Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Look Back at the Unforgettable 2011

There are no huge crowds, alcohol soaked midnight kisses, or giant lighted balls dropping from rooftops. No party hats, drunk strangers, and loud bands. Tonight does not end in a haze of smoke and laden trays of food.


This amazing year will pass, much like it began, watching movies with my husband, the glow of the christmas tree casting soft shadows as the dogs lay in our laps. Except this year, I am not feeling my little boy kicking inside my stomach and dreaming about what he will be like this time next year. No. This year passes with my livingroom floor littered with his childish delights, his warm body tucked into his bed that we lovingly picked out and placed in his decorated room that I stressed over the last detail of.






I can't help but be sad to see 2011 go. It was an amazing year, full of adventure, love, hope, dreams and joy. I look forward to 2012 and watching my son grow but I will always hold 2011 close to my heart and remember it fondly.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas 2011 Captured

This Christmas has been amazing. It was our first Christmas with Matthew and he did so well.







Excitement Mounts leading up to the Big Day:



























A tradition is born. Golden Books Christmas Collection has the Story of Jesus, An Animals Christmas and The Night Before Christmas all in one.























OMG. Santa came! (and no, Santa did not bring a cat, but the cat apparently slept all night on the chair Santa did bring!)








We expected him to be interested in the boxes and paper but he actually wanted the toys. He could care less about the paper. He LOVES his new toys (and like any kid totally ignored the clothes. LOL)










Needless to say he had many naps and was oversimulated but it was a fantastic day. It's nice to be at home with a content baby, in our pajamas winding down with the remanants of love and excitement scattered across the floor.



A week of vacation filled with playing with new toys, snuggles, (and sickness thrown in there too) and straightening up. My livingroom now officially looks like there's a kid in the house and not just a few strategically placed infant items. Nooo....Toys R' US actually threw up on my floor. It has truly become a family room...which means I thinks its time to redecorate a little bit to make it more oriented to children (I.E. take out the glass coffee table and the sheer drapes to the floor that he loves to yank on etc.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

MIA-Mommy guilt

I had planned to do so much this week of Christmas vacation: clean out closets, goodwill donations, paint the livingroom, several blog posts, visit friends. Then sickness struck. I've spent the majority of the vacation dealing with a sick baby. Yesterday, we were both sick-not a fun day.

Today, I did what I swore I would never do. I took my baby to daycare even though I have the day off. He was in such a great mood this morning. Happy, playful, inquisitive. I, on the other hand, feel like a dump truck has parked inside my chest. I'm hacking up lovely globs of goop, I'm achy and exhausted. So I got dressed, gave him breakfast, played with him for thirty minutes and hopped off to daycare where I left him happily diving in the toy basket with his friends.

Mommy guilt however, will not allow me to rest. I can't fathom snoozing the day away while munchkin is at daycare and not with me, so I've been trying to sweat out the sickness with some major housecleaning.

One part of me is ready to fall on my face. The other part of me is enjoying the deep clean feel that is so hard to achieve in small bursts of time and/or with a little one underfoot.

At the risk of being a super bad mommy, I think I will allow myself a nice steamy bubble bath when I'm too pooped to clean and then go get the munckin. I'm trying to justify him being away from me on a day off: deep cleaning the house, I'm sick, he's out of routine with this week away from daycare so one day will do him some good, I'm paying the full week anyway, its playtime with his friends, etc. It's not working but I'm trying.

Do you ever get a babysitter/daycare on a day off? Do you have Mommy guilt over it?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa's Binge Eating Issue

I was joking earlier today on Facebook when I posted "mmmmm then again, these ginger butterscotch cookies are pretty scrumptious too. Maybe I should leave carrot sticks and celery for Santa and save him from his bad binge habits. I mean really, I would only be doing him a favor by keeping these cookies for myself right? The best gift I could give Santa and his OLD ASS JOLLY self would be one more year without a cholesterol fueled artery clogged heartattack. So that settles it: Santa is getting a bottle of water, carrots and celery and a Bayer aspirin. I'm sure he will thank me. ::nomscookies::"






Honestly it made me think though. Being an overweight person, I have pretty much dieted since I was a teenager. I struggle with my weight. In today's ever increasing waistline of a world, we are bombarded with Biggest Loser, Weight Watchers, etc. day in and day out. Guilt assaults us when we have a dessert. We struggle to teach our kids good eating habits and exercise to combat a generation of video game addicts. "Too Fat for Fifteen" wars with Fast Food Commercials and we as parents worry about how to best keep our children healthy and educate them about the issue.






Except at Christmas time. At Christmas we parade out the Jolly much loved FAT GUY who brings them toys in exchange for cookies and milk. It's okay for this guy to binge eat on cookies, in fact we train our kids to bribe him with fattening snacks, but they have to understand its not okay for them? I get that we only leave a serving size (or two) out for him but times that by millions of homes and I'm surprised this guy doesn't kill over before the night is through. We can chalk it up to him being magic and burning a crap ton of calories going up and down chimneys but obviously his calorie intake far exceeds his output since he's so rotund his Belly jiggles like a bowl full of jelly. (and how do you not imagine Bill Cosby in a Santa Suit everytime you hear that line?)






Maybe society should tone down Santa's girth and put HIM on a diet like the rest of us. We may not need so many gym memberships and New Years resolutions if we really did start leaving healthy snacks for Santa.






My joke turned into truth. I really am putting out celery and carrots this year...but just in case, I'm leaving cookies as well. I don't want to piss of Jolly Old St. Nick on Matthew's first year. He will either be pleased I'm thinking of his healthy and giving him options or be pleased that I thought of snacks for his reindeer. Either way, I've got Matthew covered! ha ha

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Power of Mama

There is no greater sound in the world than your baby’s laughter and coo’s, except the word mama. When you hear mama for the first time, your heart soars.
As your baby gets the grasp of the word and begins to know how to use it your heart settles into a comfortable joyous pitter patter as your relationship with your child changes. It breaks from pure instinct and trust and becomes a give and take of need and love.
Then one day your child foregoes just crying when he is upset and starts calling out mamamamamama through tears. You rush in with soothing voice and he reaches up to you. You take him in your arms, he tucks his head under you chin and sighs with a contented “mama” and your heart melts.
You know your world will never be the same because nothing can ever trump that feeling right there. In that moment you are protector, you are wanted, you are loved, you are the world. Everything you ever wanted falls away in the magic of being a mom.
The feeling never diminishes but grows as that relationship does. You puff up with pride when your 5 month old shows off his verbal advancement in front of others. That’s right, bitches, I’m the momma.
You feel elated when he prefers to be comforted by you over everyone, calling mama. When you walk in a room and he lights up with arms outstretched and that happy squeal of mamamamamama issues forth, you pick him up and he grabs your face to plant big slobbery open mouth kisses all over you. It only gets better from there as he grows and develops. You are still the person he is excited to see, but now he can crawl over and climb your legs, pulling up with fistfuls of your pants to smile big toothy grins at you. Bouncing in your arms with a little growling pant of “mama” and squeezing hugs.
These are the moments you live for as a mom. This is what you wanted for so long, and it is everything you imagined it to be and more. You have a whole new appreciation for how your mother feels about you and you want to hug her every time you see her now. For there will never be enough hugs, enough mamas, enough slobbery kisses, head tucked under the chin hugs, and squeals of delight. And oh how those simple things mean so much.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Great Santa Claus Debate of 2011

I’m pretty much over the Popular Santa Claus debate and numerous articles not only denouncing him but Jesus as well. This new generation of parents is super neurotic and trying so desperately to appear wiser than their parents in how to raise children. I get that technology has come a long way and with an increasing population we have to adapt to new safety standards (upgraded car seats etc.). My question is: Is your life so terrible that you want to change EVERYTHING about your upbringing? Do you hate your parents so much that your superiority complex is forcing you to embrace some skewed version of authenticity and impose it on your child?

This whole Non-lying grasp on reality statement that people are clinging desperately to is pathetic in my opinion. If you are really going to wave that flag at the Holiday Parade than you don’t need to bother with Christmas at all. There is no point in giving your child Barbie dolls, or video games, or Lego’s because that may stimulate their imaginations and playtime fantasy. Don’t bother buying movies and ban all the cartoons because they may develop their willing suspension of disbelief.

