Saturday, May 11, 2013

Because Even Good Moms Have Really Bad Days

I had to use the bathroom. God forbid I actually have to poop in the middle of the day! Of course, all hell has broke lose in those few moments that I took for myself. 

The big kids are fighting.

"Gracie pushed me down!"
"But he took my baby!"
"I had it first!", he pushes her right in front of me.
"BOTH OF YOU IN TIME OUT, NOW! No pushing, stop looking at each other, face the wall. Timer has started."

I smell something. I know this smell all too well. Ugh - SHIT. Literally. "Paisley Ann! Where are you?", I holler out. The giggle comes from the playroom. Upon entering the playroom that was spotless this morning, I find it wrecked beyond recognition. There sits Paisley in the middle of heaps of blocks, naked, brown nastiness on her hands, a bare, dirty bottom on the floor, soiled diaper face down beside her. Stay calm, Marissa, I tell myself.

Take control of the situation. Send Gracie to get three Wal-Mart bags. Bag up blocks at the scene of the crime, set aside. Bag up dirty diaper, wrap it tight, place wrapped diaper into another clean bag, set aside to take to the outside trash later. Grab baby, place in bath, scrub down.

Mid-scrub down, screaming ensues. Gracie & Reilly are fighting again. Holler out for both of them to go to each of their rooms and sit on their beds until I'm done. Not that they'll listen to that. Finish washing Paisley, get her out and diaper her. Reach into her drawer for shorts to ensure another diaper fiasco is avoided - empty. Crap. Laundry! Set her free with only a shirt and diaper, praying for the best.

I tell Gracie & Reilly they can color at the table as long as they share crayons and play nice. Yeah, right. I dump the bag of blocks into the sink filled with warm water and bleach, clean up and Lysol the playroom floor where Paisley's dirty bottom once rested. WordWorld temporarily distracts Paisley while I grab a basket of clothes and head to the garage to toss them into the washer. 

"Mom! Paisley's going outside!", Gracie screams. I peek my head out of the garage door to see my freshly cleaned baby sliding her body down each dirty step, heading toward her outdoor toys. Abandon the clothes, wrangle Paisley back inside, entice her back to the playroom with Goldfish and a fresh cuppy of ice water.

I walk back into the dining room to see crayons scattered across the table and floor - no big kids in sight. "Gracelyn! Reilly! Come clean up the crayons now, please!" No response. I set out to look for them. "Reilly, Mom's gonna be mad at you!", I hear Gracelyn in her room, I think. Walk into her room, they're not there. Peek into the kids' bathroom. There sits Gracie on the potty with Reilly standing next to her, three toilet paper rolls stacked on top of each other...soaking wet. Stay calm, Marissa, I tell myself once again. Toss the ruined toilet paper, talk to Reilly, take away his new Iron Man toy, then notice his clothes are also wet. Reach into his drawer for fresh clothes - empty. CRAP, the laundry! I knew I was forgetting something.


This is an hour, probably less, of a typical day in the Peterson house while Daddy is at work.

I'm not a perfect mother, not by a long shot. I've yelled at my kids; I've let five too many curse words escape my lips in their presence; I've bribed them with sugary snacks to get ten minutes of peace on many occasions.

Do I get stressed out? Not yes, but HELL yes. All the time.
Do I feel like a failure? Every single day, almost.
Do I sometimes beg for a break? Oh, yes.
Do I still love my kids, even when it gets "bad"? With every ounce of my being. Say or think otherwise and I'll make your death look like a freak accident.

Every mom out there has had a bad day, a bad week. That doesn't make them a bad mother.

It's not all rainbows and butterflies. It's not adorable Pinterest crafts and sweet, smiling photo shoots every day. Do those beautiful moments happen? YES! Those little terrors that wreak havoc have good days, GREAT days, wonderful moments where I wish I could freeze-frame time. But, that's not the 24/7 reality.

I know I am blessed. I KNOW. I would not trade one horrible, tantrum-filled, poop ridden, sanity-taking day with them for a million amazing days without them, and that's the God's honest truth.

Motherhood is a beautiful privilege denied to many deserving women, this I know. I have never and will never take my children for granted.

When I talk about a bad day or when I make a sarcastic remark about my children, that doesn't mean that I don't love them, that I don't cherish them. I am well aware of how lucky I am to not have one, but THREE, great kids. Humor, even if sometimes in bad taste, is my way of coping with the stress of motherhood.

I may want to hang them upside down by their sweet little toes on a clothes line while I sneak away inside for an adult drink and gummy candy, but that doesn't mean I'd actually do it. Get a sense of humor, people. If I had to be straight-faced serious while parenting my three kids, I'd go a week before I'd need to be admitted into a mental institute.

There are some women, a lot of them mothers themselves, that love to tear into other mothers. Degrading you. Dissecting your every word. Pointing out all of your parenting flaws, all while claiming to "not judge". It's them with the problem. Not you. If they've taken time out of their perfect lives to criticize you, you've already won. Don't give into their attention-seeking antics.

Do your best. Hug your kids, kiss their noses, smell their hair after a bath, read them books, tickle them, tell them you love them, tuck them into bed, turn on their princess/super hero nightlight... then run like hell for the kitchen and pour yourself a drink. You deserve it.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Secret Subject Swap: Letter to My Kitchen

Welcome to Take 1 of April's Secret Subject Swaps. This week, 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts!

Secret Subject Swap

My Secret Subject was submitted by Karen @ Baking in a Tornado! Here it is:

Write a letter to your kitchen.

Well, here goes nothin'! Hope you enjoy the real life stories from my kitchen!


Dear Kitchen,

My gag reflex is already going crazy just bringing this up. I think you know by my gagging, almost crying, and non-stop bitching that the other day was not my idea. How was I supposed to know that he'd bring in his latest kill and tell me to clean it in our kitchen sink!? Never mind the fact that they were still warm and nerve-twitching. 'It's the circle of life, baby.' is the only consolation I got after yelling, 'YOU KILLED THE EASTER BUNNY, ASSHOLE!' But, let's face it - dirtier things have happened in that kitchen, no?


Miss Kay's Protege


Dear Kitchen,

Breakfast for dinner always rocks. Despite the fire alarm cheering on my pancakes, we ended on a strong note. Besides, I don't think anyone ever gets the first pancake perfectly perfect. It's either undercooked or burnt like hell. Plus, you know what they say: "Pancakes are like husbands; there's no shame in throwing the first one out!"


