Sometimes It Doesn't Take A Village- An Open Letter

Dear Critical Lady,

The other night, we decided to spend some time as a family and get out of the house for dinner.  Given my daughter's passion for noodles, we ended up going somewhere that serves noodle dishes....which is probably the same reason you were there. 

Who doesn't love noodles?  

As I gave my three year old Sweet Pea two choices of noodles, you somehow felt it necessary to say "Or something healthy".  At first, you probably saw a look of surprise on my face as I was trying to figure out why the Diet Police was not in costume (eating there herself, mind you).  That quickly spread to a look of anger as I tried to conjure some fists to come springing out of my eyes and punch you in your throat or to Jedi mind trick you into punching yourself in the face and saving me some energy. 

However, sadly, neither worked.

So you followed up with "Just putting it out there".

In my quest to teach my children to be decent human beings (something your parents obviously skipped with you), I chose to NOT knock you off your seat.  I chose to let you go on eating your WHITE pasta with pesto and I decided you are a judgmental douchecanoe (seriously...how close did I get to actually describing you perfectly!?!).

I let you ruin my family time.  I even let you make me cry when we left.  That's a flaw in my character.   Here's what you need to know about yours:

Sometimes, It does NOT take a village.  Or if it does take a village, I equate that village to the team I would pick while playing Red Rover as a child. I would pick the strongest people who will hold my hand the tightest and form a united line against the "other side". 

You are the "other side". 

You see nowhere in my daily decisions of what is best for MY children, do I consider you important, or even consider you at all.  You decided to inject yourself into my parenting, like a poison.  Your words, dripping with judgment, were neither helpful or warranted. 

If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. 

I don't feel the need to explain to you exactly how balanced I make sure my children's meals are.  That's MY business.  What I feed MY children is MY business. The decisions I make for MY children are MY decisions to make because they are MY children. See the pattern here?  Nowhere in that is YOU. 

I don't pretend to be perfect.  Fake it til you make it, right?.  Sometimes, I go to bed patting myself on the back because "I GOT THIS"...other days, I am less than kind to myself.  I go through those motions, without your judgement.  Being a mom is hard enough.... but that is where MY village comes in.  My children are surrounded by so much love with family and friends that you really shouldn't ever feel the need to HAVE to say something to me. 

No really, you shouldn't. 

If I fail, and I am going to MANY MANY times, there is such a net of support.

SUPPORT: noun To keep from weakening or failing; strengthen. 

Don't you worry your gray little hairs about us. 

AND DO NOT for one second assume that because I am not a single digit size, I feed my children like crap.  I struggle with food.  It's evident when you look at me.  People who have issues with food wear their problems for everyone to see, and I guess you think because you see it, you can judge me and my parenting. 

Before you judge me, make sure you are perfect.  

Now excuse me, while I go prepare my child's lunch of potato chips, chocolate cake, fried oreos or whatever else it is that you assumed I feed her regularly. 

the mom who no longer gives a damn what you think...



The Birth of The Sun

It has been a crazy long time since I have been able to post. TONS of stuff has happened since May. I figured I'd start at the beginning....

In late May, Peanut arrived. It was totally scheduled due to a prior C-section (opinions not welcome here!). The last few months of the pregnancy were challenging. I had Gestational Diabetes but honestly I kicked it's ass. Pregnancy cravings and GD do not mix but I stayed focused and ate ALL the cardboard!  

So one morning in May, my husband and I left Sweet Pea for the first time ever to welcome Peanut into the world. I was so glad that my parents were able to be here with her. 

I must say my experience with my C-section was so different this time. I was calm. I knew what to expect. Time went as scheduled. There was no waiting around this time. Surgery took a little longer this time due to some scar tissue but seriously in no time, I laid eyes on my sweet little peanut!

He looks JUST like his daddy which I had hoped for from the second I found out we were having a boy. I was beyond THRILLED to find out he did not need to go to NICU due to my GD! This had been a huge fear of mine since I found out I had it. 

And this time, we were able to have him with us in recovery. Everything was going exactly as planned....  I was over the moon! 

Peanut had been having a few issues with feeding. No matter what he seemed to take, it came back up. Everyone said it was ok, just his stomach emptying out the contents of the amniotic fluid. Nothing to worry about. 

They asked to take him to the nursery for a bath. I told them I was going to close my eyes and would ring for him in a couple of hours. 

