Self Care: Keep Growing

I can’t explain how important self care is at least once a week.

By the end of the week, I usually can feel my body and mind aching for a little me time. Just a few moments of not being a mom or any of my roles. Five minutes of just being me.

I was able to write another poem and knew I needed to share it here.

Keep growing…

even when things pull you
apart,
it’s just the time to show heart.

you can do all hard
things,
no matter what life brings.

just keep growing.

Throughout life, there’s always times where it feels constant. You might feel like different responsibilities are ripping you apart. Before letting it tear you down, center yourself. Realize how powerful you are. All you have to do is keep growing and going.

After filling out my planner this week, my thoughts were running; which isn’t the goal for that activity. It was nice to be able to take a few minutes and just paint.

I love plants. They remind me we can grow through any conditions, but when we try to give them what they need, they thrive. Humans aren’t too different from plants in that aspect. I see my plants that are slow growing right now, even during spring. They remind me of myself and getting through these last two weeks of school.

Soon, I’ll be thriving. I need to just keep growing.

How have you practiced self care this week?

April is National Poetry Month…

…and a bunch more too.

April is not an easy month for me and this year feels extra difficult too. On top of my intense grief with Jensen’s birthday only four days away, I’m drowning in my last semester of school, work, and Mila’s birthday too. It’s a dangerous combination. Breakdown probably imploding soon.

Through it all, I’m trying to remain positive, even when it feels really hard.

This morning, I didn’t know if I was going to blog today. Instead, I took the morning easy and painted with Mila. Since it’s National Poetry Month, I thought it’d be fun to write a poem too.

My plan is to write a poem a day, whether I share it or not. It challenges me to think inward and be expressive. In a month where I don’t have a ton of time to self reflect or do a lot of self care, this will be my time.

For the first one, I thought it’d be poetic to write one about April.


April.
you hold so much of my heart,
i don’t know where to start.
you’ve brought me life and death,
promise you won’t take my breath.
your sun shines so hot,
my son comes through forget-me-nots.
you have flowers grow all around,
while my daughter runs all around.
you always tempt me to love you,
and one day that’ll be true.

It may not be the best poem around, but I think it perfectly describes this month for me.

Here’s what’s coming up for the rest of the month. Again, it’s going to be really busy here, but I’ll be around… promise.

  • April 4 – Easter & Family Pictures
  • April 5 – Jensen turns FIVE!
  • Mila’s Birthday Party
  • April 14 – Mila turns THREE!
  • April 22 – Earth Day
  • April 27 – Last day of this semester.

When it’s listed out like that, it doesn’t seem like so much. Yet, behind every single one of those is a lot of emotions and time. So, I’ll be just a bit busy.

Let me know if I should share my daily poems. Maybe I’ll paint too!

What Happened to Laundry Weekend?

It was supposed to be a laundry weekend.

Moms know what this means. We had a long weekend so all the clothes in the house were to be folded. Extra cleaning was to be done too. The chore list doesn’t just do itself. It was all supposed to be neat and tidy for the week ahead.

Even though it was supposed to happen, it didn’t.

All the clothes are still waiting to be folded. The floors are swept and the house is somewhat tidy, but not to the level it could have been.

Instead, I focused on the hardest job: being a mom.

Mila and I played outside most of time. We went to get dinner at a food truck and made new friends. When the weather was it’s nicest, we went on a hike. She made me wear silly headbands, pretending to be a pirate. I played along with all that she asked. At night, we cuddled and watched movies. I listened when she needed to be heard. She showed me her new superhero power. We did what we needed to as a family.

Even though there’s a to do list full of chores, it didn’t seem so important in the moment.

At this time next month four turns to five and two turns to three. Time is continuing on, even when I want to hit pause.

I’ll always think about the should be’s, the moments I missed, and the extra laundry too. The Jensen-size-hole in my heart is just aching a little more. It reminds me of the choices I make on weekends like these.

He reminds me of moments and why I soak them up with her. Things around the house will stay, but she’ll continue growing. I don’t want to miss any more.

