Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Things I Didn't Know Until I Became a Mom

I will readily tell you that I was completely ignorant about life with a child before I became a mom. I know everyone says it, but I was that person who, upon seeing a mother wrangle a screaming child in the buggy with one hand while simultaneously chasing down a rowdy toddler in the aisle at Target, swore to myself: "That will never be me."

What I would love to say to that hypothetically blind 19-year-old at Target buying a skimpy two-piece bathing suit with money she didn't have? A big, fat: HA! And let's add another: HA! 


But it's true. There are so many things I never understood until I became a mom. As much as I thought I wouldn't be the lady with the screaming baby at a store…I have become her. Twice. And I know there will be many more times. As much as I thought I would have the baby that slept through the night from day one…I don't. He does a pretty bang-up job of that now, but he's almost three months old. So there's that. 

But what are some of those other things, you ask? I'm so glad you did. 


1. It truly does take forever to get out the door. 
Brandon and I try super hard to not be "those people" who - upon having a child - are always late to places and events. I was never late before I had a baby, so I try my hardest to not be late now that we do. But, it truly is a process to get all three of us out the door and on time, at that. Especially because I'm still nursing, so there's 30 minutes {plus the 15 to burp and wait for my spit-up-prone child to get it all out} right there. I've learned to just start getting ready as soon as I've fed Walker and laid him down for his nap, but you have to calculate him waking up early, not wanting to go down on time, etc. I'm telling you: a process. I've learned how to do my make-up in about five minutes, I'll tell you that. 

2. Stay-at-home mom's don't just sit around.
Oh, no. Not in the least. My mom was a stay-at-home mom and - until I had Walker - thought she and other stay-at-home moms had all the free time in the world. In my blind brain, I thought they could get up when they wanted; and I envied the fact that they never had to wear make-up and sit in traffic to and from work twice a day. But wowza…I was wrong. I've learned that half the time I don't put make-up on is because I truly don't have time to do it while tending to Walker. And that the dishwasher will always need to be unloaded. And clothes will always need to be folded. And sheets will get spit-up on. And floors will need to get vacuumed. And there's a baby that needs your undivided attention 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Being a stay-at-home mom is a full-time job in and of itself. 

I haven't had the chance to be a working mom yet - and I will in two weeks, don't you worry - but I can tell you that it's just as hard, I'm sure of it. You leave for one job and come home to another. I don't know how I'm going to do it. 


3. You can't just "run" anywhere. 
Before Walker, I would run to Target; or HomeGoods; or Walgreens; or…anywhere. Now, not so much. Like I said in #1, it's a process. I have to schedule my errands-running time around Walker's eating schedule…because Lord knows I don't want to subject anyone to more screaming than they should have to hear! And on that note, having a baby in a car seat for hours upon end just doesn't work. One hour? Yes. Four hours? Not so much. There is no more "running." 

4. Things have to be planned out. 
This goes along with not being able to "run" anywhere. I've never been a truly spontaneous person to begin with, so maybe this one is just me. But I can't just stop what I'm doing and go somewhere or do something. It has to be planned out - and around feedings, at that. I truly miss not having a baby and deciding at the last minute to go out to dinner instead of cooking. Now? Ha! I can't tell you how many times we have decided that and Brandon has then come home with our food instead of us going out to eat. Let's just add a subsection "4a" to this: I miss eating hot meals at our table. It never fails that when dinner is ready to be eaten, Walker wakes up from his evening nap, and I either A) End up letting Brandon eat first while I entertain him and then we switch; or B) Laying him on his play mat and letting him entertain himself with the mirror on it while I eat my dinner on the floor next to him. Never fails. 

5. Alone time is amazing. 
I truly didn't appreciate a kid-free shower, bathroom break or grocery store trip until Walker was here. So, when I get the chance to go to the grocery store alone, I soak it up. I feed him, hand him to his Daddy and am out the door. And then I take my leisurely time at Kroger, going down every aisle, marking things off my list as I put it in my buggy, and even smiling at people. I'm sure the other shoppers think I'm nuts. I never, ever thought I would enjoy the grocery store more. 

6. You will hear phantom baby cries. 
It's true. There are times I think I hear Walker and when I check the monitor, he isn't crying. Tiredness will do that to you. {As will a monitor frequency that picks up your neighbor's daughter. Ummm, yeah.}

7. Vomit, poop and pee {on your kid} are just another thing. 
I will readily admit that I can't stand hearing or seeing someone vomit. Even on TV or in the movies. It makes me gag, in turn. But when it's your kid? It's totally just another thing. I've been thrown up on, peed on and pooped on…in a span of about five minutes one day. Never did I ever think that would be my child, but oh no. It was. And while it was gross, it was just another thing. {Someone else's kid, though? Sick.} I quickly learned that if we're going anywhere, I get dressed last - and I throw my robe on for good measure. Brandon and I have perfected the art of holding the burp cloth just so. And we learned super fast to take a little boy's diaper off super slow. It happens. 

