Thursday, September 29, 2011

World Milksharing Week - Weston's Story

While all the mommas who chose to give us milk are incredible beings, for some, it is a more difficult thing to do. You may remember when I talked about this special momma who gave baby E some milk. This is her story...

Weston was born April 2, 2011. He came home 6 days later and he was a very healthy baby. He was very advanced for his age already lifting his head up and turning from his stomach to back all before 2 months. But sadly on June 12th, 2011 he passed away. That day will forever be the worst day of my life. Shortly after we got home from the hospital we got a phone calling asking if we wanted to donate his heart valves. I knew instantly that I wanted to donate them but I knew I needed to talk to my husband. After only a few minutes we knew we wanted to donate them.
For over a week we stayed with my parents because going into our house was too hard. When we finally went back to our house I opened the freezer and saw what was well over 100 oz’s of frozen breast milk. I just knew instantly I wanted to donate it and that Weston would want me to donate it. My husband thought it was a great idea but that I should wait till I was truly ready. I had no idea it would be a month before I was finally okay to let it go and to give it to another precious little boy.
The day Becky came she brought her son who would be getting Weston’s milk . He was so cute and sweet and I even got to hold him and that gave me the strength to do what needed to be done and to donate my milk (Weston’s Milk) so that this precious little boy could have the best nutrition he could possibly have. I hope that one day I can share my milk again but under better circumstances. And sometimes I even wish that after Weston passed I had continued pumping so I would have had even more milk to share. But in the end I did not do that but I am glad that I did have a lot of milk to share.

Rachael, Weston's amazing momma, is working so hard to honor Weston's memory (and she's doing it beautifully!). If you're interested in learning more about what she's doing (a 5k, a balloon release, and so much more!), check our HERE and HERE for more information and/or to donate.

Today's lesson - The human spirit is amazing. Always tragedy teaches us things about ourselves. Sometimes it gives us a new focus. Sometimes it allows us to become acquainted with a part of ourselves - a good part - that we didn't know was there. While we will likely always wish the tragedy had never happened, sometimes even so, good can come from it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Birthday Blunders

I had planned to have a post up already about baby E's awesome birthday party Sunday, complete with fantastic pictures. Well, that would have happened, had two things occurred - 1. baby E decided to go to bed at a reasonable time any of the last few nights, and 2. I gotten a substantial number of adorable pictures on my camera. Since baby E hasn't been going to sleep til nearly 11, and I only have pictures of the first part of the party, you're outta luck. At least for now. My dear friend, Ms M took tons of pics with her fancy camera, plus I'm gonna steal some from my mom's FB. So, rest assured, tomorrow (or Friday at the latest), you can experience through pictures the adorableness that was baby E at his Hungry Caterpillar party.

But, since I can't share with you all the things that went super well, I thought I'd tell you about some of the snafus that happened. Because I can laugh at myself as well as the next girl. So feel free to also giggle...

In general... there were people who showed up who weren't invited. And no explanation - or heads up - was given about their presence (by the person who they came with, who was invited). Also, some people showed up 1.5hrs late to a party scheduled to last 2hrs. Bringing food (which was very nice), but we'd already eaten, like an hour before. You know, because they were 1.5hr late. Also no explanation about their tardiness.

I'd planned on tying together 1 red and 3 green balloons and hanging them from the trees (did I mention the party was outside?), you know, to look like caterpillars. Um, well, that didn't work out so great. Because, well, you can really only tie together 2 balloons. I felt a bit stupid. But, whatever, we ended up hanging them in the trees with ribbon and it looked kinda neat.

And, here was the best part. I made this absolutely adorable banner of E's name, with 1 letter per circle/part of the caterpillar's body. I put it together late 1 night and was just glad it was done and was super cute. So, when I got the party, I hung it up in a tree, which looked fantastic. And then I went on getting everything else set up. A bit later I noticed a couple of friends standing in front of the banner, talking with their heads close together. I quickly realized they weren't just talking about how cute it was. So I walked over and very suddenly realized that I spelled my baby's name wrong. Yes, I did. I juxaposed two letters and spelled his flippin' name wrong. Parenting FAIL.

