Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Confessions of a Super Mommy

Before you judge the title, let me explain.  I'm not describing myself as a super mommy. Trust me, if you could have overheard some conversations I've had with Chris over the past couple days, you'll be well assured that I do NOT think I'm a super mommy. At times, I don't even consider myself a competent mommy!  Honestly, I think every mom is a super mommy.  Perhaps "mom" is just an abbreviation of the full, proper word, which is "Super Mommy".

I'm writing this particular entry because I've had a series of days where I flat out don't feel like I'm doing a single thing right.  I've spent lots of time muddling over why I feel this way. Then I remembered a blog that my friend, Stori, posted and I've seen other moms post. It's called "Don't Carpe Diem". Not only was it hilarious, but it was very, very honest.

In reading this, I decided that I would spill my honesty.  One of the toughest things about being a mom is hearing how other moms do things (whether it's right or wrong is completely irrelevant).  But, just hearing these things make me second guess everything from naps to eating to the clothes I put on Walt!  Deep down I want to be the quintessential Super Mommy who cooks meals five nights a week, does laundry the same day every week, creates her own "lessons" for her kids, bakes homemade tarts on a Wed. just cause, reads thought-provoking books, and so on. The truth is, I don't do any of those things. This is for all you super mommies who strive to do the best things, but sometimes we just don't quite make it. It's the intent that counts, right?

1. I feed my kid a lot of frozen food.  Let's be extremely honest. I feed Walt a helluva lot of chicken nuggets. It's the ONE thing that he's guaranteed to eat. I wish I could even say I buy the organic, free-range, frozen chicken. I don't. It's Target brand and dinosaur shaped. Come to think of it, Walt doesn't really eat anything that's fresh. I used to send tons of fresh fruit and lunch meat to school, but then one of his teachers pulled me aside and said, "Does Walt eat this stuff at home? He's refusing his entire lunch here." Great.  Rather than have him starve and make everyone mad, I send what he'll eat: chicken nuggets and American cheese.

2. I work out once a month. If that. This is a really hard confession. Pre-Walt I was in the gym or outside running at least four days a week. My once-a-month workout is a good one if it lasts 30 minutes. I'm beginning to wonder if I should count walking up the stairs at work (which would mean I'd actually have to start using the stairs) or walking the .25 mi trek from the parking lot to school twice a week.  Yes, I also know we bought that big fancy jogging stroller. I've taken it for one spin and ran four minutes out of a 30 min walk. FAIL.

3. I've never cooked for Walt.  That is, if you don't count the grilled cheeses or cooked, plain pasta (which ends up in the trash every.single.time.).  The truth is, we cook dinner after Walt goes to bed. I realize his "picky eating" habits very well could be because we don't sit down together as a family and eat. We do if we go out to eat, and 90% of the meal I spend coaching Walt try things he won't eat. I end up eating four bites of my own meal. So, I prefer a nice, adult-only meal during the week. Judge away.

4. Walt sleeps with two pacis.  One thing I've never had a real problem with is Walt's sleeping. We even recently weaned bottles and he's totally ok with not having a nighttime bottle. Not sure if the paci's are a sleep signal to him, but he loves them. And, I have no intention of taking them away from him anytime soon. Sleep for Walt = sleep for mom and dad. 

5. We let Walt play with his iPhone. A lot.  There are so many things wrong with this. The first being that he has his own iPhone. It's my old phone that I disabled the cellular service on.  Honestly, this is the ONLY thing that will keep him sitting still while we do a breathing treatment or change him for bed.  The "right" thing would probably be continue to encourage him to sit nicely and not be a brat. My patience for that is only so long.

I hope know that the other Super Moms have confessions of your own. I want you to know that you're doing the absolute best you can. So am I! So what if I don't give Walt organic fruit from our homemade garden?  He's a super healthy little guy and I know that didn't happen by accident. I must have done SOMETHING right. All the other Super Moms are doing it right too. The formulas are just a little different for each kid. Don't feel bad if someone does it differently than you. Good luck and Godspeed :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The House that Built Us

As many of you know, Chris and I put our house on the market last week. Little did we know we'd have a contract on it in 48 hours!!

