Ramblings.

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, so excuse me while I just unload the contents of my frazzled mom brain.

I love being a mom. It’s amazing. It is so hard, but at the end of the day, I feel so fulfilled.

But being a mom is not exactly “glamorous” per se.

There are days when I feel like a super lame mom. Days when Jake watches two (or more) whole Pixar movies. Days when I don’t get to shower. Or remember to shower. Or remember to pee. Like, I literally have to remind myself to pee. And eat. And feed the cats. Cause mothering is a NON-STOP job. If one kid doesn’t need me, the other does. And then on those glorious moments when both kids are sleeping at the same time, it’s like a race to see how much I can accomplish, or I just collapse and waste that precious time taking a shower or sitting down to eat. It’s so crazy and SUCH a busy life.

I fantasize about having a perfectly run household. Having an exercise routine. Having meals planned out. Eating only whole foods and actually having the time to prepare them. I’ve recently discovered that white sugar/flour is a no-go for me (it’s probably a no-go for everyone, really) because it makes my anxiety/irritability way worse, so it’s just not worth the temporary satisfaction that is sugar.

I have all these things I tell myself I have to do, and when the day is done and I barely managed to keep my kids fed and happy, sometimes I feel like I’m failing.

But I know that’s a lie. Nobody cares if my house is Pinterest-perfect or if we eat organic or if we sat down and bonded over home-made crafts. We just do the best we can.

And for goodness sakes, I just had a baby four months ago.

On another awesome note, I FINALLY figured out a way to make time for my music. I now switch off babysitting with a friend so we each have a three hour block each week to work on our creative outlets KID FREE. It’s amazing. Thanks to this new arrangement, I may just have a new song to put up on YouTube for the first time in a year or so. So yay!

Also, we’re in the process of buying a house! WHAT?!

It’s the house we’ve been renting for three years. So it’s not exactly as exciting as like, buying a house normally is. But it’s about to be ours! Which means I can paint the kitchen cabinets! 😀

Life is good. Busy and crazy and messy, but wonderful.

Now it’s time to get Jake down for a nap, she says with peaceful solidarity.

Strangers and Mommy Melt-downs.

So today was fantastic. Jake let me sleep in this morning, the sun was shining all day, I got a ton of cleaning done, and even got in a good workout. Plus me and Jake had good vibes like, all day. Lately that has been a little harder to come by, since he pushes my buttons to no end.

But today was good. I felt like a good mom.

Then as I was loading groceries into our car, a stranger pulled up next to me and started lecturing me about letting my son walk too far away from me in the parking lot. Said that it scared the bleep out of him, said that rear view mirrors don’t see little kids. Said I needed to keep him closer and be more careful.

So much for being a good mom.

And what sucked more than his critique was that honestly, he was right. Just like the guy who snapped at me at Costco because I had Jake in the main part of the shopping cart. And he happened to catch him standing up. And I was once again reminded of how little I actually know about parenting properly.

People have good intentions. I know that. But it’s hard when you’re doing the best you can and then someone who doesn’t even know you corrects you. And they’re right.

Needless to say, my mood changed. It shouldn’t have, but it did. I found myself getting really stressed out while trying to make dinner, snapping at Mark and Jake to just leave me alone and let me cook.

And out of nowhere, the waterworks started. I just started crying. I honestly don’t know why. I just broke down. Probably a build-up of negative feelings built up from that stranger in the parking lot and guilt for not being a better mom.

Mark came into the kitchen, found me crying, walked over and put his arms around me.

Then, Jake came in. He just walked over and put his little arms around as much of me as he could.

I looked at his little face, and he puckered his lips for a kiss. And then continued hugging me long after Mark had let go. And was incredibly loving and sweet to me the rest of the night.

I’m still emotional just thinking about that sweet boy and his compassion and love and it’s hard to believe that someone so young can be so intuitive and know just how to make me feel better. He is literally an angel and I love him more than I can hold in my heart.

Parenting is hard. We make mistakes. We make careless choices sometimes that risk our child’s safety or feelings or whatever.

But children are little blessings that are watched over by guardian angels to help catch our mistakes and protect them from harm. And thank goodness.

