The day I found out I’m not THAT mom

Have I ever told you the story about the time Johanna got really sick and I almost passed out? No? Well here we go. Picture it, Summer 2015, a Saturday. JD had gone to Virginia to hang with the guys and Johanna and I had been in DC to have lunch with some friends. We had just settled in the house after a visit from a friend. I was watching tv on the couch when Johanna came over and said her tummy hurt. I went into comforting mode woo woo wooing her and holding her. Suddenly, she jumped up, walked across the room and turned to face me. Her eyes were huge and she was standing incredibly still. All I could think was ‘Oh no, please God, no!’

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And then it happened, like a scene from the exorcist. Pale pink liquid and bright pink chunks flew everywhere. I screamed and then cried. Johanna simply cried. I slapped myself around a bit and said “Get it together Johanna’s Mama! You are a mom and you are supposed to be built for times like this”. But one whiff of the vomit and I cried “I’m not. I’m not built for times like this!” You see, my husband is the gross cleaner upper. Ever since Johanna was born he was the one to rush and clean up the explosive diapers, the spit up, or whatever gross situation she was in. Notice how I keep using the word gross? That’s exactly what it is to me and it is very difficult for me to be around gross stuff as it deals with bodily functions. My husband is the real MVP when it comes to such things. I’m ok with being called a punk. Emotional issues? I got you! Vomiting? Diarrhea? I’mma go ahead and punk out.

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Back to that wonderful Saturday.

As I was standing there trying to decide what to do, Johanna’s eyes lit up again and I was all “Ohnoohnoohno! Run to the bathroom!” She took off trying to get to the bathroom in time when suddenly, two steps away from the door the exorcist seen replays. At this point I almost passed all the way out. I was crying real tears and so was she. I know what she was thinking. “I want Daddy. Daddy can fix this. Instead, I’m stuck with mommy. I’m doomed!” And that’s ok because I was thinking the exact same thing! I headed to a corner and inhaled deeply, still smelling the faint smell of chunky vomit and I told myself to get a grip. To straighten my back and go do whatever it was my husband would do in this situation. So I went and grabbed Johanna and tried to carefully pull her shirt off so I wouldn’t get vomit in her hair. Well she decided I wasn’t going fast enough and started pulling the shirt off herself, almost causing her to have a hair wash night, which she hates. So I’m screaming jumping up and down “Stop it! Stop it now! You’re going to get it in your hair and I can’t take it!” I guess she remembered how much she hated getting her hair washed because she stood as still as a mannequin as I finished undressing her. I wiped her mouth, gave her some water and bundled her up in a comforter as she laid on the couch. Just then JD called. I answered the phone trying to sound normal, but he asked what was wrong anyway. I told him that Johanna got sick and was vomiting. “Awww man, I knew something was wrong, I could feel it. I’m on my way back home.” I tried to dissuade him and tell him to go ahead and stay with his friends, while inwardly doing cartwheels and the wop at the thought of him coming home and handling that mess. He decided that it was best that he came home, and I whispered a thank you to Jesus because seriously, I’m just not that mom.

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After we hung up I went to get stuff to clean up with. I won’t describe to you what that was like. Just know that I was dry heaving and gagging while also bawling my eyes out. Even right now I would like someone to hold me while I cry about it.

It was then that Johanna started crying, and I welcomed the cleaning break to go hold her. She kept saying how sorry she was for getting sick, which I told her was nonsense. She didn’t plan to get sick, it happened to her, and I was very sorry she was sick. She was also upset because she figured her daddy would be mad at her for messing up the carpet. Nonsense. She didn’t do anything purposely, and we were all sad that she wasn’t feel well. I sat there and held her until she went to sleep, then I went back to gagging as I cleaned up the mess. When JD got home I ran to him and let out the biggest sigh of relief ever. The real champ was home; I could rest. I carried Johanna upstairs to bed while he changed his clothes and started to do the real cleanup.

This is one of many reasons I am thankful for my husband. He is strong in the areas that I am weak, and we both know it. He doesn’t shame me for it. He just does what he does best, and I do what I do best, and it works. And I’m totally ok with not being THAT mom. Hooray for those of you that are, but I’m just not that girl and that’s tooottallyy ok!

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Pinterest Tested Thursdays: Advent Calendar Box

A couple of years ago I started the advent calendar tradition with Johanna. No, we are not Catholic, but I do enjoy doing little things that lead up to Christmas. Not just things that bring my daughter pleasure, but activities that will also bring pleasure to others and show them love, just like we were showed love by God sending Christ to us.

Last year I used little cards and envelopes for her calendar, but this year I wanted something that I could use time and time again. Naturally I went to pinterest to get ideas!

That is where I ran into this pin. One project used the Karen Foster calendar box. It looks like this when you purchase it:

51UTfX1oPQL._SY300_Very straight forward, no frills. So I went back to pinterest and found some digital Christmas paper that I printed out on card stock and cut out using the guideline that comes in the package. Here’s my finished product!

