I'm a boy mom

Boy mom.

I hear this title used a lot. It’s not a title I ever thought I’d have. I always imagined myself having two girls and then having a baby boy. You know, when I’d play M*A*S*H in school and plan out my life with a mansion, a Ferrari (just like the one in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and my two girls and one boy.

I’ve been writing this post in my head for so long and I’ve just been afraid to put it all down. But I do want to talk about it.

When I first got pregnant with Hudson, I was convinced I was having a baby girl. I only browsed the girl aisles in stores and was looking at bows and sweet shoes. I would talk with my mom for an hour on the phone every day and imagine my life someday having the same conversations with my daughter.

And then we found out that we were having a baby boy. My first thought, if I’m being honest, was, “I don’t know anything about little boys. What do they like?”

But I figured it out. I figured out that he is mine and he is a perfect little person who has crazy wild moments and super sweet tender moments. After a day of letting it set in that I was not having a girl, I finally understood that the gender just did not matter at all. I mean, duh. This should be obvious, right?

With Hayes, I just always knew that he was going to be a boy. It was just a feeling I had. I knew that Hudson was going to have a brother and they would (hopefully) become best buddies. Hayes is so different than Hudson was because he, too, is his own little person. But I wanted him to be a boy. I knew that if another little boy was anything like Hudson, it would just be the best thing in the world.

I was talking with a friend the other day. She’s a boy mom, too. And we discussed the part of being a boy mom that is “hard.” It’s the pressure from other people. And there’s the “loss” and mourning of that future mother/daughter relationship when I’m 50 and I’m an empty-nester.

Because I’m in the social media world a lot, I get to eavesdrop on conversations. I have seen so many sweet friends announce their pregnancies and then announce the sex of their baby. And, I honestly don’t think I’m making this up, I see a lot of people say, “oh! I hope it’s a girl!” And that really hurts this boy mom’s feelings. Why would someone else hope that the pregnant gal would be having a girl? Why wouldn’t someone want a boy? What happened to just wanting a healthy baby?

And what about these statements from a pregnant celebrity/girl mom?

When I got pregnant with Hayes, I felt this strange, unspoken pressure/hope/rooting from other people for him to be a girl. A lot of people said, “I know this is a girl” and when I did announce that he was a boy, people even said, “don’t worry, baby number three will be a girl.”

My friends aren’t saying this to be rude. And there may always be a place in my heart that I have reserved for a daughter. But if I have four boys someday, I will be happy. And maybe I will even be spoiled by them someday?

I know that if I don’t ever have a daughter, my life will still be complete and wonderful and full of happiness.

I read this article and felt like someone finally got my thoughts out there.

I adore my family and I adore my boys. The sweetness mixed with the hilarity can’t be matched and that has nothing to do with them being boys. It’s just because of who they are and who they’re growing up to become.

I’ve said before that I want what my own mom and I have with a daughter someday. And I may always want that if I don’t have a daughter. And if I never get to use my girl name that’s on reserve, I’ll just buy a fish and give it the name!

Kidding.

Maybe.

I often feel the need to shout from the rooftops about how wonderful boys are. I know that prom planning, wedding planning and grandbaby planning won’t be as much fun without a daughter to keep me in the loop and gab with on the phone for hours, but believe me. I am counting my blessings. My precious guys are everything I have prayed for my whole life and never knew it.

Tonight, we were playing hide and seek in the house with my mom and Hudson. My wild boy was having the absolute best time. The smile on his face as he ran through the house just made my heart explode. And later in the evening, when he had calmed down some, he was sitting in my lap and we were singing songs. He accidentally hit me in the face and I pretended to cry. (I know, that’s kind of mean.) But he immediately said, “What’s the matter, Mommy? I’m sorry, Mommy.” Gah. My heart.

Are there any other boy moms who have felt this way? Has anyone ever looked at you and laughed because you have all boys? (If not, consider yourself lucky) We can even discuss the annoying boy clothes that mostly look like teenage boy clothes or a costume. What’s with all the writing on everything?

I was talking to my friend, Molly, the other day and I have decided that if there is a baby number three, I’d really like to not find out the sex before he or she is born. It’s truly the last real surprise! I think it would be so much fun.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

4 years of blogging

If you’re new to Blue-Eyed Bride, this is a pretty decent recap post to get you all filled in since the beginning.

Every September, this date rolls around. I don’t celebrate it at home, but I always make a mental note that it came… and went. On September 25, 2007, I began writing this blog for our family members and out of town friends to read to keep up with what was going on. Originally it was just called “Erin & Todd” and the URL was my maiden name and his last name. I think there were probably about 20 ┬ápage views per month for the first six months. The only other blogs I read were those written by my friends that lived out of town. The thought of reading a stranger’s blog had never occurred to me.

Obviously times have changed. I won’t get into what blogging has become in my life. I want to look back at where we were four years ago and where we are today.