Parenting is a pretty thankless job. But tonight, in his own little way, he showed me that he loves me.

I’m not perfect. But that boy loves me.

Mistakes.

Jake is wonderful. Jake is perfect. Jake is also entering a whole new territory of behavior that blows my mind and makes me want to scream sometimes.

He hits, pushes, points his finger at people and yells at them (particularly smaller children who get scared and start crying at his display of authority), and officially knows the word “No!”

He also pets my head like a cat and mumbles sweet nothings while he strokes my hair. So like, I can’t be mad at him.

But there are times. And one of those times caught me off-guard the other night.

Usually after Mark gives Jake a bath, I claim my spot in the rocking chair, and toss pajamas that I picked out to Mark to get him dressed. But the other night, Mark claimed the rocking chair seat, and told me it was “my turn” to get him dressed. I used my usual “It’s my night off” excuse (that I always try and it never works). Nonetheless, I needed to get the kid in pj’s.

I called him to come to me.

“No.”

“Get your naked butt over here, silly boy!”

“No!” He then proceeds to run to the furthest corner of his room.

Finally, I get him, lay him down in front of me, and the kicking starts. And the flailing starts. And I only have seven arms, I can’t hold everything down. Every time I get a limb successfully clothed, it escapes in a burst of frenzy.

And then I snapped.

I don’t even understand what happened. I just got up, slammed his door, went to my room, slammed my door, and sat on my bed while i had an anxiety attack.

I felt like the worst mom. Who freaks out like that in front of their kid? What kind of mom can’t get their kid in pj’s?

A couple minutes later, I heard crying, and Mark left his room. He had put him in his crib to go to sleep.

We were both worn out and tired of his behavior. But I knew we couldn’t send him to bed like that.

I felt a surge of patience, and went into his room, picked him up, and held him.

I grabbed a book, and we pointed at pictures and turned pages together.

Then he slipped out of the room and started going downstairs.

Mark started laughing as he realized I had given in to Jake’s persistence.

And we all snuggled on the couch and watched Inside Out till like, 10pm.

I’m realizing parenting isn’t all about perfect boundaries and schedules and routines. It isn’t about being perfectly patient and composed. Our kids are going to see us face our weaknesses. Our kids are going to see us make mistakes. And sometimes they will deal with things that aren’t fair.

But I think if we can accept that, then parenthood is so much more fulfilling.

Sometimes, it’s okay to let your kid stay up late with you.

Sometimes, it’s okay to have snacks in bed.

Sometimes, it’s okay to lose our minds. As long as we recover and apologize and make up for it.

We really shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. Parenting is hard! Adulting is hard!

So here’s to mistakes, I guess!

Spongebob and Repentance.

Guys. I used to be one of those people that were too cool for the pineapple under the sea.

Then I married Mark. And I discovered that the super sexy stud of a man I was engaged to was actually an 11 year old boy.

And I’m hooked.

We used to watch a little here and there back in the day, but took a break.

But now we’re watching it again. With Jake. And oh my gosh. It’s hilarious.

Maybe my sense of humor has changed now that I live with boys. But goodness. I love it.

Anyway. My website is working again. Thanks to my IT nerd husband, who essentially turned it off and then on again.

I’m in the process of getting some MP3’s on here for you to download. So that will be fun!

OH, and remember that coffee table I got for $10 off craigslist forever ago? I’m sure you don’t. But I did a poor job painting it, barely doing any prep work, and definitely not priming. I thought ceiling paint would work for that. Nope.

And no matter how many layers of polyacrylic I lathered on, the paint kept peeling off whenever I put things on it.

So I finally gave in, and got the stuff to strip the paint off and start over. Months ago.

And today I decided I would just “strip the paint real quick” during Jake’s nap time.

Holy cow. It’s a job.

It’s taking a LOT of work. I didn’t know my fingers could sweat, but they did, all cooped up inside the chemical-proof gloves I had on.

But I’m planning on making it a chalk-board table for Jake. So hopefully it won’t take TOO much longer.

Also, isn’t that kind of like sin and repentance?

If I had just waited and prepped/primed/painted like I was supposed to, following directions, and taking my time, I wouldn’t have had such a messy, miserable project on my hands now.

