Category Archives: first time parent

Learning to Love Yourself

As I sit in my study, quietly, kids sleeping or in school, I start to try to find a before picture of my skin to show friends at an event how dramatically my skin has been transformed by Arbonne’s products. I searched for a family photo, selfie, professional……I searched and searched..then I realized something.

I do not have a SINGLE photo of myself, before Arbonne, that is unedited, untouched, or a fixed in some capacity. No selfie exists other then a quick eye shot, or the corner of my face. The kids Mom and Grantalways front and center so I could hide.

I don’t know if I am over-tired, over stressed or simply embarrassed, but this realization broke me today. I have been SO ashamed of myself for decades. I have hidden behind humor, make-up and photo-shop for as long as I can find on the hard drive.

Maybe it hits me harder because my 5-year-old will only go to school in a dress because SickBoyshe needs to look beautiful every day and warns her 3-year-old brother that if he wears his Super-hero cape to school, then people will laugh at him.

Maybe it is because I have never truly let go of all the bullying and name calling I heard growing up.

Maybe it was the professional photographer who said to me at 14 years old, “You have pimples on one side of your face and scars on the other; how am I supposed to get a good photo?”

I don’t tell you this in order foAccident 8r you to feel sorry for me. I tell you this because, if you have ever felt afraid to be who you are, If you have EVER been ashamed, as I have been, If you have EVER been told that you are Not enough.  IT IS JUST. NOT. TRUE.

Embrace your flaws. They make you who you were meant to be. This is ONLY ONE OF YOU. And your were created in the image of Perfection.worship

Learn to Love Yourself. This will transform your fantasy’s into a reality because there will be No More excuses. This will help you dream bigger, leap higher and stretch yourself wider then you thought ever possible.

Feel a tug? 5…4…3…2…1….FOLLOW IT.  It could be the path to the life you have always wanted.

You are perfectly designed as you. Love it. Cherish it. Share with the world. It Needs you too.trust journey

The Long Way just Means More Growth

It has been a very long road with this little beauty. From years of infertility, miscarriages, high-risk pregnancy, bed rest, hospital bed rest, high-risk delivery, extremely needy baby, birth of a new busipix-from-phone-043ness as a result, panic attacks by 2 1/2, learning about Social Anxiety, learning how to help Bean function normally, tears….so many tears…….and today…..Kindergarten.

I remember when they first handed Bean to me in the OR, on a gorgeous Day in December.  So swollen from all the fluids I had been pumped with I could barely fold my arm to hold her safely. My ankles hurt, I was SO hungry and my c-section incision ached. pix-from-phone-042

Perfect in my eyes, she could do no wrong.

Our journey together has been filled with so many lessons in Life; I could never share them all. Lessons that have made me a better Mother, friend, wife, sister and daughter. Lessons that were either going to break our relationship or make it stronger. We always chose the second option. Together.2014 11 15_4102

Our biggest journey has been with her anxiety. We didn’t know what it was at first because it showed up randomly with a new environment. She would suddenly shut down and become very stand-off. At first we thought she was being a bit bratty and scolded her for it. But soon enough it started manifesting in ways that showed us a different perspective.

It got to the point where I would avoid certain Lines at Walmart to avoid ‘men,’ bought her ear defenders for loud noises, and let her keep her little routines and ‘quirks’ that seemed to make her feel safe and comfortable. We thought we had it all pretty well under control. pix-from-phone-062

Until – her first Panic Attack. It was late summer after she turned 3 at a bridal shower. The father of the bride came over and tapped her on the shoulder and said ‘Boo!’ (He was NOT trying to be mean)

Well, for Bean, we had told her there would be no ‘boys’ at this event and that shock, combined with the sudden introduction sent her into a panic attack. She had lost control.

What happened in the next 10 minutes changed the course of the rest of our lives.

FullSizeRender_1She panicked.

To an outsider, it probably looked like a little kid that didn’t get her way, having a fit. But this Mamma knew. I carried her outside and collapsed into the grass, in my dress and onto my knees.

I held her.

I let her scream.

She was shaking, in fear and started to sweat. I closed my eyes and started to whisper to her; ‘it’s ok to be upset. Mamma’s here. Mamma’s got you’. She tried the ‘deep breathing’ techniques we had developed with her over the years but she couldn’t catch her breath. She looked up at me, with those big old blue eyes and kept screaming as if to say ‘what is happening?’ She looked so confused and so scared.

