where you bin?

It would be a gross understatement to say I am an untidy person. I am an absentminded, scatterbrained, disorganized mess, most of the time. That’s not to say that I WANT to be that way, or that I don’t TRY my darndest to be neat and organized. Oh I try.  By God, I try. Throughout my home I have baskets and bins for every occasion, for every item imaginable. The problem is that I either a) put too much stuff in the bins and or b) I don’t put the assigned item in the appropriate bin.

For Example:

I have a basket for keys/cell phones/wallets/etc. sitting squarely on the ledge, just by the entrance to the main room. If each and every time I walked in the house I placed my keys and cell phone in the bin, then I wouldn’t have an issue.  But do I? Unequivocally, no, I do, not. I put them pretty much everywhere else but the the bin. My pocket, the diaper bag, the kitchen sink, the coffee table.

But what I do put in the bin is everything else, like receipts, hair clips, and Rubios’ kids meal toys. So even if my keys are in the bin, it takes me a year to find them.

Hence the NY Resolution to be clean. Clean encompasses a lot: clean as in tidy, organized and sanitary. I’m fairly good at the last one since I’ve become somewhat of a germaphobe since the birth of my girls. But the addition of two kids to my life means a TON more sh*t that I have to organize and put away.

Toys are a major accomplice to my clutter problem. They are EVERYWHERE. And even though I have bins for them, they still seem to invade every square inch of my house.

So here’s my game plan:

1) I’m going to cut back on the toys – no more buying toys! There’s a recession and we just don’t NEED them. My kids like the tupperware better than the manufactured toys anyway.

2) I’m going to get rid of the ones we don’t use or are too similar to others we like better. (Laura Lee, want one of our stand up toys?)

3) I’m going to try a new company called rentAtoy. It’s like Netflix for toys. A high school friend of mine, whom I just reconnected with, is their Chief Marketing Officer, and I think it sounds like a great idea.  It would certainly help with my lean, green, cleaning machine goals of 2009 since they are eco-friendly, economically friendly and organizationally (is this a word? why is it not coming up as unrecognizable by the freaky compoter brain?) friendly. I’ll get new toys every month and when the kids are bored with them, I’l send them back and get new ones.  I might even get a Wii. Bring on Wii Fit and RockBand, for all my spare time.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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humble pie in a blanket

Although in my previous post I claim to be close to comatose and unable to blog, I feel compelled to join in on another PROMPTuesday from San Diego Momma.

Write a story about when you last were humbled, felt humbled by the presence of something/someone in your life, or lay prostrate at the feet of the universe and said “I don’t know what the hell I am doing. I will now relinquish control and let you take over.”

Luckily I had this post saved in my drafts from months ago.  I just dusted it off and finessed it a little. Here goes…

My children teach me lessons in humility every day.  It’s what I love and hate the most about motherhood…the way I am forced to see myself for who I really am.  It makes me strive to be a better person and for that I am so thankful.

I can remember one instance in particular in which I felt humbled beyond recognition.  It was a quintessential A-Ha moment…My 2nd daughter, Lexi, was 6 weeks old. I was in the height of my sleep deprivation and at my wits’ end. And I mean WITS’ END.  Like, call the looney bin, end.  On this particular night, Lexi was inconsolable, as she had been for a few weeks straight, and I was rocking her to no avail, in my Dutalier rocker which I HIGHLY recommend, btw. As she wailed on like a banshee in my arms, my mind raced with all the things I had to do: fold the laundry, wash the dishes, workout, check emails, remove the chipped crusty polish from my nails, plan my toddlers b-day party, shower, brush my teeth, eat, sleep, and call the plumber. As the list raced through my mind I became more anxious, more upset, and more frustrated. Why is she crying?…Why won’t she stop?…I really have a lot to do…UGH! I just wanted it to stop.

Finally, in a rare moment of clarity, the following obvious yet profound thoughts ocurred to me:

  1. Babies cry.
  2. Babies are helpless.
  3. I am her mom.
  4. I am the only person (except her dad) that can help her.
  5. That is what moms do.

Ding Dong Mary, THIS IS MOTHERHOOD!  Moms hold, protect and love their babies. They stop everything else to do so.

They Surrender.

Obvious? Simple? Innate?

Maybe for some, but not to me. The reality of what being a mom means hit me like a flash of lightening in my weakest most raw state.  This little wonder, this miraculous gift from God, is my life, my blood, my everything. She is dependent on me for everything.  Nothing I need to do is more important.

The laundry and dishes, the plumber and nappy nails could wait.

