Friday, November 25, 2011

"Miscarriage"

It has been a while since posting on my blog. Originally, I created this blog as an outlet for the turmoil and sting I felt going back to work and leaving my daughter. Soon, I adjusted to my new life as a “stay at work mommy” and used the blog to document various milestones that many mothers face.  My daughter is now 17 months old. After a few months of posts, my creativity ran dry and I had tons of stories, but no energy to type! Motherhood is amazing and I am so blessed to have been given the gift of raising a little life….keeping a blog is another story.

My husband and I were ready to have another baby from the get go. We enjoyed every aspect of parenthood…and still do. There are aspects I enjoy more than others, but nonetheless, I enjoy it all…WE enjoy it all. Now more than ever, we appreciate our little Selah.


Recently we found out we were expecting. We started trying when Selah was 10 months old. We were so excited when we saw that the pregnancy test said positive. I was sick as a dog, taking nausea medicine, and my first OB appointment was down.  I was 10 weeks into my pregnancy and filled with excitement. We had purchased a little pumpkin to place on our front porch with the other pumpkins for Halloween to represent our newest little family member, I began telling my colleagues at work and our neighbors, and we were getting ready to make it official (a.k.a. facebook announcement)! What should the name be? We googled, searched, and made lists. We had a boy’s name and girl’s name. We planned the nursery, I had gained weight, I got out my pregnancy clothing, and we talked endlessly about Selah’s little brother or sister. Unfortunately, I lost the baby. We were devastated and heart broken. The words, “I’m sorry honey, but it looks like the baby stopped growing…I’m so sorry for your loss” will forever ring in the memory of my ears. I wanted to say, “Are you sure?” but instead, I cried.  I was so sad. How can one be so pregnant for 2 ½ months and then NOTHING? Why?


On that day, as I went over and over what I could have done and why this could have happened, a Peace truly surrounded me. The realization that God is the giver and taker of life was never clearer than on that day. We were sad, yes, but we were (are) sure that God is sovereign, God has a plan, and God has a purpose. “A man can plan his steps, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail” – Proverbs 19:21….Oh how I had planned the when, the how…the EVERYTHING. And now, I was faced with the reality that I am NOT in control of my life or the life of my children. What a big bite to swallow for this self-proclaimed control freak! The trust in God didn’t take away the sorrow; don’t get me wrong. Instead, the trust permitted me to see the miscarriage as one of the many steps in my refinement to become more like my Christ. How thankful I am that my hope, happiness, and peace do not lie in the circumstances of this world, but rather, in the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If I am never given another child, I still have the hope of eternal life, the love of my Savior, and the trust that God’s plan is bigger (and better) than my own. 


Again, this is not an easy pill to swallow. I have forever struggled with trusting God with my life, my plans, and my worry. The disillusionment that I am in control remains a reality for me. I find myself asking God, “Are you sure?” on a pretty consistent basis. I then proceed with my own plans and hope that God sees that my plan is in fact more logical! However, this miscarriage has truly taught me so much. I don’t mean, “has taught me so much so I’m going to write a blog to make sure you know that I learned a lesson” taught me so much. But truthfully, I have experienced God in a way no other circumstance in my life has allowed me to.


I learned on a deeper level that….
-God cares intensely about my hurt and my tears. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8
-The blessing of life is a gift that is ordained by our Creator God. “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:16
-Selah, my daughter, is a gift…a miracle. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
-God’s plans are bigger and better than my own….as hard as that is to wrap my mind around! “For I know the plans I have for you, ‘declares the Lord,’ plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11


I don’t know what God has in store for our family. We hope and pray it is more children. The fear that God may not give me more is very real and present in my life. I have a desire for more. I don’t pretend to believe that the lessons learned on a deeper level are done with no more need to be sophisticated. I also know that the pain and circumstances I encountered are nothing compared to so many around this world, in my community, within my circle of friends, or within my family. All I can say, to end this blog, is that I experienced a miscarriage….I hated it and never want to experience it again…..but through it all, God was there. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Double Duty Diapers"


Changing diapers can be quite eventful. The worst is when you crack open the dirty diaper, pop the wipes and see this...an empty wipes package. Usually, you want to kill your spouse for not replacing the wipes....or you want to kill yourself because you forgot to replace it on the last diaper change when you told yourself to remember to replace the wipes!