Ultimately, it passed. She and Mamma needed a nap.IMG_9918

That day changed how we approach everything with Bean. We are now Always upfront with her whether it is a trip to Walmart or getting a shot at the doctors. We don’t keep secrets. We put her into pre-school a year early to get her into social situations as soon as possible, and even had the most wonderful teachers that Spoke ‘Beep-beep-beep” instead of playing the actual fire alarm.My Happy Kids

Then, today, after years of preparation, is the day I had to send her off into the world of Kindergarten. A day where I had to trust strangers to take in and care for and understand my daughter as much as I do.

21245248_770146373171020_1998876663_nUltimately, as I walked her down the hallway, she started whispering “I am not excited anymore, I am not excited anymore” as she squeezed my hand harder. I stopped, in the middle of a busy, crowded and noisy hallway and I said “It’s is ok to be scared. Mommy is scared too.”

“You are? Why are you scared Mommy?”

“Because this is your first day at school and this is my first day without you. And that scares me.”

“It’s ok Mommy- I will be ok.”

We turned & made it into her class. She placed her lunchbox into the red wagon, removed her coat and joined the other 2 kids on th21245370_770146396504351_1389321902_ne rug. I turned to leave, “Mommy?” she called out to me, (and secretly I wanted her to ask me to stay) “I love you!” She yelled in front of everyone.

“I love you more Bean.”

This little girl has Changed. My. Life.

Good, bad and ugly.

I am grateful for the journey and lessons we have had, and all the great adventures that are to come.

Getting Uncomfortable

Sometimes it is difficult to see what lays ahead, just outside our own contentment.  But a life lived comfortably is Simply; not Lived.

It is never easy to try something new; to step off your usual path. But somehow when we are just brave enough to do it He rewards us two-fold.

So I challenge you today to Do Something that scares you.

Do something you thought you were never capable of doing and then watch the blessings that follow. He Never Fails.

Focus on Progress instead of paralyzing perfection.

Start Cultivating what Matters. Now.

Trust. Leap. Believe. Repeat.

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Everything No One Tells You – Self Image Post Baby

So you spend 9 long months, nurturing and growing a human. You surrender your waistline, you eat things you swore you never would, you give up your desire for sushi, peperoni pizza and tuna fish and you switch from the Retin-A and Salicylic acid acne creams that were working for you, to some all natural store-brand crap that doesn’t work; all in the name of Motherhood.

By the time your little Bambino is ready for the outside world you have pleasantly put on 30-50 pounds, give or take.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No one tells you that  most of this weight will remain attached to your body after the child is removed. Your hips are wider, you have love handles for the first time and you have to continue to wear your maternity cloths just because you have nothing else that fits.

You will do everything you can to feel like yourself faster then your body allows from crash dieting, to extreme workouts, and even using rubber bands to hold your pants together just so you can convince yourself your pre-pregnancy clothes fit.

With my first pregnancy I was introduced to the world of Spanx. The idea behind it was great; a simple undershirt or slip to hold IMG_9199everything in place.  The downside? All that extra weight is also extra skin…..and your have nowhere to tuck that stuff in when you use Spanx.  Epic Fail.

With my second pregnancy, post C-section, I felt better sooner, but not like myself again and ready to exercise until about 3 months post-birth. Started slow and eventually lost the weight running for about a year. I was actually in the best shape of my life and at my heaviest … then, pregnancy #3! Surprise!

After you have a baby, your body still does not belong to you. Your boobs are bigger then you ever dreamed they could become, although you are kind of secretly hoping to slim your waist line Flinn and Momwithout effecting your cup size.  Your pelvis still feels like it could snap in half, your knees buckle when you bend and your feet ache as much as they did in pregnancy.

Intimacy? Even if you wanted too, you tell yourself that if you cannot look at your own body, then you shouldn’t make your husband. IMG_9273

No one tells you that there will be days you look in the mirror and literally Hate Yourself; blotchy facial patches, hormonal acne and bags under your eyes.

No one tells you that it will take you an hour to pick out an outfit because 1/2 of your choices make you feel fat and frumpy and the other 1/2 make you look like you are still pregnant. You will retreat and hide in your home because you have convinced yourself that you do not fit into the socially acceptable post-baby mold.

No one tells you that you have to love yourself no matter what your dream body looks like. There is no right or wrong to it all and it is only a matter of taking it slowly and enjoying the ride. For crying out loud…You GREW A HUMAN!!!  Not everyone is given that opportunity or that superpower – SO CELEBRATE!Mom and Grant

I went out for my first run post-baby #3. Two Sports bras to hold the weight and knee braces so they didn’t give out mid-mile. I was proud of a 12 minute-mile for a 3.2.

Run 2: The additional skin of my body didn’t bounce as much which made the run feel better. 11:20 minute mile for 3.3.