When they are nine and asking WHY DO I HAVE TO GO TO BED be prepared to be honest, after all you didn’t tell them there was a Santa Claus so you have to tell them “because you are driving me insane and I need a fucking glass of wine in peace you obnoxious little brat.” That is parenting realism.

Granted I may be given to exaggeration over future scenarios but that’s what happens when you have a sense of humor and overdeveloped imagination. Something I enjoy using when the reality of politics, economy, job etc. come bearing down upon me. You see, reality is harsh enough when you grow up, I can’t see the point in robbing the innocence from children by shoving it down their throats and not nurturing a little harmless fantasy in tradition. Refute my beliefs all you want. Puff up like a rooster and strut your statistics and broken trust sob stories. I will listen (and probably laugh a little to myself because I’m a bitch like that).

While I happily bake cookies for Santa and wrangle my child away from ripping bows off presents and watch The Grinch and The Santa Clause, I’ll think how sad it is for you that you couldn’t appreciate your parent’s efforts to create magic and fun for just a little while for you.

Just as there are an enormous number of posts and articles about defending the stance AGAINST Jesus and Santa Claus (and I refuse to link the ones I’ve read here because that gives them more credit and clicks than they deserve) there are equally a number of defenders that have waxed poetically and written amazing words of encouragement (like Heir to Blair). Thank you for that, but I’m not in the mood to do so.

Perhaps you do catch more flies with honey but I’m sick to death of reading this nonsense. How can you teach your child to believe in something they can’t see is real like Santa and God? REALLY? I’m guessing they had coal in their stockings and have never experienced the empowering embrace of the holy spirit. People who counter the “grace” and beauty of Christmas with “what about the poor, do they not deserve grace and beauty. Does your Jesus not care about them? How do you explain that you monsters? How can your God only favor people with money?”

Do you honestly sit around day after day all year long worrying about how to feed the poor or do you flourish that nugget as a negative morsel for this time of year only? Seriously (and don’t lie, Santa might be believed in then!). You can’t honestly tell me that you live in destitution so that you may help the poor, needy, etc more efficiently.

I work hard for what I have. Am I supposed to rob my child of joy, innocence, pleasure because someone else can’t afford to do that for their child? I donate, volunteer etc. but I’m supposed to feel guilty about Santa visiting my house because I’ve been blessed when he can’t someone else’s? That’s absurd. I’m not robbing my child of something when I bust my ass in order to provide it for him just because someone else doesn’t have the same thing.

You might as well chastise everyone for having the audacity to have the Internet and be able to blog in the first place when there are members of society who are illiterate and do not know how to use computers. Disadvantaged portions of the population who are dependent on government programs and charitable organizations to even live while you sit on your widening asses reading other’s diatribes. Illogical.

If you don’t want to participate in Christmas, then don’t. If you don’t want to believe in Santa, then don’t. If you don’t want to believe in Jesus, then don’t. But don’t ROB others of their freedoms just so you can justify yours. Someone teaching their child about Santa does not afflict you in any capacity. Displaying a Nativity Scene in their yard does not make your eyes bleed. If you believe in nothing, than nothing should bother you. If Santa, God and Jesus are lies, then passing a lit home with carolers singing songs of joy and praise should tickle your funny bone not enrage you and make you want to post signs of denouncement and plaster your accusations on every blog you can find. What is it hurting you whether someone tells their child about Santa and Jesus?

Santa Claus is grace, innocence, giving, beauty, youth, dreams, and spirit. He is twinkling lights, the sound of jingle bells, anticipation, and joy. He is the power to believe in something bigger than oneself. He is an embodiment of the gift of Christmas.

Jesus IS Christmas. He is kindness, charity, beauty and blessings. He loved the little children.

There are so many celebrations at this time of year based on tradition, religion etc that celebrating one does not diminish another. Knowing that some traditions for one stems from traditions from another does not diminish that idea in the least. We are constantly borrowing what we love, upgrading, changing as well as appreciating nostalgia and depending on rituals long loved.

I embrace it all. I wallow in reindeer and church pageants and black Friday shopping. I incorporate trees and movies and baking. I am enriched by love and peace and joy. I embrace Santa and God and Jesus. I delight in Christmas and all the season brings.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Unsoothable




Last night, I was going to post about my great disappointment in my lack of popularity preventing my child from getting invites to birthday parties. It hurt my feelings that my impression on other parents would inhibit my child’s dance card so to speak. (He was not invited to a birthday party for his classmates 1st birthday when other kids were). I realize this is me projecting my fear and is completely shallow but I have this deep seated fear that parents will ostracize my child because they don't like me.

Then amidst the normal hectic evening schedule, my child had a complete and utter emotional breakdown. He didn’t want to sleep, he didn’t want to eat, and he didn’t want a bath. He didn’t know what he wanted. Daddy couldn’t pacify him. Momma couldn’t pacify him. He screamed and cried hysterically for almost three hours.

At first I was a little angry with the situation. His meltdown coincided with dinner and I just wanted him to eat so I could eat and go to bed. I had come home from a long day at work after three nights of not sleeping due to his whining/teething/congestion and I desperately wanted to sleep. So when he got fussy and refused to eat, I got frustrated. Then I got mad at myself and started tearing up because I got frustrated with him. I had to do deep breaths. Stephen took over so I could eat but I had lost my appetite.

From there, it went into full melt down mode and emotionally I was drained. I wanted to cry because I couldn’t fix whatever was wrong. Nothing worked. I rocked, I walked, I sang. I even offered him THE BOOBS which pacified him until I couldn’t take the pain of empty sucking anymore, which prompted him to scream more. Apparently this weekend wasn’t the most opportune time to go dry and wean him but my body made that choice, I didn’t and now he (and all of us) must suffer for it.

Those three hours were by far the worst three hours of his life to date. I can’t imagine what it must be like for new moms with colicky babes hours and days on end with unsolvable crying.

He finally wore himself out and went to sleep. It’s amazing how draining just a few hours of tending an upset child can be. All the emotions going through my head: Why can’t I comfort him? I’m a terrible mother! What if there is something seriously wrong that I’m not recognizing. I’m a terrible mother! I’m so tired, baby please go to sleep. I can’t do this all night. I’m a terrible mother!

We gave him Tylenol for teething pain, his amber necklace is on, Vick’s vaporizer steaming up his room, Child’s vapor rub on his chest, Gas Medicine. The combination plus the crying at least lulled him into one of his best nights in a long time. Granted he didn’t stay in his crib but an hour or two but he settled right down curled into me in the twin daybed in his room…and that’s where we slept ALL night.

That bed hurts my back lately but a stiff back is a small price to pay for a night of quiet sleep after the ordeal we have been through.

His top two teeth have come in simultaneously (just as his bottom two did) and they are completely through the skin now. His fourth bottom tooth is showing but not through yet. I’m hoping we are on the down swing of the teething trauma and get a reprieve for a few days.

It pains me unbearably to see my baby unhappy. It rips my heart out when I can’t soothe him. It makes me question my ability to parent, my emotional state, my everything. Why am I not good enough to make him happy? I know, logically, that I’m doing fine. I may not be perfect. I may not be the trendiest or have all this new fangled research under my belt to prepare for the happiest/healthiest/trendiest/hippest kid of this decade but I love my son. I do my best and sometimes that means just slugging through a workday in order to get 5 minutes of precious hugs and smooches and baby giggles before going through the nighttime routine. I give him all of me and that’s the best I can do.

Maybe all of me isn’t always good enough and maybe some parents will look down on me for whatever reasons: because I drive a Chevy Impala instead of a Lexus SUV and my kids dinosaur shirt that we both love has a slight blue tinge to it because it was washed with my brand new Dark rinse Calvin Klein jeans but I send him to daycare in it anyway. Maybe because I bake for his daycare teachers and give them Cashmere scarves for Christmas or because I wear jeans and workboots instead of suits and heels most days. Maybe just maybe, I do fear that because I don’t meet the standards of some parents, my kid will be outcast by his peer group but that is my insecurity, not his.

When you peek in the door at daycare he is usually in the thick of things, with his besties, crawling, passing toys, butting heads etc. He has friends already and everyone loves him. I can’t worry about his peers’ parents and their opinions of me. I can only be me and hope that by doing my best by my babe; it will be good enough, whether that’s making impressions on peers’ parents or soothing his aches and pains through endless nights.

