Pack a bag

There’s a story that I didn’t tell a year ago.

Maybe I didn’t have the balls to do it. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time. Maybe I felt that it was “too religious” or whatever. But I have to tell it.

Ty turned one on April 12, 2016. I wrote two blog posts about his birth and his first week home. But I didn’t include his time in the NICU. Perhaps I was too tired to write about it, having just spent a week waiting to leave.

A little over a year ago, I was mad at God. Pregnancy made me miserable. I said pissed-off prayers that contained more profanity than I’ll admit. And I just had one question for Him.

“When. Is. This. Baby. Coming?’

If I had a date, I could bear it. If I knew when he’d show up, I could handle it. But not a clue. Just contractions every day. Just misery every day.

The only answer that I received was, “Pack a bag.”

And all was quiet from above.

Pack a bag? Pack a bag?! That was IT!? What kind of bag? Was I going to have a preemie? Packing a hospital bag is waaaay different than packing a birthing center bag. Birthing center bags are only for a few hours. And hospital bags? Well, crap, I didn’t even know what I’d need. I’d never had a baby in the hospital.

Damon and I went to the grocery store. We bought things just in case he was a preemie. We found the remarkably small selection of boy clothes. We bought diapers. Suits. Toiletries. The works. Everything that I thought we might need in the event that Ty was born early.

But he wasn’t.

And I grew more and more angry. What the heck was the point of that “Pack a bag” answer?! To scare me?

Damon and I brought both bags with us the day that he was born. Ty was born when he was supposed to be born. He was term. He turned the right way. I only pushed for 9 minutes. He did everything that was supposed to do.

First family picture

Except the little guy had fluid in his lungs. His oxygenation wasn’t high enough. I found myself walking out of the birthing center (remarkably easily) and driving to the hospital with the midwife, oxygen tank in the  backseat, hooked up to Ty.

I remember what douches the ER staff decided to be to my dear midwife. One particular doctor insulted her credentials to her face. My midwife is an advanced practice nurse; the kind that can write prescriptions like a doctor. I remember being wheeled down the hallway to the NICU.

I remember my baby being hooked up to a plethora of machines, trying to pull off his CPAP mask (blows air up your nose, the little guy was strong). I remember the staff showing us the family support room, aka…room with a shower and a bed. I remember walking into the room, holding both bags.

CPAP mask

Then it hit me.

Ty was born in the birthing center, but had to be transferred to the hospital. All of our stuff was packed that we needed for that week. But God had no way of letting me know that earlier. He had no way of saying to me, “Hey. So, he’s going to be born where you’re planning, but due to unforeseen circumstances, he’s going to spend a week at the hospital.” We often think that we’re these all-knowing, super rational people. We’re not. He had no way of telling me.

So, all that He said was, “Pack a bag.”

That week that I spent in the NICU was the most humbling week of my existence. It was almost as if God had me sit in that chair to think about how much I had been questioning Him. It was my time to be grateful.

Damon and I posing for a hot NICU pic

There were babies there who might have never left; babies born at 24 weeks. Good news for them came in the form of “Your baby doesn’t have any brain bleeds that will kill them today”. There was a mom with a cath bag hobbling down the hallway on her husband’s arm. There were moms with swollen C-section marks, due to work in a few days. Dads wearing their business suits pacing the hallways, having returned to work weeks ago. Moms who didn’t get to hold their babies. For months.

Dawwww. 
Holding my little boy

I didn’t get to hold Ty for almost a whole day after he was born. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. My midwife came and checked my uterus and brought me a heating pad, because post-birth contractions are no joke. She was wonderful.

Haven wasn’t allowed in the NICU. She wasn’t even allowed in the family support room (which I threw a fit about to one of the nurses). Although, one of the nurses was awesome and told me “Go be a mom”. So, I brought Haven into the room with me and gave her some chocolate. We watched the Octonauts and took a nap.

Contraband baby in the support room

I saw my little girl for maybe two hours a day.

Playing with her Mimi (my mom)

I barely slept for four days. I cried every day. I rushed into the NICU, bawling, telling Damon “I have to go home. I have to go home!” It was the first time that I had stepped outside in four days, aside from fifteen minutes after he was admitted. I sobbed the entire way to the car, praying as I drove the twenty-five minutes home.

“Father. Thank you. Thank you. Even though things are really reeeeeeeally shitty right now.”

I went home and cuddled my sleeping Haven, leaving before she woke to go back to my sick baby. I hauled the huge breast-pump generator with me to and from the hospital for three days. I ate chicken-pot pies and berries that my dear mother brought for me. I ate lunches that my family brought when they visited. I kept to a strict schedule, pumping every two hours. My boobs swelled up. My milk was starting to flood in.