Our lives with Selah and familiarity with poop started from the get go. I’ve written about this in my blog "Baby Poop". As she’s gotten older, double duty diaper changing has become more common. Selah is fascinated with putting her hands on her bottom once a diaper comes off. We all know the feeling…it feels good to give a little scratch on the behind. However, when there is an overloaded diaper, double duty is necessary to avoid contamination. Typically, the one who begins the diaper change realizes the magnitude of the situation and screams for back up. The other (who better be within hearing range) comes running. One parent holds the hands above the head while the other does the dirty work. Mommy usually gets the wiping duty because daddy get’s very confused with all the creases and wrinkles down there and can leave a little to be desired! That’s okay…if we ever have a boy…it’s all daddy.  
Oh how having a child improves your team building as a couple!! I wonder when Selah will be ready for potty training? She can’t walk yet, so I’m thinking it’s too early!! For now, this is all the training she can handle.

 


Friday, July 15, 2011

"Summer Days"

After breakfast playtime 

Growing belly

Morning naps

Early afternoon swims

Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches

Good friends

Trips to the park

Pushes on the swing

Books before bed

Prayers thanking God for our summer days...Night-night!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Once Upon A Time..."

Once upon a time, before I had my daughter, getting sick was a wonderful excuse to sit on the couch all day, watch all my DVR’d shows, not shower, and live happily ever after.  Recently, I was sick for a week with bronchitis and a double case of pink eye…there was no happily ever after! Mama can’t get sick…if mama is sick, the house don’t run! Bums still need wiped, mouths still need fed, clothes still need washed, and the floors still need swept! Where are the 7 dwarfs when you need them?!
What I don’t understand about this fairy tale is how the Prince can get sick and the story doesn’t skip a page! In other words, when dada is sick, he can lie down and bums still get wiped, mouths still get fed, clothes still get washed, and the floor still gets swept…even if mama is still sick! Don’t get me wrong…my husband is truly a prince. I couldn’t ask for a better companion, however, a daddy’s sickness still results in a happily ever after! Moms can’t get sick. It’s just not allowed….that’s a major reality check in this fairy tale!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"One Year Old"


I have been a mother for almost a year now. My little girl turns 1 on June 27th.  It is still so odd that I have a child, let alone that I’ve had a child for one whole year. Oh the milestones reached. I’m of course speaking of milestones for me, not Selah. She’s developing great. I, on the other hand, am developing slowly but surely into a bona fide mommy! Here are some milestones I’ve reached this past year…
Milestone # 1: She will not die if she get’s sick! I used to think this.
Milestone # 2: I do not need to change her diaper every time she pees. In fact, I wait as long as possible…diapers are expensive and they can hold A LOT.
Milestone # 3: I can shut off the video monitor and she will still continue to breathe! At least I think so…I’m only halfway to this milestone. I turn the monitor off and on.
Milestone # 4: I now realize that she will know that I am her mommy despite me working! This is a big one….and an important milestone for working mommies!
Milestone # 5: Daddy not remembering to do that which mommy asked him regarding our daughter does not mean she will suffer for the rest of her life….it may mean daddy will suffer, but she’ll be just fine!!
Milestone # 6: I’m psychotic and crazy when it comes to my daughter and that’s perfectly fine with me. I’ve accepted this and will now move on. People can talk about me all they want…I don’t care!
Milestone # 7: Giving Selah a taste of something other than organically made, hand blended food does not mean she will be unhealthy and die an untimely death due to heart disease, high cholesterol, or obesity.
Milestone # 8: I cannot avoid changing Selah in a public bathroom stall and so I’ve embraced it. She will not develop a deadly disease from laying on the pull down changing table….at least I don’t think so.
Milestone # 9: Clothes get dirty…and there’s nothing I can do about it.
Milestone # 10: I cannot avoid the freakin’ Wiggles. Try as I may, Selah loves them!
So Happy Birthday to Me….as a mother, I’m one year old!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Mother's Day"


