Friday, August 29, 2014

Wished, Hoped & Prayed

Have you ever wanted to smack someone? Maybe even punch them in the face? How about body slam them? Yeah, well I sure have! It's a good thing I have some self restraint in me or else there would have probably been a simple assault on my record by now.

See, if you didn't know me before I had children I was a bit "wild" I guess you could say. I liked to party, I was/am loud, I took chances and enjoyed my life. Some people may have thought I was being a bit outrageous. Maybe that is putting it lightly. I liked to drink, smoke, go to the bars, hang out with my friends, go see shows, and I liked the boys too.

My GF Jen & I at a Halloween party in July! Pre-Baby for both of us. We may have had a "few."

There have been a couple  times since I have had children that I have gotten the response : "Who would have thought?!"

I smile and chuckle at this with those people who comment. It is easier to do that than what I really would like to do. See, here is the thing: Who I was before children does not explain who I am! When you say that to me are you trying to offend me? Do you realize what you are saying? There are several things that I have done in my past that I regret. Then there are several which have made me who I am today. The good, the bad, and the utterly ugly. All of it! I don't regret one single moment. Would I have done some things differently? Maybe. Do I wish I could turn back time? Never. Each decision, every person, and all those moments helped to create me. They don't define me.

To answer the question "Who would have thought?!" : I thought it! I wished it, hoped for it, prayed for it, and tried for it! I wanted a family, a partner, and children. I always have. In those moments where it was not happening were not always the happiest moments for me. It may have taken me longer to get here than planned, but I have arrived.

Maybe those people who say such things are not trying to intentionally hurt me. And normally I am a "I don't give a fuck what you think" kind of person. I do have a rather sensitive side and for some reason things like this creep to the center of that. 

I am not a judgmental person. I believe everyone deserves a second chance. We never know what is really going on within someone. Everyone has skeletons, they are theirs, not yours.

Life is very different for me now. I may be 36 but I am still growing up. I learn more about myself everyday. Each day is a gift to me. A stepping stone in my personal journey. I am grateful for it all. For my family and my friends who have stood by my side throughout all my changes. And for the lessons it all has taught me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

His Fantastic Journey

It is as if I blinked and suddenly I am where I am. I look around at my life and feel so filled with love and blessed for everything I have. My greatest gifts are my children. It seems like only yesterday when I first held Chase in my arms. This tiny little person that I had no idea how much I would fall in love with. Words can not even describe the emotions I have for my boys. I try to find those words but the feelings are so amazing I am not sure that those words have been created just yet.

Here we are, a little over 3 1/2 years later. Chase had his first soccer game last night. He was excited, and possibly I was even more excited than he was. I was curious and nervous at the same time. Would he like it? Would he engage the other children or would he stand on the side lines? Would he listen to his coaches?

He did all of that. He loved it. His face was priceless. Red and sweaty with a big smile on his face. He was great with the other kids and immediately picked another boy to tag along with and mimic. He played with the others, took redirection from his coaches, and didn't seem to notice I was there.

Chase will be starting preschool 2 afternoons a week starting in a week and a half. I am a bit terrified about this. I have always said one of the hardest things I ever done was send my child to daycare. It was such a gut wrenching act to me. I hated leaving my child. If you read this blog at all you now know I hate leaving my children period. Now with school approaching I am starting to feel the same way. Last night watching him at soccer helped to ease some of that. I know it is important for him. School will teach him skills that I can't. I believe in structure and he right now needs that. He wants to go! That makes me happy.

I am excited for all these new changes for him. His own fantastic journey he gets to create for himself. I have to remember it is not about me. I know I will be a blubbering mess when he gets on that bus yet will attempt to not loose it until he has driven off. I want him to keep the excitement and be proud of himself.

That is exactly what I felt watching him last night. Pride. I am thankful he picked me to be his mama! There are moments I wish I could hit a rewind button yet know this is the beginning of many incredible moments we get to share together.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Laughing away the Chaos

There are several things I love about my day with my children. Then there are some things that I dislike about my day. I could probably go on a good rant right here but will just focus on one of them for now. Let's talk about a dislike. It's called: Bedtime.

