Parenting Surprises {+ Giveaway}

Custom Headbows // Jameson Monroe
Shirt // Loft

I still find it strange to be a ‘parent’.  I understood pregnancy and how hard Jordan and I both worked to get to that point in our life- but the fact that I am actually a mother to two precious little girls is still pretty surreal. Nearly eight months into it and we still have the same conversation “Is it weird that I cannot get over the fact that I am a parent?”  I forget somedays that their first word could be ‘momma‘ and for them to be referring to me (even though Jordan works ‘daddy‘ on a daily basis- determined man).  

I have said it before that I knew I wanted to be a mother at some point in my life- but the joy I’ve found in raising these babies has surprised me more than anything else throughout this journey.  If you would have asked me a year ago ‘what kind of mother do you think you’ll be’, my answer, even though I haven’t a clue what it would have been, would probably be off from where I am today.  Maybe it is because my mom and I have had a strained relationship throughout my entire life and were never close- no matter how hard either of us tried. Who knows.  What I do know is that I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the whole world.

Breastfeeding @ 1 year ago: “yea, I’ll give it a try.. but I”ve heard how tough it can be and if I cant I’ll be okay with it.
Breastfeeding after 8 months: The most rewarding times of the day with my two girls.  I would have never thought I would be such an avenue of advice to so many women that email me on a daily basis questioning and asking for tips on breastfeeding. I have been so blessed to be able to feed these girls and have really loved every minute of it. I never thought   for a single second that I would enjoy it as much as I do. 

Being a SAHM @ 1 year ago: “I love my job too much.  I worked so hard to get to where I am, I’ll be fine going back to work.  I’m not the ‘stay-at-home’ type.
Being a SAHM after 8 months: Most mornings I wake up longing to stay in bed another hour and wait for my sweet littles to wake up.  I hate leaving before they are awake for the day.  Once I get to work, I’m usually okay.. but there are some days when all I can think about is being home with Parker and Jolie.  

Finding joy in raising kids @ 1 year ago: “I cannot wait to be a mother.  We have waited too long for this and now our dream is coming true.
Finding joy in raising kids after 8 months: Completely selfless.  My response last year was all about us and how hard we had worked.  Now, my focus has turned to being all about them.  I find more interest in talking about them, learning from them, and leading them than I do anything else.  My once love for cooking has been shadowed by the fact that I don’t want to be in the kitchen in the evenings when I could be playing with them (especially after being gone all day).  Hence the severe lack of posting to Chocolate Broccoli these last couple of months.  Somedays I say to myself ‘I’ll plan to make something blog worthy this week’.. but the truth is, everything I make in my kitchen has potential to be blog worthy, but as I have evolved into a mother, so must my foodie blog.  Not to mention the change in this one as well.

My unending concern for another human being @ 1 year ago: “So excited! I’ll care for and do my best to care for these girls the best I can.”
My unending concern for another human being after 8 months: Comment above, just multiplied by about 639,529,565.  Who knew I would be so worried (anxiety stricken) over such little things like letting them cry too long, leaving them with a sitter, not sitting in the back seat with them anymore, where is the paci?  We cannot forget Parker’s ‘wubby’.  It has been way too long since they ate- are they getting enough, are we bathing them too much?  Are they cold?  I think they get cold at night..

..and the list goes on {forever}              

Perfect example: When the girls got their first diaper rash.  Seriously brought me to tears.  I thought for sure it was something I had done, but I worked really hard to keep them dry and it was inevitable.  They were great sports about it.. didn’t cry much at all, but it just looked so painful. Thanks to some tips from fellow momma’s, our pediatrician, and a sample of Dr. Smith’s  ointment.. These girls had some cleared up booties in no time! We tried a few other rash ointments, and then I get a chance to try Dr. Smith’s and love it! I couldnt find it in stores, so, I asked our pharmacy if they carried it, and they were sweet enough to special order if for me. I had to do this with another rash cream we tried once before, so they knew the drill. What’s even better news it that  Dr. Smith’s is now available in Walgreen’s across the country! 