Run 3: 11:50 minute mile…my toughest run this week. I wanted to give up and came home hating myself.

Run 4: 10:28 minute mile for 4.6

Ladies, it is all about encouraging each other! Love yourself first and your love for others will be pure and unconditional. Be patient with yourself and remember it took you 9 months to put on the weight…it should take you at least that long to lose it! Stop comparing yourself to others and to what you believe society thinks you should look like and try to focus on the important stuff…

You ARE A MOM and already PERFECT in your children’s eyes.2014 11 15_4102

Everything No One Tells You – A Parenting Revelation

I went for a run this morning. It was just my 3rd workout post baby. The moment my feet hit the pavement I knew it was going to be a tough run. Everything felt heavy and weighted – including my heart.

No one tells you that when you become a parent, with the birth of that first child, that sound of their first cry and that first time their eyes meet yours….something changes inside of you. Instead of solely a simple, elated and boundless love you end up with concern, fear and worry. You worry about everything from clipping your newborns finger tips when you cut their nails to how many different ways you could lose this child you just met.

My ‘mother induced anxiety‘ kicked in on this morning’s run. FullSizeRender (4)

I am not someone who listens to head phones on a run. I like the quiet. I long for the quiet since I became a mother. I can think, create, relax and meditate. I still hate running…just enjoy time to myself.

I thought about the article I read of that poor 13 year old girl the victim of an attempted kidnapping IN FRONT OF HER MOTHER in a grocery store.  I thought of how Brave that mother had to be. What would I do?

I pictured the worst case scenario and how I could or would react in the same situation. I have 2 hands….I have 3 children. I thought about all the people in this world who don’t get to save their child…who don’t get to be with their child….who don’t get to have a child….

I heard  a car coming up behind me as it slowed and immediately the fight-or-flight kicked in. Do I look back or run? I wish I had a gun. Why did I leave my mace at home? I need a taser gun. Guns….maybe he has a gun….maybe there are more then one of them.

I turned my head slightly to the side to catch the car and anyone in it within my peripheral vision. I noticed a hand reaching out the window and instantly realized it was the newspaper delivery man….same one who almost hit me on a morning run last summer.

I waved. Just keep running.

I tried to focus on birds, on the noise my feet made as they hit the ground. Tried singing a song to the rhythm of the noise.

My worry kicked in regarding family finances. Crap, I forgot to send that check in. I am sure they will send me straight into collections for being late. Then they will mess up my credit. I should call my husband and have him fix this. I cannot call him, he has enough to worry about. How can we get out of this debt? How do we have so much debt just because we had a baby? What is medical insurance actually good for anymore?

Another car came at me, but this time much louder then the last. A middle aged man with what I would usually refer to a ‘clunker’ of a car. Back bumper missing and trunk ajar from a previous accident.

I was reminded that there are so many others who have it worse than me.

dead snimalAbout 2.5 miles in and almost home, I saw something in the road.

It was a squirrel. A dead squirrel.

Now, I know this sounds odd, but this squirrel reminded me of something; to have faith. When this squirrel died his arms were stretched high in the air….like someone in complete surrender to a higher power.

Almost audibly I hear the words; Let go and let God.

I want to be Brave and Let go and let God.

I think of a friend who lost a baby shortly after birth and how her faith helped her to prevail and heal.  Let go and let God.

I think of a woman I met last summer, who is now a friend, who’s spirit I admired her limitless, in-your-face, happiness even though her husband was out to sea for months and she was basically a single mother of 3 small children. Let go and let God.

I think of a friend who has suffered more loss then anyone should in a lifetime, never mind before her 30th birthday. Let go and let God.

I think of a mother who’s child is fighting cancer and a mother who just lost her daughter to cancer and Mothers and Fathers who are facing the disease themselves. Let go and let God.

I want to be brave.  I want to Let go and let God.

I signed on for a new adventure this last week in hopes of relieving some of the daily stresses of being a mother, wife and business owner.

I have to be Brave. I have to let go and Let God.

Be encouraged that someone is looking out for you ALL the time. So whether you find peace in cross-cross-apple-sauce medicating to the hum of the AC, or  in the 2 am feeding in which you hear sucking and gulping as you literally nurse your child to life – try to listen. Try to hear that voice that is speaking clearing and directly and allow it to take those worries away.

Throw your arms in the air and simply Let Go….and Let God.worship**Check out my sweet friend Beck L McCoy and how she is being brave! www.BeckyLMcCoy.com or www.facebook.com/BeckyLMcCoy**

 

 

I am 30 Years Dead Today

Today I am 30 years dead.Accident 1

No, I am not making a joke about turning 30 years old, as I was already 5 years old the day I died.