I am only a mother, but I am his and after everything we went through last night, his peer group popularity at 8 months old seems completely frivolous and unimportant so why bother with a blog post solely dedicated to my insecurity over the issue. I will worry about that in a few years….when he’s not teething and is out of diapers. For now, I just hope to have a happy baby and no repeats of last night any time soon.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Anticipation is Oft Greater than the Event

Where did the time go? I've been so busy shopping, baking, playing, decorating, and crafting that I haven't taken the time to write all these posts I have in my head!

Have you ever found a holiday, a concert, a much anticipated vacation to fall short of expectations? You get so wrapped up in preparations for it, building up the excitement, lost in the details, then BAM! It's all too soon, the day after and your left bewildered and disappointed because your expectations were not met.
We get a week off at Christmas, PAID. (It used to be two but economic conditions have greatly downsized our benefits.) I look forward to it every year, for month's (whom I kidding--all year long). Having experienced the inevitable let down when I blink and find myself sitting at my desk with a four month stretch in front of me with no long weekends in sight, I actually start dreading the vacation time when it arrives.
The excitement building up to it keeps me going and i dread the aftermath during the actual event which means very little enjoyment once its here. There is so much I have to cram into those few days off, that there is no relaxing involved. Not to mention that Christmas is over at that point so it's not like I can enjoy a day of baking and movies in prep for the holiday.
I was eager to spend a lazy week with my son but I need to paint which means a day or two he will have to go daycare. So now I have Mommy guilt but this is the best opportunity to paint.
The disappointment in my awaiting vacation just doesn't seem to end. Do you feel that way?

~T-minus five days till Christmas weekend.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Walking in a Work Wonderland



My coworkers and I decided to have an impromptu decorating party today in our office. (When the boss is away, the employees will play!) A few strands of leftover white lights, some copy paper (misuse of office supplies perhaps?), scissors and a little kindergarten creativity. Add some strands of linked paperclips and before too long we had snowflakes dangling from the ceiling tiles, and all the windows strung with lights.






An MP3 hooked up to computer speakers and Christmas had come to our little office. Human Resources donated a poinsettia from the lobby decorations so we are set with the Christmas cheer. I'm sure my boss will be surprised.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Devoted Joseph

Amidst the bustle and hustle of the holiday season, we try and take a breath to reflect on the "reason for the season."



The songs we hum "Away In a Manger," "What Child is This," and "Silent Night" vibrate through our heads as sights of tranquil nativity scenes fill our souls and the soft excitement of a child fill our hearts.



Christmas has taken on a new significance for me, opened my awareness to levels of devotion I was previously unaware. My experience in becoming a mother has made me receptive to the magnitude of Mary & Joseph's role in the birth of Jesus.



Every mother assumes the role of Mary. It's easy to hold my son by the glow of a lighted tree (as Pagan as that may be) and imagine great things for him. I can only envisage what Mary must have felt knowing the true enormity of her child's presence.



But when we are consumed with this divine intuition we minimize the role of Joseph, relegating him to a shadowy character beside a manger. I can not help but to see my own husband in this role.



Not unlike Joseph, he has stood by my side through days of labor, watching and protecting both me and our son when I was incapacitated to do so at our own drawn out birth and recovery. While we have not had to flee to another country, he has worked hard and gone back to school in order to male all our lives better.



While times are vastly different, the family structure has not changed all that much. We are still spouses raising children (paying taxes) and often struggling with our spiritual journey. God blessed us with a son, and I have more faith through him than ever before.



I identify our family, our roles with their plight. Can you imagine the significance of raising a child, not of your loins, because an angel foretold that he would change the world? Yet Joseph remained constant to his faith and his wife.



Through our struggles with infertility and loss, Stephen has remained devoted...to me, to our future, to our dream of family. He has become the father I knew he would be. We will raise our son to be kind, hardworking, caring and tolerant. To know God and be the best man we can train him to be.



This Christmas I understand more truly the power of God's gift to the world, the courage of his earthly family, their faith and love for their child and heavenly appointment. This Christmas I remember and am filled with God's light to know how truly blessed I am. As Christmas day draws near, I wish for you all to know peace, joy and remember Jesus, and don't forget the love of father's.




"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that who so ever shall believe in him shall not perish but have ever lasting life." ~John 3:16








Merry Christmas

Also published at Bloggy Moms

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Butterscotch Chip Oatmeal Cake

I'm not sure why, but nothing screams Holiday to me like Butterscotch. Probably because one of the first treats that became "tradition" to make were Haystacks. Oh how many Christmases my sister and I spent laughing over haystacks. By the time we were done making them, and boxing them for family and friends we were so sick of butterscotch we could puke.



I came across a recipe in a little obscure (to me anyway) magazine called "Fall Baking" (By Better Homes and Gardens 2011). I had to try it. My oatmeal butterscotch cookies last year were a huge hit so a cake had to be amazing! And that was the response I got from Beth on Pinterest night when I served it up with coffee "effing amazing."



Butterscotch Chip Oatmeal Cake



1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

1 3/4 cups boiling water

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)

2 eggs

1 3/4 cups self-rising flour

1 tsp finely shredded orange peel

1 package of butterscotch chips (12 ounces)

Pecans Optional


Directions:

Cut up butter and place in a bowl with the oatmeal. Pour boiling water over it and set aside for 8-10 minutes.


Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13x9 pan.


Add both sugars to oats. Stir. Add eggs. Stir in flour and orange peel. Once well mixed add butterscotch. Pour into prepared pan. (sprinkle with pecans if so desired).Bake approx. 40 minutes. Cool completely.


My butterscotch formed a candy crust on the bottom that was a little hard to get out on the first few pieces but oh so crunchety goodness.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pinterest Inspired Baby Ornament

I'm addicted to Pinterest. My crafty personality swoons at the ideas that abound in one place. After months of pinning, I am finally starting to try things. I have even started hosting "Pinterest Parties" once a month (basically craft night).


Time dedicated to trying all these fantastic projects I keep dreaming of. This is perfect timing since my SIL has determined that next Christmas we are doing a Homemade Christmas (which I did a few years ago and apparently those gifts went over even better than I thought).


One of my first projects: Ornaments.


Here is one I made for our tree: Baby's 1st Christmas Hand print (a LOT harder to get his hand print than I thought. He kept trying to close his hand around the ball).



For other Pinterest Ideas, check back here and/or visit my friend Jeanna's Blog where I am linked up! Happy Crafting!


Growing Up

You would think any number of milestones in my life would make me feel completely grown-up: Graduating College, My first job, Getting married, Getting a House, Turning 30...Having a baby.

I'm an adult. I know this. Every now and again, there's something new that makes me feel like a grown up. Something new that pulls me just a little bit more away from the comfort of my mother's embrace.
This week, I redid my beneficiary forms for my life insurance, accidental insurance and 401k. I've always listed my mother as my beneficiary. When I married, Stephen became my primary and my mother became my contingent. This week, I took my mother off all my forms and placed Matthew as my contingent.
It felt wierd. It feels wierd that now I think in terms of "my family" as my little unit. My Boys. My husband and son. My immediate family is no longer my mom and dad. It's a little stab in the heart but its also right. It's the progression of growing up and continuance. Thier legacy even. It's amazing that a few little forms you've always passed off have such significance when now it's providing for my son's future should I not be able to do so...and taking my mother's name off of them.
I think that's it. The last thing. I'm a grown up. A wife. A mom. the financial controller of my family.
::panic attack has ensued::

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Finding The Spirit of Christmas

It is upon me. What I was lacking by breaking my Black Friday traditions entered my heart last night. It's not contrived or forced or materialistic, but the true reason for the season.



My longtime gal pal (we're talking middle school people so over 22 years) Tonya had an extra ticket to her church's holiday production that her daughter was dancing in. Having heard of this production, I've long wanted to go so seized the opportunity to do so.



On a cold, blustery/rainy night, I kissed my son and husband goodbye, made sure the timer was set for the casserole I left in the oven and ventured out for a southern christian dose of Christmas.



Community Bible Church's, (High Point, NC) Carol's by Candlelight, delighted and surprised me. I've been to a professional rendition of the Nutcracker and Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, The Tran-siberian Orchestra, and numerous Broadway Plays but sitting in this small sanctuary in the glow of flames from candelabras flanking the walls, staring at a stage crowded with dancers, orchestra, choir and performers, I was struck by the level of talent displayed before me.



