From Mama to Mommy to Mom.

My 17 month old son, Chief. Climbed up onto the dining room table today and got my attention by screaming “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” A few alarming things were happening at this moment: toddler on table whilst yelling but the one thing that caught me off guard the most, his new name to call me “Mommy”. Who me?!

Up until now, I have been just “Mama”. I suppose even before that, a little cry meant he was calling for me. Everyone always says “don’t blink, before you know it they’re walking, or driving (insert new milestone).” No one prepared me for the transition from “Mama to Mommy to Mom.” Now that’s a blindsider.

My 3 year old calls me “Mom” now. I’m not even sure when that happened. What’s next? “Hilary”? Or even worse, “Grandma”?! Only kidding, Grandmas! That’s a badge of honor in my eyes! However, I know, I know. SLOW DOWN right?! If you’ve read my previous work you know I didn’t savor my daughters first year as much as I wish I had. Yet, now 3 years later I find myself overcome with bittersweet emotions. It doesn’t seem fair. Yet, I’m not trying to brush off these feelings. Why? It’s simple. It’s LOVE. Boy, is it a powerful thing.

Today when my son said “Mommy”, I can’t lie, it stung. Like a little knife right to my heart, the air pulled right from my lungs. The room suddenly in slow motion… I turn my head towards him. My son. Surely not a baby anymore. Those days are gone. The excitement and life in his eyes… that’s how I cope with it today. His pride. The whole world ahead of him.

How is it possible that I’m “running after a fast moving train” and I want the days to last as long as humanly possible all at the same time? I don’t know what’s happening. I do know one thing. This fills up my soul. My heart. My everything because, I was here today. Witnessing my son grow, mature and develop right in front of my eyes. For that, I’m grateful. Now I have more perspective. Which is truly priceless. What’s next? Drinking from a big glass cup, dressing himself or even moving from bathtub to shower?

Maybe it doesn’t seem like a lot of things happened today. Or many of your days seem mundane. Trust me, these are THE BIG THINGS. Just like my daughter somehow is 3 and calls me “Mom” now. Those years went by in the blink of an eye. Just like “they” all said it would. With my new found perspective there’s one thing I’m not doubting today, I’ll spend the rest of my years fighting to never miss the BIG THINGS again.

💕-TBHM Hilary

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Every Age is My Favorite

As a child turns 1 year old, I see so many mothers saying “No! Can I stop time?! I miss my baby! Why?!” Insert melodramatic statement. With my first child, I never had that thought once.  I actually couldn’t wait for the first year to go by. Her to become more independent, in turn, I would get a little independence too. She could do more things with her Dad since she wouldn’t be attached to my boob all day. A whole future ahead of us.

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When Peach was 10 days old.

To be honest, I look back and regret much of her first year. I wish I would have smiled more. I wish I would have embraced that priceless, innocent time together. Motherhood is such a big transition and I wish I would have gotten perspective that THIS is the GOOD STUFF and throw my FOMO to the wind. I had a few major personal tragedies that perhaps, got the best of me. I’m here to say, grow through what you go through. It’s inevitable, anyway.

That I did.

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Peach, 2 weeks old. Trip to Redwing, MN. Fly fishing with my dad.

After what arguably should have been one of the best years of my life, I spent it crying almost daily and clutching on to the hope that this too shall pass.

All too soon, I’m afraid.

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My Dad with Peach on Fathers Day. 1 month before he passed away.

I even had thoughts like “I may never have another baby again.” God had a different plan. Like he always does. Surprise! I got pregnant with my son the month my daughter turned 1. There was no doubt in my mind, this is not a good time. I was just getting through the first year! I cried thinking about telling my husband.

A bittersweet moment with tears welling in my eyes, I told him. He smiled, leaned in and kissed me. Warmth came over me. We’re going to be okay. Maybe even better than okay. I settled into my pregnancy with a happy peace. Enjoying the precious months, planning with anticipation.

One day I asked the wisest woman I know (my mother- mom to 3 daughters) what her favorite age was while her children grew up. Her answer, “every age is my favorite.” Oh the smile it gave me. It touched my heart and soul. It’s really is so true. Pregnancy is full of hopes and dreams. Who will you be? What will you look like? The First Year. Full of love, cuddles and oh, so many firsts. The fun, wild and hilarious Toddler years. What a joy to see your personality and language flourish!

