Playing With Tampons (Controlled Distraction)

This article was originally posted on TheBLT while I was a guest columnist.

I walked into the bathroom the other day and was surprised to see something laying in the sink: two brand new tampons puffed full of water. Once I recognized what they were, I laughed. I remembered that I let my daughter play with them the night before. I don't typically make it a habit to waste hygiene products, but sometimes you just need your kid to mind their own business. I wouldn't believe you if you told me there were parents out there who don't occasionally turn a blind eye to their kids enjoying an activity that's less than desirable. Whether it's for two minutes or ten, we all need a break now and then. Why else would we have been made to need bathroom breaks? Or sleep?

In our family, we employ an unofficial method of parenting; what I like to call "controlled distraction". (In the parenting book I'll never write, it'll be found in the "Preservation of Sanity" chapter.) This is similar to redirection, but the beauty of it is that your child thinks it's their idea. This is a crucial factor of success for my bold and energetic toddler. She's an opportunist; so I can give her little wins here and there without sacrificing my (often disputed) role as her leader. Win-win!

I'm not competitive, nor am I a choosy beggar. I can lose a few battles if it means I win the war. (Also a chapter in the parenting book I'll never write: "Parenting Isn't A War Except When It Totally Is".) If I interrupt a potty break of my own to chase my daughter around the house to retrieve the tampons she stole from the bathroom drawer, who's the real loser in the situation? I'll gladly risk finding a couple of deconstructed tampons laying around if it means I get to use the restroom in peace - whatever the new definition of "peace" is when you become a parent.

When I imagine myself being a mom, the image is pretty disconnected from reality. Fantasy Reghan is never tired. Her patience meter is always full. She's perky and sweet, her children always do exactly what she asks, and they listen and accept any life wisdom she imparts in teachable moments. In summary, she's 100% fictional and probably also impossible. As a real human, I need reprieve and refreshment. To survive between rare date nights and even rarer vacations, you gotta do what you gotta do. In some cases, that means seeing your toddler with your toothbrush and preemptively deciding to just start using a new one. (Advice to include in my nonexistent parenting book: Always have extra toothbrushes.)

There's always a chance that my future self will be appalled at my seemingly willy-nilly methods, but if future me exists, I'll owe myself a thanks, because those very methods kept me just sane enough to live another day. If there's one thing I've learned since becoming a mom, it's that it really does take a village. And, not only does it take a village, but it also takes lots of concessions sprinkled here and there to keep the majority of the people in the village mentally sound at any given time.

If I ever write that parenting book, it might suffice to just say, "Chapter 1: IDK, just wing it like everybody else." End of book.

The Prodigal Son

“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”
- Luke‬ ‭15:20-24‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Both sons were lost, but only one of them knew it. The story used to frustrate me because I was the older son. I'm doing the right things, I'm following the rules, and yet, there's no praise for me. Then life happens and you change and grow and make more mistakes.
And I realized that I'm the younger son.
Not because I'm no longer "good", but because I can see that I'm not good. I can see how far I've strayed, that I need grace. I can see that I was never worthy in my own right, but because of my Father's love.
You really can go back home.
To roots, to foundation, to square one. To the beginning, but wiser now that you know you aren't that wise. We leave home thinking we'll find ourselves, but some of us, in tired moments, realize we are lost.
And, somewhere in that moment... We are found.
"I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here its like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself
if I could just come in I swear I'll leave.
Won't take nothing but a memory
from the house that built me."
- The House That Built Me, Miranda Lambert

Let It Go

The full article was originally posted on TheBLT, where I'm a guest columnist.

When you're in the sea of adulthood and you're getting slapped in the face by wave after wave, it can seem impossible to keep your head above water. We all get stressed in life; we all get overwhelmed sometimes. As a human and as a parent, you have to find ways to earn that "mom of the year" mug without going to jail or dying or shrieking choice words at your children. I recently had to accept wise, old words recently popularized by a young queen in a glittery dress: Let it go.

It sounds like a jab, but it isn't. It's freedom. Admitting that "doing it all" isn't realistic is me letting myself off the hook. If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree... You know?

