Penny Pinching Peach


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10 Things I Never Imagined About Being a Parent

10 Things I Never Imagined About Being a Parent

I had a lot more experience with children than many new moms do starting out.

My experiences ranged from babysitting, volunteering in the nursery and Sunday school and to help moms of young children, and even helping with my cousin who spent a lot of time with our family in his first four years and a foster child we had for about a year. However, even being prepared for most aspects of dealing with young children never prepared me for some of things about the strange and wonderful world of being a mommy!

Before I became a parent, I never imagined…

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  • Sitting on the toilet wishing I could use the bathroom in peace, but unable to be angry at being serenaded by sweet faced children belting out Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star at the top of their lungs.
  • Holding a cranky nursing baby while making an emergency run to the toilet, because setting the baby down would result in screams that would wake up the toddler who finally lost the battle with napping.
  • Showering at night with a baby in the bath seat splashing behind the water falling because I can’t trust that an older child won’t get back up and mess with the helpless little thing….again.
  • Driving to Sonic during Happy Hour because I need to get a grumpy kiddo to sleep and I don’t want to wander aimlessly around just because a car ride is his kryptonite. (We won’t mention the fact that separating one more fight or listening to one more whine fest would send me over the deep end. 😉 )
  • Spending the night camped out on the couch nearest the bathroom with a sick toddler, surrounded by plastic trash bags laid out to protect the floor and furniture while I ran her to the toilet at the first sign of gagging.
  • Uninterrupted sleep happens once in a blue moon, only when there isn’t an infant under the age of one in the house. I’m waiting another two or three years to expect to sleep fairly well again. 🙂
  • My things really do grow legs and walk away, especially if they are edible or alluringly shiny, and the legs toting them along firmly believe Mommy’s things are now known as MINE!!!
  • It takes longer to get in and our of the car to run an errand than to actually run the errand itself.
  • Being able to shower daily without a thought to how in the world I was going to manage it? That, my friends, was a luxury! I won’t say how long I sometimes go without being able to shower, since I have had two (and now three) children and my husband is a Firefighter Paramedic who works 24-72 hours at a time.
  • That these little cuties who call me Mommy can drive me to tears, make me laugh until my stomach hurts, have me ready to scream with frustration, feel like I could burst from pride, lose my mind from the incessant question and overflow with feelings of love all in the course of a normal day!

What are some unexpected things you have learned since becoming a parent? Here is something I wrote from the heart in hopes that anyone struggling will never feel alone!


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Who Thinks You Are Beautiful?

Being Mommy

Being Mommy

I haven’t felt beautiful in a very long time.

Four pregnancies, three births, multiple complications from those, grief, sickness, stress and the course of life has changed me. It has changed not only how I look, but how I feel about myself and the world around me. The past couple of weeks have been rough. First, I took a bad fall that left me with multiple minor injuries, including a sprained right wrist and jammed fingers. About a week later, I had a freak accident while helping my husband uncock his crossbow after hunting, causing my hand to swell up like a softball instantly. I came home from the ER with pain meds and a brace after three doctors inspected my x-rays and couldn’t find a break. They said I could still have a hidden fracture, and may need follow up x-rays if I don’t heal properly as the swelling fades. I’m currently typing this one handed, feeling far from beautiful.

My children think I am beautiful.

Today- as I was soothing my cranky teething baby girl- my oldest wanted to take my picture. When I asked why, her reply was startling- “Because you are so beautiful, Mommy!”. Since I was wearing the clothes I slept in, have green fingers peeking from an ungainly blue brace and barely combed my hair today, I was curious enough about what she was seeing that I couldn’t to tell her to go ahead. I didn’t feel like posing, so she got just what she saw…me being their mommy. I don’t see physical beauty at all in the photos she took, but when I look at it from her perspective, I see what she was looking at. My daughter saw me loving on her baby sister, and she thought it was beautiful and wanted a picture of her mommy doing what she does.

Sweet baby

Sweet baby

This was a powerful reminder of the truth in the old saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

The beauty of a person is often in how you look at her. My daughter didn’t see the tired face. lack of grooming and sloppy clothing I would have zoomed in on had I looked in the mirror. She saw love and nurturing. I see the toll life has taken. She only sees the person who gives her and her siblings love, security and care. When I look at my children, I don’t just see that they are physically adorable (which they obviously are….lol). I see my dreams come true, their giving spirits and all the love their little hearts are overflowing with. I see endless beauty.

Who thinks you are beautiful?

Mommies, I know you often feel ugly and you are hard on yourself. We all get that way now and then, especially when we are struggling like I was when I wrote the poem at that link. Maybe it would help if you saw a glimpse of yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you. It could be your daughter, husband, parents, sister, best friend or the kids you mentor. Who knows? No matter what you look like or how you feel about yourself, someone sees the beauty in you. They see who you are, and they think you- the real, unfiltered, everyday you– are truly beautiful. Let that touch your heart. Maybe it will help you look at the woman in the mirror in a gentler light.

