Wednesday, August 15, 2018

I Love You. Goodnight, My Sweet Baby Boy



Generally speaking, I don't really write poetry except for when I'm writing children's stories. I feel like I'm putting myself out here by sharing this, although, I suppose that I put myself out there everyday with every blog post that I publish, but poetry is something different. 

      Here is something I wrote, tonight. It came to me when I was praying and asking for inspiration for a blog post. Before I said, "Amen" his incident I had with my youngest came to mind and verses were written. I hope you all enjoy it and feel free to share if it inspires you!

I Love You, Goodnight, My Sweet Baby Boy

It’s time to tuck you in and prayers are said.
You snuggle close and tight, as I kiss you goodnight.
“Don’t go mommy! Please stay a while.
“I’ve got to go!” I say and give him a smile.
I close the door and head to my room.
Netflix comes on and through it I zoom.
I zoom through the shows and pick one I’ve already seen.
I watch Grey’s once again and ignore the clothes that need cleaned.
Slowly the door creeks open and I let out a groan.
“What are you doing in here?” I check the time on my phone
“I can’t sleep without you. Can I sleep in your bed?”
“Fine, come on up here and lay still,” I patted his head.
He snuggles close and tight into the crook of my arm
He says to me, “I love you, mommy. Wow, you’re really warm.”
The show resumes and a stuffed pterodactyl lands on my chest.
I give it back to him and say, “Don’t you need him to rest?”
“No, mommy, I don’t. He was giving you a hug.”
He put him back where he was, my heart strings were tugged.
Thank you baby! That was really sweet. I’ll hold on to your toy.
I love you. Goodnight, my sweet baby boy.

I hope that you enjoyed this poem. Here is the link if you'd like to share it from a more direct source. I Love You. Goodnight, My Sweet Baby Boy

Monday, August 13, 2018

Making Mom Friends


  I know that this is a topic that gets talked about a lot, so I'm hoping to put another perspective on it so it's not your typical, "How To Make Mom Friends" type post.
      A little over a year ago, I was one mom in a small group of moms for a mom's group Bible study. Some of us had kids in the same age range, while others had kids who were younger or older. We met up once a week and then changed it to every other week, and then to whenever we could meet. After all, we're all moms and moms tend to be busy. We usually met without our kids and even though we, ourselves, varied in ages, we still had a common ground, which was our kids.

     The group has kind of fizzled out. The mom who brought us together had moved further away and another one had had another baby and we just all got busy. We still see each other from time to time for birthday parties or special events like going to the pumpkin patch together. Other than that, and seeing some friends I grew up with in my home town from time to time, I haven't really hung out with anyone else with kids.

      I've been fine with it because it just feels like we're always busy, but lately I've been wondering about having mom friends. I recently started participating in the whole social media blog sharing thing to help this blog out a bit. I've joined some Mom Groups on Facebook and in different online communities and have been having a lot of fun reading blogs from other parents, but I started to notice that my life is different from a lot of them. I've been married for almost 10 years and I have three kids, ages 4, 6, and 8. Many of the moms that I've been reading about are first time moms and newly married. Some of those moms are in their 30s- like me, but I've had so much more experience then them. So it raised some questions.

     What type of moms do you like to hang out with? When I was younger, I didn't mind hanging out with parents my age or older than me. I've always enjoyed hanging out with the older crowd and by older I mean like a generation or more older than I am. Age didn't matter. As a new mom, I welcomed advice, but as a mom of three kids, if someone gives me unsolicited advice, I'm going to be offended. I'm a veteran mom. I've been through everything before and if someone gives me advice that I didn't ask for, I might get the urge to punch them in the teeth.


    If you have older children, will you want to hang out with someone who has younger ones? My kids adore little babies and younger kids. Sometimes, I get stressed out because I'm worried that the attention my kids are showing the younger ones is too much. EX: I took my kids to the eye doctor a week ago. There was a mother there with her older son and a new born baby. My oldest son likes to make faces and play with the little ones to make them laugh and so during this visit, he kept wandering over to them and tried to play peek-a-boo. He had a T-rex that he kept waving in the baby's face and I was increasingly getting worried that he was going to accidentally smack the baby with it. I called him over to me a several times and asked him not to play with the baby, but he would go back after a minute or two of staying away. I was uncomfortable and the other mom looked uncomfortable. If we knew each other, would it have been different? It was an awkward situation and I was glad that when we were called to the back.

      I always find myself willing to give new moms advice, too. By advice, I tell them what I went through and how it got handled. I think it's just a part of being a veteran mom. You've been through things and by this time, your kids are pretty much all you talk about because you have, or at least I have, no other life outside of my kids, right now. If I want to punch someone in the teeth, are these parents feeling the same towards me?