Let me explain.

It was March 28, 1986, Good Friday and the family and I were on our way to Grandma’s house for Good Friday dinner and coloring eggs. I sat in the third row of the brown station wagon, driver’s side, next to my older sister. My younger sister and brother sat in the second row with Mom and Dad, obviously, in front.Accident 2

I fell asleep on the long drive just after my siblings and I ‘Care Bear Stared’ cars from driving too closely to the back bumper of the car. At some point the 5-point neon orange harness got uncomfortable to turn around in so the fun ended and I closed my eyes.

It was the intersection of Richards Grove Road and Route 32 the truck ran a red and T-boned our tiny car. I was asleep at the time, thumb in mouth and same hand covering half my face out of habit.Accident 3

The side window of the car had imploded into the car and shattered itself across my face with a force that pushed my left eye, under the eyelid, back into my head and aligned with my left ear. I was told that it looked like someone had sprayed my face with sparkles when they found me unconscious and still buckled in the back row of the car, as no bleeding had begun when my Daddy came to unbuckle me. Little did he know, that I was long gone, and already dead.

I died on impact. I went from dreams about Care Bear Cousins to a completely new place I could not have imagined. I was weightless, calm, warm and fearless. I felt as though I was at Home; the most familiar and safe place I knew and yet nothing around me was familiar.

There was a voice.

It was not an audible voice like you or I hear on a day-to-day basis, but more of an innate tone for which my ears were not necessary. I turned to the voice instantly with a desire to put a face to the voice.

A light. It was a light brighter than any lightning, explosion or sunburst I have ever seen. It didn’t hurt my eyes or make me want to look away but instead made me want to walk towards it. I did.

As I spoke back to this gentleman, he asked me if I wanted to stay with Him or go Home.

It was at this moment I realized I was in a word different from the one I fell asleep in an hour before. I started to hear commotion and my gaze went downward. I saw my tiny little 5-year old body lying on a stretcher along the side of a moving ambulance. I saw an EMT sitting in a chair while taking vitals and I saw the back of my Daddy’s head as he rested it on his folded arms against my side. There was a sheet or blanket of some kind covering my face and my father’s shoulders shaking, and his fist hitting the gurney caught my attention. I had never seen Daddy cry before.

I looked back towards the light and said, “I want to go Home.”

It was in the instant following that statement that I found my Daddy’s hand in mine and felt his breath and tears on my skin.

Then, there was Pain. There was pain along my entire body, in my eye, in my face. My head was pounding and I kept trying to lift my hand to take whatever was on my face, off. I wanted nothing more than to rub the ‘sand’ out of my eyes.

My Dad kept my hands at my side and I started to cry. Now I was scared. Now was in pain.

I must have passed out at this point because my next memory is waking up from my first surgery. There were bandages covering ½ my face, and they smelled. They smelled like cotton gauze, bacitracin and blood. I could not see out of my left eye and the bandage was tucked under my bottom lip in the most uncomfortable way.Accident 4

I had a frontal compressed fracture of the skull, broken nose and an eye they thought would have to be removed. Dad signed the papers to remove it immediately following the accident and returned to his prayer group. The doctors went in to remove the eye and as if Gods hand was present it moved directly back into its original place; 20:20 vision.Accident 5a

I was 5. I had just turned 5. Having a 4 year-old myself now I cannot imagine what my parents felt when this happened to our family. My near death experiences change me. Not just because I have come back from death but because of everything I had to face growing up as a result of the accident.Accident 5

I was bullied. I was ridiculed. I had multiple plastic, reconstructive surgeries for many years that followed to include one just after the millennial New Year to reconstruct my forehead.

As a child, I wore a hockey helmet to prevent my skull from caving back in after them pulled 50 pieces of skull bone out of my brain due to the initial injury of the accident. It was the Spring after the accident (about a year later) that I decided I would stop trying to make friends and stay inside at recess. Accident 6I sat in a hot pink bean bag chain in the book corner of my kindergarten class and played alone. While alone, I sang to myself. I don’t remember what I sang, but only that singing seemed to excuse me from hear the names the children called me; Monster, Scar Face, Ugly.

My teacher heard me singing and somehow I ended up agreeing to sing in the talent show coming up in a few weeks. More terrified to say no and disappoint her, then I was to sing, I caved and started making plans for my first performance.Accident 7

I sang Dumb Dog from Annie, with a good friend dressed as the dog and swaying to the beat as I sang, I looked at the cracks in the hardwood floor on the stage to my elementary school stage. I mumbled most of the song, but belted the crap out of the bridge when the time came.

