Books For Moms – Mother’s Day Treats

Books For Moms – Mother’s Day Treats

I have taken a bit of a break from my Back to the Classics Challenge to read a few great mothering books.

Books for Mom - Mothers Day Treats - Modern Momma Musings

I’m a sucker for books written about parenting, but motherhood is my favorite. I love that I can completely relate (most of the time) and that they have me laughing and crying throughout. There is something special about the bond of motherhood.

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Taking Time to Breathe

In the craziness of motherhood, it seems there is hardly any time to breathe.

Sometimes, I feel completely overwhelmed. When my to-do list keeps growing and the normal day-to-day activities continue to pile up, I may not see an end in sight.

But there is an end, there is always a way to make a change and take a breath. You may have to look hard to find it, but when you do it can be the reviving you need in that stressful day.

One way that I make sure I have a second to breathe during my day is by setting an alarm. Actually five alarms. I have set my phone alarm for 6am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm, and 6pm. When my phone alarm goes off, I take a deep breath and say a prayer.

It has been the restart so many days when I have been struggling. It gives me a second to calm down in a moment of struggle. And as always, it seems God finds me in those crazy moments. Then my alarm will go off and remind me to pray and breathe. With that quick step back, I can see past the cloud in front of me.

Someone asked me if after a while I will get used to the alarm and just turn it off without taking that second to breathe and pray. For me, this hasn’t happened. I have been using the alarm system for over six months and so far every time the alarm goes off, even if I am busy with something else, I find myself saying a prayer and taking a deep breath.

The beauty of breathing and praying is you can always do them. Even when your hands are full doing ten things at once. A prayer and breath take nothing, but your mind, to accomplish and they can be the centering point for the next few hours.

One thing I have noticed, I find myself taking a deep breath and praying at many other times throughout the day, unprompted by my alarm. It has become a habit to do this when I am stressing out or having a hard moment. I love that this has become a part of my day, the reminder that He has it under control and there is nothing to worry about!

What are some things that help you get through a crazy day? How do you take the time to breathe?

Thankful. Blessed.

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I am snuggling with a sweet Sugar Plum this cold, rainy morning. We’ve been cuddling by the fire for a little while now and I can’t help but reflect on the many blessings in my life.

The last 12 months have been absolutely crazy. From a “threatened miscarriage” around Thanksgiving last year, which kept me worried for the remaining pregnancy. Then delivering an itty bitty, 29 weeker in April. Spending almost 8 weeks in the NICU initially. Heading back to the NICU for another 10 days. All the while, taking a dip in the real estate world by selling our house and buying a new one. Trying to keep our older two kiddos living life as normal as possible, while still understanding what was going on with Sugar Plum.

This juggle, this craziness, was almost constant for 9 months. It wasn’t until July that things started to slow down again and we began to get into a normal routine.

I look back on the past 12 months and wonder how we made it through. The only way I can explain it was faith and support. It was looking up to God when things got tough. It was prayer and faith that pulled us through. Knowing life was in God’s hand. It was sticking together as a family when things got tough. It was the shoulder to cry on. The hugs. The smiles and laughter. Even in the toughest moments we were a family and we did our best to support each other through it all. Without faith and each other my reflection would be so much different.

As I sit here this morning, I cannot help but be thankful for all those things I have been blessed with. Even those tough times have made (and are still making) us stronger. There is a bigger plan, a reason for those tough moments, they are a way to make us grow. I know my life has forever been changed on so many levels and I am forever grateful for those beautiful blessings; some in disguise, showing their beauty in retrospect. Others making their beauty known immediately.

I am so very thankful for everyone in my life, for the good and bad times, the ups and downs, the moments I didn’t think things would get better, and then they did.

I am so blessed.

 

Raising a Spirited Child – Intensity

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Intense – having or showing strong feelings or opinions; extremely earnest or serious.

In our household, intensity is one of the most apparent signs of our spirited child. He has a strong opinion and emotion for everything. He loves intensely. He gets upset intensely. He is on the extreme of every emotion.

One thing we deal with daily are tantrums. Tantrums are my button. Patience is definitely a struggle in these moments. In order to succeed in raising Mister Man well, I have to work on my patience and the way I handle my reactions to his tantrums. I can definitely tell a difference when I react quickly and yell versus when I take a breath, say a quick prayer for guidance and patience and then react.

