top ten ways to wake your kid up from a nap.

I’ve only been a parent for six months now (unless you count the nine months I was pregnant and I REALLY THINK YOU SHOULD because being pregnant isn’t, like, easy or anything) but I’ve already mastered the art of waking my kid up from a nap.

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I know what you’re thinking. Why, OH WHY, would I ever want to wake my sleeping child? Well, the thing is, I never want to. I just do it.

In the event that you have a kid you just can’t seem to rouse from mid-day slumber, try out any of these tried and true methods.

  1. Take a shower. Your louffa won’t have a chance to lather before you hear the coos or cries of your sweet, no-longer-napping babe.
  2. Start painting your nails. You’ll be able to paint one hand flawlessly. But by the time you go to add your first coat to the third finger on your second hand, your baby will awake screaming and needing immediate attention.
  3. Lay down to take your own nap. Lucid dreams are all you get before your sweet little one is ready to play!
  4. Make yourself a cup of coffee. You might not be aware of this but the drip coffee maker you have (every model, by the way) is directly connected to your child’s brain. The second the last fresh drop of delicious java hits your pot, your baby’s eyes, mouth, and all-too-audible lungs will shoot open. If you’re lucky, his or her diaper will also be bust open. It’s okay. Coffee is still drinkable if you have to microwave it. 
  5. Prepare for yourself a meal that is best enjoyed whilst warm. Don’t worry. You probably won’t get food-borne illness if you eat your meal three hours later when you finally get back to it. Probably.
  6. Start a much-needed chore. It’s not your baby’s fault that the dishes are as tall as you are and your sink smells like a butt crawled inside another butt and then both of those butts died. (Okay, just kidding, it is your baby’s fault but you can’t be mad at them, right?)
  7. Begin to construct a well thought out blog post. Now you know why this blog has been lackluster lately. 
  8. Shave your legs. Hope you like walking around with only one leg half-shaved because the second that razor touches your overgrown appendages, your baby’s squeals will flood your bathroom faster than your shower head could.
  9. Hold a conference call. Working from home moms, I know you think you’re so smart to schedule your conference calls during your baby’s nap times but LOL LET’S BE HONEST THEY KNOW BETTER THAN YOU DO. 
  10. Put in your favorite workout DVD in an attempt to finally lose that baby weight. More chub to love, am I right, ladies? 

There you have it. Ten sure fire ways to wake your kid up from a nap. Stay tuned — I’m also an expert on keeping them asleep, so I’ll share that knowledge later.

Happy sleep deprivation, moms!

running is tiring. running from yourself is exhausting.

Happy holidays, y’all! I had quite the lovely vacation, though most of it was spent sick in bed. All I can say is that I’m so grateful that our little boy didn’t get what we had. It was a doozy of a cold. (Not the flu, thankfully, but a cold that definitely tried its damnedest to mimic the flu.)

After the Christmas Eve gatherings at church, the three of us piled into two cars and took the four-hour drive to my hometown to celebrate Dax’s first Christmas with my family. As was expected, Dax stole the show — my mom decorated her Christmas tree with only one “real” ornament (“grandbaby’s first Christmas”, of course) along with a sleighful (see what I did there?) of makeshift ornaments of teethers, rattles, and other such toys for him. There was also a truckload of toys under the tree for him, naturally. He was spoiled rotten on his first Christmas and I wouldn’t have it any other way. (Though Mom has, unfortunately, set a pretty lofty precedent for future grandchildren.)

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The day after Christmas, Dan drove back to Tallahassee for work, leaving Dax and me to navigate a few days of single parenthood in the familiar, yet unsettling arena that is my hometown.

DeLand, Florida — Daytona Beach’s dorkier, less popular, yet slightly prettier little sister.

Because I was sick, I didn’t do much venturing out in DeLand. But even when I did, I found myself rolling my eyes — as I tend to do — at the lack of culture, life, and overall substance of this town. As I always do, I lamented to myself over the ways DeLand will never change, as well as the ways it continues to evolve.

I am a brat, you see. Nothing pleases me in this place.

It’s not like DeLand is a bad city. It really isn’t. It’s a pretty decent place to raise a family, it’s extremely close to everything good the Sunshine State has to offer — beaches and theme parks, really — and it boasts a pretty adorable and historic downtown area. But I’ve never been able shake the reality that walking those streets gives me the heebie jeebies.