In honor of this special occasion, I’m hosting a giveaway for one of my lucky readers to win a $50 gift card to Walgreens. Of course, if you don’t have kiddos, spend it however you please (I would totally splurge on office supplies, make up, and candy, but that’s just me..) If you do have a little one (or two!) grab a tube of Dr. Smith’s. You won’t be disappointed! 

July 29, 2013

  1. Kaleigh says:

    I didnt think I could ever love someone so so much.

    If i'm not with my little one I am constantly thinking about her and cant wait to get back to her.

  2. Lara says:

    I think the largest surprise I had was the pain I would experience leaving him everyday. I still deal with it daily and he is 3 1/2.

  3. Kara says:

    I just can't believe that your entire focus turns to one child. And I love it! There are things we can't do so much anymore because of him and we LOVE it that way!!!

    kswin33 at gmail dot com

  4. Kara says:

    I just can't believe how all of our focus is on our son. And, we are SO ok with that! There are things we can't do as much because of him and that's just hunky dory with us! Wow, what a great feeling!!


  5. I hope I win!! I came across your blog a couple months ago and now im addicted. Your family is so dang cute and I love seeing the cute pics of your girlies. You rock!!

  6. Charity says:

    Not married or a Parent but I am an Auntie and the one thing that surprised me the most was how much I would love my Nephew even before he arrived.

    Just when we found out my SIL was expecting they thought she was having a miscarriage. I spent an entire weekend praying and crying. I loved that baby so much automatically and was devastated to think I would miss out on his life.

    Thankfully she did not and now I cannot imagine or remember my life without my Snuggelmuffin!

  7. I am most surprised at how much i adored breastfeeding and the closeness i felt to my twins through it.

  8. Mami2jcn says:

    I was surprised when I needed to have an emergency C-section with my 1st child. I never even thought about having a C-section.

    Name on rafflecopter: Mary Happymommy

  9. I have 3 girls and another baby on the way. I am always just filled with so much love for these girls. I knew I would love my children, but once they are here its pretty incredible.

  10. Esther says:

    I have 5 children and I cannot believe how different their little personalities are. It is so much fun to watch them grow and develop into their own little person!!! Each stage is fun too…I love the newborn stage, but enjoy the toddler stage and so on just as much. I enjoy reading your blog!

  11. JessicaLynn says:

    I cannot believe that with having three kiddos how much I love them all the same. I also never knew the love would be like this and that I would have that constant worry and anxiety over them.

  12. Love your blog! Your girls are so adorable. We, too, struggled to get pregnant and are not awaiting our little lady in November. I'm thankful to have the opportunity to stay at home with her, but recently started feeling guilty that I'm not contributing to the household income anymore. I know this will change as soon as she gets here, but it's a constant struggle (especially when I find myself at Target, again).

  13. Laura says:

    The thing that has surprised me the most about being a Mom is how little sleep I can go on! Before kids I would sleep 10 hours a night and wonder how in the world I'd survive someday on such little sleep when I had kids. Now with a newborn and 3 year old I'm lucky if I get a total of 6, maybe 7 hours some nights and how I don't feel sleep deprived (as long as I start my morning with my cup of coffee of course!).

  14. Love your blog! We, too, struggled to get pregnant and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little girl in November! I am fortunate to have the opportunity to stay at home with her, but still struggle with the fact that I'm not working anymore and don't contribute to the household income. It's still surreal to finally be pregnant and already love someone so much whom you haven't even met yet!

  15. Kara says:

    I am not pregnant or a mom yet, but I do enjoy reading about all of your mom moments to learn what to expect at some point in my life πŸ™‚

  16. Bailey L. says:

    I have a 3 month old and just found out I'm pregnant again. The part about breastfeeding was really good! I stopped after 3 weeks with my son… I felt like I lost all freedom with breastfeeding — very selfish. I want to try with this next one and I hope it goes a lot better. I want to love it… I guess we'll see how it goes!

  17. AMCallahan says:

    Isn't it crazy how quickly your perspective changes?

