|VIA MELANIE JOHNSSON|
FEELING: I got the flu shot last week (my second time getting the vaccine) and in the days following I started to get a bunch of cruddy side effects. First, it was a nasty cold, then my body ached and my stomach was upset. Maybe nausea is a coincidence, but I felt like total crap and ended up taking a nap on Tuesday afternoon which is a rarity.
THINKING ABOUT: I've mentioned a little bit about Max's recent behavior toward me on the blog, but I've been hesitant to post more in an effort to protect him. He's getting to be at that tricky age where I need to be careful "sharenting." I don't want others to be able to create a narrative regarding my son based on what limited information I've chosen to provide on my blog. What you see or read here isn't the full story and I'm sure most of you understand. That being said, the past two months have been some of the hardest I've experienced since becoming a mom. I've felt incredibly sad and defeated. I've looked for outside help, read books, talked to family/friends, etc. I've also tried my best to be proactive in taking care of myself in the process. But what if juggling it all felt like too much and I finally had to break? Well, that's exactly what happened last week. Despite all the resources and advice, I was reminded that Max is just as stubborn today as he was four years ago (NEWS FLASH!!). I asked his doctor a handful of questions regarding our most recent experiences and her diagnosis was that he's tenacious AF. Nothing new. Max is just Max. While his behavior (specifically toward me, his safety net) might be normal for his age, we agreed it's totally unacceptable. She also reminded me that we don't get to parent the child that we might have been when we were younger. That would be too easy, right?! I suppose it had to get really bad before it could get better, but we've been working REALLY hard to nip all this in the bud and I feel like we're finally starting to see some results—even if that means he's having to earn each and every toy back by monitoring his emotions, showing respect, and making good choices. There's no one right way to be a mom and the majority of the time it doesn't feel as magical as you'd like (birthdays and holidays aren't exempt). Raising a good human is hard work and when that individual is strong-willed, it can feel even more difficult. When you know, you know. For the first time in a while, I feel a glimmer of hope again. Phew!
THANKFUL FOR: What do you do when you want to be a playful mom despite the aforementioned behavioral issues sucking the life out of you? Spend $20 on a pair of giant spiders and smack them on the front of your house, that's what you do! In all seriousness, these things are flipping adorable! Who can say no to five hairy feet of fun?!
READING: Here are a handful of articles I've got open on my iPhone's browser that I think you'll find entertaining...
WATCHING: The season finale of Succession was last Sunday night and I feel a little bit empty inside now that it's over. Are you a fan of the show? Did you tune in? I'm kind of dying to discuss the details with someone. Ha Ha! Those last few minutes were epic and make me wonder how long I can wait for the Roy family's return to HBO. Any word on season three?? Ugh, I don't think I've been this invested in a non-Bravo show since Shameless. It's. So. Good.
EATING: While shopping at Terrain last weekend with my mom and Flyboy, I had an ice cream sandwich, specifically The Black & White, from Weckerly's and holy wow was it amazing!! I'm already plotting our next visit to PA, which will more than likely require a pit stop at the brick-and-mortar shop in Philadelphia. Ice cream sandwiches are one of my weaknesses, and this might be the best I've ever had. Coming from a serious sweets connoisseur, this is a BFD.
LISTENING: When we were leaving Virginia a few weeks ago after visiting my parents, I made sure Max and I stopped at Trader Joe's so we could pick up a few of my trusty pantry favorites. Initially, I went in for things like Cashew Fiesta Dip and Halloween Joe-Joe's but also left with a nugget of wisdom that's stuck with me since. The sweet young cashier noticed I was purchasing a few house plants. She went on to share that she's obsessed with growing all things green and we connected over our mutual love of shrubs and seedlings. Plants make people happy, right? The girl went on to explain the Japanese term, Shirin-yoku, or forest bathing and the benefits of being surrounded by plants. She loved that Max picked out a plant for his bedroom and explained that her appreciation for flowers and trees started when she was young as well. Her enthusiasm was contagious! Now every time I water all of my plants, I think of the joyful TJ's employee and the idea of Shirin-yoku. Isn't that such a lovely sentiment?
LOVING: We got Max this Adjustable Grey Bean Bag Chair from Crate & Kids for his birthday and he's been thoroughly enjoying it. Despite being a fairly practical present, he can haul it from room to room whenever he pleases, punch at it when he gets angry, and flop down on top of it during quiet time. I was slightly hesitant to buy it because it seemed pricey for a bean bag; however, I like that it serves a handful of purposes and can be easily washed. Not to mention, Beesly believes we bought it for her and has been seen using it as a luxe super-sized dog bed. Anything for the queen.