Not even counting the physical changes, a whole lot has changed!

On September 25, 2007, I wrote my first blog post. And the Gamecocks had just won against Georgia… in Athens. And TC and I had gone to the game.

We had gotten engaged in April of 2007 and were planning our May 2008 wedding. I was working at the University and he was at his old law firm. Things weren’t entirely carefree, but looking back, it sure seems like they were! We attended every home game and two away games that year. We were in the process of looking for a house that would be our first home together- and a few days later, we put in a contract on our current home.

In December, we closed on our house. I moved in to the house while TC lived with some very generous friends. I continued to plan our wedding– making the drive from Columbia to Greenville, SC every couple of months to work on details. We had showers in Indiana, Dallas, Ruston, Columbia and Baton Rouge and we had a fun little vacation in Chicago with my family.

I was going back and forth to Dallas for dress fittings and then finally my bachelorette party with all of my best friends.

We got married in May 2008 in the Daniel Chapel on the Furman University campus and the reception was at the Westin Poinsett Hotel.

photo by Kelly Moore Photography

Then we were off to Maui for our 10 day honeymoon at the Grand Wailea! (I really want to go back– or just live there.)

A month later, my family experienced a tragedy and we ended up adopting our beloved Fiona, who joined Boudreaux as the two most loved dogs.

The summer after our wedding, I realized that people I didn’t know were reading my blog. What in the world? How did they find me? Who are they? My sweet friend, Cyndi, was the first person that I didn’t know in real life to comment on my blog. Why do they want to read my blog? And then I started reading theirs, too, and friendships were formed. Then, because I wanted something more original, I changed the name of the blog to Blue-Eyed Bride. (I wish I had a file of all of my old blog headers!)

Then when the next football season came around- just about a year after I started blogging- I found out I was pregnant with our first child. I kept that a secret for a while and didn’t blog as often as I had been. The excitement and surprise were both overwhelming! And then I finally announced it.

Then we found out that we were having a precious boy!

One June 5, 2009, he was born. And we named him Hudson.

TC left his old firm and started a new firm with two colleagues. I left my old job and started a new job at home with my precious baby.

The past two years have been measured in Hudson’s milestones. I think about things in terms of when he sat up and started walking and talking. So many of you have read along on this fun ride as we’ve raised Hudson and learned how to be parents.

When Hudson was 15 months old, we found out that he was going to be a big brother!

And then you read that there would be another baby boy Carroll. And now sweet baby Hayes is here. What a precious, precious gift he has been.

In the past two years since Hudson was born, we haven’t gone as many places or been quite as adventurous. But life has been so great. I am so happy to just sit and watch Hudson and Hayes grow up. They make me laugh and they have given TC and me such an incredible appreciation of life.

Now, instead of attending all the games, we watch at home while drawing pictures on the Magnadoodle and playing with cars and trucks.

I’ve made so many good friends through blogging. And I mean that. Good, good friends. Friends that I talk to on the phone at least once a week and so many that are going through the same things I’m going through. Or friends who have the same interests that I have.

You have all prayed with us through two pregnancies and two sweet children. You prayed with me for my mom as she battled melanoma. I am just so thankful for this community and this outlet.

Blogging has helped me stay in touch with old friends who just come by to check in.

What a fun outlet! What a great way to record memories and to be able to look back and see such wonderful times chronicled through your words and photos. It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows and there have definitely been some storms. But those things are much harder to remember when I think about the last four years. They’ve definitely been the best years of my life. And I’m so happy to have a record of them.

photos by Angela Shea Photography in Charlotte, NC

now that I'm a mommy…

I say things like, “Because I said so” and “go to your room.”
I find myself counting to three and taking deep breaths to avoid confrontation with family members.
I know how to change a diaper in random places and can finish by the time Hudson counts to “ourteen.”

I know the value of observing nap time even when your toddler isn’t actually sleeping.
I always know where the wooden spoon is… just in case.
I know that disciplining my child really does hurt me more than it hurts them.

I don’t judge other mommies when their kids are crying in public. Kids get tired and have an off day. Most of the time the mommy can’t help it.
I definitely don’t judge other mommies with screaming babies on airplanes. It makes me grateful that mine aren’t screaming, but I’ve had the screaming baby before.
I still judge mommies who let their kids run around a restaurant and don’t make them sit in the high chair. I can’t help it.

I blog because I like it and it’s a fun hobby.
I also blog because it helps me buy cute clothes for my kids. And sometimes fun things for myself!
I see most of our money go into retirement and college savings. And another big chunk pays for all different types of insurance.

I realize how lucky I am to be responsible for two precious people.
I sometimes miss the carefree days when I could be as wild and free as my 2-year-old.
I am lucky to get a shower.

I have a commitment to only attempt to leave the house once a day to save sanity!
I have chosen to be a stay-at-home-mom and “staying home” is exactly what we do.
I sometimes wonder how in the world I got here. I am a mommy?!