The day Chief was born. Jan 2017

I had a whole new perspective once my son was born. There’s no way I was going to let my past rob me of a beautiful first year with my him. (and second year with my daughter, too!) Shortly before my Dad passed, he said “there is beauty in every day.” I’ve mentioned it before. I hold it close to my heart. It helps me live in the moment. To really appreciate every age and stage of my children. Yes, it’s bittersweet knowing nursing my son is short lived and before I know it, I won’t be able to hold my daughter because she’ll be too big. I don’t let it ruin me though. I know some of the best years of our lives are yet to come. I look forward to the day my son can mow the lawn, my daughter and I can shop for her prom dress and even one day, grandchildren of my own.

The 3 amigos, taking on the world together.

I’m tearing up now. It’s truly because my heart is so full. I only pray one day, they get to feel the same kind of love I do, when they hold their own babies in their arms. I do pray I have more children, I just have too much love to give! It’s okay if this is it, though. I get to hold these memories in my heart forever.

♥️💓- TBHM Hilary

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Hot Mess of the Week- Spring Break Flight Part 2

As my first story ended we arrived (barely) in sunny Texas, headed for South Padre Island. If you missed Part 1 or want a refresher you can read it right here. Oh, how nice it is that a little salty sea breeze can instantly remove all airport frustrations from a gal.  Before I could really take a load off we needed a few supplies. I’d like to note that our first stop after landing at the airport was Wal-Mart. Now, I’m a Target shopper (shoutout to Minnesota) so, this was already out of my comfort zone. Add a little Texas spin to it and “I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” 4 bottles of sunscreen, pack and play crib, a case of Lime-A-Ritas and $500 later, we leave Wal-Mart. Unscathed? The jury is still out on that one.

After a week of sun, seafood and quality family time we headed back to the dreaded Delta airplane hanger…

Before we left, I went online to check us in. I thought something might be fishy when only my husband and daughters name popped up but I ignored it. Surprise, I know. Once we’re at the departure check-in counter things take a nasty turn. They cannot find my ticket or my sons. No exaggeration, an hour later we make our way to security. During the wait, I’ve got a kid who pooped, one who is running around like a dog that needs to hit the doggy-park for a 5 mile jog and a missing husband who is supposed to be returning the SUV rental. Guardian Angel, I need you now.

We arrive at security and they let us through ahead of the line since we have young children. Yahoo! Just kidding, they need to take my kids water bottles and do an intensive examination, X-rays, explosive tests, drug analysis and a strip search. Guess what? We were clean…

Off to the gate! Run!

Turns out since Delta “lost” my tickets and check ins, I was LAST to check in.  My husband and daughter got accepted. Not little Chief and I. The clerk informs us that the flight is overbooked, I have no seat assignment and I’m “at risk” of not getting on the plane. Don’t worry though, I’d get an Amazon gift card for my troubles. Ha. Ha.

At this rate, I’m feeling a little weak. The whole entire flight of passengers walk by us, one by one. Staring us down like “ugh, 2 toddlers…that’d be cool if you didn’t let them on”. Sorry, peeps. Here comes the circus. Some sweetie agreed to take another flight and they let us on.

Shall I set the scene? Everyone is boarded and buckled. Then here come Poulsen Tornado Party of 4. #walkofshame much? Have the kids napped? Yeah, right. Ha! Are the parents in a good mental state? Yeah, right. Ha!

