Thursday, August 29, 2013

Moms Need Love Too!

Just one more day to get through, and then I can say, "I have officially survived the first week of school as the mother of a first grader!"


Eeks almighty!  It has NOT been easy.  We have had our "eat-lunch-at-school" dramas and "no-one-to-sit-by-on-the-bus" meltdowns.  We've been tired and grumpy, consoling ourselves with sugar cookies (for her) and stupid, poopy trail mix (for me).  (Side note:  This back-to-school stuff is driving this pregnant mama to the brink of an anti-Gestational Diabetes, "inhale-all-chocolate-bars" breakdown.)  I've cried.  I've prayed.  I've wanted to pull my hair out.  I've slapped a smile on my worn-out face and have tried to stay ultra positive for my kid.

My point is, this time of year can be hard on moms!  We pay fees and buy pencils.  We go school shopping for lunch boxes and shoes.  We pray our seventh graders don't get shoved into lockers.  We tearfully bid "farewell" and "good luck" to our brand spankin' new high schoolers.  Like "the jolly old elf," we make lists and check them twice.  We attend Parent Night and meet our child's teacher and hope he or she isn't a goober.  We do so much, and we do it because we love our kids like crazy!

Well, guess what?  I think moms need some back-to-school love too!  Here's a cute and easy gift idea you can make for your amazing mom friends, to show them your love during this hectic time of year:

First, I wrote a little poem and made some cute tags out of scrapbook paper.


Next, I tied ribbon on bubble bath I found at Target.  (Oh my gosh, this stuff is my favorite!  Ultra-moisturizing milk bath and body wash by Village Naturals Bath Shoppe.  I use it as bubble bath and it is fantastic!)



Lastly, I used tiny, painted paper clips to attach the tag to the ribbon.  I love how darling these turned out!



Did your kids start school this week?  Are they surviving?  Are YOU?!  Remember to take time for yourself this weekend, to breathe deeply, mellow out, and to relax!

Bubble baths help.



**Here is a copy of my poem, if you would like to use it:

It's that special time of year,
When the kids go back to school--
When mamas worry, maybe feel sad,
And start to lose their cool.

So if you're looking to soothe your soul,
There's one thing you can do--
Take a deep breath, soak in a hot bath,
And remember that I love you!    

Thursday, August 22, 2013

See The Good


See the good, even when your confounded maternity belt is making you "all hot and bothered."  (And NOT that kind of "hot and bothered," no, no!  Literally, HOT.  Literally, BOTHERED.)
See the good, even when your children are playing a rowdy game of hide-n-seek in the clothing racks at Ross.
See the good, even when you are terrified and afflicted by all the life changes you are currently facing.
See the good, even when the local supermarket's raspberries are disappointing shades of "mushy" and "moldy."  (And ALL you wanted were raspberries!)
See the good, even when you are constipated.
See the good, even when while in the shower, you allow your exhaustive tears to run down your face with the shampoo suds.

Because, you'll find...

That the maternity belt is helping to support your amazing body.  And the miracle inside it.  Your baby.
That, oh well, the clothing racks at Ross are sorely disheveled anyway!
That a good friend will text you and reassure you that all will be well and that, "You'll be GREAT!"
That the plump, red strawberries are a nice alternative, and that they taste just as sweet and heavenly.
That another good friend will make you laugh and offer you her bottle of stool softener.
That your precious six-year-old will come into the steamy bathroom and announce over the din of the running water, "Mom!  I wanted to do something nice for you, so I made your bed!"


See the good. 

I know it is hard.  I know you are trying.  I know some days you don't want to.  See it anyway.  Watch for it.  Notice it.  It's out there.  It's everywhere.  Goodness surrounds you.

And for this Mama Leisha,
It is you.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Boy Parts!

I think it's important to celebrate the "proud mom moments."  Those moments when we do or say something right, and we think, "Hey!  I'm awesome," or, "Golly, I handled that well!"  As moms, our thoughts tend to lean toward the negative and critical.  We get bogged down in what we think we're doing wrong.  What would happen if we stopped that nonsense?!


I had a "proud mom moment" recently.  It involved a straightforward conversation with Lilly about the differences between boys and girls.  I did not break out into hives.  I did not develop sweaty armpits.  I even said "the word."  An ugly, awkward-to-say (for me, anyway), easy-to-despise word...

Penis.

Let me explain.  The littlest man in my life has newly embraced an affinity for streaking.  He loves to shed his clothes, get naked as a jaybird, and run wild and free throughout the house.  It makes me cuckoo!

