I never went far for college. Never packed my belongings into a handful of suitcases, bags and boxes, minimizing what was important based on what I could fit into a car and then fit in a dorm space. I never had to watch my parents drive away from me in a car out of a town in complete excitement and fear. Instead, I stayed close to home and enjoyed the perks of living college out with home cooked meals and my Dad available any weeknight evening for a math or science tutor session.
It is summertime! Well not like officially, officially, that happens – June 21. In my mind though, it is summer and that happens when the temperatures decide to stay in the 70+ degree digits and the kids are out of school. Now, Lo is always out of school, so I live through my friend’s children.
And, while I pretend like Fall is my favorite season because I like the weather, tall brown boots and fall foods like hot cider and warm homemade soups, really deep down, I am a summer girl. I am pretty sure if things went my way, I would live poolside in a zone that stayed 70+ degree digits year round.
When your heart feels heavy, where do you turn?
There is a lot on my mind these days. In fact, I feel like I am at a point where I literally cannot sit through another meeting, attend another training, open another lengthy email, hear another terrible sadness, watch another devastating event on the news – because quite frankly I cannot fit anymore in my brain. Nope. Nada. The capacity of what goes in is full and until I can start eliminating some of the madness currently left behind, I am a gazed over human.
My heart hurts. A month ago I lost a family member suddenly and tragically. It was unexpected. The death was torture to my family who now feels riddled with guilt and “could of, should of’s.” Not to mention words unsaid and situations left unmended.
There is sickness. People near and dear to me and / or my family are suffering. Fighting silent battles where worry and fear exists as we wait for the medical community to answer unanswered questions.
Soon my dear brother who serves this country will depart for his first overseas mission and while we are blessed with a small amount of time away from home, it is scary to think of him in a foreign land with little to no contact.
And then there is the way of the world. The evil and the heartbreak. The attack on Syria and the sad, horrible images of suffering and death. I cannot get the vision of the father holding his two nine-month old twins who died from the warfare out of my mind. I close my eyes tightly and scream in my mind and nothing will ever erase that image.
When I awoke the night before last, just after 11 pm, after accidentally falling asleep next to Lo, I carried her to her crib and I turned on the news. I read the headlines of our country bombing Syria and I turned to the bathroom to shower. As the water poured over my head, I cranked the heat up more and let the hot water trickle down my neck and back. I felt sore all over. Like a nagging sick feeling.
As I climbed into my bed, my safe place, I felt the tightness creep into my chest and anxiety fill my body. I did not sleep. No, I tossed and turned all night. Waking and thinking of one of many worrisome images in my mind. Stresses within our home, within the family, within work, within the world.
When I awoke, not much had changed and instead I felt like all day I carried around this feeling of uneasiness and sadness.
I know I am not the only one with this sick gut feeling. In fact, I know for a fact so many more people in my inner circle who are suffering a painful loss and I know this feeling I feel cannot compare with the world they now face. And, yet, I find myself aching for them too.
Faith is the only constant that I know I can 100% undoubtedly rely upon to pull me through. Last night as I tossed and turned, awaking each hour and sitting up to look across the room at our alarm clock, then as I laid there staring at the ceiling, I turned to prayer. Sometimes returning to the same words time and time again. I would eventually calm down, breathing would become more normal and soon I would drift to sleep. My anxiety became manageable. It was like the weight of the words and the heaviness of the matters transferred from my heart and into God hands.
As Christians that is what we are taught to do. Turn to God.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
We know this yet we have such trouble casting our worries away and praying to God for the strength, the guidance and the grace to let go and let God take control. I know worrying won’t cure others, stop the piles of stress, fix what seems like in this moment as unfix able problems, and yet I continue to worry.
It takes hours and days and months of build up until finally I find myself at a point at 2:00 am, staring off into the darkness of my bedroom, overthinking and anxious. But, soon the light shines through and while I do not physically see the rays striking my face, I feel its warmth in the darkness and know that sometimes the greatest things in this scary, stressful world are the things we cannot see. And, in that moment I feel and know God’s grace.
We are back – Logisms Part 2. When I typed that in my mind I heard the voice from the Cha Cha Slide. You know when the guy says, “This is Part 2.” Is there a Part 1, Part 3? I have been to many, many weddings since the Cha Cha Slide was first introduced and to this day, I am always cha cha in again and turnin’ it out to part 2.
