Kids Do the Darnedst Things

There’s a funny side to parenting and it usually has to do with learning things the hard way. Here are a few times my sons taught me that even though they do something crazy, it’s usually my own fault.

  1. The diaper fiasco: When Cillian was about ten months old he woke me up with a stinky surprise. At the time he slept in our bed with us and he had fallen asleep in just a diaper. On this particular morning he had woken up before me and proceeded to take his diaper off. I’m not sure if he had already pooped or if he had pooped after taking his diaper off, either way he woke me up by slapping me with a poop covered hand. It was everywhere. All over him, all over the sheets, my pillow and my face. I got him up and bathed him and washed my own face. I washed the sheets and blankets twice because the first time didn’t get it all. It was so gross. From then on he always had clothes on when he went to bed.
  2. The diaper fiasco part 2: You would think after that we would have been wiser. Well here comes Felix. This time it was a dad fail. My husband had put Felix in his crib in just a diaper and a t-shirt. The next morning I go to get him and he’s covered in his own poop. It was all over his mouth so you know he ate some. It was all over his crib. Again, I had to wash the sheets and blankets twice. Poop doesn’t like to come out easily.
  3. Cillian’s first nose bleed: I put Cillian down for a nap one day and I was in the kitchen when I heard him making noises. He wasn’t crying but he was awake so I went to check on him. I open his bedroom door and I see him covered in blood. There was a lot. I freaked out. He wasn’t crying but he gave me a look like, “What?!” I noticed it was mostly on his face so I thought maybe he hit his face on his crib but that would have made him cry so that couldn’t have been it. Then I remembered that he had just recently started picking his nose. He had scared me to death.
  4. Cillian’s first swear word: One day a friend of mine came to the house to give me some beads that she had in storage. She brought her neighbor with her to help her get all the boxes into the house and we had never met this man before. While we were talking Cillian dropped one of his toys and yelled, “Goddammit!” It was quite embarrassing and he had definitely learned it from me. I didn’t have anyone to blame but myself for that one.
  5. The smelly truth: One day while shopping for beads I had the boys in a shopping cart and I was searching. There was a woman and her two children in the aisle with us. They did look a bit rough but I didn’t pay any attention to them, I was busy. Cillian then says, “Mama, I smell something. I smell something stinky.” I asked him, “You smell something stinky?” He points and replies, “Yeah. I think those people-” I quickly push him to the other end of the aisle hoping that they hadn’t heard what he said. I shushed him but I also laughed to myself because I had not expected him to say that. Children are very honest.

Now some funny/cute things Cillian has said:

Me: “If you eat your broccoli it’ll make your muscles bigger.” Cillian: “Bigger?!” Takes a bite of broccoli. “My muscles hurt.”

Cillian: “You and me are hot and Beezy is stinky.” (Beezy is Felix’s nickname.)

Cillian pretending to read a Pizza Hut receipt: “Dear pizza pizza, I want to eat you.”

We’re waiting at the doctor’s office. Cillian: “I’m boring.” I told him he’s bored, not boring. He’s definitely not boring.

Instead of bicycle he say byclecike.

Cillian: “I’m sick.” Me: “Your not sick.” Cillian: “My *hiccup* mouth is sick.” Me: “You have the hiccups.” Cillian: “Yeah.”

adorable-child-childhood-1445465

Photo by Dazzle Jam from Pexels

 

Cillian is 4!

I’ve been a parent for four years now. Wow.

I the last four years have been the craziest of my life. Where do I even begin?

Cilli

He was the most precious baby, I didn’t even know I could love someone so much. It physically hurt how much I loved him. He made me such a softy.

10410596_10207698264361109_9065503876625127085_n

His first year was hard. He spent his first night home in a light box for jaundice. I was distraught. I wanted to hold my baby but he had to stay in the box when he wasn’t eating or being changed. He slept in our bed his whole first year of life. I couldn’t sleep unless he was right next to me so I could hear him breathing. He woke us up every four hours to eat, when he started walking he got into everything and he had the biggest personality I had ever seen in such a small person.

