I blinked

My youngest turned one last week. One!

cooper 1

12 months.

52 weeks.

365 days.

8,760 hours.

535,600 minutes.

31,536,000 seconds.

There are several ways to say it – none of them easy.

Don’t get me wrong. I truly love watching my children grow and learn, but birthdays are hard. With each one, they grow a little more independent… and need me a little less. Every birthday – a reminder – they are one year closer to leaving my nest.

My three are young, and that gives me solace…

three but they won’t always be. “Empty Nesters” keep reminding me of that! They say to me, “Enjoy them while they are little. You will miss this.” Trust me – I know how right they are. Look at how fast one year has gone!

I blinked!

17 blinks from now he will be graduating from high school!

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17 blinks from now, his big brother will be 22.

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His sister? 20!

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Ouch. My heart.

17 blinks from now, this house will be quiet…

And clean.

I like “clean.”

I guess I will focus on that… and I will hold him during nap time…

nap

for as long as he will let me.

 

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Mom Jeans

My daughter and I went to pick up lunch today. As per the norm, I sported tennis shoes and mom jeans and my hair was pulled back. I know how I looked… like I’ve “let myself go”…

I wear tennis shoes ALOT. They may not be fashion forward, but they are comfortable and help my aching feet. Feet that ache because they’ve spent the bulk of the last four years pacing the floor trying to induce sleep, fetching water and snacks, catching little bodies about to fall, and chasing after little explorers in hot pursuit of anything (and everything) dangerous. Tennis shoes help.

I wear mom jeans. I swore I never would, but here I am – denim up to my belly button. They get the job done though. Truth be told: I lost my butt sometime during one of my pregnancies, and if it weren’t for my mom jeans, I’d be sporting a plumber’s crack daily. If I have to choose between mom butt and plumber’s crack, I’ll take mom butt.

I wear my hair pulled back almost everyday. The baby likes to grab handfuls of it as he’s pulling my face in for a kiss. Baby kisses are the best. They aren’t so much kisses though. In Cooper’s case it’s more akin to him trying to eat my face. It’s the best though, and no matter what kind of day I’m having those “kisses” make my heart feel as though it might just burst.

I am carrying at least thirty extra pounds these days. The number on the scale literally hurts my feelings, but it’s not all bad. My preschooler says I’m squishy… like a marshmallow. I’d like to lose the weight, but until I do, I’m going to enjoy the extra snuggles my “fluffiness” gets me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not above lamenting the loss of my pre-baby body and hair, I just much prefer the mom version of me to the former me. I don’t have the time I used to. I no longer have empty hours to spend shaving my legs, tweezing my brows, polishing my toes, filing my nails, and smoothing stray hairs… and you know what? I don’t lament those empty hours because they were just that: empty.

This mommy stuff is hard. It’s an oftentimes thankless job…and sometimes it makes me feel invisible…but it simultaneously gives me purpose. My kids are the best things about me, and I will gladly stand in their shadow for the rest of my days… so long as I get to stand there in tennis shoes and mom jeans.

I didn’t really let myself go. I just became a mom.

Laundry: when something is just too hard…

It’s no secret, I really struggle to put our laundry away. It is not (or wasn’t) uncommon to find [in our master bedroom] several laundry baskets of folded clothes that never made it “home.” It just seemed so hard… so I avoided it… like the plague. So there the clothes sat, on the floor, mocking me day after day. Most mornings involved digging through said baskets for clean clothes, and most evenings involved digging for pajamas. Not fun… especially for yours truly whose Type A self loathes (seriously loathes) “digging” for anything. This particular “putting away laundry” problem was really wearing on me to the point that I “analyzed” the problem. In my former life as an EBD teacher, much of my job was to analyze and modify behavior. To do this, I had to dissect the problem as a whole: determine the antecedent (what happens first), the behavior (what the problematic behavior is), determine the consequence (what happens because of A and B), and finally come up with a plan for change. This is what I discovered about my laundry problem…

Antecedent

Laundry gets washed, dried and folded, but it is difficult to put away.

Behavior

Because it is difficult to put away… I don’t put it away (pretty straight forward)

Consequence

The folded laundry sits on the floor… inducing anxiety

When I took a moment to really look at the problem, I discovered that the solution was quite simple. I needed to make it easier to put the laundry away. Enter my new Elfa closet organizer. This thing has truly revolutionized our laundry situation. It was as “investment,” but because I don’t dread putting laundry away now, I actually do it!

Before, there was no rhyme or reason to our clothing storage. It “lived” where it fit, which meant it was in the dresser, chest, nightstands AND closet. Ugh.

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Now, (after a good purge) all of our clothing (mine and my husband’s) is in this closet and we have room to spare. Putting our laundry away is so easy now.

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Seriously, if you hate putting laundry away as much as I DID (yay for past tense), maybe your clothing storage just needs some tweaking :).

Confession: I have been leaving the doors to the closet open so that I can admire this beauty while I drift off to sleep at night…