Because I want no reader in the dark, This is what I am talking about.
So, I am back with Logisms Part 2, and if you missed Part 1, well, you missed out. Luckily for you I care and will easily redirect you to Part 1, Here.
Yes, you read the headline right. Parents, I figured it out. As I stared at my wide-eyed, what the heck just happened to me two-year old, who laid on the bathroom floor in disarray looking up at me, it hit me… living with a toddler is like living with a drunk person.
You see, I asked my daughter to join my in the bathroom as I was home alone with her and needed to iron my clothes. Our ironing board is attached to the back of the bathroom door, so technically I lock myself in when I need to iron. Of course, she could not do damage with me by her side unlike if I was locked in a room with her free to roam the house. It was two minutes. That is it! And, in two minutes she caused enough damage for an hour worth of repair work.
“Look at me Mommy!” And as I turned, my two year old, Lo, had moved her potty over to the wall, stood on top of its lid and was hanging from our towel rack. When she lifted her little feet backwards into the air the towel rack ripped in a hurry from the wall, pulling some of the dry wall, and she crashing to the ground.
Yep! Just like living with a drunk person.
#1 – They spill their drinks all over the floor
I have physically witnessed my daughter laugh as she squeezed the life out of a juice box and watched the sugary substance spill all over the floor. Leaky bottle in the bed? No worries! We like sleeping in wet bed sheets. If there is a drink in our home without a screw top lid, well then we are just that – screwed.
#2 – They are always getting hurt
Clumsy! My toddler will walk straight into a wall or door. This morning when we opened the front door to leave, she tumbled outside onto our porch. Flat out tumbled. It is like her feet are their very own tripping hazard. She had so many bruises on her face that my husband posted this to SnapChat last month.
#3 – They cry… a lot!
Their emotions are all over the place. Lo has cried recently because I would not allow her to open glitter eye shadow she found in my old makeup bag (heck, I cried that I wore that stuff), because her bottle of milk seemed too cold, because the toy bucket in the shower had cold water in it from the night before, and because I told her she could not eat butter out of the butter container with a spoon.
#4 – They ask why way too much
Everything is why? Everything! Our dinner conversation the other night went something like this.
Me: Eat your food.
Me: Because it is dinner time.
Me: Because you have to eat before you go to bed.
Me: Do you want to be hungry before bed?
Me: Because I said so.
Lo: Because Why?
#5 – You cannot have nice things
Hence my story above. We now have a hole in our bathroom wall and ripped drywall. All thanks to a “Look at me Mommy,” hang! Don’t even get me started on my carpets!
#6 – They do not care what scene they make in public
It does not matter that the restaurant is full and your client is seated with his wife across the room. They could care less if the lady at the end of the grocery store aisle goes to your church. Really care less as they knock over the display and you are left deciding if you should clean it up or run for cover. Heck, the mere fact that there are eyes upon them means nothing, their emotions show through regardless of who is around. There is no need to impress and zero care about causing a scene.
#7 – The flip their dinner plates
Don’t like that? Ah! Just throw it off the table. We love cleaning up beneath and around you.
#8 – My phone has drunk dials
I do not know why I have not yet learned from my mistakes. Lo has called a business contractor on my husband’s phone at 9 pm at night and Facetimed one of my old colleges. Awesome!
#9 – They want pizza, Oreos or chicken nuggets for breakfast all the time
My daughter wakes up asking for gummies! Partly my fault since we do give her a vitamin gummie so she then thinks she can have a bag. She will cry for pizza for breakfast and ice cream just before dinner. It is like she could eat all the time.
#10 – They can fall asleep anywhere
In the car, on the floor, across your lap, any where other than their crib or bed. My favorite was after a long day and a missed nap, she walked in the house, boots and snow coat still on, scuffled over to her toy couch and face dived into the cushion and just laid there.
Motherhood and all its craziness, I mean greatness! More motherhood reads here:
- When You Give A Two Year Old A Mini Shopping Cart
- The Best Parenting Advice I Can Give
- Sunday Morning and Poison Control
Logan was born on a cold winter night. Three weeks early, the little bug not yet out of my womb already earned her first tally on the parenting wall of scares. A wall we all put up the moment we find out we are to be parents. Tallies that we mark with every tumble and fall, scrap and bleed. After laboring for 5 hours, we were rushed into an emergency c-section and then there she was. All red and swollen and wide eyed.
