The Modern Mrs.

 

 My name is Jaclyn and I am a 30 year old, married, mother of a 1 year old baby girl. I love to blog about love, life, marriage, motherhood, and everything in between. Follow me as I chronicle the adventures of my modern life. These are my originial thoughts, opinions, and experiences. I am not an expert... I just live.


Events
Wednesday
Aug212013

Sitting Side Ways...

I really like the sideways cross necklace fad right now. I think they are pretty dope looking. I saw a good deal for one on Groupon and I was tempted to click buy, when it occurred to me to look up the meaning. In my life there are a lot of things I don’t understand and I always search to find meaning. I tend to stay away from things that I do not know or understand its meaning. Call it what ever you want but I’m not a fan of inviting unnecessary negative influences into my life. This is true for music, art, jewelry, etc. Though I could be better about the type of music and certain shows I watch, I do try to be mindful of what I let enter my heart and mind. It is very acceptable in our culture to wear jewelry that has cultural and spiritual significance to cultures other than our own. As a person with distinct non-American cultural heritage, sometimes I honestly think it is or could be construed as disrespectful. I’m not talking about every day cultural outfits like saris, or kilts – I’m talking about things of cultural and more so spiritual significance.

I grew up over seas and I was exposed to a lot of things and we brought back a lot of souvenirs. One day a dear friend of ours came to our house and she questioned my mom about a Buddha figurine she had. In fact she had several. They meant nothing to her other than they symbolized our travels through Japan. Our friend began to explain who/what  Buddha is. My mom immediately removed the figurines. She didn’t give much thought to things she acquired overseas when we were traveling because we didn't understand the significance and meaning that certain cultural/spiritual items possess. More importantly, the relationship between those meanings and the life we are constantly trying to perfect in God through our faith in Jesus Christ.

The thing is, I do a lot of bad stuff. Things that I am not proud of. I have bad thoughts. I curse people out in my head. I laugh at inappropriate things. I drink my wine, yesss I drink my wine, child. I bob my head to unsavory music and watch violent vulgar shows. I try y’all but the truth is I’m a flawed individual trying to make it to heaven. I oft refrain from deeply religious conversations, not because I am ashamed but because I am far from a scholar and I’d hate to lead some one astray. I defend my faith to the point that I feel qualified to do so and but I do not deny the flawed rationales of fellow believers. I am a lover of God. I profess that Jesus is my Savior and without Him I’d be dust. I am serious about my belief in God and even with all things that I do wrong; my love, trust, adoration, and worship of Him is what I do right.

With that being said I’d hate to do anything that would disrespect my God. I like to know what sins I am committing. I’d hate to commit a sin and not even know it. I like to keep account of such things. Not saying that I like to boldly sin but I at least want to know what to repent for.

Now here’s the thing. I don’t know that the side ways cross is disrespectful but I also don't know that it isn’t. I don’t think that it is... BUT, there’s a little too much ambiguity to it’s meaning for me to be comfortable wearing it when I have several up right “traditional” crosses to choose from. Is this the overly sensitive, over analytical Christian criticism that we are all too familiar with? For me, no. It’s the ambiguity. If some one were to ask me, I don’t feel confident that I could give a meaningful enough explanation, let alone a correct one. That makes me uncomfortable. To be honest the best explanation that I could give is that I think it’s super cute and … well trendy. The word/thought of trendy gives me pause because Christianity is not supposed to be … trendy. It’s truth, it’s light, it’s LIFE.

The truth is I would never judge anyone for wearing a sideways cross. In fact I like seeing people wear it. I see it as a symbol as my faith. I do. But again I don’t know for sure that it is. I liked the fact that celebrities were embracing it and wearing it but then I quickly realized that celebrities embrace a lot of things that are not agreeable to me. I did some research and I found nothing conclusive but I found enough to give me the courage to say it’s not for me solely on the basis that aside from being cute, I do not have much to say about its meaning. 

What do yall think about side ways crosses. Is it being over analyzed? Should I just get one and wear it in faith? I still really like them, haha.

** I do want to say that I wanted to include some of the sites where I found information on this topic but honestly I was disgusted by some of the comments by "Christians". I do not want to give those people a platform or give anyone a reason to read the foolishness they post. I did find some good information but I did not want to link to any pages without checking out the full site to ensure that I agreed with the majority of things that were being said. Unfortunately that is the nature of this business. I encourage you to check it out for yourselves though.**

Wednesday
Aug212013

One Year in the Hood... Motherhood that is

I wrote this a little while ago but I wanted to wait to post it. Since Ava had her first official "cold" I figured it could post it now.

So I officially have one year of motherhood under my belt and what a year it was. I learned a lot obviously and it was truly and unforgettable experience. During Ava’s first year I am very proud and blessed to say that she never got sick, had a temperature, or diaper rash… nothing. I wish I could say honestly that it is due to the fact that I am just an awesome mom, but clearly that’s not the case. I imagine prayer has a lot to do with it. It could also be the breastfeeding and the fact that she was overdue. I’ve read that babies that stay in the womb until 40 weeks or longer get the full benefit of antibodies from the mother and if you couple that with breastfeeding, the likelihood that you’ll have a healthy baby increases. I don’t know how on the mark that is. I know people who breastfed longer than I did who’s babies got sick several times. It could be what the mother ate. I really don’t know and there is danger in making too broad of a summation on why this happens. Now my baby does suffer from eczema and did have a runny nose before but no cold. Again not saying this is due to anything I did or didn’t do but I wanted to share a few things I did during Ava’s first year that may have contributed.

