If you haven't heard

Monday, October 31, 2011

The new baby is a BOY!

He was not shy at all. NewBaby is looking great and seems to be enjoying his cozy home.

I had a high-risk OB appointment and the doctor took a really long look at the baby. He kept saying that I am 'thin' so seeing the baby was really easy. Um- did you see the scale? I am not thin. But I am glad seeing the baby was easy.

The other kids loved getting a peek at the new baby, and we have begun discussing names for him (it is so fun to know what is coming!

So far Stinky wants to name the baby Gordon- after one of the engines on Thomas. Peas votes for 'newbaby'. Pixie thinks "Cookie" is the best choice. Princess has yet to weigh in.

warm blankets

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My mom taught me how to crochet when I was 5 or 6- even though she is lefty and I am righty- she still taught me. When I was 8 or 9 I remember my aunt teaching me how to knit late one Saturday night on the patio, in the summer. My grandma and great grandma made me blankets before I was born. My mom and grandma also taught me embroidery and cross-stitching. I have some talented family members. Learning from them gives me a connection to them. When I sit down and crochet I think of my mom and grandma. I think of their strength their brilliance. When I cross stitch I think of my mother, my aunt, my grandma, and my sister, all of this gives me a connection to them that I may not have otherwise. A thing which we share. Despite any differences. This bit unites us. This bit can never be taken away.

These are a few of my treasures. I know that I can pick up a skein of yarn and in a few(several) hours create something. I am not a skilled crochet-er or knitter by any means, but I am learning (thanks library!).

As I sat tonight on the couch working on a blanket for the new baby, my oldest kids came and sat by me asking for me to teach them how to crochet. Tomorrow, we have a crochet date.

Before each of my children have arrived I have made them a blanket. So they can be wrapped in love as I was. The blankets that were made for me will always be part of my treasured history.

Worry about what matters

Friday, October 28, 2011

Seeing as this is far from my first pregnancy, I have gotten a lot of questions about what it feels like at various stages of pregnancy, labor, delivery. One of the most common questions I am asked is about water breaking.

Apparently, this is what a lot of new moms are really concerned about. My answer, by that point in pregnancy you'll be so relieved to be getting it over with who cares? (not that I have ever been that pregnant) This is followed up with the advice that it is far more likely that your water will not be a giant gush on the grocery store floor, and if it happens like that and someone gets upset with you, then clearly they have issues.

Regardless, this is not something to worry about. What should be worried about is the accidental pee-ing that comes along with pregnancy. Maybe it is because this is not the first baby for me, but I cannot run, jump, cough, or sneeze without pee-ing. I am a young poster child for poise pants. For now it is just a dribble, but later it can become a lot more and a lot more annoying.

Pee issues are far more likely in pregnancy that water breaking issues. Pee issues are not usually followed up with the arrival of a cute baby. Pee issues are also a lot more frequent. Water breaking is usually a one time shot, peeing? Many many many more times.

So my advice to expectant moms? Don't worry about the water. Worry about the pee.

Identity theft stinks

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Back when B and I had just started dating, somehow his debit card info was stolen and there were a lot of purchases made in Alabama. It was pretty frustrating for him, as it was his only checking account and it had essentially been emptied.

A few years later, my wallet was stolen at a splash park (of all places). It was annoying to get all new cards, and even to remember what was in my wallet, let alone make sure everything got cancelled and alerts were posted with the credit bureaus.

After the incidents we decided to enroll in a credit watch service through one of our credit cards, thinking that this would at least alert us if someone attempted to open an account in our names. Well, we applied for and got a mortgage and the credit watch did not catch it- so clearly- it was not worth the monthly fee we were paying.

We were also concerned again, as we had gone for years and just assumed all was well. What if it wasn't? Identity theft protection seems like an extraneous protection, but with so much of our lives being spent online and revolving around credit scores, you can't look out enough for it.

Identity theft is a pain. It can prevent someone from obtaining a job, a mortgage, a car, so much. Protect yourself.

Self-Care is not selfish

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

(photo credit lulumon athleta)
Moms and women as a whole are typically very quick to jump to help others but not so fast to take time for themselves.

There is a prevailing belief that taking care of ones-self is selfish and not to be done.

Well that is a pile of crap. Especially when women then whine and complain about burnout. I get it though. This has been me, so so many times.

I have had to learn, painfully, and slowly, that self care is not selfish. Self care is necessary. If I do not take the time to care for myself everyone suffers.

When I get burned out I get crabby and snappy and generally just mean.

Until recently my time was pole dancing. As that is not possible now, I had to go through a meltdown to again realize that I needed to take a time to invest in myself.

So for the past three weeks I have been 'investing' in my personal needs by participating in The Daily Method Classes.

Yes, I have to take time away from my kids. I even leave the kids in the care of a non-family member (gasp) but I need to (this is one of the best things about The Daily Method- the childcare room onsite). I am refreshed. Stress is released from my muscles via the work out. I get to see other adults! I get to talk in sentences! Yay!

