When is mommy officially “off”?

Tara, over at The Young Mommy Life, recently wrote a post about when you feel your family doesn’t appreciate you. I have to say that I knew exactly what she meant in that situation and have definitely been there. However, my downfall is that I was never good at sharing and disclosing those feelings because I always have a sense of “I shouldn’t feel entitled to this” or “why do I really deserve that”.

Lately, I have been experiencing these feelings more often since I had my newborn. With needing to breastfeed him every hour, make meals for all four of us throughout the day, keep my toddler busy, and try to get some work done within the three hours that Dukey is off at school, I am exhausted by the time my husband gets home. Yet, I still manage to make dinner and get both of the boys ready for bedtime.

It is starting to get to a point where I am getting snappy and frustrated with everyone and am losing my sanity.

I can’t help but ask when will I get to “clock out”.

I am so in need of a spa day or something but, more importantly, I have to learn how to ask for help when I need it. I know I am not the only mother to feel this way but it feels weird to even think about asking for help.

When I ask for help, it makes me feel inferior. As if I am not capable of handling it on my own and even when that may be true, I guess I just have a hard time admitting it.

But, I am going to have to learn how to and enjoy myself. Doing so will help me to be a better me for everyone so it is most definitely needed.

Chime in and share your thoughts! What is your cure for work-a-mommy-holic?

The Family Emergency Room

Hey blog family! I have had so much that I wanted to tell you but finding the time to actually get it out there is the problem.

When I first started this blog, Living in a Jungle, I was planning to give you a chronicle of my “crazy”life with my two boys. I had no idea that a year later, I would be adding another baby to the mix and would learn what a “crazy” lifestyle is really like! I am still planning to share my birth story with you guys but that will take a little time.

As for now, I wanted to allow you to come along with me in my journey from a family of four to five. When I was pregnant with Baby J, I researched blogs of mothers with three or more children to get a perspective of what this change would be like but, in my opinion, not many gave the nitty-gritty on that new adjustment. One website that helped me to understand this change the most was

From some of the ones that I read, many said that going from two to three kids is the hardest adjustment…and from what I am going through now, I would seriously agree! Of course, it depends on the ages of the children but…I digress.

How I would explain this change is that it is somewhat like a family emergency room.There is usually a sense of urgency going on everywhere at all times:

Dukey: Mom, LJ (Poopy) won’t share this toy with me!

LJ: Aaaaaah, give it back!

Baby J: Waaah, waaah, waah!

This is all while changing a diaper so you’re rushing to get through it. Two seconds later, a fight breaks out and there’s screaming and weapons being thrown all over the room. At this time, you realize you have three choices: 1) holler loud enough to get their attention and make them stop or 2) try to maneuver yourself and the naked baby (hoping that he doesn’t pee on you) over to the fighting siblings and break it up, or 3) do nothing, let them scream and fight (hoping no one pokes an eye out) until they stop. I usually pick the third option, which often ends in the older two making up on their own and becoming best friends again.

However, just like in an emergency room, there are periods of tranquility when no one’s hurt and you’re just waiting for the ball to drop. Your kids are playing together quietly and happily and you’re able to sit back and watch them. When those moments come around, it makes those “crazy” moments of urgency seem insignificant (sometimes anyway, I will admit it does linger some days).

Even with all of that, despite the fact that I am always changing diapers, making meals, giving baths, wiping noses, helping with homework, or breaking up fights, I have never felt more complete and more needed.

Adding another child is a big decision that takes contemplating, but for me, I can say that it was a wise decision and a great blessing that I do not regret.

End Your Baby Frustrations with Sign Language!

So as I posted last week, I have been having a little trouble potty training my 18 month old son, Poopy (maybe the nickname has something to do with it!).  I am determined to get him to at least give me one poopy in the potty before his new baby brother is born. I feel the main problem with this is communication.

So after I put the kids to sleep, I was watching the new episode of Tia & Tamera’s reality show and Tia was talking about how she couldn’t understand some of the things her son, Cree was trying to say and that she would like to. So her friend mentioned during mommy class that she had tried baby sign language and it had worked wonders for her son. So Tia took Cree to a class so they could learn it together and communicate.

I got so excited about this idea because I think it is brilliant. Not only can it lessen our potty training frustrations but it would definitely end the one-sided conversations.  I feel so bad for my poor baby when he’s babbling something and afterwards staring intently as if he wants me to answer and all I can say is, “I’m sorry, Poopy. I don’t know what you’re saying” in my don’t-be-mad-at-mommy voice.

However, since I can’t afford to take him to a specialized baby sign language class, I started researching the main words that I use with him and am going to start using them during conversation and hope that he begins to learn it and use it. I feel really proud to want to teach my baby sign language because it’s not at all a normal thing and no one I knows has done it. In fact, I think one of my challenges is going to be to get my family on board and support me with it. But I figure once I show him some signs and he begins to communicate with me, there will be no debate.

