Penny Pinching Peach


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Struggling? You Are Not Alone.

Carrying my baby while I can

Carrying my baby while I can

I have been struggling. I’m struggling with handling life’s bigger problems- like finances and relationships. I’m struggling with my self image after birthing three children and having health issues. I’m struggling with my precious unruly children, teething fussy baby and a moderate dose of post partum depression. I will be okay, but this poem flowed out of all that and more. I felt that maybe someone would benefit from my transparency, although I was hesitant to share this.

♥♥♥

Baby teething, keeps on screaming,

Must have Mommy, and it’s seeming

Like she’ll never let me put her down

Or let me stop carrying her around…

But she will.

♥♥♥

Threenager yelling out so loud,

Waking baby and feeling proud.

Leaving destruction wherever he goes

Hard to imagine he’ll get better as he grows…

But he will.

♥♥♥

Six year old asking questions galore,

When I answer, she wants to know more,

Gives me attitude when she doesn’t understand,

Will she always question every command?

Probably will.

♥♥♥

My head is pounding from the chaos and noise,

My kids drive me crazy, but they’re also such joys.

They tire me out and the work’s never done

Will I miss their neediness as much as the fun?

I think I will.

♥♥♥

Some days I’m discouraged and wonder why

Do I continue to give them my best Mommy try?

Will it matter if I do my best to raise them right,

Or just let them run wild without giving a fight?

I know it will.

♥♥♥

Why am I sharing my struggles with you?

Because I’m not alone, and know this is true.

Most parents struggle and feel they’re not enough,

Does it help to admit I love my children, but it’s tough?

Maybe it will.

♥♥♥

Are you struggling today? What helps you when you are struggling? Two things that help me are writing and shifting my focus to others.

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

This bracelet would be a wonderful reminder that God can bring you through anything If God Brings You To It, He Will Help You Through It Bracelet!

I wrote a series about kindness awhile back, if you are interested in some ideas on how to help others. Here’s one of the posts from that series: Share The Kindness.

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Weird Things Moms Say

Say What??

Say What??

Anyone else find the weirdest things coming out of your mouth when speaking to the crazy cute beings known as your children? I often pause after saying something to one of my children and think “Wow, that would sound completely crazy if someone wasn’t in this scenario to understand!”. I thought I’d share a few random quotes and the adult side of conversations from the mouth of this weird mommy, free of the context they were responding to. 😉

“Did you really just fill your teacup from the toilet?!? Don’t drink that! Give it to me!! Wash your hands! Because people poop where that water came from! Yes, yuck!”

“Peanut butter is not paint! I don’t care if it makes your room smell good!”

“You would scratch someone, too, if she picked you up by the tail and spun you in circles! No, I am not putting the cat in timeout! I’d put you there if he hadn’t scratched you already, though! I’m mean? Ummm…thanks!”

“Get your foot out of my hair!”

“You can’t fly. No, you can’t! Not even if you’re wearing a cape. Don’t climb up there. Stop! GET DOWN NOWWWW!!!”

Say What??

Say What??

“Don’t put your toes in your mouth. Because they are dirty, that’s why!”

“No, you can’t drive my van to the park! You’re five years old! I’m glad you watched Daddy drive lots of times, but that doesn’t mean you can drive yourself! I know you drive your power wheel, but that’s different.”

“The closet is not a toilet!!!”

“Daddy doesn’t make milk. Yes, I know he has nipples, but only mommies make milk. Yeah, it probably would taste funny with all that hair on them, anyway.”

“That’s sweet of you, but I really don’t want the biggest booger ever.”

This is just a small sample of the odd things I’ve heard come out of my own mouth in response to my children, if this gives you any hint into the tee-total lunacy of my household. Anyone else have some doozies you’ve caught yourself saying?

