6.26.2012

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?





6.24.2012

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.

4.22.2012

Don't Ignore My Journey

Don't ignore my journey...

I hurt....
I struggled....
I cried....

I went through cycle after cycle of negatives.  Cycle after cycle of depression.  

I lost friends and gained friends and then lost those friends too.

My marriage suffered but then got stronger.

I spent countless hours waiting...for doctors...for bloodwork...for test results...for a baby..

Even at my lowest, when I didn't think I could carry on....I found strength...I found hope...I learned to fight.

And I had her....my perfect precious daughter. My life is full of sunshine.

But the journey still remains....the story is not different! It's tattooed forever on my soul. 

I proudly share the story of conceiving my daughter....the blood, the sweat and the tears.   I want the world to see how truly precious she is!

Don't assume I am "healed" or "fixed" because of the outcome......that never could really ever be true. 

I still struggle with it all...I still struggle with infertility.  I am forever a statistic.

Don't ignore my journey... it made me the mother I am today. 

*This post was written for National Infertility Awareness Week.  For more information on infertility please click here

4.19.2012

Dont' Cry Over Spilled Milk Huh?

Someone once said "Don't cry over spilled milk".

This person never had a one year old!

At Sweet Pea's one year appointment, her doctor told us that it was time to switch to whole milk (which I expected) and that it was time to give up the bottle (UM SAY WHAT?!?).  I quickly started to panic as I thought of Sweet Pea's fight to take the sippy cup.  She FINALLY just had started taking it and she would only take water in it.  Not formula....not juice...JUST WATER! The doctor just urged us to keep trying.

So I packed up all her day time bottles and traded it in for her new sippy cups.  She adjusted much better than I thought.  At first she wasn't drinking as much as she should, which is why we decided to keep the bottle before bed (but we are hoping to phase that out within the next month).

So there's my baby....my new little toddler....walking around the room with her "unleakable" sippy cup of milk.  Only it's not ALWAYS "unleakable".  Most of the time, it leaks ....A LOT!!! We have tried four different brands and they all spill or leak (honestly WHO is doing these studies?!?).

So what does that mean? ALL OVER MILK!

Milk on the carpet.....milk on the ottoman....milk on the couch.....milk on the tables...ALL THE TIME MILK. 

ALL. THE. TIME. MILK.

at least she's drinking it right?

These milk spills aren't just from her placing her sippy cup down....no!  My diva daughter has decided when she is done taking a sip of the milk from the cup, SHE NO LONGER WANTS TO SEE IT.  So she channels her inner Mariano Rivera and pitches it. MILK SPLATS EVERYWHERE!

Apparently, milk cleaner upper is a new part of my job description.  I am forever following my daughter around with a paper towel to get the spill as soon as it happens because let's face it...sour milk is not my favorite scent. 

So I decided to also give her a sippy cup of water during the day.  This way at least some of the spilled water will clean up the spilled milk right?


Relax mom....I'm kidding

Today, as I got up from where I was sitting to clean up spill # 823712894 of the day, my darling little milk spiller climbed up onto a pile of her toys, grabbed my own FULL cup of milk (WITH ONE HAND) and in her best audition for the NY Yankees, threw it!

My mouth gaped as I watched the milk (IN SLOW MOTION) go all over everything. Her books...her unwashable dolls...the chair...the ottoman....the carpet.  I feel my legs give out (my little paper towel will not clean this up) as she bends to pick up the cup and there is my wide eyed, crazy haired daughter standing with the cup she emptied all over the living room, smiling. 

WELCOME TO TODDLERHOOD JENN!

3.23.2012

My Dearest Sweet Pea

My Dearest Sweet Pea,

             Last year at this time, I sat awake with excitement over finally being able to hold you the next day.  My heart skipped a beat when I thought about what life was going to be like with you in it and I am sure I had major butterflies (along with those precious kicks).  Tonight, I sit here on the eve of your first birthday thinking about your first year.  You have changed my life in more ways than I will ever be able to express to you in words. 
           Every morning, I wake up to hear your "singing", your coo's to let me and daddy know you are awake and each and every morning I jump out of bed with excitement to see you.  I race up the stairs with anticipation and the BEST moment of my day is when our eyes meet.  We have the same smile at that moment....your face mirrors mine as I ask all about your sleep and tell you how much I missed you.....because I did.  I did not know it was possible to physically miss something that is only in the next room....but it is.....I feel that every night. 