Chef Mom


Dear Kitchen,

Don't act like this was the first time and we both know it's certainly not the last. He kissed me, Kitch! On my neck. Like that. We both know what that does to me. I was jello in his hands, I couldn't help myself! Quit judging me - the kids were in bed! Ok, ok, so maybe they were thrown fruit snacks and threatened if they stepped foot outside the playroom for the next ten minutes. (pssh, we all know it doesn't even take that long, but I can't call my husband out like that.) But c'mon! It was a natural act with a few unnatural noises. It's not a big deal and at least I cleaned the scene with Clorox wipes after!


Busy Momma in the Kitchen


As much as you may think that these letters to my kitchen only came from my imagination, I think we all know I'm not that creative. All statements made were complete facts straight from the Peterson Kitchen. No judgment, right?! :) I wish I could say that no bunnies were harmed in the making of this blog post. But we both know I can't.

Here's a list of the other fantastic bloggers taking part in Take 1 of SSS:


Check them out! I'll definitely be checking in on all of them to see who got my secret subject and to see the creativity all of them put into their prompts!



Saturday, March 16, 2013

And Now You Know For Sure: I'm Crazy.

Before I begin this post, you'll need to know a couple things:

1) The property that we just moved onto is owned by a very rich (and somewhat famous) doctor whom I will refer to as 'Doc' from now on. Close friends and family know the identity of our amazing landlord, but in order to protect his privacy, I will not publicly disclose his actual name.

2) I believe in a lot of crazy things. This post will address my belief in ghosts and the like. Beware! :)


When we finally got the official news that Doc had decided to rent to us, despite us feeling like there was just no freakin' way that we'd actually landed such an amazing deal, we started telling people. Everyone was happy, especially us, considering that our new home was literally one mile from the only other home we'd ever known as a family. It's even on the same road! It'd be an easy move and we're able to stay in my hometown that I love so much.

When we told my Grandma, who has lived in this town for well over 30 years and knows everyone and their dog, she said, "Oh, you're moving into the old Phillips' house?"

" We're moving into [insert Doc's surname]'s old house.."

"Yeah, and he bought it from the Phillips' a long time ago.", replied my Grandma.

"Oh, you know them?"

"I knew them - they've passed on."

Wait, WHAT?!

This is the part where my dramatic personality comes into play and at that very moment I decided in my mind that the place was freakin' haunted. No ifs, ands, or buts. Someone that used to live there died? Yep. Haunted! It's a no brainer.

We moved in without a hitch. "Well, it doesn't feel haunted...", I told myself the first night we stayed. And, lo and behold, with the exception of a few noises that I passed off as 'old house creaks', we made it a whole week living there without our bed being elevated or dishes flying everywhere like I originally feared when I decided the place was haunted.

But, it didn't take long before things started happening...
My parents came over the Sunday after we moved in. Raymond & my Dad had left to go do something at my Grandma's, so it was just my Mom, me, and the kids. We were in the main living room when we heard a loud knocking on the front door. I got up to open the door, thinking it must be the guys. Before I could make it to the other side of the house, they knocked again, so I hollered out, "I'm coming, hold on!" When I made it to the door and opened it, there was no one in sight. I went back over to the other side of the house and my mom asked where the guys were. "It wasn't them.", I told her, "No one was there."

My Mom thought the guys were trying to mess with us, so she called my Dad and to our surprise, they were still at my Grandma's house, more than a mile up the road. Now, if we lived anywhere else, I'd think someone had, like, ding-dong ditched us or something. But, for one, we live way out in the boonies. Two, there's a coded gate to get on the property. Three, we're in the dead center of a 450 acre ranch - there's our home, the Doc's mansion, and three cabins (that are about a 1/2 mile away from our home and vacant at that time) that he rents out to people that want to enjoy the amenities of the ranch. Not exactly the prime spot for a ding-dong ditcher.

So, conclusion? GHOST.

Just last weekend, my parents, grandparents and one of my cousins came over to go fishing. Later that evening, my parents left. The kids were getting fussy, so my Nana, my cousin, and I decided to head back to our house and leave Raymond and my Papa to fish.

Our front living area is one giant room - the living room is right beside the dining room, which opens up into the kitchen. We were in the living room and I had just finished telling my Nana about the weird noises we hear. A few minutes passed and I walked into our kitchen, leaving my cousin, my Nana, and the kids in the living room, when all of a sudden there was a loud crash - we all looked up, startled, and saw that one of the chairs at the dining table had completely fallen over. It's a good, solid wood dining set. Nothing around it, no one beside it and it just fell over.

Conclusion? A GHOST!!!

The latest 'ghost story' happened just this past Wednesday. This is the first incident that my husband has witnessed and he's the biggest skeptic, thinks anything like this is a crock.

The door that leads into a second living room that we have turned into a playroom does not close all the way. We've tried to push down on the door handle as we close it, thinking that would do the trick, but the house settling has made it impossible to close all the way.

Raymond and the kids were outside playing and I was in our bedroom getting dressed. I had just peaked out the window to see what they were up to, before going about trying to find a pair of undies in the enormous piles of clean clothes that I had yet to fold and put away. Elbows deep in clothes, I practically jumped out of my skin when I heard a door slam very loudly. "QUIT SLAMMING THE DAMN DOOR!", I yelled out, sure that it was one of the kids. Moments later, I heard Raymond banging on the playroom door, hollering, saying he couldn't open it. I grabbed a nightgown, slipped it on, (still hadn't found undies!) and walked out to the playroom door. It was shut. Completely shut. I turned the knob, pushed but it didn't budge.

 "Why in the hell would you close it?!", Raymond shouted through the door. WTF? I didn't close it! Finally, after a couple minutes of banging on the top of the door to get it un-wedged from the uneven door frame, we got it open.

"Marissa, why in the hell did you slam the door that hard?"

"UH, I DIDN'T slam the door, Raymond. I was in our room! Are you sure it wasn't one of the kids?"

He said that all of the kids were outside with him when they all heard the door slam. He thought it was me. When we both realized that it was none of us, and knowing how hard it had to of been slammed to get it shut all the way, we both shuddered. We didn't even have to say the words to know what we were both thinking.