Mother’s Day is approaching. For me, and many of my friends and colleagues, this will be the first Mother’s Day experienced as the MOM! I’m certainly not saying that last year at this time I wasn’t a mother as Selah was growing in my uterus. Last year, however, Mother’s Day was celebrated by hitting up Golden Corral for their breakfast buffet and scarfing down loads of food because I chose to believe the myth that I was “eating for two.” Uh yes, the myth is now sitting on my lower abdomen in the form of flab.
This Mother’s Day will be different. I’m of course dropping hints left and right to my husband (and by dropping hints I mean I’m telling him) that I’d like to sleep in, get a massage, have a bouquet of flowers, and watch the movie I’d been so kindly denying myself because he doesn’t really want to watch it. I am going to party like it’s 1999! Juggling motherhood and work has been a major adjustment. I’m proud of myself. For me, going back to work was wretched, and yet, 6 months in…I’m alive, I have a routine, I’ve adjusted, Selah has adjusted, my husband has adjusted, and life is good. Don’t’ get me wrong, there are certainly days I want to fall over, cry, or quit my job. It can be hard to work full-time and balance motherhood…but I’m doing it!
So, isn’t Mother’s Day supposed to be about celebrating the hard work a mother (ME) puts in to take care of the ones she (I) loves? It’s my day…this is the moment I’ve been waiting for, right?! Sleeping in, being catered to, and getting a break??!!
But wait….it’s Mother’s Day and I LOVE being a mommy. I adore every little thing that comes with being Selah’s mommy. I love waking up early to get my daughter in her crib. Granted, the waking up and dragging myself up the stairs isn’t fun, but her smile when she sees me is to die for. I love how we crawl all over the house and she follows me from room to room as I say, “come on” and she giggles. Tired or not, I wouldn’t give that up. I LOVE when she cuddles with me as she watches Sesame Street and waves at Big Bird. I absolutely adore being a mother. Blood, sweat, and tears…. it’s worth it.
Shouldn’t Mother’s Day also be about celebrating the fact that I’ve been chosen to be a mom? I’m blessed to have the opportunity to love and care for my daughter.
So, on that day, when my daughter gives me a big, fat slobbery open mouthed kiss when I say, “kissy, kissy”, I can truly say….this is the moment I’ve been waiting for! I don’t want a day off…I just want a massage!

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Spring Days"


The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
~Robert Frost

Tiny feet discovering the grass.


Spring kisses!
Sun blocked face enjoying the breeze!
My loves.


 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

“Wednesday….%*$&”


It’s Wednesday! Ugh. For me, Wednesdays have the same characteristics each week:
1.     Wednesdays seem to bring the most stress at work. I realize on Wednesday how little I’ve actually completed since Monday and how much I need to do before Friday!
2.     Wednesday is the hardest day on which to wake up. I typically get up late! When my alarm goes off at 5am, I literally want to toss it through my window and throw a tantrum. I’ve actually thrown mini tantrums by slamming the snooze button several times and sighing very heavy.  It has never changed the fact that Wednesday still occurs nor has it caught God’s attention to drastically alter His universe to eliminate Wednesday altogether.
3.     Wednesday is always a day I either forgot to defrost meat the night before to cook for dinner or the day I do not want to cook at all, even if I remembered to defrost meat. I hate cooking on Wednesdays. I’m tired!
What is it about Wednesdays that make me want to come home from work, plop myself on the floor, and pass out?  Don’t get me wrong; Wednesday is not the only day I feel this way. However, it does seem to be the day that the feeling is the most intense. I don’t want to cook, I don’t want to prepare anything for the next day, I don’t want to think about emails or meetings I have to schedule or attend...I don’t want to, I don’t want to, I don’t want to!!!
Wednesday is a day some may consider me a bad mother! I like to put Selah on the floor by herself and put tons of toys in front of her so I can do nothing while she entertains herself with strangers on TV. In fact, I did that today. I feel slightly guilty if it’s a nice day out, thinking I should take my daughter outside to enjoy nature and the world and explore the park and develop a love of the outdoors and yada, yada, yada. Today it rained…it was awesome.
But tomorrow is Thursday and Wednesday will be a week away! I don’t have to think about dinner tonight because I had my husband get us Chic-Fil-A because I “forgot” to defrost meat! Thank you, Jesus, for Chic-Fil-A! Maybe Wednesday isn’t so bad after all!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"I love..."

I love the way Selah rubs her eyes when she’s tired and how she smooshes her face in her blanket when I put her to bed.

I love her smile when I wake her up in the morning and the way she’ll cuddle on my shoulder because she’s still partially asleep.

I love when she gets me soaked because she likes to splash in the tub during bath time and her excited laugh when she kicks her legs in the water.

I love her lopsided smile and how her hair sticks up in the front.

I love when wind hits her face and it takes her breath away leading to a big grin.

I love when I pick her up after work and her eyes get big and she beams.

I love her little “tootsies” and how she curls her toes when something rubs up against her feet.

I love how she screams and squeals at her stuffed animals and pretends to laugh.

I love when I catch her staring at me and I smile and she chuckles.

