely makes it much more manageable.

Try it for a week–I guarantee you’ll see a difference!