13912789_10210750997237523_352997941893764560_n

Watching him learn and grow has been amazing. I understand now why they call it a miracle. You have never witnessed innocence until you’ve spent time with a child. I can’t believe such purity even exists. He has just opened my eyes so much.

14449845_10211300685499386_6945457147316931446_n.jpg

The things he says are so funny, his imagination is wonderful. He wants to be friends with everyone he meets, he smiles so easily. He has the sweetest heart.

20708305_10214653897247584_7901891425502870806_n

He loves cats, bugs, cars, pasta and going to the park. He loves playing with other kids and having fun. He doesn’t like meat, swimming pools and being held upside down. He’s excited about starting school and he loves to learn.

43629456_10218384479509809_7530526233507921920_n

I can’t believe my baby is four years old. It won’t be long before he’s an adult and I’m trying to soak up all the time with him being little as I can. Happy birthday Little Boy. I love you soooooo much and I always will.

Just a Mom Posting About Being a Mom

Being a mom is my biggest job, so of course I like to talk about it. Over the last year I’ve posted about my struggles and it’s always good to look back on them. If you haven’t read them I thought I’d highlight a few. Maybe you’re a mom as well and you need to know you’re not alone. Maybe you’re not a mom but have been thinking about it. Either way I hope these posts help you.

  1. The Best Parts of Being a Mom
  2. Being a Parent Sucks Sometimes
  3. Anxiety and Being a Mom
  4. 5 Ways Being a Mom Has Changed Me
  5. 3 Things I Learned About Being a Working Mom

adult-architecture-buildings-1706205.jpg

Photo by Ashwin Pradhan from Pexels

For All the Moms Out There

Even though tomorrow is your day, every day should be your day. I don’t think men realize all the things that we do as Mother. We literally hold everything together.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Summer McLendon, people smiling, closeup

We are the ones our children come to for love and support.

We are the ones who make things happen.

We are the ones who lose sleep.

We are the ones who never give up.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Tara McLendon, people smiling, eyeglasses, child and closeup

Being a mom is not easy. We are silent sufferers. We suffer when our babies hurt or are sick. We suffer when they do wrong. We suffer when there’s not enough to go around because we always make sure the children get what they need first. We suffer when the father of our children decides he doesn’t want to help. We suffer all this and don’t say a word because we don’t do it for ourselves. We do it for our babies.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Avery Ann Barrett, child and closeup

Mothers are strong. They are resilient. We love so hard it’s unbelievable. Never has a love been so strong as that between a mother and her child.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Dori Gilbreath, people smiling, people sitting and baby

Even through the hard parts there is a happiness that can never be found anywhere else. All the suffering is worth it because the joy a child brings is unmatched.

Image may contain: 3 people, including Angela Michelle Hicks, people smiling, people sitting, child and outdoor

Our children will never know all the things we did for them. They will never know how we worry, how we cry or how we push ourselves past exhaustion for them. They will never know how proud we are, how excited we get or how we rejoice over their accomplishments.

Image may contain: 3 people, including Karen Smith, people smiling, people standing and child

Motherhood is the hardest, easiest thing I have ever done. I never knew that a love like this existed. I would always do it over again.

Image may contain: 3 people, including Cadie McLendon, people smiling, eyeglasses, child, baby and closeup

Toddlers Around Town

For our trip this time we decided to visit the Sam Noble Museum in Norman, Oklahoma. We went with our friends Karen and Elijah and the boys had a great time. It’s a museum of natural history and has exhibits of Native American history, dinosaur fossils and local wildlife. There was also an exhibit of butterflies that I think my mother in law would really like.

Everything is bright and colorful and kids can touch all of it. That’s what I like the most about this museum. The boys were very excited about it all.

Felix was not content to sit in his stroller so I let him out to run around with the big kids.

Cillian loved the dinosaur skeletons.

They really enjoyed the Discovery Room where they could play with puzzles, toy dinosaurs and letter magnets.

img_0897

The Native American exhibit was really cool.

img_0900

 

I especially enjoyed the jewelry and baby bed.

I think the best part though was the wildlife exhibit.

Cillian and Elijah decided to do  little pose for us.

img_0919

They are such silly boys. We really enjoyed ourselves. If you’re in the area you should definitely check it out!