These, however, I did not do late at night. Or by myself. I have some fabulously creative friends who helped (particularly with the invitation). So, there ya go. A fun little preview of what's to come!

Today's lesson - something things should not be done late at night, when you're completely exhausted. Like spelling.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy Birthday baby E

My Sweet baby E-
I can hardly believe that today is your first birthday. I can hardly believe you are a year old! I can hardly believe you have been my sweet son for a year. It's amazing to me. You are amazing.

You have changed so much in a year. Of course you have. A year ago you were gooey, and confused, and super brand new. Now you're 1! You've learned to run and say some words. Hearing "momma" come out of your mouth fills my heart. You're trying to climb and I don't know what to do with that! Your brother has never been a climber. There's no telling what you're going to get into. You love music and to dance. Oh, but you have some rockin' moves!

So much in our lives has changed in the last year. I used to sleep a lot more. And now I cuddle a lot more. I used to have much less patience. Now I have a lot more joy. I used to watch a lot of TV in the evenings. Now I sit and laugh at your antics. I used to weigh 20lbs less. Now my heart is more full than I could imagine possible. I used to give the kid my undivided attention. Now, I watch him share it happily with you. I used to have a lot more time for my friends and scrapbooking. Now I happily get gooed on with every kiss you give me. I used to hear a lot more quiet. Now I hear a lot more giggling. I used to cuss a lot. Now, well, I still cuss a lot. Hey, not everything has changed.

Baby E, because of you, I now know about cloth diapers, and milksharing, and parenting 2 kids, and that I can live on very little sleep (for a year!), and what persistence looks like in a very little person. Because of you, I know love in a different way. Because of you, I am a better mother, a better social worker, a better person.

Thank you baby E, for being my son. Thank you, R and D, for creating this beautiful person. Thank you for choosing life for him. Thank you for choosing us to be his forever family. Thank you will never be sufficient.


Today's lesson - parenthood offers frequent opportunities for growth, chances to learn things about yourself you may never have known, opportunites to become less selfish, more loving, a better person.  Parenthood is hard, but so very worth it. What a gift it is.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

World MilkSharing Week - Julie's Story

Today you are getting a treat - a guest post from, Julie, who was one of our first, and is now our most frequent milk donor. We love, LOVE Julie. She's so generous, open, and fun! So, here she is...

My name is Julie and I am a milk momma to baby E.  Becky asked me to write a guest post for her blog about milksharing from the donor’s perspective for World Milksharing WeekJ  I’ll start with how I came to have an excess amount of milk to be able to donate:  I thought (as I’m sure many mommas do) that I might not be producing enough milk for my baby (L) so at about 2 weeks I started pumping to increase my supply and increase it did!  Then, when my deep freeze started filling up with breastmilk I wasn’t sure what to do with it. 
One night while on The Bump I read about Eats on Feets [now known as Human Milk for Human Babies/HM4HB] and decided to do some research.  I was thrilled to learn that I could possibly find a local momma that wanted my extra milk for her baby!  I posted on our state's page that I had extra milk and right away Becky responded that she wanted it. 
At that point I was nervous and excited…I worked hard for that milk and I wanted to make sure it went to a good family.  I remember reading her blog about her family and donor milk and crying because I was so happy to be able to be a part of it.  The first transfer was like a mini first date with some questions and answers on both parts.  Transfers since then have been very quick and sometimes done by my brother (except for one time when we nursed our baby boys at the same time which I thought was beautiful)J  

Milksharing makes me feel very warm inside, like I’m making someone’s life better.  I feel so lucky to be able to help a fellow momma give her baby the best because I too believe that breast is best. I feel a special connection to Becky and baby E and find myself very protective of my extra milk (meaning I never have more than a few sips of beer because I do not want to pump and dump).  I hope that milksharing becomes more popular so that more babies get the chance to have the best because sometimes… it takes a village!

