The Truth Is…

This time of year is hard. It’s great, it’s merry, it’s jam packed full of fun family festivities, but it’s often So SO BUSY. You may have noticed my posts have been few and far between lately. Well, between my inability to say “no” to anyone, Luna, regular life duties, holiday festivities, to-do lists, workouts, traveling, shopping, decorating and what not I have just lost track of how to get everything done. For years, I believed that I could do it all. In fact, I often did “it all”… I taught full time, got my Master’s full time, ran 2 extra-curricular activities and still managed to have a very busy social life. Students called me Super Woman, and to be honest, I felt like it. So, when I decided to be a “stay-at-home” Mom, I thought “piece of cake”. I clearly had no clue what I was signing up for when I quit working to work at home.

I imagined waking up early with my happy cooing baby, making breakfast for everyone, sipping my coffee while playing with something educational on the floor with Luna. Our day would consist of Pinterest projects, playdates, baby classes, nursery rhymes, story time, walks in the park and dancing in the living room. I’d cook, clean, blog and complete various DIY projects during naptime. During my free time, (ha. ha. ha.) I’d learn to garden and sew. I’d cloth diaper, breastfeed, make all my own baby food, cook organic healthy meals every day, volunteer, teach Luna sign language and have plenty of time to make my blog and social media improve ten-fold. I’d get so much during the day that I’d get to spend the evening enjoying Husband’s company. We’d have time to snuggle up, enjoy the delicious meal I made and watch our favorite TV shows after Luna’s bedtime.

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until the doorbell rings…

 

You’d think after a degree in childhood development and 6 years of working with children I wouldn’t be so delusional. It’s not like I don’t know other Moms. Most of my friends have kids and I know they are often overwhelmed, but I’m different, or so I thought. I’m superwoman. I know how to manage my time. I know how to get shit done and get it done well. How can I not “stay home” and get EVERYTHING done? Here’s how: a baby.

Babies consume every single second of every single day. I’m not complaining (well, maybe a little). But, mostly I want to inform. Why? Because all of you old parents, new parents, future parents, and never-gonna-be-parents are being lied to every single day on social media. ALL of those Moms (myself included) who make it appear as if they have it altogether all the time are big fat liars. (Or at least they better be.) There is no way, NO WAY, those Moms are cooking meals from the garden she grew, homeschooling her genius children, sewing clothes from cotton she sheared, living in her Pottery Barn perfect home, showing off her ripped abs, making cookies for her elderly neighbors, writing her “how to do-it-all” tell-all, all while wearing designer heels and perfect hair with no-roots.OR, doing all of this plus holding a full-time job. No way. It’s a sham!

You want the truth? Something is missing. Some things are getting put on the back burner, brushed under the couch, locked behind messy closet doors, cropped out of of photos, fixed in photoshop, forgotten and flat-out ignored. The truth is that if you see me post a picture of Luna and I dressed in cute matching outfits with fixed hair, make-up and shoes, then chances are, we ate pb and j out of the jar for lunch, left the clothes in the washer (again) and forgot to feed the pets. If you come over and my house is perfectly cleaned and organized then I guarantee you I have not showered, bathed Luna, or updated my blog in 2 days. If my blog is bumpin’, my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are updated then I either got to sit by myself while Husband watched Luna for a couple of hours, she napped for 3 hours, or my house looks like a bomb just went off.

ALL moms.
ALL moms.

The truth is I am able to do a lot as a stay-at-home Mom. I do cloth diaper, make baby food, breastfeed, take baby classes, go on playdates, volunteer, cook often, blog and even do a Pinterest project every once in a while. But, do I do it all everyday? Hell no. Luna is needy and she’s pretty obsessed with me. Most of my day is spent holding, changing, feeding, bathing, playing with, reading to, teaching and keeping Luna from killing herself.  Every night I wonder where the day went? How does every day go by so fast? How do I never manage to get it all done? Then, I sit down at the computer to write to you, and the second I do, the baby monitor lights up. Luna’s crying and needs me. Then, I remember…that’s why.

And, the truth is, I love it.

So, parents, next time you check you Facebook feed and see a slew of photos of Super Moms looking stunning with their smiling babies in their freshly dusted home, remember that they are most likely burning cookies, running late and skipping their daily runs. They’re not doing it all and neither are you. So, let’s stop beating ourselves up about it. The good news is, none of that matters. So, go ahead and like their status, give them a virtual high-five for getting a third of their to-do list done, take a deep breath, look around your messy house and remember, there’s always tomorrow! Now, go love on those babies!