Many of you know that putting a toddler to sleep isn't as easy as tucking them in, kissing them, and walking out the door. Nope, they decide that they will try to take us down even in those last moments they are awake. Suddenly the child who just had snack is hungry again. God forbid you don't feed your child something else before they close their eyes! Then of coarse they are thirsty. Have to wash down that snack you know. Bed time story? Of coarse! My pleasure. I love books and really do enjoy reading to my children. But 3 books! What's worse is when he picks them out. By this point it has been a half hour. At least. Possibly more.

Time for lights out! You start to get excited. It's almost time to have some "me" time! You have been waiting for this all day! Not that you don't love your children, you just also want to remain sane. I shut the light off and sit next to him because it is ritual to rub his back at bedtime. This is something we have done since he was just months old.

Wait one second, I need to back up. Did you know that bedtime means only mommy can put you asleep? Really, apparently the memo reads something like: I don't care if my baby brother needs to be nursed, it is mommy's job to put me to bed. Yeah, I know, just let dad do it. But have you heard my toddler scream and cry for me when I don't put him to bed?!

Back to the back rub. I snug him in and rub his back. His eyes are closed, breathing is heavier. I quietly lift myself off his bed and sneak out. I go and take my vitamins, wash my face, and get in bed to finally nurse his brother who by this point is in tears because he just wants to eat! Then suddenly I hear scampering and a high pitched laugh as the toddler comes running into my room. Funny thing though, I am NOT laughing. Neither is dad. Things get ugly right about here. Dad tries to put him to sleep while I nurse and hear the cries from him in the back ground. The sobbing: "I want mommy". I finish nursing, sneak out of bed trying not to wake the babe, then have to go tuck him in one more time. If I am lucky we don't have to do this again. Like I said: If I am lucky.

Not "every" night is like this. Some nights bedtime miraculously happens without an issue.

This past Friday night bedtime was perfect. It was happy. I was given a "moment".

I tucked Chase into bed. Turned off the light then resumed my position next to him on the bed. He looked at me and said: "Snuggle Me". I squeezed myself in between him and the wall (he always makes me take the inside if we snuggle) and wrapped my arms around him. Mind you he still is in a toddler bed, there is not a lot of room.We kissed good night and said our nightly "I love you". We have this special thing we say to one another. It goes like this:

I love you to the moon and back. 
Around the Sun.
Up the River.
Down the stream
To your heart.

After that I said okay, time to close your eyes. Chase tells me I have to close my eyes too. So I did. And he did. I decide to peak to see if he really had them closed. He was peaking to see if I had mine closed. We both catch one another in the act and erupt into laughter. Belly laughs. His giggle was healing, happy, and erased all the chaos from my day.

Imagine that, it even happened at bedtime!

These are the moments that bring me back to why I wanted to be a mom. The moments that sometime get washed away by the tears, screams and whining of the day. They are always there. We are given them, sometimes we just need to let go and allow them to happen. Laughter, it truly is a blessed thing.

**Thank you for coming by and reading  my blog! I hope you enjoyed a good laugh. Please visit me at my Facebook Page for Discovering Me In Them.**

Friday, August 15, 2014

Liquid Gold

In a recent post, Hooray For Boobies, I talked about Breastfeeding and how I was fortunate to have nursed/nurse both of my boys. Not all of us are blessed with babes who come out ready to breastfeed. There are some mothers who struggle with wanting to give their babies breastmilk yet sometimes other circumstances cause this to be a struggle. Babies are born premature and are unable to nurse right away, some babies reject nursing, babies are born with conditions which cause them to be too ill to nurse, then there are parents who adopt yet still want to be able to give breastmilk. Did you know that you CAN induce lactation! How awesome is that! It takes a lot of work and sometimes it isn't successful yet this just shows how amazing the human body is.

For some families this is when it is fabulous that we have organizations such as Human Milk 4 Human Babies. I started following their Facebook page awhile back. I was drawn in by the stories that filled the pages. Some were heart breaking others were stories of gratitude of how milk sharing was an important role in the nourishment of their child.