Am I still a human and will I still make mistakes? Yes. However, even if I'll forever be critical of myself, I should never be my worst critic. The world will take care of that. I have to pick my battles, with my children, with my critics, and even with myself.

You can read the article in its entirety here.

Welcome, Max!

I had some posts in the last couple months of my pregnancy that never made it past the "draft" phase. This is more than forgivable, considering everything going on. With that being said, I think I can make it back into the blogging world now. So 90s, so fetch.

Welcome to the world, Max Bennett!

He arrived on September 1, 2016, weighing 8 pounds & 13 ounces, at 21 inches long. Our entire experience from start to finish was so different than our experience when Maya was born. We are sleepy and so happy he's finally here!

June Favorites

It's not rocket science. It's not even financially lucrative, since no one pays me to tell you what I'm into lately. Actually, no one pays me to tell you anything at all.

Wait, why do I even have a blog?

Regardless, I've put together a little list of things I'm diggin'. Things I want or have used like crazy or have recently discovered and loved.

1. This adorable little baby mermaid outfit is adorable. Did I mention it's adorable? It's things like this that make me want to have another tiny little girl. // Etsy 
2. This mug speaks to me on a deep level. // rue21 
3. If a unicorn backpack existed when I was in high school, I would've been a lot cooler than I actually was. // Target 4. This is on my list of things to get for little baby boy. It's edgy without being creepy and it's mostly white, which I'm super into right now. // Etsy 
5. My go-to, all-time favorite body lotion is St. Ives Collagen & Elastin. I have naturally dry skin and that stuff works wonders. However, it's too greasy to use on my face. Finding a face/neck lotion that isn't too greasy, doesn't break me out, and doesn't need multiple layers to last is nearly impossible when you don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on moisturizer. But THIS STUFF. It's incredible. It's not a fancy brand, and it certainly isn't the cutest or prettiest option, but it does everything I want it to do. Plus, the last time I had the opportunity to use a Cetaphil product was when Justin was recovering from lots of burns, so I didn't think their stuff was for regular, non-burned people. I'll keep using it and see how it goes. // Target / Walmart 
6. This seasonal diaper print is so cute I almost died. // Honest 
7. Honest Organic Healing Balm might be able to cure anything. I mean, don't take my word for it. I'd tell you to try it but no one pays me to do that, so try it or don't, whatever. // Honest
8. These will be on my newborn's body on his first trip out of the hospital, you mark my words. // Etsy

[Insert Crying Emoji Here]

The great thing about the baby-birthing industry is that you know your doctor will be there when you need them. The not great thing about the baby-birthing industry is that you aren't your doctor's only patient, and them being there when one of their patients needs them might mean you find yourself making two trips to the city just to find yourself waiting for your doctor to return from birthing someone else's baby.

To be honest, it's not that bad. It's definitely inconvenient, but what might have been truly upsetting with Maya isn't with this baby. With Maya, it felt like months between every appointment! Now, I'd be an obvious mess if it weren't for calendar apps and alerts and reminders. (Seriously, how did anyone parent before smartphones?) Instead of being "awww maaaan", I'm using the free void in my schedule to chill on a couch in the waiting room and write this blog post while Maya isn't in my care. I guess I could've just rescheduled and gotten a built-in excuse to have babysitting again, but that's a lot of work, guys. If I'm gonna get child care, I'd much rather go somewhere other than a doctor appointment.

Speaking of doctor appointments, things are definitely in the home stretch. All signs point to baby, and I am so ready. That's the only thing I'm certain of these days. That, and the fact that I need a full-body massage. The little baby I host might rip out of my body with every stretch. (Do babies flex in utero?) I've had some Braxton-Hicks contractions this week, which is yet another sign of the end. I'm more excited than anything about the labor and delivery, even knowing it's not something you can plan with any real certainty.

That's how I live best, I've learned. Maybe I'm a true Sagittarius after all. I've said you become more yourself as a parent, and that's still true. 


I take back everything I said. I came out of my appointment just shy of completely devastated because my beloved doctor is moving! Someone else will be my OB for the last month of my pregnancy, the delivery of my baby boy, and every moment for the rest of my life maybe. Please excuse me while I work through the stages of grief over this very real and difficult loss.

