Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Your Mothering Heart Has a Home

To My Lovely and Dear Friend,

A while ago I wrote this, actually it really wasn’t that long ago. I was feeling, as you can tell alone in the world of parenting, both for my choices and for the needs of my children. I reached out to a few moms whose parenting styles I admired. They were kind and loving mothers whose patience seemed endless. I cried and I shared my struggles and fears; there words and support were comforting and in the end I pulled my children close to me and the hubs and I agreed to keep them protected within us a bit longer.

Never forget, your child was given to YOU for a reason, because you are the mother they need. You have the intelligence, heart and spirit to care for, love, protect and raise your child with what they need. Other parents with their philosophies are not raising your child – because their way is not what your child needs. You were called to raise your child; this was not a whimsical decision on Gods part. Be faithful to this calling, even in the face of others who wish to question and belittle your work.

After my own journey into “lonely parenting” and making the commitment that I would do what was right for my children even if it meant I had no friends in the process, I suddenly found myself surrounded by mothers who are raising children like mine. Children who suffer from anxiety when separated too early from home and the comfort and reassurance of Mama and Daddy, who are their best selves when they are given freedom of choice and expression and who always, always want to know we are here whenever they call for us. I could make choices that would make parenting easier. I could kick my kids out of our bed, I could insist they go to off to toddlerville pre-pre-education to learn to be socialized like puppies and I could tell them what they will do and when verses living a child-led lifestyle, but hey, then my kids would just be manufactured mini me’s and I like my kids too much to completely alter their spirits.

How are our children supposed to be amazing if we never let them BE amazing? And let’s not forget, becoming a truly amazing grown-up comes with some growing pains (you know, the loud, scary, needy, rambunctious, fit-throwing, co-sleeping, endless question asking, negotiating every rule in the book kind of pains!)

Welcome to the fold my friend.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I Love My Hubs

I am not sure I say this enough in general, but I love my hubs. He is an outstanding man in many ways. One of which is he allows me to be me; this can be difficult because I change my ideas, thoughts, and activities often. I am hard to keep up with to say the least. One of the major changes I have made in recent months is my opinions on sleep sharing (or the “Family Bed”). When Rock Star was born he was of course in our room the first several weeks but by three months he was sleeping soundly all night and had been transitioned into his own room without any issues. This lasted until he was three and got the boot out of the crib because his baby sister was on her way. Prior to this he slept peacefully every night and seemed to simple love his crib. We would rock him each night, but about the time he was drifting off he would reach for his crib and enjoyed snuggling in. Enter Itty Bitty.
From the first moments of entering the world Itty Bitty wanted to curl up into my neck. She would inhale my scent deeply and fall into a nice deep sleep. She has never been fond of sleeping alone. At this same time we were still in transition mode of getting Rock Star out of the crib (and nursery) and into his Big Boy Bed/Room. He was not going for it. On a few desperate occasions we would allow him back into the crib and he would smile and fall asleep. He loved the security of that special place.
Forward 16 months…
New family home, new bedrooms and beds, resulting in two kids in Mama and Daddy-O’s bed every night. So I started researching the pro’s and con’s on sharing sleep with your kids and found the benefits to your children to be overwhelming. And once again Mama began changing the way things happen around here. Bedtime has become less about getting the kids off to sleep so we can enjoy our evening and more about offering a peaceful and reassuring end to our kids day which often means lots of snuggling, reading, music and laying with our kids as they fall asleep (i.e. time). I have had to stop looking at this as a “process” and just part of our life, like all the other parenting things we do. Our children sleep wonderfully when they are with us. I sleep better knowing they feel safe and secure and when they are next to us in a deep slumber my heart busts wide open. However, the hubs is now two little bodies away from me at night, and is often shoved to the far 6 (6 ½ on a good night) inches of the bed. He is not sleeping so well. Last night I enjoyed having Rock Star sleep with his head on my belly most of the night, not thinking that this meant his feet were shoved into the ribcage of the hubs. Ouch. Itty Bitty likes to lay on Daddy’s head and hold his nose like a handle (while me she just curls up against my chest). Yep, no doubt about it, Daddy is getting the raw deal here. Not to mention after a restless night for parents I get to hang out in PJ’s watching movies, reading and doing puzzles while he is up, showered, dressed and off to the office where he has to be a grown-up. ugh.