If you enjoyed this post, check out this one about my crazy kingdom of kiddos! https://pennypinchingpeach.com/2014/09/20/the-crazy-kingdom-of-kiddos/


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Homewreckers

Peanut the Conqueror

Peanut the Conqueror

My kids give a whole new definition to the term “homewrecker”. There are times when the little varmints seem intent upon destroying our home and everything in it, nailed down or not. Take the first couple of days of last week, for instance. We had just returned from a short vacation, and our kiddos were excited to be home again. Their response to their joy at being back in their home sweet home? My little darlings turned into a two tot demolition derby!

The first full day at home was the beginning of the madness. My sweet little Peanut, who just turned a year old, pulled the leg off of our coffee table and then did his new-walker “monster run” around the living room trying to whack anything that couldn’t skedaddle. Princess Peach strewed every book she could find all over her bedroom floor while I thought she was nicely reading on her bed, and her baby brother thought the books were perfect for one of his favorite games, Shred The Paper. (I should’ve known better than to think the fact she was on her bed quietly looking at a book and baby was on the living room floor with a toy meant it was safe to go to the bathroom alone, for once.) While trying to fix a quick supper, with them right behind me, Peanut dumped out the trash can and was frantically trying to dig through it before I could grab him out of the mess. After supper, I thought I could do dishes with them in the kitchen with me. Nope! Baby Peanut was pulling them out and throwing them as quickly as I could set them in, and my daredevil Princess was stacking empty boxes to try to climb on the counters to get at things she wasn’t supposed to have. AVALANCHE!!! They both fought sleep until the bitter end that night, and since I didn’t even begin to detail everything the little boogers got into that day, it took me about an hour of clean-up once they finally lost their battle with the snooze monster for me to be able to go to bed that night. This is even after making my daughter pick up every single book and all the toys she had scattered hither and thither across our humble abode.

She colored her face with blue crayon

She colored her face with blue crayon

I figured by the second day that the gruesome twosome would’ve settled down a bit. They were pretty good while I took them to church and a fundraiser spaghetti dinner afterwards. Apparently, that was merely to lull their dear ol’ mom into a false sense of security.

The madness began again as soon as they got home. They found an open bag of potato chips, which they both proceeded to try to cram into their jowls as quickly as possible before I could deprive them of their prize. The result? Well, chips & crumbs from head to toe to floor….everywhere! They pulled out just about every toy they owned, and a few I didn’t even know existed anymore. When I attempted another ill-fated attempt at relieving my bladder, this time taking Peanut in there with me while I thought Princess was watching a cartoon, she climbed the counter and got into some chocolate. She had it half eaten and smeared all over by the time I got out. I even heard her opening the wrapper and hollered from the potty. Did that deter my determined diva? Nosirreebob!! It just made her gobble faster. This went on and on all day long, one thing after another.

Cut to the grand finale of that lovely day…

The Princess' Potty

The Princess’ Potty

At one point I thought I could keep an eye on them and check my messages online, since I hadn’t been on a computer for a few days. Princess Peach took off for the potty as I was logging on. I gave her a minute to do her business before I followed. BIG MISTAKE!! By the time I got in there, she had crammed a ton of toilet paper into the toilet and repeatedly tried flushing it. Can we say FLOOD??? Yep, it was an overflowing mess! Did I mention that my husband was on duty at the fire department? But of course he was! 😉 As yours truly was hurriedly turning off the water and ordering the incorrigibly cute culprit to timeout, Peanut was trying to swim in the mess. Once I got the floodwaters to shop rushing, I had to strip him down to a diaper and toss him into the playpen. Picture this: Screaming Peanut, ringing phone, whining Princess and mumbling Mommy rushing back and forth with a bucket tossing water outside, plunging, hauling buckets of water, plunging again, yadayadayada. It took about a dozen cycles of plunging and water hauling to get the toilet fixed up. After that I had to remove everything from the bathroom, clean everything, put back what I could and explain to Princess Peach exactly why Mommy was so far beyond irritated with her at the moment and why she should never do that again. Of course, next it was baths all around and off to beddy bye. Also, of course, they fought sleep yet another night to the bitter, nerve wrecking end!