Cheers!

Wonder Why I Can’t Get Stuff Done?

I thought I’d have so much more free time being a stay-at-home Mom, but I never ever seem to finish my to-do list and honestly sometimes feel like I’d be more productive if I was working. At least I’d be on a schedule with deadlines and expectations I must meet. I’m not complaining though, I LOVE that I have the opportunity to stay home, watch my baby grow and be there for every little adorable thing she does. If it weren’t for that than I might miss adorable kodak moments like the first time in her Baby Einstein activity jumper!

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Come on. This kid can’t get any cuter! First time in a bouncer and she’s wearing a little red gingham Russian dress that a friend gave us. It’s too much.

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baby feet!
baby feet!
SO excited!
SO excited!

Man, I wonder why I can’t manage to get things done? Even when she naps I have trouble pulling myself away. I either want her to stay napping on me or I just watch her sleep. Oh well, they don’t stay small forever!

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PLUS a hat
PLUS a hat

I can’t leave out my eldest either…

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Happy Weekend!

Cheers!

 

 

 

New Friend Friday: Meet Stacey!

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to someone I have known since I was very young. In fact, she was actually close friends with my older sister. Nowadays, the two of us keep up through Facebook and one anothers’ blogs. This productive and creative friend of mine is a stay-at-home Mom of 3 who blogs and runs her own (Mom Upcycles) Etsy shop. She is super thrifty and crafty and blogs about how to turn the crap you would have thrown away into a holiday wreath or a new sweater. I’m getting ahead of myself. I should just let her tell you everything! Oh and she’s giving away one of her beautiful hand-embroidered hoops to one of you, don’t miss your chance to enter!

Meet Stacey:

I’m so excited to have been asked to contribute to Hilarie’s amazing blog! Thank you!

I am often asked, “how do you manage it all?” The blog (which has been on my back burner as I work on my new shop, with only once-a-week posts), Facebook and Instagram social networking, my new Etsy shop, cooking, cleaning, a marriage, 2 babies under 3 and a teenager, not to mention our monthly 4 hour round-trips in to see family. (Whew, that was a lot to type!)

Well, a hint is that I’m typing this in the notepad app on my iphone.

In my yoga pants.

With a baby in my arms.

The answer is that I don’t manage it all. I do the best I can, in the best way I know how, and have made peace with that.  This post is to reassure all the moms out there who may feel like they are failing if they can’t do everything that they are NOT a failure, and that it’s okay to do what you can, when you can.

I dream of leisurely days, where I can awaken, have a hot cup of coffee, shower, get dressed in real clothes, put on a bit of makeup, fix my hair, clean up the house, and then get to my other pursuits–my blog, shop, and social marketing and networking.  That’s all a day like that is, though–a nice dream.

The reality of my day goes like this:

Awaken to a baby crying, nurse her, give her something to play with so that I can put on a T-shirt and yoga pants or jeans if they are handy. Run a brush through my hair. Change the baby, set her in her bouncer, make coffee. Catch up on social media while I finish half of my coffee. At this point, my 2 year-old cries and I get him out of bed, to the potty, and his breakfast made. Finish my now-cold coffee. Run up to brush my teeth, run back down to tend to my usually needing-to-be changed baby. The toddler demands his last few bite of oatmeal be fed to him (please, let this stage pass soon), and then he’s off to play. This usually consists of him pulling out every toy he owns and littering it around the house. I start a load of laundry at this point, and throw whatever is in the dryer on my sofa to be folded later…much later.

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example of my chaos

I recently signed my toddler up for ABC Mouse online, so I do a lesson with him at this point and my next activity depends on if he is playing independently or not and if the baby is content. If both are true, I usually try to work on stitching an outstanding order. More often than not, though, my stitching waits for naps.  I’ll do some social marketing and networking during lulls in the day, usually. Also, while rocking the baby, I work online (like now). My Etsy shop requires daily maintenance, and my husband and I are even working on my very own store front as an alternate way people can shop for things he and I make, so that adds more online work.