The next day I decided to ask the overseer that has worked here for a while about it, expecting for him to laugh it off and call us crazy. All he said was, "I was waiting for y'all to say something, to be honest. My wife and I have witnessed some very odd things around the entire property since we started working here, the main place being that house."



Do you believe in ghosts? Have any stories? Tell me about it!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Blog Voice

I've been in a blog funk lately. I wrote a blog last week but it was just... forced, I guess? I felt like I had to write something for my followers to read, but I just wasn't really feeling it. I feel a little bit like that with this post, too.. but I'm just going to keep rambling and hope that it comes out right.

I keep asking myself, Why am I Blogging? What do I hope to get out of it? The truth is, I started blogging just to blog. I wanted to be able to ramble (like now), be myself, and just kinda sorta chronicle whatever is happening in my life. Then, I started and didn't realize what all came along with it. All the rules, the hops, the follower gain/loss, trying to 'sell yourself' to other bloggers and/or readers. It's all exhausting! It's kind of what has kept me away for a bit.

I do want people to read my blog. I want followers. I want people to like me, my blog.

But, I won't pretend to be someone I'm not to get there. I won't change my writing style or constantly write 'crowd pleaser' type posts all the time.

I'm not always funny. I'm not always positive. There are days when I will have a great post that flows from these fingers, that sends all of you into belly laughs or maybe even tears. More often than not, though, this will just be a sort of diary for me. I want to write about my family, our days together - good and bad - our everyday happenings in the Peterson home. My random, all-over-the-place thoughts, my opinions. I do not claim to be a writer, because I'm not. I don't want this blog to be strictly one way or another. I'm going to post what I want, how I want.

I'm well aware that I won't get 'big' by writing like this - but, I swear on a pile of Skittles, I do not give even one ounce of a crap. That's not my intention, and considering how often these funks come along, I don't think I'm cut out to be a 'big' blogger. I just want real followers that can relate to me - and I've found some. I love reading their posts and I hope they feel the same.  

These are just a handful of the amazing women that I've been able to connect with, thanks to blogging:

Your Daily Dose of Damn!
Diapers...or Wine? 
A Grace Full Life 
Momma Candy 
The Insomniac's Dream 

Out of the 100 or so blogs that I follow (and I LOVE 'em all, LOVE LOVE LOVE), these are the women that I've been able to connect with outside of my blogs, whether it be Twitter, FB, etc. And I hope to connect with many more! There's so much beauty in being able to get a real piece of a 'stranger' through their writing, to be able to say, 'hey! I can relate to this!', to feel a sense of community, friendship.

I've said it before, I spent so much of my adult life trying to be someone that I thought everyone would like. I lost myself to the crowd. I won't let that happen again. What's the point in people following, commenting, liking my posts if I'm putting on a front? I want people to like the REAL me. I want to feel all warm and fuzzy when someone tells me that they can relate to what I've written, because I'll know that it's all real, it's all me.

I've made friends, lost friends, drifted away from friends, and repaired some broken friendships in this past year. Surprisingly, I have more friends now, as the real Marissa, than I ever did as the people-pleaser (and-sometimes-fake) Marissa. And, get this, it's not just the quantity, people - the quality is amazing. I have friends now that I love so much, that I trust implicitly, that I can be myself around without fear of judgment or behind-the-back talking.

I started blogging right at the point when all of this new-found 'realness' was at it's peak and I'm so glad that I started.

So, I guess I don't need to really find my 'blog voice', because the only voice I want on here is mine. The real one. And that's what I've given so far.

Just hang in there with me, will ya? Read on through the boring, love me through my funk(s), and anticipate the funny.. I promise it's in here somewhere!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Moving, Monster Trucks, & Why I Need More Maternity Jeans

I feel so out of it. It's been more than a week since I've been on Blogger/Facebook/Twitter for more than five minutes - which, I'm not complaining about that. But, I've never in six years been this busy. I've ignored phone calls and texts from dear friends, not because I don't want to talk, but because I'm either busy when they call/text or because I'm that freaking exhausted that I just don't want to get off my hind end and grab my damn phone.
Not to mention, my body thought it'd be super awesome to kick me while I'm, my uterus decided to tear down her walls while I'm tearing down our home's walls.. Nice.

Update time? I think yes!

We're moving. We've lived in our home since 2007. This is the home that we experienced all of my pregnancies in. This is the home that we brought all of our babies home to. This is the home that all of our children took their first steps in. Every mark on the wall, every scuff on the floor.. they all have stories, memories. And now we're leaving them all behind.

We are happy with this move. It came suddenly, we were heartbroken, but through every tear and prayer, we've stayed strong. And, new opportunities have presented themselves to us - opportunities and blessings that we never would have dreamed of. When we tell people, it sounds like we're lying because it truly does seem too good to be true. But, true it is...

Now comes the OMG, I WANT TO RIP MY HAIR OUT part. Packing and moving is the PITS. I never realized how much crap we had accumulated until I'm going through each room thinking, Why in the hell do we even HAVE this?! And, we not only have to pack up a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with over six years worth of furniture/toys/clothes/tools/random crap with three kids, but we're moving to a home that is already fully furnished. Fully. Furnished. So, the things that we don't want in the new house have to be packed up and moved to our landlord's storage (by us); we have to pack/move the stuff from our home into the new home; decide what of our things need to be stored and then pack/move those things into storage. Then, after all that is done, we have to deep clean and repair things in our old home and THEN we can finally settle in to our new home.

Good thing is that our new home is on the same road, less than two miles down from our current home. Cool, huh? We have amazing friends and family that have offered to help us. And, this isn't a hurried move - we have the entire month of February to slowly pack/move things between houses. So, it could definitely be worse!

We are ready to take on this new chapter in our lives and take full advantage and give many thanks for the new opportunities we have stumbled upon!

Excuse the blurry picture!

Monster Trucks. Heck freaking YES. This past Saturday was our third year taking the kids to see the Outlaw Nationals in Austin, Tx. We had a blast, like every year. My parents, brother, sister-in-law, nephew and grandparents all went, too. This year, they were going to attempt to do a flip in a Monster Truck. A FLIP, Y'ALL. It was a failed attempt, but still pretty cool to watch a huge truck land upside down.