Now, I don’t think any of these things are all that unusual in a day of life with munchkins. They just went on an absolute homewrecking spree there for a few days! This wasn’t even the end, since the next week included another flooding of the toilet, painting the bathroom with pink toothpaste, many more raids of forbidden snack stashes, destroying of items they shouldn’t touch, etc. My nerves have yet to settle down, since both of my kiddos are in some high maintenance stages right about now. Why am I sharing this? Maybe ’cause I’m a mess of a mom sometimes, and am too tired to care that everyone knows. Maybe to let other mommies who want to go outside and howl at the moon in frustration know that they aren’t alone in loving life with their precious children at the same time as wanting to crawl into a hole and cry. Maybe ’cause life is crazy, but it’s meant to be shared. Maybe so these little lunatics I am raising can look at this later when their own progeny are driving them up the walls and see that it’s just the way things are sometimes.

I’m convinced that God made children adorable and innocent so that at times like this, when they make their parents want to scream, howl and have a toddler sized meltdown from frustration….we look at the source of our frustration and think “You’re lucky you’re so stinkin’ cute, kid!”. LOL

My messmakers

My messmakers

Off to make sure Princess Peach isn’t wrecking havoc in the temporary silence of a napping Peanut. If your kids are at home and quiet….CHECK ON THEM!!!! 😉 I have to add that the little booger was yet again brushing the walls with pink toothpaste, as well as dumping water all over the floor and squirting pink toothpaste into the sink to use for her painting. I shouldn’t have left her alone, because she’s rarely behaving if she’s quiet lately. What’s a mommy to do??? Gotta laugh or cry! *laughing now that I’ve cleaned the bathroom and let her out of timeout* LOL! AHHHHHH!!!!

Anyone else had fun times like this?? Tell me I’m not alone, y’all, pleeeeeeease!!! 🙂


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Dandelions Are My Favorite Flower

Sweet Smiles of Spring!

Sweet Smiles of Spring!

Dandelions are my favorite flower!

A lot of folks look at dandelions as a weed, a nuisance, something to be combatted removed at any cost. I see a dandelion and I think of dimpled hands, smiling faces and bright yellow bouquets offered with lots of sunshiny sweetness and pride in a gift well chosen.

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

Many people see dandelions as pesky plants they want to eradicate. I see a beautiful bloom that speaks of love and innocence.

♥ I love this beautiful Real Dandelion Seed Pendant Necklace! ♥

 

I’m sure most people list something fancier as their favorite flower, like roses or tulips, and I understand that. I love those, too. They are lovely to look at, last longer, and smell sweeter than the humble yellow blossom that I’m so fond of. Fancy flowers can’t compete with dandelions and the feelings they evoke in my heart, though.

Sweet Smiles of Spring!

Sweet Smiles of Spring!

These plain and simple flowers have been handed to me by sticky hands, accompanied by the biggest, most genuine proclamations of “I love you!” that you can imagine, with slobbery sweet kisses and tight hugs from dirty little arms. I have very early memories of running to my mom with a sunny bouquet picked with all the love in my little heart and seeing the smile it put on her face. Dandelions bring up so many memories of sunshine and love, that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

Dandelions may be a nuisance to you. That’s okay.

♥This is a beautiful story of a dandelion seed in The Dandelion Seed Book!♥

To me, dandelions are a symbol of all things sweet and special, generous and innocent about childhood and the love of the children God has allowed to touch my life!


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The Guilt of a Fertile Myrtle

Tiebreaker!

Tiebreaker!

I always dreamed of being a mommy. By always, I mean from the time that I was able to tote around baby dolls and know what a mommy actually was. My other dreams came, went and changed with my interests, but that dream remained the same: I wanted to be a mommy more than anything in the world, and I wanted more than just two children. By my teens, I was somewhat scared I wouldn’t be able to conceive or carry a child, from watching others struggle with fertility and miscarriages.

When my time came to have my own baby, however, I got pregnant beyond quickly. The second time around, I was expecting within a couple of months of going off of birth control. The third time I conceived I was actually on birth control and went off of it when I realized I might be pregnant, but I sadly lost that baby. This time is my fourth pregnancy, and I was pregnant literally immediately. We joke that all my husband has to do is look at me when I’m not on birth control and I’m pregnant. It’s a blessing, but never stops surprising me, especially now, since they had to remove my right ovary during my son’s emergency c-section due to a huge dermoid cyst that apparently had taken over that ovary’s ability to function long before I was even expecting the first time. I am an unlikely Fertile Myrtle.