Today's lesson - There are so many wonderful people in the world. We never know when we may meet them, or under what circumstances. Thank you, Julie, for being one of those people in our lives. It does indeed take a village, and you are one of the awesome villagers in ours.

P.S. Julie - I, too, loved when we nursed our boys at the same time. It is one of the few times I've nursed together with another momma. And to do so with you, whose milk was feeding baby E - it was feeding both of our boys at the same time - was amazing! Also, hubby says to feel free to take a few extra swings of beer (or an Ambien) if it'll help baby E sleep through the night  ;)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Word about Attachment Parenting

Ohhhhhh, attachment parenting (AP). It's a dirty phrase to some people, even many people in my "line of work". It's equated with hippies. It's assumed to be anti-mother working outside of the home. It's seen as uneducated and old-fashioned. It's simply not what the parents of my generation are doing these days.

Or is it?

You know, it's funny how things can change in just a few short years. How, really, one's whole parenting philosophy can change. Because, sisters, that's really what happened to us.

With the kid, we were scheduled, not to specific times, but things certainly happened in a particular order. Things happened based on when WE thought they needed to. Not so much what the kid's cues were telling us he needed. What? You ate an hour ago? You can't be hungry again. It's time for sleep. Go to sleep. Now, as I've said before, he kind of scheduled himself early on, but we certainly encouraged that, probably sometimes to the point where we really did ignore his cues. We also - very briefly - tried CIO, though it absolutely didn't work.

Now, I certainly have always subscribed to the whole "babies cry for a reason, and even if that reason is the desire to be held, that need is as important as the need to be fed or have a diaper changed" thing. Also, I did a little carrying the kid around in a sling when he was really little, but there was infinitely more stroller using going on. But, other than that, we were not really what you'd call an attachment parenting kind of family.

So, what is attachment parenting? I'm so glad you asked. Here are a couple of good references for your information and reading pleasure. THIS is a general "what/how-to" of AP. And THIS is a "why" is AP important kind of resource.

AP boils down to a simple yet complex concept - being attentive and responsive to baby's cues. In my opinion, the primary aspects of AP are breastfeeding on demand, co-sleeping (whether baby is actually in your bed, or just in the room), baby wearing, and responding to cries and cues immediately. Though, really, the last one pretty much says it all. If I'm aware of and responsive to all of baby's cries and cues, I will breastfeed on demand. And co-sleeping and baby wearing simply make that responding promptly easier.

I'm not sure how we ended up doing AP, but that sure is where we are now. I think it came slowly, really, and logically. It just makes sense to me. And, even more than that, it feels right to me. Though hubby was, I think, hesitant at first, I pulled him along, as is our pattern. But he's now full in. Matter of fact, we were having a conversation the other day about someone who is super Type A and very much all about scheduling everything with her now 2 month old baby. It was so funny to hear him rail against the schedule, and talk about the importance of following babies' cues, not some stupid schedule. I admit I fell a little more in love with him at that moment.

So why do we do it? Because it makes for a happy baby. And a happy baby makes for a happy momma, poppa, and family. A happy baby is one who knows that his needs will be met, even if that need is to be held. And he doesn't have to cry a lot, because he knows his parents will respond to his early cues and meet his needs. People often comment about what a happy baby E is, how rarely he cries. And that's true. He really does rarely cry. Like hardly at all during the day at least. And at night, when he does cry, it's because we're not being responsive to those cues and needs. It's because we're frustrated and not empathetic. As soon as I turn that empathy back on, the cries immediately subside. Now, obviously some of that is a nature issue, like that's just his personailty. But I like to think some of it is a nurture issue, too, that we're doing something right.

Today's lesson - Attachment Parenting is about empathy. A parent taking the time to empathetically parent her/his child. Because that empathy we show our children, it teaches them how to be empathetic to others. And unfortunately, when we don't show our children empathy, it's a skill they don't learn to use in their interactions with others. And, for the love of all things holy, wouldn't we live in a much better world if we all were a little more empathetic towards the people around us.