  18. Anonymous says:

    You are just too sweet. You can tell how precious those babes are to you, just by how you write! πŸ˜‰ I think i didn't realize how my WHOLE heart would fill with love immediately, and with each baby! I mean of course I knew I would love them, but to FEEL that love magnified a million times more was incredible!!! And absolutely nothing could make that love change/lessen either!! ❀

  19. Anonymous says:

    And…I LOVED LOVED LOVED breastfeeding each baby too! I nursed 75 months total (yes, my "girls" are now resting nicely on my belly, ha) , a few while pregnant with the next, and I cherished each second. Even the earring ripped out, the 500 bites, the hair pulls, I knew it was so worth it!
    And, I know it's not the same for everyone, but out of 5 kids, not one has had an ear infection! ;)Keep up the good work, grlfriend!!

  20. Darcy Potter says:

    I feel the same way about Emmy. I swear many things I am such a hypocrite about; things I said before I was a mom and now that I am a mom I do πŸ™‚ You are such a sweet mommy to Parker and Jolie and they are lucky to have you both as parents! Hugs, Darcy

  21. Sausha says:

    I have been reading your blog for about a month now. I love how fun you are about things, and honest about your experiences. You inspired me to keep a blog about my IVF experience thus far (we go in for a transfer in a few days!)

    Keep it up! πŸ™‚

  22. Claire says:

    I love reading your blog! The love you have for your girls just radiates through your words!

  23. Anonymous says:

    motherhood had changed my life in more ways than I can count! it is amazing!

    Kristen_bartek@ yahoo. com

  24. JC says:

    I no longer carry small bags, always big bags with lots of wipes inside.

  25. Kristen S. says:

    The biggest surprise to me was that I thought I would love to stay home with them. I enjoy work and getting to interact with adults. I work full-time (wish it was part-time though) and I love picking them up at the end of the day. They get the biggest grins on their face when they see me and nothing beats that.

  26. Samantha says:

    I so hear you on all of this! My guy is only four months but my perceptions on parenting are so different in some ways now than they were before I had him/was pregnant. It's been the best and hardest learning curve of my life!

  27. The biggest surprise to me was how one person can have so much effect on your life! My daughter Natalie is 20 months old. I didn't think I could love someone as much as I do her. When she was 6 months old I had a crazy thought that what if I was to get pregnant right now and I started to get upset because I wouldn't get to spend as much time with her one on one. I'm sure I would get to and I would also have loved that other child just as much as I do her but I just wanted to have time with her before she was grown because they do grow up so fast. Natalie is the highlight of my day whenever I walk into her daycare and she drops everything, running up to me with her arms wide open. She is the best thing that has happened in mine and my husband lives.I'm sure it would be very different if I had twins like you :)Your blog is great and those girls with those big smiles on their faces makes me happy whenever I open your blog to read your post about them πŸ™‚

  28. HopaHopa says:

    I love your blog and completely agree with all the surprises that came from becoming a mother; especially the SAHM thing. Our little guy is four months and I'm dreading going back to work next month. I cherish every second I have with him.

  29. The Joiners says:

    Ditto to all of these surprises… funny because we had the "are they cold? their feet seem cold!" discussion just last night- who knew you could ever love/care for/worry about someone this much?!

  30. Heidi Ernst says:

    I read your blog every day! Love it! My little guy was born 12/4/12!

  31. Anonymous says:

    I have been surprised by how much fun we can have doing baby/toddler things with my little girl

  32. Loralee H says:

    Love this post! My little girl was born on 12/14/12. Nearly eight months later, I still can't believe how overwhelming and heart stopping the love for her is. I knew I'd love being a mother, I just didnt know I'd love it THIS much πŸ™‚

  33. I love how things change over a years time! I can't wait to feel all of those feelings too! πŸ™‚


  34. It's amazing how things change over a year!! I can't wait to feel that way about my munchin! πŸ™‚


  35. Brooke Dewey says:

    I have a really hard time leaving my 10 month old, I have yet to get a sitter for her! So hard! Love your blog!