But thank goodness we are given ways we can fix our mistakes. There’s no coffee table so crappily painted that some paint stripper and sweat can’t fix it, and no problem is too messy for our Savior to clean.

Does that make sense? It does to me. Makes me want to do things the right way the first time, cause repentance is hard work! But thank goodness we have that to fall back on, because heaven knows we don’t usually do things right the first go around :)

Anyway. I’m gonna go put on some LuLaRoe leggings and watch spongebob. After getting Jake into his Star Wars jammies.

 

Marriage.

Mark: Hey Erica, you know how I wanted to get that NAS drive for our movies that had a terabyte of space and blah blah blah….. and all that?

Me: Mhm… yeah…. [as I scroll down my Facebook feed]

Mark: Well this new Halo game is going to take up blah blah space! I should have gotten the bigger drive! Because blah blah blah

Me: Gotcha.

Mark starts to walk away, and I call after.

Me: Hey, you know how I was just half-listening to you? Let me read you this funny article I just saw on my Facebook feed. Just half listen ok?

Mark: Ok. [Starts walking down stairs.]

Me: Hey where are you going?

Mark: I’m just gonna be down here. If you hear the XBOX turn on, that’s just the sound of me listening.

 

 

Life right now.

So, here’s whats up with me.

My son will be two soon, and he’s already living up to the terrible twos I’ve heard so much about. I love that boy so much it hurts but GOODNESS, can I just change his diaper without being kicked to death? And can he PLEASE just eat ONE vegetable or SOMETHING?!

Could be worse. At least he’s eating. Even if its only my protein shakes (I sneak spinach into them, but don’t tell him!)

My husband is still amazing. I’m just going to ignore the fact that the terrible, terrible sounds of Orcs being mutilated is blasting on the TV downstairs while he violently murders them all. I thought The Lord of the Rings was over, but nope. Thanks to XBOX, the Shadow of Mordor lives on.

Could be worse. Could be War of Worldcraft or whatever its called.

I am trying to find the time to record and make more YouTube videos. But this toddler stuff is seriously demanding! And there’s cats everywhere all the time!

I keep telling myself i’m only 24 (almost 25! eeeek!) and that I have time to accomplish my dreams and change the world and all that crap. But sometimes it feels like I’m never going to get there.

Could be worse. At least I made giant heart shaped fleece pillows for our couch for Valentines Day. And little throw pillows for our bed. And a pillow cover for a couch pillow. Literally, I spent an entire 3-hour Jake-nap-block making pillows. So I guess that’s something.

OH! I got contact lenses. That’s sort of cool! I haven’t worn them since like, high school. And they’re as annoying as I remember. But it beats having Jake almost break my glasses every day. “Ha! Try to peel these suckers off my eyes! I dare you punk!”

I don’t actually call my son punk.

and I really hope he doesn’t try to peel my contacts off my eyes. That would be traumatic for the both of us.

 

 

 

Toe Tappers.

We have one of those baby rear-view mirrors so we can keep an eye on Jake while we drive.

Yesterday while out and about I started blasting that “nah, nah, honey I’m good” song, and I noticed Jake started raising his arms up and moving his little body as much as he could in his seat. And it made me so happy.

And it reminded me of why I do what I do.

Music is such an important part of our lives, and the soundtrack to our lives should be fun and happy and beautiful and something you can tap your toes too. It should also have music that moves you, and relates to you, and comforts you.

But it made me sad as I thought more and more about the music that is on the radio these days, realizing that the messages in the music are not things I want my children to honestly relate to. Sure, “Honey, I’m Good” is a fantastically catchy song, and technically the message of it is that he wants to avoid drinking too much so that he doesn’t accidentally cheat on his girl. Or something like that. So it could be worse.

But still. Is that the best we can do?

I want to make music that makes people feel good–good about themselves, good about life, and good about the messages they’re hearing.

I’m still trying to balance family life with my growing music career, and it can be a challenge. But I hope you stay with me through the journey!

and P.S. Playing at Fralo’s pizza tonight from about 7-9:30 :)

 

3:45pm

I love being a stay at home mom. My days with Jake are so wonderful. He’s so active and curious and it’s so much fun.