Monday, September 19, 2011


I've been asked several times recently, as we approach baby E's 1st birthday, if we're going to start weaning. The short answer is no. We're not. The medium answer is, we're going to go as long "as is mutually desired" as the CDC and WHO recommend, though really because that's what I want to do.

The long answer is this: I plan to nurse for at least 6 more months, and we'll go as long after that as I/we still have milk, and baby E wants to. I think another year would be fabulous. I can't even imagine weaning my baby now. He's just as much a baby today as he will be 2 weeks from now, after his 1st birthday. It makes no sense to me to wean him, just because he's a year old. It's not like he simply is no longer a baby that day. Also, it's not like - as a pediatrician unfortunately told someone I know last year - the benefits of breastfeeding and breastmilk simply stop just because a child hits that 365 day mark in life. Such an ignorant remark to make. The immunological benefits continue. The bonding benefits continue. The health benefits to mom (hello decreased risk of breast cancer?!) continue.

Baby E loves to nurse. When I get home in the evenings, regardless of when he's last eaten, he almost always wants to nurse within my first half hour home. He follows me around the house, whining, til I figure out that's what he's asking for. He grabs my finger and walks to the kitchen with me while I fill up the SNS, and then reclaims my finger and walks with me to the couch. Whining and giggling while I get settled, ready to nurse him. So, of course we will continue.

And, you know what? I love nursing baby E. I love the closeness of it. I love the snuggling. I love the way he stops, and grins up at me with this funny, drooly smile, used only when we're nursing. I love the contended sighs he utters. The way he pats my chest and wiggles with joy when he's done. I love that sometimes he stops and growls at me and we have our own little growling conversation, just the two of us. I love this world that's just me and my baby E. So, of course we continue.

We fortunately still have milk donors who also recognize the benefits of so-called "extended breastfeeding" (which, really, I think is a silly term, but whatev') and are willing to continue to give us milk. So of course we will continue to accept this liquid gold and use it to keep our baby so very healthy.

I don't know for sure when we will stop nursing. I hope it's not for a long time. But, it will be whenever baby E is ready to stop. He has decided when he is ready to meet all of his other developmental milestones. He will decide when he is ready to meet this one as well. Until then, we continue to nurse. And I'm thrilled about it.

I know some mommas at this point are more than ready to stop. They want their bodies back, they're tired of having babies attached to them all this time. But, really, they have 9 months more than I've had of having a baby attached to me. I missed out on that initial closeness, so I'm going to take advantage of the closeness on this end of it as long as baby E wants.

Today's lesson - "extended breastfeeding" is actually the norm around the world. Stopping at a year really makes no sense, unless it is what both momma and baby want. Absolutely, there are valid reasons women have for weaning at this time, or earlier, but the errant belief that there are no longer any benefits to baby shouldn't be one of them.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

This week has been...

... long. Baby E has been feeling sickly (I think it's teeth?) and work has been... not even sure the right word for that. Brutal, maybe? Disappointing for sure.  Things are about to change big time there and change is always hard. Also, I'm not sure these changes are going to be good for me or my family. So, I'm job searching. Again. Sigh...

But there have also been awesome things this week. The kid seems to have hit upon some kind of understanding of what the expectations are at school and has had a pretty super week. Mostly all "green" days. Thank the lord for that. He's been awesomely behaved at home as well. I think part of this is that his asthma symptoms again seem to be under control so he's sleeping better. Fall often seems to be a difficult time for him. Remember THIS, when he was biting? Yeah. Early fall's not that kid's season.

Also, baby E - and seriously I'm terrified to put this out there - has now slept through the night and  in his bed for 3 nights straight. Now, I'm going to go ahead and asssume it's 'cause he's not feeling well and we've given him some Motrin (which I don't really like doing, but he seems miserable without it!). So, probably today, since he's feeling better and we didn't give the motrin to him, he'll be up all night again. Hopefully not. But probably. I'm happy I got those 3 awesome nights at least.