As the story of Christ unfolded, I was touched by the spirit that moved through God's house. If you have ever doubted the Lord's presence I beg of you to find a church that truly believes and presents the biblical message out of love. When your eyes begin to water, your heart beats stronger, your skin tingles and you feel warmth like a warm hug wrapping around you...that's the spirit of God. When I find that, I am once again centered and at Peace.



That feeling stayed through the whole production.



Unforgettable Moments:



When Rusty Evans sang King Jesus is His Name performing as King Herod with his deep voice resonating, I was awestruck and had chills. This man needs to be doing voice overs for Disney. He is fantastic.



Likewise the voices of Pamela Sansour and Jessica Neumanngave me goose flesh. Pamela's smoky voice seeps deep into your soul like warm cider by a fire while Jessica's clear voice rings out like a bell on a crisp cold night to lift your heart in joy.



The Men's aCapella rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas was hilarious and had any Barber shop Quartet beat hands down.



The Irish tap dancing would make my ancestors proud to see.



Most of all, the joy of Christmas and my Lord's gift to us was given to me again. I left with a renewed spirit and looking forward to the rest of the holiday season. My heart is full of Christmas Joy and i encourage you all to find that this season.



Community Bible Church has nightly performances through December 10th of Carols by Candlelight. For $10.00, I recommend you going if you are close to the Triad of North Carolina. Show Starts at 7pm.






Disclaimer: I am not a member of or affiliated with Community Bible Church, Hayworth Wesleyan Church or Arts Evangelica who put on the production. I was not solicited or paid to endorse their presentation and I do it of my own free will and the sentiment is completely my own without influence.






Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Curiouser and Curiouser

Why is it that on nights my husband has school, I can get dinner made, bottles washed, kitchen cleaned, laundry going, baby fed and bathed and in the bed.

But on a night I decide to go have a girl's night or run errands, I still have to come home and wash bottles, fix dinner, etc.

Just one of those curious differences between being a mom and being a dad I suppose. At least the baby is fed, bathed and asleep. Priority is taken care of...multitasking, not so much.

Thank you honey for all you do. I appreciate it. I really do...but you have to admit...there is a vast difference!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Midnight Anger Management

Sometimes, I'm not a good parent. I recognize my flaws and am trying to move away from them.

My angry toned curse words for example. In the middle of sleep deprived night number 2, as I spill formula all over me trying to fill a bottle and hold a squirmy crying baby all by the glow of a twilight turtle...and a loud angry "damn it" spews from my lips waking the house.

I'm not mad at my son, I'm mad at myself for adding more work to my exhausted night, but I have to stop the knee jerk reactions because he is starting to understand words and already feels the tones.

I don't want him growing up on pins and needles waiting to be startled by one of mommy's outburts or thinking he did it.

I'm wound tight, highstrung but I have to relax and take mishaps of motherhood in stride, stress and exhaustion be darned. There's more at stake here than me and my bad habits.

But in the darkness, through bloodshot eyes, crying because I let myself go, it's hard to think clearly.

My poor baby is teething, tired and I wasn't fixing it. Instead, I got frustrated and had to hand him off to his dad to get out of wet pants and clean up the floor.

Not one of my best parenting moments, to say the least...and it shows as evidence by this picture taken today...after a long day at work/daycare. We are both exhausted and pale.



:fingers crossed for a good night of sleep tonight and a happy baby and momma tomorrow:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weekends...



They come every week. Like clockwork. Much anticipated. Gone too quickly. Distant memories that last for three days until the anticipation starts anew. Counting down to those illusive long holiday weekends.






They are the true marks of the passage of time. We live weekend by weekend. Evening by Evening. Those precious moments where we are together. As a family. Enjoying the quiet. Enjoying the sunshine. Enjoying the holiday season.






There aren't enough moments. There aren't enough Weekends.






There is always enough love, but not enough time together.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Help-Review




Since this movie will be coming out on DVD soon, I wanted to do a review for you. I had the privledge of screening this dvd. It's a good movie but I haven't read the book so I can not compare for those of you who have.




I unfortunately, was not expecting to relate to a side character by the name of Celia Foote. A flight girl who marries into the social set, she isn't quite polished, always on the outside of her peer group, she blunders and misteps without knowing why when she has the best of intentions. (I cna totally relate-my potty mouth and Irish temper totally belies my genteel southern lady training).




But more, they touch on her struggle (mentally and physically) with multiple miscarriages. Completely sucker punched me as I sat on the sofa with my sleeping boy in my arms.




To all my girls who are experiencing fertility issues, miscarriages, etc. Please be fully warned about this movie. I bawled my eyes out a few times during this movie. The ending will rip your heart out as a mother/childcare provider etc. as well but I'll refrain from spoiling it.




Overally, great mvoie. Steller performances, a little slow to start but gripping story.


Image Credit: Aceshowbiz.com

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hearty Cabbage Soup

Sometimes you just wake up happy. Despite the fatigue, the sore phlegmy (pnemonia riddled) chest, you know there is something inherently bright about this day.


I made it to work early today (with starbucks in tow.)


I have my yummy, healthy weight watchers friendly soup for lunch and my tennis shoes so that I can walk. it's amazing how good you feel when you can get things done and stay on task (including diets...cough..err.. lifestyle changes).



Hearty (stick to your ribs) Cabbage Soup

(3ww pts per serving -just over a cup)


1 head cabbage-chopped or large shred

2 medium onions-course chopped

2 tbs olive oil

1 box low sodium chicken broth

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 cups cooked brown rice

2 cups frozen green beans

salt, pepper, garlic powder, seasoned salt



-Boil chicken on medium-high heat until done


-In large stockpot, combine olive oil and onions. Cook on medium-high for two minutes until onions start turning translucent. Add cabbage and toss to mix. Pour Chicken broth in and fill with water to cover cabbage. Simmer on medium heat until cabbage is tender.


-Shred or coursely chop chicken. Add chicken, rice and greenbeans. Stir. Cook an additional 30 minutes and season to taste.




Makes approximately 5 quarts depending on size of cabbage and how much water you add.






Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm BACK from OUTERSPACE

okay, wordpress isn't quite outerspace but I did visit for three months. It never felt like home and as much as I was ticked off with Blogger, I finally came home. With the help of my awesome friend Beth, we changed up my old blog here, gave it a new name, fresh new address, and combined my cooking blog with this one.

It's fresh and new and encompasses truly all that I have been and all that I have become. There are more tweaks to come. I have to recategorize some things so they fit into the nice new pages we have created. I need to move some posts from wordpress over but it was being a jerk tonight and not cooperating so here I am, fresh, new and excited to be back home on Blogger.

I have survived for four years in the blogging world and through the changes, I may have taken breaks but I haven't given up!

Hello my friends. I'm so glad to be home! I hope you like the NEW blog, the new look and more importantly my new ideas and direction. Please feel free to contact me or comment. I love to hear from you!

Picture: Courtesy of Sears Portrait Studio; copyright owned by me.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Moooooving

I'm biting the bullet. I'm moving my blog. I've been fiddling with wordpress for months now and was hoping to have a beautiful new blog but I haven't had the time to really dive in so I'm just going to move everything over and be done with it.

Blogger was a wonderful starter but I like some of the options with wordpress. Plus google put a nail in the coffin when they screwed up and I could no longer post comments on blogger blogs including my own. That still isn't fixed. So in protest I'm going to wordpress. LOL

I hope to see you all on the new blog and continue to share my journey and life with you as well as get feedback, advice and the occasional kick in the butt.

Love to you all,
Krista

www.spawnofsmith.wordpress.com

Monday, August 29, 2011

Epiphany: I choose my child

If you don't have Netflix, GET IT. Then go watch the show HEAVY. There is an episode that is so powerful where she states "I've been choosing FOOD over my grandchildren." and that is what I have done my whole life.

I have let my frustrations with weight loss, crash diets, excuses and ultimately my bad relationship with food and my body ruin my future with my hypothetical children. But they aren't hypothetical anymore. I am a mother and I'll be damned if I let food dictate my relationship with my child. I'll be damned if I choose to eat over having a long active life watching my child grow.

I broke down in tears yesterday because once again a CHILD pointed at me in the grocery store and said "WOW, thats one BIG MOM." Not nearly as bad as the previous instance and the mom did lean down and quietly reprimand him in his ear but I'm stalked by children's honesty. This time all I could think was "this is going to be Matthew's friends someday and I'm going to be the reason he is made fun of...for having the "fat mom." FUCK THAT.