      My life is just starting to feel normal again. I don't have to worry about putting up baby gates and my kids are more independent. When I am with parents with one child or parents with little kids, my kids appear wild and feral. My kids know how to get on each other's nerves and push each other's buttons all the time. They also know how to play with each other and get loud. When kids are loud and are all talking at the same time, it seems like chaos and like they are getting into trouble, but I tell those other parents to listen. Loudness doesn't necessarily equal naughtiness or fighting. Once they listen, they understand that they are just playing. My dad likes to still freak out when he sees my kids playing in a room without a parent nearby. I have to keep reminding him that they are ok. As long as we don't hear blood curdling screams, it's ok for me to be in the kitchen cooking or in a different room chatting with my sisters and mom. My sister, however has younger kids and she's got to keep her eye on her kids.

     Parenting is weird. I'm ok with letting my kids be more independent at home, but when I go to family reunions or the park, I'm the mom that is watching everyone else's kids because I know that my four year old is very capable of throwing himself out of one of those stupid holes put on the jungle gym for the older kids to slide down the fireman pole. Everyone else seems to trust their kids more so they leave them alone, leaving me to be the parent who pushes all the kids on the swing.


    So what is the idea mom friend? The answer is very complicated. If I have friends that have babies, I will remain friends with them. It won't matter that they are a new parent while I've had kids forever because we already know each other. However, will I feel comfortable making friends with someone new who is a new parent? Maybe.... Probably... I don't know. Are they going to want to be friends with me? Maybe.... Maybe not. It was easier being friends with the moms in my mom group because we moms of all different backgrounds. I got to know the other ladies and it was ok.

     I know that this is all one be jumble of thoughts, but maybe someone else here feels the same way. Maybe what we need to do is to just join a mommy something group and it will work itself out. Or maybe at this point, I should just wait until my kids start wanting to do things with other kids outside of school and become friends with the other mom because our kids are best friends. What are your thoughts?

Friday, August 10, 2018

Middle Child Syndrome


The other day I asked my husband and in-laws what I should blog about for my next post. After writing about my oldest a few times from having ADHD to not wanting me anymore, I decided to write about my daughter, the middle child. My husband said, "What if you write about her eye surgery or about what it's like being the only girl in the midst of two brothers?" I decided that for this one, I would write about her being a girl in a boys world or just being the middle child. To do this, I interviewed her.

The Interview

I wanted to start off with easy questions and this is how it went.

M: What’s your favorite food?
K: Ice cream and cupcakes 
M: What’s your favorite color?
K: Pink, red, purple- I can’t help it with those colors
M: What do you want to be when you grow up?
K: A mommy

These were pretty standard questions, ones I knew the answers to. By this time, she has moved to the other side of the table and is playing with her Barbie laptop with a musical keyboard. She seems happy to be answering the questions, but also a little bored. I started asking some more difficult questions and she gave me answers that I sometimes knew but also changed from time to time. 
M: How old will you be when you get married?
K: I don’t know. 19? Is that a good age? M: Will you marry your high school sweetheart? K: I don't know. M: I was 21 when I got married, that's two years older than what you said. K: Ok
M: How many kids do you want?
K: I want 10. Five boys and five girls.

What it's like being the only girl child

OK, so I'm going to be the grandma of at least ten grandchildren. This isn't including the kids that my sons will have someday. My husband and I are going to have to really build up our retirement fund so we can live comfortably in our old age after spoiling all of our grandkids. 
After this, I started asking her questions that were going to be emotional. I had a box of tissues ready for any emotional outbursts of crying. I hoped we wouldn't need them.
M: What’s it like being the only girl in the family?
K: I don’t like that I don’t have a sister. I’d like to have a sister so we can torture my brothers.
M: How do you feel about being the middle child? (I held my breath, expecting to hear about the injustice of it.)
K: I feel good about being a middle child.
I tried to bait her some more. Her responses weren't what I expected. After all, my middle sister was an emotional fountain, I expected something similar.
M: What do you think of your older brother?
K:  think he’s the best brother ever!
M: What do you think of your younger brother?
K: I don’t know, yet. I know that he drives me crazy every. Single. Day.
M: But you guys like to play together, right?
K: I like to dress him up like a girl because he doesn’t drive me crazy, then. He plays nicely. Otherwise, he gives me a headache with everything he does.

I knew that it was true. The other day, it had been quiet. I brought up a load of folded laundry for the kids to help put away and I called to K. Suddenly, I heard loud whispers and scurrying around. I looked inside K's room and found it empty, but I could see the light from the closet coming out from under the door. I opened it up, and there stood K in a pretty Princess Sofia dress and her little brother in one of her dresses that had a black velvet torso with a black, blue, and gray striped skirt. He reminded me of the part in The Little Rascals when Alfalfa and Spanky dressed in leotards at a ballet recital to hide from the bullies. I had to muffle my laughter. 