I worked full time the first time around so every drop of "Liquid Gold" went to Chase. This time around I was fortunate to be home with Wesley and exclusively nurse. I pumped the first 7 months. Wes decided early on he wanted nothing to do with a bottle or a pacifier and his method of eating would strictly be the boob. I was left with a good amount of breastmilk that I had stored up. We have been using it in a sippy cup with Wes for months and will be using it to do our transition to cows milk. I still have a good amount frozen and it was decided that I wanted to share my milk! Vermont has its own Facebook page for Human Milk 4 Human Babies. With the help of this page I found a local family who wanted breastmilk. This mother was currently nursing and pumping but had a low supply and was looking to have more human milk for her baby. I was able to happily donate 53 oz. That may not be a large amount but to some even an oz is a blessing.

Nursing Wes at 7 Days New
Nursing Wes at 10 Months at The Big Latch On

I hope mothers everywhere consider to give the gift of human milk if they are able. Stop before you ditch that extra milk! Check the date, maybe you too can donate.

If you missed it jump on over to Because Mama Needs a Hobby and read the beginning of my journey with breastfeeding.

Happy Friday! Cheers! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

"Diva's of Little Devils"

Going from one to two kids was not hard for me. It was an easy transition really. Baby Wesley came and fit right in. He has been a good baby. Full of joy and happiness. Having him completed our family. He filled that piece in my heart that had a space. He was the "missing piece".

Chase was wonderful when we brought Wes home and for the first few months things were so nice. Then it 3 year old turned into a different creature.

The sweet boy that I would rock for nights on end, who would always kiss me goodnight without making me beg, that child who would look at me and make my heart swell...well, I think someone took him! Sweet little boy has now turned into my little a-hole!

Giving the "look".

I have been talking with friends lately regarding this issue. Apparently it's an epidemic! Really! It seems to be contagious and "widespread". Did I miss that one the 6 o'clock news?

Yes, I know this is just one of many phases. I know it will get easier. Then it will get harder. Then it will get easier again and then...well, you know where I am going with this.

It is not easy. It is not enjoyable. Some days are down right ugly. I love my child, that goes without saying I hope. But I do not love these days!

It hasn't brought out the best in me either I will admit. I do my best and some days are more of a struggle than others. I always wake up being optimistic that it will be a better day. Then he throws a ball at his brothers head, pushes him over, talks back, chases the dog (I did have to name him Chase right?!), doesn't follow directions, won't eat his dinner, screams for no reason, cry's for no reason...I could go on and on but for those of you who have a toddler you know exactly what I am talking about. You too are probably wondering when it is going to end.

Maybe I could start a support group for mothers with 3 year old. A support group with a lot of alcohol. And chocolate! I could call it something classy like "Diva's of Little Devils". Who wants to join?

I know I will blink and this will soon be over. Then it will be the next phase, the next hurdle, a new bridge to cross over. Preschool will be starting and I think that will do wonders for Chase.

Being his goofy self, this side of him I adore!

He is just doing what he is programmed to do. He is being a child. a three year old. It is his job to test boundaries, and mine to learn how to not loose my shit in the process.

As the saying goes: "This too shall pass".

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hurray For Boobies!

Seriously who knew "Boobies" could be so awesome! They truly are amazing. We as women, are truly amazing. Our bodies are spectacular vessels that not only give life to little creatures, they also can feed these little guys. That right there my friends, is beyond beautiful.

August is National Breastfeeding Month. I was fortunate to nurse my first son for 18 months and am now nursing my second son who is 10 1/2 months. I would share my story but I am going to leave that up to a dear friend. See Liz from Because Mama Needs a Hobby will be doing posts throughout the month about women and their personal breastfeeding stories. We all have a different story. A journey all our own. Each of us enters motherhood writing our own stories. Check out her blog and take time to read these posts!

I was thrilled to be a part of The Big Latch On that took place in Landry Park, put on by the awesome crew of women from Burlington VT Moms Blog. I was one of 40 woman and their beautiful babies. All nursing our children at 10:30am on Friday, August 1st, 2014. This event was empowering, uniting, and beautiful.

I want to also stress how very fortunate I am that I was able to successfully nurse. Some women choose not to, which is OK! Then there are others who yearn to and for whatever reason can't. This can be heartbreaking. I know that it takes mama + baby to make it work. Both my boys were pros and came out ready to latch. For this I am blessed. I will never take for granted how special this is.

No matter if you nursed, pumped and bottle fed, or chose to use formula, (maybe all of the above!) you all are wonderful! You brought new life into this world. That within itself is phenomenal