Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge

The Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge (HAWMC) is an online writing workshop for people in the health blogger community. I figure I (oh so very) loosely fit into that community as I do blog about infertility, which is certainly a health issue. I also write about other health issues such as breastfeeding, baby wearing, attachment parenting, baby led weaning, and post-adoption depression, to name a few. Now, they may not be traditional health issues (like cancer, or diabetes, or autism), but there's no rule that says you have to have a "traditional" focus here. So, I'm in.

Basically, the goal is to blog every day for the whole month of April, with an overall focus on health. Now, I usually blog every 2-3 days, so this will certainly be a challenge for me. I'll be honest, I'm cheating and have pre-written some of the posts already. What? This girl has a busy life and some days just don't include time for blogging, so I took advantage of time when I had it to lower my own stress (lookie there - another health issue!).Also, I tend to babble on about what pops into my head that day. So, focusing (however loosely) on health, may also be challenging.

So, if you're interested in more info about HAWMC, or want to participate, here's a link to the info.

Good luck to me!

Today's lesson: It's good to be challenged. I think.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

His Dream

I'm laying in bed. It's 7am on a Tuesday morning, but I don't have to go in to work. Hubby has already left and the boys are - blessedly - still asleep. I hear the kid's door open, but don't hear him come out. "Baby?", I ask. He comes in to my room, crying softly. I ask him if he wants to crawl in to bed with me for a few minutes before we get up to get ready for school. He replies "uh huh" and climbs in, snuggling into my side.

I wrap my arm around him and ask him what's going on. He says, "when I woke up, Oma was laying beside me". I am beyond taken aback. "Did you dream that, do you mean?" "Um, yeah, I guess so. I don't know." He says he is scared. I remind him that Oma loved him. I ask him, "well, if Oma was there, why would it have been?" "Because she loves me and wanted to watch over me." I agree with him. He says he misses her so much. I tell him I do, too. Which, to my surprise, is very much the truth.

I hug him closer to me and bury my nose in his sweet curls, kiss the little tears that have streaked their way down his still chubby cheeks. We lay there for a few more minutes, his head on my arm, me stroking his hair, my lips on his forehead, us both breathing softly. He has stopped crying. I ask him if he is okay. He mumbles, "yes, Momma".

It's 7:05. He will be late for school. I don't care. I ask him if he wants to cuddle for 2 more minutes. He says "yes". So we do.  It is the most important thing we can do right then.

Today's lesson: You're just trucking along, everything seeming to be fine. When, BAM. Grief hits you unexpectedly. Acknowledge it. Breathe through it. You will still be standing on the other side.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Brown Bear

Recently, I met with the kid's teacher. We were chatting away, things going well. She said, "Oh I have to tell you the funniest thing" and I smiled, waiting to hear the next amusing thing my kid had said. She relayed a story that had happened recently in class. She said they sometimes do little plays in reading groups. In the one this particular day, there were several animals. So the kids started volunteering for different characters. My kid says, "well, obviously I'll be the bear, because I have the brown skin", all matter-of-fact. One of the other boys says, "Aw, man!! I wish I had cool brown skin!".

His teacher thought this was hilarious. I laughed at the time, but something about it simply didn't sit well with me. It took me til now to figure it out. You see, that may be the only time my child hears something to that effect.

I tend to avoid recent events here on my blog. Not that I ignore current events, I just don't find writing about them to be therapeutic, per say. But the murder of Trayvon Martin, well, it is something I just cannot not talk about. Because I am terrified for my own sons.

The are adorable and small now, even when wearing their own hoodies. One day they will be handsome and tall. And they will be feared simply because they are big, male and black. And none of these are things over which they have any control. None of these are things over which I have any control. And I have no idea how to protect them.

I know many people want to believe that racism isn't alive and well. I know many people even in my own family who would say that racism went out with the 80's. As a social worker, I've known - secondhand - that racism is a prevalent issue. But it wasn't til I became a mother of black sons that I have come face to face with it.
  • Where are the brown-skinned dolls at my local Tar.get store?
  • Do you know how hard it is to find quality children's books with any kind of diversity?
  • Most teachers, politicians, store managers, and people with power have skin that looks like mine, not like my boys'.
  • And what about band-aids? I've yet to find any that match the color of my children's skin.
And I know what we've experienced to date, is nothing compared to what is to come. And, again, I have no idea what to do to protect them. Or even to prepare them.