The first night in the hospital is always filled with many people in and out of your room, checking on you for everything. This night was no exception except I didn't expect a resident pediatrician to be shaking my arm to wake me up at 3 am. 

As soon as my eyes open and met hers, I heard the words "we have to take your son to NICU. He needs to be up there for some testing. He is vomiting green, which is bile and we are very concerned". I couldn't process what was happening. The pain meds had me groggy and totally unable to complete a thought. Thank god my husband was there and jumped right into action. He was asked to escort Peanut up to NICU to sign papers. 

As he left the room with the dr, I FELL APART. This wasn't supposed to be happening. I did everything I could to make sure he didn't have to go to NICU because of me. I didn't understand and I definitely wasn't able to convey more than a few words through my sobs. I had two nurses in the room with me. One pushing me to start pumping right away, the other making sure I had my meds and trying to get me out of bed so I could "go see my son". I think I was on autopilot then. I have a fainting history and this time was no different. I couldn't get out of bed. I knew I was going to faint. The guilt was unbearable.

My husband returned about 90 minutes later as white as a ghost. He explained they had to put an IV in his little arm and stint it so he wouldn't pull it out. They started to do all this testing on him and repeatedly pricking his foot for some blood. 

Time was moving at a snails pace as we waited for word of what was happening. 

Finally around 8:30 am my OB came to check on me. The second I saw him I started sobbing again. 

 "They took him to NICU anyway (he knew about my fear). They haven't told us anything."   

After explaining to me repeatedly that this wasn't my fault, I did everything right with the GD and he was almost positive this has nothing to do with that. He told me he was going up to check on Peanut for us. He called me about 15 minutes later and told me that there was no blockage which was a huge relief but they were still running tests. 

We called the family and requested no visitors with the exception of immediate family. My husband kept running between Peanut and I to make sure we were both ok. I spent my morning focused on getting out of bed so I could go to him. I needed to see him. My heart was broken. 

Finally around noon, I requested a wheel chair and had them bring me to my son. The feeling was so strange. I honestly couldn't stand the sight of looking at him with all the machines and wires attached to him. I wanted to yank him out of the little bed and run far away. The nurse in there was giving us the cold shoulder. I asked a question and got a very nasty response. It was so disheartening to have a lady like that working in NICU. These parents are entrusting their sweet little babies in your care. Respect them. Be compassionate to them. This might just be a job to you but half of my whole heart was laying there under your care. 

Believe me when I tell you I was vocal about it. 

Test after test was run and they couldn't find anything wrong with Peanut. THANK YOU JESUS! He was in NICU for a total of 36 hours. Still to this day they are unsure why he spit up the bile....

My family has been having some trying times since that dr woke me up that morning. As my son went to NICU, my aunt took a turn for the worst...but I'll save that for another post.

There's been death, lots of illness, and a fire within the weeks that followed. 

I promise to get into it all....

...but for now I need to tell you that on that Monday in late May, my sun (no typo here) was born. With everything we have endured over the past three months, my sweet baby boy and my perfect Sweet Pea have been the reason we are still able to smile.  

Here comes the Son little darling...here comes the Sun and I say "it's all right". 


My Dearest Sweet Pea 2013

My Dearest Sweet Pea,

                I can not believe tomorrow morning you will wake up as a 2 year old.  I really thought the first year of your life flew by fast but that was nothing compared to this past year.  I seriously feel like I was just running around like crazy getting everything ready for your Candy Land first birthday.  It feels like a blink of an eye and that makes me lose my breath. 

            There has been no greater joy in the whole world than watching you transform from a newborn to toddler.  You are becoming more and more of a little (over opinionated) lady every day.  The growth is magical and fascinating to watch.  As excited as I am to continue to watch you grow, I do wish time would slow down a little. 

             You and I have gotten our little daily routine down to a science!  You wake up every morning calling out for us, letting us know you are all done sleeping.  The look of excitement on your face every morning when you see daddy and I makes my heart melt EVERY time!  We have breakfast (and you always want to eat half of mommy's) and we play.  You love to read books and sing songs (especially "I'm a Little Teapot" and "Roll Up the Map").   You know your animals and your colors and just a few letters.  You get very excited when you see the letter "A"!  You love ALL things Mickey (who you call "ISHY") and Minnie Mouse.  We always have a day full of adventures (especially when you throw your tantrums).  I wouldn't change anything!

