My Life

Today is a cold and rainy day here in Germany. I’m sitting at my Grandma’s house and staring out through the patio door. It’s a lazy day. The little man is finally taking a nap, meaning he finally gave up and mama won! Woohoo!! But as I’m sitting here alone in the living room, my mind constantly wanders off to my hubby and wondering what he’s up to and what’s going on with him on the ship. I try and not count down the days until I see my lovely again (because that’s the worst!), but there are some moments when my mind can’t help but think of the next time I’ll see him again. I have to fly back to America, spend a week with my family, and then fly back to Florida, and wait a few more days until I see my hubby again.

WAY TOO MANY DAYS IN BETWEEN.

I wish I could snap my fingers and all of the weeks in between would be over and I’d be back with my best friend again. I have to work so hard to not get jelly when I see my other friends and their families and everyone hanging out together. Ninety-nine percent of the time I’m alone with my little dude and we are doing our own thing. It’s not easy. I try and not think about all the memories and the fun things we could do together-it won’t change anything. I wish though that I could spend every single day with Samuel. Sometimes I have dreams about that. But then I have a reality check and remember that for now, a dream like that won’t happen for a very long time. Instead I grab my little dude, give him a few cuddles, and remember that even though daddy is far, far away, we are close in heart! And as the saying goes, “distance makes the heart grow fonder!” Now that I’ve lived the life I have with being far away from my husband, that quote remains ever more true!

 

Those moments.

Baby has been on me all day long. He follows me to the bathroom. He follows me to the kitchen. He snatches my food and he wipes his boogies on my shirt. Baby follows me everywhere. And then it’s finally bedtime. I nurse and nurse and nurse and nurse until he finally doses off. I then rock him, and rock him some more until he seems completely wiped out. I lay him down in the crib because tonight it feels like a crib night and not a right away in the bed with mommy kind of night. He’s barely out of my arms and he’s already wide awake (how does that happen?) and now it’s almost 11pm in Germany and he’s hanging out with my brother. Maybe it’s the excitement of wanting to see his uncle. I don’t know. Honestly, these moments frustrate me. I just want a sleepy baby for once. I want some alone Vanessa time. I want at least thirty minutes to myself before the end of the day. But then I remember that a mom’s job never ends. And so I still mom tonight even though the night is late.

Will he have a hard time adjusting back to his previous nighttime schedule once I get back? I fear that transition and difficult adjustment. I’m scared of the many tearful nights again, both from mommy and baby. I don’t know. These moments frustrate me. I try and not let it get to me. I try and stay chill and remind myself he’s just a baby. He doesn’t know how to feel at times and he can’t tell me if he’s cold, achy, overtired, scared, or lonely. As a mom I have to guess all of these emotions and those moments are tough. I don’t know what he feels. I can only go by what I see and what I feel.

Tonight I sit in the dark in frustration and desperation for some answers with this sleeping issue. I want to sleep and I want my baby to sleep. And as he’s now fussing, I will go to him again and give him what he wants most because as a baby sometimes that’s all you can communicate and as a mom you must know it all.

Give me the patience and strength tonight, Jesus. I need it most.

Cuddle, cuddle, cuddle!

Yesterday I sat on the sofa ALL day long. My little man got the sickies. He had the typical runny nose, fever, cough, and sleepiness. And all he wanted was his mama. I’m with family right now so I have tons of help with my little dude but yesterday wasn’t a good day for him so the only one that helped was his mama. So I cuddled him, and we had a few more cuddles, and then it was 4pm and we were still cuddling and mama still hadn’t showered and by 8pm when I didn’t even get a chance to grab dinner and I had two day old makeup on, I figured we should both just crawl in bed together and call it a night. Even though yesterday felt very unproductive and I sat on the sofa all day long, I snuggled with my baby and that’s exactly what he needed.

On the bright side of things, he woke up feeling better today and I showered! I’d rate that as a win-win for both of us. And get this, he actually was okay with Oma or Opa holding him and even played with Auntie. Oh and his first two teeth popped through! But yesterday was a rough mommy moment. I barely had a chance to escape and go to the bathroom and the second I was out of his sight he freaked and had a major meltdown. To be honest, I was a little thankful and happy when yesterday was over and the morning started off better today. Sometimes I wish daddy were around for this rough moments because we all need a little break from time to time. But daddy is far away right now and mommy was the only hero yesterday.

I was reminded though that these moments won’t last forever. My little dude won’t want to always cuddle with his mama and the days will come when he will want to do things on his own and mama will be left out of his picture. So for now I am going to treasure these moments and lock up these special memories and be forever thankful I have a little one to snuggle.

Snuggle your little ones mama and don’t take those little cuddles for granted. I’m going to grab my sweet baby and cuddle him to bed.

Stop! Go AWAY!

Last night I had a sad mommy moment. My eight month old fell. He’s fallen down many times and he’s bumped his head, but last night was one for the books. He pulled himself up on the dishwasher door as I was loading it. The floor was a little wet from his zippy cup and of course he would fall. And cut his lip. You know that scream that lasts for only seconds but feels like minutes? The one where there’s no breathing and their face turns bright red and you suddenly go through a list of numbers and friends you could call because maybe this is more serious than you actually thought? Yeah, that happened last night. Oh and let’s not forget, this kind of stuff ONLY ever happens when daddy leaves. Seriously, though, why does this stuff always happen when I’m by myself.