When it came time to apply for colleges, I had only one rule: anywhere but here. DeLand, for those of you who aren’t aware, is actually home to the very prestigious Stetson University. It’s also a hop, skip, and a jump from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. When I got my acceptance letter to UCF, I reluctantly resolved to allow myself to attend in the off chance I didn’t get accepted anywhere else.

When my acceptance letter from Florida State University, a campus happily nestled in the northern-most part of the state, came in the mail, that was it. My ticket outta there. After high school graduation, it was all I could do to wait until move in day at FSU to pack my 1993 Toyota Corolla with the essentials and spin out of DeLand like a bat out of hell.

Whenever I come back to Tallahassee after being in DeLand, my spirit settles back down. It’s as if I am returning “home” after being in exile. But that doesn’t make sense. I shouldn’t feel like I’m in a foreign land when I’m sleeping in the same house I grew up in. But I do.

The reasoning was unclear to me until I read this blog post by my friend Beth. At the end of it, I found myself slack-jawed. Did I write this post in my sleep? The way Beth feels about Ohio is how I feel about Tallahassee. But why? Tallahassee isn’t my “real” home. DeLand is.

The real reason I left DeLand in a cloud of dust isn’t because the city itself is bad. It’s because of what I experienced when I lived there and things about myself that seemed to only be avoided if I would just run away from them. Literally, in this case.

Broken relationships.

Abuse.

Heartache.

Rejection.

Pain.

Loss.

I experienced so many of these things — from an abusive boyfriend to an absentee father — in this otherwise quaint little town. And, at the naive age of 18, I thought that all of those things would be buried beneath the sands of time as long as I could just GTFO of there as quickly as possible. (Sorry, Mom, for the gratuitously profane acronym.)

But every time I go back, I realize those hurts are still very real. And, evidently, not completely scabbed over. And it is only by immersing myself within these familiar city limits that I can remember how badly I wanted to run away from it all. From myself.

If only it were that easy.

Tallahassee has become home to me, not because it’s more “cultured” (hold back your LOLs, Eric) or has more “life” in it. Truth be told, Tallahassee isn’t all that great. Sure, it has hills and canopy roads but it also has terrible traffic and sometimes it smells like farts.

Rather, Tallahassee has become home because it was here — in this modest state capital — where I learned that I have no reason to run anymore. I have nothing to hide anymore. I am broken, yes, and I am bruised. But those closest to me — the family I have gained here — know it. They know it all. Regardless, they also remind me on a daily basis that I am not the garbage I — and those who I surrounded myself with at the time — thought I was when I lived in DeLand.

As my ten year high school reunion swiftly approaches, I can only hope that I can confidently return with the realization that there is nothing to run from anymore. But until that day comes, I will wrestle with this idea of home and safety and hopefully learn a valuable lesson:

The faster and harder you run from yourself doesn’t get you any farther away. It only makes you that much more tired.

active listening: “crossroads” by sarah mac band.

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I’ve mentioned this before, but there’s something voyeuristic about consuming art created by your friends. I never know how to really navigate it. It’s like you go over to their house while they’re on vacation and rummage through their memory boxes and try to fill in the blanks on your own. It’s beautiful, and raw, but also super sketchy. (Hey, many of you may feel the same when you read my blog! Like, isn’t it weird that you guys get insight into my life without actually hearing it come out of my mouth? Come on, admit it — how many of you stalkers have never actually met me but know my kid’s name? No judgement here, y’all! Just keepin’ it real.)

Anyway. Today’s active listening comes from a band which is comprised of three (sometimes four, when the need for violin or SLEIGH BELLS arises) of my friends. Because I’m creepy like that. This song, “Crossroads” on the album Static and Signals by Sarah Mac Band, has wrecked me since I first laid ears on it. (Don’t be a chump — drop some cash for the album here because OH JUST DO IT, IT’S WORTH IT, I SWEAR.)

Most of the lyrics speak to a younger me, a me that was, for lack of a better term, a hot f-ing mess. And while I’m not there anymore, there are elements of my hot f-ing mess of a past that have weaseled their way into my otherwise completely well-adjusted present and have reminded me of the “crossroads” from whence I came.

I was too young to consider such things as a healthy dose of caution and fear /

I was set on an adventure and how my life would change by things bound to happen there

Five years ago I was standing at a crossroads. I could go one way, a way of the familiar hot mess, or go somewhere completely different and just kind of see what would happen.

So I chose the adventure. I randomly moved to a foreign country.