8. Grace is definitely something to be thankful for. 
After a particularly hard day - especially those where I find myself getting frustrated at a baby {it's not hard to do} for not latching correctly, or for not sleeping when I know he's tired - I'm thankful for grace. I'm thankful that God's mercies are new every single morning, and I've never been more thankful for God's grace. There are days when I just want to crawl back in bed, pull the covers over my head and start over…at 10 a.m. But I can't. So I'm thankful that tomorrow is another day and for grace that covers me. 


9. You will never understand how much you love them. 
It's true. People told me this often, and I didn't get it. But it's true. And the crazy part? I love Brandon and Walker so much - but it's a completely different type of love. I never understood until I became a mom just how "Mama Bear" one can get. Someone told me they were sorry that my baby "was fussy." I almost reached over and slapped them. Shots at the doctor? I cried more than he did, I think - though that's debatable. Thinking into the future about playground jerk kids; a girl breaking his heart; and a myriad of other things? Makes me want to throw up. The love you have for this tiny person makes your heart want to explode out of your chest at times. 

So what about you? What did you not understand, learn or get until a tiny human came into your world? 

{Happy Tuesday.}


Monday, April 14, 2014


Happy Monday! We had such a great weekend filled with family and some great milestones for Walker. Brandon and I were talking early this morning and agreed that this was the first weekend in a while that didn't seem to absolutely fly by. 

Brandon came home from his trip to the Northeast {yay!} and this is basically how Walker and I both felt about that. 

We picked him up from the airport, and when we got home, I practically threw Walker in his arms and ran out of the house to go to the grocery store. I needed a little Mommy time! Ha! {It's amazing how just 30 minutes at the grocery store - alone - can refresh you! Ha!}

When I got home, I made my family's famous meatloaf {I promise to post the recipe this week!} and we ate after we put Walker down for bed. 

My aunt {my dad's sister}, uncle and cousin were in Dallas for a birthday party, so they stopped over to meet Walker for the first time! 

In the afternoon, I got my very first post-baby massage at a new Hand & Stone near our house…and it was absolutely everything I dreamed of. I got the hot stone massage and added lavender aromatherapy. Holy cow, y'all. Not only did I have one hour to myself, but one hour of pure and utter silence! It was wonderful. 

When I got home, we ate leftovers and had some Saturday entertainment - airplane - with the little guy. He was a little unsure at first, but then decided he loved it. And I love that Brandon adores playing with him. I foresee a ton of wrestling, running and "playing" in our future! 

We went to church, where we had a great lesson from our pastor. We love our church so much! 

We came home and Walker found himself in the mirror for the first time! It was hilarious watching him "talk," laugh, smile and then play shy with himself in the mirror. I wish I was that easily entertained! 

My in-law's came over to bring Walker his Easter gift since we will be with my family on Easter this year; and my brother- and sister-in-law also came over with our niece to bring me my birthday present…so we had a full house Sunday afternoon! 

Brandon and Walker played, and then Walker laughed for us for the first time! He had given us a few screeches and sounds, but this was an actual laugh. I had him on my lap and was singing to him "I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N" and he let out an actual laugh a couple of times. It was precious! 

And, his last milestone was completely, 100 percent sleeping through the night {4/13-14}! Brandon laid him down around 8:30 p.m. after his bath, and he slept until 5:45 a.m.! That's nine hours and 15 minutes! We could not believe it…we're just praying it wasn't a fluke. Ha!

I took this picture of him this morning and he just looks so proud of himself. ;)

I hope y'all have a great Monday!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday! Thank you to the lovely hostesses of the Five on Friday link-up: A. Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, Hello! Happiness and [the good life blog]

Brandon has been traveling on business since Sunday, so I'm super happy it's Friday, because that means he's coming home today! He had to miss my birthday on Monday - which he was super bummed about - and I've been a single mama all week…so needless to say, Walker and I are going to be insanely happy when his plane lands today! 

I've been eating lots of Amy's Organic frozen meals this week and am definitely ready to have "normal people" food again! Brandon requested my family's famous meatloaf {I promise it's good}, baby red mashed potatoes, English peas and rolls for supper tonight, and I am definitely happy to oblige! I'll post the recipe for y'all on Sunday. 