Dinner together in the cafeteria

 

I was the lucky one. My son would be done after a week. My tear from birthing didn’t hurt…like at all. My milk came in just like it was supposed to. I ended up producing wayyyyyyy more than enough. Enough to give 20 lbs of milk to a friend who couldn’t nurse a few months later. That probably wouldn’t have happened had we not been in the NICU. The pump that the insurance gave me was weak. It barely pulled any milk out. I established the crap outta my supply. And I filled my bottles in 5 minutes, from start to finish. Our families took care of Haven, despite having busy schedules themselves.

Boooooooobs
Postpartum tummy

And Ty got stronger every day. I had to hog-tie him into his receiving blanket to keep him from ripping off the wires and IV.

Tightly squeezed into his blanket

I got pissed off at the regulations that the NICU had. Ty would latch amazingly, but only suck for five to ten minutes. Apparently, they’re supposed to nurse every 2 hours for 15 minutes. Or something. I told them that he was sleepy, comfy with his mom, and happy. He didn’t need to be on a clock. Haven had been sleepy too. I had to put ice packs on her back to get her to nurse. My nurse was an awesome down-to-business mother of 6. She told the head nurse that I pumped faster than any mom she had ever seen. So, they would wake Ty up every four hours if he didn’t nurse. And he took a bottle easily.

Orange-y baby
“Mom, can we go yet?”

Damon and I took Haven to the hospital cafeteria to have our first meal together since before Ty was born. We ate a pasta prepared by my family, that they’re always asking me how to make even though it’s just rotini, black olives, green onions, one lemon, sea salt, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese.

Bilirubin blanket looks like freakin’ kryptonite. 
Yawwwn

I went home from the NICU with my baby boy drinking wonderfully from his bottle, being cared for by this Lithuanian nurse who was much too peppy for working night-shift. I loved her false-eyelashes and excited disposition. The NICU nurses there were seriously top-notch. He was on room-air when I left that night, meaning “breathing fine on his own”. He had barely cried the entire time he was in the NICU.

I called the NICU every three hours to make sure that he was still breathing on his own. Damon told me to chill out, that he would be fine. I had spent the last 7 days watching those stupid machines. I called.

I returned to the hospital for rounds that morning. The nurse practitioner (head honcho nurse) said that they would maybe talk about him going home in a few days. The mother-of-6 nurse had told me that the overseeing doctor was one of the most lenient when it came to NICU rules. So, I naturally spoke up.

“He’s on room-air. He chugged down a bottle in less than three minutes. He doesn’t need to be here.”

The doctor turned to his team and said to start getting him ready for discharge. Not believing it, I asked what time. The doctor checked his imaginary watch. He said as soon as things were filled out.

“THANK GOD!” I yelled. Everyone laughed.

Ty had two more tests. He had to pass his hearing test and his car-seat test. He passed his hearing test. They put him in his car-seat for forty-five minutes, with the oxygenation measure on his finger. He passed. Easily.

Car-seat test. Easiest test of his life…

The day-shift nurse and I fought with his dumb car-seat for like an hour before I finally Googled how to move the shoulder-straps down. She helped me carry the car-seat out of the NICU, where Damon and Haven waited for us. We walked out of the hospital as a family and put Ty’s seat into the car.

Driving home from NICU…looking sexy af

 

That was the week when I learned to trust God. He freakin’ knew what He was doing when he told me to “Pack a bag”. I always remember that when I’m questioning why the ef things are not going my way. He gave me a perfect little boy and boobs busting with milk to feed him with. It was my Hell Week, but He was with me every step of the way.

That little boy turned one a few days ago. Happy Birthday, Ty. You’re more than I could have asked for.

Chocolate cupcake a la water dumped all over high chair.

 

Pack a bag

7 reasons why I ditched my kids and went to Miami for 5 days

It’s been a little less than two weeks since I got home from Miami.

After my last blog post, my mom told me to get on an airplane the next day. I had never been away from my squeaklings for more than twelve hours. This would be huge. But, if I waited, I would talk myself out of it. My mom messaged me at around 5:30 PM. At 1:30 AM, I was gripping the armrest in my airplane seat.

I bawled the entire way to the airport. Haven asked if I was sad. Where she gets her feelings from, I don’t know…But I had to give myself a pep talk..pep yell…during the drive. Damon insisted that I go on the trip. He would be going to his parent’s house for a few days while I was gone. The trip would likely last around four days. I wasn’t going to see my kids for a few days. How would I do this?

I kissed them goodbye. The airport wasn’t busy, as most travelers weren’t boarding flights at 1:30 in the friggin morning.