There is a small glimmer of joy. There’s a open seat next to me!!! Hallelujah, mama needs some more room (for free- Ain’t nobody got time to pay for an infant seat, me anyway)

Up we go, headed for the clouds. Peach is screaming. She’s exhausted, hot and sweaty, hungry. Super fun combo for an almost 3 year old. My husband starts feeding her chocolate. (He’s always full of the best ideas *winks*)  If you thought she looked like she hadn’t bathed in weeks, add melted chocolate around her face. #parentoftheyear

The kids are naturally thirsty so I go and grab the water bottles. *Pop*. Gushing, spraying water is pouring and flying everywhere. AGAIN. Remember Niagara Falls from a week ago? It’s literally all over some crabby dude in front of me and the whole row he’s in, and the 2 women across the aisle from me. Cool. This is going well. AGAIN. How did I forget what happened on our first flight? Must have been cocktails on the ocean…

I finally get Chief to fall asleep. Ahhhh, peace. Not really, I hear Peach screaming. I look at my husband and gesture “paci”? (Yep, my almost 3 year old still loves her Paci for nap and bedtime). I never let her have it in public but drastic times… you know the saying. I toss the pacifier to him. She happily grabs it and starts sucking and biting on it all the while smearing more chocolate around her mouth. Toddler for sale… (I kid!) Peach decides now would be a perfect time to be a cat. She pounces out of her seat and starts crawling down the aisle meowing at passengers along the way. My hub and I exchange “shrug-type” glances because we’re just happy she’s not screaming or peeing. Can’t win ’em all…

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Peach is also shoeless.
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I love my husbands face here. Like, “sorry, she’s living her best life.”

The plane starts to descend, I can almost taste victory. Home! I love you, so!

All in all, the flights were worth it. Whatever gets you to the beach, amiright?! My main tip would be, fly direct whenever you can! Cocktails are nice too.

🛩💺😼- TBHM Hilary

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You’re probably a good mom…

We’re late again. As I’m juggling a 14 month old wiggle-worm trying my darnedest to squeeze his feet into his new grey Nike’s, I call to Peach and tell her to get her coat and boots on. 10 minutes and 10 requests later she’s still not dressed. She’s in the play room jumping on her miniature trampoline. I feel my patience dwindling like a frayed rope. I’m hanging by a thread. An all too common phrase I use to describe my status to family and friends as of late. I get Chief into his car seat and head back in to tackle his big sister. At this point, I fear we’ll get the boot from her private school since we’re late so often. There’s no more time for “Miss Nice Montessori Mom”. I grab her and man-handle her up the stairs, whip her boots and coat on and carry her out to Black Beauty. Mom. Is. Done. It’s 8:31AM. #sendhelp. Once we’re safely on the way to school. I sink down into a wave of regret and feel like the worlds meanest mom.

I read something one day that said “if you worry about being a good mom, you already are one”. I’m here to tell you to hold onto that, friends.

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Another day done and what was accomplished? Running from one commitment to the next and suddenly it’s bedtime. As the sun sets I normally reflect on the day. Often times, thinking of all the things I wish I would have done. Did I get down on the floor and pretend I was a cat for the 15th time that day? Did I read every book requested of me? Did I serve an organic balanced homemade meal? Did I lose my temper or raise my voice? Did I put down my phone enough? Did I keep bribing my eldest with chocolate chips? Did I complete all my household duties to show a good example to my children? Did the kids get a probably much needed bath? Did I cuddle them as long as possible before turning out the light? Did I say “I love you” enough?

We could all fall victim to holding onto our potential shortcomings as a parent. Could we have done better? Probably, but let’s focus on the good that came from our day.

My children thought I was a hilarious feline. Meow! I got to read some of my childhood favorite books. (Hello, Jan Brett!) Their tummies were filled and they were loved. So what if I didn’t fold the clean laundry today? Life is a progression and the chores are never all done. One thing is for sure though, these days are limited. (Insert baby fever).

I’ve lost my temper more times than I’d care to admit. Yet, how easily my children keep smiling and loving me. They don’t even contemplate what it means to forgive. They just do it. In an instant. Can we see the world through our children’s eyes for a moment? Take a step back and love more?

Do you ever ponder these things about your parenting day in and day out? If you do, chances are you’re a good mom (or Dad)! So let’s hold onto the positive love filled moments we provided for our children today and not be too hard on ourselves. That doesn’t mean we don’t need to strive to improve our lives. I know I do. It’s patience for me. I believe with love and patience anything is possible (especially in parenthood). Maybe even being on time!

💕😻- TBHM Hilary

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Emoji Valentines!