Plus, when I researched the basics on The Baby Sign Language website, these were the benefits they mentioned of baby sign language:

  • Bonding: Research on baby sign language has confirmed that signers enjoy a stronger parental bond. In fact some early childhood education programs have started teaching baby sign language to infants and their parents to help get their relationship off to the best possible start.
    • Poopy and I had a really strong connection while I breastfed and I was never uncomfortable with him being with anyone else because we were both pretty attached to each other. I think we both knew that these people were temporary but we would always be together and, the funny thing is, that didn’t change when I began to work full-time. But, after he turned a year old and began to become a little independent, our connection started to change. It’s not gone but maybe not as strong as before so I would so love to have that back! 🙂
  • Reduced Fussiness: Research confirms that signing babies have fewer temper tantrums. Perhaps not surprisingly, the adults feel better too – with the parents of signing children reporting feeling more positive about their child.
    • Ok, I think all moms can vouch for the frustrations that arise when your baby is crying about something and you can’t quite figure it out. When Poopy is moody and wants something and I can’t figure it out, he DOES NOT want to be touched, held, talked to…NOTHING. So it kind of hurts to feel so helpless and I think it will be a great thing for both of us if he could just tell me what he wants.
  • DevelopmentStudies shows that babies who have early exposure to signing, have larger speaking vocabularies earlier. They even do better years after they have stopped signing. One study showed that eight year olds who learned baby sign language as infants had an average IQ 12 points higher than non-signers.
    • This one was a big plus! Who wouldn’t want their kids to have a higher IQ and a bigger vocabulary? …Need I say more?

So this is my next journey and I can’t wait to see where it leads us…anyone else in for the ride? Think sign language is for you and your baby or that it’s completely stupid? Tell me your thoughts…

The Taste of Love

I still remember those times as a kid that my father tried to make me eat beets. I could not stand that bitter taste and no matter what he did, I would not eat them. There were also a few other foods that I wouldn’t dare touch such as peas, carrots, eggs (unless they were in cake), and onion.

However, now that I have my own kids, a lot of those things that I wouldn’t go near as a kid, I now eat regularly. Don’t get me wrong. Some of these things I still find very distasteful but because of my determination to motivate my own children to eat healthfully, these things have found their way into my diet. I guess it also helps that I know they are good for me, as well.

What are some things that you have changed about yourself because you are now a mom?

Just when I thought my life was already crazy…

So here goes…about a month ago, I noticed some signs and I started to “show” (yeah, I know, a day late and a dollar short). So my husband and my mother urged me to take a pregnancy test. I was kind of avoiding it because I have a habit of believing that if I ignore things it will go away. So anyway, I took two tests and like one second later it shows that I’m pregnant. At first, I felt like I hadn’t read pregnancy tests in so long so when I misread it and thought that it said negative, I was like heck yeah! Then, I looked back at the box and realized it was really positive so I screamed…really loud


***************So this was about a month ago.*********

Now, I go to the doctor’s office because when I scheduled the appointment they told me they didn’t have anything available until the next month. So on the appointment,  the doc says judging by my last menstrual (at least, the last one I remember. Come on don’t act like you don’t forget if those things don’t show up!) I will be due on July 31st. So I’m like what oh hecks no, that can’t be right! So he tells me to calm down and that by my measurements of my belly, I look to be about 16 weeks which gives me another month. Not much to go with but I’ll take it.

I was just freaked out learning this last month and now I feel thrown into the middle of a pregnancy and I literally have to rush to get everything together for this new addition. But, I have to say, I eased up when I got to hear that little heartbeat in my tummy! It was so magical! I’m still a little nervous though because I have been wondering how different life will be now with three kids instead of 2. So I’ve been reading all these different blogs to get a gist of the new life I will have as well as watching and observing other moms I see with three or more kids.

Actually, when my husband and I were at Taco Bell/KFC yesterday with our kids, we noticed a lady who was pregnant and with her 3 kids ages five, three, and one. I was so amazed at how calm she was and how quietly the kids sat there while she went to order the food. That is, until I saw the chaos that exploded after about 10 minutes of sitting there (yeah, it was pretty crowded in there). The two youngest who are both girls start screaming and fighting over something. Then, it quickly escalated and the one year old girl starts pulling the 3 year old girl’s hair and they’re getting louder and fighting. So then, I guess to tune them out, the oldest son starts singing really loud over them. To me, it was funny because I know how it can be with my two boys fighting all the time. The mom didn’t even seem the least bit surprised or even angry. She just came over smoothly and scooped up the 1 year old girl from her highchair and went back to ordering as if nothing happened. I was so amazed! I mean, don’t get me wrong I think I’m pretty good at handling a little heated debate between the boys but always get really embarrassed when it’s in public and I usually am like lost on what to do or something.

That really got me to thinking about how life is going to change with this new addition and how I need to prepare. So like I said, I’ve been looking at a lot of blogs to get a feel for it. Here are some I have been reading:

Being Miss Elaine-ous at the Miss Elaine-ous Life

Later I’ll post on what I’ve found and what I’ve learned. But, for now if you have any other blogs relevant to this situation that you’d like to mention feel free to post them as well as any tips you have for managing three under five and how I should prepare. Thanks a bunch in advance! See you next time!