We got there way too early, though, and Reilly did not find it very entertaining to watch Sgt. Smash drive around the dirt track. He wanted to climb the bleachers, he wanted something to eat, he wanted something to drink, he had to go potty again and this time 'it's really pumming out!', he wanted to ride Sgt. Smash again, he didn't want to sit by Daddy, he wanted Papa, now he wants Daddy again, wait Meme has candy, now he wants her.. And, literally, the SAME deal with Paisley! She didn't want to be held, but then she did. She didn't want her earphones on, she wanted Meme, Meme had to go smoke and she wants to go with her but I won't let her, now she needs her diaper changed... goodness! Gracelyn just kept begging for more food, but nothing like the other two. All in all, though, it was a great time. Truly. I love doing things as a big family and even if it wasn't all perfection, we left there with smiles on everyone's faces and way too much sugar in our bellies.

Maternity Jeans. If you know me in real life, you know I'm not shy about the fact that I still wear maternity jeans. They're comfortable and I like them. Plus, I'm terrified to know what size jean I'm really in. I had babies in '08, '09, & '11, so I pretty much lived in maternity jeans for three years. I started out my pregnancy with my first baby in a size 7 jean. I'm positive that I've WAY more than doubled but not quite tripled that size..and I'd really rather not know. I've been too lazy to do anything about it diet/exercise wise, so it's totally my fault. And, as soon as I get off my ass and do something about it and feel comfortable, I will totally venture out of the maternity section and maybe try on real jeans that button and zip! But, until then.. I need more maternity jeans.

My two pairs of jeans suffered an unfortunate case of chub rub in the thigh area, which finally wore into a hole. Now I'm down to two pairs of black slack-like maternity jeans that I bought while working at the attorney's office, and my gauchos. I've been wearing the black slacks & gauchos for the past two months and have had plenty of opportunities and a generous amount of funds to buy more maternity jeans... I just haven't. I need some jeans, STAT.

Motherhood Maternity, here I come... and if any of the sales girls ask how far along I am, I'll proudly reply, 'She's 18 months old!' :)


Monday, January 28, 2013

We All Have Our Moments

We all have our moments of doubt. Those please-go-away moments when you have so many what-ifs swirling in your mind that the negativity just consumes you.

I'm a positive person. Anyone that knows me in real life can vouch for that. I have an optimistic outlook on most things and always try to see the silver lining.

But, we all have our bad moments. Or days.

Today at a little after 3 o'clock, I had a bad moment. 
I can't, at this moment, disclose the exact source of my worry. ( I will SOON!) But, I went from all smiles to pressing tears after just one simple thought: What if something goes wrong?

That one thought sent five million horrible scenarios and daunting what-ifs straight to my already overwhelmed brain. I sat there, thinking about everything that could go wrong, reasons why we didn't deserve this, and how it was just too good to be true. 

Why, oh why, do I do this to myself? My stress level went through the roof, I couldn't hold the tears back, and I just laid on the couch, pressing my face into the couch pillow. I tried so hard to just calm down. Was I seriously just laughing and smiling three minutes ago? I have a problem.

As I was wallowing in self-pity and creating an unimaginable amount of unnecessary stress in my own head, I heard my almost-five-year-old daughter calling my name.  

Great. She's not going to nap again and she's going to wake the baby up. My sour mood was not making me a very patient or nice Mom. 

(Before I go on, a little piece of info: Gracie has imaginary friends. She talks to them a lot. She also has a wonderful light in her heart and ever since we talked to her about God, she grasped the concept and ran with it. Now, she absolutely loves 'talking to God' and we often hear her late into the night and during naptime talking.)

I stalked down the hallway, sighing and ready for a battle with my rarely-takes-a-nap daughter. I opened her door and saw her sitting up in her bed with a big smile on her face. The smile softened me a little.

"Babygirl, it's naptime. I know you aren't tired, but you know Paisley and Reilly are. If you don't want to go to sleep, at least be quiet so that they can, OK?"

She looked at me innocently, with those big brown eyes that seem to be filled with so much more knowledge than her age should allow. 
"Momma, I just need to tell you something. He says I have to."

"Ok, Gracie. What do you need to tell me?"

"Mom, do you still talk to God?"

That caught me off guard. I didn't know where she was going with that question, but I really just wasn't in the mood for her little games. (I know, I sound horrible. :( )
"Uh....yes? Look, Sweetheart, it's really time for a nap. C'mon, get under the covers and just close your eyes for a little while."

"No, Mom, wait. He just wants you to talk to Him."

"Who wants me to talk to who?"

"God. He makes me happy when I talk to Him and if you talked to Him, you'd be happy, too."

Whoa. I was not expecting that. Her big I-know-something-you-don't-know smile and her tiny hand reaching for my frozen body to give me a comforting rub, brought out tears. Whether they were tears of joy and wonder or fear and confusion, I don't know. How did she know I needed this? Did He tell her?

Whatever the case, she was right. I haven't prayed in weeks. I've held all of this stress, worry, and even anger inside of me. It's eaten me up. I don't have to or need to carry this around with me. And, I certainly don't have to do it alone. 

I leaned down and scooped her up into a big hug. She giggled. I cried. This is not the first time she's ever said things like this in a time of need. She is always giving me words of encouragement from the Man Upstairs. Whether they're coming from her or Him doesn't matter - they help me. And she loves it.

I tucked her into bed, kissed her forehead, then went to the living room, dusted off my Bible, sat down at the table and prayed. I ignored my phone vibrating, my laptop beeping at me. It's amazing how quickly I felt the weight lifting off of my heart.

The way that I pray is just talking. We all have our own way. For me, I sit down, close my eyes, take deep breaths and then just spill. Whispering, crying, laying it all out for Him. Then, I turn to the Bible and drink in every word. 

After having my much overdue moment with Him, I checked on the kids (who are all asleep now!) and then sat down and wrote this.

Everything is not all figured out yet. There's still a lot that is up in the air with our situation. But, I know we'll make it. We always do. Until then, I'm just going to relax, resting assured that's what meant to be will find a way. And, even if things don't go as we planned, we will be OK.

Now, for any of you rolling your eyes and thinking this isn't real or that it's just stupid, PLEASE do us both a favor and unfollow, unfriend, and leave me the heck alone. 