Oh. My. Goodness. I slept till noon every day. I basked in eighty-degree sunshine. I am now a FIRM believer that sunshine and warm weather are the cures for all mental issues on Earth. Not once did I feel like crying. Not once did I feel depressed. Or anxious. At all. Maybe it was a change in scenery. Maybe it was the weather. Whatever it was; it helped.

Prior to this trip, I went against my own advice and dug into the internet, searching for justification. What kind of mom ditches her babies for four days to go lounge on a beach 2,000 miles away?

This one did.

  1. Being a parent is comparable to a mental health disorder. I had been on call every single day, nearly ever hour, for the last 2 1/2 years. My body had been fully invested in the creation of arms, lungs, brains, hearts, squishy baby booties, and eyeballs for 18 months of the last 3 years. I HAD GIVEN THIS MY FRICKIN’ ALL!!! You don’t get to take days off when small people demand things 24/7. In any other profession, this kind of work ethic is called being a “workaholic”. But when raising children, it’s called “Well derrrrr. That’s what you signed up for!” Bullshit. You haven’t taken a day off in 2 1/2 years at all??? Your boss would have security drag you outta the damn office. Being a mother is not a special calling. It’s a job. But unlike every other job, you’re treated like you ought to be hella grateful for the suffering. “NOT EVERYBODY HAS LEGS!! YOU SHOULD BE GRATEFUL THAT YOU CAN CLIMB INTO SEWERS!”- no one EVER. Did I just compare parenting to sewage work? We both handle crap…Imma call it good at that.
  2. Martyrdom only looks good on saints. Your tiny tots are not going to remember nursing. They will not remember the time that you dropped them while putting their pants on over your shoulder like the idiot that you are (I was kneeling on carpet…..Poor Haven). Your kids will be fine. Your kids will be fine. YOUR KIDS WILL BE FINE!! My kids were with their father. Yours could spend time with family. Your kids will be fine. I’m serious. Stop saying how guilty you feel. Stop saying that you “could never leave your kids”. Reread bullet number 1. You are not sacrificing your mental health for your children. You’re doing it because it’s been hammered into your brain by a bunch of losers that unless you are fully submerged in motherhood at all times that you are a bad person. Or that’s how you interpret it. Your mental health is more important than clinging to the notion that only mothers can be there for their children. Take this notion, find a toilet, and flush that down. Am I saying to abandon them forever? No. You’re going on vacation. Like normal human beings ought to.
  3. Babies grow up to be assholes. I don’t care how much Baby Einstein she/he watches.  Your precious toddler will cut someone off in traffic. Your adorable little lump of three months will get married in Vegas on Mother’s Day. Your baby is going to do a keg stand one day surrounded by a cheering crowd of horny college students all carrying garden variety STDs. Hell, your baby might be manning the cash register at McDonald’s. Kids grow up to do their own friggin thing. DO NOT THROW ALL OF YOUR EGGS INTO ONE BASKET! Do not make your children the ONE THING that you ever accomplish and stake all esteem to! Why? Because kids don’t give a shit about your sacrifices. Kids don’t care how things affect their moms. Kids who do are the exception…or parents themselves usually. Don’t be that resentful woman who takes all of her children’s failures personally because they’re all that she’s ever put energy into. Don’t. Seriously. Don’t do that to yourself.
  4. Fine…Babies need functioning mothers. I was snapping every time that Haven asked me for anything. Hearing Ty cry did’t pull on my maternal heart-strings; it made me want to slash my wrists and go to the psych ward for a week. No joke. I literally considered this. Every. Day. prior to my trip. I was not the kind of mom that my small ones deserved. They deserved a mom who could get out of bed in the morning. They deserved a mom who could drive herself around. They deserved a mom who would read to them. Etc. ETC. I ditched them for four days because I love them. Now, I’m not losing my mind quite as often. I’m not freaking out constantly. Things are better.
  5. You need to remember what you feel like. Waking up and going to bed because I felt like it? Yeah….that hadn’t happened in years. Eating in peace? Going for a walk? Not having to plan my entire day around two people who don’t care at all about how their nonsensical logistics work?? I’d completely forgotten how that felt. Honestly, for the first day in Miami I had no clue what to do with myself. I took a nap without a fat baby busting the door open to nurse. I ate chocolate without a tantrumy toddler begging for pieces. Nobody was asking me to put on their Elsa dress. I got dressed in quiet. I slept till noon. My mom and I jogged to the grocery store in the Florida sunshine. We lounged on the beach among the bronze French Canadian retirees. I swam in the Atlantic Ocean. My grandpa took us out to restaurants and a movie. We shopped without people clinging to our legs. I did whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Crazy. And therapeutic. One day, the babies won’t be around. One day, every day will be like that again. One day, it’ll be just me and Damon.
  6. My marriage is better. I didn’t miss my babies while I was gone. Maybe a bit here and there on the plane. But not really. I missed Damon a lot though. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. While I’m not fully healed yet, I’m much better than before my trip. Not being around a messy house did wonders for my attraction to him. Awwwww yeahhhh. He still has to support the crap out of me emotionally, but at least I can drive now.
  7. You’ll be more bold to take care of yourself. I didn’t wait months before getting help for my anxiety. I made a doctor’s appointment the day that I realized what was happening. I should have done that after Ty was born with my postpartum depression, but I didn’t. Now that I’m home from my trip, thinking about myself isn’t as hard. I’m no longer mentally caged by this notion that “Well, but they need me…” Damon takes care of me, as he always does. Having a supportive spouse makes a huge difference in pretty much everything. I’m more likely to ask him for what I need. I act more quickly now. I feel waayyyy less guilt than I did before. Things are getting better.