Walker's newest thing is giving us big, loud screeches when he's super happy {which I love}. The other day, he was just talking to the ceiling fan, and my mom is convinced he's saying "Hallelujah" in this video. Ha! What do you think?


When Brandon is gone, I always find myself venturing into Target for just one thing. This time, it was "one thing": the stuff for Walker's Easter basket. Well, it's never just one thing for me…I came out with a new nail polish, a new cheapie blush to try and a bathing suit for Walker - which I guess I can justify by putting it in his Easter basket - plus the actual stuff I went in for. I swear Target puts something in the air that makes me want to BUYALLTHETHINGS!!!

Since I go back to work in two weeks {sniff, sniff}, I am really thinking about my work wardrobe. I haven't worn my work clothes - non-maternity - in about six months, so I've really been evaluating and re-evaluating what's in my closet. Since we're heading into May {holy cow, already!}, which equals H-O-T in Texas, I'm having to put together and find cute, work-appropriate outfits that are also cool, without being too… "Hi, I'm a Mommy!" 

I love this look from Pinterest and am definitely going to have to put it together! I'm so going to miss my post-baby uniform of yoga pants and old college sorority/fraternity T-shirts every day!

Speaking of going back to work, I've been busy getting everything in order around the house…because I have no clue what my new routine is going to be like with work, a baby and the CEO of the Whitacre household {yes, I went there}. I've been cleaning out Walker's closet and boxing up all of his 0-3 months clothes and transitioning his drawers and closet to the 3 months ones; organizing closets and deep cleaning things. I like to think of it as a little postnatal nesting! ;) Is that crazy?! 

Ohhh, I'm a rebel with number six today! Ha! But can y'all do me a favor?

I've told y'all about my mom's company HomeGrown before. Well, they're currently in a photo contest to win three months of free advertising in our hometown, which is a big deal in that little city! Can you follow this link and "like" their photo on Facebook? It takes two seconds, and I know they'd appreciate it. And while you're there, take a peek at what HomeGrown has to offer. 

I hope y'all have a great weekend!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Quick Birthday Recap

Thank y'all for all the sweet blog comments, Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagram comments, etc. yesterday! Social media is so much fun on your birthday. :) My favorite part of any birthday is all the calls from my family and friends singing "Happy Birthday." It always puts a smile on my face!

I had a wonderful day celebrating, and I'm so glad I got to spend my day with the precious boy who made me a mommy. {He told me 'Happy Birthday' at 4 a.m. yesterday by spitting up down my shirt and pajama pants. Welcome to mommyhood. Ha!} 

Walker and I met my friends Susana and Liz {and Liz's daughter, Peyton} for lunch at a local bakery that we all love. 

My Aunt Tina came over and brought dinner and cupcakes! We enjoyed a glass of wine and just visited. She helped me bathe Walker and put him to bed, which of course is just the best birthday present ever! 

And how absolutely adorable is he in his fox towel from Target?! I couldn't resist getting a picture. 

It was a great day. Bring it on, 27! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Happy Day!

Today I'm celebrating my 27th birthday! I'm so thankful for another year and insanely blessed by my sweet family and friends. Little did I know last year what 26 would bring, and I'm so looking forward to all of the surprises, blessings, challenges and experiences that 27 will bring. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Weekend + What We Ate This Week

Happy Sunday! It was a great weekend celebrating my birthday, although the weather was so icky and didn't feel like spring in the least! 

Walker had been really fussy - completely not normal for him - for two days. We're talking screaming at the top of his lungs, not letting me put him down and just generally unhappy, so I decided to take him to the pediatrician to get him checked out. I was really worried it was an ear infection, and the doctor insisted I bring him in since we were heading into the weekend. It turns out his reflux was just acting up and we had to up the dosage of his baby Zantac. Of course I felt so dumb for not thinking of that myself, but I'm glad we were safe and not sorry! 

Once I got him home, he was completely zonked out, so he and I spent the latter part of Friday afternoon hanging out in the living room; him napping, me catching up on my shows from the week. 

When Brandon got home, we picked up Chick-Fil-A for supper {real winners, we are} and took his car to get the oil changed. I had my personal training appointment and then went to the grocery store afterward. 

I also have to brag on Amazon for a second: I ordered Walker's diapers {yes, we are having to move up to size 2 in the next few days} and wipes around lunchtime on Friday, and they were sitting on my front porch around 5 p.m.! We have Amazon Prime, which guarantees delivery within two days, but holy cow, I never expected a five hour delivery! 