So, My Dear Hubs,
I thank you for being the kind of father to our kids, and partner to me, that makes so many sacrifices for the well being of our family. I know you give up a great many things for us, the least of which is sleep and much chick-a-bow-bow with me. I know we are raising wonderful, loving, secure children and all the time and energy we are giving them know, no matter how tired we are, is in their best interest and what we are called to do. Thank you for being my partner, support and greatest love while on this journey of parenthood.
I love you deeply, unconditionally and forever,

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Living Label Free

Labels: I.HATE.THEM.
Shy, Outgoing, Reserved, Smart, Musical, Christian, Funny, Bossy, Bitchy, Lost, Sweet, Dependable, Immature, Irresponsible, Saved, Loving, Gossip, Sinner, Saint…on and on goes the list of all the possible labels we give ourselves, our children our family and friends. I believe labels limit our possibility. When we label ourselves we put ourselves in a box. Good or bad we create limits. We begin to identify with things which are aligned with our label. So often I hear parents describing their children as shy, picky eaters or dare devils. It is important that we remember these are behaviors subject to change at any time, not who our children are. When children are given labels they grow up believing that is who and what they are. They end up in a box without even knowing it and grow into adults who are living a life unconnected to their true self or confused and frustrated trying to “find themselves.”
I think equally sad as parents imposing labels on their children are adults who accept labels others put on them. Sometimes, these labels feel good so we eagerly take them on as a definition of ourselves. When I worked in the corporate world I had many labels. Many of them I liked: organized, efficient, proactive, self-starter, leader. I also had some that were not always intended as compliments but oddly enough I like them too. Ones that described me as a hard ass, take no prisoners, get-it-done at all costs sort of gal. What is so interesting about these labels is when I left the corporate world to be a fulltime mother and home-maker I suddenly had no idea how to behave. My oldest in now 4 ½ and I am just now beginning to feel like I am getting connected to myself, to my true being. I am now learning to just be, living each moment just being who I need and want to be in that minute. Giving up reacting and behaving according to what would suit any label I may wear is hard. It requires honesty, a raw awareness to one’s self that has the potential to be a bit scary. Labels, as much as they bring limits, also bring security. If you take one of those (ridiculous, in my opinion) personality tests and it defines you as “Type A” and then gives you a list of behaviors, you have essentially been given a blue print of how to behave and live. So, there you have it. You never have to think about what to do, just look at your list. Furthermore, if someone is upset, offended or generally bothered by your behavior it’s ok because you can simply explain you are “Type A” and well, that is just who you are.

Living Label Free; My passion, my renewed mission.
I commit to not giving labels to my children.
I commit to not giving labels to my spouse, family or friends.
I commit to not labels to myself, and to not letting others give them to me either.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Don’t Be Discouraged

This morning a recall for Infantino slings was issued after being linked to infant deaths. Babies can suffocate while in this type of sling:

I always found this type of sling to not only be uncomfortable for me and my baby but it made me terribly uneasy and just felt unsafe. I tried it on once and decided it would never be an option for babywearing in our home. In addition to my baby being too “scrunched” it felt as though I was carrying them around in a bag verses using cloth to assist in keeping them close to me.

So although these slings are a no-brainer no-go, there are some other safe and wonderful options out there that will support you and your baby in being nice and close. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Ring Sling – the ring is SO versatile. I have taken my babes from newborn to currently 4yr (and 40+lbs) in this one. You can safely and comfortably nurse in it as well. It is great for hip and back carrying for older kids too. I have recently started making these slings (they retail for $70-$100+) and I can do them much cheaper. This one is also really easy to get on/off and baby in and out of. (This is also the hubs favorite)

2. Moby Wrap – I like the moby for my newborns. You do have to be super carful to ensure legs are properly supported (when they are infants you can keep their legs tucked in the fetal curl position). I am not a huge fan of this one as my kids have gotten older but it is great when they are little; it keeps them very snug and warm. This one is more work to get on and off; lots and lots of wrapping!

3. Mei Tai – currently my favorite. This one you can wear front or back, infants and older kids. It is super easy to get one and off and hold your babe nice and snug.


Baby wearing is a wonderful way to spend time with your baby and child. Don’t be discouraged by this recall. Babywearing has numerous advantages for you and your baby. Of course it is critical, as with anything you do with your children, to keep their safety in mind.

Here are some important guidelines to remember when wearing an infant from Babywearing International:
• Check to ensure that your baby is not curled up tightly in a chin-to-chest position; this compresses your baby's airway. Making sure there is a fingers' width or two between their chin and chest is a good guide.
• Make sure your baby's back is straight and supported.
• Monitor your child at all times. Make sure nothing is obstructing their face.
• Be aware of how your movements affect the baby: avoid any bumping or jarring motions.