I felt a warmth come over my body, I felt safe. I felt Home again.Accident 8

The moment the audience applauded, I remember looking up for the first time and feeling accepted for the first time since the accident. I was no longer being made fun of by my classmates, and I was instead being praised by more than just my family. I found a safe place and never wanted to leave.

 

Although I had found a safe place I will not lie to you and tell you that life was easy from that point. I faced long battles of depression, insecurity, debated suicide, suffered from anxiety and put myself in terrible situations that resulted in more emotional and physical trauma. I suffered a lot, but always found a place of safety on stage.

I often wondered why I was given a second chance at life when so many others are only given one shot and I try my best to live every day understanding that everything I have been through has only been part of the journey.

I just keep singing. That is who I am and who I know I was meant to be. I have never know in what capacity this would be or in what type of music. But today, 30 years Dead, I find myself given the opportunity to sing in our church’s Good Friday Service, which I have never been asked to do.

I cannot help but to feel as though this is my journey; to give back to the bright light and voice that gave my life back to me…not just on the Spring afternoon in March of 1986, but on Good Friday long ago, at Calvary.IMG_9158

Parenting for Real – When you Have to be a Super Mom

I was a Super Mom last night. Yup, one of those nights when you have to use every ounce of energy God gave you and then find the reserves to use and then just keep trucking….Women were designed to be Super Moms.

The evening started as routine for us these last few days. Both kids fighting a cold and nasty cough which seems to escalate when they play outside or just as they lay down to go to sleep. They both got their Allergy medication and extra vitamin C. Their humidifiers were on and diffusers locked and loaded with enough cinnamon and orange to stop any cough. In the midst of the hectic evening routine my son somehow got Cinnamon Essential Oil in his eye and I left the humidifier, filling, I mean, overflowing with water, while I tend to my son. My Husbands finds the flood now across the kitchen floor because my mind shut off all unessential tasks in order to tend to my screaming child and forgot about the running water.

Both kids in bed and sleeping. It was 6:59 EST.

I go to finish dinner dishes, Dad to iron his shirt and we meet in our room to finish the 2 loads of laundry that needs folding and sorting. I remind him that there is a dead mouse in the dropped ceiling and he needs to find it before it stinks up the house and he kindly smiles and reminds me that he is getting his hair cut the following afternoon.

Normal.Normal here

I jump in the shower and selfishly smile because there are no littles barging in and creating a cold draft of air into my steamy hot peace and quiet. As I go to get the homemade brown sugar-vanilla scrub from the recycled chopped garlic jar, I heard something. That must be one of the dogs.

Wrong.

It was my son. In the hallway and outside the bathroom door.

Immediately, as his mother, I forget I am soaking wet and try to dry my feet and turn off the water fast enough to get to him and soothe whatever need he has. Through the wall, to the other bathroom I hear a slam of the toilet seat, and flush and then footsteps of my husband as the smell of hand-sanitizer fills the air.

Dad got him.

I took a breath and started again to finish a normal nightly routine. 7:43

The Hubs and I finally get settled and look at the clock laughing that we are old and in bed some nights before 9:00. He shuttered at the idea of our friends finding out, but we are an early morning family, because right now, that is what our children need.

8:37 Cries from my Son’s room.

I go in this time thinking it will be a quick turnaround but something is wrong. He start tossing and turning and crying, which is normally soothed simply and quickly by my presences alone. He was grabbing at his right ear and telling me time and time again he wanted to walk. (i.e. be bounced in my arms and walked endlessly up and down the hallway).

I walk, but he continues to struggle to settle. I circle his room and he keeps rubbing his ear.

So if I know his ear is bugging him and he won’t settle then I need to soothe his pain.

Took his temperature: 101.5 = Tylenol.FlipSleeping

Pulled out a single dose of Bubble Gum chewable for the little guy and he happily took it.

I got into his bed this time, even though his mattress is really tough on this 33 week pregnant body and he found ‘skin’ like all long-term post-breast fed children do (pinching my neck). He started snoring and his pacifier fell out of his mouth, signaling me that I might be able to sneak out.the vapors

His grip on my neck tightened and he immediately started crying in pain again.

Too soon to go.

We repeated this dance 3 more times and each time he awakened, it was more sever crying.

I got a kick from the unborn and it was time to get up and get some reinforcement so I could empty my bladder.

9:36pm

With myself on the edge of our California King and my Husband on the other side my Son tossed and turned with fury for hours.

9:48 His knee in my face

10:02 His foot in my kidney

10:36 His finger in my eye

11:16 His rear end in my neck

11:45 His forehead touching my forehead. I felt his labored breaths go directly up my nose upon every exhale. I imagined all the germs, spit, snot and whatever else he had in his dirty toddler boy mouth, infecting my pores. It was nauseating.