Instead of talk about the buying/selling process, I thought I'd tell you guys a little bit about this house. I feel like so much can be said about people by their homes.  I mean, it's where you LIVE!  While I adore our house now, that was NOT the case six years ago.  The house is Chris's and he's been in it since 1999.  It's in this great neighborhood in Frisco that was built in the 80s (they had houses in Frisco in the 80s!?) so there are gorgeous mature trees, a golf course, and fantastic neighbors.   But, it also means older houses.

For the first two years of our courtship, the house had lovely brown-ish carpet, furniture from who knows when (no judging, I think I still have furniture from my childhood), linoleum in the kitchen, 1980 wallpaper, and more brass fixtures than you can even imagine. We were just saying last night that we wished we had pictures.

Somewhere around our two-year mark (not co-habitating), I begged ordered encouraged suggested that Chris look into some new floors. He had Sally Pants the dog (RIP) and I have severe asthma and allergies. So, minus the aesthetic reasons, I thought hardwoods would help all the dander.  Chris agreed and proceeded.  The new flooring kicked off a (unintentional) four years of renovations. Here's the list in order of repair:

  • New hardwoods
  • Tile in kitchen, entry and bathrooms
  • New, low-profile carpet in all bedrooms
  • Wood deck for backyard
  • New roof
  • Renovate master bath (new tiled shower/glass, new fixtures, separate vanity mirrors, NO BRASS)
  • 2" faux wood blinds in entire house (removal of really terrible 1985 blue drapes)
  • Texture/repaint kitchen (removal of floral wallpaper)
  • Move office out into dining room / paint, decorate nursery
  • Stainless steel appliances in kitchen (a fridge that actually filled out the fridge cubby)
  • Washer/Dryer that didn't require close monitoring to avoid kitchen flooding
  • Replace every single doorknob in the house (NO BRASS)
  • Spray paint hardware around closet and wet bar (NO BRASS)
  • New ceiling fans/light fixtures in all living areas (NO BRASS)
  • New AC
  • New furnace
I made this list for the Realtor to put in our house description. As I started listing out everything I realized what a transformation our house had made! And oddly, what a transformation Chris and I's relationship made! By the time I moved in with Chris (three years), the house was already starting to feel like it was partly mine.  As time went on, I stopped calling it Chris's house and called it OUR house.  And, now it's Walt's home too.  It will be sad to leave something we've put a lot of heart into, but I know the new buyers saw what we love and will take care of it.  Below are some present pics:

Entrance (left) and what we call the "Big Room"

The "new" office

another shot of the entrance from the other angle


More kitchen. I think the only thing we haven't done to this house is granite counters

From kitchen, looking at the living room

Walt's abode
The master bed

Monday, January 9, 2012

Walt, the One Year Old

When we got Walt up this morning, we asked him if he felt older. Is it odd that I actually think he's has shown some growing up in the past couple of days?!  I know I've been gushing over Walt the past several posts, but it was a whirlwind of "firsts" I felt I needed to capture.  Things seem to be moving so fast these days.

Here's what Walt is up to:
  • Naps -- Well, I caved to daycare last week and let them do the one-nap-a-day thing.  I can't say it was seamless, but it wasn't disastrous.  We let Walt take two naps over the weekend and he seemed fine doing both. As an FYI, Dr. G agreed that 12 months was early for one nap. Whether he's right or not, I liked that he agreed with me :)
  • Eating -- Walt's getting much better at table food. I still think he's picky mostly b/c I'll eat anything  (except cantaloupe) and can't fathom how he won't eat things like bananas, mashed potatoes and pasta (seriously, are we sure he's mine?!).  BUT, he at least tries things now.  Some of his favorites are goldfish, chicken nuggets, cheese, cheese cheese.
  • Mobility -- he's not walking, but I wouldn't be surprised if he just comes home from daycare one day and does it. He does everything short of walking. He can easily walk along any given piece of furniture.
  • Climbing -- funny that Dr. G warned us about this today. Walt is ABSOLUTELY a climber. He has no fear in climbing up, down, in and around anything.  YIKES.
  • Speech -- Walt does a whole lot of pointing.  If he's not pointing, he'll thrust an open hand in your direction to try and demand something from you.  We're working on some sign language. At this point, Walt sees his pointing and hand thrusting as enough sign language :)  He does say some words. Nothing he says is the right word for what he's trying to say.  He calls a lot of things Ba-Boo (balloon, monkey, book). He also calls all animals "Ice". Chris's parents' dog is Izzy and we think this is where this comes from.
  • Teeth -- My toothy guy who basically got all eight baby teeth at once at 6 months has been pretty dormant in the chompers department.  Walt drools excessively, so I'm always saying his molars are coming in. After probing in his mouth incessantly, I finally gave up and decided he's just a drooler. All it took was a light and a tongue depresser and Dr. G said "Walt has 3 molars!". Sure enough the top two have already broken through! the bottom ones are trying. WOAH.