I feel sad that my child will likely never again be envied for the color of his skin. Instead he will be judged, followed through stores, stopped for DWB (driving while black), and simply feared for being who he is.

Today's lesson: To Trayvon's mother, I say this. I am so sorry for your horrific loss. I grieve the loss of your baby boy. And, if you will have me, I stand with you. I ask all of you to consider for yourselves, the racism that exists in Our world, and in your own worlds. What can we do individually to make the lives of our children safer, happier, less filled with racism. I want my children to be able to walk down the street, with a bottle of pop and a bag of candy and not fear that they will be murdered. I want this for all our children.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Guest Post: Family

Today you get a bonus 2nd post. Now, this is nearly unheard of here, but I couldn't not do it. You see, I have a most amazing friend. She is loving, devoted, hilarious, persistent, smart, beautiful, compassionate. And, to top it off, she has this ability to chose really good friends. Who are also funny. Ha!

One thing many people around her don't know, is that she is a birth mother. She made a choice many years ago to find a family for her daughter because she wasn't in the position to give that sweet baby girl the life she wanted her to have. Today is that baby girl's birthday. She's no longer a baby, but she is still my friend's daughter. And my friend thinks of her every. single. day. She loves her. And these are some words my friend wanted to share on this day, the anniversary of the day her daughter was born, when she became a mother, and a birth mother.

Family: what makes up a family? A mom, dad and child.  Sometimes there are more people involved like other siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousin, pets, etc. Sometimes it is any uncountable combination of any of the above and then some that make up a family.  Some families come to be the traditional way and some not so much.  There are many circumstances that create a family and one of them is adoption.  That’s what I want to talk about today.  Especially today.

Even today, adoption can be a dirty word.  Something that people just don’t like to talk about.  There is still a stigma attached to the word adoption about the birth mother; she is selfish or she was promiscuous.  There are many more, but it makes me too sad to think about.  The one statement above that really gets under my skin is that she was selfish.  I am sure there are some mothers that give up their child for very selfish reasons.  But I choose to believe that there are many, many more that give their child up for the right reasons that are filled with so much love and wanting so much more for your child than you can possibly give.  This decision does not come easily and comes with agonizing thoughts of what if, but mostly, is overwhelmingly full of love.    

My best friends in the world have the most beautiful family with two of the most adorable little boys that are the lights of their lives.  They both are adopted.  Now that I stop for a minute and think about it, I have just as many friends that have wonderful and loving families the nontraditional way (adoption) as I do the “traditional way”.  This does not make them different, or special, it just makes them a family.  And, really, that is all that matters in life. 

I just ask, today especially, that the next time you hear that someone is adopted or that someone has made a sacrifice so great that that you simply could not imagine, don’t judge.   Those birth moms out there, no matter how they came to their decision, they never forget and never stop loving.  Any way you come about making your family, I am sure it’s about love. 
Today's Lesson: I think my friend has this one covered. Love you, sweet friend.

The North or the South

So this one time when I was, I don't know, maybe 8 or 9 (honestly, maybe older), I asked my grandfather, whom I knew had been in "the war", which side he fought for. You know, the North or the South. I'm thinking it didn't go over particularly well. He walked away without saying a word.

I'm not sure if he was offended as apparently I thought he was so old. Or saddened by the lack of education occurring in the public school system. Or unable to believe that my math skills were so horrible (you know, being able to figure out that since the Civil War was in 1864, and it was now, say 1987, and I couldn't figure out that, uh, no, he couldn't have fought in the Civil War. To be fair, my math skills probably were that bad). Or just amused as all get out, and wanted to spare my feelings by not laughing his @ss off in my face. I'm not sure. But I just stood there perplexed, wondering why in the world he'd just walked off, leaving my question unanswered.

By the time I realized my blunder, I was into the feeling embarrassed about everything phase. And then about the time I moved out of that, he passed away. So I never took the opportunity to talk to him about his reaction.

You know that saying about paybacks? Yes, well I got mine this week. Hubby, the boys and I were sitting at dinner, having the normal dinner-time conversation - "how was your day?", "what's something fun that happened today?", "here's the crazy stuff I saw today.", "did anything sad happen to you today?". That kind of stuff.