I love the smell of the powdered diapers she wears and how the smell of Johnson & Johnson’s stays on her skin after a bath.

I love how she breaks out in a random yelp and gets proud of the noise she’s made.

I love how she stretches and toots in the morning.

I love how she gets a kick out of shaking her rattle and how she finds the tag on every stuffed animal or toy and sucks it.

I love the red spot on her ear and her three little teeth.

I love her giggle when I tickle her chin.

I love motherhood.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

"Just Wait..."

When I picked my daughter up from the church nursery today, this was the conversation:

Nursery worker #1: “She is such a sweetheart. She didn’t make a peep. Is this your first?”
Me: “Yes! She is a very good girl.”
Nursery worker #1: “Well, our first was good too, and then we had our second. Be prepared.”
Nursery worker #2:  “Oh yes. Our daughter was wonderful until she reached 14 months. Then she stopped sleeping and cried all the time.”
Nursery worker #3: “Did you say this was your first? Oh yes. We experienced the same thing with our first. We used to think it was us until we had our 2nd.”

Are they serious??? What is it about people who want to give you the “just wait” advice. I walked away saying to my husband, “Why do people say stuff like that?”

What do people expect you to respond with when they give you the doom and gloom advice? If you have siblings, particularly older siblings, you know what I mean!! Siblings always seem to want to be the ones who know best!! (I’m the #4 of 5) For example, when my husband and I were looking at buying our first house, we were given so much “advice” we wanted to scream. If we heard one more time, “Just wait until you have to pay a mortgage” we were going to explode. Was the expected response, “Wait, what’s a mortgage?” Seriously!?! Did they think we hadn’t planned or prepared for buying a house??

If it’s not the “just wait”, it’s the “that’s what we thought” statement when asked a question about what you’ll do about this or that!!

However, it’s not only siblings that give the “just wait” or “that’s what we thought” advice, but anybody who wants you to know that they’ve been there and your expectations are misplaced! When I was pregnant, people wanted to consistently give the horror stories of parenthood.

Some example conversations of what we experienced:
Random person: “How far along are you?”
Me: “_________weeks.”
Random person: “Oh, just wait. Get your sleep now. You won’t sleep for the next few years.”

Random person: “How far along are you?”
Me: “_________weeks.”
Random person: “Just wait. You’re life is going to change. Gone are the days of being alone. Babies make life more difficult.”

Random person: “How far along are you?”
Me: “________weeks.”
Random person: “Have you purchased_____________yet?”
Me: “Yes. It’s wonderful.”
Random person: “Oh, well that’s what we thought. It’s horrible. I used it with our son/daughter and it wasn’t worth it.”

While pregnant, my husband and I attended a marriage seminar at our church. During the seminar they showed a graph depicting marital satisfaction before and after children….there was a huge dip! At the bottom of the graph in small letters the disclaimer “applies to two-thirds of marriages” was written. WHAT?

In all honesty, my husband and I would say, “Do people expect us to be joyful about becoming parents with all the negative information they want to give us?” We began saying that the next time somebody informed us of the “dark side” of parenthood, we would respond, “WHAT? Oh crap. Do you want our baby then? If only we had known!”

Whether it’s the “just wait” or “that’s what we thought” advice, it is annoying! We are eight months in and we have had ups and downs, adjustments to make, and lot’s of tears; however, we know that our daughter was born at God’s appointed time. We never expected our lives wouldn’t change. In fact, prior to having children we knew how drastically our lives would change and contemplated not having children!! Boy, are we glad God had different plans! The joy of parenthood is beyond words…the first tooth, the first time they eat solid foods, the first time you see your spouse as a parent….wow! What an amazing journey. If you’re a parent, talk more to those expecting a child about the delight of parenthood. My husband and I make it a point to use the “just wait” for explaining the moments that are true bliss!! Parents will experience and adjust to the not so blissful times without your advice!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

"Scare Tactics"

Motherhood is downright scary. Questions constantly creep into the mind and paralyze decisions. What if I don’t breastfeed for the full 6 months? What if I don’t breast feed at all? What if I don’t give my baby organic , hand-blended food? What if my child doesn’t start crawling as soon as my sister’s kid? What if they roll over, pull the blanket on their face, and can’t get it off? What if they fall out of their crib? What if they fall off their bike? What if the car door accidentally swings open and they fall out? What if you accidentally drop them? What if the stroller gets away from you while you’re pushing the cross walk button and a giant truck that decided to take the back road detour is coming by at that exact moment and barrels into the stroller? What if you leave them too long in the jumpy thing and their legs don’t develop properly and they are bow legged? What if a strand of hair gets wrapped around their toe, cutting off the circulation which leads to an inflamed and swollen toe that needs to be amputated? (it can happen people…I just read the “It happened to me” blurb in Parents magazine) 

WHAT IF?????