One afternoon, Lilly was in the bathtub and Cam was streaking.  In between washing Barbie's hair and scrubbing her own feet, Lilly asked:

"Why does Cam have stuff that just dangles there?  What is it?  It's weird."

"Lilly, do you remember how you have private parts?," I asked.  "Well, boys do too.  That's Cam's."

She scrunched up her nose and looked at me, "Is his bum falling out?  It looks like something is falling out."

"No," I replied.  "He has a bum and then he has a private part.  Just like you.  You have a bum and a girl part.  A vagina, remember?  Cam's boy part is called a penis."

"PEANUTS!?," Lilly exclaimed.

"No, Lil.  Penis.  Peeenissss."

"Oh," she said, as she dumped a teacup full of water on Barbie's head.  "Well, it sounds like PEANUTS and IT is disgusting!"


And there you have it, folks.  I know that to many parents this seems like a silly moment to "jump for joy" over...but for me, it was a small victory.  I used correct terminology, was direct in my delivery, and remained "cool, calm, and collected" regarding a topic many find...panic-inducing?  Within a few minutes, Lilly was "over it"--growing bored of our impromptu anatomy lesson--and I was mentally acknowledging my "proud mom moment."

Sigh.
I think I need to lie down.
I think I need a Diet Coke.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Instagrammin'

Why You Should Be Following Mama Leisha On Instagram:

A snappy explanation delivered in "up close and personal" 
(and quirky) pictures and captions!


Part One:  It is midnight and I might be in the tub.


Part Two:  And I might also be eating chips and salsa.


Part Three:  It is midnight and I might be in the tub and I might be eating chips and salsa...
all while reading Ellen's hilarious book.  #thisisthelife


Are you on Instagram?  Do you love it as much as I do?!  Let's follow each other, it will be a hoot!  My user name is leishmcd.  Find me here:  http://instagram.com/leishmcd  

Have a jammin', Instagrammin' weekend!  

Monday, August 5, 2013

To Serve, To Love

I'm going to keep it real.  Ready?


I have bad days.  I have bad days, and then I have really bad days.  I have days of anger, dissatisfaction, and grief.  I have days of wanting to give my kids away at a garage sale; days of hiding in bathrooms and sobbing on toilets.  I know about gray skies, flat tires, bad hair, and dog poop on shoes.

On this blog, I talk a lot about finding joy in the every day--about seeing the good around you and celebrating the sweet moments.  I'm a proponent of joy.  I'm a major investor in the joy market.  I have joy real estate.  I have joy tattooed on my butt!  (Not really.)

But I am here to tell you...and I will be the first to tell you...that "finding the joy" can be really, really, really, really hard to do.

I have bad days.  I have days when I say, "I'm done!  I don't want the diastasis recti and the maternity belt and the gestational diabetes and the laundry and the grimy toilets and the sensory processing disorders and the language delays and the errands and the fights and the tantrums and the incessant fatigue and...and...and..."

Today was one of those days.

And while I'm being so candid, I will tell you this...  When the days are dark and my spirits are low, it is really, really, really, really hard for me to ask for help.  Isn't that silly?  And isn't that the way we are, as women?  It is difficult for us to ask for help, especially when we need it the most.

Which is precisely why God sends people to us; guardian angels disguised as kindly neighbors, wise friends, and a sweet sister-in-law.  Camille.


While hiding in the bathroom this morning, and texting her my woes, she sent the following:  "Please let me come down and bring lunch for the kids.  Let me entertain the kids in the basement while you take a nap upstairs.  Don't say no!  I already packed the Pack N' Play and foot spa in the car!  I am being so serious.  Let me come hang out today and give you a little break!  I am already loading up!  Suck it up and let me do this!"

That was how I came to spend the afternoon with Camille and my charming nieces and nephew.  The kids ate Happy Meals and played with their new Smurfs toys.  I got to squish and pinch and squeeze my deliciously chubby eleven-month-old niece.  Camille and I sat contentedly on my sofas and talked and talked.  It was heaven.

I earnestly hope we remember to take care of each other, as women in the world, as sisters in our roles.  Elaine L. Jack said, "Reach out to each other.  Hands often speak as voices can't.  A warm embrace conveys volumes.  A laugh together unites us.  A moment of sharing refreshes our souls.  We cannot always lift the burden of one who is troubled, but we can lift her so she can bear it well."  I hope we always remember to lift one another.



Camille extended an act of kindness and compassion to me by giving me her time and attention, for which I am most grateful.  She served me.  She didn't take no for an answer!  She saw my need and found a way to fulfill it. 


And I found joy again.