At once, a sense of peace and clarity came over me. I could breath. I could see my baby, through and beyond the tears – hers and mine. She would not remember this moment, nor any of the moments to follow for many years to come, but this moment is what our relationship would be built on forever. In 5, 10, 15, 45 years from now, none of the things I had to get done will matter, but she will know that I am the person who loves her the most in this world. Not just because I conceived her, carried her and pushed her out my nether region. But because I raised and cared for her in sacrifice, surrender and pure love.

In that moment, I was humbled. I saw the higher plan for me and my role as mom. It was beautiful and moving, more than the words on this page can accurately describe.

Out of that moment came my 5 S’s of Parenting: Surrender, Survive, Sweat, Sacrife and Shhhhhhhut the f up. Any new or soon-to-be moms may want to check them out.

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life is a musical – i want to sing it all night long

To round out the first week of my “Thanksgiving Year,” here are a few more things I am grateful for:

1) The birth of Steve Earl Godwin, 37 years ago today.

2) The book “Be Happy” which he bought for me two and a half months ago to inspire me and re-ignite my fire for my book project idea.

3) Musical Theatre.  I’ve grown up loving musical theatre, which anyone who knows me can attest to.  I talk about it ad nauseum and am a little obsessed by a certain few, namely Rent and Les Mis.  Now I’m enjoying exposing my girls to some of the snappy tunes I grew up hearing;

Morning: Good Morning, Starshine (Hair) – kids love the “Gliddy glub gloopy Nibby nabby noopy La la la lo lo” part.

Bed time:  Goodnight My Someone (Music Man), Stay Awake (Mary Poppins)

Bath time: Singing in the Rain (SITR) &  I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Outta My Hair (South Pacific) – You can use the word soap instead of “man” if you don’t want to teach your daughter to be a hater at an early age.

To comfort: Everything’s Alright (Jesus Christ Superstar) – minus the Judas tirade

The list goes on and on, but these are my top of mind faves.

To close I will leave you with this little ditty I came across tonight. Hope you enjoy it.  I already have it memorized.  But can you tell me who the guy is in the yellow tee with the smiley face?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Prop 8 The Musical“, posted with vodpod

sunrise sunset

I’m officially freaking out.  How is it December 1st tomorrow?  Not only does that mean that the Holiday Madness Spirit will soon kick into high gear and henceforth kick my *ss, but more importantly, it means that my baby girl is 6 months old.  How did that happen?  Where did the time go?  Makes me think of the song “Sunrise Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof.  That song has always made me well up, even before I had kids. But now…forget about it.  Play me the first note and I’m a gonner.

And it has only now occurred to me that the line “Is the little girl I carried?” is a double entendre.  Carried as in babe in arms, but also carried as in in utero.  As in I carried you in my tummy for nine months…that is just crazy.  It’s the source of the magical, unconditional love that moms have for their babies.

On one hand, I am really excited that Lex has reached this cute age where she can interact and play, but on the other, I don’t want her to grow up so fast.  To quote ONJ in Xanadu…”Keep me suspended in time with you, don’t let this moment die.”  I want to push pause on my time machine to keep her in this yummy, no talking back, no temper tantrum phase.   And since she is 99.99% most certainly our last baby, it makes her growing up even more poignant.

So today, I am thankful for three things:

1.  Being able to share the Holidays with Lily now that she is old enough to understand it (and so I can threaten her with Santa Claus’ omniscient knowledge of whether she’s naughty or nice).

2. Lexi entering the playful, adorable, yummy phase of babyhood.

3. The end of November, hence the end of NaBloPoMo (National Blogging Post Month) which means I don’t have to blog EVERY DAY.  Phew!   So to my faithful readers, I may not be posting everyday this month but hopefully you’ll stay with me. Between shopping, wrapping, making Xmas cookies, drinking egg nog, reading my book project submissions, and yuletiding with my family, I might not be feeling too inspired to blog.

But who knows…I’ve got a fever and the only remedy might be more blogging!

Happy Holidays to You and Yours.  And remember…stay thankful!

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never say never

Until I became a parent, there were certain things I told myself I would never do…

1) I thought I would never sink to bribing my children…This photo cost me one Wiggles episode and some Yogos.  Why do you think she’s so happy?

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Parental bribery comes in many forms…If you eat your peas, you can have some dessert…If you stop whining, we can go play outside…If you pick up your toys, you can have a longer bath.  The ethics of it all may be questionable but I call it doin’ what you gotta do.  Don’t feel shame, embrace the bribe!

2) I also thought I would never base my life around my kids’ naps or bedtime…This photo was taken just after I said it was time to leave the park cause it was time for nap…She’s half bummed and half happy cause nap time means binky time.

