How my life has changed since Titus

I remember, before having a baby, other moms saying enjoy every minute because the time will fly by. It’s crazy how real and true that statement is. I can’t believe that I have officially become the mama to a toddler, a strong, kind, and happy 18 month old little boy. My life has changed so much since becoming a mom. It’s been a year and a half of constant learning and I know that there is SO much more to learn.

Here are a few things that I’ve learned as a wife, mom and friend since my new title of mama:

So much joy has been not only added to my life, but my husbands, our family and all of our friends. The day that Titus was born I never knew I could love something quit like I love him. His cute little round nose (like his mama) and his beautiful big brown eyes surrounded by long eyelashes (like his dad) stole my heart the moment I saw him and that hasn’t changed since. His nose is still so cute and those brown eyes help show every little expressions that he is trying to convey. His laugh his contagious and he if you cheer him on for any new thing he does, he will clap for himself afterwards. Joy is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the past year and a half.

But with the new job title I’ve also seen more and more how my marriage needs to be first. I wrote about this in a past blog, but my relationship with Nathan needs to constantly be nourished and filled. Date nights needs to be mandatory and can’t be the first thing to go when life gets busy. Honestly, we still struggle with this. By the time the work day comes to an end and Titus is asleep we usually end up doing our own thing so that we can both unwind. And date nights go longer and longer without happening. We are regularly trying to get better at this and spend intentional time together. And that doesn’t have to be going out to a fancy dinner (not really either of our ideal date) but just a night in, good food, time to talk and relax together. It’s so important to make sure that our relationship continues to grow since one day, yes I know there’s a long time until then, but there will come a time when it’s just Nathan and I again and we need to make sure we still like each other.

One of the toughest things since becoming a mama is everyone’s opinion on how you should do x, y and z. It’s great to have experienced, amazing mamas out there to help you out when you need it but I’ve found that most of the time 2 other moms don’t agree on almost anything. I’ve seen that I need to stand firm on my convictions as a mom, like struggling with my child walking (read past blog here). I contemplating even writing that blog because I thought about how people would question why Titus wasn’t walking yet. Or the fact that we have started to discipline or how we chose to. Another hard one was when I talked about us letting him cry it out, no that does not mean that we put our child in his crib and let him scream for hours on hours. We read up on it, we learned about it and we put it into safe guidelines to help Titus enjoy and get a healthy amount of sleep. So for as long as I can I will be tough for my kid and stand firm on how I feel as a mom.

And last, I think I’ve always known but it has become more real now that I actually have a child but he watches my every move. Even though he isn’t old enough to fully talk he is taking in everything that happens around him. He is looking and listening to how I react to things, the ton of my voice, my attitude, what I spend time doing and how I interact with others. He is taking all of that in and that will be helping in because the kid, teenage, young adult and man that he will become. I want him to know that conflict will arise, you will not ever agree with everyone, BUT you determine your actions. I want him to be a compassionate, kind, generous, strong, God honoring man. And that starts now. That starts with the actions of me and his dad. It also goes further with the people he is around regularly. He is taking it in everyday.

Like I said, I know this is just the start of a lifetime of learning I have ahead of me but I am so thankfully for the last 18 months. I can’t imagine a life without our sweet boy, and I am so blessed to be his mama!

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Organization in the midst of a toddler

There were days when I found myself cleaning up my living room for the tenth time, wondering how in the world it could get so messy again so quickly. I like to have a very clean and organized house and when Titus got a little bit older, that was tested. With the amount of toys, gadgets, swings and everything else you use for a baby, I felt like my house had been taken over. I didn’t like the feeling that may space didn’t look like an “adult” space anymore. So I’ve slowly tried to find new ways to help keep things organized and still feel like I’m in an adults living room.

I don’t know about you but my child has an over abundance of toys and I don’t like to have them all downstairs where we usually spend our time playing, so every morning I bring one of his “big” toys down. It could be his big learning block, his trains, or his soccer goal, but only one a day. I feel like this helps with the mess and also makes it so that he enjoys those toys more. I found that when I had everything out he would get tired of them quickly.

Then I got this really cute bench from target that I’ve converted to a toy box. It goes with my furniture and you would never know that it is filled with books, puzzles, and toys. I also put 2 Storage Bins from Target in the bench and fill those up with toys. At this point in his life, 18 months, I can still somewhat manage what gets taken out of the toy box (I know this will change once he gets older and I’ll have to find new ways to stay organized.) I also only take out 1 storage bin and a few books out at a time. The toys in the one bin and his one big toy usually keep him pretty occupied.

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We’ve also already started the practice that before we get new things out, we clean up what we were already playing with. Thankfully I think some of my cleanliness has already rubbed off on Titus because he LOVES to put his books away every night and knows that things belong in certain spots.

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These are some of the things that have really helped all of us stay organized, so that I’m not spending countless hours cleaning up toys. It has made clean up so much easier and ensures that once I put Titus to bed I can actually relax.

I hope this helps you with some ideas to keep things organized with kiddos running around! Below are the links for the Bench and Cubes.

Target Storage Bench

Target Storage Bin

Remember to like and follow Family.Life.Organized

Thankful for Thanksgiving

I will count this Thanksgiving as our first, Titus’s first real thanksgiving. Last year we spent Wednesday-Sunday stuck in the house, all sick with fevers and couldn’t go anywhere. My mom quickly dropped off food at the front door but that was it. No family, no pictures, no left overs, and no sitting around the table eating together. So this year that all happened. So I will say that it was our first Thanksgiving as a family of three.

Nathan, Titus and I have 3 families that we get to spend our holidays with and sometimes that can be stressful. But all I kept thinking about this year was how that really just means that we have 3 times the amount of people loving, supporting and encouraging us regularly. We have a big blended family that would do anything they could for us and love spending as much time as they can with us.

(Not pictured, his awesome Papa)

I have an amazing set of friends that not just love me, but love my family. I am blessed enough that I have friends that always have my back, are willing to call out my crap and who push me to be a better friend and mom. Whenever I need someone to cry to or laugh with they are there. And as much as I know they love me, they also love Titus.

(Lots of friends not pictured)

And I am beyond thankful and bless that I get to be this little boys mama. He brings more joy to my life than I ever though possible. I always knew that I wanted to be a mom, but being a mom has forever changed me. He keeps us on our toes and he always has us laughing. I love spending my days watching him learn and grow. I am so lucky to be his mom.

I can’t even begin to tell you how thankful I am for Nathan. The man that I get to do this crazy life with as my partner. He encourages me to follow my passions, supports and allows for me to stay at home with Titus and continues to show Titus what a loving father and husband look like on a daily basis. He handles my countless mood swings with grace and always knows how to make me laugh. Even though there will be time when things aren’t perfect and when times get hard I know that I am so blessed to have this guy by my side.

And I am also so thankful for all of you! Thank you for supporting my writing and also encouraging me! I have so much to be thankful for this year. I hope you all had a great thanksgiving too!