I’ve already booked my next trip. Going to Vegas in a month. 😀 

 

 

7 reasons why I ditched my kids and went to Miami for 5 days

I don’t know where I’ve gone

I don’t know what my readers think of me, but let me tell you where I’ve been.

About two weeks ago, I started having to drag myself to class. With it being the middle of the semester, I assumed that it was just that mid-semester lulll in motivation. Perhaps I was just getting lazy. My classes felt even more exhausting than usual.

Normally, running cheers me up. I hopped on the treadmill, hoping to kick some joy into my veins. Running only made me angrier. I nearly burst into tears upon returning to the locker room.

At first, I thought that I might be pregnant (I’m not). I had two panic attacks in one day. Damon held me while I freaked out, hyperventilating, feeling my body temperature fluctuate. This had never happened to me before, well, with the exception of one bad episode of Lie to Me three years ago. Perhaps, this was just hormones.

I realized that it wasn’t that I was too lazy to go to class, I was afraid of going. The usual routine of getting dressed and driving ten minutes scared the crap out of me. There was a brick wall in my brain with a huge red STOP sign painted over it. Dead End. Do Not Enter. Being alone with my children brought that same feeling of dread. Ty’s screaming little face would cause me to curl into a ball and sob.

We went to the doctor while Damon’s sister watched the kids; berating Damon stupidly the entire way there. I liked the doc. He was a nice guy who had a sore throat that day. I felt like the room was on fire, both mentally and physically. I kept messing with my hair and fanning myself with a People magazine. The magazines seemed to be staring at me. My hands were shaking. There was no chance in hell I was going to work that day. He wrote me a note for class and work. Thankfully, this past week has been Spring Break, so at least attending class hasn’t been on my list of “things that I suck at right now”.

Being medicated seems to help chill me out a little bit. The doc upped my dose of “Let’s get out of bed today” medicine a little bit. I don’t feel like the room is on fire, but it doesn’t make me any happier. It just puts me at a flatline. At work, I’m normally a semi-annoying little buzz of erratic energy. Not yesterday. I did my job, dead-faced when I didn’t have to smile for residents. I didn’t chat with my coworkers. Working did help distract me, but I could feel a chunk missing from my puzzle.

The upside is that the compulsion to steer myself away from the crushing loneliness motivated me to write two short stories in less than a day. They’re only first drafts, but they were pretty good. I’ve been noticing more in the green grass outside and the pink flower buds on the trees. I’ve been writing more; the one upside of this crapped up situation that is my brain.

I haven’t driven by myself in two weeks. I haven’t been to class since last Tuesday. I cling to Damon’s arm the entire time we’re out grocery shopping. I can’t watch my favorite detective show anymore because it scares me. I don’t sleep well anymore. My poor kids have to deal with my moody outbursts. Damon has to hold me and deal with me while I freak out over nothing. My house has gone to pot, which makes me scream…literally.

I don’t know where I’ve gone and don’t know what’s happening to me. Maybe this is a sign that I need to chill out. Maybe it’s a sign that I need a break. A break from what, though? I can’t take a break from my kids. I can’t take a break from school. I can’t take a break from life. That’d be great, but life doesn’t work that way.

Help.

I don’t know where I’ve gone

Employers don’t care if you were cloth-diapered

You walk into your first job interview, shake the interviewer’s hand, and sit down across from them. Expecting a slew of questions regarding weaknesses and strengths and times that you showed leadership, you lean back and breathe.

“Well, let’s go ahead and get started. First things first; were you breastfed or formula-fed?”

An awkward silence.

“Uhhhh…I think maybe breastfed? I don’t know?”

The interviewer squints at you, jotting down a few notes.