Do I believe she's actually having a conversation with God? YES. Wholeheartedly. IS she, really? Who knows! But, this relationship has comforted her and made her happy. And, whether it's her or God saying those things, it doesn't matter.

I know this type of post is not everyone's cup of tea. I'm aware that there are many different views, beliefs, etc. You don't have to share my beliefs, but at least respect them and don't post anything negative!



UPDATE: Feb. 2, 2013 - found an awesome new blog hop & linked this post to it! Check it out here.

The Next Step

Friday, January 25, 2013

NICU Baby, Champion Feeder, & OMG, She Ate My Nipple!

It's Theme Thursday, y'all! This week's theme is: BREASTFEEDING
Head on over to Something Clever 2.0 to see what it's all about!

Anyone that knows me in real life knows that I've got some serious monsters on my chest. They started growing in 4th grade and just never stopped. Add three pregnancies to the mix and holy mammoth, I've got backaches like no other.
It seemed like an obvious choice that I'd breastfeed. It's natural, women have been doing it since forever, and it'd be a damn shame to let these triple D's go to waste. (I actually wear a DD, but I have some serious overflowing going on, so I assume if I spent more than $12 on a bra and got one that actually fit, it'd be somewhere in the DDD range. But, when you're a cheap-o and buy your bras at Wal-Mart, you've got a limited selection!)

Gracelyn Rayne:

25 hours of labor and one emergency c-section later, a 7lbs 4 oz. baby girl made me a first-time Mommy in April of '08.

Big IV in her tiny head. Numerous needles pokes on her precious hand.

Immediately following birth, she suffered a Pneumothorax and both of her lungs collapsed. After the c-section, the first time I even laid eyes on her was on a digital camera. Yeah, a digital freaking camera. My entire family got to see her before I did. (That's another story for another day, though - totally wanting to do a post on my birth stories!)

After 24 of the longest hours of my life, I was finally able to visit her in the NICU. I wasn't able to hold her until Day 3, but I was in my room pumping like crazy. That Liquid Gold came in FAST & I was happily labeling and sending it by the bottle-full. On Day 3 when I finally was able to hold her, after examining her whole body, counting every toe and finger, and a few minutes of skin-to-skin, I pulled my boob out and brought her face towards my nipple. Nothing. She wasn't trying to latch or anything. But, I was determined and did NOT give up. After about 10 minutes of trying, the nurse informed me that shift change was about to take place and we would have to leave the NICU. Feeling a little defeated and very full (boobs, not tummy!), I handed her back to the nurse and went back to our room.
The next few days went about the same - unsuccessfully trying to get her to latch and pumping like a mad woman.

When we finally got her home, I was still bound and determined to master breastfeeding. I tried and tried and tried. And tried some more. She absolutely refused. But, I kept on pumping and was able to provide her with a tummy full of Mommy milk for a full 4 months. That was when we got the news that Mommy's boobs would soon be shared. Yep, I was pregnant! Again.

Reilly Tucker:

In the beginning of June 2009, our family grew by one adorable baby boy. He weighed in at 7lbs 7 oz.

I love love love the newborn froggy legs!
Having experienced the pumping side of breastfeeding with my first born, I was absolutely determined to boobie feed my little man. There wasn't any ifs ands or buts about it! He was delivered via scheduled c-section and I made sure everyone in that damn hospital knew that he would be a BREASTFED baby and that they better keep every bottle and pacifier away from him!
He was born with zero complications and promptly brought to me just minutes after I was brought into the recovery room. Just mere minutes after he was placed in my arms, he was happily and hungrily latched onto me and feeding away. Success!
He was an awesome, champion feeder and I can proudly say from Day 1, there wasn't even one problem with him latching! I exclusively breastfed him for almost 6 months.

Paisley Ann:

In early September, a tiny baby girl made her big debut and completed our family. She was our smallest baby, weighing in at only 6 lbs 10oz.

This was her first trip to the San Antonio Zoo!

She was a perfect little feeder - at first. She would feel my bare skin and it'd take her about .5 seconds of rooting to get latched onto my nipple and boom - she'd nurse herself into a Mommy milk coma!

She fed perfectly for the first few weeks or so, when I started to notice some discomfort during some of her feedings. My nipples began cracking and bleeding and I wanted to scream every time she latched on.

I nursed through the pain until one day... She was about six weeks old. I was sitting in my Nana's kitchen, talking to her and my Mom when Paisley started fussing, signaling that it was time to feed her. That day was a particularly bad boob day for me - I was insanely sore and it seemed like the skin on my nipples was paper thin. I picked her up and carefully placed my nipple in her mouth and.... CHOMP! She pulled my nipple into her mouth with the strongest suction imaginable and I immediately cried out in pain. "MOM! Get her!! Someone! Get her off, please!" I was screaming, trying to get her off of my breast. But, she had formed such a strong suction that it was nearly impossible to get her off - she laid there unaffected by the chaos, sucking away. You could literally see the blood, my blood, pooling around her mouth. Finally, my Mom came to the rescue and carefully stuck her finger into Paisley's mouth, breaking the suction and pulling her away from me. As soon as my Mom whisked her away, blood streamed from my nipple down my shirt. She had literally sucked the skin right off of my nipple. It was raw, throbbing, and hard to even look at.

Even after getting a miracle-working ointment from my OB/GYN and receiving encouragement from my husband, I was still terrified to breastfeed her again. I continued to pump, but I slowly started producing less and less. We began supplementing a few times a day with formula when she was eight weeks old and when she was about twelve weeks old, I stopped breastfeeding all together. I still sometimes regret not trying to breastfeed her again, but I am confident in the choice I made.

Regardless of how long I breastfed or whether or not formula was given, my kids are healthy.
Healthy, happy, and mine!


Here's a shot of  Paisley Ann when she was a little over a month old. That's what you call a Mommy Milk Coma! Also, just wanted to show the baby to boob ratio! :)


Sunday, January 20, 2013

It's Been a "Shitty" Few Days, Y'all.

And, I do mean that literally.  
Shitty as in POOP.

The shit started on Friday and has lead into today. Hoping this isn't a preface to the new week.
Still not quite following? Hold on, I'll get to it...