Gosh! If you were a worrier like me before you had kids, you’re a manic worrier now. I guess everybody is at least a little scared. Many times what makes it so frightening are the books upon books written or websites upon websites dedicated to answering all the “what if” questions one has.  It would be much less terrifying if the “what if” questions I have didn’t have case scenarios and examples; especially the “what if’s” that are so out of this world!! Seriously, does Parents magazine need a “It happened to me” section?

To make matters worse, there is a “googling” epidemic among us. Panic is rampant when you google an illness, symptom, or common complaint. The answers you find put a person with a common cold possibly bald, crippled, or dying within 3 months. 

We have created our own episodes of Scare Tactics. Have you ever seen that show on the Syfy channel? I now live with an imaginary Tracy Morgan in my brain that comments on the “what if’s” that play out in my mind. (here is a link in case you're unaware: Scare Tactics) In the end, the truth is that I was set up and I really had nothing to be worried about to begin with.

Oh the scariness that is motherhood. Motherhood is a laden with worry because our kids depend on us to know what to do and when to do it and how to do it and if we should do it and…..*deep breath.* Motherhood is scary because we love our little ones so much that we worry we won’t do what we need to do when we need to do it! In the end, the truth is that God is in control and He has set us up to be able to have nothing to be worried about to begin with! This is not to say I won’t ever worry, however, there is no need for Tracy Morgan to be living in my head!! 

Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message) Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Say What?"


Choosing your baby’s name is one of the best parts of finding out you’re pregnant. When we found out we were pregnant, we celebrated with dinner at good ole Panera and a trip to Borders to read baby name books. I find it funny when you talk to some couples that are newly pregnant (with their 1st, 2nd, 3rd…whatever) and they want to pretend like they haven’t talked about names yet…you’re lying. Yes you have. My husband and me weren’t even sure we’d have kids and we still talked about what to name children. Perhaps they want to keep the name a secret. I digress. 
We hunted name book after name book. We had long discussions about the meaning behind the name, how it sounded with Jackson, and trends to avoid. Some names we threw out immediately, while others we tossed around for a bit. After all, it’s not like you’re choosing a pair of shoes that your child can change when they learn to tie their laces. This is the first impression for all who come in contact with your child for the rest of their life.
After weeks of discussion, we settled on a name for a boy and a name for a girl. Of course my prayers were answered and we had a girl (see “My Little Ballerina blog post). Selah Marie Jackson….pronounced Say-la. It’s a Hebrew musical term and can be found in the book of Psalms after choir hymns. Although the exact meaning is unknown, some suspect it means “lift your voices in praise.” It’s like the sermon equivalent to “Amen.”
Although the name we chose is beautiful, our daughter will lead a life of answering the questions, “Say what? How do you spell that? Is that a family name?” In fact, her first string of sentences together may just be, “It’s pronounced Say-la, not See-la.” Personally, I don’t get it. It’s spelled S.E.L.A.H. and pronounced Say-la. Come on people!!!!
On one of her first visits to our church, a lady approached to see her. When she asked me her name and I told her, she replied, “That’s my cat’s name!” Thanks lady.
We’ve doomed her for life. She will be the student in the classroom on the first day of middle school whose teacher mispronounces her name. My poor baby. I remember once a teacher thought the ‘y’ in my name was an ‘e’ and asked for Joe Graham. I about died. Looking back I realize how ridiculous it is to feel insecure about such a thing, but in middle school, no feeling is ridiculous….and nobody understands what you are going through.
Her pediatrician’s office spells it phonetically on her chart. Why don’t more places do this? It could eliminate a lifetime of hurt.
Oh my. She will never own a keychain or mini license plate from a rest stop. She’ll more than likely have her name mispronounced at her kindergarten graduation, her elementary graduation, her middle school graduation, her high school graduation, her college graduation, her master’s graduation, and her doctorate graduation. Oh well. At least we didn’t name her after a piece of fruit or something.

