I Can’t Do Anything Right

I can’t do anything right.

No, this is not a case of low self esteem or a pity party, but simply a statement of fact according to my four year old son.

I’ve been writing these sweet posts about how much I love him and how much I cherish motherhood but the truth is in the day to day over here, I’m drowning.

“Mommy my soup is too hot!” 

“Mommy, why did you put ice in my soup? I hate ice in my soup!”

“Why is my jacket inside out?”

“No, don’t touch it, I can do it!”

“Mommy! Did you close my mouthwash?”

“There is too much toothpaste on my toothbrush.”

“Read these words. You aren’t reading this story right.”

“Mommy! I said count to four like this (holds up fingers) you aren’t counting right!”

“Mommy there’s not enough ice in my drink.”

“There’s too many ice in my water.”

“Are you speeding, Mommy? If you speed you will get another ticket.”

“You sound funny. Are you trying to talk funny, Mommy?”

“I don’t like peanut butter on my sandwich!”

“Mommy it’s not a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if you don’t put peanut butter on it.”

“No, don’t put my socks on like that! I will just do it.”

“You are playing hide and seek wrong!”

“Mommy, you have brushed my hair wrong once again.”

The kid really says this stuff. I am living in a world of constant belittling. By a pint sized person.

That tends to a number on your self esteem and patience.

Don’t worry, it doesn’t just apply to me. My husband can’t do anything right, either.

Yes, we say “You can’t talk to Mommy and Daddy that way.” “Please think about your words.” “Instead of saying that, I wonder if you could try (insert more appropriate words here.)”

But at the end of the day, we can’t do anything right.

Remember when people said the terrible twos would be hard? And they lied because as it turns out three is like the age from hell? And then you thought that four would be better and it kind of was until your pint sized person decided that they already knew everything there is to know and you are no longer of relevance? (Is this just my thought process?)

I hope the grandparents keep their energy up. He’s moving in with them when he’s a teenager and I’m going to take a nice long nap. And probably mess that up, too.

 

 

 

Life Around The Internet

Elated Exhaustion has been missing some love lately, but I’ve been busy all over the internet.

For Valentine’s Day, a friend and I saw The Richmond Ballet’s production of Cinderella, and it was beautiful! I wrote about it here. 

I was also incredibly honored to be featured as a guest poster on Dancing in The Rain with this post: The Lens of Motherhood. 

Have you read Dancing In The Rain? Jennifer writes an amazing blog you must read.

Jennifer and I were both pleased to be featured today on What To Expect.com! My guest post on her site was featured in this post: 5 Things To Do on February 18th. I would be so honored if you went to read (or comment!) And find out the other 4 things. :) Photo credit goes to the amazing Amy Robinson of Amy Robinson Photography. 

A huge thank you to everyone who entered Elated Exhaustion’s two year blogiversary contest! The winner was Kimberly of All Work And No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something, and I’m telling you, if you read even one of her posts you will fall in love.

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

 

Four and a Half

“Mommy, can you come check the temperature? It says 8 6. Well, I know I’m right about the 8,” he poses as he wiggles and tugs for my attention.

I leave my school snack making for a minute to walk with him to our thermostat, which does, in fact display an 8 and a 6.

“You’re right!” I say to a beaming four year old. “The temperature says 6-8. It is 68 degrees in our house. That’s pretty warm. And this part says 2-1. It’s only 21 degrees outside, that’s cold!”

“Aw, man, so I have to wear a jacket?” he bemoans as he stomps away.

“Yes, you have to wear a jacket when it’s cold outside,” I reply as I make my way back to school snack duty.

He grumbles as he slowly lays his jacket out on the floor and does the cool flip it over his head trick his teachers taught him at school.

“Will you zip me, Mommy?”

We fall into our usual routine of packing and zipping and shoe Velcro-ing as we make our way to the door and out into the cold.

These mornings have gotten easier, now that he’s old enough to do part of the getting ready.

As we drive to school he points out the letters on the license plates he sees in front of us.

He asks how fast I’m driving and says “Mommy, I saw the speed limit sign that said 5-4. So don’t drive any faster than 5-4.”

I assure him I won’t, knowing that this must be a translation of 45.

He discovers an 8 and a 0 and a 6 and reads the word STOP to me.

And then he tells me that he sees “many more deciduous trees than evergreen trees but Christmas trees are evergreen trees.”

When did he grow up?

This little one is so big and observant. He likes to make plans and study pictures. He seems to remember everything I say except for the parts about “please clean your room” and “stop chasing the cats.”

We are still working on letters and numbers but he sees and notices them all around him and is beginning to pick out words in our bedtime stories. It won’t be long before he is reading in the slow, focused, and melodic way all children start.

He has a strong sense of humor and loves to feel authoritative. (Sorry, cats.) He is compiling himself and his experiences into his very own version of life.

It’s a conclusion I come to over and over at various stages in his life; my sweet little boy is not so little anymore.