Crap Incident Numero Uno:

It's Friday afternoon. Nap time. I'm cleaning up the house playing on the internet, munching on some raisins, listening to music.. chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool, all shoo... Sorry, couldn't help that.. Back to the story.
I hear Reilly start to whine in his room, so I go to check on him. He's groggy, half-awake, and mumbles something about pee coming out. I pick him up before an accident happens, rush him to the bathroom, pull down his Super Hero underwear and  he just stands there.
"C'mon, Bubba, go pee pee."
He still just stands there, blinking slowly like he's still half-asleep.
I nudge him and tell him to hurry up and go potty so he can lay back down. He looks up at me and says he wants to sit down instead of standing up. I tell him no, that he just needs to hurry up and go standing up, 'cause mommy's free time nap time isn't over yet. Still, he just stands there.
Right as I'm about to pull up his underwear and stick him back in bed, he lets out what I believed to be his introduction-to-peeing fart - I expect to hear pee hitting the toilet water at any second. 
All of a sudden I catch a whiff of his fart, I thought. But, then, the smell mixed with no peeing and his awkward potty stand-off all start to add up in my Mommy brain.
I quickly look and....SHIT. Literally. 
As soon as I realized what was happening, it was like the flood gates opened and let's just say, it wasn't solid...

Crap Incident Numero Dos:

It's Saturday morning around 7:30. For anyone that knows my kids, you're aware that that means there's still a good two to three hours before any of them make a peep. (I know, I hit the freaking jackpot on my kids' sleep cycles!) Paisley's crib is in mine and Raymond's room, until she moves up to a toddler bed, at which time she'll finally move in to share a room with Gracie. Anyways..

I heard her moving around, but she didn't start babbling like she does when she's awake, so I figured she was just getting comfortable before drifting off again. I had stayed up fairly late the night before, so I had zero plans on getting up before any of them woke up. I rolled over and quickly drifted back off to sleep.

Two things woke me up approximately 4-6 minutes later.. the smell (every mom knows it) and the sound of her giggling. She had pooped. A LOT. Then proceeded to remove her diaper and play in it. It was in her hair, all over her hands and chest, ALL over her crib bedding.

I swoop her up, get her in the bathtub, scrub her down. Once she's clean and poop-free, I get her out, wrap a towel around her, bring her into my room and lay her on the bed to dry her off (because, you know, the changing table that's right by her crib is much more useful as a storage area for miscellaneous crap rather than an actual changing station). I get her dried off and turn around to grab a diaper off of the changing table. She crawls across the bed, giggling in all her nakedness. I smile and reach for her with "claw hands", making a growling sound that sends her into a fit of laughter as she tries to get away from me. I scoop her up to give her kisses and naked baby cuddles before putting on her diaper. Only, I didn't get that far. As I'm kissing and nuzzling into her neck, her belly laugh guessed it - the giggle shits.

The Final Poop Incident that Prompted this Post:

It's Sunday afternoon around 1:15 p.m. My parents had just left after stopping by to visit. I went to lay the kids down for a late nap due to fussiness. I was coming out of Gracelyn's room from giving her a kiss and busted my ass right outside her door. FREAKING DOG PEE. Knocked the wind out of me, hurt the hell out of my butt bone, and got freakin' dog urine all over least, that's all I THOUGHT it got on me. Pissed off, I stormed into the bathroom without cleaning up the mess or even looking at it, ripped my clothes off, and jumped into the shower. After quickly scrubbing down, I opened the curtain, grabbed a towel to wrap my hair in, wrapped another around my body and stepped out.......SHIT.
I guess I didn't see/smell/feel that when I slipped on the pee, the dog also left a big ol' dump that my ass unknowingly smashed right on top of. In my haste to get in the shower, I had taken my clothes off right outside of the tub and the crappy side of my shorts was face up. Nice, right?


SHIT: I guess some days you just step in it.


UPDATE: After talking to my good friend Shawnna over at A Few Miles In Her Shoes , she let me know that she had a 'shitty' few days as well. She even posted about it! Go read about her poop woes, too! Click here. :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Get to Know the REAL Me.

My story:
I'm Marissa, obviously. I'm a mother to three - two girls, one boy. (Gracelyn is 4, she'll be 5 in April. Reilly is 3, he'll be 4 in June. Paisley is 16 months old.) I'm a wife to a corrections officer, Raymond.

I'm definitely not the Susie Homemaker type. And, I'm almost positive that a Stepford wife would survive 57 seconds in our house before running out screaming.

BUT, I wasn't always like this....
I spent the first three years of my marriage and life as a mother trying to be perfect. All it did was create numerous insecurities within myself when I realized how not perfect I am. I never lied about my life - I was truly TRYING to be perfect. I'd spend hours and hours cleaning every day. Waking up well before my kids woke up, to clean; staying up way past when they went to bed to clean more.  I would change my kids' outfits 3-5 times a day, trying to make sure they were always clean and cute. 
To MySpace and Facebook, I was perfect. Pictures would prove how spotless my house always was, how clean and adorable my children always were. 
But, I was miserable. 
Not with my life, just with myself. 
I have an incredibly loving and supportive husband and I love the life we've created together. 
But, the pressure to always be perfect had me becoming such a neurotic bitch. 
I had friends that were my age who were also wives and mothers - some of them seemed to be perfect without trying. Why couldn't I be like them? They just cleaned their house for two hours; I only cleaned for 45 minutes. They're saving money; we're living paycheck to paycheck. They're getting a new car; now we need a new car. Their baby walked before age 1; mine didn't walk until 13 months - am I a bad mom now?
 It was all a competition in my head. And I was losing. I felt like the worst wife, the worst mother, the worst WOMAN. If I wasn't the absolute best, then in my head, that meant I was the worst. And what was the point in trying at all if I couldn't be number one?

It took me three years to realize that I didn't have to be perfect - that I was stupid, immature, and petty to be competing at all. And, to find out that the moms I was so jealous of weren't perfect either. They were competing just like I was. They were jealous of me for all the things I envied in them. 
I took my newly found knowledge and changed.  
Deep down inside, I dug out the real Marissa. The real Momma. The real wife.

I started over - I gave myself a freaking break. I let the dishes wait. I stopped doing laundry every freakin' day. I let my kids be kids and get dirty without rushing to clean their face for the 17th picture of the hour.
I started to enjoy the day, not try to conquer it.

