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Becoming a Mom

That moment you realize you are a Mom!

How to describe that moment? That moment when it hits you, when it all comes down like a ton of bricks and reality steps right in your face – You’re a Mom, a Mother, the one trusted source of information about vomit, diarrhea, diaper rash & common illnesses.

Not during pregnancy, although many women experience revelation then, but when that young one is in your arms. That’s when it’s real.  That moment when the mental connection is made. I’ve heard some say it was in the hospital it hit them, but not for me. Oh no, it was after I got home. Suddenly, I realized how helpful the hospital staff had been during the first couple of days. They didn’t come home with me. There was no help really!

Nothing prepares you for it – not books, movies, seminars, or pregnancy classes. Nope, no stories you hear or conversations will prepare you for the inevitable; that fateful moment that suddenly shakes your inner being like a banana tree.

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It can happen multiple times, through multiple ages of the child’s life, and can be as small as a thought or as profound as a huge chilling emotion sweeping over you. You know, the one that takes your breath away and leave you feeling shell-shocked? Yep, that’s the one I’m writing about.

For me, the pregnancy was not it. Not with my first born anyway. Not carrying him, not the short easy labor, not even the nurses bringing him to me created the reality that I had entered into the everlasting realm of motherhood. Nope. I carried on as though completing a task. Like getting from point A to point B.  I marked off the mile markers as I went until one day, when he was about 3 weeks old, it hit me.

I was laying in bed with him beside me nursing. He was making little sounds. He was so relaxed. It was like he trusted me already and didn’t even know me. He looked up at me with his little eyes full of love as his little hand patted my arm.  BOOM!  Right there, right then I realized I was a Mom.  I started to cry.  Emotions swept over me like an avalanche and I was completely consumed. 20 years later I can still feel that same love & emotions sweep over me when he calls.

Chrissy +Nicky

Then a couple years later, my life replayed the previous 2 years. I was pregnant again with another boy.  I thought man, I got this! I mean, I had already been there, done that, got the t-shirt!

Nope, it all hit me again. He was about 6 days old…my oldest was laying beside me & new baby was in my arms. We were home. I realized this was a forever gig. And I realized that although I didn’t apply for the position, I knew it was meant to be 🙂

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Here they are today. Those 2 babies grew up and they’re sooo much bigger than me. My biggest fear, the one I wrestled with the most with throughout their infancy & toddler years – never came true (PRAISE GOD).

My biological mother gave me away. She didn’t want me. Her biological mother gave her away. She wasn’t wanted either. All the women in my biological family seemingly did the same thing. I don’t want to be like that. Please Jesus, please don’t let me do it. No matter what comes, keep my mind strong. Keep me fiercely independent and protect my mental state. Please, please, please!!

God is merciful. I kept them…plus 2 girls and another boy God sent me. 🙂

 

Momma-tude

Momma-tude is the attitude of a Mother.  This Mom attitude is not one to be ashamed of but rather one to be admired. But, what exactly is a Mother’s attitude? It’s part of her personality. It makes her who she is. It helps define her in her everyday life. Momma-tude is also a common reaction or feeling amongst a group of Mom’s.  There are many types. Which one are you?

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Which Momma-tude are you?

The Accident waiting to happen Mom

Common phrases:

  1. Please stop crying before you drown in your tears.
  2. Get down from there before you fall off and break your neck.
  3. You know, chewing with your mouth closed prevents lock jaw.
  4. You’re going to end up in the same type of trouble when you get older if you don’t learn from your brother.
  5. Don’t touch it. You don’t know where that’s been.
  6. This place is full of germs.
  7. Talk like that will get you arrested.
  8. Don’t try it…
  9. Foods ready. Come on everyone. It’s time to gain 10 lbs!
  10. That’s not a toy. Put that thing away for the next 20 years!
  11. What were you thinking?
  12. You are going to cause a nose bleed
  13. Just think about how bad that could have been

The Over-Protective Mom

Common phrase:

  1. Oh honey, stop crying before you bust a blood vessel.
  2. (Catches mischievous toddler immediately as he begins to fall off counter.) How did  you get up there this time? One day you’re going to kill yourself.
  3. You will choke if  you chew with your mouth open.
  4. I need you to go to your room for your own safety.
  5. Ew, do you know how many bacteria is on the bottom of those feet?
  6. You don’t know who touched that before you.
  7. I know you didn’t just say what I thought you said.
  8. That’ll kill you…
  9. Eat. You need your strength
  10. That’s not to touch.
  11. You obviously weren’t thinking
  12. (Finger in nose) EW! *Squirts hand sanitizer on her hands first, then child’s.
  13. I’m gonna show you what I mean in a minute