“Where have you placed me?” I often wonder each child thinks when they enter a room full of strangers in masks and bright overhead lights piercing rays into their sweet innocent eyes. And, then they hear your voice and know they are home.
Having a child changes your perspective of the world. It happens instantaneously. For some, you recognize the change the moment the newborn is placed in your arms. Others it take a few days or weeks. Sometimes it occurs when you finally leave your child to return to work and maybe for others it isn’t until you take a moment to really slow down, look around you, reflect back and realize that you did change in that very first moment you looked your baby in the eyes.
This past Sunday morning started out like most. Pajamas and coffee in bed. A little bed head toddler beauty squished in between us for morning snuggles and sausage thawing in the refrigerator, awaiting the pitter-patter of our feet as we make a break from beneath the warmth of our bed covers to rise with the sun to start a new day. Where did I lose you? I lost myself at sausage. Cause’ Lord knows I forget to thaw meat out and then scramble by placing it in a scalding bowl of hot water and praying to the thawing Gods.
This is the morning I envisioned in my mind pre-baby and still even living crazy Sunday after crazy Sunday, envision will miraculously occur.
Picture perfect none the less. The real Sunday went a little something like this.
- Lo fought me to go down Saturday. Our fault. We missed her mark and paid royally. Let me go back a bit further and explain that Friday night I finally got the new bed sheets on the bed that I purchased on Thursday. We only had the real joy of sleeping on them, Friday night. Lo decided Saturday morning was the morning and a good time to pee in our bed. Not even 10 hours on our mattress, I stripped the bed, yet again, to rewash the new sheets. So, by Saturday night when the clock struck 10 pm and my wired toddler poked me in the eye balls and flopped around like a fish out of water, I carried her into her own crib and crashed hard. On the bed with our missing fitted sheet. When Nathan finally awoke from the couch and pulled back the comforter at midnight, I knew he was tired too as he did not even bulk at the sheet-less situation
- By 6:45 am on Sunday, Lo was calling out our names. We convinced her the “sky was not awake” (Frozen reference since she is slightly obsessed) and were able to convince her to give us about 30 more minutes of laying in bed time. Notice I did not say sleeping or even cuddling. 30 extra minutes to lay in bed.
- Eventually, she crawled over my body and onto the floor and stood at the foot of the bed so we could only see her eyes, forehead and hair and repeatedly yelled,”Down. Down. Down.” Until we got out of bed.
- At this point we caused our own chaos with an hour and a half until church. I skipped the breakfast ritual and opted for cinnamon rolls only to discover an odd oozing liquid that seeped out and onto the baking sheet. Realizing we were passed the expiration, I reluctantly tossed them. I say reluctant, because I Googled – Can you eat Cinnamon Rolls pass their expiration date? and then figured stomach cramps weren’t my thing. That morning we ate oatmeal and berries. I know, we are great people. Eating healthy as our last resource. I literally told Nathan, “It takes no food in the house to eat well.”
- Lo hates showers and baths when the timing is right and when they are necessary but is obsessed when you have 40 minutes to get yourself and everyone out the door. So, after a quick shower, she was bathed, dried and dressed for church.
- I let her play in our spare bedroom, which houses my childhood Barbie dream house that is now hers, while Nathan and I rushed around getting dressed, gathering an offering and packing her diaper bag. I believe I was semi-curling my hair when I heard Nathan call out my name. When I walked in the room our daughter was laying in the bedroom closet, against a pile of debris (otherwise known as junk you don’t know where else to put so you shove in a closet) and just starring at us red faced and weird. Yes, weird. “What is wrong with her?” Nathan asked. She was coherent. She kicked me when I approached, so I assumed all was well and I scooped her up, checked her over and then placed her back on the floor.
- Minutes later when we returned to check on her. She had returned to the closet, squatting in the doorway. This time her face was red and she was blotchy. Nathan went to grab her and instead picked up a bottle of wood clue that he found beside her. “She is eating wood glue, Ashli!” He yelled. Of course I silently freaked out.