Say hello to arguably the cutest of the easiest valentines to make at home with toddlers. No glitter to clean up (even though I really wanted to bling these out) I had enough Ritz cracker crumbs to clean up already. Which I’ll actually leave for my dogs… Look at these cuties! They’ll have you like 😍. Ya feel me?!

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No, Peachy Popper’s handwriting is not this advanced. We utilize “hand over hand”

Things you’ll need:

Printer- hopefully you aren’t “low on ink” SMH story of my life… I suspect there’s a conspiracy behind my printer always being low on ink but thats a rant for another day.

Paper- cardstock would be best, but you guessed it, no, I didn’t have any. Regular printer paper it is. Do I need to remind you? Not a perfectionist here.

Scissors

Glue or Tape in a pinch

Chocolate Heart Candies- I used Hershey’s Caramel

Just head on over too Google Images for an emoji template. There are tons to choose from. You don’t have to stick to the heart eyes. I particularly like the first 2 options.

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Peach (2) focused on her “work” as she calls it. Can you say “Montessori kid?”

Add a drop of glue to each eye and stick a chocolate on. Use a decent sized drop. Wait for them to dry before signing your name. If you didn’t use cardstock I would recommend cutting some paper bags or doubling up the paper for added strength.

 

Don’t forget to eat a little treat along the way.

Are you making valentines at home this year? Comment and let me know what you do. If you try this valentine project out tell me or tag @totallyblessedhotmess on instagram in your pics so I can see the cuteness.

😍❣️💘-TBHM Hilary

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Hot Mess of the Week- Lost Keys

It almost goes without saying that I’ve lost my keys before. You can’t really call yourself a Hot Mess unless you misplace very important items. I bought my blacked out “war wagon”, as my husband cleverly (he thought) named it from a private party. Upon purchase, we left with 1 set of keys. The previous owner promised to mail the other set at a later date… Looking back, this was probably some God like foreshadowing.

Somewhere in the Northwoods of Minnesota. Near abandoned building. Peach (12months old) stunning in her Jordans

This story happens to be pre-baby #2. I’ve always been a hot mess, Chief has just helped keep the tornado spinning at full speed. One day Peach and I were getting ready to head on out on a big adventure. Probably a stop at my sisters house or target. What’s new? I get us all dressed and accessorized. (Back when I could get ready during her morning nap… R.I.P. only child days) We shuffle out to the car, my large bell-bottomed jeans swooshing. Yep, I totally remember what I was wearing. My memory works 2 ways: 1. What was I wearing? 2. What was I eating? I digress. Pull shiny black door handle, slaps back… heart sinks… searches every pocket on body frantically. Approximately 15 pockets. Empty, empty, empty. Searches house like I’m digging for gold. Nothing. The pep in my step in starting to feel heavvvy. Knowing what’s next, the dreaded phone call to my husband. Aka, my number 1 emergency responder. 

Pic of me, hubs and Peach the weekend we bought the suburban. Getaway in Grand Marais, MN

I call. He’s less than amused. He ends up calling a tow truck from our road side service program. “Black Beauty” as I prefer to call her, gets towed to the Chevrolet Dealership. I have a friend drop us off and wait for a new key to be programmed. Guess how much it cost? FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. $500 freaking dollars, people! At that point I wanted to say “screw it” and buy a totally new vehicle. (I admit, I can be a little dramatic…) 😜 

Sighs…I begrudgingly hand the clerk $500.00. They say my vehicle is ready, out Peach and I go. I open the car door, try to put key in. Something is weird. Oh suuuuuper cool, I’m in the WRONG truck. Walk of shame back inside. They tell me “it’s being pulled around the front now”. Really?! Why me?! And do you sell beer?!

Fast forward to pulling in my driveway at home. Slide hand to drop new key in the pocket I normally keep them in. LITERAL POUNDING HEART PALPITATIONS- I pull out the missing set of keys. 😫😭😩 Really?! How will I ever admit this to Mr. Perfect (hub)? Thankfully, he’s a seasoned veteran with my hot mess antics, so he just laughed. The next week I got the other set in the mail. Talk about timing. *I blame it on sleep deprivation*

Do you have an epic missing key story? Spill it with me!

🌪 🔑- TBHM Hilary

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