When, out of the blue, the kid threw in an unexpected question. Directed right at me. "Hey, Momma, did you live in the North or the South when the Civil War was happening?". Hubby, of course, you know, since the question wasn't directed at him, started laughing hysterically. I smiled, amused, and clarified that I, in fact, was not quite that old. He replied, "huh. I thought you were".

I have to believe that Grandad was laughing his @ss off, where ever he is. And I have to believe that he mostly was amused with my question, with a bit of perplexion, ("do I look that old?!"). But mostly amused.

Today's Lesson: Sometimes paybacks are not so bad.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Picture...

Confusingly enough, this post doesn't actually include a picture. I wish it did, because the picture involved was quite adorable, but I can't figure out how to get it. So, you get words instead. Here ya go.

This past Saturday, hubby, the kid, baby E, my mom and I went downtown to hangout at the Irish festival and catch the parade. We arranged to also meet up with R and her daughter. It had been since Christmas since we'd gotten together and it was great to see them. We walked around, had some lunch, and just let the kids run around and play while we waited for the parade to start.

While we were just sitting there chatting, the kid and R's daughter were running all over. Baby E was going up and down and up and down and back up and down again the 3 steps we were sitting on. I tell ya, that kid loves to climb. The kid had picked a couple of flowers and we stuck one in baby E's hair, right on the top of his little head, like a floral unicorn horn. That, with his ever present adorable smile and "I'd rather be lucky that good" shirt, made him quite the little cutie.

We were approached by a photographer from the local paper. She made eye contact with R and asked her if she could take a picture of E for the paper. R immediately responded, "of course" and the picture was taken (though not before her daughter flew across the grass to also get in, making the pic even cuter). She handed R a card with the instructions of how to see the picture. R took the card and stuck it in her purse.

This whole interaction took less than 2 min. But there was this war waging inside me that seemed to last much longer. The crux of it all was that this was MY baby. It wasn't R's right to consent to the picture. Now, I understand why the photographer assumed E was hers. But what if - for some reason - we'd not wanted his picture to be in the paper. Probably R just didn't know what else to do or say. But, even just looking at us for confirmation would have made me feel better.

Because, really, the emotional response I was having had little to do with the picture itself, or the assumption made by the photographer. It had to do with R not recognizing us as (also) E's parents. So, I am ashamed to admit, I asked the photographer for a card. And then clarified, verbatim, "he's actually ours". She cocked her head to the side and looked at me as if I were crazy and handed me the card. She then hightailed it outta there.

I feel horrible about this. I should be confident enough in my status as his momma, to not feel the need to minimize R's importance and status (because that's kind of what it feels to me like I did). I did want to know how to see a copy of the picture, but I could have just left it at asking for a card, instead of the whole "he's actually ours" comment.

I wish I could really put in to words why I said it. Heck, I wish I could even articulate it to myself. I wish I'd just sat there and smiled, appreciating how cute the 2 kids were together, instead of feeling the need to clarify to this random stranger that I am this sweet boy's momma. Because I do know R is also his mother. And, truly, I am so grateful that she is still in his life, in our lives.

It's just all so complicated.

Today's lesson: When in the carpool lane, please do not stop to chat with another parent in another car. It's bound to make someone, who may or may not still have her children in the car, start to cuss like a sailor. You know, because she's running late for work. And we'd hate for the children who may be in that car, to teach those words to your child, right? So just move along and have your  chat somewhere else. Glad we could get that cleared up.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Funny Boy

I haven't done a "funny things my kid's said lately" post in quite awhile. Not sure why this is. 'Cause heaven knows he still pops off with amusing things daily. So, I'm going to share a few. Here ya go...

  • "Momma, perhaps you haven't noticed, but my brother adores me. Like, he loves me the most. Even though you give him milk. I hate that for you, Momma."
  • "Momma, those shorts look stylish enough for me. I mean, I don't think Poppa could pull them off, but I certainly can."
  • "I would like to try my brother's breastmilk. I know I had it when I was little, but that was so long ago I don't really remember what it was like. But I don't want it after he's had it. I'd like my own. And fresh please. Oh, yeah. And in a cup."
  • "I don't want to play a ball sport. I just want to be a cheerleader. That's where all the pretty girls are. So that's just where I should be, too. And Florida seems to have the prettiest cheerleaders. So that's where you'll find me, in Florida. Feel free to come visit."