12:05 His hands in my armpit

12:36 His toes in my ear

1:06 He wakes crying again. We toss and turn in what room he left me in my own bed. My husband grumbles as if this is the first time he has been awaken by the beast all night. I don’t think he realized I had not yet actually fallen sleep. His crying is more directed this time and I realize he was just as tired as I was.loves his mommy

This is when your Super Mom powers kick in. There is something that changes in a Mother when they realize there is a problem to solve with their children no matter how much or how little sleep they have gotten. My Son was just trying to tell me something and I needed to pull an Inspector Gadget and figure it out. It is these moments in parenting that separate those who can handle the big guns and those who cannot.

He did not want to sleep, but kept asking to watch ‘Mickey Mouse Cub-house’ instead = sleepy boy = sleeplessness.

Rubbing his left ear now but refusing to take any more medicine = he was so tired he was obviously not thinking clearly.

As he nestled into my body to try to comfort himself I felt how hot his forehead had become = fever. Possible ear infection.

I added up the hours between medications and decided we were due for Tylenol at 2:30.

Clock Check = 2:16. Close enough.

He refused the chewable, so I grabbed liquid and bribed him with ‘Mickey Mouse Cub-house.’ He took the meds, we together, got back into his bed, and pulled out the tablet. Unfortunately for us, the Watch Disney Jr application had updated and I needed to re-Happy Kidsload….No Time. We swapped out for PBS Kids and I prayed he wouldn’t catch on. With just 16% left on the battery life I closed my eyes and prayed for some time to sleep. I left him, watching Curious George and headed back to my room.

2:36 I closed my eyes.

3:01 the battery died. I heard my son trying to turn on his lights and get out his toys. I ran to the kitchen and grabbed my tablet, desperate for more sleep – or any sleep. 71% battery…

‘Mickey Mouse Cub-house’ worked, I stayed in my son’s bed this time, but not before checking on my daughter and getting a nice cold glass of water for myself and my Son.

My daughter was sideways in bed so I tiptoed over to adjust her. I noticed she was covered in sweat from head to toe and I thought….seriously? I am going to have two sick kids tonight? I gently placed her head on the correct end of her bed, kissed her, said a quick prayer that she was be healed in her sleep and left to go back into my son’s germ infested gas chamber.

3:21, I made myself as comfortable as I could and closed my eyes.

Bang. The IPad has fallen between the wall and the bed. Disaster. Again. 3:53

He started crying again, part due to how tired he was and partly due to the fact he couldn’t breathe well. My husband appeared in the door way and said “are you going to sleep or what?”

I wanted to chuck a shoe at him, but fortunately for him, my son’s slippers were not even within reach.

“Good-night love.” I said instead trying to kindly shoo him away.

Men were not made to be Moms. They need sleep, they need pain meds, and they need as much TLC as your children do. They were made to be strong in other ways; opening pickle jars, taking care of their families, trying to pick up and wrangle the children when Mom has had enough, to be an example of kindness and faith for the family and to be the protector. Men were not meant to be Moms.

I heard my soon yawn and I jumped at the opportunity of sleep. I pulled him in as close as I could get him; the tip of my nose touching the side of his and my eyelashes getting tangled in his as he cried. I remember feeling thankful at that moment for this little guy who wanted nothing more than his mamma. I was his Hero. I was his Super Mom.

“Sweet little boy, Mommy is right here. Let’s try to sleep. It’s ok. Shhhhhh. It’s ok” I whispered.SickBoy

I felt his whole body go limp and his pacifier fall out of his mouth and hit me in the lip.

I snuck out of his room and into my own bed. Grabbed as many pillows as I could find, propped myself up and closed my eyes. I prayed to quickly fall asleep but my concentration was broken by the unborn; with a severe case of the hiccups. It was 4:16

A Mother’s work is never done. Honestly, running on fumes at the moment and I wouldn’t have life any other way.

So the next time you are up all night pulling a Super Mom move, remember that these moments are a gift. Although they seem frustrating and annoying at the time, remember that these moments will be gone all too soon. You will wake up one day and it won’t be ‘cool’ to be so in love with your mom, they won’t need you to pack them a lunch with a heart carved into the peanut butter. They won’t need you to bathe or to pick out their breakfast.

The ONLY curse in parenting is that time doesn’t stop and they grow up too soon. So when God gives you these extra little moments to spend with your children….don’t resent them; cherish them.