 

10 Ways My Body Has Changed After Having Kids

The best way I can explain the changes to a woman’s body after she has kids is like when you wreck your car. You can put it in the shop and it’ll look normal but it never runs the same again. That’s literally how I would describe my body after pregnancy and birth.

I knew my body would change. I knew things were going to look different but I didn’t know about the internal changes. It’s just so strange to me. My body worked a certain way my whole life and then I got pregnant and things started to change. Now I don’t remember how my body worked before I had kids. It’s really different now so I just know what it does now.

Let’s start with the outside:

1. My tummy. 

So of course my abdominal area was stretched way past it’s normal size. I had a baby in there. Two actually, just not at the same time. Now that my abs have been stretched out a couple of times they’re a little less tight than they used to be. My belly has more give in it now so it sticks out more when I eat too much. There’s extra skin that I don’t think is ever going to go away but whatever. And at the bottom of my stomach is a six inch c-section scar that will always be there.

2. My boobs.

So I breastfed only one of my boys but I did pump for both of them. I was amazed at the fact that my boobs made breast milk. It was actually really cool. I made a lot too, I was a milk making machine. It hurt though, a lot and I had to stop. Of course after all the trauma my boobs went through they are a lot more saggy that they used to be. It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve had to accept about the physical changes to my body. For a long time I felt really unattractive and I didn’t even want my husband to see them or touch them. I worried that he would be disappointed that they were different. He has assured me that he does not feel that way and I’m finally able to accept them for how they are now.

3. My face.

I used to have oily, acne prone skin. Now my skin is so clear it’s a miracle. People have asked me what I did to clear up my skin and I always tell them my secret was having a baby. I don’t if I just had bad skin or if my hormones were just crazy but either way pregnancy sorted it all out. Now I only get break outs around that time of the month or if I’m extremely stressed out.

Now for the inside:

4. My bladder.

Before I had kids I could hold my pee a whole six hour car ride to Texas. Now I literally have to stop every two hours to pee. I used to sleep all night long and not have to wake up to pee. Now I get up at least once in the night, sometimes twice. It doesn’t matter how much liquid I consume I have to pee all the time now. Caffeine really irritates is so I shouldn’t drink it but I do. It’s just so annoying.

5. My Stomach.

Before I had kids I could not eat breakfast. I always woke up with a nervous stomach and couldn’t eat anything for a few hours so I would always skip breakfast. Now I wake up starving. I have to eat breakfast. I also had a lot of acid reflux with both boys and I had to have my gallbladder removed after having Cillian so my stomach is a little sensitive to things that I wasn’t before I had kids.

6. My hips.

Since puberty my right hip has always been a little painful at times. It got worse when I started working in a warehouse in my early twenties but after having kids my right hip is always in a constant state of pain. I didn’t even push my babies out. I don’t think I could have. I went for a walk with my mother in law and the next day I could barely walk. I was limping. Even my pain reliever didn’t work. It makes me feel like an old lady, y’all.

7. My blood flow.

This might sound weird but I feel like my blood flows a lot better now that I’ve had kids. I used to be super cold natured. I was always cold. Now I’m always hot. It’ll be 55 degrees outside and I’ll have the air on in my car. I can’t sleep in long sleeve shirts anymore, which I love to do. As soon as the weather hits 60 degrees I have to wear shorts because I burn up in jeans. I swear menopause is going to kill me.

8. My brain.

This is the big one. I seriously cannot remember anything. It goes in my head and if I don’t write it down it will be lost forever. It’s so frustrating! I will literally forget stuff five minutes after I was told about it. I honestly don’t know how I manage things anymore. I used to be so good at remembering birthdays and plans and names. Now that’s not a thing for me anymore. I’m sorry to those of you that know me personally. I think a bunch of my brain cells left me when I gave birth to my children and I just never got them back.

Now some good things:

9. Physical strength

I know for a fact I am a lot stronger than I used to be. I can feel it. Before I had kids I didn’t even know I was capable of the things I can do. You go through a lot in pregnancy and taking care of kids. I’m not afraid of a challenge, whether physical or not.