Today's lesson: There are times in our lives when you don't quite know how you find yourself in a particular place. Or times when you're not quite sure how someone has found you. Or times when you don't know how you came across a particular piece of useful information. Or times when people find your blog by searching "kinky adults in diapers". Some things are unfathomable. Accept it and move on. Otherwise you may make yourself crazy thinking, "wtf???!!!".

Sunday, March 18, 2012


"Momma, I think Superman is gonna get the slaves and do some stuff."

"Um, kid. What does 'slaves' mean?"

"I don't really know."

"Where did you hear that word? It's not a bad word, I'm just curious about where you heard it."

"I don't know. I just know it. I mean, probably I just know it from the old days. I was a baby in the old days you know. But what does it mean? Tell me what you know."

(and here is where I totally cop out for a minute) "Umm, hubby, tell the kid what slave means." (oh, yes I did just totally drop that in his lap)

Hubby: "Well, back in the old days, some people thought that they should be able to tell other people what to do and be in charge of them. And they lived on big farms called plantations and owned the slaves and made them do lots of work."

(insert vision of me and the kid looking at him with our heads turned to the side, kinda confused)

Me: "Some people would go to Africa, make the people from there get on their boats and take a very long journey all the way to the US. And a lot of those people died on that trip, because it was really hard and they people from Africa weren't well taken care of. When they did get to the US, the people from African were made to do lots of work."


"Because the people on the plantations thought they had the right to own the people from Africa and make them do lots and lots of really hard work. They didn't treat them well at all. Also they didn't pay them for their work."

"Well, momma. That was wrong. If you have people do your work, the least you can do is pay them. Sometimes I put my cousins to work. But I don't pay them. When I have them do things, we call it chores. And kids should have chores. But that's not the same as the slaves thing, is it?"

"No. Not the same thing. [Note to self: come back at a later date to him making his cousins do his chores.] We can't own other people, Bug. People aren't like houses."

"Yeah, that's right, momma. We can't buy people like we buy houses. That's not how we treat people, is it? We should love people. And everybody just wants to be free. And loved. Everybody really wants to be loved, free and loved."

What a smart kid I have.

Today's lesson: So often our kids can teach us things. If only we can step back for a moment from what we're trying to teach them in order to hear it.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sneaky Kid

Some days I feel like a really good mom. Some days I feel like an mediocre one. Some days I feel like a crappy one. Today, it's the crappy mom who is making her way through my family. My kid. Oh, my kid. His behavior lately has been...challenging. He's gotten in to this sneaky phase at home. And I know that's a normal phase for kids to go through. Testing out lying, learning that it's not acceptable (well, I don't guess all kids learn that, but the hope sure is that my kiddo will). I know that. But living it is becoming rather irritating. And, to top it off, apparently he's also becoming a bit defiant at school (with the new lovely teacher!), which is not acceptable at all.

So, in addition to trying to figure out how we're going to address it (we're starting by setting up a meeting with said lovely teacher), I'd like to try to figure out what's causing it. Now, I know that sometimes that just isn't possible, or may become obvious in hindsight. But it sure would be helpful in the here-and-now to have some kind of a glimpse, if at all possible.

 I've been racking my brain. Is it the time change (as hubby suggested)? I don't think so, because this all started before that. Is it him not getting enough sleep? Maybe, and he certainly is going to go to bed earlier 'cause it's worth a try and an effective consequence with him. Is it him still not being happy at school? This is certainly a possibility and it makes my heart HURT, y'all. Is it my new job and not being there in the evenings 2 nights a week? Also a distinct possibility. And something that makes me feel so sad and guilty (because that's not going to change any time soon).

I just don't know.

It's funny, as I think about parenting, it strikes me that I thought (like a lot) about what it would be like to parent an infant and toddler. I thought about what it will be like to parent a teenager. I even thought about what it will be like to parent a middle schooler (shudder). But, for some reason, the whole thinking about parenting an elementary age kid seems to have eluded me. Apparently I just assumed that would be the "easy" time. And, hell, it may still be. Though heaven knows I sure hope not.