Personally, I know so many women who fall into this trap- the women/mother/martyr. If a class is unattainable ask someone for a babysitting swap, I would be all over that, and I often am!

As women though, we have got to stop it. We have got to stop putting everyone before ourselves. We have got to start investing in ourselves. We have got to care about ourselves and take care of ourselves, if for no other reason, than we will then be able to care for others better.

Holiday Cards

Saturday, October 22, 2011

This year I am going to buck my holiday tradition and attempt to join the responsible grown-up world and send out , ideally before the holidays.

In years past, I have started with the best intentions and purchased cards, even signed them, but actually mailing them? Not something that happened. Apparently the walk to the mailbox is a lot farther than it appears.

This year, Shutterfly is spurring me on a bit. They invited me to take a look at their cards and tell my readers about them, and then give me 3 codes to give to readers for 25 free cards. YAY!

...and I have not had photos taken of the kids in a year....(I will schedule this, I swear)...

Ok, so I started looking. There are a lot of ! One big issue for me is that I have friends and family who are not religious and sending a religious-y card to them is weird to me, so that eliminated a lot of the cards. Then I needed a card that either has 5 photos on it or one photo- though this may vary depending on how pictures turn out- but I started with that.

I really liked this one:

I also liked:

Maybe I'll even feel really ambitious and make a photobook for the grandparents or something, I made one once- a few years ago- for my grandmother and she loved it!

So.... first three commenters who have an email associated with their profile, or leave it for me will each get a code for 25 free cards... ready set.... go.

Are you a blogger? Want a chance to win 25 free cards? Register here

What a happy messy baby!

Beware: Breasfeeding post below

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I am a devoted breastfeeding mom (I dislike the word breastfeeding though. Intensely dislike).

In my mothering adventures I have run into a quite a few people who have indicated that they were not intending to breastfeed. Some said they were uncomfortable with the idea, some had no interest, etc. I am genuinely curious why? What makes you uncomfortable about it? Why does it not interest you?

In a culture that is so head over heels in love with doing what is best for babies all of the time, shouldn't breastfeeding be kind of a no-brainer? This is the only normal food for a baby to eat, anything else is substandard. No parent would consider giving their child a substandard start by any means, so why is substandard food okay? This is not to say that women who truly do have an issue should feel guilty about not breastfeeding, but why willingly opt to feed your baby something less than standard?

Before you jump all over me about guilt. I get it. And you know what? I can't make anyone feel guilty. If someone feels guilty, that is on them, not me. Maybe it says that they should be doing something else if they feel guilty.

Yes, some people cannot nurse for one reason or another, but statistically that number is what 5%? Either I know the most unlucky 5% in the world or people are giving up too easily.

Full disclosure. I started nursing my first in the NICU. I had absolutely no intention of breastfeeding her until the NICU experience. I was completely uneducated about breastfeeding, and after learning I was sold. No nursing was not easy for me. I had a baby in the NICU and I had to learn to feed her, at the same time she had to learn to eat, breath, maintain temperature, and grow. It was hard. We did it. Until my milk dried up. Then I tried every darn herb, pumping, and trick I could before switching to formula. If I had been aware of it, I would have looked for donor milk, but at that point, I did the best I could with what I had.

Pregnancy Smell Aversion Strikes Again

Monday, October 17, 2011

The smells of truly innocent things have been making me vomit. Spaghetti and Meatballs? Banned. Anything involving garlic, banned.

That is okay.

The pregnancy super sense of scent has now forced me to abandon cloth diapers. I just can handle the smell. Hopefully soon, I will be able to get back to cloth dipes, but for now we are back to disposables and even those end up with me gagging most of the time.

Seeing as I am in the 2nd trimester, I should be past this soon right? Right? Give me some hope here.

All joking aside, I feel guilty. Cloth is so much better for my baby and the Earth. It isn't even that much work- I have to do laundry anyway, what is a couple more loads (especially loads that I do not have to invest massive time in folding!?)

Hopefully. Hopefully. Soon we will be back to cloth.

My first Daily Method

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Since I can't take my normal and awesome pole dancing classes, I decided I would try a Dailey Method class. A few friends rave about them and figured that I did need to do something

On the whole- I enjoyed it. I even signed up for more classes.

However, it is not the same as pole dancing. There was not the emotional aspect that I have with pole.

Pole is like therapy for me. The Dailey Method- while not therapeutic was fun and I loved the workout. I appreciated the empowering and nurturing atmosphere, the helpful people, the great class, but I lacked the sensual release.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Today is a beautiful day in the Chicago suburbs. The sun is shinning, the sky is absurdly blue, the air is crisp. As beautiful as it is, it is a sad day. Today is dedicated to remembering the lives of babies that were taken to soon.

I remember my almost babies, knowing that though they were never born, they will always be loved.

I remember my friends losses, miscarriages, stillbirths, and the loss of an infant. All heartbreaking. All tragic.

Nothing can change the losses, all that can be done is to remember the families and the babies. To remind everyone that love is surrounding.