Feeling lost in the demands and wonder of motherhood? Read my thoughts on being More Than a Mom!


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To Cook Or Not To Cook

Sitting Down on the Job

Sitting Down on the Job

This is an older post, but I was thinking about it the other day when I let my children have cake for breakfast. I was tired, the baby was fussy, and it smelled so good just sitting there. Don’t judge me!!! lol For more shameful confessions, keep reading…

Anyone who knows me well (or reads my blog 🙂 ) also knows that I genuinely enjoy cooking. I love baking goodies to share, decorating cupcakes with my daughter, whipping up delectable meals for my family to gobble up, and just all around fixing scrumptious vittles. What many of you don’t know is that there are times I just plain absolutely fall down on the job. I mean, I really go outside the realm of ordinary feeding of family and children. To call what I do during those times cooking would be…well….a disgrace to cooks everywhere.

Take tonight, for instance. The hubby is on duty at the fire station, and I was gone most of the day with the munchkins. To say that I didn’t want to be bothered with cooking tonight is an understatement. I could not, would not, did not even want to think about bothering with it. I wanted to exercise for a few minutes while noone big enough to know how goofy I look bouncing around like a loon was here to watch. (I’m very much sick of the extra pudge in the tummy and thighs that’s still lingering from having my little Pumpkin, after years of being on the active side of life.) Guess what we had? Microwave maruchen noodles with a handful each of shredded baby spinach and pre-julienned carrots thrown in to make me feel like it was still a healthy dinner. While it microwaved and cooled, I did some of my old exercises & stretches with Princess Peach for the 15 minutes I would’ve probably spent throwing a simple dinner together. Winner, winner, what a dinner! 😉

To delve even deeper into the dark secret slip-ups of a mommy who usually loves cooking and feeding her family heartily…brace yourself, people, ’cause this one is an even bigger doozie!

Sometimes- like, say, yesterday- when my daughter asks for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast… *whispering guiltily* I let her. I know! Mom of the year here! Don’t give me that look! I was in a hurry, okay??

As if I haven’t already revealed enough of my lovely days of throwing in the towel of attempting to be something resembling Mrs. Handy Homemaker, there are also times when I throw together a bunch of chopped fruit and yogurt, then act really excited about it, and the kids & I have a fruit salad lunch that my sweet daughter thinks is a fruit party for princesses. Hey, at least this one is a healthy cheat! You’ve gotta give a girl credit for that!

So, now that you know some of my less-than-stellar moments of cookery, what are some of the things you do (or don’t do) on those days you are just too busy, too lazy or just not in the mood to have to fix something for your family? Don’t leave me hanging here! I ‘fessed up. Now it’s your turn! 😉 Oh, and if you want to try the cake I fed my kids for breakfast the other day, here you go… Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Glaze Cake

 


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Take Pictures With Your Kids

Take a Picture With Me, Mommy!

Take a Picture With Me, Mommy!

“Take a picture with me,  Mommy! “, my five year old daughter chirped this afternoon.

Excuses immediately ran through my mind of why I would really rather not.  I have a headache,  my hair is a mess, I am wearing no makeup and I have hardly slept in days, so I am not looking my best.

Then I had a flashback to being that girl begging for pictures with my mom, who hated having her picture taken. She usually said no, but those times she actually said yes live on as treasures for me. They are beautiful reminders of the loving,  joyful childhood I had with a mom who put aside her own insecurity in how she looked for long enough to make a record of a moment with her daughter.

My mom passed away at age 44, long before I had my own little girl.

Each snapshot of my mom is an irreplacable memory, frozen in time.

I cherish them, and the ability to share them with the grandchildren she never met. Because of this,  I don’t care if I look like a homeless crazy person,  I will take that picture with my babies whenever they want.  They don’t care about how I look now. Later they will look at that photo and remember that moment with Mom, regardless of what my hair looked like.

Take those pictures with your kids.

How you look right now doesn’t matter.  You don’t have to look like a fashion model to be a fabulous mommy. How they feel and the memories preserved in time do. You won’t regret those messy moments captured in a picture. Those messy moments make up the beautiful, crazy life filled with the love you have for your children….and that’s what those photos will represent to them when they look at them.

Here is a letter I wrote to my mom on her birthday during my pregnancy with our little Sweet Pea, if you would like to read it…

Dear Mom


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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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Whispers From Heaven

 

Mom, Nana and Me

Mom, Nana and Me

Have you ever had a time when you were struggling with life and worrying over something, and would just like a hug or some comfort?

This morning I was not feeling well and was just really overwhelmed by everything I needed to do and discouraged with my growing limitations and discomforts of pregnancy. I didn’t even want to get out of bed, so I just grabbed my phone to look at what was new on Facebook for a few minutes. If you’re familiar with the feature they have where they show you memories from that same day in previous years, it’s one of my favorites. I came across this one from 2010, and it touched my heart in a way it needed this morning…

I found a little poem card my mom gave me sometime. It made me cry, but it is exactly what Mom felt about me while she was alive & like a much-needed message from her now. It begins…

” Daughter, today and always, please know that I see you. I see the path that you’ve made that’s all your own. I see the many talents & gifts you have to share…

I see your brilliance, your enthusiasm, and how deeply you care and hurt sometimes. I see your hard earned wisdom, your soft pure innocence, your courage and compassion…

I see what a difference you make in this world, and I hope you know how very much I love you, and how proud I’ll always be to have a daughter as wonderful as you are.”

