An Experience

I thought being a mama would be a walk in the park.

I laughed when “seasoned” mama’s would say “just wait until you have your own”.

Then I had Braxton and I immediately thought I knew everything, when in fact I didn’t know anything at all. I didn’t know if he could fall asleep in a swing. I would sit by his crib and hold a mirror to his face to make sure he was breathing. (true story) I called the pediatrician the first time he fell and busted his lip, the nurse giggled, I remember getting a little upset, and she said, “give him a popsicle this is the first of many bumps”.
I thought “I don’t have any popsicles don’t those have sugar in them.”

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I was strict with his diet and gave him only organic foods, only milk and water and never ever gave him a “dip” for his organic, free range, stress free chicken nuggets.

I was a “helicopter mom” to the extreme. I remember watching my sister in law, while on our first family vacation give her son, who was 4 months younger, a pudding cup. I stood there silently appalled that she would do that to her child!!!

Then one day we heard the words that no mother wants to hear and my views seemed to change almost overnight. MY child wasn’t supposed to be sick, he was an organic baby, who NEVER got sick or had a cold. He had never even had an ear infection. MY child was not a statistic. But in fact, my child was.  And I realized then that I didn’t know anything at all and that I had a lot of road to cover!

Then as time went on we added 3 more monkeys to the bunch and I became “seasoned”. QUICKLY!!! I became that crazy mama, going through Wal-Mart with one in the front, one where you are “not supposed to put a child”, one hanging on the end, in flip flops {an accident waiting to happen} and then Braxton wandering aimless through the aisles as if he is the only one there…. That is EXPERIENCE! I learned to listen to those other mama’s … fast!!!!

Now, while I don’t know everything, I do know a lot. I know about emergency room visits. I know how to put a band aid on extra tight to avoid another ER visit. I know how to pack lunches that they will actually eat. I know that cupcakes can smooth most things over. I know that kids have disagreements and that I can’t always come to their rescue. I know that girls are dramatic and that I still have A LOT to learn about raising a girl in a house of testosterone. I know that boys are gross and they literally smell, and I know that they will fight regardless if we are at home, church or an aisle in a store.

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I have learned to smile when they are embarrassing me to know end and make some sort of awkward joke out of the situation. They have taught me that being serious all the time is lame and that sometimes you have to use a funny voice when ordering processed food in the drive through. I have learned that messes get made and they get cleaned up eventually.

Who said being a mama was a job you had to apply for and have a perfect record. I have said it before that I am no “pinterest mom” and I admire them and I wish they would come decorate my house and teach my children how to keep white furniture clean and how to meal prep and make birthday parties the best thing ever. For now I will stick with leather furniture, cheap carpet, my “less is more and big is better” philosophy, no pretty curtains {because that is how Tarzan gets around} and sometimes dinner isn’t what everyone loves and cereal is OK for dinner!
I learned that Nerf wars are a blast ESPECIALLY when we ambush the Barber when he comes through the door…. I will take full responsibility for this because it was epic.

Being a mama is a privilege that I will never take for granted. It is fun and stressful, noisy and sometimes too quiet, it is runny noses and wet kisses and it is late nights and early mornings. But that is OK with me… we are going to make the most of EVERY crazy moment, live life and make memories…

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That is my Friday thought!

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I Need a few more … YEARS!!!

Happy Friday!! Well, the sun is shining, I have an all girls sleepover tonight with Zoe and Alexander is going 100 mph…. see picture ⇓⇓⇓⇓

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How does looking for ONE toy turn into this!!!!!!!!???? And, I was completely nuts to think he would clean it up …. they are all “too heavy”!!!  OF COURSE!!! …. Well, no one is fighting so it’s a good day!!!

Yesterday I registered Caleb for Kindergarten! {insert sobs and tears here}

How is it possible that he is already going to Kindergarten??

It’s kinda funny really, with each one I have talked about how excited I would be once they started school. I am pretty sure that I said that as a way to psych myself out once the day came… but it doesn’t work once the day is upon us.

I sat in the school library with a friend of mine. I watched them fill out their forms and then I watched as the daddy’s eyes started to tear up as he wrote how amazing his little girl was under the section “describe your child’s personality and strengths and weaknesses”. I think he probably needed another form.

Then while I was filling out the same section for Caleb, I felt the tears come up and then that sad feeling in the back of my throat that makes it hard to breathe. I am thinking to myself, “keep it together, you have done this before, don’t cry, don’t cry….”