The Sarcastic Mom

Common Phrases:

  1. Is that the loudest you can cry? Give it up.
  2. Climbing on the counter again? How’d that work out for ya last time?
  3. I don’t always need to see what your food looks like when you chew.
  4. Do you think you can raise your brother better than me?
  5. Keep that little footsie to yourself.
  6. Great, now  you probably have staph.
  7. Really? Really!
  8. Go ahead, see what happens…
  9. You don’t like to eat green beans? Well I don’t like to see you pick your nose at the table.
  10. What are you planning on doing with that?
  11. You really thought that would work?
  12. Digging for gold?
  13. I’m going to knock you into next week if you don’t stop

The Emotional Mom

Common phrases:

  1. *Sees baby crying- cries along*.
  2. (See toddler climbing on counter) Quickly swoops baby up and hysterically says, “you could have died!”
  3. I remember when you were first beginning to eat solid food.
  4. I don’t know where I went wrong. (cries)
  5. Don’t you love each other?
  6. When you were a baby, you touched everything.
  7. After everything I’ve done for you, I can’t believe you said that.
  8. P l e a s e   don’t
  9. I made one of everyone’s favorite food!
  10. You are too young to be doing that.
  11. I’m praying for you child.
  12. You are embarrassing me
  13. I can’t take this anymore

The in-yo-face Mom

Common phrases:

  1. Keep crying and I’ll give you something to cry about!
  2. You’ve been warned. You are not a monkey!
  3. Could you chew any louder?
  4. Do you want to be punished too? No? Then stay out of it!
  5. You think you’re a bully? Try that on me.
  6. Did you see a sign that said Touch Me?
  7. Oh no you didn’t just say that.
  8. I mean it!!
  9. Eat what I cooked or be hungry.
  10. Take your hands out of your pants!
  11. Use your head for something other than a hat rack.
  12. Do you want your friends to call you a booger picker?
  13. Don’t make me jap slap you

The Strict Mom

Common phrases:

  1. (Baby begins to cry) Zip it!
  2. (See Toddler climbing on counter) Time out!
  3. If you can’t chew with your mouth closed, go to our room.
  4. Go to your room. You are both grounded now.
  5. No Wi-Fi. Go to your room.
  6. Stop it.
  7. I heard that!
  8. No.
  9. Let me see  your hands. GO wash them again with Soap this time.
  10. Stop…no really, STOP!
  11. The next time you think of something like that, just don’t.
  12. (Smacks hand of booger picker) No
  13. oh…Oh…OH!! You’ve been warned

The Proper Mom

Common phrases:

  1. It’s okay to cry as long as you wipe each tear independently and before it has been on your cheek more than one minute.
  2. Our feet go on the ground.
  3. We chew with our mouths closed.
  4. Your interference was not requested to discipline your brother.
  5. Keep your hands and feet to yourself.
  6. You look with your eyes, not with your hands.
  7. (Ignores anything child says that she is not proud of)
  8. We mustn’t do that
  9. Sit up straight. Don’t slouch at the table.
  10. I am ignoring what you are doing.
  11. Think before you act.
  12. My child doesn’t do that.
  13. Surely you didn’t just do that

The Extremely Religious Mom

Common phrases:

  1. Lawd help, that baby can feel the spirit!
  2. For Heaven’s sake, please stop climbing. I’m going to pray about this.
  3. Did you pray before you started eating?
  4. Honor your Mother and Father.
  5. Turn the other cheek.
  6. You better be asking for forgiveness if you touched that.
  7. (Shocked) You kiss me with that mouth!
  8. You’ll need to pray about that before you do it
  9. Speak when spoken to.
  10. You are going to go blind.
  11. I pray the Lord will be your conscience.
  12. God sees everything.
  13. I’m praying for you

The Hypochondriac Mom

Common phrases:

  1. (baby crying) Please stop crying before you get another ear infection!
  2. Ahhhhh! You could’ve broken a bone!!
  3. I hope you don’t chip a tooth chewing like that.
  4. It’s not emotional healthy for you to interfere in your brother’s punishment.
  5. Stop. One of you will bruise.
  6. Quick!! Wash your hands!!!!
  7. Great!!! You said it.
  8. Stop before you die
  9. Did you wash your hands?
  10. Go wash your hands!
  11. You didn’t think this through, did you?
  12. Get your finger out of your nose, do you even remember where it’s been?
  13. You could’ve been killed

The Everybody’s Mother

Common phrases:

  1. (crying child) Oh, come here baby…you need a hug.
  2. Get down (said with BIG eyes).
  3. It’s rude to chew with your mouth open. (said with a smile)
  4. Best stay out of it.
  5. I don’t want to see that again.
  6. Did I just see you touch that?
  7. You want to repeat what you just said?
  8. I wouldn’t do that if I were you….
  9. Eat supper with us 🙂 Sit down. Now!
  10. What are you expecting to find down there?
  11. Next time, you may want to think about it before doing it.
  12. Need a tissue?
  13. Not good

The Gentle Mother

Common phrases:

  1. (Child crying) Oh honey, it’s not that bad. I love you!
  2. Gently sweeps child off counter and to the floor- Be careful darling.
  3. Close your mouth to chew sweetheart.
  4. Although it takes a village to raise a child, I am doing just fine.
  5. Hands are for hugging, not for hitting.
  6. Now now, we must not touch.
  7. I’m sure you don’t mean that.
  8. Stop. Please don’t.
  9. I hope you like what I made.
  10. Could you go do that in your room?
  11. Your mind is powerful. Think before you speak or act.
  12. (Hands tissue) Blow your nose.
  13. Oh no. I can’t believe you would do that.

The Frustrated Mother

Common phrases:

  1. You think crying will save you?
  2. (Toddler climbing on counter) Squeezes eyes closed then back open. Hand on hip. Get DOWN.
  3. Ew, close your mouth to chew.  I don’t want to see that!
  4. I don’t need your help parenting your brother!
  5. If you make me get up, it’s going to be 100x worse for you.
  6. Good grief, if you don’t stop touching everything, we are going to get kicked out of here!
  7. Did you just say that?
  8. I’m serious as a heart attack!
  9. You MUST wear pants to the table.
  10. Stop playing with your p*nis
  11. What were you thinking? Oh wait, you weren’t!
  12. Stop eating your boogers!
  13. You are going to wish you never did that

No matter which you identify with the most, you are still a mom and probably under appreciated a bit.  Here’s to all the Mommas out there.

Happy Mother’s Day!!

***Special Thanks to my friends who gave me some of this golden material. I love you, you hot Mommas!

Hope is all I Need

Hope is every breath I breathe.  It cuddles me when I am faint.  It lifts me up when I am sad & it allows me to go on from day to day.

Hope is my life.  When I am filled with doubt, Hope reassures me.

It is the gentle break of day light coming through the bedroom window.  It’s the meow of my old Puddy cat or the dog licking my face with her stinky tongue.

Chrissy Adventures

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Hope is the radiating love that shines forth from my husband and it is the stars in the sky at night.

I hope to see the sunrise. I Hope to feel the sunset.  Hope. Just Hope.

 

Be a Tourist in St. Augustine Florida – America’s Oldest City

I felt very fortunate to be able to visit St. Augustine, Florida. This is a city rich in history and culture. The locals here are proud of their status as the Oldest Established City in United States and are welcoming of tourist. Before we made the trip to St. Augustine, we searched the internet for things to do and “Pet Friendly”. We read on several sites that St. Augustine was an extremely dog friendly city, so we took our beloved dog along for the trip. However, we found that this was not necessarily true!

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We drove into the heart of downtown St. Augustine and parked in a public parking garage for the day. We walked through many streets of the downtown area on a self guided tour of our own making. There are many historic signs along the way and even more photo opportunities. The most notable historic part of our travels was Juan Ponce De Leon. His statue is in the heart of St. Augustine. It is a copy of the original statue located in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Legend says it was originally cast in bronze from English cannons seized after the English reigned down on San Juan in 1792.