My Happy Kids

Everything No One Tells You – Trying to Conceive After a Miscarriage Cont’d

To be completely honest, I think the miscarriage took more out of us emotionally then either of us were willing to admit. We still had faith in the process, but had lost hope it would work for us.

We began our 3 insurance covered rounds of gonadotropin injections –

Round 1 – Not pregnant.

Round 2 – Not pregnant.

Negatice PG Test

Round 3 – and the last round our insurance would cover….. and something went wrong….

If you have ever been in a situation which required an IUI, it is a process you do not easily forget. Something which is supposed to be done in the privacy of your own home suddenly becomes a forced, planned and a very calculated event.

Before 9am, my Prince was required to drop off a sample so that it could be tested for agility, speed and form….and No, not the kind displayed by the Broncos at the Super Bowl last night….

Then I headed into the office after 11am for the Intra-uterine insemination (IUI).

I arrive as schedule, they take me back into a room and discuss the results of the semalysis from this morning’s sample and then they make me read all the labels to make sure it is My Husband’s sample they are holding and are going to use for the insemination; Very controlled and very calculated events.

I then am asked to get into a gown and so happily toss my feet into the stirrups at the end of the office bed before draping my lower extremities with a cloth piece of fabric which was obviously supposed to make me feel more comfortable with the whole naked thing. Fail.

The nurse walked in.

Now to her credit, she was an APRN, very sweet and incredibly talented. However, she was unwed, single, no children and very emotionless when tending to my bedside…none of this made the process any easier.

The drape was lifted and she tried for the first time, to insert the catheter.

Now men, feel free to shy away at this point as you might get queasy.

For an IUI, there is a flexible catheter threaded through the iuiwoman’s cervix. This requires that there is room between these pieces of cartilage which means there must be slight force used. For a women trying to conceive, never been pregnant or has never had her cervix altered, this can be painful…as one could imagine.

Her first attempt, she hit a wall. “Oh,” She stated like a Head Cheerleader trying to let you down easy that you did Not get on the squad, “Your cervix is tilted.”

My first though? What the crap does that even mean? But I did not speak aloud.

Attempt #2 = Wall

“Ok, honey.” She placed a hand on one of my knees at this point, speculum-aforcing gravity to take hold of the metal speculum and instantly creating a pain and discomfort to my now full bladder. “I am going to try one more time, but your cervix is J-shaped and tilted so I am having a hard time getting the catheter through.”

After grabbing hold of the speculum again, obviously not thinking of the fact there was a human attached to it, she shoved the catheter in again.

The sensation was no different from the first two failed attempts, but she said she got it through….so in goes the sample.

Now the standard process for an IUI is to lay with your hips elevated for 10 minutes after the process is complete in order to keep the chances higher that something from the Sample will do what it was supposed to.

She removed the catheter and with it, what felt like the entire specimen sample, exited as well.

I immediately knew, she did NOT make it through my deformed and confidence-shaken cervix and we just wasted an ENTIRE CYCLE trying to conceive; but I was too intimidated to say anything.

I lay there, for 10 minutes more, praying that just 1 sperm would stay behind and help us to have a baby. I prayed that the Nurse would come back in and tell me she messed up. I prayed that my tearcervix was a better performer. I prayed for the baby we never got to meet. I prayed for my now bruised bladder to hang in there so this didn’t become one of the most embarrassing events. I prayed this would be the fastest wasted 10 minutes of my life.

Round #3 – Not Pregnant.

When Mommy Says to Take a Nap….Parenting for Real

When Mommy Says to take a nap it probably because you’re tired

It might be because you didn’t sleep well the night before

Or because you are getting over a cold and simply need to rest

It might be because the look in your little eyes says there is a storm brewing and she is trying to get a head start on it

When Mommy says to take a nap it is usually because you need one, but sometimes when Mommy tells you to take a nap it actually means Mommy needs a break

Maybe it is because she put on a happy face all weekend in order to avoid questions of health and it finally caught up with her

Maybe it is because of the extra 25 pounds she has to carry because of your new sibling due in 10 weekspix-from-phone-094

Maybe it is because 5 poopy diapers was just over her limit for this morning

Maybe Mommy said to take a nap because the sibling rivalry is too much today

Maybe Mommy said to take a nap because she doesn’t want you to see her cry

Maybe Mommy had too little sleep because she was up worrying about you and how well she did the day before

Maybe Mommy has taken on too muchmouth shut

Maybe Mommy has too many baby hormones roaring through her body

Maybe Mommy feels like she knows nothing at all today

Maybe Mommy said to take a nap because she wants you to see her as your strength, your comfort and shelter