I am so blessed to have been raised by a mom who genuinely loved me & showed it each & every day of her life.

I have no regrets in my relationship with her. We had our fusses at times & nobody’s perfect, but we communicated our feelings to each other while we still had time. Cherish every moment with your loved ones. Let them know what they mean to you. The impact of your relationships will live long after you are gone.

Read when I share about another way I’ve heard whispers from heaven through butterfly kisses from heaven!


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Preventing Stretch Marks

29 Weeks

29 Weeks

Anyone else have some crazy pregnancy phobias? Tell me I’m not alone! I had a huge fear with my first pregnancy, and I’m sharing with y’all how I managed to prevent that fear from coming true.

Let me start by saying I’m not a medical professional or a scientist, nor am I being compensated to review the products mentioned (unless you are nice enough to use my affiliate links to order through and help a mama out a bit). I’m just a mom with my own experiences to share in hopes that it will help someone else. I know that they say there is nothing you can do to avoid or treat them. I’m also aware that they say it’s all genetics. Who knows? They may be right. I don’t think that is entirely true, based on my aforementioned experiences, but I’ll get to that. There, now that I have that out of the way, I can share my trick for a smooth mommy tummy… 😉

Something many women seriously dread is stretch marks. With my first pregnancy, I was absolutely horrified at the thought of getting stretch marks. I started out my journey into motherhood with defined abs and zero stretch marks, and wanted to at least keep the latter part of that statement true. While I know many women have them, and are still beautiful, it was just a phobia of mine, and something I’d rather avoid if I could even now. Lucky for me, I had heard from my stretch mark free Mom and Nana about how they helped their tummies appear unscathed!

From the moment each of them found out that they were pregnant, they lathered their bellies down with oil every day. They mentioned coconut oil, vitamin E and olive oil, varied, as well as cocoa butter layered over it. They did this religiously throughout pregnancy, increasing the frequency as their tummies got fuller and their skin grew tighter. Since they both had beautiful skin of completely different types (Nana’s skin is quite dry, while my mom’s was like her dad’s & very oily), I thought there was a good chance of their regimen working for me, since I fall somewhere in between on the skin type scale. My biggest concern was that it might not work for me because they were both in their teens and very early 20s during their pregnancies, while I brought my first child home from the hospital on my 28th birthday. I was concerned that my skin might not have the same resilience theirs did.

I’ve been pregnant four times (once ended in an early miscarriage). Each time, I started immediately oiling my as-yet-unchanged pregnant belly with Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E Skin Therapy Oil — 5.1 fl oz
. This is a little embarassing to admit, but the first pregnancy I neglected to start oiling my breasts until they were swelling and itchy, since noone warned me about that, and got some mild stretch marks on them. This is where I was convinced that the oil works! I still have zero stretch marks on my stomach or sides over six months into this pregnancy, which I ALWAYS oiled. You can see that from the current belly pictures I took to prove it. Excuse the selfies. I don’t have a photographer on staff here. 🙂 (The bruise is because I’m a klutzy pregnant woman and never seem to adjust to having a tummy blown up like a hot air ballooon. LOL) Those mild ones came up on my breasts before I realized I should be oiling them, too. Time and the continued use of the oils throughout pregnancy and the first several months of breastfeeding each time seems to have faded them to nearly undetectable, though. You’ll just have to take my word on that one. Modesty prevents me from sharing proof of that one! 😉

29 Weeks

29 Weeks

I can’t say enough good things about this Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E Skin Therapy Oil — 5.1 fl oz
! I’m not sure if other methods work as well as this has worked for me, since I’m not messing with the tried and true. Before my belly starts to noticeably swell, but starts to itch or feel dry, I layer on some cocoa butter or the Palmer’s Skin Therapy Lotion, 7 fl oz
for extra moisture and protection.

Will this work for you? Honestly, I don’t know. It isn’t likely to hurt, and is sure to relieve the dryness and itchiness that comes along with pregnant skin. I have definitely had positive results. I don’t know if the genetics thing is part of it, since my mom and my nana don’t have stretch marks, or if it’s to be credited to the skin care regimen we’ve all used, or a little bit of both.

If you choose to try the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E Skin Therapy Oil — 5.1 fl oz
and Palmer’s Skin Therapy Lotion, 7 fl oz
, or your alternative product, don’t forget to get ALL of the stretch mark prone areas. Breasts, stomach, sides, hips and upper thighs are especially prone to stretch marks, and you’re safer to not neglect those areas while caring for your pregnant skin.

Does anyone else have any tried and true tricks for preventing or treating stretch marks?
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