12247858_526317690875034_3680546474146038367_oI’m pretty happy with how it came out. I did add some stickers to it to jazz it up a bit. Overall this was a very successful pinterest test. Just a word, the box is small. The drawers are really small, maybe 1.5 inches or so. This wasn’t a problem for me because I don’t usually add gifts inside of Johanna’s box, but activities. Any treats she gets we usually make together, so I’m going to put small papers inside of each box with the activity that we will do, and at times I will add a hershey’s kiss or some other small candy.

If you are looking for activities to do during the advent season, checkout my post from last year here. You can also check out this post that I found on pinterest. I plan to incorporate some things from that list into our advent season this year.

Do you celebrate advent? What are some of your favorite advent activities? What do you do to keep the spirit of Christmas alive?

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The Homeschool Life: Why I chose to homeschool my daughter

Homeschool life

I never meant to be a homeschooling mom. In fact, I balked at the idea. I was a career woman. I liked going to work and bringing home money. I enjoyed my complete financial independence. Even more than that, I loved getting away and being able to be something other than be mom and wife for 8 hours a day. However, in June of 2014 that all came to an end and I was left wondering what to do next.

For the first few months I feverishly looked for a job. I was constantly on the web trying to see who was hiring in my field of choice. I had a few interviews, but no one wanted to pay me what I was asking for. I constantly found myself saying “I’m not trying to get rich, I’m just trying to pay for child care”. Many understood, but could not meet my demands. So, for a while, I stopped trying, and focused on making sure that Johanna’s education didn’t slip through the cracks just because mommy couldn’t find work.

That first year was hard, there’s no other way of saying it. I hated it and Johanna did too. She missed school and friends, and I missed adult conversation and having professional goals. We had more bad days than good, and I was absolutely over it! I wanted to throw in the towel so many times, but I love my child and realized that she couldn’t watch Sprout all day. So I prayed. I needed the Lord on a whole ‘nother level because this was a mess! Then about 8 months into the process, I noticed that Johanna wasn’t pushing against my teaching as much and I had started to find my rhythm. It wasn’t awesome yet, but it was good, and good was a whole heck of a lot better than things had been.

A few months later I was offered a position that I couldn’t step into just yet, but the offer was made and I felt confused. The position was my dream position at a really good place with really decent money, but a huge part of me felt like I had finally found my life’s calling – being a homeschooling mom. I saw that I was able to give Johanna the things I had been looking for in the schools around us. I had gone to a private school fair in hopes of finding our dream school, but none of them lived up to my expectations. They were all missing some element that I wanted Johanna to have, but in homeschooling I could give her those things. I could give her the biblical foundation I wanted her to have. I was able to take her on many field trips throughout the week. I also was able to teach her in her learning style, something that most schools can’t do for every student.

WerenottryingtodoWhen Johanna is having a bad day, I don’t have to school her in the traditional sense. I can turn on the chromecast and school her through Netflix. When the day is ending quicker than I would like, I can bring her in the kitchen with me to help me cook, all while going over measurements with her. Being able to teach her in everything we do is such a mind blowing blessing. If it’s sunny and 70 degrees out I am able to take her outside to homeschool instead of staying in the house. We frequently visit a café in the city to people watch and do school work. The flexibility of homeschooling is a beautiful thing! And if you live in a city like mine, there are plenty of free and discounted opportunities. Many museums and theatres have homeschool days where kids are able to participate at a discounted or free price! The opportunities made available to them are fantastic!

If you’re considering homeschooling, the biggest thing I can tell you is to erase what you believe homeschooling looks like because I promise you that it is different for every family. From curriculum (are you homeschooling online? Did you buy your curriculum? Did you make up your own?) to unschooling, schooling on the road, joining a coop – it is more different than you could ever imagine. The opportunities and styles are quite varied. There are also great resources out there; Plenty of websites and groups to guide you (if they don’t overwhelm you first!). I’m apart of some great communities on facebook where I learn a lot from other seasoned homeschoolers, and newcomers like myself. The homeschool community can be a very supportive and nurturing one.

I have no idea how long I will homeschool Johanna for. A few more months? Years? Through high school? I really don’t know. Will I accept that job offer when the time comes? Only God knows. I’m ok either way. What I do know is that I count myself incredibly blessed to have this opportunity to homeschool. I get to spend a ton of time with my child, watching her develop and blossom into this really incredible human being. I get to learn about her interest and open her up to new possibilities. I enjoy not having to hear about it from a teacher these days. I like not feeling guilty like I used to. Our time was so rushed when I worked because we had to do homework, then dinner and a bath, and then it was time for bed. I felt like I was missing her grow up. Not anymore! I also have an incredibly supportive husband who appreciates the work I do with our child. If I didn’t have 100% of his support I could not do this.

Every day is not easy, but we do have more good days now than bad days. But let me be very honest, the bad days still exist, and I believe they always will. We all have a bad day every once in a while. However, God is molding me and showing me how to deal with those days. I’m learning right along with Johanna and I love that.

If you have any specific questions about my homeschooling experience, I would love to answer them. I’ve even thought about doing a periscope about my homeschool life. If you would be interested in that, let me know!

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