That being said, my awareness of the very real struggle and pain of infertility leaves me feeling guilty. I feel guilty that I become pregnant with no effort whatsoever, even though it’s pretty miraculous under the circumstances. I feel guilty that I am expecting my third child while many of my friends are still dreaming of being able to have even one precious child. When it comes time to make a happy announcement or share brags about my babies, I feel guilty and worry that it might hurt my friends who aren’t able to have children so easily. Maybe I shouldn’t, but I do feel guilty because of their sadness and my own joy.

Holding Hands On Our Wedding Day

Holding Hands On Our Wedding Day

But then I think…

I expected to marry at a very young age, due to the way I was raised, but I didn’t marry until I was 27. Our first daughter was born two days before my 28th birthday. I remember wondering if I’d ever find someone to share my life with, as I watched my friends find their special someone one by one. I recall hoping I’d be a mommy myself one day, as I saw them welcome their little ones into their lives through birth and adoption. Even now, as I see their mothers doting upon them and their children with such love and pride, I wish with all of my heart that my own mom could have been here to do just that with her grandbabies she’d also dreamed about, because even when she was dying she said missing out on them was her biggest regret.

Did it upset me for them to share the joy of their engagements, weddings and babies, even while wishing for those things for myself? Honestly, no. I was happy to be able to rejoice with them, and loved seeing the pictures and being part of their lives. Do I resent that these mothers and grandmothers are enjoying the next generation while my mom is missing it? Of course not! It sometimes makes me wistful, but I am glad to see that love. What would have been then- and would be now- a much sadder thing is to be left out of all of that happiness just because people didn’t or don’t want to make me feel sad or left out.

With this perspective, do I still feel guilty? Being for real here…yes! However, having that perspective makes me just continue to talk about my children, share their oh-so-adorable pictures, delight in the announcement of a new life and share it with everyone, including those who I so much wish could have these things for themselves, as well. Yep, I feel that twinge of guilt sometimes when I think about it, but I am going to love my little ones and share that joy with all of my friends and family just as if I didn’t feel it. 🙂

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

Do you ever feel guilt about something you can’t help because you fear it might hurt someone you care about?

This looks like a good book for those who are struggling with infertility, and for those who are wondering how to reach out to them: Infertility: a Silent Struggle and a God Who Hears

If you don’t have a Kindle, but want to be able to read e-books like the one above, here is a free app that will help you out: Amazon.com – Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices

To see the youngest member of our family, head on over to my special announcement!


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First Child, Second Child

Cherish the crazy life!

Cherish this crazy life!

 

I am a different parent the second time around. The first time I was nervous, worried about what people would think & what society said I was supposed to do, and more insecure & unsure of my decisions as a parent. The second time my child and I almost didn’t make it, which in turn made me realize the little things didn’t matter nearly as much as I’d thought they did, and I didn’t give a flying flip what anyone thought or what current parenting trends said I should do. My first child was an amazing gift, and she’s a beautiful, vibrant, one-of-a-kind little person, but the first time parent jitters caused our start to be a wee bit more difficult. Our family is not typical, my kids are individuals, and as long as we are a happy & healthy little family, it’s alllllll good! If someone thinks my second child method of parenting isn’t up to par, I’ll listen, smile, and generally continue with life as usual.

Sleep.

Sleep is a big issue for parents of small children. My baby right now is two, and he still comes calling for Mommy at some point in the night over half the time. First time around I was blessed with a baby girl who inherited her mommy’s wonderfully interrupted sleep problems and tendency toward insomnia. Not only that, I tried to fight to sleep train her, because everyone said that would make it all better. HA!!!! We moved her from the bassinet by our bed to her crib in her own room at six weeks old. Attempted to let her cry it out, insisted on her staying in her own crib regardless of how many times she got me up and other conventional methods of sleep training, none of which ever worked. The result? We were exhausted, grumpy and loopy, and I spent most nights for the first two years and beyond in an insanely frustrated attempt to make her sleep like a “normal” child.