My sweet boy at 4 and 1/2.

My sweet boy at 4 and 1/2. (And part of my husband’s eye.) 

 

 

 

Feeling Alive

After an entire week off school last week due to snow, I eagerly laid out all of my son’s clothes for school this week. An outfit for every day, show and tell, snacks, right down to socks and underwear ready to go. This week, we would get back into our routine.

And Monday and Tuesday were glorious. I was not productive, because I chose to take the time for myself instead of work.

This, incidentally, turned out to be a wonderful decision, because snow, ice, and cold temperatures struck again and school was cancelled for two more days.

My son has gone to school 6 days this entire month. There are 31 days in January. He has gone to school for 6 of them.

This exhausting trend has led me back into old patterns reminiscent of my stay at home mom days when he was a baby.

Days of exhaustion and pajamas, days when accomplishing one load of laundry was my highlight of achievement. Days when I would go days (weeks) without any makeup and I did not wear jewelry for years to avoid the tiny tugs of baby hands.

I have these wonderful ideas of getting the house clean and enjoying the indoor time while at home, but everyone knows those kind of fantasies are futile when you’re trapped at home with a little one.

I looked in the mirror this morning and saw that part of myself again. My face that had not put on make up in two day, my hair in an un-styled ponytail. I was wearing pajamas and was back in a cycle where putting on black work out pants would actually be more dressed up than my current state.

The house is a wreck because my son and I had not left it in two days. Honestly, I am feeling like I am at the end of my rope.

And I remembered those early baby days when sometimes I felt the same thing. I felt so isolated and so “not me” without a sense of busyness; a reason to leave the house, a reason to put on real clothes and make up.

I’ve discovered that a schedule and looking put together make a world of difference in my mood.

Right now, we are curled up watching the new “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” and blogging. But in just a minute, my son and I will venture out of the house for the first time in two days. Clothes, make up, and all.

And I’m so very much hoping it will make me feel more alive.

For some reason, sparkly things make me feel more put together and bright. I am hosting an online trunk show with Stella and Dot. There are some amazing pieces and come just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Shop here: http://www.stelladot.com/ts/kkyv5

It Snowed and I was on TV

So I accidentally took a week off blogging (again) because it snowed.

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Snow

And apparently, when it snows in Richmond, VA school is cancelled. For an entire week.

I can not tell you how frustrating that is. At the beginning of the week I wrote this sweet post about it on Richmondmom.com. 

By the end of the week I was pulling my hair out. Not literally. More like yelling at my husband and talking myself into online purchases because the little one had not gone to school in 10 days and Mommy was reaching her breaking point.

And here’s the thing; the roads were FINE. There was snow on the ground, but truly there was absolutely no reason school should have been cancelled for an entire week. When we moved from Atlanta, Georgia to Richmond, VA I thought we moved North. In fact, the people in charge of school cancellations here think that the mention of snow is scary enough to close school for a week.

Where have I been? I have been keeping up with my jobs on Richmondmom.com and 5minutesformom.com (because they do awesome things like pay me.) Oh, and I’ve been keeping a 4 year old entertained during his unexpected school hiatus.

Whose up for laundry basket sledding?

Whose up for laundry basket sledding?

And? I was on TV.

Squee!

I was so excited to make my TV debut last Thursday doing a segment on a local morning talk show…talking about baby products! So much fun!

You can watch the TV segment below or by clicking here. I’m the one in the pink. (Curious about my voice? I’ve written about it before.)

 

And you have ONE MORE DAY to enter the Starbucks Giftcard Giveaway! Psst…you would probably win. a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

The First Snow

“You guys, you guys, LOOK!!!”

His feet stomped heavily across the upstairs hallway as he ran, interrupting the quiet calm of early morning sleeping.

We stirred a bit in our sleep, more startled than awake.

“IT SNOWED!!” He declared in an excited yell.

We pulled back our bedroom curtain to reveal the white blanket that covered our lawn.

“It’s so beautiful,” I said, and I couldn’t help but reveal a sleepy smile to the animated face of excitement that stared at me as I fought through the morning fog.

My husband got up with him and set him up with breakfast and I slowly composed myself.

Soon my husband left for work and my son and I were left to start our day in the blanket of snow.

“It’s snowing again, Mommy!” We watched through our picture window; his big, brown eyes shadowed by long lashes and mine still clouded with the remnants of sleep.

The snow fell softly, inviting us to come out and play.

We dressed ourselves in careful layers and stepped out into the world of white.

My son’s entire face lit up as he ran through the snow laughing at his footprints and the cloud his breath made in the cold.

We made a small snowman as well as we could with just a dusting of snow, and laughed as he tasted snow and declared, “It tastes like cold!”

Our snow day was short lived as school was still running right on time, and we marveled at the beauty of the winter wonderland that surrounded us on our morning drive.