Power struggles are a big issue for Mister Man. If he feels he cannot make a decision or is not being heard he will begin a tantrum immediately. This is a hard one for me as I want him to make decisions and I try my best to listen intently when he talks. But when he gets into the downward spiral, he yells, screams and still expects to be heard. In our house, we do not listen until he is calm and can speak with respect. But getting him to that point is hard.

One thing that has helped is getting on his level, staying calm and touching his shoulder. This shows him we are there for him. Staying calm is a great reminder of how we expect him to act. This does not mean I am giving in. I am still firm on my expectations. But telling him in a calm manner helps him hear me instead of shutting me out. In fact, many times he will immediately pull himself in for a hug and it isn’t long before he has calmed himself down. Once he is calm, it is much easier to discuss what happened and how he might handle it better next time. When he is calm he is able to hear what we are saying and participate in the conversation. Talking about the situation when he is upset is like talking to a wall, he hears nothing. Yelling at him when he is upset is the same, he has lost all ability to comprehend what is being said and has shut himself off from everything else. In fact, yelling only intensifies his reaction and adds to the time he needs to calm himself.  At this point in his life, helping him calm down is the only way to make a difference in the situation.

When I can stay calm and patient with him, he responds more quickly and in a much better way. It’s when I get upset that things turn South quickly.

Raising a spirited child is about him and even more about me. It’s how I can work on my reactions to display how I would like him to act. It’s about teaching him how to handle himself and his emotions. He has to know that life will throw him curve balls, he will be wronged, people will not listen and he has to be able to handle himself with dignity and poise.

Intensity Tips

Life is hard and his intense emotions can be great for him if he learns to reel them in when necessary and focus on the positive. It’s a daily struggle, but at the end of the day he is an amazing kid, that just needs some extra direction and support.

 

Tiny World – NICU Poem – Reflections on our time in the NICU

This poem was written while sitting bedside with Sugar Plum. It’s a reflection on our time in the NICU. Enjoy.

Tiny World - NICU Poem

 

 

Tiny World

Peaceful slumber
Fighting girl
NICU baby
Tiny world

Containment holding
Kangaroo
Doing everything
For you

Pumping momma
Day and night
Freezer storage
Filled so tight

Heart rate
Sats and CO2
Monitor beeping
Something new

Watching, waiting
Hope that soon
You’ll be home
Growing bloom

Little fingers
Tiny toes
You’ll get stronger
This we know

Mini fighter
Stubborn girl
One step closer
Tiny world

Beautiful eyes
Open up
Gassy smiles
Fill us up

Incubator
Billi light
Make you stronger
Through the night

IV fluids
Blood is drawn
breathing machines
All day long

Good morning sunshine
Sleep tight, hun
One day soon
Our worlds are one

Emotions on Overdrive – NICU Homecoming Emotions

Emotions on Overdrive – NICU Homecoming Emotions

After 7 weeks and 2 days in the NICU we have made it back home! It’s been a long haul with many ups and downs, but we all made it through and are home as a family for the first time since Sugar Plum was born.

Home From the NICU - Emotions

I am filled with many NICU homecoming emotions as we begin our life as a family of 5.

Relief

We finally made it home.
Relief… to be at home with everyone instead of splitting my time.
Relief… knowing Sugar Plum has made it over the hurdles.
Relief… we made it through a tough time in our family’s life and we are stronger because of it.

Sibling Story Time

Excitement

We finally have our whole family together.
Excitement… we can get back to our normal routines with the addition of our littlest one.
Excitement… the kids are excited to have Sugar Plum and mommy home again.
Excitement… having our family together, finally.

Hope

There is so much hope in my heart.
Hope… there were times I thought we’d be in the NICU for months, but with a little faith and hope we made it through and back home 4 weeks before her due date.
Hope… for the future.
Hope… for all the amazing things to come for our family.

Fear

There were machines for everything that could go wrong.
Fear… we just have a simple monitor that beeps to tell us something is not quite right.
Fear… we are in charge of making sure she is breathing, sleeping, eating, pooping, etc..
Fear… it’s all up to us. Sugar Plum’s well-being was under the supervision of the doctors and nurses, now it’s all up to us, the untrained parents.

Faith

With the fear comes an overwhelming sense of faith.
Faith… there is a greater plan.
Faith… that everything is in God’s control.
Faith… that we can handle whatever comes our way because we are never given more than He knows we can handle.
Faith… that we are growing, learning and becoming better parents every step of the way.

It’s been a long journey and we have only started the next step. With hope, faith, prayers and love we will overcome. One day at a time. Soaking it all in moment by moment. We’ve got this!