So, I'm grateful for this weekend. As we recover from baby E being whiny and clingy for several days, and prepare for bad work news on Monday, I am grateful for a weekend of play dates with new friends, wonderful friends who borrow the kid for a trip to a corn maze, a chance to prepare for baby E's birthday next weekend (right?!! Can you believe he'll be 1 next week?!??!! I can't!!!!), and just some down time.

Today's lesson - a year in some ways is a very short amount of time. Like the year between when your baby is born, and when he turns 1. But a year in some ways, is ever so long. Like the year before you know that baby will be born. Time is such a funny thing. You really don't ever know what it will bring. And while that year can be impossibly long, it can at the same time be impossibly short. Funny how something can be both a thing, and it's opposite all at once...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Full of Awesome

A friend posted this article on facebook and I loved it! The premise is that when we're kids, we wake up in the morning, convinced of our own awesomeness. And, really, more than convinced of our awesomeness, we just don't question that it exists. We wake up with messy hair, missing teeth, funky breath, mismatched clothes,  and scuffed up shoes...and we know we rock. There is no question. And then, as time goes on, we start to doubt that awesomeness. We get messages from others, both those who we barely know and those who we love dearly that we are less than awesome. We get messages from the media that our perceived awesomeness is not even close. We doubt. And that doubt turns ugly sometimes and we lose all aspects of that awesomeness. We forget that we used to be so certain, so confident.

It's not that the awesomeness is gone. It's just that we forget it was ever there. And that is unbearably sad.

I see my kid just starting to forget some of his awesomeness. The doubt is inching its way in. I hear it in the hurt in his voice when he talks about how a kid in his class said his shirt was ugly. I see it in his eyes when he talks about how he was on "yellow" all day at school but he doesn't know why. I feel it in the hesitation he has just started to display when approaching other children.

And it's breaking my heart. And I don't know what to do about it.

This child, who is such a light in my life - and the lives of so many others - is starting to doubt that light, his inherent awesomeness. He is forgetting, or having sucked out of him, that he is full of awesome.

And maybe it's just what happens. But maybe it's what is happening to him at school. Because it's only been since he started school this year that I have seen this change in him, a change I've only now been able to articulate. People around me (important people in my life, and my kid's life), keep dismissing my feelings that this public school thing isn't working. Because they love him, too, I keep pushing my doubt back down, ignoring my momma gut. But those feelings keep coming back up.

It is not okay for my kid to forget that he is full of awesome. And I can tell him - and I do. But I'm only me, only one person, albeit an important person in his life. But just my telling him simply isn't enough. And I don't know what is.

I mean, seriously, how full of awesome is he??!!

Today's lesson - Parenting is hard. And sometimes the hard comes in the most unexpected ways/places.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Night from...

Yeah, well, by the end of this post, I'm sure you'll be able to fill in that blank for me.

Here's how my night went...

About 8:30, momma thinks to herself and probably says out loud, "Well, this baby has got to be tired, he didn't really nap this afternoon. Time for bed, mister. And no repeats of last night when it took you 2 hours to get to sleep".

Baby E, looks very innocently at momma, "sure. I'd be happy to oblige. There's just one little thing. Uh, well, I don't wanna."

Momma, looks sternly at baby E, "well, it is bedtime, sir, and you will go to sleep."

Baby E, smiles beatifically, "of course, momma, I love you and will always do whatever you ask, happily and without complaint". (snickers to himself)

Momma nurses baby E. Then rocks him. Baby E is trying to tell momma something, incessantly babbling; she is unable to understand so continues rocking.

That's not working, so she lays him in his bed (tell me, why am I writing this in 3rd person? Oh well...) . The fussing starts. Poppa comes in and the SCREAMING commences. Good times.

There's patting, then rocking, then he finally falls asleep (about an hour later). Momma feels not too bad about the whole thing, she was obviously successful in getting him to sleep in less time than it took the night before. She goes to read a book before going to sleep.

Baby E, however, has other plans. He wakes up screaming after about 45 minutes of sleep. And pretty much doesn't stop for - ready - 2 hours. It was not awesome. At all.