So, if you ask how my laundry weekend went just know…

All the laundry that was supposed to be folded will always be there. These moments won’t.

The Unwritten Milestone

To say I wasn’t prepared for Mila’s new and unwritten milestone would be a complete understatement. Not only did it come out of no where, it completely took me off guard.

Usually, Wednesdays are to tell you all about their weird things Mila does. It’s one of the things I look forward to sharing most about. They make me laugh to think about and I know other parents can connect to them too. I’m pretty sure all our kids are somewhat weird.

Anyways, I couldn’t even call what she did yesterday weird. It was more like… touching, heartwarming, and inspiring.

She absolutely made my heart grow with one little sentence.

Here’s what happened.

As I was leaving to go back to work after lunch, Mila did her normal goodbye routine. She has to give whoever a hug and kiss, at least two times. Then tells them she loves them and to have a good day. Just when you’re about to walk out the door, she’ll yell, “I need a hug and kiss!” Then run up to you.

Well, this lunch period was a little different. She ended up walking me out of the house, instead of watching me go. When I bent down to give her a hug and kiss, she said something new. Something no one prepared me about: the unwritten milestone.

You’re the best, Mom.

She has never, ever said that before; especially when I’m about to leave her for a few hours.

As she said it to me, she gave me a big squeeze. Then, she flashed her smile and walked back to the door. She waved and told me to have a good day.

In that big moment, I had to take a deep breath and get back to real life.

On the inside, I melted. I swear if it was any other time, I probably would have cried. With all the leaving her lately, I wonder how she thinks of me. That statement let me know everything I was doing was right.

It might sound silly to cherish this one unwritten rule, but no one told me what that one little saying would feel like when they said it.

There’s a high chance I’m not the best mom in the entire world, but I’m the best mom to MIla and that feels pretty good. One day she’ll learn the power in her words and how I’ll always think she’s the best girl.

For now, I’m celebrating this victory in motherhood and the unwritten milestone.

Always Blow the Bubbles.

In a month, Mila will be three.

Three whole years of learning about and loving her. I’m going to admit, two has been my favorite. It’s a gift that I only have a month more to cherish.

If I could go back to a year ago and talk to myself about parenting, I’d tell myself one thing.

Always blow the bubbles.

When she has her bubble bottle outstretched to you, take that ten minutes and blow them. Even when you’re swamped with work and need to clean, blow the bubbles.

This is the purest time in their lives. The world around them is magical.

With all the worries adults have going on, bubbles are the only thing on a toddler’s mind. That and seeing their favorite smile in the world.

Bubbles are, of course, metaphoric.

They can be singing, or playing, or running, or listening, or dancing. Whatever it may be, when your child asks, try and blow the bubbles.

The years go so fast and in the moments you drop everything, time stands still.

Their laugh is all you can hear. And their smile… well, there hasn’t been a sweeter sight. They’re engrossed in the moment as much as you. All it took was focusing on this second.

Work, a dirty house, and other adults will always be around, but they won’t be little forever.

There will come a time where they don’t want you to blow bubbles. They’ll just do it themselves. The freedom you crave now will come and those toddler cuddles and desires will fade away.

Two and these toddler years are hard, but they go away so soon.

For us, two ends in a month.

If three-year-old Mila’s mom came to talk to me today, I bet she’d tell me the same advice…

Always blow the bubbles.

What advice would you give to toddler moms?

A Letter to My Daughter During International Women’s Month.

Dear Mila,

There are so many powerful women that have changed our world. Way more that I can list, but here are some.

Ruth. Michelle. Malala. Susan. Harriet. Clara. Amelia. Frida. Anne. Marie. Georgia. Mila.

Yes. You’re going to change the world. You are powerful.

No matter where life takes you, there are so many opportunities at your fingertips. It doesn’t matter who you want to become or what you want to be. You have the ability to do what you want.

