Mama Monday – One less thing!

This is how my Monday morning started:

This is everything that needed to be packed and brought to school/work this morning. Notice it doesn’t even include the baby (in an infant car seat) and the three year old! What is all that you ask? Let’s see, a school bag for each girl, my laptop bag, breast pump, lunch, grocery bags from last night and my purse!

When I saw that ridiculous pile this morning I realized that I might be taking things a bit too far and need to figure out how to consolidate. If anything, to make things easier for myself. Realistically, all I could have removed from that pile are the grocery bags but where can I simplify my life in other parts?

The first thing I can do (and my husband reminds me to do this all the time), is to simply do one thing at a time. I know it sounds crazy, right? But it’s true —  I get super stressed out and it’s because I am trying to do three or more things at once and not very well. For example, last night instead of holding the baby, cleaning up after dinner, and making zucchini & carrot bread (check back on Wednesday for the recipe… It’s delish!), I probably could have just held the baby and done the other things after bedtime. I tested this new approach out this morning after seeing that pile and mentally drafting this post…. The three year old was asking for milk, oatmeal, a specific song from the CD we were listening to, and I was trying to get all three of those things done plus make oatmeal for the baby and pack her lunch. I took a deep breath (key for most things) and told the three year old mommy can only do one thing at a time. I finished the oatmeal (for both girls), got the milk, changed the song, and sat down to breakfast. All without freaking out – yay me!

So, I did schlep all those bags out to the car but I didn’t try to do it all in one load like I typically do. I did it in two while the girls were finishing their breakfast and then I only had to carry the baby! That felt like a refreshing change. My “Zen” morning lasted about 10 minutes but I will take it. Let’s see how “Zen” after work can be…. Fingers crossed!

Mama Monday – Mommy Resolution!

I was driving to work this morning and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and wondered who that was looking back at me? Ever have one of these mornings? You are going about your day and all of a sudden you realize that your eye brows need to be desperately waxed and your roots are exposing a look similar to Madonna’s in the 80’s! Ok, I exaggerate, but not much.

I decided that I am making a mommy resolution right then and there! I will get my eyebrows waxed every 2-3 weeks (I have found a great deal at the local nail salon and maybe if I am feeling really lucky I will get a pedicure too)! I will get my hair trimmed and colored every 6-8 weeks as needed and feel fantastic when I leave the salon. I don’t know about you but a good couple of hours at the hair salon and I feel like a new person. But my hair dresser is also pretty fabulous and always is there with the customary, “you look so beautiful!”….”you are absolutely shrinking” (I had a baby six months ago)….”Yes, your hair is falling out but look at all this baby hair growing in” (Well, that one is questionable but at least he is honest .) And he fluffs my hair, washes it with extra time for a head massage and then does a beautiful blowout, just in time for me to get home, get the girls in the bath and fall into bed….but I sure feel gorgeous when I do.

Yes, just writing them makes me want to go to the salon right now for a full treatment…hmmm, I think Mother’s day is coming up soon – maybe I will have to get a day at the spa!

How do you treat yourself? What is your mama resolution?

3.15.11: The Second Time Around

It is so different the second time around when having children! I was much more relaxed in my pregnancy and felt less afraid of “what was going to happen”.  You wonder what it will be like with having two children, everyone tells you it is not double the work but ten times the work…so far it just feels like double the work but she is only six months. We are still in the honeymoon period…she isn’t crawling yet – but she is close!

With my first daughter, you feel so proud and want them to be making all the milestones and early even! I wanted to make sure that she was crawling, walking, talking at all the appropriate times and even encouraged her to hit these marks. The second time around…it’s different! You now know that as soon as they are crawling/walking that the honeymoon will officially be over.

I am definitely proud of the baby but I can’t believe that she is almost crawling already…she has been getting on her hands and knees and scooting backwards for a couple of weeks now! Everyone told me that the second one would do everything sooner than her sister, I just didn’t realize how much sooner! I realized the other night that the reason she must be doing everything faster. One she is in love with her big sister already and is trying to mimic and two, I have had to put her down on the floor much sooner and for longer periods than I did with my eldest.

How you can feel so different about the same milestones with your children? The first one you want them to do everything right away and the second one you want them to slow down. I think this might be some good insight for me to be cautious in my parenting of them.

Do you find yourself parenting your children differently, not just by who they are but by their birth position?

You can still travel with children…it’s just different.

My husband and I both have a love of traveling, it was one of the things we loved to do before we had children.  We traveled throughout Europe together and around the states. Then came our first daughter and we wondered to ourselves if our days of travel were going to soon be over.

We made a pact together that just because we had children we would not stop traveling and we both felt it was important to introduce our child(ren) to new cultures and expose them to people all over the world. Neither my husband nor I had traveled much as children and wanted it to be different for our girl(s) childhood.

We took the big plunge when our first daughter had just turned one. We headed off to Vietnam and Cambodia (my husband does business in Vietnam) so we were able to turn a business trip into a vacation. I have to admit I was nervous about traveling in Asia (I had not been before) but my husband had been countless times and was very comfortable with his surroundings. I thought the worse part would be the plane ride; it was 13 hours to Taipei and then a couple more into Saigon. I packed SO many things, but the only toy she wanted to play with was her Wikki Stix, which as a parent I thought they might be the greatest invention ever! Another tip: Only bring new toys (doesn’t have to be new from the store but new to the kid) and introduce them for the first time on the ride. We also got REALLY lucky and she slept for a good portion of the trip as well. I think this is one of the major benefits of traveling with the kiddies when they are younger.

We had an amazing time the three of us and we are talking about taking another trip next spring when our youngest daughter is over a year but less than 2 years. Don’t stop traveling because you have children, just change your attitude. It’s worth it!