Around 5:30, my teenage son comes downstairs to sit with the babies while I cook dinner.  I do enjoy cooking, and making my family home-cooked meals is important to me, so I rely on simple meals, many of which you can find in my blog. My slow cooker is my best friend. I also love “cook once, eat twice” meals. If all else fails, grilled cheese and tomato soup are a standard fall-back for dinner. I manage dinner by meal planning each week. I know exactly which meals I’m making, and shop for them, so there is no guesswork at dinner time.

The day goes on in much the same fashion, until bed time. My kids are big night owls, so this is usually around 8:30-9:30. Finally, ME time!

This is when I take my bath, package up orders that need to go out, work on things that require the desktop upstairs (a laptop is on my wish list), sew, and/or stitch as needed.  I go to sleep at around midnight every night.

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stitching up an order

The bottom line? No, I can’t be Super Girl. I can’t do it all. Things that are sacrificed in my life are housework and sleep.

My house generally looks like a train wreck and is in desperate need of a deep clean, and my laundry will never be caught up (did I mention that until recently, I cloth diapered two babies and now cloth diaper one?) but I refuse to worry too much about it.

My husband is incredibly supportive and helps me clean on the weekends, and my teenage son is a great help to me during the week, doing small chores like dishes, and picking up items on the floor, most nights.  It’s a team effort in my house, and I’m really lucky to have an understanding partner.  He doesn’t get angry about the mess and always makes me feel like I’m doing important work.

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As for the sleep? Well, I have 2 children under 3, that I’ve exclusively breast-fed. I wasn’t sleeping much anyway, haha! I am also a night-owl and the night time had ways been my favorite time.

I make it work; we make it work.  Some months we may not get to make the drive in to see family, and hopefully they’ll make the drive our way, or we’ll catch them the next month. Some nights are spent frantically picking up debris around the house, because I can’t take another second of clutter. Some evenings we have deli pizza or takeout.

My best advice for moms who are trying to maintain a household and a business, crafting, blog, strict fitness regimen, etc, is to not feel like you need to do and be everything. Let some things slide. You are human and your happiness matters.  A creative or physical outlet can be the difference in a happy mom and wife and a miserable one.  Surround yourself with people who understand this, and live your life doing the things you need to do to be happy.

I’ll end this with my very favorite poem, which is on my “to be stitched” list:

Song for a Fifth Child by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, oh mother, come shake out your cloth!

Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,

Hang out the washing and butter the bread,

Sew on a button and make up a bed.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?

She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking!

 

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue

(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby, loo).

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due

(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew

And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo

But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.

Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?

(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.)

Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,

But children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.

So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.

I’m rocking my baby. Babies don’t keep.

 

Thank you Stacey! AND thank you for offering this giveaway…

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Stacey will send one of you this beautiful embroidered hoop and all you have to do to enter is:

1. Follow Positively Panicked and Mom Upcycles blogs.

2. Follow Positively Panicked and Mom Upcycles on Facebook.

3. Comment below and tell me where you’d like to hang this embroidered hoop. (I’d personally like this one in my entryway!)

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I’ll select the winner on Monday, April 28th. Good luck to everyone and don’t forget to check out Mom Upcycle’s Etsy store for more hand embroidered items.

Thank you Stacey for your wise words…I’m always learning from you!

Cheers!

10 Rules for Having a Lazy Day

I’m no doctor, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it is a fact that a lazy pajama day every once in a while is very important for your physical and mental health.

This past week was the busiest week I’ve had since Luna was born. The two of us ran the roads together all day everyday… we had appointments, errands, shopping, dinners, a school play and even a Russian New Year’s party. I love being busy, and made sure to keep extremely busy before I was a Mom. However, everything is more exhausting when it includes toting along a newborn.

Here we are at my former place of employment watching Peter Pan.
Here we are at my former place of employment watching Peter Pan.

Luna was so exhausted last night that she slept for 7 straight hours! I, on the other hand did not sleep at all. Totally not fair. I also learned that if you go seven hours without nursing it turns into a painful mess. I don’t recommend it. So, today I refuse to get dressed, cook or leave the house. Today is a lazy pajama day, and it requires strict rules.

One tired baby
One tired baby

Here are my 10 Rules for Having a Lazy Day

1. Do not get dressed. Wear your pj’s all day. If someone spits up or pees on you then change into other pj’s or yoga pants. Don’t even think about putting on a bra or shoes. Don’t dress your kids either. Luna has only worn diapers today.