Maybe it is because you tried to change your own poopy diaper…without wipes

Maybe Mommy needs a break from holding it all together

Maybe it was the tooth mark you made in her shoulder

Maybe because the screaming has finally altered her brain chemistry

Maybe Mommy needs some quiet time herself

Maybe it was the swollen cheek bone from your loving head-butts

Maybe it is because she is tired of finding new scratches on your brother from your joy of pinching him

Maybe Mommy said to take a nap because she was up all weekend wiping your nose, your rear end and your tearsFlipSleeping

Maybe Mommy said to take a nap because she is worried about how the new bundle of joy is going to fit into our current little family dynamic

Maybe it was because of the melted marker caps you hid next to the wood stove

Maybe Mommy said to take a nap because her feet hurt from stepping on the blocks you left all over the floor

Maybe it was the racecar you bruised your sisters leg with when you threw it at her

Maybe Mommy said to take a nap so she doesn’t shake you, chase you into your room or take the time to save the dogs from your attempt at gymnastics

Maybe it was the urine she found in your emptied Hot Wheels box

Maybe Mommy said to take a nap because she needs a break catching you mid-air off the couch, off the counter, off the shelves or down the stairsClimbing Cabnets

Maybe Mommy didn’t eat enough because she was too busy catering to your every desire

Maybe Mommy said to take a nap because she is having her own emotional breakdown and needs time to recover from the 3rd one you had today

Maybe Mommy said to take a nap because she needs a moment to take a breath, catch her breath, have some tea and start over again in an hour

Maybe Mommy said to take a nap because, to put it simply, Mommy knows best.SickBoy

Maybe Mommy wants to be the best she can be for you and for this reason you need to take a nap. Maybe when you wake up she will be kinder, more patient, sweeter, more forgiving and more understanding.

So for the sake of everyone around the world and all the Mammas out there…my littles….listen to Mommy and please go take a nap.Happy Kids

 

 

Parenting for Real – When your Kids See Your Meltdown

BlocksmessToday my kids saw it. They saw Mamma reach her limit and crack.

I am not talking about losing my temper or yelling loudly. I am not talking about throwing the dirty laundry down the stairs forcefully enough to make myself feel better. I am talking about that moment when you literally reach a physical and emotional peak and there is nowhere to go but down. I am referring to that moment in motherhood that is extremely magnified when you suffer from anxiety and depression. I am talking about Parenting for Real while still trying to find yourself under all the negative talk the little voice in your head makes.

I don’t like to feel out of control. I like my schedule, I like my routine and I certainly don’t appreciate when people put pressure on me to step outside my comfort zone.

laundryMy kids saw me lose control today. It wasn’t even 8:00am.

I don’t know if it was the dirty clothes on the floor stretching from the hallway and down the flight of stairs. I don’t know if it was the yogurt covered raisins covering the kitchen tiles. I cannot remember if it was the mess of blocks that I had just put my OCD to good use organizing. I don’t remember what set it off exactly, but it happened.

My kids saw me drop to my knees and lose control of every emotion I was trying to hold in. They saw their Mamma’s anxiety take complete control over their life and for a split second they were scared of it, and me.

For scaring my children, I feel guilty. For having a complete emotional breakdown in front of them for the first time in both their lives; I feel no guilt. They needed to see me hit my limit so they understand that I have them.raisins

Too many of us suffer in hiding; silently struggling with anxiety and/or depression and a constant internal monologue that we cannot measure up. We fight the urge to ignore those voices, but fail miserably most of the time. We blame it on lack of sleep, being too busy, too distracted, hormonal, spread too thin, or not having enough support. We find every reason we can to evaluate and defend ourselves, but what we don’t do is forgive ourselves for being human. We feel as though, as Mothers, if we are not Superhero Moms, we are not good enough.

We put pressure on ourselves to keep a clean house, to remember birthdays, pay bills, work out a budget, plan dinner, play with our children and still try to support the family financially whenever possible. We were created to be strong because we are so tough on ourselves.

I got into the car to bring my daughter to school and as I turned up the radio, as demanded by the 4-year old in the third row, the words were piercingly poignant; I’m Gonna Dance to the Beat of Amazing Grace and Hold on to the Promise that you made, Cause I know whatever’s gonna come my way – You’re here with me and Its Gonna Be a Good Day.

So here I sit, an outgoing introvert who suffers from anxiety, with my son on my lap and a fresh cup of coffee, trying to fight the butterflies in my gut which want me to stop sharing this with you.

You. Are. Not. Alone.     EVER.

No matter which way you look at it.

So throw things, shout, cry or even hit a wall – but Don’t feel as though you don’t measure up as a Mother. You ARE a mother, and that is Superhero enough for me and my Kids.whywomencry