Sadly, it was not, like the song later suggests, to “save souls for Jesus”. It was to, ultimately, enhance my academic career and, um, oh yeah, mendmyverybrokenheartBUTWHATEVERwedontgottatalkaboutthat.

I knew it wasn’t a financially sound decision; I had my college education paid for (for the most part) by scholarships and grants and would need to take out a butt-ton of loans in order to do it. But something deep within my soul screamed out, You have to do this! You have to go! Don’t ask why now — just go! You’ll know why later. 

I didn’t know it then, but packing “my shit” (a lyrical mention, both in the literal and figurative sense) and hauling my butt across an ocean for a time would end up being the best thing to ever happen to me. The girl I was before I left — heartbroken, reliant on others for validation, battling an eating disorder — died a quiet death on the stoop of 99 Great Russell Street in the heart of London. Her scent is still heavy in the dark tunnels of the tube, but she is but a distant and, thankfully, faded memory.

Fast forward to today: I have a perfectly full heart, a beautiful family, a steady job, a strong community… and all of these things are pretty solid. Pretty stagnant. I’m not really at a crossroads anymore. Rather, I’m on the freeway using cruise control. But others around me, others very close to me, are standing at their own respective crossroads.

New relationships.

New opportunities.

New jobs.

New locations. 

So much newness. So much uncertainty.

But if there is one thing I know, it’s that the refrain of the song is so true.

It’s funny how we don’t know then the weight of what we’re choosing at the crossroads.

Five years ago I intentionally chose to embark on a journey wrought with isolation and uncertainty. That, in and of itself, is beautiful. But it’s what I unintentionally chose that is even better.

Health.

Rebirth.

A fresh perspective.

Self-love.

And so, dear friends. I urge you to not be afraid of the crossroads at which you find yourself. I’m certain that, even if you don’t know it yet, the direction in which your heart tugs you will be the one that offers up the best possible scenario for you. Even if you don’t realize it until years later.

It’s funny how we don’t know then the weight of what we’re choosing at the crossroads.

all we can do is keep breathing.

Today, I have no words. Innocent children were brutally murdered today while they were in a place they, as well as their poor parents, otherwise believed to be safe.

My heart hurts so badly. So badly.

All I have left is a shaken faith that one day we will all be free from this broken world.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” – Psalm 34:18

‎”…Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

‎”He will wipe every tear from their eyes & there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.” – Revelation 21:4

All we can do is keep breathing. All we can do is keep praying. Lord be with Sandy Hook Elementary and everyone affected by this horrific tragedy. Be with us all.

introducing — the nursery! (and my really awesome friends.)

Remember the first time my child humbled me? By, you know, showing up while I was in the middle of forcing myself to try to nest?

Well, the nursery kind of has stayed in that half-nested-but-mostly-not state of disarray since Dax’s birth. Not only did I not have the energy to even think about decorating (too busy climbing Mount Laundry and conquering nightfeeds, probably) but I also just don’t have an eye for decorating. It’s something I’ve always wished I could be, but in recent years I’ve just accepted it. I’m not a decorator. And that’s okay! You know why?

Because I have great friends who are!

My sweet friends Kelby and Sarah volunteered to transform my mess of a second bedroom into a super adorable nursery that is, in my opinion, absolutely perfect for my little boy.

There are still some things left to do, but it’s really cute so far. Check it out!

Isn’t it awesome? Aren’t my friends the best?

Yes and yes!

I’m pretty sure my favorite part of the whole room is the bookcase. For my baby shower, everyone brought a children’s book for Dax in lieu of a card, and all of them have sweet messages to Dax written in them. Not only is the bookcase arranged in the cutest way, but it is a clear reminder of how truly loved Dax has been, even since before he was born! And he’ll have those books for ages. It’s so special to me.

 

working through your crap. or, a crappy metaphor.

This morning while I was getting ready for work, I looked back to the bed to see my husband doing something strange.

He was holding our baby boy upright, while gently pushing on his tummy, and working his legs in a bicycling motion.

“I’m trying to get him to poop,” he explained. “He hasn’t pooped in three days.”

Mind you, Dax wasn’t fussy or anything about his gastrointestinal disposition. He was rather happy, actually. But, concerning this issue, Dan and I were miserable. The kid was farting like he wanted to gas us out. I swear, I thought he had turned against us and was using his own methane to let us know.

After a determined Daddy stuck by him all morning, Dax finally pooped. Not as much as he should have after holding it in for three days, but at least we got some movement going. This will, we believe, encourage more poop later. This is exciting!