Happy Babywearing my friends!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Poop, Poop and More Poop

Okay, it has been awhile since the topic has been discussed in this blog, and we are overdue my friends. Our home has entered into many poop changes over the last several months. For starters after a bout of diarrhea (that is a HARD word to spell BTW!) and a scary moments of wiping Rock Star has decided he will never again wipe his own butt. Ever. In addition he has begun classifying his bowel movements as follows:
Clean Poop – this would be a firm, no mess poop. (His favorite)
Hard Poop – any level of constipation, at which point he will always ask for broccoli because he “needs more fiber” (I am not kidding you.)
Diarrhea – the most scary and dreaded of all poops.
Then there is Itty Bitty who as I have previously mentioned have begun cloth diapering. Ugh. What a ton of work! So she keeps me up to my eyeballs in poop management. All day, every day. On the positive note, she loves her organic bamboo cloth diapers and now despises disposables. Although, I still use disposables when we are out and about. The other day we came home and she was asleep; I laid her in her bed and about an hour later we hear Rock Star screaming from her room “Itty Bitty is awake and she pooped and is changing her own diaper! HURRY!!!” Oh. My. She was. She had. And she was stripping it off, yes in her crib. Then I get this, “Uh, what took you so long?” look from her. What!?
And now we come to my favorite one, me, or my jealously rather. Jealously of those who get to do their business in private. I am tired of having to respond to the immediate shout, “Mama! Where are you!?” followed by a stampede the second I enter the bathroom. I have finally convinced Rock Star that people (mama’s especially) need privacy when they are in the bathroom. But Itty Bitty is still insistent that she be held while I am…well…you know. I always knew motherhood would require multi-tasking, but this is just nuts.

I feel like the largest part of my day is spent on poop. Tracking it, cleaning it, discussing it, airing out it’s lingering odor, trying to do it in secrete… I love my life.

Bottoms Up!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Must my 4 year old son be subjected to ass in a thong at Kohls!?
So, I was in a desperate search for a bra that keeps the girls where they need to be without spending $65 a pop on them so I drug the kiddos off to Kohls this morning. They have a large selection and always have crazy sales. So yes I know I am asking for it a bit by taking him into the undergarment department to begin with, but it's Kohls, not Pricilla’s after all. So you can imagine my surprise when in the main isle we come across a mannequin with a bra (which really was nothing more than pasties with dental floss) and a thong! Really? I am okay with, and would expect there would be mannequins in bras and underwear, and no I would not expect to see granny panties and a Just My Size 18 Hour bra in stark white, but I think this little get-up was more like something I would expect to see in a porno store. I was actually a little a gasp myself at what I was looking at even before I realize my son was also seeing it.
Oh, how did Rock Star react you want to know? Yeah. He promptly reached out and smacked that ass as he walked by it. Such a proud moment; so proud in fact the first thing I did was quickly look around so make sure no one saw it happen.
Now here is the thing. My son DOES NOT go around slapping asses. He has never seen a bare ass get slapped so what in creation would entice him to do this? Yes, the hubs often gives me a hot smack on the rear but would seeing that little bit of playful affection between parents lead a young boy to smack the bare ass of a mannequin? And why the naked one? There were mannequins all over the place in there; how did he know, or what made him respond to the naked assed one? Sigh.
Well, I did the good mommy thing and pretended like I didn’t see him do it and hoping against hope that by ignoring it, it will never happen again.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Just in Case... need to recoil in disgust and laugh all at the same time.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I Love This Kid

So, he is not a kid (anymore) but he is one of my many baby cousins and he is apart of something phenomenal. Watch.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Disaster Averted

Went to pick-up the dog last night, and he promptly pounced on Rock Star knocking him to the ground. This was good given the minute I saw him all I really saw was muddy paws and a winter coat waiting to shed off. Ugh.
But, the guy also had a trampoline he was looking to give away – score!
So, no dog – just the opportunity break lots of bones.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Big Dog Decision

If you are a new reader read this before you go any further.
Yes, this is the story of the Damn Dog, which I am happy to say is no longer with us. He found a nice lady who had another damn dog just like him who needed a friend. Angel or Insane woman, not sure; I am just glad the little shit is gone.
Buuuut now, here we go again. Rock Star has been begging for a nice dog that he can play with and that will sleep in his room with him. Rock Star (as does Itty Bitty) sleep with us; if they do not start there they end up there before the morning arrives. Rock Star believes he would love his big boy room if he had a friend, “you know mom, like a dog.”
Me? I would rather have kids in my bed than a dog in the house. But as usual I am a sucker for my kids. And yes I know, Rock Star will not sleep in his room, we will just be adding a dog to our bed. Although I am a lover of earth and animals, I prefer not to domesticate them. So this morning I am reading the paper and come across:
Free to a good home. Border Collie/German Sheppard mix. 3yrs old. Very well behaved, house broke. Good with kids.
Sigh. How can I not call? So I call and turns out the owner is actually a neighbor that only lives a few houses away! (This is a large metro paper BTW, so chances of something like this are slim). It now seems meant to be. Oh, and also, the dog has the same name as the ONLY dog the hubs and I had pre-kids that was wonderful.
Called the hubs – DEAD. SILENCE.
Rock Star begging.
Hubs agrees to a “sleep-over” for a trial run.
I will be reading I Wanna Iguana this afternoon to the kids as a reminder of pet responsibility and what “trial basis” means.
I am an idiot. What am I about to do?