But right around 3:45pm, I am super duper glad that my gym is within walking distance.

At that point, Jake gets whiny. And at that same point, I start feeling my patience a bit lacking.

So we brave the 100 degree San Antonio weather and take the 20 minute stroll to the gym.

Jake gets to play at the day care there, and mama gets some alone time. And since the gym is basically the only way I get alone time, I’m basically forced to work out and be healthy against my will. So it all works out.

My progress has been slower than I would like, but I’m already 20 pounds lighter than I was right before getting pregnant with Jake. So that’s progress.

High five to me.

Also, I finally finished Jake’s scrapbook. But as I was putting all the pages together and adding extension rods in the binding to fit them all… I discovered I need a much bigger scrapbook. I guess I got a little crazy and documented way too much. But whatevs.

I’m gonna go put my little boy to bed.

 

Walking.

Jake walks now. Like a pro.

Recently he he decided it was way cooler to waddle than crawl on his hands and knees. And I’m so glad. And it’s so cute.

Except now we have to get him shoes.

Yeah. While everyone else was buying $60 moccasins for their newborns, we were all, “psh, the kid doesn’t even walk. He don’t need shoes.”

But we no longer have that excuse. And our kid has been walking around on his bare feet like a doofus.

I promise we’re good parents. Mostly.

I got my stuff in the mail today to make my menu planner. I have never had so much fun thinking about food. That’s probably a lie. But it’s gonna be awesome.

Been working with my dad getting some songs ready to record my first real demo. Which is fun. And very educational for me. I forget that he totally knows what he’s doing. Why don’t I pick his brain more?!

The kittens are all open-eyed and crawling and perfect. Have you ever held and kissed four baby cats at once? You should.

It occurred to me tonight that I eat popcorn way too much. Like, almost every night. I tell myself it’s practically zero calories. And the fake butter is zero calories. And it’s all just vegetables anyway.

We got a garden tower. And are going to have a fall garden. How grown up is that?

I’m just gonna stop typing now.

 

Clutter.

My mind is cluttered right now, so this post is going to be, too.

I’m going to a meeting for the San Antonio chapter of Nashville Songwriters Association International tonight. I went last month and it was an amazing experience. We just sit around and listen to each others songs and critique them. It’s seriously so much fun.

I recently discovered H&M. And I finally got myself a couple “mom” outfits that I actually feel good in. Besides yoga pants.

We moved Mama cat and her four kittens up into the guest room. They get more room, and we have our downstairs bathroom free again. It’s bliss.

And if you’re in the market for a cute creature, we have four that will be ready for adoption in a few weeks 😉

I’ve been in crafty/organize mode for a while now. I’m getting ready to put together this awesome meal plan (check out the tutorial here.) I’m super duper excited. I’ve also gotten a ton done for Jake’s scrapbook. It’s not going to be the classiest thing out there, and my horrible handwriting plagues every page, but hey, at least I’m having fun doing it.

I’m really excited about a new song I’ve written. It’s called “Yellow.” And it’s constantly stuck in my head. That’s a good sign, right? I’m thinking it might be one for the demo.

Speaking of demo, I finally have enough funds saved up from past gigs to be able to go to a legit studio and record a legit demo. You know, to like, send out to producers/record companies and what not. So we’ll see what happens!

We finally gave in and bought a pack and play contraption called the Joovy Room2. It’s amazing. Jake is playing in it with marbles and pots and pans and is just squealing in delight. And he’s not climbing on toilets or the couch or chairs. High five to us.

I got the worst hair cut ever recently. And I’m stuck with it. Until it grows out. So don’t look at me.

And also, don’t trust a first-time student with your hair. Even if it’s only $4. Unless you want to be a hermit for a while. Then it’s a totally fine idea.

I went to the ophthalmologist last week and I found out I might be able to get a lower prescription which would ironically fix my lazy eye problem. And I might even be able to get a sort of Lasik that would also help dramatically. So I might not have to wear coke bottle glasses. I might even be able to wear contact lenses again. Or maybe nothing at all. I’m so excited for the possibilities. I’ve been in glasses since I was 2. And had the eye patching. Yeah. I was that kid. So I freaking deserve a break!

I’m gonna go pay attention to my kid now.