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Architecture

The architecture of the buildings are magnificent and the building materials I found fascinating. Much of the original town was built from Coquina. We saw many of these huge rocks along side the beaches in Central Florida but didn’t understand their significance. We discovered that this coquina is highly sought after in modern day as landscaping displays. But back in 1565 when the Spanish landed and began their occupation, this building materials was plentiful. Coquina (Coe-Queen-a) made great material for forts, especially for heavy cannon use. Due to Coquina’s softness, cannonballs were said to sink into it instead of shatter it or make holes in the walls.  The walls of the Castillo de San Marcos are made of Coquina and the first Saint Augustine Lighthouse was also built of it. It’s truly a cool looking rock comprised of millions of pieces of shell and invertebrates from the sea; all compresses together to create a type of concrete.

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History

St. Augustine received it’s name after a Saint of the Roman Catholic Church. It is said that the land was first sighted on August 28th and also played a part in naming. The Timucuan Indians where inhabiting this land when the Spanish arrived.  They were a people of many chiefs and several tribes spanning across central Florida and stretching upward into Georgia. The Timucuan Indians were politically savvy in that they got along with the Spaniards in many ways and were peaceful. But within a few short years of meeting, their population was reduced from roughly 200,000 to 50,000. The Spaniards brought with them a multitude of European diseases to which the Timucuan Indians had no immunity or resistance. By the 1700’s the tribe had been reduced to less than 1000 and within the first of the 19th century, they were gone all together.

St. Augustine is hailed as the oldest permanently occupied European City in the Americas and this city is so worth a visit. There is a plethora of history here and the landscapes are breathe-taking. We went to spend the day and take in as much as could – but due to having our precious pooch with us, we were only able to stay for about 4-5 hours before we left.

Not Truly Pet Friendly

I believe this city could be family friendly, but I wouldn’t recommend it as pet friendly. We couldn’t take our fur baby into the stores or other establishments on our visit. She wasn’t welcome at public restrooms, visitor centers, shows or museums we may have been interested in. We did find 1 pet friendly public park that she was welcomed to, but there were so many dogs there, it was not the best environment. We had a good time with her, but we could have explored so much more had we left her with a sitter.

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We ate lunch at a quaint cafe downtown that actually brought our dog a bowl of water and was welcoming. (See photos above)

The people passing by on the sidewalk were not as nice though. Rude is a better word…they were not pet friendly. We were asked to “Hold your dog so I can pass” and asked several times if she would bite. All I could assume was that there have been some seriously aggressive dogs brought into this town at some point. As in other historic downtown areas, there was much of the downtown area turned residential and the rudeness we encountered was from these residents.

I would give St Augustine a 2 out of 5 for pet friendly, but I would rate it 4 out of 5 for family friendly and accessibility. Most of the streets are easily walkable and there are ramps at every corner for strollers, wheel chairs and motorized scooters. (Had the residents we encountered been a bit more amicable, I would be inclined to rate 5 out of 5 for family friendly. Having raised 5 kiddos myself, I can tell you that these folks won’t be as nice to your toddlers or pre-teens either.)

Until next time, hang tight…

Chrissy

Exploring Tomoka State Park, FL

Tomoka State Park is located in central Florida on the east coast side. It’s only about a 30 minute drive north from Daytona Beach, 20 minute drive east from Destination Daytona (in Ormond Beach), about an hour and half drive from Orlando, 15 minute drive from Flagler Beach and is located just on the mainland across the Halifax River from Ormond By The Sea.

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Family oriented and pet friendly, this state park’s admission was $5 per vehicle or $2 per bicyclist or pedestrian for an all day stay. There are camping sites within the park and several great fishing holes. We didn’t enter into the camping area, so I can’t tell you much about it, but we saw a great many folks fishing all over the park.

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Gorgeous greenery, seasonal flowers and filled with palm trees of various sorts, this park is inviting and beautiful.  Large turnarounds are situated along the main gravelled (crushed shell) roadways. Well laid trails to hike are scattered about and there’s some wildlife to see. Large turtles call this park home as well as a stray alligator from time to time also. The turtles were particularly intriguing to our dog. They were digging into the soft sandy soil to conceal their eggs, so we didn’t get to see them up close.

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At the far end of the main trail there is a large tribute statue to the Tomoka Indians. It is weathered terribly and large sections of the statue have fallen off. The state of decay was sad to see, but it seems any money spent on the park has gone into the upkeep of the grounds – which were very nice. A restroom facility is located in the same alcove as the statue and there are several camping or cookout sections there as well.

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Visiting the Tomoka State Park was a delight for the day and gets a 5 out of 5 for family friendly and pet friendly. I highly recommend it! Click here to learn more about the park.

Adventuring onward….

Chrissy

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