Quick, talk me out of it!

Monday, March 15, 2010

100 Posts

Break out the champagne! Light the fireworks! Start the music!

100 posts. I really feel like I have achieved something here. I have never been one to keep journals. I have tried many, many times in vain only to end up with five or six entries over the course of several weeks. A beautiful notebook whose first few pages are eventually torn out and used for grocery lists. So this feels good, a true document in a way. I recently found out how to turn my posts into a book, thanks to Jessica over at Days of You and Me, which is really exciting to me.

I hope I have shed some light as to who I am for the benefit of my kids. I hope I am using this to not only convey my love for them and their father but also the things I find important in life. I have many more things to say and to share, things that will come in time. Things that will cause laughter and tears, and oh my do I look forward to writing them. I love that writing this blog makes me think.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for thinking and pondering with me.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Writers. Block.

Too many thoughts
Too many feelings
My fear of over-exposure.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Tough Little Bugger

Itty Bitty started walking on Christmas Day. She quickly went from toddling to running and climbing EVERYTHING! However, she is still only 15 months so I pick her up into my arms and kiss boo-boos about three times an hour. I watch her fall onto her hands and knees while running to keep up with Rock Star all day long. Most of the time she just grunts and gets back up and is on her way as if nothing happened. I know some of these falls take a small toll on her but I think I have taken for granted how resilient she really is. This morning while taking a load of stuff out to the car before I loaded the kids (why is it I feel like I am moving out of the house whenever I have a day of errand running?) I totally bit it in the driveway. I slipped on an ever so small patch of lingering ice and went down like a bag of bricks. My stuff went flying and I was so hurt I actually started to cry. At the end of it all, nothing more than two bruised and scrapped knees and a skinned elbow but holy crap! I thought I was going to DIE! Now, I consider myself to be pretty tough. I have a rather high tolerance for pain (I walked around last summer on a broken ankle for three weeks before I finally had it looked at, and that was only because it was so swollen my toes were turning blue.) and typically walk injuries off fairly quickly. I suppose it is because I am ridiculously accident prone. I think I need to do more yoga to get more in touch with the movement of my own body...

Aaaanyway, I ended up reflecting on how often Itty Bitty falls like I did and it doesn’t even faze her! Yes, I know she is closer to the floor and all but she also does it about a hundred times a day! What a tough little bugger. I think I am going to give her a long warm bath with a full body massage. She certainly has earned it!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Readers of My Words

Sometimes I find myself getting caught up in tracking hits to my blog and worrying as to why I cannot get any of you to interact with me or each other via comments. Yes, it has bugged me. I read this other blog which is so damn boring it makes me cry but this chick gets over a thousand hits a day and has close to 20 comments for every post. Some aren’t even posts; one time there was a shopping list – OF GROCERIES! WTF!? And yes, people commented. “Oh, I like that brand of crackers too!” Are you kidding me!? I keep reading it trying to figure out what the appeal is. I can only guess she has a large family who are home-bound. I have a large family too, but unfortunately they have lives.

So anyway, I it got me thinking, what is my real purpose of blogging? Is it a personal outlet? A journal of family events? An update for friends and family? Or am I trying to market myself in some way – ultimately to make some cash? My initial response is, all of the above. But if I am completely honest, I think I may have a higher opinion of myself than others do. I think what I have to say is insightful, funny and relevant. And while I am at it I will also admit that because I find the things I have to say important I have felt entitled to readers. And income.
How shameful.
I find the events and day-to-day antics of my life hilarious, but the truth is, I don’t think my experiences are that different than any other SAHM and my stories any different from the other thousands of mommyblogs out there. So I started researching blogs, the top 50 mommybloggers, finding out who was doing what, reading tutorials on managing a successful blog, how to work the PR scene….ugh. Corporate greediness, yelling, shouting, infighting – all around internet temper tantrums with a gimmie, gimmie mine mentality. Nauseating.

Then I realized what my favorite blogs are. They are not the ones with a million sponsors and advertisements splashed all over them. They are quiet little musings of mothers, artists, poets and crafters. They share with their readers the sweet and funny stories of their lives, their broken hearts, their goals and triumphs. Occasionally they rant about the sometimes hurtful and crazy world in which we live, but are ultimately women committed to living in the good with their friends and families. They are honest writers. They are transparent.

I am inspired. The reality of my life is I left a well paying corporate job to stay home with my children and have my life work now be about them. I need to give myself the gift of time and exception from making a buck and remember what this season in my life is about. Being a good mother, wife, friend, being healthy both physically and mentally. Acknowledging this, the journey of my life can be the only focus of my writing. Readers or not.

Someday, my children will read my words. They are the readers I care about. They are the ones who I really want to feel my words and wear them in their hearts.
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