           The next year of our lives will be very exciting!  You brother is coming to join us in just a couple months!  I know it may be difficult at first for you because you are used to just Mommy all day long.  Let me tell you a secret, Mommy feels that way too.  I am SO very happy to bring your brother to us but my heart gets a little sad because I know it won't be just you and I anymore.  I promise to always make special time for you and in no time, we will have our special days out together, where we can get mani and pedi's.  I very much look forward to those days. 

          Every single day, my love for you grows stronger and each night before I go to bed I think there is no possible way I could love you more...and then the next day I do.  You are everything Mommy prayed for...everything I have ever wished on a star for!!!

        Happy Second Birthday Baby Girl!!!!!  I love you all day, every day and twice as much today!!!!

Love, your Mama


A Dream of Peanut

Before I even knew I was pregnant, I had this really weird dream that I was nine months pregnant and didn't know (and no I don't watch that show "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" because I honestly don't see how that's even possible. But anyway....). The dream was so strange.

All of a sudden, I'm in the hospital and we are freaking out. I had no idea what I was having. Then out of nowhere, the baby kicked it's foot out of my stomach and I looked down at it and saw a little foot with a Michael Jordan sock (um hello RANDOM?!) on it and I turned to my husband and said "it's a boy!". That's all I could remember....

And then two weeks later, I found out I am pregnant.

My husband and I were talking about how crazy the dream was ....I was actually pregnant when I had it.

So you could imagine my surprise when I learned that Peanut is actually a boy!!!

It's like my subconscious was preparing me for all this! Although I'm not sure what the whole Michael Jordan sock means.....unless he's gonna be a basketball player (or maybe own the Chicago Bulls or work/model for Fruit of the Loom or decide he wants to be a baseball player for ONE season).



The Infertile Who Cried Wolf

Hi!  I totally know it's been forever since I posted.  At first, I had nothing to say.  Then I couldn't find the words..or the time.  I got an itch this morning...so here I am!!


In our long journey for Sweet Pea, having never been pregnant before, I SWORE I was pregnant more times than I care to remember.  The cycle was always the same.  I would feel different.  Convince myself I wasn't...then convince myself I was.  Hang onto that as long as I could.  I would finally be so convinced that I would test...and it was always negative.  My hope and my husband's hope were just like floating balloons...kept going higher, and then would pop with heartache. 

Sweet Pea has been our pride and joy.  TOTALLY worth the wait...and tears...and money spent (because unfortunately when you are dealing with infertility this is an issue! BLAH!).

We had always said we would just let nature take it's course after we had her.  If my body somehow fixed itself, wonderful!!! If not, we wanted another child but figured we would wait a few years.

I learned pretty early....my cycles did not regulate.  I was frustrated and just decided to give up.  I wouldn't think about it and I began to accept that if Sweet Pea was it for us, that's still pretty amazing!

My cycles last summer were A MESS! However, for the first time in a long time, I didn't fret about it.  It was what it was. 

Around mid September, I remember thinking that my boobs were sensitive.  The only other time I could remember where they felt like this was with Sweet Pea.  I hadn't seen the Queen of Broken Hearts since the end of July.  I wrote it off as some weird hormonal thing and carried on. 

A week later, I started to get waves of nausea.  My husband and I were heading to Sweet Pea's 18 month check up (um who let her grow up?!?!) and I told him I thought I wanted to throw up.  He said "That's it.  After this appointment, we are going to the store and buying a test.  I don't want to listen to this for a month."  He then turned to my daughter, joking around, and said "Daddy is going to make Mommy pee on a stick so we can tell her she's crazy".  

I laughed!  It WAS crazy.  Yet, my anxiety rose and I just wanted to get it over with.

We got the test and the second we walked in the house, he ushered me into the bathroom.  I did what I had done so many times before.  Yet...this time I wasn't anxiously watching my clock for the 3 min mark.  I sat and read a magazine article.  When I was finished, I took a deep breath and looked over. 


I quickly rubbed my eyes and thought I had some disease where my sight or brain (or heart) blocked me from reading the word NOT!  This HAD to be WRONG!!!!

I opened the door SCREAMING "OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!" 

I will NEVER forget the look that both my daughter and my husband gave me....a quick look of confusion and then my husband's mouth kind of hung open for a minute.  I shoved the stick in his face so he can validate my new disease of ignoring the word "NOT". 