      We go through the schedule of our day as we play and read books together. You love when Mommy reads/sings you "Snuggle Puppy" and Mommy loves to see you happy.  We dance and sing to the Wiggles.  We play with the seemingly endless amount of toys you have.  Each day is true perfection (even when you are teething). 

    Oh sweet angel, I can't tell you how much I adore your cuddles and kisses!!!
 
     Each night, I give you your bottle and kiss your sweet head as I thank god for giving you to Daddy and I.  I have always pictured having a child, a beautiful daughter....yet, I could NEVER have imagined someone as perfect as you.  And every night, I whisper the same words  "I love you ALL day, every day and twice as much today".  I lay you down for the night, leaving a piece of my heart in the crib with you and anxiously awaiting the next morning when I can feel whole again.

   For Mommy, you are everything!  The words

    I love you will never be strong enough.

  Thank you for the last year....for breathing new life into me.....for teaching my heart to beat to the sound of your pure perfection.....for providing me with an unfathomable amount of love and happiness....for being everything I have ever wanted and everything I never could imagine was possible.

   Tomorrow, Mommy and Daddy are throwing a huge party and we invited all your close family and friends. Tomorrow, we all gather to celebrate what Mommy and Daddy celebrate every single day....the day you were born!

Happy FIRST birthday baby!

I love you, all day, every day, and twice as much (especially) today,

Your Mommy    

2.28.2012

80's Music Narrative- Part 1- All I Wanna Do..

I was listening to some music this morning while I was getting ready.  I am an 80's child...therefore a huge fan of the music! 

There are some real gems from that decade!

What's not to love about a song that repeatedly says "Oh Mickey! You're so fine.  You're so fine, you blow my mind.  Oh Mickey!  Oh Mickey!" (by the way when I was younger...I was SURE she was talking about Mickey Mouse).  Or the head bopping "99 Red Balloons".  80's music is ALL GOOD!

And then this one came on......ALL I WANNA DO IS MAKE LOVE TO YOU by Heart.  I LOVE Heart's music....GREAT BAND!  But this song...seriously....wtf?!?!

So here it is my friends...my narrative of this WONDERFUL song!

It was a rainy night when he came into sight (ok ok...setting up the scene)
Standing by the road, with no umbrella, no coat (ok where was she picking him up?  A bus stop?  Was he homeless? Was she stopping in that "Don't pick up hitchhikers" zone outside a prison by the highway?  What if this was a serial killer?  This song could have ended WAY different! Don't do this at home folks!)
So, I pulled up along side and I offered him a ride
He accepted with a smile, so, we drove for a while (this further more proves that I think she picked him up by a prison. A definite escapee! If they had to drive for awhile...she picked him up in the middle of nowhere! OR seriously she must have HAD to drive WAY out of town to pull this off!)

I didn't ask him his name, this lonely boy in the rain (what the hell did they talk about if they were driving for awhile.  The Yankees?  I am hoping she at least asked a complete medical history!!! Excuse me strange man I just picked up on the side of the road that possibly escaped from prison and is a serial killer, does heart disease and diabetes run in your family?)
Fate tell me it's right is this love at first sight (I'm thinking the answer is NO!)
Please don't make it wrong, just stay for the night

All I wanna do is make love to you
Say you will, you want me too
All I wanna do is make love to you
I've got loving arms to hold on to (OK so it established that she has arms....and they are loving....good to know! Sounds to me like the prison serial killer didn't want to do it! She had to convince him)

So, we found this hotel, it was a place I knew well (OH DEAR GOD! SHE KNOWS THE PLACE WELL! How many times has she done this before?!?!?)
We made magic that night, oh, he did everything right (Obviously, knowing the end of the song...I know they didn't use protection!  Were diseases not a concern at all here?!?!)
He brought the woman out of me, so many times easily (I'm assuming after escaping prison...this wasn't hard)
And in the morning when he woke all I left him was a note (If a man was singing this part, we would all be like....oh that DOG! And seriously he was in SUCH a deep sleep that he didn't hear her leave?  I'm thinking she might have slipped this prison escapee a roofie!)