“All right then. What weight percentile were you at six months?”

“Huh?”

The interviewer clears his throat, lest you misheard him.

“Weight. Percentile. What percentile were you at six months?”

“I honestly have no idea.”

“What about walking? How old were you when you took your first steps?”

“No idea. I’m confused. I thought that this was an interview for a customer service position?”

“It is. Now, did your mother feed you organic baby food or not?”

 

What weight percentile are my kids? No clue. Haven is scrawny. Ty looks like he drinks whiskey after weight-training for three hours. Height percentile? Can we talk about something else…please? If I wanted to hear this crap more, I’d get cozy with the pediatrician.

Haven got fruits and veggies thrown in the blender. Ty eats whatever we’re eating or whatever he finds on the floor. I’ve adopted this motto:

“You won’t remember any of this, so how can I make my life easier?”

My mom read to me every day for hours. She made sure that the house was spotless at all times. We got nicely structured amounts of “media time”.

And I don’t remember like…any of it. I can barely remember anything prior to the second grade. Well, I remember her being stressed all of the time. I have six younger siblings, and my mom should have been the CEO of a huge corporation. She had to invest her outrageous amounts of energy into something.

Does that mean that you shouldn’t put effort into your kids? Obviously not. But they’re not going to remember any of this. You are not going to ruin your child’s chances of becoming an astronaut by giving them macaroni and cheese. Your child’s weight and height percentile will literally never ever come up again. The stroller that you purchase will not developmentally hinder or empower them. Look for how it will help you. If you’re happier, your kids will be too.

I think Haven started walking at 11 months…or something. Ty started walking at 9 or 9 1/2 months. Honestly, I don’t friggin remember. All that I remember is that he stood up for the first time in church. The other moms were asking “Awwww! Aren’t you so proud?!” I gave a nervous smile, followed by a whispered: “Ohhhh shiiiii*”

You wanna know my secret for getting my son to walk SOOOO early?

Absolutely nothing. There is nothing that you can do to make your kids “hit their milestones” earlier. It’s like pressuring your children to hit puberty faster. Or to grow taller. It happens when it happens. Unless they’re on the extreme EXTREME ends of either end, it doesn’t make one flickin frickin bit of difference.

Repeat after me: You cannot teach your children to walk any more than you can teach their balls to drop.

Imma get that embossed on a wooden board and gift it at baby showers.

I make my decisions based on how easy they make my life. I’m going to be the one who remembers this time. Not them.

Both of my kids sleep with me because I’m too lazy to get up with them, cuddling them is nice, and hearing people cry makes me want to commit suicide.

Both of my kids were breastfed because it was easier for me. I supplemented with Haven sometimes when I went to class because it made Damon’s life easier while I went to class.

I don’t use a carrier or stroller because I don’t have three kids yet, and they’re a giant pain in the butthole to carry and store.

I’m a lazy person. And I don’t care what other people do with their kids. If using a pacifier makes your life easier, do it. If using a stroller helps make your walks more enjoyable, do it. Whatever makes your life easier. Your kids will not be outraged that they didn’t have organic goat’s milk. Your kids don’t give a crap that they were in daycare. Your kids will not be comparing their “breastfed exclusively” time periods on the playground. Your kid will grow up to be like every other kid. Statistically speaking, that’s just how it has to work. It is very unlikely that your kid will be extremely anything. Ever.

And that’s fine. 

Quit comparing your baby to other babies. Some moms will tell me, “Wow! That’s so cool that your baby can walk so young!” “Yeah…well, you’ll be a lot less impressed in a minute when he starts beating your kid with a water bottle…” Ty was surrounded by crawling baby girls and took it upon himself to bludgeon them with toys.

They’re babies. They are not aware that their mother’s esteem relies entirely on how they compare to other babies! It is not a friggin competition!! The participants are not aware that they are competing. They are slack-jawed and drooling. They are eating carrot sticks out of trash cans. The participants don’t care!! You’re telling me that your value as a human relies on someone who finds it appropriate to shi* themselves in public?!

Come on now.

“Milestones” should be renamed “stuff that will happen”. Every baby follows the same pattern at their own pace. You are not increasing your child’s chances of attending Stanford by trying to force them to walk earlier. You’re not helping them at all by forcing them to do stuff as a baby. I promise that your kid will crawl. They will walk. Eventually, they will talk. Seriously. They’ve got a lifetime to disappoint you. Don’t set your expectations so low that they start disappointing you at 6 months.

Nobody needs that in their life.

Kids grow up to be adults. And employers don’t care if they were cloth-diapered or not. 

 

 

 

 

 

Employers don’t care if you were cloth-diapered

Is it okay to NOT let yourself go??