  36. Brooke Dewey says:

    I have a really hard time leaving my 10 month old, I have yet to get a sitter for her. Love your blog!

  37. Brooke Dewey says:

    Love your blog!

  38. Love your blog! Your girls are adorable πŸ™‚

  39. Whitney M. says:

    I don't have kids and am not pregnant but I do spend time thinking about things I know I won't understand until I have my own…
    For example: My husband and I talk about how we can't understand why people want to take their kids with them everywhere and never take date nights alone etc. We figure we'd be dying for alone time. That doesn't seem to be what happens though. Parents can't stand to be away from their babies. I'm assuming the flip will just switch in me too when my time comes πŸ™‚

  40. Alison says:

    I can't believe how content I am to just watch our baby girl as she plays…or sleeps or whatever it is she's doing! The past seven months have gone by so fast, but I'm thankful that we've taken the time to enjoy the little moments.

  41. Rachel says:

    I am pregnant and due in just a few days. I can not wait for her to be here but I am surprised to admit that I will miss being pregnant as well. I love feeling her move and knowing that in that second she is where she needs to be.

  42. Dolphin Girl says:

    I didn't also didn't think it would be so hard to leave them. My kids are 9 and 6 and it is still hard!

  43. Charlotte says:

    I was supprised about all the emotions you go thru but then you see that smile and you melt every time and it makes everything worth it.

  44. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how easy it (being a parent) came to me after my son was born. My husband was deployed when I was due to have our first child, so I was anticipating huge amounts of stress to just take over my life as I attempted to do my best at raising our newborn son on my own. But as time went on, I realized that it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be Not to say that I didn't have my stressed-out moments, but they were fewer and less frequent than I would have guessed them to be.

  45. I was (and still am) shocked at the intensity of my feelings for my 8-month-old baby girl. I love her more than I thought imaginable, and worry so much sometimes it hurts! I think about her all day when I'm at work. But she makes me so incredibly happy πŸ™‚
    Your babies are beautiful, and I love reading your blog!

  46. Meredith says:

    I know exactly what you mean about having a hard time realizing we're parents. Last week Michael's dad was trying to put Jude in his carseat and finally said, "Mom's going to have to do it." I looked behind me for Michael's mom and then realized he was talking about me. Crazy!! This was a fun post. πŸ™‚

  47. Anonymous says:

    This blog is making me even more anxious to start our family. We are currently TTC…it is crazy that we spend most of our lives preventing pregnancy and then when you are finally ready…well….it just seems darn near impossible!

  48. Jessica says:

    I am still surprised by motherhood-even after 13 years.

  49. I always heard so many things about cravings and how I would crave foods I've always hated and I'd laugh. Well I did and I crave EVERYtHiNG! And it's a weird feeling to crave everything

  50. Becky says:

    I never knew that I could love someone as much as I love my girls. I would do anything for them. Living with your heart outside of your body is both scary and amazing.

  51. Nicole says:

    As a parent, I have been most surprised how easy it is to put my kids first. I find great joy in doing things to make them happy!

  52. The Crafts says:

    The selflessness. I had so many opinions before and now they all center around whatever is best for my boys.

  53. Lessye says:

    So much changes when you have children! I have two daughters and am continuously amazed at how much I am capable of loving them (and worrying over every little thing as you said)! Love this post and appreciate your candidness.

  54. Emily says:

    I haven't been blessed with a baby (yet!) but I know that I will be amazed at just how much you can love another. I was blessed with an amazing mom and I hope that I am just as great as her πŸ™‚

  55. The indescribable amount of love I have for my tiny humans!

  56. Deana Collins says:

    I was surprised at how little sleep I can function on!

  57. jbmotley says:

    I am still constantly surprised that God knew I could handle twins and how much I love being able to be home with them everyday and watch them grow.

  58. I use the dr. smith small to go packets religiously. My nurse actually gave me a whole box and i love this cream for go away fast action for diaper rashes. I feel like the most surprising thing about parenting is that they always learn faster and more than you think they do and when you look around you are amazed at the new things they are doing—-livivua

  59. Lauren says:

    I love dr smiths! You are doing an awesome job!