In a world that I’m not so certain of, I am certain of your value and worth. We live in a time where girls can grow up and not be looked down on just because they’re women. Women are superheroes. You, my small, little woman, are a superhero.

As you grow up, I’ll never pressure you to do anything you don’t want. I will, though, show you how much women have overcome throughout the history of the world. It’s important to know that growth. Better yet, to help you realize your strength and importance in the world.

You independent and intelligence is going to get you everything you’ll ever want. When those don’t seem enough (and believe me they are), you have the support of women everywhere.

I don’t know what the world will be like when you’re in your twenties, but I hope it keeps evolving.

It’s my dream that you’ll have a society where there’s equality and justice. I don’t want to ever worry about someone ever hurting you and then getting away with it. I hope there won’t be any threat to your right to choose what you to with your body.

Mila, you’ve been born into a generation full of power and opportunity.

I’m so excited to see you grow into whoever you’ll be. Always know, you’ll have your mom’s support. No matter if you end up becoming a dance teacher or a world leader.

Just being you is powerful.

All my love,

Mom

Another Spooky House Story.

Accurate description of what my face looked like this morning…

I had another post planned for today, but I wanted to write this out before it got lost in the others.

My house and I have had an up and down relationship. Yes, you read that right. The house I live in is sort of it’s own… entity. I’ve had a lot of spooky things that have happened throughout the years I’ve lived there.

In 2019, the house got so bad that I had to get it blessed. Honestly, it was a really scary time to live at my house. I considered moving, but wanted to try everything to stay there. Since then, it’s slowed down a lot. But, there are days, like this morning, that bring back that eerie feeling.

Back to this morning.

All night, I was in a deep sleep with really vivid dreams. So, when I woke up before my alarm, I was a little drowsy.

I opened my eyes and it looked like my living room light was on. Then I heard two things. The first was Max breathing and sounding like he was getting pet. Remember, he gets excited and when he gets attention, he sounds different (that sounds strange, but animal owners will understand). Then there was this squeaking. I thought it sounded like Mila’s one dump truck toy, but I had picked up the toys last night. So she must have found it and started playing with it again…

It’s not unlike her to get up and play with Max in the morning. She can reach the lights and knows where her toys are stored. I relaxed thinking it was just her.

Until, I felt someone move in bed beside me.

I turned my head to see Mila in a deep sleep. So, it wasn’t Mila out in the living room playing with Max and her truck.

After that realization, I involuntarily let out a sigh.

The truck stopped squeaking and a few seconds later, Max got up and ran into my room. I was afraid someone had heard me wake up and left, but I didn’t hear any footsteps or the door open.

Instead of getting up, I just laid there for a few minutes more.

There was no way Max could get the truck out of the bin and how could he make that squeaking sound. Maybe that sound was just in my head. I had been dreaming all night. It had to be explainable because my house has been so calm.

Before I got out of bed, I told myself that the truck was put away and I was psyching myself out.

When I walked into the living room, her yellow truck was flipped on its side. Just like it had been played with and put back down. Cold chills instantly went all over my body.

I know not everyone’s a believer, but it felt like there was someone in my house or Mila was playing out there. It’s the strangest feeling to not know what happened out there, but I know the toy was being played with and Max was getting attention.

No matter what anyone things, it definitely had to be a spirit or ghost. I didn’t feel threatened. It literally felt like a child was in my living room waiting on me.

Let’s just say, I’ll be burning sage in my house later tonight.

How Anxiety Makes a Scary Situation Worse.

Story time.

Three nights ago, I had a scary incident. I still have the bruises on my arms to remind me what happened.

Since it’s happened, I’ve been unsure if it’s a loss mom thing or a general parent worry. Either way, I wanted to share it with everyone who reads this little blog because you’ve followed my family’s story this far.

So, I have a barn door for my bedroom door. The doorway is in between my bedroom and living room. My mom and I built it and it’s pretty heavy and sturdy. It’s fallen off the tracks a few times, mostly when I’ve been messing around with it and no little living thing is in the way.

