Sweet Tea, Chocolate, and Laundry

My in-laws came to visit yesterday, stayed the night, and then headed home this afternoon. It was nice having them come to visit. I know they came to see me and the kids and spend some time with us, but I was thanking them for coming by the time they had to go home. Life has been hectic around here lately! I’ve had clean laundry sitting on the couch in my laundry room for weeks. Needless to say, the holidays kind of threw me off track. I’m pretty sure that anyone who has ever fallen behind on household chores knows how difficult it can be to catch up… add two tiny people to the mix and it’s even more challenging.

We got up this morning and I made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. After we finished eating, my father-in-law went down to the laundry room and started folding all my laundry. What. A. Lifesaver. I went down and helped out some, but I mostly just carried it all upstairs and put it away. And my mother-in-law folded all the clothes in my son’s room and put them away for. I will forever be grateful for this!

So now all my laundry is folded and put away – WOO HOO! I feel as if someone came and lifted a giant cinder block off my shoulders. To add on to that good news, I actually got a full night of sleep last night! I’m usually up pretty late, but I was worn out last night. I climbed into bed at 11:00 PM and slept like a rock until 8:00 AM.

Despite getting a full night’s rest, I started feeling sleepy again by about 11:30 AM. So I did what just about any southerner would do – I poured myself a glass of tea. I grabbed the spoon I set out on the counter, before pouring my glass, and dunked it into my tea. I stirred it around a couple of times before I finally looked down and thought, “Oh wait… this isn’t a spoon!”

And it WASN’T a spoon. It was a knife. The one I had used that morning to cut up my son’s chocolate chip pancakes. And it was still covered in chocolate.

I sighed and then proceeded to make a face at the knife that was similar to this one:

Then I inspected my tea to see just how much chocolate had ended up in my glass. I decided it was safe enough and that I would hate to waste good tea, so I did what any mom who hates to be wasteful would do – I drank it and decided I was far too tired.

So now I’m going to go do what any exhausted mom would do – go to sleep!

Thank you SO much for all the help today John and Jonie! I appreciate it and love you guys!

(PS: My in-laws are the best. Hands down.)

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Life on display

I feel pretty confident in saying that pretty much every parent has felt eyes watching them, judging their parenting, at some point during their travels through parenthood. I know without a doubt that I have. And even if no one is ACTUALLY judging you, it still feels that way at times.

You go to the store and your toddler has a meltdown, out to eat and the baby is throwing food on the floor, go to breastfeed your newborn in public because she’s screaming her head off and hungry, or your little boy is asking you a TOTALLY inappropriate question in the checkout line at the grocery store and it’s instantly all eyes on you. But it doesn’t happen just in public. It can happen in your own home too.

Say your water heater breaks so you call someone to come out. They arrive and you realize you’re dressed in pajama pants with your hair falling out of the messy bun you put it in that morning and spit up on your shirt. Then you look around the house. Oh. Shit. Toys everywhere, the baby took off his diaper, and Cheerio crumbs are ground into your carpet. You wish you could ask them to come back in 30 minutes, but you can’t. It needs to be fixed and they are here. So you reluctantly open the door, baby on your hip, and apologize for the mess – it’s been one of those days. You show them where the water heater is, making note of every little mess you spot along the way.

I have done this SO MANY TIMES. Not that exact scenario, but you get my point. Sometimes there just isn’t enough time in one day to get everything done. Other days, you feel as if you could conquer the world. Even on the days when your house is perfectly clean, you can still feel like you are judged.

For example, say you’re part of a playgroup and it’s your turn to host a play date – you clean your house from top to bottom, plan out super fun activities that you probably don’t do on a daily basis because you’re usually too busy trying to stay on top of things, get together healthy snacks and arrange them in a Pinterest worthy display, and then begin greeting the parents and kids. I know my house is NEVER like that on a regular basis. My children are far too energetic for that to be possible. If your house is always perfect and pristine, you have perfect aliens for children and I really DESPERATELY want to know your secrets!

See the thing is, I WANT that. I have seen a lot of blog posts lately where it seems like moms are almost admitting defeat – saying they are okay with having a messy house because it means more time with their families. I see where they are coming from, but I don’t want to do that. I’m not saying that I don’t want more time with my family, because I do. More than anything. But I know it’s possible to balance the two. If you’re content with having laundry heaped on your couch, dishes in the sink, toothpaste stuck to the bathroom sink, and Goldfish crumbs on your dining room floor, then more power to you. I can’t do it. I don’t judge when I see houses that are like that because that’s how my house is a lot of the time. But there is one person I judge for it all the time: me. I know it’s perfectly acceptable to let some of the little things go from time to time, but I also know it’s completely realistic to have a house that stays clean the majority of the time.