I'm happier now. My house is sometimes messy. There's often dishes in my sink. I don't think I'll ever have less than one basket of laundry. My kids are still crazy adorable, even with dirt on their faces from playing outside and stains on their shirt from going a little crazy with the ketchup at lunchtime.


I still get stressed out over the house. I still doubt my parenting. I still fear that one day my husband will realize how amazing he is and how not-so-amazing I am and will divorce me. 
I'm insecure. 
Every day, I fight myself in my head, force out the negative thoughts that bounce around daily, and tell myself that I am good enough.
These are things I'm still working on.

Which leads me to....
This is me:

Along with striving to be a perfect mother and wife, I ended up hiding who I really was inside. I tried to be who I thought everyone would like. 
I tried to be the super nice girl. But, I soon became a doormat to assholes in my life.
So, I tried out being the mean girl. I soon realized that didn't feel right either. 
I tried out the prim and proper way, but quickly found that those were two words that would never describe me.

I had to "find myself". Try hard to hone in on who I really was, what I really believed in. 
I discovered that I'm not a cookie-cutter version of anything or anyone. I'm just ME.
I'm not a perfect mom.
But, I'm a damn good one.
My kids think I'm the bomb diggity. Most days.
They're smart and learn new things every day. One day they learned the days of the week in sign language and the next day they learned a string of profanities after Mommy stubbed her toe.
I do believe in spanking. A swat on the hiney keeps my son from acting a total fool and teaches him right from wrong. And, whatdoyaknow, he doesn't hate me and he's a normal kid that laughs and loves.
I love doing crafts with my kids and the proud look on their faces when they've made something on their own is priceless.
Craft time is sometimes a total disaster, though. Like the time I went to wash paint off of my oldest daughter's hands and my youngest daughter grabbed a LARGE container of glitter and dumped it all out - on herself, two dogs, the coffee table, and the living room floor. In under two minutes. I cried for a good five minutes before even attempting to clean it up.
I'm not a perfect wife.
I used to correct him way too much on SO many different things. Now I just let him do things his way - it still gets done, maybe not how I would have done it, but at least I didn't have to do it. 
I took him for granted. I still do, sometimes. But, I make it a point to tell him as much as possible how thankful I am for him. How lucky I feel to be his.
I selfishly make him stay up late some nights. But, we've made more memories at 1 in the morning that we'll cherish forever.
I'm an emotional mess some days and even though I know I'm being a hormonal bitch, it's hard to pull myself out of those moods. I always make sure to "make it up" to him once the mood has passed.
He does a lot more around the house than normal husbands probably do. He also probably gets laid more.
Bargaining with sex is the best tool ever.

I'm not a perfect homemaker.
My floors are sticky a lot. I hate cleaning. (But, I do clean, my house is never "disgusting".) I've learned that I don't mind cleaning as much if I have country music blaring.
I have to re-wash at least one load of clothes per week due to forgetting that I put it in the washing machine and it staying there for more than a day. I also restart the dryer a good three times before forcing myself to just fold/hang up the damn clothes.
Clorox wipes, Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser, and a good-smelling candle are my must-haves.

Why I Started Blogging:

I wanted to showcase the real me. I wanted to have somewhere that I could come and express my opinions, ramble, rant, rave, connect with awesome people and come out of it feeling better, not worse.
This blog is ME. It's my voice. If you talked to me in real life, this is what you would get. There's no front. I type the way I talk. I didn't start this blog to pretend to be something I'm not. I did enough of that in the years past.

When someone visits my blog and reads my posts, I want them to know they're getting a piece of me. The real me. Not the me that I think everyone will like. There's nothing fake happening on this blog. There's no pretty words that aren't backed up by real actions, real feelings.
It's. Just. Me.

The beauty of blogging is that I don't have to care what anyone else is thinking about what I'm writing. Why? Because it's MINE. It's all mine - it's my little clubhouse on the web. 
Don't like it? Don't come here. 
You don't have to be my friend, follow this blog, see any posts if you don't want to. 
No haters allowed!
This is me. Who are you?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tuesday Topics: 8 TV Shows!

Found an awesome link-up to fill my Tuesdays over at Tiffany's blog, The Austin Family Diary! They're already on week 3 (which is where I'm starting)! And, I know it's technically Wednesday already, but I haven't gone to sleep yet, so it's still Tuesday for me! :)

With my husband's 12 hour shifts and the fact that we rarely ever get 'date nights' or nights/days/anytime away from our crazies, we make it a point to still spend quality time together. Every single night, after dinner, baths, story time, and bed time for the kids, we have Momma & Daddy time. ;) (not to be confused with our 'sexy time', which has no specific time slot - we want it, we do it!)

We lay on opposite sides of the couch, intertwine our legs, and relax together while watching whatever show of ours comes on that day of the week! 

Here are 8 of our favorites!:

1.) Law & Order: SVU : Absolutely, hands down, NO competition, FAVORITE SHOW EVER. I was pissed when Christopher Meloni got the ax and almost swore off the show completely, but Mariska Hargitay kept us loyal. I proudly and confidently recite the introduction to the show, including the imitation of the gavel at the end. Because I'm cool.

2.) American Horror Story: Asylum : I've never watched a more twisted, confusing, effed up show in my life. And I LOVE it. One hundred and ten percent addicted to this crazy world that AHS has created. It scares the hell out of me, makes me cringe, and I just can't get enough. Our Wednesday nights have never been freakier.


3.) Duck Dynasty: Who can resist such an awesome bunch of redneck millionaires?! Seeing how humble and down to Earth Miss Kay & Phil Robertson are, still living in their beloved double wide, despite being multi-millionaires, is just plain fantastic. The Robertson boys still respect their Momma and grown or not, what Miss Kay says goes and I just love it. Uncle Si is the epitome of a redneck genius - is there anything he CAN'T do?! I'm impatiently waiting for the Robertson Clan to fill our Wednesday nights again.

4.) Dance Moms: Yes, even my husband loves this show! We started watching out of interest in the girls dancing (we want to get Gracie in dance) and we stayed for the drama. And, oh boy, does this show produce some drama. Everyone loves to hate Abby Lee; the Moms claim to be a 'family', yet totally trash one another repeatedly, and the fights that ensue thanks to Abby's no-bullshit attitude and fondness of pissing the Moms off, are anything but boring! Not to mention, the girls really are AMAZING dancers!