“It’s amazing,” we admired, partially for it’s beauty and partially for my awe that my son still had to go to school in this. My own childhood in Georgia meant that it almost never snowed, and if it did school would unquestionably be closed.

The snow melted quickly as the morning progressed and by the time I greeted his sweet face in the car pool line it was almost gone.

He told me about his day which included playing outside in the snow and building a snowman at school; a life experience I never had.

Our exciting morning turned into a normal afternoon and as I put him to bed that evening he mumbled, “I can’t wait until it snows again.”

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Did you know that when I’m not chasing snowflakes I’m hosting a giveaway on this blog? Click here and enter to win!

I’m Back and I Got You a Giftcard

There are many different configurations of words I could put together to start this post in the new year.

Like why I haven’t blogged in forever or how busy I’ve been or tell you stories about my show or December craziness or Christmas or New Year’s or the time that we let our son have his first sleep over and he slept better away from home than at home. (Which is so, so frustrating.)

I’ve gotten so behind in my writing life that I’m not sure how to even pick it back up. Then I felt like I needed to write something amazing before I came back…but the words for that never came.

And I definitely thought I’d be back to writing once my son’s school was back in session but then it’s been cancelled this week because it was cold. I’m not even kidding. No rain, no snow, just cold outside. Longest winter break ever.

So here I am, back with a post. It’s kind of like I went on vacation but all I brought back for you was this lousy t-shirt. Sorry.

Over the past few weeks (months) of hiatus from blogging Elated Exhaustion celebrated it’s two year anniversary. When I started this blog I was full of words and stories and it was all I could do to keep up with the words as they flowed through my mind and out of my fingertips. I never could have imagined not being able to find words to write.

Even though I’ve been terrible at it lately, this blog is still such a special space for me. I very much appreciate all of you who come to read the words I write in this small space…even when I forget to write them.

So to honor you, and in my annual blogiversary tradition, I am giving away a $25 Starbucks giftcard and a chocolate bar. I wish I could have a chat with all of you over tea and chocolate.

Obviously, my New Year’s Resolution needs to be to keep up with blogging. While I work on that, you can enter below to win. Good luck and I hope to catch up with all of you soon!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas from our family to yours. 

All The Things

Confession: I have been terrible about blogging lately.

Not that this comes as a surprise to those of you that are sweet enough to read this little blog of mine.

But don’t worry, I have been busy other places.

On Richmondmom.com I have an article about a humbling experience I had that reminds us all to be thankful for everything we have. And I LOVE this guest post by my sweet friend.

I have a lot of reviews up on 5MinutesForMom.com. They are doing some great Christmas giveaways so head over and enter some!

I am the new calendar editor at Richmondmom.com and have been trying to keep up with all of the events which is super exciting and hard because my goodness does Richmond, VA know how to host a lot of events.

And my husband has been working 30 hour shifts, hasn’t had a day off since October, and the little one has been sick. You do not even want to see how messy my house is right now.

BUT…in the midst of all of the rest of life I have been honored to be a part of a big Christmas show again this year after I got my performance legs back last year.

We open tonight (actually in just 3 hours…eek!) I just wrote an article about it on Richmondmom.com that you should go read. (I’m the one in that red dress in the top picture.)

And of course, if you are in Richmond, you should come see. I would love to meet you!

Hopefully more writing will come later, but for now, I’m off to a show!

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Thanksgiving Scrabble

When I was growing up, my Mom had a Thanksgiving tradition of a game involving Scrabble letters. We would pass the velvet bag around the table and draw out one or two letters. Then you had to go around and say something you were thankful for that started with that letter. Literary concepts and thankfulness? My mom nailed it.

scrabble bag

Except I hated it. I had the dramatic teenage girl thing down (for years) and was quick to dismiss and roll my eyes. (Thank goodness I did not have to parent myself.) I thought it was cheesy. It’s a miracle my Mom kept me around.

Now that I have a family of my own, that is my very favorite Thanksgiving tradition.

My husband and I have been married for 6 years, but we’ve only spent two of them together. He has had to work every Thanksgiving since he started residency, so this is the fourth year in a row we are not spending Thanksgiving together.  I am not brave enough to embark on Thanksgiving travel alone with a toddler (even though I am totally supermom when it comes to traveling alone with a toddler) so for the past four years my son and I have had hod-podge Thanksgivings and one year we spent it completely alone, just me and a then one year old.

Still, I pull out my favorite memories from childhood on Thanksgiving. My mom’s amazing cranberry relish (no, really, it’s so good!), a turkey from Honey Baked Hams (because it’s so much easier and that’s what we always had growing up) and the Scrabble game.

My son loves picking out the letters, and even though we are still working on his letter sounds, he thinks it is a great game and associates the velvet Scrabble bag with Thanksgiving.

Even though my Thanksgivings as an adult haven’t turned out to be the family events I once hoped for, I am so thankful to pass down my favorite Thanksgiving traditions to my son. And I have so very much to be thankful for.

thankful letters

What are your favorite holiday traditions?