I guess I'll go question everything in life now?

The Princess & the Pee

This article was originally posted on TheBLT, where I'm a guest columnist.

My princess certainly doesn't need anyone to save her—maybe not even me.

If my almost-two-year-old daughter could talk, I think she would've already taught herself to read and write. If she could write, I think she'd be running a blog dedicated to educating the toddlers of the world on the best ways to gain independence. If she could read, I'd be leaving her notes around the house, reminding her that she is, in fact, a toddler, and not the grown-up she seems to believe she is.

This article is truer now than it was when I wrote it almost two months ago. Fortunately for me, I'm about to have another baby. Otherwise, I think I'd be rendered useless in this gig I have as Maya's mom. Are they supposed to grow up this fast? I mean, they say kids grow up quickly. But they don't tell you how quickly babies grow up!

The bottom line is that I'm not even needed anymore, basically. She keeps me around to write her memoirs and drive her everywhere. Maya, if you're reading this, remember me and all the diapers I changed when you're running your own business at six years old.

Read the article in its entirety here.

Month in Moments: June

A few shots from my Snapchat story when I did my glucose test.

 And I did pass, with flying colors!

Anniversary date night!

30 Weeks i.e. I Waddle Now

The weeks have become months, at this point. I have come to terms with the fact that I'm a wee bit complain-y. Isn't it my right or something?

Anyway, I truly feel like this kid could bust out of my stomach with each stretch. My abs aren't as tough as they were before I had Maya, so my stomach muscles are pretty much useless at this point. Maya is more active than ever, and I am exhausted. My vehicle is having problems, my washer broke, it's a thousand degrees outside, and any position that doesn't free up my lungs is suffocating.

BUT! I am so excited about things coming up. And, let me tell you, there is no shortage of things coming up. The holiday weekend, a baby shower, Maya's second birthday (which is particularly enticing because there's gonna be a lazy river involved), and the birth of this new little baby. Now that I've publicly complained, I'm free to exclaim - in text - how exciting so much of this is. I don't need to even open my tired eyes to say "WOOHOO" online, so WOOHOO!

At my last prenatal appointment two weeks ago, my uterus measured a week and a half bigger than where I am, which isn't anything to be afraid of yet. At my next appointment on Thursday, I'll be measured again, and we'll see how things look. I'm just gonna chill and let this baby do his thing, and whenever he's born, he's born. And if he busts right out of my stomach to make his arrival, I'll just look at it as a free tummy tuck or something.

He's so strong. I'm proud and all, but I'll be more proud when I'm not in pain. That's not me complaining, that's just a simple fact.

This is also a fact: Any more children I give birth to will not be born in summer. They just won't.

Pet Fever

Currently, we have no pets, including the mouse we recently encouraged to be with Jesus. I'll be the first to admit that this is the easier, cleaner, cheaper alternative to letting animals live with you. I also have a child (and a half), and I don't think letting children live with you is a responsible choice, either. However, we're humans and we want love and companionship, so we do what we want, even if it's inconvenient and expensive and messy.
Me, to Justin: "I want a pet. A kitten maybe?"
J: "Is a toddler and a newborn not enough?"
Me: "We haven't had the newborn yet and I still have the fever!"
J: *lovingly rolls eyes*

Our plan does not include pets right now. However, if I show up at home with a pet one day, I cannot be held responsible. It probably needs my love to live. That's not my fault, obviously.

I only suggested a kitten because they're so darn cute. Also, even though I am not a cat person, they're so much more independent than dogs and way easier to take care of. Plus, Maya needs to learn responsibility or something, right? Yeah. That sounds good. Maya needs to learn the joys of caring for someone else. Who am I to deny my child a valuable learning opportunity?

I think Justin wants a pet more than I do. But he can be trusted. I can't, and that's just a fact.

I probably won't get a pet right now. Who knew an exhausted pregnant chick with a toddler would want a hairy living thing to take care of? On that note, why does anyone have pets? Or kids, for that matter?

The point is that you can't judge me for being human. I think that's the point. I don't know. I'm off to the pet store to cuddle some puppies. Or I shouldn't? Nah, it'll be fine. It'll be fine.

Post Signature

Post Signature