Today's lesson: Each stage of parenting is hard. And easy. And lovely. And sucky. And long. And short. And maddening. And hilarious. And exhausting. And enlightening. Just when you think you know what you're doing, your kids remind you that you don't. Think of it as opportunities to grow. Or something.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


From the time he came home from the hospital, we have had a consistent bedtime routine with the kid. It was jammies, 2 books, 2 songs, bed. Of course when he was little there was massage, diaper, and a feeding in there as well. When he was just a babe, I of course chose the books and songs. But, since he started to show a preference - which was really early on - he's been choosing.

His favorite songs are "Blackbirds" (Idk the "real" name of the song, but the first line goes "Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye, four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie...") and Lullaby (you know, the classic, "lullaby, and goodnight...". Actually most people don't really know the lyrics to that one, so here's a clip of the melody so you know what I'm talking about. Although, it really doesn't matter a darn bit whether you do or not. And, now that I'm looking at the lyrics, there are about 1000 different versions, but none are what I sing to him. So, since I've made a big deal about it and all, click over and listen to the freaking song already. Or don't. Whichever. Focus, Becky, focus. Okay).

Before baby E was born, I put the kid to bed nearly every night of his life. And he picked at least 1 of these two songs, every night, often both of them.  Since E's come along, I tend to be nursing him to bed as hubby puts the kid to bed. But, on the nights when I do get to put him to bed, it's still always 1 or both of these songs that the kid asks me to sing for him. That's a lot of Blackbird and Lullaby renditions. And those songs are kind of our "thing".

Now, baby E, as you may remember, didn't get this lovely bedtime routine til he was a bit older. Rest assured, he has it now - and has for at least half of his life at this point. But, because bedtime was often a fussy time for baby E early on (in hindsight, probably because we'd waited too long and he was overtired), it took some finagling to find a song or two he likes. (Remember, I told you the other day what we've ended up with.)

But sometimes, well frankly often, I get totally sick of that Bear song and try to throw something else in the mix. And, because I now rarely have the chance to put the kid to bed and sing "our" songs to him, sometimes I try to sneak them in with baby E because I kind of miss those songs. Not that he'll usually let me. But, if he's almost asleep, I can usually get through Lullaby.

Funny enough, I usually find myself feeling guilty about singing one of these two songs that are mine and the kid's to baby E. I feel in some way like I am betraying him. For me, music is often tied to strongly emotional memories. And these songs remind me of tender times with my big boy. So, to share such an intimate (in a way) experience with someone else seems, somehow, wrong.

So, I've stopped using those songs with baby E. Also, though, I don't do the Bear song with the kid. Because that feels just as uncomfortably like cheating. Such an odd emotional response. And yet, there it is.

Today's lesson: It's funny how something as simple as a song about blackbirds can become something more important in a relationship than just words and a melody. It becomes the sum of the experiences you have had. All the snuggles in bed, the back rubbing, the sweet kisses on the softly snoring head. Important. Oh so memorable. And the moments of parenthood you don't ever want to forget.

Monday, March 12, 2012

PAIL monthly topic: Breastfeeding

I'm re-posting a previous post I wrote just before baby E's 1st birthday in response to PAIL's monthly topic (which, this month, is about breastfeeding).

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. 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, March 10, 2012

I met a Bear

Sometimes it's funny the things we do to sooth our kids. Heck, to sooth ourselves enough to be able to sooth our kids.

Because bedtime was often a fussy time for baby E early on, I found myself having to sing the same song over and over and over again before he'd calm down. So I tried to find the longest song possible, so that there was less repetition necessary (you know, for my own sanity, because lord knows singing Twinkle, Twinkle 432 times is gonna push a momma over the very closely looming edge pretty darn fast). What I've ended up with singing to baby E most often is not exactly a traditional lullaby. Oh heck, it's not a lullaby at all.

Ok, are you ready for it? Here is the lovingly lullaby I sing to my sweet baby, "The other day (the other day), I met a bear (I met a bear), a great big bear (a great big bear), a way out there (a way out there). The other day I met a bear, a great big bear a way out there...".