That little handle I got on dieting while struggling with fertility? Losing 46 lbs? that was a drop in the bucket compared to the undertaking I'm fixing to launch. Unfortunately food is not like drugs...you can't just quit it. You have to have it to survive so you are faced with your addiction EVERY.SINGLE.DAY multiple times. But it will not win. It will not win out over my baby.

Food, you have no power over me and my body anymore. Healthy living, hi my name is Krista and I'll be joining you from here on out.

I choose to live and live well, actively and a long time. I CHOOSE my child and my family over my past of bad choices.

Goodbye fat, gluttony and sloth. Hello food scale, points and calorie counting. Hello treadmill. Hello life. Hello my baby boy growing into an amazing man. Hello LIFE.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I feel the Earth Move..Under my feet

The sky comes tumbling down....tumbling down.

This song has so much meaning for us East coasters this week. As many things as I have to blog about, it had to be said today: (and I'm pretty sure everyone's sick of hearing about it by now but I'm a little "shook" up:P )

WE HAD A MOTHER EFFING EARTHQUAKE! In North Carolina! WTF? the last one to be felt (and it was milder than this one was in 1972...before I was born and was not felt nearly as widely as todays). there was a small isolated tremor very localized in Greensboro in 2006 but so few people felt it I think it was more the scientists imaginations).

I work near a local college that was evacuated today for a bomb threat. As we sat in our desks and everything started shaking and rattling, several people jumped up with an "OH SHIT, the college blew up" but as the rolling continued we were actually more freaked out that it was an earthquake instead of a bomb. It's the South...fire arms and bombs we understand...Earthquakes...not so much. (twisted I know.)

To top it off, Hurricane Irene is headed our way....earth moving, sky tumbling down?

Yea.

::headwall::

Friday, August 19, 2011

Accidentally On Purpose

Where the Hell has this TV show been all my life and Thank You Netflix. I'm so glad I ditched DirecTV and got Netflix. Not only does it save at least 60 dollars per month but I've opened up a whole new world of TV addiction with NO COMMERCIALS on my own time! BRILLIANT.

It does beg the question though, why can my life not include perfect comedic timing on a daily basis? How fun would life be if I were LIKE Jenna Elfman (aka Billie)?

I need to work on my postive one liners in a cute flirty voice and deliver it in an awesome quirky wardrobe to boot!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sofa Surfing and subsequent wipeouts

I've developed a bad habit. When the baby wakes up at night, I stumble to the livingroom and turn on the TV for light and watch the early morning news on CBS while he feeds. Since I usually only have an hour or two left of night, I typically just lay on the couch with him snuggled on my chest until DH wakes us up at 6.

My child is officially too big and restless to sleep with me anymore. This morning I woke from a very wierd and vivid dream to his whimpers. A disoriented me found him head first towards the floor with only his feet left on the sofa. He had not hit the floor but was wedged between the sofa and the bouncy chair slowly sliding towards wiping out on the carpet.

I immediately grab his feet with one hand and rescue him with the other. He never woke fully up but snuggled back into my chest and snoozed. I on the other hand stayed stock still and awake for the next half hour until I heard the alarm going off from the bedroom.

Catastophe averted but my lazy sofa surfing mornings are officially over. I knew it was coming but I'm definitely going to miss it. Since I feel like worst parent of the year after this mornings episode I'm not willing to try and stretch it out either. One time is one time too many even if no injuries were sustained and he never woke up enough to remember it!

My baby is growing up way too fast, getting so big and all my little infant joys are being stripped away one by one. ::cries::

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Politically Incorrect-the Real Me

I've tried to be politically correct on my blog as much as possible, writing so as not to offend any readers or insite a hater club following. The thing is though, I write for me. I write to relieve tension, express emotion, remember events. I don't go all out to make it perfect. I typically write on paper first and then when I have a chance, grab an entry and type it in. I type fast...like 150 words per minute fast (the advantages of being addicted to yahoo chat rooms in the mid 90's) but I also make mistakes. there's a slight disconnect between my fingers and my brain. So when I re-read posts (usually at a later date when I'm reading comments) I notice the mistakes: adn instead of and. An S on the beginning of a word instead of the end of the previous one. Little things that I SHOULD take the time to correct!

I don't do the sponsor thing. I'm not writing to bring in money though I wouldn't be opposed to it if someone (like Lane Bryant, yoooohooooo over here fat fashion gods!) came along and offered me something I could use in exchange for a teensy weensy badge...yea I would sell out, but I don't see me going out and actively soliciting every etsy seller for pennies just to look cool. I probably won't ever write well enough to illicit a following big enough to justify that anyway. ::shrugs:: Not the point of why I write.

Yes, of course I wish I had more readers because I've developed some kick ass relationships with some of them! (although google is still being a bitch and not letting me post on google blogs thus why I'm in the process of transitioning to Wordpress!) I still write for me though. So why do I continue to hide parts of myself from everyone? If people quit reading because I express views they disagree with then I don't need closed minded people in my life. They don't hide thier views from me and a few tend to shove them in my face even. I disagree with bloggers all the time but I respect that they have an opinion and freedom of expression and I keep my mouth shut.

So I'm agreeing to be more honest, with myself, with my blog, with the few dedicated readers I have (and hopefully the don't run screaming when they find out my number on the scale, my religious confusion or the fact that I'm a conservative pro-life republican ---GASP!)

In the end, I'm still me, the girl who struggled with weight (and continues to do so) and fertility, new mom, working gal, living in the crazy world, paying bills, loving my husband, adoring my son,and trying to put down the lemon pound cake. I just sometimes have a little more to say on subjects. I'll never be a Dooce or a Pioneer Woman. God forbid I'm ever a Under1000amonth blogger either. I join blog sites to find new things to read but never promote myself. Maybe I should to find more kindred spirits to keep me motivated. I'm inspired daily by people and their commitment to honesty on their blogs. Holding themselves accountable like skinnyemmie.com. With my current life, I strive to be more like that, for the sake of me.

So beware. I'm letting down my hair...a little at a time. (My courage comes in small doses because like everyone I still have a desire to be liked even by a few.)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pumping Fiasco

This has been a rough past two weeks. First week of daycare, first postpardum AF, unbelievable exhaustion, and decline in milk supply AGAIN!I'm sleeping but it's compounded by mental fatigue and stress. On top of all that, I have almost fallen asleep while driving, have almost wrecked my car on the highway which further frayed my nerves.

With much relief, I entered Friday with slightly more optimism. Tomorrow I would get to hang with my son. No schedules and packing bottles. Just relaxing with him while cleaning the house and maybe weeding the flowerbeds, spending time with family.

Then disaster and mortifaction slapped me up side the head. I pump in an obscure closet of a conference room perched on top of an office in the middle of a warehouse. (tall shelves housing mechanical parts, shipping center and forklifts with men busily going about their day as I climb the tricky metal stairs 2-3 times per day.)

As I sat in my quiet little room with the gentle sound of the whoosh whoosh of the pump, I was lulled into a catatonic state. A few moments of blissful slumber until the dry suction made my poor nipple scream in protest sending pain signals to my brain which triggered me to wake suddenly. I glanced at the clock to see I had been in there for over 45 minutes so I rushed to wipe the sleeping drool from my face, throw my pump gear in the bag and dash out the door.

I recieved a few odd looks but kept on my determined path back to my office. Halfway there, I looked down...my boob was hanging out.



Granted my bra was covering it but there it was...this massive bright white cotton covered boob shining as pretty as you please out of the deep vneck of my dark green printed shirt.

If I could have melted into the concrete floor like kitty from the XMEN (dork alert!) I would have...in a heartbeat.

This has NOT been my week!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. ~Mark Twain

I'm a terrible hypocritical mother. I judge harshly parents who use the tv as a babysitter ALL the time (and video games). You know the ones. The TV is ALWAYS on tuned into the kid's channel with Dora the Explorer chanting about going to Grandma's house in the two languages. The Zombie Apocolypse is on the rise not from a government experiment gone wrong but a generation of mindless bored children staring at tv screens/game consoles/and computer screens all day.

My husband (who is tv/computer obsessed) and I agreed that our children would have limited access to these items. That means giving up our favorite shows, satellite tv etc. We can't tune in without little one doing so. I'm not sure he has realized that there really isn't going to be time to watch all these shows anyway. I can't tell you the last time I actually watched a whole show all the way through. There's too much to do.