2. Do not leave the house. Going outside and enjoying the sunshine (Hello! It’s sunny today!) is acceptable, but avoid all neighbors.

3. Do not cook, or use dishes for that matter. Let’s face it, if you are like me this might be the first day you have time to clean in weeks and you don’t want to add anymore work. Eat on paper plates, paper towels or just right out of the carton. Eat frozen foods, fresh fruit, raw veggies or snacks…no pots or pans are allowed.

So exhausted after running errands all day
So exhausted after running errands all day

4. Wear your dirty hair on top of your head and do not wear any makeup.

5. Watch lots of TV. Catch up on everything on Netflix, Hulu and HBO Go. Nothing that requires too much thinking though…only mindless television, like the Kardashians and re-runs of Saved by the Bell. And, then wonder how you never noticed that Tori Spelling is in random episodes of Saved by the Bell.

6. Drink coffee and tea. Savor it.

7. Snuggle on the couch with the whole family, pets included.

I wish I slept so easily
I wish I slept so easily

8. Then, get away from everyone for some alone time. Read a book in bed, take a long hot bath or whatever you  can do by yourself.

9. Sleep late, take a nap, go to bed early and catch up on all that sleep you’ve been missing.

10. Do NOT feel guilty. I repeat, do NOT, under any circumstance feel guilty. We all deserve/need a lazy PJ day every once in a while. It’s healthy.

*I just remembered one more very important rule… We’ll call it 10.5: Leave your phone in another room for at least half the day. You do not need to be available 24/7.

What do you like to do on your lazy days?

Cheers!

Making Time for Both

It’s that time of year… the happiest, busiest, most loving, awkward, traditional and hectic time! I love the holidays and the crazy busy-ness that accompanies them. I enjoy being super busy, running from party to party and shopping for gifts for everyone. My anxiety has been so low (thanks pregnancy!) that I’m probably enjoying this season more than most. The only problem is making time for EVERYTHING.

Last week, I had every intention of finishing my to-do’s, working (outside of the home) everyday, working out everyday, wrapping all the presents, attending all the parties, etc. However, I didn’t, because you know what else you are supposed to do the time of year? Spend quality time with your friends and family. One night, Husband and I were snuggled up on the couch getting ready to catch up on our Netflix shows. Like most nights, I had my phone in one hand and laptop in the other and was setting up camp to write, write, write. Husband, who has never ever expressed this before, actually told me to put everything away and just be with him. He was actually sad that I was giving him enough attention. So, I did.

I have to admit, it was hard. I REALLY wanted to catch up on so many things and I caught myself peaking at my phone for notifications and texts, but I did my best to refrain, and I continued refraining all weekend. Saturday morning we woke up before the crack of dawn to drive many many miles to our friend’s college graduation. That morning happened to be the best I have slept in weeks, the pillows were arranged perfectly and it was pouring raining and pitch-black outside. The last thing I wanted was to get up, but I did because that’s what friends do. This friend is a little brother to us and we are so proud and happy for him. We packed a van and made a day trip to celebrate his big day.

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It was a day of friends, good Indian food, soda shop fun and a little too much rain.

That night, I went to see the Nutcracker in Nashville with my friend Emily. We got all dolled up, drove through the sleet and had beautiful front and center seats at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. The Nashville Ballet did a beautiful job of depicting the traditional story while also integrating famous sites and historical buildings found right here in Music City.

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I did not get a lot done this weekend, but I really enjoyed taking some time to just enjoy my friends. I hope you all have time for a little of both this next week.

Cheers!

Organizing My Life

My life is a little hectic right now. My job responsibilities have doubled (although feels like they’ve tripled this week). I am finally tackling my fears and working on conquering my anxiety disorder. We are trying so hard to figure out where we are going to live next. (Buying a place is hard!) Then, you know all of life’s other responsibilities fit in their somewhere. Making time to workout and eat healthy is the biggest challenge. So, to make my life a little tiny bit easier I am trying to stay organized…very very, painfully, organized.