To my friends who have lost, I am deeply sorry. Losing a baby is not something a parent should ever know. You are loved. Your babies are loved.
I am aware of the losses. I do not need a special day to remind me. The losses don't just go away on October 16th.

No tears here

Friday, October 14, 2011

I can't cry. I feel things- but I can't cry.

In fact, I am jealous of people who can just let it all out in a good cry. I can't. My eyes may get wet, but that step into actual tears I just can't make. I wish I could.

People have told me that I must have a heart of stone for not being able to cry (gee thanks). After discussing it with a lot of people, I have come to the con conclusion that it has to be some sort of defense mechanism. I will not let people see me like that. I will not let people see me vulnerable. I will not let people hurt me.

Honestly, I do not let anyone get close to me. I have been hurt too much and just cannot seem to let down my guard for anyone.

I do not want my children to feel like this. I want them to cry and feel joy freely. But (a big but) I am afraid to change my own way of dealing with things to let myself be vulnerable.

Why I made my choice

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I have gotten a few questions (heck- some people even advised me to terminate) this time through my pregnancy asking why I did not chose to terminate it, especially after beginning bad morning sickness.

It was not a secret that our family, though full of love and joy, is full. It was not a secret that pregnancy is hard for me physically and emotionally. Or that pregnancy is rife with risks for me- so given all of that, why am I choosing to stay pregnant?

Disclaimer- these are my thoughts and opinions as they pertain to me, my body, and my children. I do not intend to judge anyone- that's not how I roll.

Our family may be big. and loud. But we are full of love. I can not imagine my life without my any one of the kids. Simply put- there is always room for one more.

Each of my children have given me some amazing gifts. With out those- I would not be who I am. I may not even be alive.

The risks for me can be and are being medically managed. I have utmost confidence in my medical team.

While the life inside me- can't survive without me, he or she is special and loved. As he or she grows I love feeling he or she wriggle and move. To me- this life- is sacred.

An aside to Bean's mom- I am not referencing you above- you provided me with love and courage to look completely at all options available- thank you for that.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

I have not been writing a lot because I have been too busy feeling like crap.

This pregnancy has been particularly demanding and very difficult. I have been diagnosed with Hyperemisis Gravidarum which is morning sickness on steroids.

It is awful. Constant nausea. Frequent vomiting. Fatigue. Dehydration.

Some people have compared dealing with HG as similar to how a chemo patient feels, without the hair loss.

It sucks because I am not the mom that I should be. I can't take my kids outside as much. Running and playing with them is out.

My family has had to make do with whatever food I can stand the thought of or smell of. It is very hard because there is no way to describe the feeling. So many people do not understand the relentless nausea and sickness. Some even say it is in my head.

My doctor has prescribed a few medications. Sometimes they can take the edge off. Often they do not. Often I can't keep the medication down. Frustrating.

Hyperemisis typically improves as a pregnancy progresses but it does generally last longer than typical morning sickness.

This is my last my pregnancy. I am trying desperately to enjoy it, but good heavens, I am struggling.

New mom tattoo

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New moms are likely to get their baby's name or foot print tattooed on them. I think though that they should get the poison control number tattooed on them instead.

I had to call poison control today for only the second time in 7.5 years, which is not that bad of an average, in my opinion.

As the poison control number is not a simple three digit ditty like 911, it should be tattooed on every parent, or have the walls wall-papered with it. Something noticeable.

Because someone took my magnet off the fridge with the number on it, I was momentarily frozen. This is where my memory for numbers came in handy. I remembered it. (The number in case you should need it is 800-222-1222)

Thankfully, the incident was minor. Everyone will be fine. But I am writing the number all over my darn house.

I love my special dog

Our golden doodle is a sweet boy, smart he is not.

Aside from the fact he has been skunked three times in his short life, he gets lost. In our house. Which would not be so bad, but the house is small.

White Fang- the husky, is clever, where Doodle is... well a doodle.

He get so excited to see who ever is walking in the door he literally quivers with excitement. However, he barks ferociously whenever people he knows come over.

The other night a pillow fell on the floor, and he got up, walked over to it and squeezed his 80lb body on one small pillow. It was a feat of canine contortion.

Doodle does not seem to be aware of the rest of his body and thinks he is a floating head. He is surprised when his back half falls down the stairs, or runs into something.

Oh well. We love him anyway.

Style me please!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I cannot decorate a room or a cake to save my life, putting together an outfit with accessories is as foreign to me as Latin.

Moms with style are a particular group that I am envious of. There is a mom in my neighborhood who walks her son to school every morning and she looks fantastic- totally put together. And here I am excited that my shoes match!

Trendy mommy clothes are apparently sold in stores that I do not shop in. I admit, I am not the easiest person to dress, I am short, and petite, but now I am pregnant. At that awful stage when I just look chubby, not pregnant.

But, I am going to approach this now like I approach almost everything. Research research, and a little more research. Maybe, if I think of it like a skill that I need to hone I will be more successful than if I just concede that it is not a natural talent