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Yes, in a previous post I turned my nose up at routines, however that was primarily meant for real little ones.  After 6 months or so, a child will develop natural nap/sleep habits.  Some moms stick to them and some don’t.  My personal experience is that if I don’t stick to Lil’s nap schedule, I will be paying for it in temper tantrums and whines later.  No amount of fun at the park or anywhere for that matter, is worth it to me.  So…I base my life around Lil’s nap and nighttime schedule.  Yes, I am that person.

3) Last but not least…I NEVER thought I would dress my kid in Crocs

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What is with these things?  Kids just L-O-V-E them!  And I actually love them now too…they’re easy to put on, fun to dress up with the little Jibitz, and great for the beach, park or pool.

Until you’ve walked in someone’s shoes, it’s best not to pass judgement. I don’t think I took that adage seriously until becoming a parent. Yes, I’ll take some ketchup with my words, that would be great, thanks!

short end of the stick

Differences between child #1 (Lily) & child #2 (Lexi):

Lily – Hand painted unique wall mural above crib, painted by Mommy & Auntie Laura Lee with love

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Lexi – Nothing

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Lily – Cute, trendy, brand new clothes

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Lexi – Stained hand me downs

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Lily – Memory box, photo albums and frames, filled with memorabilia and photos

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Lexi – Empty, empty, empty

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But they’re loved just the same and that’s all that matters, right?

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And look, I’m giving Lexi some tummy time.  She’s not completely neglected.

binky crisis

To binky or not to binky, that is the question.  And one I won’t even attempt to answer.  It is a personal decision for each family to make, with pros and cons to both sides of the issue.  We, the Godwins, have chosen to binky…All Hail The Binky, is our motto.  I truly couldn’t have survived the last 2+ years without it.  Lil was a NON-STOP crier for a good 6 months and though some may call it dummying or plugging up…I call it keeping my sanity.  Or how bout, not making the nightly news…Then, at some point, she fell passionately in love with her binky, so who am I to keep a girl from her first love?  Lexi had major problems sleeping for the first 8-10 weeks of life, so the binky was a great soothing mechanism for her.  So yes, I plugged her up too.  Good god, I would have lost my marbles without that binky to stop the incessant crying.  (Did you know that playing recordings of baby cries is a form of torture in some countries?  Well I don’t know that for certain, but it sure could be).

One major con for the binky, however, is the fact that it is not physically attached to the body.  Later down the line, when you’re wanting to ween the child from their filthy habit, this con becomes a pro since it is easier to take the binky away versus let’s say a hand.  But for the first 2-3 years, when binky sucking is in it’s prime, the fact that it can so easily fall out leads to what I call any number of Binky Crisis Situations.

BCS #1 – The middle of the night, accidental binky toss out of the crib.  In the pitch dark, or even by the sweet little light of a night light, those things are a b@#$c to find.  And the longer it takes to find, the more chance the kid will wake up out of the suck-induced sleep and you’re kissing your sweet dreams goodbye.

BCS #2 – The fall “face down” in the sand, mud, sewer, or worse yet, airport/hotel carpet (gag!), without a proper water source to clean it with.   Depending on the parent, this crisis can be averted by sticking it in your own mouth to clean it off, however I have been told by folks of the medical persuasion that the kid would be better off if a dog licked it off than the parent, as a dog’s mouth has a gazillion less germs than humans.  Go figure…But back to the BCS at hand…if this situation is not remedied in a timely manner, a mind snap of epic proportion will inevitably occur, just as you reach the front of the grocery story line or you’re about to board a plan.  Then the “looks” begin from bystanders and those don’t help matters.

BCS #3 – The inadvertent drop out of the car seat while driving on the freeway during rush hour.  This one sucks!!! (Oh please, I totally intended that one).  Barring being Gumby or a Cirque performer, it is nearly impossible to drive in your lane, safely, while reaching around, feeling the floor and surrounding seats behind you.  And typically the child has started to meltdown, loudly, so your ability to drive safely and sanely has decreased tenfold already.  I have been in countless near-miss-collisions and have a perma-pulled muscle in my right arm from tweaking it in any number of positions trying to locate that darn binky.

Solution to these crises…Carry multiple binkies!  Put 2, 5, 10 binkies in the crib, have 2, 5, 20 binkies in your purse and/or diaper bag, and have 2, 5, 50 stashed in your car.  Problem solved…hah!

Mama Mary Tip of the Week:  I went through several different brands of binkies and I ended up choosing and loving the Avent Silicone BPA-Free binkies.   Both my girls like them and I like them because the plastic handle make a great noise when it clacks against the face plate.  Makes BCS#1 not so crazy cause the noise makes them easier to find, even in the dark.

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