My second child was born premature with undeveloped lungs, and spent time in the NICU before we could bring him home. I was scared he would stop breathing at night for a long time. He spent many night sleeping on my chest while I was propped up, since it seemed to be the easiest position for him to breathe in. He also stayed in the bassinet by our bed (propped at an angle until his breathing troubles lessened dramatically) until he outgrew it around six months old. Once we did move him out, he slept okay in his crib for a few months before he started thrashing around and whacking his head and arms on the rails. I moved him to the futon in the living room because he napped so well there, and I lay there with him when he doesn’t sleep well at night so my husband can get some rest before having to head in for a 24 to 48 hour shift at the fire department. The result of this more relaxed approach? We are all better rested and less cranky. This method has extended to my daughter, in a compromise now that she’s older and more reasonable. She is allowed to come snuggle in Mommy’s bed after daylight, and if she sleeps through the night without waking me until then, she gets a sticker on her sleep chart. Once she gets five stickers, she gets a small prize (we started with three stickers). Guess what? We all sleep better than when I was fighting it out trying to follow normal expectations. Relaxing works, y’all! 😉

Sleeping Booties

Sleeping Booties

Breastfeeding in public.

Most first time breastfeeding moms are self conscious. My husband was more self conscious than I was. I don’t know that he had ever seen a woman breastfeed before our daughter was born, covered or not. It’s not that common to breastfeed for any extended period of time in our area. I was nursed, and always knew that’s how my babies would be nourished, but he was even more self conscious about people seeing it than I was, in spite of being extremely supportive and proud of my choice to breastfeed. When we were attending church, I never made it through a service without having to go to a back room to cover and breastfeed our little girl. I had to nurse her in the back seat in parking lots, back rooms everywhere and all sorts of things. At work with my dad, though, I just did my work as I fed her, with a covering, as when we were visiting with other family. Otherwise, breastfeeding made me feel very isolated, but I still happily breastfed for 17 bonding months with her.

Our second child could not stand to have anything over his head or face, maybe as a result of his time covered with tubes and contraptions in the NICU. My give a *bleep* had busted on all things ridiculous by this point, and my husband was completely comfortable and on board with whatever kept his wife and babies healthy & happy, so if my munchkin didn’t want covered, I sure as tootin’ wasn’t covering him. I used strategically placed toys and carefully draped blankies to prevent embarrassing nipple flashes, and if anyone had a problem with knowing that my baby was eating as God intended him to…well, let’s just hope they weren’t crazy enough to say something about it. 😉 We had an openly happy nursing experience for 21 months.

Ouchies.

As first time parents, we were more likely to fret about all the little booboos and bug bites. Honestly, my husband couldn’t imagine a bug biting his little princess’ tender skin, and would get mad about it. My response generally being something along the lines of a drippingly sarcastic “Yes, honey, I should’ve told that mean ol’ skeeter that it didn’t have permission to bite your little darlin’.” LOL By the time our son was born, we’d both calmed down a lot about it, and realized that bruises, bumps and bites just happen, and they’re okay.

Getting dirty.

This one was all me. Hubby never minded our daughter getting dirty, but I was not too keen on her smearing mud in her curls or messing up her pretty outfits. I’d allow it, but I’d cringe at the thought of the mess. After nearly not being here to enjoy my little piggies wallowing in the mud, I am able to focus more on their happy grins than on the big whoppin’ disaster they’ve made of themselves. Well, unless they decide to take off running through the muck in their Sunday best, because then manic mommy is coming out to play! 😉 As you can see from the picture, they find plenty of dirt around these parts. I didn’t even have to suggest a bath, though. From the adorably horrified expression on his little face, can you tell that right after the shot he took off running to the house hollering “Yuck!! Bath! BATH!!!!”? I’m so glad I didn’t freak out, because that, my friends, was priceless!!! 🙂

Muddy Mess

Muddy Mess

Life.