I told him, "I am the flower, you are the seed" (Biology lesson....listen up folks)
We walked in the garden we planted a tree (This is a metaphor...they didn't actually walk in a garden and plant a tree)
Don't try to find me, please don't you dare (Honestly, this prison escapee serial killer is probably thinking right now...SCORE!)
Just live in my memory, you'll always be there

All I wanna do is make love to you
One night of love was all we knew
All I wanna do is make love to you
I've got loving arms to hold on too

Oh, ooh, we made love, love like strangers (Well  you are strangers....I think.  Part of me wants to think this is her lover and they are role playing so that the next part of the song isn't as bad as I think it is!)
All night long we made love (showoffs!)

Then it happened one day, we came 'round the same way (Oh boy does Fate have a way of slapping you in the face!  What are the odds right?  I guess the song couldn't have ended like "Then Nine months later, my husband thought this child was his and we lived happily ever after!"  Nope..need the drama!)
You can imagine his surprise when he saw his own eyes (oh shit!  Things just got REAL!)
I said, "Please, please understand, I'm in love with another man
And what he couldn't give me was the one little thing you can" (Here is where I am all WTF?!?!  Does her husband not know he is infertile?!?!  If he did, don't you think he would figure out what is going on?  And if he knew, then why not just get a donor?  Did they have bad infertility insurance too?)
 
All I wanna do is make love to you (That was really ALL she wanted to do!  REALLY!)
 One night of love was all we knew
All I want to do is make love to you
Come on, say you will, you want me too

All I wanna do is make love to you
One night of love was all we knew
All I want to do is make love to you
Say you will, baby, you want me to

All night long, all night long
All night long, all night long

All I wanna do is, all I wanna do
All I wanna do, all I wanna do
All I wanna do is make love to you
One night of love was all we knew, yeah
All night long, all night long  (um...ok....great)

I sang EVERY WORD into my hairbrush and when it was done, I was like...

......SERIOUSLY! WHO FRIGGEN WROTE THAT?!?!

2.25.2012

It's Almost Time.....

I am officially in the depths of First Birthday planning!

Truth be told, I figured out the theme at some point in the first month of Sweet Pea's life (and I've totally been mentally planning since).

I am a total Type A personality!  That being said, it shouldn't shock anyone that I am sort of obsessed with it. 

At any given time. you can catch me:
- on the phone with my sister for the second, tenth, or seventy fifth time that day
- making a list of the lists I have already made and then color coding the lists of the lists and probably deciding I need another list
-googling the same images OVER AND OVER hoping that I can see something new in them
-daydreaming (and possibly even drawing a map) of the way the room is going to be set up
-making more lists in my phone of the lists I have on paper....
-spending hours on pinterest, thinking I actually am a lot more creative than I am
-trying something from pinterest and realizing I suck
-calling my sister again
-making another list after calling my sister
-asking my husband's opinion on something when we both know if he doesn't agree with me, I will either just get mad at him or not listen and do it anyway. 

I am so detail oriented when it comes to parties.  For me, its the little things that make the biggest statements.  This can be both a blessing and a nightmare. 

So for those around me, I apologize over the obsessive *more than normal* talk about Sweet Pea's first birthday party! 

It's just me....It's who I am ...and to know me is to love me right?!?!  RIGHT?!!?!

PS- don't you totally love how I put a list in this very blog....I FRIGGEN LOVE LISTS!!!!!

2.02.2012

Am A Smother Mother

I am completely 100% head over heels in love with my child. (I'm sure this came as no surprise to you all). 

I am totally mushy gushy when it comes to my daughter.

From the second she wakes up in the morning, my heart begins to skip a beat.  From the second our eyes met each morning, I am consistently telling her how much I missed her while she was sleeping...because it really is the truth.  My heart learned to beat with hers when I carried her and now it can't stand to be away from hers.  

As I scoop her up, I begin to cover her with kisses...which becomes an all day affair because simply put, there is no way to look at her and hold her without giving her a kiss.