5.) Swamp People : Alligators and crazy Cajuns, what more could you want in a show? Watching these hunters live off the swamp and wrangle an 800 pound alligator as a day job is nothing short of entertaining. Troy is our favorite Cajun! (And, our hearts broke and we sent sweet, Southern prayers to the Guist family when the Swamper of swampers, Mitchell Guist, passed away doing what he loved, in May of last year.)

6.) River Monsters : If you're already afraid of the water, do not ever watch this show. EVER. Ever. Holy jeebus, this show planted a fear in me that has me afraid of any body of water bigger than my bathtub. Even though much of the show is seen  through my fingers (that are attempting to protect my eyes) and narrated by my, 'OMG, OMG, OMG, THAT'S IN A LAKE?!!' every few minutes, we still come back for more. It's the show I hate to love.

7.) Long Island Medium : Theresa Caputo was blessed with a beautiful gift. I go through a half a box of Kleenex every time I watch this show. How wonderful is it to not only hope and pray that your loved ones are at peace and watching over you, but to hear it - in their words, after they've already passed? Just typing this I feel tears brewing. I know the heartache of losing someone far before their time that you love and hold dear. And, if I ever have the chance to be even remotely close to the same area as this woman, I fully intend on stalking her and hoping for a message from the other side. 

 8.) Dual Survival : Two men with extensive backgrounds that allow them to possess exquisite survival skills, purposely putting themselves in life-threatening situations and teaching you how to survive in some of the world's most dangerous environments? Yeah, it makes for some great TV. I've learned SO much from watching this show; although, if I were ever in a situation where I actually needed the skills that they've taught, I'm positive I'd forget everything and be freaking screwed.


So, those are my favorite shows! What are yours?


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Liebster Award! Oh, My Gosh, I Didn't Prepare A Speech! ;)

Thanks to the super awesome Chantal Hickey over at Adventures in Hickey Land for nominating me! 

What is the Liebster Award? Here are the Rules!:

This award is given to new or up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers...the award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support one another.

1. Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
3. Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post.
4. Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
5. No tag backs.
My 11 Random Facts:
(I'm halfway cheating - some of these "random facts" will come from my All About Me section, because at the end of it, I list random facts about myself!)
1) I hardly EVER reheat leftovers, especially not any type of meat. I'd rather just eat it cold.

2) My older brother, Josh, and I have a super close relationship. We have more inside jokes than I can count. I'm told it's annoying to be around us because him and I go into our own little world!
3) Raymond & I want a fourth child more than anything. With the knowledge that another pregnancy would be life-threatening, we've (literally, TODAY) come to the resolution that we want to adopt. In a couple of years, once we're (finally) home owners and are a little more financially stable, and when we have some obvious extra funds, we will definitely pursue adoption! We just feel like we have so much love to give, whether it be to a child that is biologically ours or not. It makes no difference to us.

4) I'm a BIG time crybaby. I cry over almost everything. Happy, mad, sad, overwhelmed; movies, songs, even COMMERCIALS have started up the water works. 
5) I daydream. A LOT. I often lie awake in bed for hours and hours on end, just daydreaming!
6) I detest the smell of change or metal. I've vomited by accidentally smelling my hands after handling change.
7) I honestly wouldn't mind if I had to be pregnant for the rest of my life. I loved every second of every pregnancy.
8) I use parenthesis a lot when typing. (too much? Nah)
9) Raymond and I have christened every hospital room after I gave birth to each of our three kids. Hey, all three were c-sections, so it's not that bad. ;)
10) I quote my favorite movies/shows a lot.
11) I totally rock at playing, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on my daughter's piano.
My 11 questions from Chantal:
Who was the very first blogger you started reading regularly?
Last great book you read?
Scarlett. It's the sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind, written by Alexandra Ripley. I've read it approximately a thousand times, but just recently finished it again.
What magazines (if any) do you just have to read every month?
I don't read any magazines on a regular basis, really. The majority of my magazine reading happens when I'm in the checkout lanes getting groceries and I put them back when I'm done. I had a Parenting magazine subscription, but only because it was free. I cancelled as soon as it asked me to pay for a subscription renewal. I'm so cheap.
Best parenting or marriage adice you've ever recieved?
Parenting advice: 'Do not listen to anyone's parenting advice.' from my mom. She told me to find my own groove and that as long as my kids were happy, healthy, and safe, it didn't matter how I did it. She's a smart woman.
Are you a couponer? If so, extreme or newbie?
I tried. I really, really tried. I just never got the hang of it. I'd like to start again...maybe when we move?
If you could pick any other place in the world to move to, where would it be?
I honestly wouldn't want to live anywhere other than Texas. I love it here. Visit? Absolutely. Live? No. Texas is our home!
Who was your first follower on your blog (if you know!)?
I believe it was Chantal Hickey. :)
What is your favorite color combination?
Anything with teal/turquoise! 
Which of your Pinterest boards (if you have one) has to most pins?
My LaughOutLoud board.
All time favorite DIY project you've seen on Pinterest (or elsewhere)?
There's NO way I could answer that!! I have SO many favorites!
Where is your "happy place"?
Other than my husband's arms (cliché much?), I'd have to say within the pages of whatever book I'm reading. It's like leading a beautiful double life, when you're one of those readers that submerses themselves into their books, which I definitely am.

My 11 Questions for my nominees:

1) Can you name three blogs that you regularly read?
2) Are you brand-loyal to any product?
3) Do you think of yourself as a leader or a follower?
4) Given the chance, what would you go back and change in your past?
5) If you only had one last meal, what would it be?
6) Are you a side sleeper, back sleeper, or tummy sleeper?
7) What was the reason for the last time you cried?
8) Favorite movie?
9) If the summary of your life had a theme song, what would it be?
10) What are you wearing right now?
11) Favorite TV series?
My nominees:
(Some of these bloggers aren't exactly new, but they ARE super awesome!)

If you choose to participate in this whole Liebster Award deal, post a comment and let me know so that I can go read yours! 
 (For anyone that I tagged, if you'd like me to remove your blog completely, just let me know!)
You don't HAVE to do this, I'll only cry for like a week at the most, if you don't want to... :)