Bring on the difficult questions 

At this point, K still hadn't reached the emotional state that I thought would happen when talking about being a middle child, so I continued with some questions that I thought would open her up.
M: Do you feel left out sometimes?
K: Yeah, only when I have no one to play with.
M: Why don’t you have anyone to play with?

K: I don’t know. Sometimes I don’t know why. 

M: Does it make you sad?

K: No, because then I can play with you!

So, instead of my daughter feeling emotional and upset about the injustice of being a middle child and the only sister with two brothers, she had me tearing up. I took a moment to gather myself and finished her interview.

M: How old are you?
K: I am 6 yrs old.
M: Are you looking forward to 1st grade?
K: Uh huh! I think it will be fun. I hope I can go to Mr. B’s class just like my big brother. I am glad to see my friends, except Isabella when she doesn’t listen.
M: What is something you’d like to do today?
K: I want to play outside and maybe hang out with grandma for a while and go to Old McDonalds had a farm (as she plays on her piano toy) what? I thought it was funny!


So there you have it. I tried my best to prove that there is a Middle Child Syndrome that affects all middle children. I wanted to prove that maybe they felt mistreated or more frustrated because they were the middle child, but my middle child told me that she's actually pretty happy and likes her life. So, in conclusion: There is no such thing as middle child syndrome. There is, however, First Child Syndrome, which I have experienced first hand as the oldest child. Don't believe me, ask a first child what it was like growing up as one and I'm sure you'll get a huge list of why it sucked being the first child.

Are you a middle child? Did you have a syndrome? Tell me about it in the comments!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Guest Blog- How to Keep Your Marriage Alive After Kids

    Hello everyone! I got the chance to be able to answer some interview questions about marriage with children. Two other married moms also got to answer her questions and while many answers were different, some were also very similar. Check it out at

Leave Ashlee a comment and tell her what you think! Don't forget to subscribe!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Snuggle Games


 A little after I started the Figuringitout101 blog, I wrote a post about how my son didn't want me anymore. You can find the post here , if you wanted to reread it. To summarize it, my son who used to be a momma's boy began needing me a little less and needed his daddy more. That has been true ever since I wrote that post, but some things have changed since then.

      This summer, some little shifts, so subtle, I didn't notice them at first had been made. It's been such a burden and just a pain in the butt to put the kids to bed. After screaming and shouting, counting to five 100 times, the kids finally settled down and went to bed. It wasn't long, however, that I heard my bedroom door creak open. I had just put on a New Girl rerun episode on the tv and my son asked me if he could lay down with me. My first instinct was to say no and to make him go back to bed again, but I noticed an innocence in those eyes and told him he could, but he had to have his eyes closed and had to appear like he was sleeping. It wasn't long before I heard him giggling at the episode.


    This was one of the first time in a long time moments that he has wanted to do any sort of snuggling or hanging out with me. Since then, he has told me little things like, "Mom, your pillow looks more comfortable than mine" or "Mom, your blanket looks comfy. Can I have it?" I usually respond with a no, but the questions like that kept coming and I realized that he was wanting to snuggle again, but didn't want to ask me. After all, what's the point of snuggling with mommy if she doesn't beg you to do it first? His mission at 8, is to make snuggling seem uncool, but I know now that deep down inside, my little vulnerable guy is still just as sweet. I have to just read into his actions to really know what he wants.

     When I thought that this was the time that he only wanted daddy, I'm finding that I'm still wanted, but have to be patient. I can't force it and have to wait for him to come to me, but that makes these little moments even more special. Now it's like a game, and well, games are fun!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Things I Had to Give Up When I became a Family

  So... I'm sitting here, wondering what I should write for my next blog post. I'm eating the German chocolate cake that was leftover from the game night we hosted yesterday, when I think, "I've got it! What if I write a blog about things that I've given up since becoming a parent? You know what, let's go a step further. How about things I've given up since becoming a new family."