Oh, the way your life changes once you become a parent.

You see, Dax needed to poop, no doubt. He just needed a little help from Daddy to work it out. We are not unlike my (almost) four-month-old child in this. Please excuse my “crappy” metaphor and the consequential puns, but this needs to be said.

Sometimes (more often than not, I’d argue) we need people to help us work through our own crap. We might not know we need help, but others around us — those who are close enough to us to “smell” our “farts” — know something’s up. For a while, they may be polite and not say anything. After all, they’re probably just hoping you’ll work it out on your own. And they don’t want to call you out or embarrass you. But other times, if it goes for an extended period of time, they may step in and finally confront you.

I’d really encourage you to get some counseling about this.

Have you talked to anyone about this issue you have? 

Get your shiz together already. Jeez.

Someone close to me said that to me recently. And a year ago. And the previous year.

“Lindsay, you should really consider seeing a counselor about the fact that you grew up without a dad.”

Up until now, I’ve just been kind of ignoring it. Hoping it goes away on its own. Letting those around me “smell the farts” — seeing the destructive behaviors and attitudes born out of this gaping void I have in my life.

A couple weeks ago, I went to the doctor for insomnia. I hadn’t slept more than a couple hours a night for seven days and I’d had it. The doctor gave me a prescription for Ambien but, since I was in tears over being so exhausted, he also referred me to a counselor for postpartum depression.

I don’t think I have PPD. I think I have insomnia, like I always have. And I think I was sobbing over the fact that I was so bloody exhausted. But the doctor insisted I see a counselor, so I shrugged my shoulders and went. I thought it might be divine intervention or something. My time was up. It was time to “poop”. This is how the first couple minutes of my first session went:

Counselor: “What brings you in today?”

Me: “Well, honestly, I didn’t sleep for a week so I burst into tears in my doctor’s office and they said I have postpartum depression. I don’t think that’s the case. I mean, maybe? But probably not. So, at any rate, postpartum depression is what ACTUALLY brings me here today but I don’t think we need to talk about that. What we SHOULD talk about is that my dad left me when I was three years old and I think I’ve got some issues surrounding that and I think it’s time I dealt with them.”

Counselor: “Oh. Uh… you’re pretty self-aware.”

Me: “I try to be.”

And so — here I am, admitting to the entire Internet that I’m currently seeing a counselor. I’m letting someone help me work through my crap. I’ve only had one session but I can already tell it’s going to do wonders for my spirit.

Is there something in your life that you need help working through? My advice is just take the plunge. Get the help you need. We can all smell your farts anyway; stop denying it.

a job built on second chances.

You know what’s funny about babies?

They’re humans.

I know that sounds ridiculous but I’m pretty sure other parents can level with me here. Sometimes, you think your kid is a machine, right? A machine which, when you push exactly the right buttons, will do exactly what you tell it to. Feed Child at X time. Put Child down for a nap at Y time. Do all these things and Child will cooperate with you without fail. And DEFINITELY without tears.

At least, that’s how some of the parenting books may make you feel.

But you know what? Children, even babies, are humans. They’re little walking, talking brains with emotions, desires, pushes, and pulls. There is no perfect formula for child rearing. You just do the best you can today and hope it doesn’t end in a meltdown. And, if you are unsuccessful, you try again tomorrow.

Yesterday Dan and I tried to follow a formula. We tried to stick to a schedule. A method we’ve followed since he was two weeks old. But our child, who is not a machine, decided he didn’t want the same things we wanted.

He didn’t want to sleep.

He didn’t want to nurse.

He just wanted to be awake and wiggle. And cry. And be awake. And not sleep. And be hungry but fight me rather than nurse. And not nap. But lay on the bed with his eyes closed like he wanted to nap. Then cry.

It was a hell of a day, I tell you.

According to my friends and the Interwebs, it’s probably because he’s starting the teething process (WHICH BLOWS MY MIND INTO SMITHERINES YOU GUYS… MY BABY BOY!). Of course. Just after we get through a rough bout of colic, he starts to teethe.

Because he’s a human. Not a machine.

This post doesn’t really have a point. Just letting you all know that sometimes, parenting is hard. And today, I’m thankful that, after yesterday, and after not exactly getting it right, I haven’t been fired from the position of Dax’s mommy. For better or worse, each day is another chance to be the mom I was called to be.

It’s another day. I’m here, and I’m trying. Thank God for second chances. And second second chances. And second second second chances. And so on.