Friday, February 11, 2011

"My Little Ballerina"


I love all things girly. I love dressing up, clothes, shoes, make-up, toiletries, perfume, jewelry, and romantic comedies. I also love ballet. When I was little, I wanted to be a ballerina. I wanted to be a missionary/ballerina to be exact. Isn’t it funny that kids often have two diametrically different jobs they’d like to do simultaneously? How I was going to make ballerina/missionary work is still unclear, but I was unwavering nonetheless. During my lifetime I have done some mission work in Africa, but needless to say, I’m not a ballerina!
When I found out I was pregnant, I wanted a girl. I did not want a boy. I prayed for a girl. Some may find this repulsive, scolding me that I should only have prayed for a healthy baby. Well, scold me. Before I entered the sonogram room on week 20 to find out what I was having, I prayed that if the baby had a penis, God would miraculously remove it. Yes, yes, yes….I wanted a healthy baby. I just wanted a healthy baby girl. When people would ask if I had a preference as to a boy or girl, I would unequivocally say, “GIRL.”
Now that I have my baby girl, I want a ballerina. I do. I am bound and determined to make my daughter into a ballerina. Yes, I want my daughter to pursue her passions and dreams and blah, blah, blah. However, I want her to pursue them wearing a tutu. Visions of The Nutcracker, Swan’s Lake, and So You Think You Can Dance twirl in my mind.  I mean come on…her name alone screams dancer. Selah Marie Jackson. Can’t you just see it printed in a program? I can!
Yes. Unabashedly I will live vicariously through my daughter and fulfill my dancer dreams. I always wanted to be a ballerina. My husband keeps telling me it’s not too late….I just think he wants to see me in a leotard!!
Okay. In the end, I will support my daughter in her endeavors and dreams.  However, I will try and push her toward ballet…I am a mom after all. It’s kind of a God given right to make your kids do things.  For now, my little ballerina is only interested in eating her tutu and sucking her toes…and I couldn’t be more proud!

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Baby Poop"


“All new parents develop an unexpected interest in bowel movements and baby poop.” Uh yes. This was the first sentence of an article I saw on the website -WebMD…as I was looking up some information on baby poop.

Yup! I’m a mom now! Bowel movements, the color of snot, diapers, and puke…great topics of conversation. When I was without a child, I couldn’t stand being around mothers of young children.  I thought they were plain crazies. I knew if I ever became a mom, such conversational topics would not come out of my mouth. Baby showers made me cringe and I had only attempted to change one diaper in my life…and he peed on me, which left me screaming and scarred for life.
And then I had a baby. I literally began talking about poop since the second my daughter was born.  You can’t avoid it. In fact, the hospital wanted me to document the color, the consistency, and the number of movements per day! I was in shock and horror. But wait…not only did I have to adjust my brain to now include documentation of bowel movements, but I also learned that babies projectile poop. The first time this happened, I about fell over. Nevertheless, I learned and grew quite comfortable changing diapers and catching shooting poop!
Soon I became acclimated to all that related to bowel movements….AND THEN my daughter started eating solids. Oh crap…now I had to amend my understanding once again.
What’s worse is that I know this will be a main staple of my conversational repertoire for several years to come. Even once kids are potty trained, it seems they still need help wiping. Dear Lord, help me.
Motherhood brings such new and exciting challenges. But it also brings poop or should I say, “poopy doopy.”
On top of accepting the fact that I’ve become what I vowed I never would, I’m learning how to successfully work full-time outside my home and still give all of me to both my daughter and my husband. The balancing act of new mom and working full-time is leaving me literally and figuratively pooped! And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Friday, January 28, 2011

"Peeing with the Baby"