Hair Washing:

Ava was born with a copious amount of hair. It was beautiful and I liked washing it and making sure it was nice and clean. I suffered from chronic ear infections as a child and I was very afraid of that for Ava. I didn’t want her to have them and the potential risks associated with them. Luckily for me, though it seemed I had an ear infection all the time as a child I never had it severe enough to warrant getting tubes put in but I know people who did. One day as I was washing Ava I realized I really did’t need to wash her hair the way I would my own. She doesn’t really sweat or use hair products. I reasoned that the less water contact with her ears the better. I know the body naturally flushes water through the ears, nose, and throat however we’ve all had the experience of having water trapped. Not to mention during my pregnancy I used a nasal spray that shot water through my nose and some crazy way got stuck in my inner ear. It was the worst pain. Excruciating to be exact.

So instead I would shampoo her hair once a week and in the colder months every 10-12 days. I would shampoo her hair and lather it then I would wet a wash cloth and wipe her hair clean. It sounds weird but it worked. I had to wipe it several times but no water dripped down. I felt accomplished; her hair was clean and her ears we dry! Also as standard practice after every bath whether I washed her hair or not I promptly put a hat on her head. I know that is very old school but I stuck to it. I did that until she was able to take the hat off herself which was around 4-5 months.

Brushing Teeth:

I’ve been brushing Ava’s teeth with a real toothbrush since she was 8 months. She had a lot of teeth by then. Prior to that I would wipe her gums and her tongue with a wet rag. That aided in keeping  away thrush (which is an oral yeast infection some babies get due to the thickening of milk on their tongue). Also to me it just promoted healthy oral care. Luckily now it’s part of her routine and she LOVES brushing her teeth, granted it’s nothing extensive a few swipes across her teeth. She likes to do it herself so after I do the initial brushing I let her do the finishing touches. I also buy her water with flouride.

Diaper Changes:

I really feared the inevitable diaper rash. I just thought it looked very uncomfortable but I know it’s very common. My mom told me when Ava was born to put Vaseline on her before I put the diaper back on. I’ve been faithfully putting Vaseline on her for 13 months and not one diaper rash! I’m not sure if the Vaseline is the reason but I do no notice that when I change her the Vaseline creates a barrier between her skin and her mess so the skin doesn’t get irritated. These are things they don’t tell you at the hospital. They don’t want you putting anything on the baby anywhere but sometimes you have to go old school because it works.

Must Haves:

HUMIDIFIER/MiSTER: I have both and humidifier and a mister. I use the mister in the summer because it provides cool air and the humidifier in the winter. Honestly I like my mister better and use it year round. I use the mister if I thought Ava had been exposed to someone who was sick or I just felt like it. It kept her from being congested. I would put some baby vicks on her chest and feet and turn on the mister and I never had a cough out of that girl. I know getting sick is a part of life, but there is so little you can do for an infant to provide relief so I felt prevention was the key. I was extremely particular about cleaning things she touched and wiping her hands after contact and when in public. I also was vigilant about washing my hands and keeping everything clean.

Looking back I see why I was tired I was doing a whole lot! Haha. To me it was worth it. As an added benefit, when Ava was sleeping in the room with us and I had the mister on, I would wake up with the most flawless skin! It was to the point where people were really commenting on how incredible my skin was. It almost looked as glowing as when I was pregnant. It’s the same thing they use at the spa when you get your facials! So I can’t lie some nights once she was in her own room I’d take the mister in my room for some true beauty sleep.

Just wanted to share. It wasn't a perfect year but it was a good year. She bumped her head more than I would've liked but we all survived. As a mom you ultimately just have to do what works and what's best for you and yours.

 

Tuesday
Jul232013

We Did It!

This is a follow-up to the What to Do post about our anniversary celebration plans. Last weekend we went on our mini trip… (drum roll please) without little Miss Ava.  Yes I did it, I left my baby for the weekend! For the first time in 13 months, I was away from my baby. She wasn’t sad to see me leave, granted she had no idea that we weren’t coming back to get her for a while. As I walked out of my parents house where she was playing and laughing, I cried. My husband and I got in the car and I was overcome with tears. He looked concerned. He made a futile attempt to incite excitement. He said “This is going to be… fun.?” Through my tears I replied, “Yes I am excited”. It was truly a funny sight to see. It didn’t take me long to regain my composure, although I am sure that my husband was thinking that at any time I was going to tell him to turn the car around and get my baby! But I didn’t. I was very proud of myself honestly.