"That says Pregnant".

And pregnant I am. 

I NEVER in my life thought we would be blessed with such a surprise...such a miracle.  After so many times of "feeling pregnant" and the disappointment of not being...after so many times of being the "Infertile that Cried Wolf", we just didn't let ourselves go there this time!  Which of course, in the story, is when the wolf shows up!

Except this isn't a wolf.  This is our sweet little Peanut.....

I KNOW this makes me a cliche and I'm actually very uncomfortable with that.  I even remotely hate that "we forgot about it and relaxed and it happened".

I hereby apologize to anyone who has to listen to the advice "relax and it will happen".

Don't throw stones at me, k?


Don't Mess With A Mama Bear

I consider myself very aware of my surroundings.

 I often get "feelings" about people. I trust them and I act accordingly.  Of course, I HAVE been wrong but I have also been right.  If my thirty two years on earth have taught me anything so far....it's to always trust your instincts!

This awareness has become complete hypervigilance once Sweet Pea was born. 

I like to think of it as "Mama Bear Syndrome".  I will do ANYTHING to protect my child. 

I've learned a long time ago that while there ARE lots of good people out there in the world...there are also lots of bad and crazy people too.  They come in all different forms. Sometimes they are easy to spot!  That makes my job a lot easier. 

However, sometimes, they are not.

I am constantly on guard....Basically I think every stranger is a predator. 

Today, I was at one of my FAVORITE stores buying way more than the ONE thing I went in there for.  We were waiting at the checkout lane and this old man walks up and begins to stare at Sweet Pea.  I looked at him and smiled and he said " She is the best thing I have seen in this store today!".  Being that I TOTALLY agree with him, I just smiled and said "Thank You".

But then he continued to stare at her and my CREEP alert went off.  He then told me how beautiful she is and took a step towards her.

I jerked the cart backwards, closer to me.  I knew if he took one step closer, the words "GET THE F**K AWAY FROM MY CHILD" would be coming out of my mouth.  I continued to check out as quick as I could, making sure I did not take my eyes off of him for ONE second.

He then said " She is so beautiful. Only little girls could be that beautiful".

He's lucky he kept his distance or I can guarantee you he would NOT be able to walk.  

The whole thing made my super mama spidey sense go on full red alert.

While I understand that he could have VERY easily been a grandfather that adores his grandkids, I also realize how he could have VERY easily been one of those BAD people I was talking about.  Predators don't have to wear necklaces that say "I am a pig" in public. 

We have all heard ONE too many stories about bad people taking away the innocence of children and my run in might have been harmless and meant nothing, but I will never allow Sweet Pea to be put in a predicament like that that I can control. 

Has anyone ever had an experience like this? What do you do to keep your little ones safe?


The Cheerio Smuggler

Feeding has become interesting with a toddler. 

On one hand, gone are the days of prepping and washing bottles.  I no longer need to buy the ridiculously priced formulas. 

But on the other hand, I now have to deal with multiple sippy cups, prepping and cutting food into tiny little bite size pieces, and cleaning up the huge mess that was left behind....

Because seriously...the way Sweet Pea eats has about half of it in her mouth but the rest of it on the floor, in her high chair, in her hair and stuck to her clothes. 

Each and every time, I lift her up out of the chair, it is like a game of hide and seek.....where did she hide the food and where will I find it....

I would say a majority of the time, the food is somewhere I can see it and then I spend a ridiculous amount of time each day cleaning it up!

However sometimes, I get surprised....sometimes I won't find the food until we go for a diaper change.  SOMEHOW food gets into the band of her diaper!!! I've found ground beef and cheese after Tacos, spaghetti and meatballs, cheese, peas, and most often...Cheerios. 

Those little circles of toddler goodness ALWAYS seem to make it somewhere in her clothes.  At least one...EVERY TIME!

Part of me thinks that Sweet Pea is just saving some food for later as a snack (mama must teach her how to use her pockets!!) and part of me thinks this is an evil ploy from the cereal company to get more branding....if the Cheerios always fall out of their clothes and diapers, they will often land places where they typically wouldn't be so in essence it's FREE ADVERTISING for toddlers. We all know a toddler has no sense of self control when they spot these. 

Maybe Sweet Pea is trying to help out all the fellow babies by spreading her Cheerios around....

....My Little Cheerio Smuggler.