- At this point, church had started 5 minutes ago. And, maybe we should have been there praying we were better, more observant parents. Nathan rushed to his phone to call someone for advice and I scanned the bottle for the words – “toxic.” Which I could not find. So, I grabbed my phone and Googled – Toddler ate wood glue – and then I slightly chuckled and then I got mad at myself for laughing at what could be a serious situation, because at this point, how the hell did I know?
- Detective mode kicked in and I squeezed the bottle. I could not even get the wood glue out of the half dry rotted bottle so how could she? Then, at the same time, Nathan and I realized, she ate the hardened glue the gathered at the opening. You know, when you last use glue and it collectively gathers.
- Once my Google search screen loaded, Poison Control’s number was the first thing I saw, so I dialed. And, to my surprise a nice lady answered quickly, “Poison Control, how may I assist you today.” Lo continued to lay across from me in the closet, starring at me, pushing me away as I reached for her, saying, “No, Mommy, go.” At this point a smell filled the closet air and I realized her red, blotchy face wasn’t from the wood glue.
- Distracted by the whole situation, I answered, “Hi, umm yes…” I literally did not know what to say so I blurted it out, “my daughter ate wood glue. Is she going to be okay?” Now Lo was refusing eye contact.
- The lady was so sweet and professional and asked me if she was choking or coughing or showing any symptoms and I actually said, “She is being quiet and starring at me.” Omitting the redness and blotches which I at this point knew had nothing to do with the wood glue. The kind lady actually chuckled. Then I explained that I was sure it was not actually glue but the remnants of glue that hardened onto the cap. She reassured me she would be fine, even double checking the “site.” She warned the worse would be she may experience a stomach ache or be bound up but to give her some water and she would be just fine.
- I felt relieved. Slightly embarrassed but so thankful for that number, which is 1-800-222-1222, by the way. Write it down!!
- When Nathan returned to the room, I was hanging up the phone, and picking up my daughter. “What did they say?” he asked.”Oh, she will be just fine! The only toxins we have to worry about are in her diaper.”
We missed church. We changed into comfy clothes and I changed Lo’s diaper. Lo returned to her Barbies and I hid the wood glue. I Googled – When so you start potty training a toddler? I learned Lo is definitely showing the ready signs. I still think Lo ate some wood glue and I posted Poison Control’s number on our refrigerator.
Not all days are easy. Actually, most are not. As I sit here writing this, I am donning the same PJ pants I had on the night my water broke with Lo. Eww! Gross. Yeah, I assume that is what you are thinking. I mean I probably would have too pre-baby but then again that was pre-baby. Amniotic fluid, totally washes out of clothes! Same as vomit, poop and pee that will inevitably cover your child’s clothes or blankets at
one point, multi-times in their life and even your own. Anyways, back to the pants, they were and are my favorite. How the heck was I to know my water would break in them? I didn’t! I washed them, I kept them, moving on.
I am cranky. Lack of sleep. Always lack of sleep. Overwhelming work. Pending and never ending deadlines, a new hire, a looming move. Soon-to-be two-year old with a raging personality. Pushing buttons. Meltdowns and hyperactive mixed with a headstrong personality. Equally busy husband. End of season deadlines and the pressures of being a small business owner. And, for complete shits and giggles (as the old saying goes) dealing with a late appliance delivery. A refrigerator too, which requires you to empty and clean your old, and clean and load your new. All of the above.
I am drinking a glass of wine. Chilled and served in a Stella chalice (P.S. – I hate Stella in a chalice. Just give me the bottle). I swore I would not drink tonight but then everything I discussed above happened in real life and I decided, ahh what the hell. I digress.
Not all days are easy. Most are exhausting. I am just being real. Not trying to complain or whine, but instead just painting a picture of a realistic day in a blogging mom’s life. My life. Sometimes I feel like social media paired with a Blogger is all white walls, fashion, highly stylized shots and picturesque days. That is not me. That is not my family. That is not my Blog. I stand for being raw and real and sharing aspects of my life, motherhood, parenting, adulting, with you all that hopefully you can relate with. My intention behind – Backwards N High Heels was to paint a picture. Not necessarily a pretty picture by a world renowned artist but instead a finger painting by me!
So, this post tonight is just to serve as a reminder to you, that I am real and to remind me that… I am real. Not all days are easy! Some require your favorite PJ’s that you just exploited to all and that chilled glass of wine! Heck, I made it through another day. That is a success and blessing. Cheers, friends!