You don’t have to “let yourself go” to be a good mom.

There’s been so much emphasis on women who are accepting themselves when they gain weight, don’t look the same, etc. that there’s not a lot said for women who take care of themselves.

I’ve established something for myself as a mom of two kids under three. If I’m miserable, my kids will be miserable. Not looking good makes me miserable. Call me “shallow” or “obsessed with appearance.” After Ty was born, I weighed 190 lbs. I was used to being around 110-117 lbs my whole life until I got pregnant.

I did let myself go while I was pregnant with him. I never worked out. I ate a lot more than I should have. And my body retains water like I’m a friggin camel. As a result, I got huge and felt terrible. I was depressed too.

I was tired of not liking who I saw in the mirror. I decided to change it. I wasn’t as healthy as I could be. Now, before you go on a tirade of “YOU JUST HAD A BABY YOU DESERVE TO LET YOURSELF GO!!!!” I had a baby. I deserved to feel better than how I felt. Problem? I was the only one who could make that happen. I didn’t like myself. I wasn’t going to justify how crappy I felt because other people told me that I had a good enough excuse. I didn’t like myself. I didn’t like how I looked. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be better than you are.

We shouldn’t be guilting moms who want to look and feel better than they do. Even if that means making a few other people feel insecure because they’re supposedly super happy with looking….comfortable.

Here are some things that I’ve done while pregnant, throughout my postpartum time, and currently. Do these make me “superior” to other women who don’t? No. I don’t care what other women do. I spend plenty of posts going on about my deficiencies. So, here is my list of stuff that I manage to do while being a mom to 2 kids under the age of 3:

  1. Straighten my hair every day. The only time that I haven’t in the last 8 years was while camping, the days after my kids were born, and maybe a handful of other days. Actually, the morning after Ty was born, I braided my hair because I had a baby in the NICU and needed something to be okay. If I was going to have a crap day, I was going to have cute hair.
  2. Shave every single day (legs, mhmms, and all). A few other moms looked at me, bewildered when this came up. Apparently, that’s not common? Look, I hate feeling itchy and fury. I feel gross when I don’t. It takes like 3 minutes of my day. And Damon likes it better when I shave. Win-win. I don’t give a single crap what you do with your body. I like feeling like a dolphin.
  3. Wear makeup most days. Some days I don’t because my bare face is pretty dang cute. But most days, I put on eyeliner, lipstick, and mascara. It takes about thirty seconds. Again, if I’m going to have a crap day, Imma face it looking pretty.
  4. Eat well. I started the ketogenic diet back in October. It’s high-fat, low-carb. Before people start shrieking about whatever it is people shriek about when other people decide to do something with their bodies….I went from weighing 147 to 119. I lost a bunch of body fat. I no longer have a muffin top. I don’t have jiggly bits anymore. Well, aside from the lovely loose patch of skin around my tummy, but maybe that’ll go away one day. I eat butter, bacon, oils, meat, cheese, olives, and pretty much everything else delicious. Not eating carbs can be hard because most people eat a ton. Social gatherings can be challenging because carb-loaded food is a staple in the American diet. Thankfully, my dad is on the diet too, so my parent’s house is usually a green zone. I feel much less tired. I think more clearly. I’m skinnier. Seriously, it’s fabulous. I barely have to work out to lose weight anymore. Most people drink fruit smoothies and eat low-fat stuff, then wonder why they spend so much time at the gym with minimal results…It sounds exhausting. Please stop doing this to yourself in the name of health if it’s not working.
  5. Take time for me. This part wouldn’t be possible without Damon. I go to class every weekday and do homework. I take a long shower every day. I take the time to read and write. I go running sometimes. I’m not going to sacrifice every part of myself for my children. I hauled their baby butts around in my womb for 18 months of my life. I literally let them suck me dry. I deserve a dang shower. I deserve to feel like a person. I’m not going to martyr myself for them. I deserve better. So I treat myself better.

So, riddle me this…does any of that make me less of a mom? Does any of that take away from my children? Do they really need me 24/7? No. I would rather have my kids have a happy mom than a bitter one. Does the fact that I take care of myself make me less of a mom? I can have pretty hair, a did-up face, shaved legs, skinny waist, write, and be a good mom. My house is a disaster…so there is that. But feeling good about myself is a higher priority. Dishes can come further down the list. *Glances in kitchen*…Waaayyyyy down that list.

Everybody has different priorities. If running after your children and hovering 24/7 matters THAT much to you…power to you. If you hate it, then stop doing it in the name of “Saintly motherhood”. Quit comparing yourself to other women and saying “I would rather be a good mom than have nice hair!” People can have both. I do both. I’m not saying that you can do everything or have everything. But you can have yourself.