Anyone else know this song? It's one I learned at 4H camp. It's one of those back and forth songs (hence the words being repeated in the parentheses). I remember it being loud and kind of yelled back and forth between the camp staff and the kids. And holymoly, I just discovered that the B.are N.aked L.adies totally recorded it. And here are the lyrics, you know, in case you're super desperate for an awesome lullaby as well. Although, I must be honest, I totally changed the line about having guns, because that just seemed wrong to sing about guns to him in a lullaby. I mean, I have standards and all, y'all.

So, anyway, the Bear song was the longest song I could think of - especially with the verses I may have made up and added. Plus, it was super easy to remember in the middle of my super sleep-deprived existence. And, because it was so very long, baby E had almost always calmed down by the end of it. So it was like this promise to myself "just make it til the end of this song and he'll be calm and maybe even asleep". That silly song gave me hope, people.

Even now, if he's fussing or squirming big time, I know that without a doubt he'll be content and likely asleep by the time I'm done. Occasionally it takes a 2nd round to get him to sleep, but usually one does the trick.

Of all the things I dreamed about singing when I was taking voice lessons (what, you didn't know about that? Yes, I took voice lessons for probably 7 or 8 years), old camp songs to my screaming baby was not one of them. And yet, it works. And, truthfully, he's not such a fan of some of the more traditional songs and has been known to sign "all done" when I start up one of them. This little guy has quite the opinion about things.

Today's lessons: While, as we previously learned, washable markers are not so washable sometimes, and the washing machine is not that effective at taking care of not-supposed-to-be-pink cloth diapers, Mother Nature is quite the expert. She, at least, can bleach some diapers back to their original lovely white color. Thank you, Mother Nature for sending sunshine this week!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Poppa's Boy

Baby E is in a bit of Poppa stage. As in, instead of always wanting his momma, it's Poppa he wants. This has never happened before with my little one. I guess I had kind of forgotten that it could (would). And - confession time - my feelings are a little (um, a lot) hurt. I mean, yes, it's lovely and all that he loves his Poppa and they have such a strong bond. Of course I want that. But, really, I kind of preferred it when he just wanted me.

Especially at bedtime. Because he's really cuddly and still that time of day. The rest of the day he's so busy and squirmy. He'll sit with you for a minute, but he's wiggling all over the place, or giving a quick kiss then off climbing onto or into something again.

But bedtime, he is so sweet. He snuggles in to nurse. And puts his little free arm up over my shoulder and pats my back while he nurses. Sometimes he pops off and goes through the whole list of all his body parts, alternating between pointing to mine and his own. Sometimes he just grins up at me while he's nursing. Or jumps from my lap when he's done to go get a "boop" (aka book).  He then races me back to the rocking chair where we settle in for the book and a couple of songs.

The last couple of nights (the ones when I've been home for bedtime, thank you new job schedule), baby E has kind of clung to hubby instead of catapulting himself from hubby's arms into mine. He'll finally settle in to nurse, but only for a few minutes. Then he's up looking around, asking, "Poppa?". And heaven forbid he actually sees or hears his Poppa, because then the fussing and even crying start. He doesn't want me. He wants to lay with his head on hubby shoulder, instead of being cradled in my arms. And it makes me sad.

Of course the kid has gone through these phases, but this is the first one for baby E. I suppose I'd kind of thought that maybe as long as we were nursing it just wouldn't happen. Which made me happy. And - honestly - feel a bit superior to hubby. Now I feel like when hubby gave him that first bottle, like the little bugger has betrayed me!

I know it's irrational. And that he'll come back around to mostly wanting me. But, in the meantime, I really can't help but to have a few hurt feelings.

Today's lesson: Children and parenting in general are really good at reminding you that, truthfully, you are not the center of the world. They have their own little - or big as the case may be - personalities and preferences. And sometimes the best thing you can do, is to get your own needs (and ego) out of the way and do what your kid needs. Even if that means handing him off to his Poppa, while you go and have a bit of a cry.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I'm popular, don'tcha know?

Something bizarre happened Friday into Saturday. I got literally 10-15x the usual number of hits on my blog. And they were originating from News. And they were pretty much all focused on my latest post about giving baby E melatonin. It's now become my 2nd most read blog post.