Then we start the tough part of the day, where I try to put into words just how much I love her.  There are never enough words....no words are ever enough.  However, you can bet I try.  Our days are full of "I love you's", "You are mommy's FAVORITE", and " I can't thank God enough for you".

And as I lay her sweet dreaming body to sleep at night, I always whisper the same thing as I kiss her gorgeous head of curls....
"I love you ALL DAY, 
                               Every day, 
                                              And twice as much today".

As Sweet Pea and I played today, she began to laugh and I scooped her up into my arms and began to give her many kisses and then I said "Mommy loves to smother you in kisses".

I placed her down and began to panic....

SMOTHER?!??

OMG AM I SMOTHERING HER?!?!

HAVE I BECOME A SMOTHER MOTHER?!!?

Will my child be in therapy for the rest of her life because I can't stop hugging her, staring at her, kissing her and telling her how much I love her?!!?

I sat there in disbelief that maybe, just maybe, I am messing her up by doing that.  And as the panicked look spread across my face, my future therapy patient crawled over to me, signaled for me to pick her up, snuggled into my shoulder, then picked her head up and gave me a kiss. 

She totally loves her smother mother!

1.11.2012

Jenn Cooks Chicken Soup Pastina

This has been a crazy week for us.  My daughter is teething.  My husband has surgery on his toe on Monday and as if the stress of both of those things wasn't enough for me,I came down with an AWFUL stomach bug Monday night. 

Yesterday was kind of a "just get through today" type day.

I woke up this morning feeling much better and decided to make a huge pot of chicken soup in hopes no one in my family catches what I had. 

I really make a kick ass chicken soup.

As a matter of fact, after my broth was done tonight before I added the pasta (because I'm all about the chicken noodle soup), I might have even said to myself "Hmm..this is the best broth ever".  I then had a quick fantasy of my husband drooling over my soup and telling me how good it was.  I did my little victory dance and pulled out the pasta to add. 

I decided to use Pastina so Sweet Pea could have some. For those of you who don't know what Pastina is, it is little teeny tiny star noodles. 

In a hurry to get the baby's bottle started and dice up the chicken, I dumped a box of Pastina in...decided it didn't look like enough and then dumped another.  Gave it a little stir and carried on with what I was doing. 

I'll admit it before I made the Pastina for Sweet Pea...I probably haven't had it in like 15 years.  When I made it for the baby, I made about a 1/4 of a cup and she was eating it for a few days. 

I clearly wasn't thinking...

I consider myself a fairly intelligent girl....

Sometimes I just have these moments where I am all like "WHY THE HELL DID I JUST DO THAT?!?"

Do you want to know when I realized it this time?

When I grabbed the soup ladle, and spooned PASTINA into the bowl. I looked in the pot and there was about half Pastina and half broth.  I spooned some broth over the Pastina and mentioned to my husband that I might have added a little too much Pastina. 

Only here's the problem....by the time he got to his bowl, It was 3/4 Pastina and 1/4 broth.

By the time I got back to the pot to serve myself the pot showed probably 9/10 Pastina and 1/10 broth. 

THIS SHIT KEPT MULTIPLYING. 

I felt like Strega Nona!

By the time, I had sat down to eat, my poor chicken and carrots were being smothered by teeny tiny little stars.  There was no broth left....in my bowl....in my husband's bowl...or even in the large pot on the stove.


Would you like some soup with that Pastina?

My victory dance was a distant memory.  My husband's oohing and ahhing were transformed into loud giggles and these comments:


"Oh. I thought I spilled some!  Who am I kidding? This doesn't spill?"

"I feel like I swallowed a huge ball of glue".


After stating I was thirsty, he said "No kidding, the Pastina is soaking up your insides as well".


I had to laugh...


I mean....it really WAS funny!

The thing is ...it tasted REALLY GOOD! Even Sweet Pea ate some!

So here is my recipe for Chicken Soup Pastina:

Take the BEST chicken soup recipe you have and make it in a large pot.  When it's done, add two boxes of Pastina.  Don't worry about it not seeming to be a lot!  That crap is like The Duggars...it just keeps multiplying!


And there you have it!  I know what you all are making for dinner tomorrow night!!! 

P.S.  I left it in the pot to put the baby to bed ....who wants to take bets that it over took the pot and is all over my kitchen floor by now!?!?