       I could say that I've given up sleeping eight hours a night or family traditions, but it wouldn't be true. When my husband and I got married and we started our own family, we combined traditions or trade them off each year. There are all sorts of things that I could say, but many of them could be argued... many of them except for when it comes to food. When I grew up in the family that gave me my maiden name, there were plenty food items that I loved and enjoyed and that was because my family loved and enjoyed those too. Now, if I'm going to eat those, its going to be because I went to a restaurant and ordered a single serving of it or it's a holiday feast and there are other people who are celebrating with us that like the same thing. Here's a list of things that I've practically given up:

  1. German Chocolate Cake- I love chocolate cake, my husband doesn't. My kids like chocolate cake, too, so I could eat chocolate at least, but what they all don't like is coconut. So, if I want German chocolate cake, I'm going to be buying it for a group of people.... except only my mother-in-law and I ate some, so I have to finish the rest by myself.
  2. Things with nuts in them- My husband will eat trail mix, but that is pretty much the extent to what he eats. If I make peanut butter cookies, they aren't going to have nuts in them.
  3. Sweet Potatoes or Yams- I can get away with eating these at Thanksgiving and Christmas because my in-laws and parents like them too, but no one in my house likes them.
  4. Mashed Potatoes-My husband and kids don't like them. I get to eat them during the holidays or at a restaurant.
  5. Hamburger Pie- If you don't know what hamburger pie is, it's this delicious, strange concoction with mashed potatoes, green beans, and hamburger. As I said before, no one likes mashed potatoes, so this one is kind of obvious.
  6. Corn Bread- I did, just find out that my in-laws like a cornbread casserole that I made a couple of times, so I have been getting some sort of variation when I make that for family dinners.
  7. Frozen Enchilada meal- This probably seems like a really weird thing to put on here, but this was a Stouffer's meal that I really enjoyed. I used to buy it for me and my husband until one day he told me he didn't really like it, so that was the end to that.
  8. Green Stuff- Until just recently, this is one thing I had to give up. Green stuff is a jello salad type meal. You mix together a large container of cottage cheese, jello mix, and cool whip. It may sound disgusting, but it's actually amazing! I used to not eat this for a while because I was the only one who liked it, but one day, I discovered how much protein was in cottage cheese and decided to try making it just for me. It can make about three good size meals at like 26 grams of protein a serving. It totally made its comeback.
  9. Bacon- For a long time, I was the only one who really liked bacon. One day, I was eating some when my youngest tried it out. He decided he liked it, so I started buying a bag of it from Sam's Club- (Very big) I had gone almost 9 years without eating bacon, so this has been a great thing.
  10. Pretty much anything from a restaurant that isn't fast food. This isn't a complete give up, but since having kids, my husband and I don't go out regularly, so I count this as giving up something.

       I know that these are things I probably don't have to give up, but its such a waste to make food that only I enjoy. What would your list look like? Would it be similar to mine, or would you be crossing of food items, too?

Friday, August 3, 2018

Back to School Clarification

     A couple of days ago, I posted a blog about how I was ready for my kids to go back to school. While I had hoped for it to be relatable, I got some feedback from a few who said things like, "I enjoy my kids company," or "Oh, wow. I'm already tired. I hope that my life isn't like this when my child is born." or something similar to that.

     I wanted to clarify some things. When it comes to parenting, there are going to be some weak days and not everyday is going to be exhausting or makes you so crazy that you're ready for your kids to go back to school. Trust me, when my kids do go back to school, I'm going to be bored and wondering what I can do to pass the time. I'm going to actually miss my kids.

     You know what, though? I miss my kids when I'm out watching a movie with other adults or when we are hosting a game night. Those little creatures are a part of me and I've seen them almost every day since the day that they were born. On the nights when they stay the night at grandma's or when my husband and I get away for a night, I miss them. They are ALWAYS put in conversation, somewhere. Most of my blog posts involve my kids.

     Being a mother can be exhausting and sometimes you can get to a point where you feel like a failure, but it doesn't mean that you are. The fact that you feel that way, says how much you care about them. On those nights, it's ok to give the kids an early bed time. I don't personally drink, but sometimes it's ok to have that glass of wine or eat that pint of ice cream. Just because you became a mommy, doesn't mean that you had to stop taking care of yourself or stop feeling frustrated when frustration is warranted.

     I wrote a post last week about a book I read by Jennifer Fulwiler called One Beautiful Dream. There is a section in that book where the grandparents are talking and they tell her something about how moms have it harder today. In their day, their moms kicked them out of the house and they didn't return until dinner. They also had big families and everyone there pitched in. They all had a support system.--- If you haven't read this book, yet, I highly suggest it.

     We have dad's for a reason. They are here to help lift the load. If you are in a single parent family, don't be afraid to ask for help. God might have put people in your life for a reason, so don't take them for granted. I'm off topic, again.

     Anyways, I might be ready for school to start, but when it does, it's going to be so refreshing for all of us, even for those who homeschool. Kids thrive under order and schedule because they know what's going to happen next. They may resist it at first, but it always seems to get better.

     So, I'm ready for school to start, but once it does, I'm going to miss those guys and it won't be long before we're all ready for the next school break. Motherhood is basically a time of conflicting emotions, which is why I believe that it was made for women- we can handle that sort of thing.