We know Walt is a big guy, but here's how big he really is:
  • Weight - 25 lbs (75-90th percentile)
  • Height - 32" (100%)
  • Head - 19.3" (off the charts ... God bless him)
As suspected, he's just a tall kiddo.  I've seen him next to some 2-year-olds and he looks the same size!  It's also interesting that many of his friends are girls (who are naturally more petite) and he looks absolutely ginormous compared to them.  What I love is he still seems to be very gentle. Almost like he realizes he's twice the size of them :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Walt's First Birthday Party!

This might be a long post, but I've got a lot to say!  In my defense, I was such a crappy picture taker at Walt's party, that it deserves at least some description.

Anyone on Pinterest that follows me could easily have figured out months ago that we were throwing Walt a Sock Monkey party.  How fitting for the Munka Man himself, right?  While the theme is fitting, it wasn't terribly creative b/c I had zero problems finding sock monkey-themed memorabilia.  So much so that I really had to narrow down what I wanted to do to save our house from looking like a sock monkey spontaneously combusted!  Here are some of the (very few) pics I took of the actual decor:

Super fun banner of Walt at each of his months.  Got the banner from Stylish Celebrations on Etsy. (I mounted the pics on scrapbook cardstock to make them pop a little more)

Full view of the pics. Wish I would have got the balloons in this pic!

The Dessert Table (all caps on purpose!). In front are Nutella-dipped Frozen Bananas, to the right is Walt's smash cake courtesy of Elizabeth's Cakes in Plano, and the cupcakes are a Pinterest creation courtesy of Stori Zicchino (they were a HUGE hit!)

Sock Monkey plates and napkins (Amazon) and the super cute food labels (Oh My Gluestick on Etsy).
I wanted to have BIG BIG party (if you know me at all, this is certainly no surprise), but I also didn't want to be overcome by gifts. Walt's birthday is so close to Christmas, and frankly, he really has everything he needs.  We are insanely blessed, no doubt.  Instead, we asked our guests to bring a book to donate. And did they ever!! Check it:

I bought a large moving box and wrapped it (so it's a BIG box)...(there are the balloons!)

Not even kidding, the box is filled to the brim. Probably 75-100 books?!
Finally, we sang "Happy Birthday" to Walt and gave him a cake bigger than his head (now that's a big cake).  We caught the whole thing on camera (thank goodness we captured something!) and it's great!  I have to admit, the whole time while planning his party (seriously, months) I was getting heavy hearted. Of course I'm sad to not have a little baby anymore, but more so that I'm proud of what a little boy Walt is turning into. Yes, he can be a stinker at times, but in hindsight I even love those moments.  That being said, I was so amped up for the party, I never considered actually getting emotional AT the party. Welp, I did. And it's all on camera :) Enjoy....

A few quick and final words.  This time last year, I was blissfully naive about motherhood.  You really truly have no idea what it's like until it happens. I actually mean that with 100% positivity and not a lick of sarcasm.  There are so many changes I thought would be really tough (not being able to go out to eat like we used to, long nights up with baby, shopping, traveling, etc).  What's funny is we've still done ALL those things! It's CERTAINLY different and requires about 700 times more planning, but what can I say? I'm a planner and maybe I kinda like it?  I'm happy we've been able to weave Walt into our lifestyle and at the same time learned from him how fun it is to stay at home and play with bubbles. :) Having a kiddo(s) is what you make of it... and each recipe is perfectly crafted for each family. It's a wonderful thing. So, Happy Birthday, Walt and thanks for adding some new ingredients to our life!