I clicked on the link that my stats thing said the visitors were all coming from, but it just took me to the main news page. Of course I didn't see anything referring to my blog on there. But also - total bonus - comments offering free po.rn have increased big time. I mean, what a great day, right?

I figure it was some spamming kind of thing, totally screwing up my stats. But, free po.rn? Wow. Makes it totally worth it.

So, yeah. That's all I have for today. That, and the assurance that I don't actually look at po.rn, mom. Free or otherwise. A bonus for you - an especially helpful lesson! Or at least an amusing one.

Today's lesson: Apparently washable red markers are not quite so washable once they have passed through a toddler's digestive tract. Apparently washable red markers do magical things to poop. Apparently washable red markers via toddler poop have the ability to turn cloth diaper insides pink. Shockingly bright pink. Apparently washable red markers + toddler poop = pink diapers that refuse to turn white again. Now there's an interesting news item for ya. Suck it News.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Secret Stash

This post was inspired by Just Waiting for My Turn. She blogged about her secret stash, and it made me remember that I used to have one, too.

A way long time ago, when hubby and I had barely even begun trying to get pregnant, I started collecting a secret stash. It started as a little box. A yellow shirt that after I bought and tried on I realized was too big and didn't fit just right, but would probably look good when I  got pregnant. A bedding set I convinced hubby to buy on a trip to Target that was too cute, gender-neutral, AND on sale - how could we pass it up? Pamphlets about birth classes in town. A couple of sleepers, because they were on clearance and so very sweet. A couple of soft blankets with silk edges (I bought 1 for a friend's babe, and they were hard to find so why not get a couple for our own soon-to-be baby). A copy of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" (aka the pregnancy bible).  A few of my own old tiny baby dresses that my mom had kept. A board book of "Goodnight Moon". It kept adding up until I had to get a bigger box.

I used to pull that box out and take all the things out one by one, gingerly, lovingly. Looking at them and thinking about "one day". At the beginning of our journey, it was fun to look in there. Imagining what my little girl would look like in my old dresses, how fun it would be to bring her home from the hospital in a dress her momma had worn. Or how cute I would look with a big pregnant belly. I'll even admit to putting on that yellow shirt, standing in front of the mirror, and sticking my belly out as far as possible, just to see what the future would hold. Reading those pamphlets over and over, trying to decide what kind of labor experience I would want (to epidural, or not to epidural?). I'd then carefully fold all the clothes and blankets up, putting everything back in, just so. Smiling at what fun and joy the whole thing (pregnancy and parenting) would be.

As it became obvious that things were not going as planned and there was some kind of problem, looking in the box became a painful reminder of what was talking so damn long, of what might not ever be. And yet I still found myself going to it. To gently finger the silk edges of the blankets. To look for answers of what we were doing wrong in the pregnancy book. Or hold that little white sleeper in my arms, pretending it wasn't empty. I worried that I would never get to read my own baby to sleep at night, nearly memorizing Goodnight Moon because of reading it over and over. That yellow shirt found its way out of the box less and less often. It was more than I could stand.

As our search for "one day" got longer and longer, my visits to the box were often wrought with tears and heartbreak. They were in some way a desperate attempt to make our desire for a baby still feel real. Still feel like a possibility. Because much of the time it didn't feel like that anymore. But in those few minutes, or hour, that I was sitting with that box, there was some hope that our baby would come.

Our "one day" looked different than I expected when I first started my little stash. There was no need for that yellow shirt. Or the "What to Expect" book. Or even the dresses (yet!). But everything else has found its home, its use. My kiddo slept with those blankets for nearly 5 years. Both boys have used the crib set. Both spent a lot of time in the sleepers. Both adore Goodnight Moon (so much so that we had to buy another copy!). Even the pamphlets for the birthing classes were useful, because we ended up attending an infant massage class advertised in one of them.

I wonder where that yellow shirt ever ended up. I guess I probably donated it to Goodwill or something. Though I kind of wish I'd shredded it. Or burned it in some kind of ceremony. A recognition that our "one day" had come. Even if it didn't look exactly like the picture the box and I had start with.

Today's lesson: I think we all need our own "secret stash" for when hope is failing us. Whether that stash be a literal box of items or words of encouragement kept in the heart. Hope is necessary. But sometimes it needs a little boost.