I have to remind myself to have dance parties in the living room at the end of the day to unwind. But after we do it, we’re so happy!
I listen to Disney tunes in the car and know every word to “Jimmy Crack Corn.” So does Hudson.
My kids’ health and happiness is my long term goal. I force myself to look at the big picture. This is why I’m okay with a little bit of crying in the night.

I’ve lost some of my sense of humor because I get tired and stressed. My husband and my funny kids remind me to laugh and stop taking life so seriously.
I am confident that I can fight a bear for a little while.
The fear of being thrown up or pooped on is gone. I can survive that.
I am afraid of no diapers and having poop or pee on my floor! Can I survive that?

I get dirty outside and know how to get stains out of white jeans!
I play the way a little boy likes to play with trucks and animals and monsters.

I know that there is no love like the one I have for these two little guys

my home organization notebook

A few weeks ago, I mentioned my desire to create a Home Organization Notebook based on the one I saw on Honey We’re Home. I was so inspired to have everything all in one place instead of having multiple lists around my house with loose papers everywhere.

*Look at the bottom of the post for links to all of the printables I used.

After weeks of finding just the right printable pages for my notebook, I have completed my home organization notebook!

I decided that it would just be too difficult for me to keep my daily and monthly calendars in this notebook, so I will continue to use my MomAgenda for the next few weeks. Today I ordered a new Erin Condren Life Planner to use for the remainder of 2011 and all of 2012. I’m so excited! Do any of you have one? I’ve loved my MomAgenda for my calendar, but was ready to try something new.

Anyway, I will keep a separate daily and monthly calendar with all of my actual appointments and things. But the home organization notebook keeps track of everything else.

I bought a black faux leather binder at an office supply store because it looks nice and not junky. I bought tabs, page protectors, new pens (because I couldn’t resist), and a folder for the back of the binder.

Because these are the categories that I dabble in the most every day, these are the tabs I created for my notebook.

The Daily Do-It Checklist includes things that I need to accomplish every day. These are things that never change. For the specifics for that day, I will reference my MomAgenda or Life Planner to see what is on the schedule for that particular day.

In the meal planning and recipes section, I have a weekly meal planner printable page. It also includes a grocery list broken down by category, so my shopping trip will be a little less chaotic. I only plan meals for supper time because we all do our own thing for breakfast and lunch. I already got started on next week’s meal plan!

Also in the meal planning and recipes section, I have my Favorite Recipes sheet and another sheet called Recipes to Try. It has a place to record where I got the recipe and any changes I may have made to the recipe. This stays in the same tab as my meal plan. In addition to these two items, the last thing I put in the meal planning tab are the actual recipes if they come out of my recipe binder. Every month, I tear recipes out of the Southern Living or Cooking Light that arrived that month that I want to try. I put them in page protectors and put them all in a binder by category. If a recipe is on the meal plan, I just move the recipe from the recipe binder into my home organization notebook- for easy reference!

Another tab is for my Weekly Chore Checklist. This is a breakdown by day of all of the things I need to get done during the week. On Mondays I wash, dry, fold, and put away the boys’ laundry. On Tuesdays I do the same with my laundry. Every day I clean the kitchen counter tops. We do have people that come to clean our house once a week, but this is a way to keep up with the basics to keep a clean home the rest of the week. Boudreaux’s dog hair is a lot to keep up with!

In the Blog section, I have a different layout for a weekly calendar. This one has plenty of lines for writing. If I have an idea for a blog post and don’t want to forget it, I can jot my ideas down here. I can also plan ahead for blog posts when I’m not at my computer. This has already been really helpful.

Another tab that I added is Bible Verses. This will help me with scripture memorization and if I read something during my quiet time that I want to remember, I can put it here. Or if I heard something at Bible study, I can write it down when I get home. I have been wanting to work more and more on scripture memorization and I think this will help.

For Party Plans and Vacation Plans, I’ve recorded my ideas for parties and our plans for upcoming vacations. I have a few pages for both of those behind each time in case I’m planning multiple parties or vacations.

Under Important Dates and Numbers, I am keeping track of holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries so I can better manage when to send greeting cards and gifts.

Under Gift Ideas, I just have blank lined printables where I can jot down ideas for specific gifts for people. Right now there are four different baby gift ideas recorded for four different moms-to-be.

And for Hudson and Hayes, I am writing down things that they say and do that I don’t want to forget. I’m also writing down questions that I may want to ask their doctor or reminders for myself to make their doctor’s appointments or to call and set up a play date. This section will also probably be where I start managing our play group information.

If you have any questions, I am happy to answer them. If you have any suggestions on how I can make my notebook better, please send them my way. I’m so excited to get my new planner and I am so happy to now finally have a place for everything.

Resources and References

Organized Home

MomAgenda

Frugal Living

The Simple Mom

The Project Girl

Life… Your Way

Hundreds of Lists to Put Your World in Order

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