He screams and he screams and he screams. Nothing works. Until finally something does (I don't remember but I'm guessing it was rocking in combination with exhaustion that finally won). Momma, who is exhausted herself by this time as it is 12:15am, simply puts him in bed with her.

He wakes up about an hour later. And then every 30 to 45 minutes thereafter. All. Night. Long. This was the epitome of not awesome.

So, obviously something is wrong with him. He does appear to have another bottom tooth coming in. It seems odd to me that that would be the problem when none of the other 4 caused such issues, but who knows?!

Also, we had sweet potatoes for dinner last night. He didn't have much because he didn't like them (which was odd because 1. what baby doesn't like sweet potatoes, and 2. This kid eats anything including sweet potatoes, which he's had before). I remembered in the middle of the night, while he was passing gas, that it seems like we also had a rough night - though not this rough! - the last time he had sweet potatoes. Then again, all that screaming might have led to gas. So, who flippin' knows.

Good thing is we both had a couple hour nap on the couch this morning and he (knock on wood) is having another one (in his bed) as we speak. Please, Lord, let this be a long nap. Momma needs a break from this whiny, clingy boy who woke up this morning.

Today's lesson - It's a good thing babies come out being so cute and lovable, wrapping us around their little fingers shortly after they're born. Because if they didn't, there would certainly be more child abuse in the world.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


This post has been bouncing around in my head for days, really weeks. I've know I had something to say about the 10th anniversary of September 11th, 2001...I just didn't know what it was. I'm not sure I do even now, so we'll just see what comes out.

I've had several conversations with (work) clients in the last week about 9/11. One of those was with a family who has 3 kids ranging in age from 10 to 16. None of them, of course, remembers 9/11. The youngest, though, is apparently interested and has searched some info. So, we were talking about it, you know, just basic info (how many planes, where they went down, etc...) and I was struck by the realization that to these kids, 9/11 is just like the assassination of Kennedy is to me, or Pearl Harbor is to my mom.

9/11 is one of those monumental events that I will always remember. I know - just like you probably do - exactly where I was when I heard of the first, second, third, and then fourth planes going down. I watched the news, first in disbelief, then simply astounded and horrified, for days. It seemed like there was nothing else I could do. It was a moment where, as a country, we were united - albeit in horror and sadness and anger. We lost our innocence and the belief in our safety. It was such a common experience.

Yet to these kids, it's just something that happened. I remember feeling completely disconnected from the events of Pearl Harbor, or Kennedy's assassination, or any number of things I read about it my school history books. I had a conversation with my grandmother one time about the Japanese internment camps that were set up in the US during WWII. I asked my grandmother why they had allowed the internment camps to exist (she replied that that's just how things were then - still not a really a satisfactory answer, btw). I was totally interested in them, but I never stopped to think about what that time felt like, personally, for my grandmother - the fear that existed. I am afraid that my children will feel that way, too, about 9/11. Because I can already see that children do feel that way...there is a general curiosity but no emotional connection.

So I wonder... what can I do to make 9/11 real for my children. Or should I. I know they will (unfortunately) have events such as this that happen during their lifetimes that will teach them this same lesson. Should I allow them to learn of the events, without having to experience the emotions and grief that those of us who do remember carry with us. History isn't comprised of things that just happened. History is comprised of things that happened to people. And this, this horrible day, happened to all of us.

And yet 9/11 wasn't completely a common experience. I wasn't there. No one I know was there. I didn't lose anyone I love. And that, I think, is the reason I have had such a difficult time articulating this post. Some part of me has felt like I don't have the right to still be affected by what happened that day. My loss was not nearly as profound as the losses of those who were there. The loss of life...the loss of friends and family and co-workers...the intense loss of feeling secure and safe in your home/city... But, still I grieve and am sad for all we all lost that day. And for all those who we have lost since.

Today's lesson - a wise woman once told me "pain is pain". There are no gradations of pain and no person's pain is more important than another's. Pain is pain. 9/11 left us with a collective experience, and a collective pain. People of NYC, DC, and PA, please know that we stand with you. Your pain is our pain and though life continues, we continue to grieve with you. Sending love and light to those who need it today.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What a change a year makes.