After bragging on my child sleeping through the night for pretty much a few months, he has gotten off schedule this week. he doesn't want to sleep in his crib. He wakes up screaming, like he's having nightmares, needing to be held. So I've spent the whole week getting very little sleep and increasing my back pain by sleeping propped up on the sofa with him.

This morning even his feeding schedule was off so in order to get out the door on time and because he was in a good playful mood, I put him in his bouncer...with cartoons on the TV. He was one enthralled happy boy. Legs bouncing 90 miles per hour, eyes glued to the TV, happily slobbering all over the spinning rattle and his fists.

It was like a knife to my heart. What the hell have I done? I've noticed him watching the TV and computer screens a few times before. We've even put on the Baby Einstein once or twice to see if it captured his attention but he's only good for about 5 or 10 minutes max preferring to enteract with us or a toy.

I'm kicking myself for setting him up to watch TV this morning just so I could eat breakfast while getting dressed, but I can't promise I won't do it again either.

Satellite is officially cancelled as of today. Broadcast TV is what we have (with the basic Netflix and Hulu Plus as side options). No more Teen Mom, Food Network or marathons of NCIS.

No TV heads in my house, except for that 20 minutes on a weekday morning when I need to bathe in coffee and get ready for work. ::headwall::

Thursday, August 11, 2011

And Don't Call Me Shirley

or Matthew. I spent months agonizing over the perfect name for my child, arguing the merits and flow of combinations with my husband. As beautiful as the name is, we call him everything but.

Monster is the most prevalent and courtesy of his father (in utero making it the oldest used nickname and probably the "official" nickname.)


Pee-turkey (something random I spewed that has stuck)
Suger boog (a southerN thing as my aunt calls him this too)
Punkin (My sister tends to use this one as well)

Cuteboy
Monkeybutt (especially in his outfit with the monkey face patch on the bottom)
Cuteness
Fussybutt
Booboo
Wiggleworm
Squirmy pants
Slobber box

And I'm sure a myriad of other names that pop out of my mouth randomly...but never Matthew.

I'm pretty sure he's going to think his name is Monster, but I would have been majorly sideeyed had I put that on his birth certificate!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Diet War

I had a mini meltdown this weekend. I decided to take advantage of the sales during tax free weekend and supplement my dwindling wardrobe (despite the fact that I feel our staste needs the revenue during these bleak economic times.)

After many trips to the dressing room, I ended up with one pair of black dress pants, and bile rising in my throat. I cannot begin to tell you how bad my body image is right now. Any false confidence I had despite my obesity was apparently sucked out wiht my placenta. I was so disgusted looking at myself in that mirror that I couldn't fathom buying anything even if it fit and was a good price. Nothing looked good on me.

After I left, I had to go pick up dinner. DH wanted Panera. I fought a war with myself the entire way there. "Don't eat you fat cow." "But you have to eat to make milk for Matthew." I got a chicken pannini with an apple, but was in tears before I got home. It felt like the world was crashing in on me. Everythign was wrong.

When I walked in, matthew was asleep for the night and I knew he would be up in a few hours as he never sleeps that early. So I went straigh tto bed...without eating. DH knew something was wrong, but I wouldn't talk to him. I laid in my bed and sobbed. I was hoping he would come in and lay with me (like a typical girl) but him being a typical male, he just grabbed his dinner and dug in.

When I couldn't breathe from the snot blockage and my stomach was in knots from hunger, I got up and ate some leftover chicken and rice casserole. (DH ended up eating my sandwich too!) I told him what was going on and he suggested we go shopping together on Sunday...which never happened, once again dissappointing me.

On an up note though, I finally conquered the laundry monster residing in my bedroom and found a few articles of clothing I had been missing so that improved my wardrobe!

I'm better today. i have on a jean skirt, royal blue silk tank with silver chain trim, white ruffled shrug and sandas. I feel like its flattering and I lost 2.4 lbs. I laid out my clothes for the whole week and put together a few cute outfits including accessories so I feel like my odl put together self.

I still have an internal war raging though. The one part that wants to hit dieting hardcore to drop the weight (milk supply be damned since he drinks formula anyway) justifying it by being a healtheir smaller prettier mom sooner to make his life better vs the part that says chill out, you won't be able to breastfeed much longer, do whatever to keep your meager supply up, you can diet later.

It's tough. My son is the most important thing in my life so I want to give him the best start but I also want to live as long as possible to watch him grow. I also want to be a pretty mom because pretty moms are more popular, therefore their children have more playdates, friends, etc. but thats a shallow society conversation for another day. For now, I have enough to worry about fighting with myself. I seem to have a lot of wars raging in me on different subjects. It's amazing my brain is still sane.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Breastfeeding vs. Formulafeeding

This post is not intended to start a debate between breastfeeders vs formula feeding. It is merely to express my emotional journey between the two. I have no problems with formula feeding (for other people), though I will admit that I side eye people who HAVE milk and CAN breastfeed but choose to formula feed for no medically necessary reason (boob jobs, medicines etc.) as well as those who give up because it hurts or is hard. Those opinions also are closely tied to my own journey though and I realize this.

Breastfeeding (especially in the first weeks-err months) is one of the hardest things I've done. There was a weekend that I resorted to exclusively pumping because of how painful it was, but I went back to it and gritted my teeth through the pain. I'm 4 months in and my nipples are still tender and sore but not to an unbearable degree. I can still enjoy the act of breastfeeding at this point and appreciate the bonding experience.

I have fought, cried, and emotionally abused myself to breastfeed. Thanks to PCOS, my body does not produce enough to meet my sons needs. In four months my supply has not increased at all. Period. When my milk came in, I could pump 2 ounces. Which was fine for a 3 day old. Not so much for a 3 month old. I have worked with Dr's, lactation consultants, gadgets, pumping regimens, natural remedies, foods and prescription drugs. To this day, I can still only get 2 ounces every few hours. Which means he gets 2-4 ounces of formula every few hours (except at night).

the first time I gave him formula he was 5 or 6 days old and I cried the entire time. I think I cried the whole first week while giving him a bottle. I felt like a failure as a mom and to this day, those emotions and that memory of that moment haunt me.

(Here's where formula feeding moms will really gnash their teeth.) I'm EMBARRASSED to BUY FORMULA. I won't look the cashier in the eye. It's like being a teenage girl buying a pregnancy test or condoms. I'm embarrassed to give my baby a bottle in public because people can see me mix the powder and water and know its formula. (On the other hand I won't breastfeed in public either. I will whip them out around female family members or in a public retail women's lounge or mother's room, or even in my car parked at the edge of a prking lot away from everyone but won't find me on a bench int he mall with my boob out flapping in the breeze for the world to see.) (So there I have offended both types of moms with my prudishness equally!).

I have a negative image of formula feeding (that I never had before) due to my own struggle and desire to breastfeed. I'm projecting my own fears, experiences etc. into this one act of parenting becaue of my own dissappointment. The studies and articles about the benefits of breastfeeding over formula swim through my subconcious brain to give me nightmares.

I KNOW its okay. The Dr's tell me his fine and healthy and I'm doing a good job. Everyone comments on how alert and strong he is; How good his disposition and behavior are; how clear his skin; how beautiful of a baby he is. He is getting the immunities and benefits of breastmilk and the intimate bonding of nursing two ounces at a time.

I can go on like this as long as my body produces. If I can make it to 6 months he will still have recieved a lot of benefit from my meager supply. I, however, need to reconcile with myself this negativity. I tell myself that my body sin't a failure. It gave me the most amazing little boy after years of struggle, but this is one more black mark against it. Maybe thats part of the scars of being a bitter infertile. We never quite learn how to love ourselves again (and forgive our bodies) and automatically self loathe when our bodies don't perform the way we want.

I will always struggle with breastfeeding, the way my birth went, and with my body but just as I haven't given up with breastfeeding, I won't give up on trying to forgive me, even while I die of shame when purchasing formula.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm not "In Love" with my child

It has always irked me when people say "we are so in love" after having a baby. It always seemed so cliche and almost a forced emotional statement. Something reserved for young engaged couples, not encompassing this magnificent upheaval of the heart that parenthood brings. I swore I would never use it, and I don't think I ever had a desire to. I'm not sure I ever tried to put into words the magnitude of my emotions for my child because frankly there are not words in any language that can encompass what I feel for him.

I'm not even sure how I can have another child because how can my heart, body, soul & mind possibly survive this amount of unconditional feeling x 2 without exploding? "I'm in love" does not even come close to being a proper descriptive phrase.