A few days prior to the trip, I made up my mind to leave her because a light went off in my head. After 3 years of marriage and a baby, my husband still wanted to spend time with me. He still finds me interesting. All I kept thinking about was that this is one of those “when opportunity knocks” situations. As I thought about it more I realized that a lot of women I know who have had failed relationships always say they didn’t see it or coming or didn’t realize how they grew apart. I quickly realized that currently my husband is asking me to spend time with him. He is letting me know that he wants to be with me. If I keep ignoring his hints, eventually he’ll stop asking and doing things without me. To me that’s when you open the door for a wedge to grow. So though I was anxious and sad to leave Ava I felt like I did the right thing. My parents and sister took very good care of her and she had a great time. Even though my mom encouraged our trip, sometimes I felt that she was apprehensive about my decision. She never ever left us over night and that played a big role in my guilt in leaving Ava but also in my decision to do so. I never saw my parents doing things just for them. Everything revolved around us, their children. I believe it did cause a strain on their relationship and after we all grew up they worked hard to rebuild their relationship with each other. I didn’t want to lose and have to regain my best friend. I honestly think it’s healthy for couples to get out without their children. To invest time in their life long commitment to each other.

Once we reached our destination it was incredible how easy it all felt. We had nothing to nag about, prepare/plan for – we just got up and went where we wanted and stayed for hours. We really had fun. It was reminiscent of our dating days. It showed me that our responsibilities to each other, Ava, our careers, and our families, take a toll on us and cause us to be my stressed and irritable. We rarely ever even go out on dates and I realize we need to do more of that.

I also learned that though Ava had a great time she was confused about why she was away from us so long (Friday to Sunday morning). I called and checked up on her frequently and by all accounts she was fine and having a great time. My mom said Friday night when she put her to sleep in her playpen, Ava looked confused and ended up staying up pretty late. Other than that she really showed no signs of distress. On Sunday my sister called me and told me that Ava grabbed her by the hand and walked her over to our wedding picture and started to point at us. My sister said she was looking at her like “where are they?” She took the picture down and gave it to her and she said he just sat on the floor held it. That made me feel sad for her but luckily by time this happened we were only about 45 minutes away. I woke up Sunday morning ready to get back to my child. Thankfully I took off Monday to spend the day with her and she was very excited for her mommy time.

All in all it was a great experience and I learned a lot. I learned that all relationships whether husband/wife or mother/child take work and devotion but in there has to be balance. It can be overwhelming to be so much to so many (well two people), but hey it’s the life I chose and I wouldn’t trade it! I don’t know that I will make a habit of leaving my child for the weekend but it is nice to know I can and should get away to enjoy my husband’s company.

 

(*** As an interesting side note, the woman I wrote about a few posts ago who's husband left her high and dry; stopped by my office today to ask about my weekend. I gave her the short version about us leaving Ava and she said she's had many revelations recently and that was one of them. She said she wished she made time just for her husband. She said she never left her girls and all their vacations were planned around them. Looking back now she can see some things she did wrong in her relationship with her now ex-husband. I just thought it was interesting and wanted to share.)

Wednesday
Jul102013

What to Do?!

Our anniversary is coming up really soon!

We made plans months ago to go out of town. Everything is ready to go. It's nothing extravagant but it will be nice to get away just the three.... two of us (...?). The thought of leaving Ava for a whole weekend make me dizzy. I know we will have a great time if we have the freedom to go places we haven't been to in a while and generally just hang out without diaper bags, nap times, and diaper changes. But... that's my life now. It's what I do. I'm accustomed to it. I have never spent a night away from Ava ever. This was supposed to be the first time but as it gets closer I waiver in my decision. I really want to enjoy some quality time with my husband but I don't know if I'll survive not seeing her face for 48 hours. Thankfully I am not the only one wavering. My husband isn't sure what to do either. The idea of not being able to get to her if need be bothers him. It'll be interesting to see what we decide. I really have no clue what we'll do.

Wednesday
Jul102013

Ava is ONE!

The best thing a parent can do for their child is provide an environment where they can grow physically, emotionally, spiritually, and creatively – uninhibited, and in some ways un controlled. People often comment about my Ava and how free spirited she is. She definitely is a fearless little girl and I prayed for that. I prayed for her every day while I was pregnant that she would be healthy, happy, and FREE. I prayed that I would be the mother that would have the ability to feed her creative mind and not stifle her. I try to parent freedom into her and not fear. Yes, that means that she learned to climb the steps at 8 months. Now that could have some major consequences, but in so doing she gained a sense of independence and pride. She loves climbing the stairs and showing what she can do. I also taught her how to properly come down. NO, she is not permitted to roam freely, but supervised - we go up the stairs together. I am proud of her fierce independence and I know one day in her teen years it will be that same independence that will cause use to butt heads, but until then I will remain impressed by my little girl that could.

 

Around her birthday I was excited and emotional. I’m not an emotional person but realizing how much my life has changed in just 12 months is overwhelming and breathtaking. To know that my husband and I created such a beautiful life is more of a blessing that I ever thought possible and I am truly thankful for her. Watching her grow from a little bobble head baby to this very active, very loud, little person with a strong sense of likes and dislikes is just crazy! It's hard to believe some times. It's been a great year and I can't wait to see what the future holds.