Picking your child up from the sitter or daycare can go one of two ways. A mom can receive a good report or a bad report. At times, the bad report doesn’t even need reported when you lay your eyes on your child…they look like they’ve moved to the top of Santa’s naughty list.
I personally have yet to encounter the “bad report” pick up, but I know some of my fellow working mommies have. Some of my favorite stories are from colleagues or friends of mine who have gone before me in many of the paths I am walking or soon to walk and can laugh about the chaos that often characterizes their existence.
However, on more days than not, picking the kids up and seeing their sweet faces brings a flutter to a mommy’s heart. Nobody is able to evoke the smile like mommy can! Oh to hear the words, “She was so good. She had a great day. She is such a delight.” What mother wouldn’t want to hear this?! You listen politely thinking to yourself, “Of course. I’ve scheduled her since she was 3 weeks old, I make sure she gets a proper amount of sleep, AND I make my own baby food.” You get in the car, and begin driving home.  You’re on a high, patting yourself on the back and thanking the Lord your kids aren’t like so and so’s!
You walk into the house, put your things down, and the terror begins - high pitch screaming for no reason. Do they want to be held? Are they hungry? Is their diaper dirty? I tested this one-day. I’d place my daughter down and she’d scream…then I’d pick her up and she’d stop. The first few days she did this, I loved it. She wanted mommy…awwwwwwe. After about a week, my house was a wreck, we were further in debt due to eating out, and I had peed while holding my daughter 5 times.
Inevitably these meltdowns are on the days you thought to yourself the night before, “I’ll do that tomorrow after work.” Children know this. I’m convinced that there are certain activities that children are bound and determined never to let their mothers complete uninterrupted: cleaning, showering, cooking, eating, peeing, and sleeping. Nothing major…right?
What in the world? Why is it that kids will act one way with you and another with others? I work in a middle school…it’s inevitable that it happens, this much I know.
What is the lesson? What is God trying to teach me? I could exhaust a list of qualities that God could strengthen in me via my daughter’s after work meltdowns…but I’ve decided to boil it down to one. Just one lesson I believe God is teaching me through this particular behavior…LAUGH. Of course it happens on the days your “to-do” list only has “make a to-do list” checked off. Laugh, laugh, LAUGH. Easier said than done, yes…believe me, I know. But, If we don’t laugh, we cry…and if we cry, we won’t be able to see clearly when we need to wipe while peeing with the baby!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"Diggy"


Isn’t it amazing how prior to becoming a parent, any sort of baby talk or voice or tone was absolutely ridiculous? And by ridiculous, I mean that you’d never stoop to doing such a thing or talk to your future child in such a manner.  You knew that you wanted your child to be reading by the time they were two and baby talk certainly wasn’t a medium to achieving such a goal.  *insert foot in mouth*
Now that I’m living parenthood, the words and phrases that pour from my well educated self astound me. If I say “Whattaya doin’ silly gal” (pronounced girl without the r) or “Nanners” for bananas or “Is you hungry?” one more time in a high-pitched voice, I’m going to slap myself. Further more, “Is you hungry?” isn’t even correct grammar.  
Another favorite is tickling my daughter while repeating….”diggy, diggy, diggy.” My husband and I actually now use this to irritate one another. If he’s making me mad, I state, “I’m going to diggy you,” and I then proceed to tickle him while saying diggy three times. What’s even more startling is that my daughter won’t really laugh unless I am saying, “diggy, diggy, diggy” and “diggying” my husband makes him laugh just as much as our baby!
In addition to the baby talk are the songs I now sing to my daughter that are highly inappropriate. Some I change the words and others I don’t. Some examples of my playlist include:
1.     “Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like mine?” –changed to- “Don’t you wish your baby was as cute as mine?”
2.     “Shake that Booty”
3.     “Baby got Back” - with the words changed of course!
4.     “Rump Shaker”
5.     “Poker Face” – changed to – “Slobber Face”
Don’t get me wrong…I sing lots of appropriate songs as well. I love to sing songs in an opera voice and dance around. Everyday after work, we have a little routine. She sits in the kitchen with me as I wash her bottles, prepare her diaper bag for the next day, and cook dinner. I sing, dance, and sing some more! I adore her laugh and smile so I’ll do just about anything to get it!!
I’ve always enjoyed being goofy, but nothing compares to being goofy for your child. In the last 7 months, my husband and I…who are goofy as it is…have turned into lunatics.  We’ve danced and sung until it hurts. What joy it brings…to both of us and our sweet baby girl!!
video

Thursday, January 13, 2011

“At least you can get them up!”