"I would fight tigers for him" seems more apt because at least it portrays the protective qualities and ferociousness of emotion I have. You don't know how protective you can be until having a child.

I've always maintained I could shoot someone defending my home and loved ones. I would not hesitate to watch a bullet mutilate skin and bone of a kneecap to stop the advancement of a robber etc.

I don't even think I would bother with that now. If someone were to put my child in danger or attempt harm anywhere in the vacinity, I would go for the kill and I do not take life easily. I feel guilty squishing bugs, I'm a prolifer in all aspects, but I will truly fight tigers (or robbers) to the death to protect my son. To protect this indescribable love for this small creature I brought into the world for he is what I live for. He is the best part of me and I can't imagine going on without him. I love beyond comparison, beyond time, beyond words.

Even "I love you to the moon and back" doesn't come close but is definitely more apt than "i'm in love."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

3 Month Letter

Dear Matthew,
You are three Months old. You turned three months on July 7th and I wrote the following letter to you; but as my hands are full with you and a full time job, I'm just now posting it. You are growing so fast I can't keep up with the changes. I have visions of your future adventures as you start to crawl, walk, run. We've introduced you to jumper toys and you are happy with them for short lengths of time.

You are interacting with toys now, mostly trying to shove them in your mouth but that's okay. You chose your first toy at babies R Us- a little dinosaur that Cody the dog keeps trying to steal from you. You have a long road fighting over toys with that one.

Daddy has taught you to blow raspberries and you think its the greatest thing for us to do it. Dancing with Momma around the living room elicits deep rolling belly laughs that echo through the house and makes my heart trip over itself.

Momma had to go back to work but you have been having good days with your great-aunt Lynn. It tears me up to leave you but when I come home and you light up with smiles and turn towards my voice it heals thosse cracks a little because despite the distance you don't forget me. I only hope that one day you know why I sacrifice time with you and understand that its out of love because providing opportunity, security, and physical necessities for you is the only thing that could drag me away. I stare at your pictures and think of you all day long, rushing out the door to see your smiling face.


The first week was really rough but the past several days you have slept through the night and it has made all the difference. It's amazing that I can now function well on 5 hours of sleep, but I thank you for having mostly good nights since the day you were born.

You still love the outdoors and bathtime. This week we will be combining the two & introducing you to the swimming pool. I foresee many summers of swimming with friends in your future.

I look forward to all your stages, the things you will do and see but I will continue to beg you to slow down. My cuddly, snuggly baby is fastly turning into a happy bubbly bouncy boy with a sweet disposition. I hope you never out grow giving your mom a kiss and hug because that innocent affection you show is the greatest thing I've ever experienced.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I was Lost and Now am Found

Not just words to the most well known hymn, but the truth of my journey to motherhood that reigned down upon my head in the form of an epiphany (singing telegram style.)

As my child stared up at me, with the most adorable smile on his face, and his little fingers wrapped tightly around mine, I rocked and opened my mouth to sing him a lullabye. What came out was a shaking whispered rendition of Amazing Grace as tears spilled down my face. He only smiled wider.

I named him Matthew which means Gift from God and tonight as I sang to him, I felt the spirit of the Lord wrap around us as if to say, "you have arrived. You are a mother and you have the love of THE son."

Becoming a mother was nothing like anything I imagined and for the first little bit you are so overwhelmed with everything that its almost like you are playing a part. You are so afraid of messing up, doing something wrong, that you are careful about going through the motions. Lately though, I feel it. I AM A MOTHER and I see the love on his face every day. He knows me as his mother and no one will replace me or take that away.

I have had my doubts with religion, my bitter days, my questions. I have turned away and searched out other ways to find solace and peace of the heart. I have shaken my fists much like Lt. Dan in defiance. I have begged God, bargained with him, and cursed him. He never turned from me. My journey was long and littered with pain, loss and turmoil but I arrived at my destination according to his plan. I have recieved his gift and I welcome his love and thank him for bringing me through.


Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be...
as long as life endures.

When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

the Mom Syndrome

I have a whole new appreciation for my mother now that I am one. Growing up there are aspects to a mother you can never understand.She baffles your brain.

She watches TV standing up, never quite having he rattention caught as she's cooking dinner/cleaning/wrangling children at the same time.

No matter how early you wake up, she's already awake (with coffee in her hand.)

While everyone is enjoying a lazy weekend, the mom is still working-making meals, cleaning up, washing the beach towels, etc. (probably nagging for a little help.)

She's almost always the last to bed, making sure dishes are done, food is put away, bags are packed for the morning, turning off lights.

If you ever get her to sit down to a movie, she falls asleep. She is always tired and carries a faint scent of coffee like its a fine perfume.

I have officially become my mother, and as much as I lamented this future as a teenager, its really not a bad place to be. It's exhausting and the work is never done, but I feel accomplished on a good day and the moments of snuggling, the smiles and joy and love on my child's face are worth every yawn & dust bunny, and evn worth becoming my mother, because, hey, I didn't turn out so bad!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The heartbreak of working moms

It's hard leaving. The mornings aren't so bad. He's been up and eaten, changed, dressed, had playtime or snuggles with daddy, eaten again and is a little sleepy when I hand him over. At lunch though, he doesn't have enough time with me to breastfeed properly. He spends 20-30 minutes trying to cuddle and alternating between feeding and smiling up at me adoringly. When its time to go my aunt has to practically pry him from my arms as I steal just one (hundred) more kiss and soak up another smile. It's agony sneaking out behind his back because if I see the love on his face and those big blue eyes watching me, I'll never leave again.

In the evenings he clings and I cling back because I have to make up for all the hugs, smiles, kisses I missed today. I miss being pregnant and having him with me all the time but I can't get enough of him. Time needs to slow down.

Time is supposed to make seperation easier but I don't see how. It's just a reminder of how much I'm missing. It would be great if I worked at a place that had daycare on the premises or I could work a few days from home even. Breaks & Lunch I could go breastfeed and see him more. In a way, I like getting adult time to conversate, organize my bills, budgets, etc. I already feel more competent and organized again.

But there's always the leaving and the missed smiles that trump the small pleasures of working (minus the paycheck which is why I work.)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Never say Never

I will Never...

...let my grandma keep my baby. She's getting frail.

...ask for help from anyone.

...leave my infant with someone other than his father.

...feed my child formula.

...co sleep. He has his own room.

...kiss my baby on the mouth.

...buy one of those hideously ugly bumbo seats.



A lesson in statements you make before becoming a parent...because you will obviously stick to them so well.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Better than a Firework

Genesis 9:12-13
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

Happy 4th of July



This is the first July 4th that I have not hosted my annual pool party. We had downsized this year to just immediate family. We cancelled even that at the last minute last night because my husband was severely stressed out with the amount of work to be done, his to do list, and getting behind in school. We went to bed at odds with each other last night which never happens.

Our pool isn't swimmable. The water is finally clear, the algae is dead but we are still trying to get the debris (dead algae film and leaves) off the bottom. It will be a few more days. He's fighting that in the 90 degree heat.

I have to admit, I had hoped to automatically incorporate the babe into our lives and celebrate each holiday from the get go. I feel VERY out of sorts not doing anything on the 4th as it has always been one of my big hostessing holidays. It makes me a little angry. I bought the baby a special outfit (not the one pictured above).

I am determined to salvage something out of today later. Even if its just the two of us eating meatloaf sandwiches and fruit and watching a movie. Afterall I have 15 pounds of hamburger, a whole watermelon and pineapple and the makings for a dessert because I had planned for a party of 10 when I went shopping yesterday.

I don't want to be one of those people that cancels plans because I have a child. He is not the ultimate reason I cancelled. I cancelled because of our stress in maintaining and doing everything which has become a little difficult with a child. He is worth every cancelled plan, every holiday at home watching a hoarders marathon but I want him to have a full happy life..including 4th of July Pool parties.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Someone want to let me in?

How do you get through the day? i'm a semi reformed caffiene addict. I limit my caffiene intake so that my child does not get caffiene laced breastmilk (even though it may still be coffee flavored as I try to trick my body with lots of decaff). and also so as not to further reduce my supply.

But heaven help me, my child has not been cooperative on the sleep side of things since going back to work. So I'm having zombie periods during the day. Especially right around the time I pump. that whole hour I could easily join a thriller Flash mob and fit right in. I eat and drink a whole bottle of water during that time but then I just feel like a floating zombie. More along the lines of Kevin Costners acting job in Waterworld than a hip Michael Jackson Video.