The other night, Mila and I got home later than normal. Max was super excited to see us. As I’ve stated before, he can get a little hyper.

I fed Max and gave him a bone to calm down. Afterwards Mila and I walked into my bedroom and I didn’t latch open the sliding door. Max figured out we weren’t in the living room anymore and took off to my room.

While he was running, the door was shutting. Mila was going toddler speed and was only a few steps in front of the door when it happened.

Everything that happened next was in slow motion.

Max tore through the door and knocked it off the track. I saw it pop off and lift up. Then it started to tilt.

I yelled for Mila to move. All my anxiety could just imagine the door smashing into her.

Of course, she was frozen because she didn’t know why I was yelling. The dog looked scared… probably because it hurt a lot and he knew I was upset.

As it falls more slowly and everyone’s still froze, I had to jump into action. When I took that first step, time caught back up.

I threw my arms under the heavy door as it neared Mila. Somehow I kicked her to safety too.

The door landed on my wrists and forearms. There’s cuts and bruises, but nothing I can’t handle. Mila was upset and the dog was too, but everyone was safe.

After it all happened, I just kept thinking of what could have happened.

What if I was in the laundry room and didn’t see it happen?

What if I didn’t catch it in time?

How serious would it have been?

Would she have gotten badly hurt?

What can I do to make this safer?

Even though everything turned out ‘okay,’ all those questions scare me. I don’t know what I would have done if she had gotten hurt.

I think after losing a child, the thought of losing another is always right there.

Anxiety is always in me. When I’m not with Mila, it skyrockets because I can’t be there to save or help her. It’s exhausting to always keep worrying and thinking of the bad.

These cuts and bruises on me remind me that she is safe and I’m doing my best.

I’m never going to be able to protect her from everything; I’m just learning how to manage that.

Do you overthink situations like this? Or can you just put it in the past?

One Thing that Drives Moms Nuts.

There’s an age old question that plagues every household. My family of two has it and I’m sure families of a lot more have it too.

I’m not sure how it starts and I’m sure as heck not sure how to resolve the problem either.

So what’s this great issue? Take a look…

One type of silverware is lacking way more than the others. Our family’s most lost item: spoons.

Somehow Mila and I have been able to lose all but four spoons. I started off with a ton of regular spoons when I first moved in. Then bought the rainbow ones last year.

They’ve all but disappeared for no reason.

When I went on the great spoon hunt, here are some of the places I found them:

  • In the couch
  • Under Mila’s bed… that she’s never in
  • Dollhouses
  • Bags
  • Cars
  • Toy box
  • Laundry basket

I have no idea how so many spoons have disappeared, but I need a secret set to store away for when this happens.

So, what type of silverware goes missing in your house the most?

To the Women Who Puts Everyone Else First:

I know how these days feel.

You try to share you love to everyone you hold close to your heart. No matter what’s going on, making sure they feel loved is most important.

There are nights you don’t sleep to make sure everything gets done for them.

When you need something like clothes or a new haircut, you make sure your kids or partner have them first.

Sometimes you spend hours listening to others to make sure they’re okay. You know your problems will work themselves out eventually.

Instead of a long hot bath or shower, you rush through yours or share them with your littles.

Your meals are cold because you make sure everyone else gets full first.

We put them first because we love them. We’re the glue the helps holds those we love together.

But…

You deserve the same love you give to others.

Never forget that you deserve a good nights sleep, a new hair cut and clothes, knowing your problems are important, a long shower or bath, and a hot meal.

That’s just touching the surface of all you deserve and need.

It’s hard to put yourself first or accept the love that we give out. When you do, don’t feel selfish. You are in need of those things too.

You cannot continue keeping everyone else afloat when you’re drowning.

Allow yourself that space. You’re worth it.

When you put yourself first sometimes, you give all those you love the opportunity to be around the best you.

More importantly, you get to give yourself that love that you pour into others.

You deserve all the things you want and more.

Love,

Another Woman Who Puts Others Before Herself