You can take care of yourself and be a good mom. But the Internet doesn’t like to cheerlead those moms. Nobody wants to hear about the moms who are making it work. Nobody wants to hear about the people who actually love themselves and take care of themselves. They’d rather throw a bit Mother Thereasa pity-party about how everyone has to accept them because they don’t like themselves…….WHAT?!?!?!?!

If you genuinely love yourself and don’t give a crap about how you look, then own it. Do you. If you feel good about you, then who gives a rip about what other people think? But don’t martyr yourself, then insist that other people accept you when you’re actually bitter that you lost yourself. It’s nobody’s job to accept you but yours. You are in charge of what you do with what happens to you. 

And the kid excuse only works for so long.

One day, my kids are going to get big, meet special people, and leave me. I refuse to face my menopausal self in the mirror, greeted by a fatty, saggy, worn-down looking face staring back whispering “Well, you had a baby….so it’s okay….”

 

Is it okay to NOT let yourself go??

You know you’re comfortable in your relationship when…

If it were just me, I’d be all pretentious and tell everyone on social media that”Valentine’s Day is an overmarketed holiday for sappy couples and sad losers.”

Which is kiiiiiiinda is. But I married a man with feelings who wants to do stuff for Valentine’s Day. And by stuff…I don’t mean sex. I’ve been pregnant for the last two Valentine’s Days or had a newborn. This year, I’m on my period. Go friggin figure, right?

Damon and I hit our 6-year mark together on the 12th. Woohoo! Happy Day! In the spirit of the heartsy holiday and ish, I decided to throw together a list. Here’s a bunch of stuff that Damon and I have done or do on a regular basis that kinda shows how dang comfy we are with one another.

  1. When we first got married, we would get all defensive if one of us criticized the other’s, family. Now we chuckle and agree wholeheartedly that *insert family member here* is batshootsnoodle crazy. Sometimes it turns into a competition…
  2. If there’s a chance to sleep for an extra 25 minutes or have sex…….ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  3. I’ll walk into the bathroom while he’s taking a dump and try to start a conversation about something “important”. This is usually followed by “Go away!” or “I’m trying to focus!”
  4. I used to share my treats with him. Now I hide them from him in weird places that I won’t list because I don’t want him finding them. My attitude is “Make it last”. His attitude is “SEIZE THE DAY!” and before I know it, all of my dang ice cream has been eaten. ~Damon: That ice cream was a month old!
  5. Sending dank memes to each other. Usually involving just one of us laughing hysterically while the other sits there with a blank expression.
  6. Me picking what we watch on Hulu because I don’t like what he picks, and he can tolerate just about anything that I feel like watching. We do have a few go-to favorites now: House, Last Man on Earth, and Community.
  7. Calling dibs on who buckles which unruly child into their car seat.
  8. Vaginas make weird noises during sex. The first time that it happened, I cried from embarrassment. Now, I’m all “Focus, bruh!”  
  9. Not feeling like a bore for not turning the bedroom into a kama sutra show. You don’t need to do the upside down doggy whistle chandelier (I seriously just made this up. Please don’t Google this) to have a good time. If it works, it works!
  10. Not comparing the quantity of sex. “Regular” is a very relative term. Some people find time to jive twice a day. Other people do it once a month. Your marriage is not doomed if you are not smashing three times a week like clockwork. 
  11. Having him talk to me while I shower. He doesn’t stand there ogling. It’s more like “Will you close the curtain, please?! You’re getting water all over the floor!”
  12. Farting during arguments and not even flinching anymore. My butthole will not challenge my stance! We will finish this in spite of my flatulence!!! (Damon changed it from “your” to “my”….YOU’RE A BRAT! WE BOTH DO THIS!)
  13. Instead of getting mad at him for asking if we can sell our children to pay tuition, I agree with exasperation
  14. Dropping 90% of wardrobe expectations for dates. There is a direct correlation between how long I spend getting ready and how angry I am with the world.
  15. I used to set these hella high expectations for dates. Sometimes, eating cheese in the parking lot in our pajamas is pretty great.
  16. Not yelling at him for leaving his socks on the floor anymore because I do it too now and IDGAF.
  17. Household chores only cause 39% of arguments now instead of 67%
  18. He still thinks that I’m hot….even though he’s seen, heard, and smelled ALL that I’m capable of producing
  19. Right backa’cha, dude!
  20. Discussing aliens, marine animals, and riddles in the shower instead of doing the sailor’s handstand or the mermaid twist or the Free Willy..or whatever the heck reckless physically irresponsible sex position people perform in the shower. Shower sex is kinda overrated if you ask me…Shampoo in eyes, someone isn’t getting the hot water, someone slips and falls…I would rather stick my tablet in a plastic bag and watch Shark Tank. Alone.
  21. Being cool with me and loving me even though I’m really REEEEEAAAALLYY annoying/bossy/whiney about 49% of the time that I’m awake.
  22. He’s about 23% of the time, so I guess it’s okay.
  23. Apparently, I fart in my sleep….