The point of all this? It’s normal to be a bit uptight and insecure and worried about what other people think. We all do it sometimes. Don’t let it get so out of control that you can’t just let loose and have fun and enjoy childhood with your munchkins. You won’t regret having to wash that laundry, kiss that booboo, hide that nipple, or let that kid sleep in a weird place that makes him feel comfortable. You will regret it if you miss that dirty grin, the joy of running freely outside with a giggling child, snuggling up to that nursing child or just letting them be little. Embrace the crazy! Don’t be afraid to adapt to your own unique family situation and each child’s different needs. If people judge you, that’s their problem. Don’t waste energy worrying on it, as long as your life is truly working for you. Childhood goes by so quickly, but the moments can be so long at times. Don’t get so caught up in those frustrating details that you miss the magic of life with your kids!

I’m glad I got the chance to relax by the second time around. 🙂


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Mommy Meltdown Moments

Driving mommy's cart
When Mommy is having a meltdown,  but we’re still cute….

My toddler loves to go shopping with Mommy. Does Mommy always enjoy that experience? Umm….nope!!

There are times when shopping with my beautiful children is pure bliss.

We wander the aisles of the grocery & department stores, racking up compliments on how gorgeous and well behaved my little angels are while my daughter points out all the neaterific things she sees everywhere with witty descriptiveness and my baby happily chortles at every grandmother who smiles at him. These are the moments of pride & joy in motherhood. I glow and think I could handle a few more of these wonderful beings.

Then, on the other end of the spectrum, there are the “Mommy Meltdown” moments on a routine grocery shopping trip.

If you’re a mother and claim to have never had one of these, you are either actually an angelic being posing as a human mommy or a big honkin’ liar! I’m betting on the latter! 😉

My personal meltdowns have been triggered by a myriad of crazily challenging experiences. Want a sample? Let me see…

How about the time my daughter was pitching tantrums and trying to grab things all through the store? The icing on the cake was when she grabbed my coupon organizer and scattered it’s contents all over the cleaning aisle. An older lady came upon me in tears on my hand & knees, baby strapped to me in a carrier and my other hand holding the seat of the pants of a squirming toddler. She was very sweet and helped me gather up my many pieces of paper gold, assuring me this happens to the best of us now & then.

Oh, oh! And the other day when my sweet little girl was sharing Cheerios with her baby brother, and dumped the whole container all over the drugstore floor? That took awhile to clean up, especially since I made her “help” and had to keep her from putting the nasty crumbs into her hungry little mouth while baby brother cried from his perch in the buggy.

That same trip, as I strapped both kids into the car, she pulls two lip balms out of her pocket and exclaims “Surprise, Mommy!!”. Yeah, that was a fun trip back into the store.

You should’ve heard the lecture she got through our whole grocery trip about what stealing is, why it is bad, and what the consequences will be if this ever happens again. She can now be heard loudly lecturing random strangers in stores about not taking things without paying for them.

My most recent meltdown happened this morning at home.

Both kids were content playing for a moment, and I walked away for a minute to get something. Suddenly, I heard suspicious scribbling noises. As I walked back to the kitchen, asking Princess Peach what she was doing, I heard a clattering crash and baby protesting loudly. Miss munchkin ran guiltily away, pencil in hand, refrigerator covered in her hastily scribbled “artwork”, with the echo of me hollering “TIMEOUT! NOW!!!” following her into the other livingroom. Baby was looking at up me in irritation, still grasping the trash can lid in hand, wondering why everything was scattered all around and why I looked so frustrated. The next little while saw me scrubbing the fridge, gathering the trash, scrubbing the floor, cleaning the baby and muttering under my breath “God made them cute to ensure their survival”. 🙂

So, yeah, I’ve had my share of “I-am-so-embarassed” and “If-one-more-thing-goes-wrong-I’ll-implode” during routine trips to the grocery store, ill-planned visits to restaurants or even simply trying to get a few things done around the house.

What triggers your “Mommy Meltdowns”?