Caleb has become so independent since starting Preschool last August and I am so proud of him. As he walked off with the Kindergarten teachers and the other soon to be Kindergarteners, it dawned on me that I would be in that same place next year with my baby… my last and then, that’s when I had to choke back the tears. Alex kept asking when Caleb was coming back and I knew then, he was going to be completely lost without his sidekick in August.

I get asked all the time what I am going to do when they are all in school and I usually say “lay around the house and do NOTHING  for the first week” but honestly, that is probably not going to happen.

I miss my babies being little. When Braxton started school, I literally stalked him all day and cried BIG tears when he walked in and I was in the carline like an hour early!!!  When Zoe started school, I worried about her, wrote her room number on her right hand with a BIG heart and her lunch line on the other hand. My separation anxiety was a little better with her, mostly because she is so independent and rarely accepts help with anything.

But, I will probably be in prayer at the church all day when I drop Cabby off for his first day…. mostly because I am the “ultimate helicopter mom” when it comes to him. Who will keep him in his “safety bubble”??? Honestly, I will probably stalk him too. And for now we will not talk about Alex because on that day I will probably need to be committed to a special kind of hospital 🙂 .

Being a mama is the most bittersweet job in the world… you pray for them to grow up healthy and smart and independent and then one day you blink and they are 10 and fixing their own food and making straight A’s and you are thinking “when did you grow up”!!  I am a mess now!!!! I will be a puddle of goo when they are all teenagers!!! If you need me I will be looking through old pictures, eating a tub of frosting, crying over my babies not being babies anymore!!!!

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Venti with a Triple Shot

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Recently on a rainy day I met up with some other mama’s at an indoor playground with 7 kids in tow (I only gave birth to 4 of them, the others just appeared in the van) between the ages of 9 and 2.

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Some may call me crazy, others may call me brave but my response is always the same… “what’s one more?”

I just ran through Starbucks (told them not to ask for a thing because the answer was no, hey, I was already taking them to play) and asked for a Venti over ice with 3 extra shots of espresso. The lady taking my order said, “are you sure?? It already comes with 3 shots!” I laughed {who is she to question my espresso addiction  habit  consumption….}

So, because my mama raised me right I politely in my very best “bless your heart” voice said “yes, I am very sure”.

When I pulled up to the window with all 7 kids going crazy in the back, I think she realized I knew what I was talking about and that she probably should have kept her barista comments to herself. ** Dear Mr. Starbucks trainer person, please instruct your future Barista’s NEVER to question a mama’s coffee choices. It’s rude! **

Needless to say that after that play date was over, my drink was all gone and my sanity was still in tact … that is why I ordered the extra.

When I had Braxton I was a nervous wreck kinda mama. I questioned all my choices. Worried that I wasn’t doing things like the other mama’s did, reading every book I could get my hands on and calling my mama ALL THE TIME.

Then he got sick, very sick and I realized that I had this natural maternal instinct that a book wasn’t going to teach me to use.

Eventually, he would get so sick he couldn’t move and the house became eerily quiet, there were no toys and no giggles through the house. It was my awakening as a mama. I stopped fussing over the house being exactly put together ALL the time. I let the toys be, I took time to play rather than clean, I took time to listen rather than fuss.

When Zoe came along I was a little more lax. Albeit, I was a germ-a-phobe because of Braxton, but I had a different outlook.

By the time the boys came along, 17 months apart, I threw my hands up in the air and decided to fly by the seat of my pants.

I don’t fuss over the things that don’t really matter a ton. I look at my kids and say “self… do those rugrats, look happy…. yes, they do … well done mama”

So, have a huge cup of whatever gets you through, for some it’s almond milk with some kinda green blended stuff {ugh, I will spare you my facial expressions on that one}, for me it’s a “big gulp” of some sort of strong coffee, at least twice a day, and for some life is rainbows and unicorns and things just flow {to those people I wanna be just like you one day}… enjoy the small things, the clothes they picked out on their own, the Kool-Aid mustaches, sneaking them cookies before dinner. Sometimes have cake for breakfast…. I promise this is a game changer.

Take time to listen, and write everything down {who cares if people on social media think you are annoying}, I know that one day too soon I am going to blink and my babies will not be babies anymore, then I will be bored and living on a single shot.

For now I will enjoy the Venti moments.

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