My little dude screamed and screamed and then the blood came and more blood and after a good minute the first napkin was full of blood so I grabbed another one and then another and thank goodness for my awesome milk pops I bought a while back, I gave him one to suck on and the world was better again. But gosh, when something bad happens to your kiddies, you suddenly blame yourself for everything. I told myself that the dishes could’ve waited. I should’ve been paying more attention to him and not be so worried with a clean kitchen. Then I reminded myself that this kind of stuff happens and more of it will come. I’m trying to ignore that inner critic I have. She’s pretty strong most days and tells me all these lies that aren’t even remotely true but I make myself believe so.

It’s insane how much we actually believe that little voice. Gosh, I’d smack the living tar out of the person that talked crap like this to my daughter, if I ever have one. I wouldn’t let anyone speak those words to my friends or family. But then why do I put up with that crappy voice? The one who tells me I’m a terrible mama because I failed to catch my curious, high energy eight month old. Or I’m a terrible wife because I didn’t send lunch with my husband. Or I’m a terrible friend because I didn’t text that one friend who really needed help. All these thoughts of self-criticism slip through my mind and suddenly I realize I just gave myself a super poor evaluation but oddly enough, I believe it to be true. And so the thought of fear, self-destruction, and hurt sink in and I doubt everything I thought I could do five seconds ago and now tell myself I will never be good at anything.

Mamas, it is so easy to criticize yourself because we are women and we try to be all-powerful and superheroes at everything we do. NO! You can’t. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to say “I can’t do it on my own!” It’s better to get to that point than sink into depression and self-destructing criticism. I’m a fault for doing that every single day and lately I catch myself doing that more and more. And if you don’t believe you do this, just think back to this morning and what you told yourself as you were getting ready. Why did you apply foundation, concealer, and  blush to your already beautiful face? But we’re women and we hold such high standards for ourselves and we aren’t ashamed to say we are terrible at something, failures at other things, and incompatible for our goals and dreams. And we feel judged because we live in a judgmental world with a ton of criticism. I bet if you go makeup-less for one day, other mamas will admire you because YOU HAD the nerve to be real. Heck, life is real, motherhood is real, we are real people with real issues. You know that hashtag ‘keeping it real’? Go ahead and actually apply that hashtag to today’s agenda, it’ll remove a lot of unnecessary stress and the need to feel like you have to be perfect.

So next time you are tempted to throw yourself under the bus, stop and say “I am beautiful, I am worth it, and I can do it!” Go kick butt and destroy all negativity today with a beautiful smile. You are gorgeous mama and no one should have the ability to tear you down, definitely not that inner voice sneaking through your already busy life.

Be blessed loves.

A Note to Mommas

Why do I workout early in the morning? Because if I don’t do it right away, it’ll never happen. I know every single mom out there can relate to this dilemma and maybe yours isn’t working out, but there’s something you struggle fitting in your schedule.

Most mornings go like this: I barely get an hour to myself before my kiddo decides it’s time to go and get the day started. Don’t get me wrong, I love him to the moon and back and to the far ends of the earth and all the way around. But goodness, sometimes a momma needs a break. A time to decompress and either a way to let out all frustrations or downtime. I decompress by working out and breaking into a good sweat. When my workout is interrupted, I try and work around it before getting flustered and upset. I understand my baby needs mama first thing when he wakes up. Most mornings he can’t function until he’s had his milkshake (aka, the boobies!). So when he wakes up halfway between by workout, I have to stop, run into the room, grab him, and allow him to latch on and snuggle up close to my smelly sweaty body. Another thing I’ve learned is that babies don’t care. They don’t care if you haven’t showered in four days, if your hair is oily and greasy, if your tummy is wet with sweat, or if sweat is running down your face. I nurse, sneak in about two minutes of cuddles and then get back to my workout.

Motherhood is all about scarifies and incidences like this happen all the time. It may not be a workout session, in fact, it could even be struggling to get a shower in or finding one second to pee ALONE! I used to laugh at my friends when they told me sneaking away to the bathroom is a challenge. I get it now. I barely have a chance to finish and my little dude is already pulling on the shower curtain or the latest discovery is the toilet brush. I think I’ll be putting a lot of bathroom items away this weekend!

I workout early because I need that boost of energy. My body requires the kick and the mild torture I give it. It’s weird but that’s how I restart myself, find my reawakening, and rekindle the momma fire within me and manage to kick butt the rest of the day.

So whatever you’re facing today, remember you’re not alone in these momma battles. You’re a momma for a reason and even if it’s hard to find that purpose, just remember with every struggle today, there is always a rainbow tomorrow.

Go conquer the world mama. You can do this journey of motherhood, and please find two minutes or thirty minutes to yourself today. You need it.

HIIT

So there was a time when I didm’ know what ‘HIIT’ meant. I saw it all over those workout forums, you know, the kind where the BIG bulky fitness dudes post all about their pre-workout and other junk and I’m just over here like, “um, I need to know what HIIT means!!”

HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training. And that’s pretty much what it consists of. It’s the style of exercise that burns so many calories in a small amount of time. The bottom line is to get your heart rate up for a certain amount of time by switching between moderate and high intensity, anywhere in the vicinity of 30 seconds to 5 minutes each! Whoa…that’s intense huh?

Today I’m going to share with you one of my all-time favorite HIIT workouts!! I’m a workout fanatic and love breaking into a good ol’ sweat. The more I sweat, the more accomplished I feel and the more accomplished I feel, the better I feel about myself and the workout. I operate a little weird. I’ll admit to it.

HIIT Workout #1:

30 Burpees (trust me, this will suck and get the heart rate going!)

25 Jump Squat Lunges (jump into a squat and land in a lunge–forget about it!)

40 High Knees

30 Butt Kicks

30 sec. Running in place

 

Do this a minimum of four times through, six times is better, eight times is the goal. It will kick YOUR butt! I could hardly catch my breath after the fifth time but every time I feel like giving up, I look at my son and he’s my motivation. I want to have a healthy and fit lifestyle so he can have an active momma. My momma is active and always improving her overall health and that has inspired me so much. Her level of activity has definitely encouraged me to do as much as she does.

Fuel up loves. This is not an easy workout routine. Make sure your drink plenty of fluids afterwards and maybe even treat yourself with coconut water. Mmm…I think I might need one now!

What I Wish I’d Known…

Because sometimes crying in your living room on your tummy is the only way to get through the rest of your day. I’ll admit to it. That was me today and not the first time either. It happens here and there. Somedays I feel like superwoman, on top of the world and capable of doing everything. I have energy for ten from sun up to sundown and nothing or no one can stop me from conquering the world. And then I have days when I want to eat junk food and hear me out, I am NOT a junk foodie. In fact, whenever I give in and eat something “junk” food like, I immediately regret it and wish I would’ve been stronger. So I have my moment. I eat junk food, moan in my sorrows, and then get on with life. This sounds silly but in the moment I’m practically ready to give up on life and let my eight month old feed himself, put himself to put, and entertain himself. Obviously this is impossible but come on mommas, you can’t tell me you haven’t had that thought before. You’re lying if you say no.

I had to go through another goodbye this morning. I swear, if I have to go through anymore goodbyes in the next few months, I will lose my mind. The calendar doesn’t give me much hope though so as a result, I will lose my mind. I married a military man. I knew it would be intense. I knew there would be goodbyes but for some reason, Hallmark and YouTube make those goodbyes seem almost romantic and heroic and possible. Um, let me tell you right from the start: those movies and video clips lie. They lie BIG FAT lies. Saying goodbye to your spouse downright sucks. There’s nothing romantic about the tears because if you’re anything like me, you cry after he’s gone so he doesn’t even have the chance to wipe your tears away and brush your hair out of your face. So you’re alone, crying that big hideous and nasty cry and come on, how do the girls in the movies cry without looking ugly with makeup smeared all over? I don’t get it. Because when I cry there’s no such thing as a little girl cry. I cry big. My body shakes and I sound like someone who just finished running a marathon and trying to talk at the same time: fail. I cry and then kick myself in the butt for crying and tell myself to get my act together.

I usually allow myself one day to cry it all out and get myself together. After that I have to remain strong for myself and my kiddo and most days I do just fine. But ever so often I’m reminded that this sucks. So that’s when I gravitate towards exercise or outside activities to keep myself and my little one occupied.

Mommas, if you’re feeling the mommy blues today and are facing the impossible, know you’re not alone. After I got down on my knees and cried my tears of weakness, I had a good private session with God. I told him I can’t do it. I can’t hold myself together today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow. Crazy though because as I was talking to him I cried more and more. But then it was as if he lifted my chin and told me it was going to be okay. Yeah, separation sucks. Yeah, raising a kid alone sucks. Yeah, going to bed every single night alone is the worst and waking up and doing it all over again really sucks. But I’m not alone. Maybe I underestimated how intense this all would be. I don’t know. You don’t really know what it’s going to be like until you’re in it and gosh, it is a lot harder somedays than I expected. And no matter how many times you hear it, “You can do it! You’re strong!” it doesn’t get better. The reality is, those words get old after time. Honestly, I don’t want to do it somedays. I’d rather ignore today starting and pretend I am four years old again with no cares in the world. But then my eight month old is in crying for me in the other room, the dishes are stacked up high, my hair finally needs a wash after four days (yikes!), and clean clothes wouldn’t be a bad idea.

I wish I’d known that it’s impossible somedays. I wish I’d known that the movies are lies. HalMark is a joke. And living alone and away from family is harder than life itself. But not many wives can boast about their husband being a service member, a hero in my eyes, and a warrior. So when life knocks me down and throws me in the rose bushes with thorns poking me all around, I get back up, pick up a rose on the way out, and shout back at my negativity, “Yes I can!”

You can do it mama. When life kicks you in the butt kick it right back. Don’t give it the chance to knock you down and run over you. You are stronger. You are able. You are a mama!