Oh my sweet baby E. I can hardly believe it's been a year since we first learned of the possibility of you. I was not in a good place when all that happened. We'd been waiting nearly a year and a half - and it was not a wait I had expected at all. I was feeling like you would never come. I couldn't understand why things were taking so long. And I had lost much faith. And hope. Yeah, I had almost given up hope completely. The thought that we would only be a family of three was making me sad. The thought that the kid would never get to be a big brother was impossibly sad. The thought of never cuddling my own sweet baby again brought me to tears.

And then there was you. A phone call I made, gave me a glimmer of hope, that started to burn brighter and brighter. Until there you were. Or at least there was the possibility of you. There are no words to describe how life has changed since that day a year ago. That day started out sad and frustrating and lacking in hope, but ended with light, and possibility, and the beginnings of joy. And, as I think about it, that light, is such a good metaphor for you. Because you are a light in my life. You are such an incredible light in the life of our whole family.

Thank you baby E, for being such a sweet light. And thank you, R, for choosing us to parent this incredible being.

Today's lesson - Hope is a magical thing, never lost forever. It is always there, waiting to be found, waiting to be allowed back in. It's a matter of seeing it, though it may not necessarily be in the form you expected it to be. Hope, sometimes, takes some creativity to see. Hope is not a finite resource. But is, instead, free flowing and abundant. If only you can recognize it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Late Emails Suck

And the Kindergarten drama continues. Friday, the teacher sent home a (IMO poorly worded) letter stating that she would be contacting some parents this weekend via phone to discuss their children's "continued problems" making good choices in the classroom. So, we were just waiting for our phone call to come. But it didn't. And we were shocked, and more than a little relieved. But then - just now @ 9:30pm on Monday - we've gotten an email. The kid - of course - is one of the children who is having "continued problems". Apparently the teacher just realized she'd left her phone# list at school. So she's emailing instead. A form letter that really provides no additional information that would be helpful for us at all (i.e. what kinds of behaviors he's exhibiting).

So, here's the thing. I'm not surprised that he's having a hard time, but I'm seriously disappointed. And - total honesty - I'm embarrassed.

I know my child. I expected him to have difficulty adjusting to public school. I mean, really, the poor kid (and only according to him, because we've gotten nothing from the teacher at all) has gotten on "red" (the "bad" end of the behavior chart that all the kids use in the classroom) for a couple of times for talking in the hallway. Now, I get why they need kids to be quiet and in control while in the hallways. But, getting "red" for that, I think, is flat out stupid. And he's not used to having to be quiet; it's never really been a behavioral expectation. And, hell, he's never quiet - even when he's sleeping (he talks frequently and occasionally sings in his sleep). But I get that he needs to learn to be that way sometimes. Heaven knows I'd like a little quiet around here on occasion...

But, I'm frustrated with what I feel are inappropriate expectations of the children (something I've been concerned about since before he started). And I'm frustrated that we've had no communication from the teacher prior to now. And yes, I've attempted contact her, but have gotten no response. And honestly I'm frustrated that my kid can't just do what expected of him (and, yes, I realize that's contradictory considering I think the expectations are inappropriate). And I'm frustrated that I can't figure out what I, as his parent, needs to do to help him acclimate (though I also realize that he is responsible for his own behavior and I can only do what I can do). And, mostly, just UGH.

I can't even express how much I miss his Montessori school. I miss the appropriate expectations of the children. I miss the respect that everyone - children and parents alike - is afforded. I miss knowing what the hell is going on with my child. I miss the child who talked about how much he loved his school. I miss the child who wanted to go to school. I miss the child who smiled when talking about school. I miss feeling good when I drop him off. I miss knowing his needs - emotional as well as academic - are being met. I miss it.

Today's lesson - There are times when being a grown-up sucks. There are times when all you want to do is whine, and throw a big ugly tantrum and tell people they're not being fair. And these are the times when you have to put on your big girl panties, don your big girl attitude, and come up with the words that are not only true, but are ones that others can hear.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I'm no weeks and I'm craving nothing.