First, I have a new work space! We have always had a desk in our living room, but Husband has been the primary user. For over a year he has taken it over with his enormous bulky desktop and other computer gadgets that I don’t use. However, he got himself a nice new laptop last week, and the bulky desktop is now stored in the closet…leaving a free desk for me! Woohoo!

work station

I keep every single deadline, appointment, plan, number, lists, reminder, birthday, anniversary, holiday and memo in my agenda. Husband bought this Anthropologie agenda for me last year for Christmas and I refused to use it because it is blank…no dates, weeks, months or anything. Finally, (after lots of Husband’s nagging) I decided to take the time to fill it out and now I cannot leave the house without it. I live by my agenda.

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I can work so much faster and even more productive when I can work in a clean cozy spot of my own.

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I felt so great in my new clean and organized work space that I decided to organize my bathroom better. The hardest part of my day is most definitely the morning. I am such a child. EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. is a struggle. The cold weather does not help. I set four alarms every morning, make coffee, turn on Good Morning America, pump up my Top 40 Pandora playlist and still fall back to sleep on the couch every morning.

My organized desk is proving so helpful, that maybe an organized bathroom will encourage me to get ready and stay awake in the morning. To help with my big organizing scheme I got the Clip Tree!

cliptree

The Clip Tree is awesome because it can go anywhere (the hallway, bathroom, shower, kitchen, bedroom, closet, etc) and hold anything. There are hooks, loops and different sized trays that are interchangeable. I put one of my “trees” in the hallways for all my scarves and crap, and this one in the bathroom for all my lady junk.

Speaking of lady junk: I LOVE everything made by Josie Maran right now. I feel all pretty and glowe-y when I wear her products. One day I plan to wake up and look just like her.

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Maybe I’ll organize my closet this weekend, or maybe not. I’ve organized enough this week.

Cheers!

Three Parties in 9 Hours or Less

My first full day in Texas was not exactly relaxing, in fact it was quite the opposite, but it was the kind busy day that is fun. The kind of busy day I wouldn’t mind having every weekend.

My morning began early because I had lots of decorations to prepare for the shower on Sunday. I worked all morning and early afternoon cutting, sewing, pasting, and organizing. I drank strong coffee, watched non-stop E! (I love that my parents have cable… we don’t), and only slowed down enough to east some chips and guacamole. I loved it.

I was so busy, that I lost track of time, and before I knew it, it was time for one of my best friend’s little boy’s first birthday party! I drove into town (that’s what we say in Texas..”into town”) to attend the cutest little party you ever did see! Mr. Handsome had a camping themed Birthday party complete with smore making, a popcorn machine, weenie roasting, and even an outdoor movie.

They had a fire pit for roasting marshmallows and hotdogs.
They had a fire pit for roasting marshmallows and hotdogs.
Another "honorary nephew"
Another “honorary nephew”
watching "Brother Bear" on the big screen
watching “Brother Bear” on the big screen

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My favorite part!
My favorite part!

Spending time with my favorite ladies and their children is quickly becoming my favorite pastime. I often hear that when your friend’s have children, you rarely see them again. That is not the case with my friends. First, I already rarely see them considering I live across the country. Secondly, they are the best Mom’s and manage to raise perfect little cherubs while still maintaining our friendship. Watching them love on their little ones, and seeing their little ones turn into little mini-versions of their parents is just magical.

The party flew by, and I had to say good-bye and head to the next event: My cousin’s wedding. I was fully prepared to head from a baby party to a wedding. I packed extra clothes, some makeup for touch-ups and extra bobby pins. There was one little problem though… During the Birthday party I sat by a large fire pit for about 3 hours straight. By the time I found my seat at the wedding I had everyone in my family asking, “Where’s the fire?” “Are they burning incense?” “Anyone in the mood to roast marshmallows?” …Aren’t they hilarious?

The wedding was beautiful. My cousin looked so happy and in love. The best part was watching the parents. Everyone looked so blissful and proud. I have always loved attending wedding, but I think I enjoy them even more since my own.

the happy couple
the happy couple

Once again, time ran out, and I had to leave again to trek to one more party.

The third party was a 50th Birthday Surprise party for another cousin. We were late, so we missed the big surprise, but we didn’t miss the party! I really enjoyed getting to catch up with some cousins I have not seen in a VERY long time. We danced a little, drank a little, ate a little, and then remembered we had a big shower to get ready for the next day!

Mom and I at the party
Mom and I at the party

I managed to get in bed by 2am…not too shabby for a 3-party day.

I may not have slept much the weekend I spent in Texas, but I enjoyed every moment I spent wide awake!

Cheers!