10. Self confidence.

When you have kids you start to realize what’s important and what’s not important. I have learned a lot about myself and who I am as a person. I have come to really like who I am and I don’t think I would have gotten to this place if it wasn’t for my children. They have made me a better person. I also have amazing women in my life who have made it possible for me to see that I have great qualities.

So there’s how pregnancy and having babies has changed me and my body. What are some changes you experienced? Are any of yours the same as mine?

Image may contain: Cadie McLendon

When I was pregnant with Cillian.

Things My Parents Taught Me

I gotta be honest, I have a really hard time remembering things from my childhood. I only say that because once I became a mom my brain only has room for my kids and the stuff they do. Sometimes though my siblings will remind me of something or my kids will do something that reminds me of being a kid again.

Being a parent, though, has made me take a look at my parents in a different way. I now see things the way they might have and I’ve learned a lot about them that I never would have if I had not had kids.

For instance I’ve learned how hard being a parent is. I’ve learned how you stress out about them and their health and if they’re developing and growing the way they’re supposed to. I’ve learned that you can’t stop the love that you have for your kids no matter what they do and I’ve learned that they can bring you a lot of joy. I think about how my parents felt about me and my siblings and it makes me feel closer to them.

I understand now when my mother was stressed out being at home with us all the time. There was four of us and I couldn’t imagine how that was. I only have two and they drive me crazy, I don’t know how my mom handled four. I understand wanting to be left alone to do something without being interrupted if only for five minutes. I understand when my parents would yell at us to be quiet or go to our rooms because they just needed a minute of peace and quiet. I understand my parents making us do chores or cleaning up after ourselves because it is exhausting to follow kids around all day and clean up their messes or wash their things. Kids are so messy and destructive. I understand why my mom got on to me so much for being the oldest because I probably was just as mean to my little siblings as Cillian is to Felix. I understand how frustrating it is when they don’t listen to me and I have to raise my voice and look like a crazy woman.

But despite all the understanding I have now for my parents, there are a couple things that they did that I don’t understand. Like when my mother would let my siblings and I say hateful things to each other. There was more than a few times my siblings would gang up on me to make fun of me or be mean to me and my mother would laugh and join in with them. She did it to my brother to. She would tell us we were annoying and always wanted us to leave her alone. She never wanted to hug or kiss us. She would literally make a grossed out face if we tried to give her a kiss on the cheek. She gave me the feeling like she regretted becoming a mom and it wasn’t what she wanted.

Or how my dad was so bent on us being perfect, well behaved kids he would get onto us for every little thing. He was very strict and he would scare us a lot. He has always had strong opinions about how things should be and how we should behave so we don’t like to be around him that much now that we’re adults. It made us feel like we could never stand up to his expectations, he made us feel ashamed of ourselves and we feel judged. It’s hard to talk to someone like that.

Things weren’t always bad when I was growing up and I do think that my parents were just doing the best that they could. Neither one came from stable families with great parental figures, they grew up amongst disfunction and had to learn how to not do the things that their parents did. And being a parent is really hard, especially when you have a lot of them. I think they just had an idea of how it was going to be and it just didn’t turn out that way.

What I learned from my parents is that you have to let go of the expectations you have for your kids and just let them be themselves. You have to love them for who they are and guide them to become good people. I learned that kids need affection, especially boys. They always seem to get short changed because they’re supposed to be “manly” and “tough”. My boys are the most affectionate little boys I know. I want them to know there’s nothing wrong with affection or feelings or asking for comfort.

I want my boys to trust me and to know that I love them no matter what. I don’t ever want them to feel like they can never live up to crazy expectations or that they gross me out. I always want them around and I want them to feel at ease with me.

One thing my mother taught me was to be honest. Sometimes she was brutally honest but she would always explain something so we could understand, that’s something I will do with my boys. Except in a nicer way.

Something that my father taught me was to work hard and to never stop working towards what you want in life. He always encouraged us to reach higher and higher. That is something else I plan to do for my boys.

I really do love my parents and I am thankful for the things they taught me, the good and the bad. Because now I can be a better parent to my boys and hopefully they will appreciate me and the things I did for them.

img_3257

This picture was taken when I was around twelve. My parents are now divorced and both are remarried.