It's been awhile since I talked at all about infertility. Which is interesting because for some reason it's been on my mind a lot lately. And popping up, causing some issues. I guess I haven't really know how to articulate it, or even had enough clarity of what's going on in my head to even start putting words to it. And then this whole "I'm _____ weeks and I'm craving ____" thing on facebook started up. And it has me seriously irritated for a couple of reasons.

First, what the hell does it have to do with breast cancer awareness?! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! If your aim is to educate people about breast cancer (though, honestly, who doesn't know about it?! Not that that means we should stop talking about it, of course, but let's not pretend like it's something people haven't heard about), then how about talking about mammograms, or donating to research, or how our overall health affects our risk of developing it. How about talking about what we can do to support the women (and men!) who are living with it right now. Let's not pretend like we're pregnant. Because that has absolutely nothing to do with breast cancer.

But, and here's my big issue with this - how do you think it feels to those of us who live with infertility every day to see all of these "pregnancy" announcements?! Seeing real ones can, for some of us, be enough of a kick in the gut. Not that we're (or at least I'm) not happy for you when you really are pregnant. But it takes a minute to get there. And seeing all of these (at least before you know about the stupid game) sucks. Big time. Now, fortunately the first couple of these I saw said that they were like 2 or 3 weeks pregnant, so I assumed they weren't real, but it still was a kick in the gut for a minute.

It took me reading THIS and THIS blog posts before I realized exactly why those status updates had me so upset. So, because these two women are much more eloquent than I am, I will refer you over to them.

Today's lesson - it all comes back to thinking before you say/write something. Take others into consideration. What seems like a fun little game, can sometimes be hurtful to others.

Friday, September 2, 2011

It's a Friday-before-Labor Day Miracle!

Oh, people! What I had feared would never come to pass, has finally become reality. Baby E slept 7.5 hours straight last night!! And, as the icing on that fabulous cake, he even did it in his own bed!! Now, I believe this is likely a fluke and probably won't happen again til he's, oh, I don't know, 12. BUT, I'll take it for now.

Interestingly, it's like Baby E read THIS post and decided to get on board with the plan. I started putting him in his bed after nursing him at night. Sometimes he falls asleep while nursing, and if that happens, I just hold him til I know he's "out" (i.e. lets his arm drop when I pick it up, you know, dead to the world kind of sleep) and then I lay him down. And, yes that may not be helping in the overall plan, but if he wakes up, then he's UP. Like for an hour or two. So, I gotta do what I gotta do.

So, if he doesn't fall asleep nursing, I rock him for a few minutes, to see if he'll settle down and fall asleep. If he does, see above. If not, I put him in his bed and lay down on the floor. And wait. And give him the paci he likes to throw out of the crib. And wait. Then pat his butt. And tell him to lay down. And wait. Then give him the paci again. And wait. You get the picture.

Last night I fell asleep before he did. And I woke up, and he was still awake. And it had been more than an hour and I was losing patience. So I went and got hubby, who was still up for some reason at 10:45pm (hey - that's super late at our house), and - it seems - got baby E to sleep. At some point during the night I heard him grunting and whining a little, but I didn't get up and assumed hubby did. Apparently not, which I learned when hubby woke me up at 6:15 this morning and said baby E was still asleep in his crib. After each asking the other whether we'd gotten him last night, we realized he'd slept all night (which ended up being from 11pm-6:30am).

So here's some irony for you. I'm more tired today than I have been recently. It's like my body got 7 hours of sleep and all of the sudden realized it hasn't been getting sleep and was reminded of how tired it is. So I'm going to take a nap right now. I should clean my disaster of a house. But a nap seems so much nicer.

Today's lesson - apparently baby E can read and is willing to cooperate with my plans to get him to finally sleep at night. That or he was just developmentally ready. Or I got lucky. Sometimes we all have those moments when it doesn't so much matter how the good thing happened, whether we had anything to do with it or not. What matters is that it happened. And that we take a moment to appreciate that it did.