Here’s my theory:

If I sacrifice a little time with my family now to get our house in order, organized, and clean, and then find a routine that works well for me and stick to it, then that means I’ll spend less time cleaning later and I’ll get to spend more time with my family. THAT is what I want. I want the perfect house not only because I secretly have OCD and it drives me nuts when things are out of place, but also because I believe that is the type of house my family deserves and I want to provide it for them. That’s my job.

I LIKE seeing this every time I walk into my kitchen.

Right now, I’m not a big fan of having people over to the house (with the exception of family). I’m making changes so I can have my “dream house.” Maybe then I won’t be so afraid to have my life “on display.”

“Only the beginning…”

So you’ve stumbled across my blog.

Good.

Welcome!

I’m Calli. I’m married to a wonderful man and I’m a young mom with two beautiful children.

This is me… and my babies. 🙂

Like many other moms out there, being a mom is something I’ve had to take one day at a time. Some days are glorious – full of smiles, cuddles, laughter, and love. Then there are days where I want to put myself in a day long time-out because I’ve had it up to HERE with the noise and tears and I might go crazy if one more toy travels outside of the playroom and into my freshly cleaned living room.

So this blog is about my journey through motherhood. Looking back on 2013 made me take a close look at my parenting techniques and I decided I didn’t really like what I saw. I’m a stay at home mom (SAHM) and it’s something I struggle with daily. I don’t like being at home 24/7. I could come up with a whole list of things I’d rather do than be at home: go explore a new hiking trail, go downtown and sit in my favorite coffee house with a good book, take a day trip to the beach, spend time with friends, go somewhere different and see what kind of cool things there are to do… the list goes on.

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my children and I am grateful that I am able to stay at home with them; God only knows how much I would worry if someone else were caring for them full time! But I HATE being cooped up in the house. Sure, I could take the kids out to do things and be out of the house all day, but I would have to plan it all around their schedule. My kids don’t have a strict schedule, but they definitely have one. It’s pretty high up there on the list of important kid-related things, for me. In fact, I pride myself on the fact that they have such a good schedule.

If I want to leave the house for a few hours I have to make sure the activity won’t interfere with nap time or that we will be close by to a place with lunch and then I have to load up my car with everything I need for myself and two tiny people. So much work for such a short time frame.

Anyway, being a SAHM has it’s perks (I get paid in the sweetest hugs and kisses) but it’s still challenging. Not only do I have to take care of both kiddos, I run an entire household. It’s a lot of pressure and sometimes it really gets to me and stresses me out. When I get stressed, I tend to let trivial things frustrate me and am quick to respond in a sharp manner. This is something I am not proud of – especially when it involves my kids.

I have never gone off the deep end or anything like that, but I’ve definitely had my moments of screaming and being so stressed that the only thing that seems to help is sitting down and crying. Those moments happen more than I care to admit. When I looked back on the past year and saw that, I decided I didn’t like it. As my dad would say, “If you can’t change your situation, change yourself.” This is one of those times where I can’t really change my situation, but I CAN change the way I see things, how I respond, and how I handle issues that may come up. In other words: I need to be PROACTIVE and not REACTIVE. (See Dad?! I DID listen when I was a teenager! I just thought I was brilliant and didn’t need to heed your advice. I’m paying for it now… Haha.)

You may be wondering where on earth I came up with the name for this blog. Well, it kind of has two meanings behind it:
1. When you’re a mom, SAHM or working mom, dishes are a common theme. It seems like there are always dishes to be done, therefore “I’ve been washing dishes” is a common answer to the question “What are you doing?”
2. I kind of got it through the song “Washing Dishes” by Jack Johnson. I feel like the lyrics are a pretty good fit for what I’m wanting to do with my life and with this blog:
“In the morning when the world came awake
Before you knew me I knew your name
It was painted across the day as it breaks
An impression in your window frame

When you saw me out your window
Singing from the garden
Only the beginning
I’m only getting started
I don’t mind the digging
Baby, I’ll work harder
I’ve been washing dishes
Singing from the bottom

But one day I’ll be running this place
And one day I could take you away
But I want you to wonder what’s my name
Because I need you to want me the same

When you saw me washing dishes
Singing from the bottom
Only the beginning
I’m only getting started
I don’t mind the digging
Baby, I’ll work harder
I’ve been in the ashes
Singing from the garden

Where everything reaches for the sun
Still unsure of what we’ll become
But I need you to reach out to me
See in me more than I could see
Because I’m afraid that

One day is only two words we say
I don’t want to let them get in the way
Of all the plans that we should be making right now
Right now

Who took the time and where did they take it
I want to take it back
I don’t want them to break it
All these plans that we should be making right now
Right now”

That song says it all. I want to change the way I do things, as a parent, so I can make life better for my family as a whole. I don’t want to keep saying “one day.” That “one day” starts right now.

So join me – It’s going to be a great ride!