Happy Valentine’s Day, Damon! ❤

You know you’re comfortable in your relationship when…

Pushing through the sting-y burn-y

This is not a post about vaginas.

Unlike…a third of my other posts. Yes, I am cordially inviting you to read about my vagina.

PENIS!

It’s been a long day.

I walked three miles to campus through the snow. I put on six layers on my torso and three on my inferior appendages. Yes, I’m taking anatomy this semester. I made it to class with a minute to spare, stripping off my layers.

You know that sting behind your eyes when you wake up early? And it burns to close your eyes? Story of my life, bruh. As much as we try to be comfortable and cozy, life has a tricky way of infiltrating your system. The second I walk in the door, Ty freaks out and has an existential crisis, realizing how empty and dreary his life is without my boobs..

He’s currently pinching the crap outta my boobs right now as he suckles. We’ve officially reached the age of “twerking”, where the baby decides that they want to latch and put on a show. Ohmygosh..I thought that was banana in his hair. Nope! It’s snot. Dearheavenhelpmeplease. No, I didn’t taste it. Gross. THIS IS MY LIFE, PEOPLE!

Damon and I feel like we’re being torn in different directions all of the time. Want a conundrum? I’ll give you a brain-teaser called “What I Do Every Damn Day”. Please solve it. No, really. Shoot me an email with your findings.

Which items should you do first? Arrange in order of priority from 1-5

  1. Baby is screaming his friggin head off. He hasn’t seen his mom all day and feels like life itself is simply not worth living without a boob in his mouth. Also, he’s decided that naps are beneath him and refuses to take them for the sake of his dignity.
  2. Husband needs to do his homework because he’s been stuck with unsupportive children, and babies hate your goals and dreams of aspiring to something more than a broke college student.
  3. Baby has crapped his diaper
  4. You need to pee
  5. Toddler has decided that she needs to pee as well and can’t reach the dang sink to wash her hands by herself yet
  6. You haven’t eaten all day
  7. Husband hasn’t eaten all day
  8. You have homework and studying to do because you decided that take 14 credit hours was a rad idea
  9. Laundry is scattered all over the house
  10. Oh, and your kitchen is a disaster
  11. Haha…just kidding. Your whole HOUSE is a disaster!!

Any thoughts, people? Is there some formula where I can plug in these variables? Can someone calculate what the best course of action is here?!?!

I don’t have a clue.

The solution is usually taking care of bodily fluids first. Followed by nursing the baby and trying to do homework with him twerking on my lap. Husband goes and completes as much homework as the toddler will allow. Food can come later. Unless it’s toddler demanding oatmeal again. Don’t get me wrong. I love that she’s all about dat fiber. But when she doesn’t eat it all, it makes me mad. Anyhoo, husband is nice about making us both food. Something about eating food prepared by the man who loves you is endearing.

On the upside…I did get into the university that I’ve been wanting to attend since the start of college! Okay, maybe not the start. I didn’t know crap four years ago. I’ve transferred to a bunch of different schools each time that we’ve moved. Hopefully, I won’t have to transfer again. They have the anthropology program that I’ve been dying to get into.

Somehow, even though things suck a good portion of the time, they manage to work out. Things will look up. Things are going to be okay. Life comes in waves. Not tryna be all deep and garbage, but it’s true. And you can make all of the analogies in the world about it.

Things get better. Pushing through the sting-y burn-y has its upsides.

Damon and I communicate very differently than we did while dating. We’re a lot more honest than we used to be. We’re less likely to hide what we’re feeling for the sake of the other person. We’re a lot more likely to just come out and say “You’re being a dick today. Cut it out.” than to just retreat. We let the dumb things go too, although being with someone for long periods of time makes the dumb things much more noticeable. Push through it.

We’ll push through pregnancy, birthing babies, diapers, cranky spouses, studying till late at night, wading our way through our dang living room.

Somewhere it ends. Maybe. One day, my boobs will be sad balloons. I’ll have grey hairs, grumble a lot, and hate Democrats or teenagers. Actually, my generation will prolly be one of the first ones to have more tattoos than residents with children in the resting homes. Huh. Won’t that be a sight?

Oh! Oh! I have a slogan, people!

Make like a uterus and push through it!!!

Boom. 😄

 

 

 

 

Pushing through the sting-y burn-y