  60. Elena says:

    I was surprised that it feels like I never have time for myself since my baby was born

  61. Kiersten T. says:

    The constant state of panic while being pregnant with twins and only knowing that fear will DOUBLE (pun intended) once they arrive!

  62. Jennifer says:

    I also have a 4 year old. But I loved being pregnant with twins. I actually had a lot of anxiety before they arrived and wanted to make it to my due date so badly. Even though I was already a mom I was not sure I was going to be able to handle three. They turn one in August and we all survived. With my first I was so scared to take her in public that first year. I have been determined to get the twins out and I have enjoyed it so much.

  63. Nikki says:

    I am surprised by how breathtaking it is to feel my little one move! And how much of a wreck I am when I don't feel him as often!

  64. Anonymous says:

    That I could love a single human being so much in my entire life!!

  65. I am surprised every day that you can love two little people so much! I fall more and more in love with my twin baby girls every day! When I go to bed at night, I'm do incredibly grateful for them and I seriously miss then even though they are in the next room πŸ™‚

  66. I am suprised at how even when I leave the girls to go on a quick errand, I am already thinking about and missing them! It is the best when I get home & they scream with excitement to see me! πŸ˜‰

  67. kyrunnergirl says:

    Very sweet post!

    I don't have any little ones but I'm taking notes from all your posts. BTW, if I won I would buy lots of candy. πŸ™‚

  68. I'm currently pregnant and due in October. I didn't realize I would have so many worries and be so emotional about my baby girl! I just want the very very very best for her!

  69. Laci Murray says:

    What surprised me the most was how hard it would be to leave leave my son on his first day of Kindergarten.

  70. Kelly says:

    Its hard to believe how much I could care less about myself but all about my children!

  71. Becky says:

    I thought being a mom was the best thing in life……until my sweet granddaughter Zoey came along. Life just gets better and better.

  72. Michelle says:

    Just found both of your blogs a few weeks ago and LOVE reading them! πŸ™‚

  73. rachel says:

    We're going to start our family soon — so I'm reading all these comments to prepare myself. πŸ™‚

  74. Mandy says:

    Similar to your story we are still struggling to get pregnant. Your vitamin list for your husband has now become my husbands list.
    We cannot wait to become parents and the life changes that it will bring.

  75. The Becks says:

    The amount of love and smiles and laughs involved in being a mother!

  76. Allison A. says:

    I am not a mom yet, my husband and i have been trying, but just like you i have fertility issues and am struggling to find what will work the best for me. I do however have a sweet 3 month old nephew that I love unconditionally. I love him so much and I know when God blesses me with a child I will love him/her 10 million times more.

  77. Allison A. says:

    I am not a parent yet but I have a sweet 3 month old nephew that I love unconditionally and I know when the time is right and god blesses me with a child I will love them unconditionally!

  78. Halls says:

    I'm surprised at how much I would love my children!!!

  79. AubreyLaine says:

    It has surprised me a lot how different/unique each pregnancy is for every woman!

  80. Svannah says:

    The first week of my daughters life, I couldn't believe how much love and appreciation I felt toward her daddy for giving me the gift of this beautiful little girl. I knew that most mothers felt crazy love about their babies and don't get me wrong I fell head over heels in love with her within 24 hours of her life but there was just something about her daddy. He gave me the best gift in the world when he helped me make our daughter. πŸ™‚

  81. Laura Jacobson says:

    I was surprised at how fast they grow and change! So glad to have lots of pictures!

  82. Jennai says:

    I was most surprised about how little sleep I get! LOL. I never believed all the horror stories. But it's worth it!
    JenniferAnne74 @

  83. definitely how tired i was!

  84. latanya t says:

    how much help I would need

  85. kolpin says:

    that the bond could be so instantaneous

    rafflecopter: daniel

  86. Sara Rowe says:

    I'm still pregnant…and I'm surprised at how much I'm looking forward to breastfeeding

  87. karel says:

    The one thing that surprised me the most was how different all their personalities were.