After Walker ate Saturday morning, we did our usual routine of playing with and talking to him while we sip our coffee and generally just wake up for the day. This sweet little routine is slowly becoming my very favorite part of the weekend: it's just my boys and me, we're all quietly waking up and all get to spend about two hours together doing just that - being together. 

Since the weather was so icky, we did nothing on Saturday except pick up Brandon's car from the oil change place and drop mine off; pick up around the house; I got my hair cut {a lot shorter, modeled after this and this}; and spent time with this bright-eyed little cutie. 

Since we were celebrating my birthday this weekend, I decided to hang up my little gift to myself, this plaque with my favorite hymn, "It is Well With My Soul," that I purchased from Zulily last week. It's hanging on the wall right outside our bedroom, and I just love looking at it every time I walk back there. Every time I see it, I'm immediately taken back to church on Sunday mornings as a little girl and hearing my parents sing the parts to this song. 

Saturday night, my aunt was gracious enough to watch Walker so Brandon could take me to dinner at The Ranch for my birthday. I absolutely love this farm-to-table restaurant where all of the ingredients are from Texas. 

Of course we had to get a selfie in the garage before we left. ;)

Brandon had a martini and I had the "Southern Hospitality" drinks; then we started with the Cornmeal Fried Green Tomatoes {served with an avocado dipping sauce}; and then I ordered the 6 oz. PNB filet mignon and Texas Goat Cheese Grits; Brandon also had the 6 oz. filet, but with their amazing macaroni and cheese. For dessert, they brought me out a red velvet cheesecake with an Oreo crust and homemade whipping cream. Yum!!! 

Brandon was absolutely amazing and got me a gift certificate for a hot stone massage; a baby name necklace; and this monogrammed bracelet! He did so well!! I absolutely love all of my beautiful gifts. :)

Since it was cold and stormy, we stayed home from church and have been complete bums all day. 

And, per usual, here's what we ate this week:

These are so good and easy! I always add a bit more cilantro and some garlic salt, but these are definitely a winner in our house. 

This recipe was truly easy, just as the recipe says! My aunt was over when we cooked this, and she really enjoyed it, as did we. We will definitely be making this again! The only differences I did was goat cheese instead of feta, and I didn't add capers because I don't like them. 

Clearly I'm all about the easy factor! This recipe was insanely simple and I really liked it. Brandon thought it was a bit spicy, but I used Tyson Grilled & Ready fajita chicken strips that already have a spicy seasoning on them - so that could very well be why. It also makes a ton; I ate on this for lunch about two or three different times. 

We loved these, and they are a perfect spring/summer dish! Brandon absolutely loves grilled corn on the cob, which was the perfect accompaniment to this dish. 

I hope y'all have a great week!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday! Thank you to the Five on Friday link-up hostesses: A. Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, Hello! Happiness and [the good life blog]

I gave myself a fun spring mani during Walker's nap time the other day, and I love looking down at this cheerful color {Essie "Turquoise and Caicos"}! I haven't had a manicure since he was about four weeks old, so it was high time! 

My friend Laura recently went to London {among other fun sites in Europe} and sent me two coffee mugs - and Walker a rubber ducky from Germany - for my birthday! Laura and I were roommates during Baylor in Great Britain in 2007, and we both fell in love with London. I absolutely adore my William & Kate wedding commemoration mug and Prince George birth commemoration mug!!! {I'm kind of a nerd when it comes to the British Royal Family. Butforreal.}

Speaking of my birthday, I'll be 27 on Monday! {Monday birthdays should not be allowed, BTW.} So, we are doing a little celebrating this weekend! I can't wait for dinner at my favorite local, farm-to-table restaurant and spending time with my sweet family. 


For some reason, I've been super into everything carrot cake lately, even though I'm not a huge fan of coconut! {Don't even ask me why. This is so not good for my working out! Which, BTW, I'm only five pounds away from my goal weight!} Moving on, here's what I have a hankering to make lately:

Thanks for all of your sweet emails, blog comments and texts on Wednesday about my "Mommy Guilt." I heard from so many of you moms who have gone through this before - and some just friends encouraging me - and you have no idea how much that meant to me. Knowing that some of you are covering us in prayer is so refreshing, and it's what Body of Christ is supposed to do! So thank you.

We signed Walker up for his new day care today and after going in there, I felt 100% better about the new place versus the old. Mommy Intuition is seriously a real thing, and I'm glad that I listened to that little voice telling me that the other day care just wasn't the right place for Walker - or us. I know that first drop off day isn't going to be easy, but I'm thankful for the support.

I hope y'all have a fabulous weekend! I'm going to have so much fun celebrating this weekend and will be back with a birthday weekend wrap-up post next week!