So, you’ve accepted the fact that life will be different now that you will be returning to work. The tears have moved from that reality to the reality of your new body. Granted, you’ve been thinking about this new body of yours since the moment you saw the positive sign, but it was easier to deal with when your baby was growing inside of you or when you were told, “you look great” as each person looked right through you into the face of your precious newborn.
You’ve been living in yoga pants, sports bras, nursing tanks, and jogging pants. Work starts in a few days…what are you going to wear?
Of course you figure you can slap on those pants you were wearing at about 8 weeks pregnant and go…and then you realize that the yoga pants you’ve been living in have disillusioned you on what a pair of pants is, let alone your true size.
For me, I pulled out about three pairs of pants thinking that surely they’d fit…they might be a little snug, but they’d do. I began by looking in the bathroom mirror, turning to the side, sucking in my gut, spinning around a few times, holding the pants up, and eventually and reluctantly placing my left leg in first.  My husband, sitting on the toilet, watched me. I then placed my right leg in. Great…they’re both in.  A little pull on the left, now on the right…jump, jump, pull. I say a little prayer to God and I attempt to button them, but the 6-inch separation between the button and the buttonhole proves even too much for God!! I glance at my husband with a defeated look. In an effort to make me feel better he says, “At least you can get them up!”
Oh, this new body of mine. I hate you and love you at the same time. I hate you because I again have to figure out what looks good on me. I hate you because my breasts go from supermodel to granny 6 times throughout the day and my nipples feel like they’re going to fall off. I hate you because I now understand the appeal of “mom jeans.”
fsl;dfkjas;dlfkasjdf;lskdf – that is my daughter grabbing the keyboard as I write….she reminds me of why I also love you,  oh body of mine.
I love you because the markings I now bear show the signs of a precious and unique gift sent from above. I love you because I am a mother and you helped me get there. I love you because it was worth it. I love you because…why shouldn’t I?
The unrealistic idea perpetuated by our society/media that we should look a certain way or have the body Heidi Klum had after giving birth is preposterous. Yet, we all buy into it. WHY? Let’s stop buying into it. Let’s embrace the 6-inch separation between our buttons and buttonholes and love the battle wounds of motherhood. We are mothers. Without us, the world would be nothing!! Without our guts, how would Weight Watchers survive and employ so many? We’re actually supporting the economy. So here’s to stretch marks, incision scars, muffin tops, and to just being able to “get them up!”  

PS To those of you who are adoptive mothers, your body may not bear the physical marks of pregnancy, but I know your soul does. You’ve experienced labor pains, trials, tears, hormones, and the sadness of leaving your little one as you head off to work…just as much as any mom who had the opportunity to carry her baby.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

"Mommy Loves You"

The alarm clock rings and your heart sinks. Never did you think you’d dread this day as much as you do. The thought to lay in bed an extra few runs through your mind, but this morning is unlike the others you’ve experienced in the past…for today is the first day back from maternity leave. You must get up NOW for there is much to do!

You begin getting ready, trying to ignore that sick pit in your stomach. It’s not like the sick pit you felt about a year ago when you were rejoicing after peeing on that stick…6 times just to be sure! At that time, the sick pit was ignorant to the turmoil you’d feel when the reality of being a working mother came true.

The moment has arrived to leave your baby, your eyes well up as you kiss that precious cheek and whisper, “Mommy loves you.” I cry as I write this now. I still kiss my daughter every morning about a million times and repeat over and over, “Mommy loves you.” It’s like I want her to know that my leaving her has nothing to do with my love for her. I have to say, however, I am blessed because I am a teacher and have a schedule that is ideal for a working mom. It doesn’t make going to work easier, but it eases my aching heart. To those who work all day and all year…I salute you.

Whether you’re a teacher or in another profession, the return to work is bittersweet. Of course we enjoy the mental stimulation and challenges we face at work, but we long to be the one whose face our sweet baby sees when they wake from a nap to eat. Some may experience guilt, whether self-inflicted or brought on by other well-meaning mothers who consistently talk about the rewards of being a “stay-at-home mommy.” I swear I’m going to flip if I hear one more time, “Being a stay at home mom is the hardest but most rewarding job on earth.” What about just being a mom in general?? Each path, whether stay-at-home or stay-at-work (a term taken from the book “How She Does It: Secrets of Successful Stay-at-Work Moms”) has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. We, as mothers, do ourselves a great dis-service when we choose to judge and critique the paths of those who are simply trying to be the best mommy they can be. Whether one chooses to work or not work, breast-feed or not breast-feed, schedule or not-schedule…who cares? It is about supporting one another and lifting each other up in the face of a difficult, but rewarding job….raising kids in today’s world.

But this blog is specifically meant to speak to working moms because this is what I am. I invite, however, stay-at-home moms to read and comment. I value your input as well. I’ve been contemplating writing a blog for a while now, but was inspired to start today when a colleague of mine brought in a book called, “Milk Memos” to put in my school’s pumping room for the new nursing mommies. This is a must read for any new working/nursing mother. So, I write this blog as an outlet…a place to hear encouragement from other working mommies and to give encouragement where I can. I acknowledge my fellow working mommies...it’s a hard thing to work and balance motherhood. Whether you work because you have to or because you choose to, it doesn’t matter…we all whisper, “Mommy loves you.”