Will I get used to this or are there tricks to dealing with exhaustion besides caffiene, protein and stretching muscles? If so, please let me in on the mom code because I'm feeling a little left out

Monday, June 27, 2011

Return

The coffee is brewing. The morning news is on and my baby is eating breakfast. Today I go back to work.

Last week I got off track with the diet. I didnt count points. I ate too much fast food but i want to say my milk supply seemed better so I went with it. This weekend I just enjoyed my son and anniversary cake. Lots of cake. oops And it showed on the scale. I gained a pound. But I know what I did and I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Just get back on track and keep on trucking.

But today as I start life as a working mom Ive packed up whole wheat bagels and fruit and water to take to work. Ive noticed the easiest things to take that are healthy are carb foods. Sammies, bagels, etc. To be lower carb for my pcos is always difficult when working. What foods do you eat while on the go?

Today I get back on track and will see how things are affecting my supply as I join the ranks of daytime pumpers.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Perfect Day to end and Begin

A perfect day, as perfect as it can be, is both a joy and a curse. Today is my last full day alone on maternity leave. My time is up. It means that my baby is no longer solely mine but a little boy that I have to share with the world. I will no longer get all of his firsts.

I may not hear his first word or see his first crawl or tentative step. I've had three months of watching him develop and grow. Of watching his smiles light up his face. Of being his whole world. Days when his eyes glow as he stares at me while he eats. Moments that I hold close to my heart as he smiles at me around the breast because he's more happy to coo at his mom than to eat (and for my chunky monkey that is saying a lot because my boy loves to eat).

I'm torn because today has been one of those rare perfect mornings. We managed to run errands and he stayed happy the whole time. We snuggled this morning and he has smiled and cuddled all day. It thrills me that this day was so amazing but it also makes it hard because I'm not going to get these great days anymore. My life is fixing to be packed full because I have to be at the office during the day which means in the evening and weekends I have to cram it all in at home. It's a hard concept.

I don't want to go back to work but I know he will be fine. I know anyone who has the care of him will love him because he's a joy and a beautiful child. I know my aunt will love her month with him and I know he will enjoy being around other children at the daycare. I also know that the paycheck I earn will allow for all the things we want to do for him and give him. Money isn't everything but it sure does afford more possibilities. We have a good life. We have a nice place with room for him to run and explore and have adventures. Land that bears fresh food for us, a pool for amazing summer fun. We don't have anything huge or fancy or fancy cars but what we do have needs maintenance. We just took a loan out to put a new roof on the house. It's one of those things that has to be done which means I need to work because for now, its just not enough for his dad to do so alone. We have a great plan. A healthy one and one that works for all parties. I just have to stick to it.

I remember my mom both as a working mom and a SAHM. I never felt any differently toward her whether she worked or not. Looking back I know I always admired how much she accomplished either way. While I feel the need to live up to her because she was so amazing, I also hope that my children will feel the same about me. That they never lacked for anything and that whether I worked or not I always provided for them and loved them and that they suffered nothing because of our choices as parents. Even through my rebellious teen years when I thought I was smarter then them, I knew that they provided well and was always grateful for what I had. That's a lot to live up to but it was also a great example for me to parent by.

So I am thankful for this amazing day and I know that even though I will be a working mom and miss my baby like crazy that I will provide a good life and he will love me and this is the right thing for us. I will keep telling myself that anyway.

I was starting to get the hang of superSAHMmom. It's time I master SuperWorkingMom and if I come close to being as accomplished as my mother was then I know I will be doing a good job. My whole life is my son. As parents we both totally believe everything we are doing is for him now, and it motivates you like nothing else. I will be good at this....and my coworkers, bless them have already armed themselves with boxes of kleenex's just in case I blubber my way through the first week.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Whoa, Bessy, slow it down

Yea, I just called myself a cow...but in a loving way. ;)

2.2. That was my official weightloss for the week. This was a wierd week. Thursday night I made dinner and had been tracking my food and doing well and then about thirty minutes later I got violently ill. We are guessing Food Poisoning but it was miserable. I lost over 5lbs in one night but I knew it needed to come back because I lost a lot of fluid. For several days I lost my appetite. I lived off Cola and gatorade. Yesterday I finally ate a few meals. Mostly carbs. I finally gained a few pounds back when I weighed this morning. It's a dissappointment but I knew I would and needed to so its fine.


Weight Watchers actually fussed at me though. My average is 2.8lbs per week which is too fast for their preferences. I'm torn. I love that I'm losing and I feel so much better about myself just a mere 11.3 lbs later (in four weeks). I'm about five pounds from achieving my firt WW goal and 16lbs from prepregnancy weight. BUT I do not wish to do anything that would negatively affect my body or my milk supply as I'm doing all of this for my son. To be a healthy a mom and be here for him for as long as I can be. So its a fight within my brain to actively SLOW my weightloss. A foreign concept for sure!

Change is in the air though. This is my last week at home. ::tear:: I think going back to work will be good for my body, mind and even weightloss. It will be a schedule with a mixture of adult time, mental stimulation, and set eating (plus prepared meals to take with me). But it will be bad on my heart which will be at home with my baby boy. I hope the emotional turmoil of adjustment does not negatively affect my progress.

I still need to work more activity into my routine preferably without spending more time away from my son. This is one area I have not grasped yet. Any tips or advice or encouragement in that aspect would be appreciated. How do you work exercise in around an infant and a full work schedule. With DH working and in school I sometimes feel like a single parent. How do single parents work in exercise etc? I admire their stamina because I'm not sure I could do it 24/7 and retain my sanity. Seriously.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Fathers Day

Here Daddy, we got you something! Thank you! See how sweet my mornings have become? Thats the best gift either of us could ask for.

Video Link on Youtube of their morning chat:
http://youtu.be/vI8f3SUHAgA

Portrait Studios have Possibility

My MIL wanted family photos (with the entire family) as her birthday gift. How can I complain when I got this out of it? cheesy Portrait pictures? Yes please.



double cheese but whatevs.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Catching a Wave

Sometimes we have to learn a lesson over and over again before it actually sinks in. We get ahead of ourselves.

I'm an intelligent person (although I feel like several of my more mechanically inclined braincells exited along with my placenta). Sometimes I think a little higher of my abilities then I should. I go along keeping up with finances, expenses, and most recently WW points in my head. This almost always gets my slightly in trouble. Spending more than I budgeted, having overdraft kick in, and of course going over my points.

The past few days I have been more active. I actually took a day to go shopping with a girlfriend and catch a movie (Bridesmaids is fantastic btw). I ate fast food. I knew the points of what I got but I didn't take the time to write them down every day. I went over but not over the weekly points. I also increased my food a little bit this week to purposefully dip into the weekly points because I noticed i seemed to have more breastmilk. So all in all I stayed on track but I didn't do as well as I should have.

After working out midweek I had seen a new low number on the scale. I was down 11 lbs from start point, but that wasn't my official weigh in day. Then after the weekend fast food shenanigans, I was a little nervous to get on the scales this morning. 1.9lbs from last week. The good news is it is a loss. I'm trying to hold to the information that as a nursing mother I am not supposed to lose more than 1lb per week so as not to affect my milk supply so in that sense I'm on track. And my milk has been better the past few days than ever before. Still not enough but I seem to be supplementing him a little less.

But as an overweight woman with newly developed body image issues, its hard to see the scale go up even a little bit and know that it was my choice of foods. I could have made better choices, eaten out less and still kept food in my system to keep up my milk supply that would have been better for the scale. Its as simple as that.

I will hug tight my 1.9 lb loss for a total of 9.1 lbs in three weeks. I'm still on track. I didn't fall off the wagon and I didn't let the "setback" knock me down. I regrouped this morning and kissed up to my WW Online tools. I was forgiven and am currently please with myself typing this while I munch on a whole wheat raisen bagel and a banana.

We are women. We are constantly changing, improving, slipping but we continue. I'm growing as a mother, a human, a wife, and a future thin person. Weightloss is like a waterpark. Sweating in a long line, tired of climbing the steep steps for a 3 second refreshing drop, only to do it again. I'll keep aiming for the big slides and Fighting the Wave Pool and be happy with the simple Kiddie Hills along the way. I just have to remember as relaxing as it may be, i have to stay out of the Lazy River ride.
Photo Credit