For good measure, here’s a picture Dan snapped of Dax passed out hard after raging all night. Party hard, crash harder, y’all.

For more adorable pictures of the human I helped make, follow me on Instagram.

 

things i love thursday! (november 8, 2012)

Oh heeeeey there, Thursday. You’re looking swell. Oh, what’s that Thursday? You say you’re less than a month away from my birthday? So glad you remembered! How about I repay you with a list of gratitude?

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • HEAT and HOT WATER because so many people are without right now. 😦
  • Dax’s “Trick or Treat” jammies.
  • All of Dax’s jammies, actually. Footies for the win!
  • Barbecue chicken pizza. “Vegan” style.
  • Brainstorming and song writing.
  • Playing Libby’s REAL piano! I want one of my own so badly, but this will do! (Weighted keys, where have you been all my life?!)
  • People who have asked, “How can I pray for you?” and meant it.
  • AMBIEN.
  • Lazy Saturdays with college football and my boys.
  • Playing music with my friends.
  • Staying at church until almost 10PM because a certain baby boy was passed out on my chest.
  • Being productive.
  • Seeing my friends start dating each other!
  • Snuggling on the couch watching The Daily Show with Hamlet and Romeo. (Poor attention-starved kitties.)
  • Getting ADORABLE pictures sent to me by the girl who watches Dax on Tuesday. (See above. Is he not a lady killer? A chunky one at that!)
  • Election night drinking games.
  • And, of course, BARACK OBAMA!
  • Also: White People Mourning Romney. Because duh.
  • The Internet, for that matter.
  • Leftovers.
  • Jeopardy!
  • gChat/IM at work.
  • Coffee.
  • The sweet card my hubs got for me completely unprovoked.
  • “Small is beautiful.”
  • My friends. Period.

What do you love this week? It’s okay if you say Mitt Romney. We’re all friends here.

thoughts on election day.

Gonna keep this short and sweet.

My husband and I are on opposite sides of the aisle. One red, one blue. Last night, we shared a cheap American beer and pored over the sample ballots we got in the mail a couple weeks ago, discussing the nominees for each race, as well as the proposed state constitutional amendments. We had polite, political discourse about who/what we’d each vote for today, thankful to live in a country where we can not only have opposing views but be open and honest about them.

Then, we went to bed. Yes, the same bed. We even kissed each other goodnight.

This morning, I woke up and headed to the polls, feeling both confident about my choices and thankful to have a mate who, while he might not always agree with me, fully supports me and my views and always encourages me to think freely.

Then I got on Facebook.

Damnit, you guys. Why all the hate?

My husband and I are a prime example of how you can have differing political views and still treat each other with respect. I’m not asking all of you to make out with me or anything but GOOD LORD can we keep the hate to a minimum? 

Just because someone is a Democrat doesn’t mean he or she is a mooch without a job.

Just because someone is a Republican doesn’t mean he or she hates gay people.

Just because someone is non-partisan doesn’t mean he or she is a terrorist.

The meaner you are, the more fervently you bully people, doesn’t make you smarter than anyone. It makes you a douchebag. Plain and simple. As a parent, the hatred and disrespect I’ve seen on social media surrounding this election in particular is dumbfounding to me; can you imagine what it might look like in eighteen years when my baby boy is old enough to vote? To cast a ballot containing his views and beliefs? I hope and pray that, despite what hateful and ignorant things people might say to him, he grows up knowing that his opinions are not only permissible but are to be celebrated. THEY ARE IMPORTANT.

Even though we think differently, we’re all Americans. We’re all on the same team — a team that was founded on the right to to be yourself, no matter who you are or who you vote for.

If you are able to, please vote today. Your opinion matters. You matter. To this country and to the world.

friday favorite: grill.

Please excuse the imminent silliness in this post. I’ve gotten a total of, ohhhh, about ten hours of sleep over the past five days. I’m no math major but if I’m not mistaken, that averages out to like five minutes of sleep a day or something. (For the record, I have no one to blame but my own body. My sweet baby boy sleeps soundly mostly through the night, waking only once or twice to nurse then going right back to sleep. Something is wrong with me, you guys. Terribly wrong.)

Anyway.

This week’s Friday Favorite is…

MAH GRILL.

Check out that grill, y’all.

Braces, floss, whitening toothpaste… that’s what’s up, you guys. This post is dedicated to all those things, as well as all the dentists I’ve gone to (and ended up hating, obviously) over the years.

What’s your Friday Favorite?