Advice for my Big Sister as she becomes a mom

I am by no means a mommy expert, but that’s not going to stop me from sharing a few opinions. My oldest sister is expecting her 1st child this weekend. I could not be more excited to spoil my niece. I also get to welcome my sister into the world of motherhood. I have some advice for not only my sister but anyone else about to welcome a child.

  1. You will never be a perfect mother. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to a good mom. It simply means give yourself some slack when you feel like you have fallen short of your own expectations. You don’t have to be a super hero to be a great mom. You just have to give the best you can that day and then forgive yourself when you fell you have fallen short.
  2. You will change how you planned to do somethings as a mother. Some changes might be out of your control. You might want a natural child birth and need and emergency c-section. You might want to breastfeed and your milk dries up or you decide you really don’t like it. You might say there will be no tv or processed foods, then find yourself handing out chicken nuggets in front of the tv. Things will change because the reality of being a mother will be different than anything you ever imagined.
  3. You will learn a new level of love, fear,and straight up crazy. The love part is a little different from mother to mother. You might love your child in a way that hits you like a truck when they place her on your chest. You might need a little time to let that love fully blossom, and that is ok too. I personally was to tired to be hit by the truck of love when Little O came out. I loved him, but I wasn’t knocked out by it like I heard other moms are. So NEVER question the love you have for your child. I promise you will love your baby, even if you need some time. Then you will find out that you have never been so scared in your entire life. I mean shit someone is going going to hand you a baby and you have to take it home and raise it. No instructions are given, because no two babies are alike. Beyond your fear as a parent is the fear of anything that might happen to your baby. I was sure we would all die Final Destination style at any given time. The car was a giant death trap and it took me a good while to ride up front and even longer to drive with Little O. My anxiety has reached new levels and mostly over events that will probably never happen. If so call events were to happen that’s where the crazy comes in. I use the term Momma Bear. I have cussed people under my breathe for simple things like no waving at my child. Being a new mother will make you do and think things you didn’t ever see yourself being capable of. It’s ok to embrace your crazy as long as it isn’t hurting the baby, yourself, or others. Well if someone puts your child in danger let the Momma Bear instinct kick in. If you walk in my house unwelcome and I feel my child is in danger I promise you one of us won’t walk out. I would literally  do whatever I can to keep my child safe, that instinct will hit you too.
  4. Love your child. All you have to really do to be a great mother is love your child. Looking back she won’t think of what you could or couldn’t supply her. She will only look back and remember how much you loved her. Be warned though… Sometimes you will not like her. It is ok to not like your child, because you will always love her. Babies can do some really annoying shit that you don’t have to like and then they grow up and do dumber shit. Just take a deep breath in, grab a glass of wine, and love her through it.
  5. Ask for help. Do it. Ask for help on anything no matter how big or little. Ask for help. Moms get really use to doing most things on their own or their own way. Ask for help. For my sister I will be here to help in any way possible. I try not to rely on others for almost anything. I’m stubborn and I don’t want to be seen as weak. You are NOT weak if you ask for help!!! Ask your love, your mom, sister, a friend hell call a babysitter. Just ask for help. You cannot do everything all of the time. You have to have some down time. Even if you just want to take a shower in peace, or want away for the the day. There is nothing to big or small to want help with. You have to rest to get back up and give your best to your child. Also people freaking love newborns they want to come see the baby, so use that time to relax.
  6. Locking yourself in the bathroom from time to time is pretty normal. As a new mom you have been introduced to a new world and been hit with a ton of emotions, a new level of tiredness, and whatever else you need to feel. There will be times when your child won’t stop crying or is up your ass, and you will want to run away. I give you permission to get your child settled in a safe place (crib, bouncer, play pen, etc.) and take a couple of minutes to yourself, even if that means the child is still crying. Step in the bathroom or outside and just breathe or call someone to vent. However if the feeling to run hits you hard and often and you have a hard time stepping back to your baby please do not feel alone. Call your Doctor and see if you might need their help. Postpartum Depression is a real deal people and it is NOTHING to be ashamed of. You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of your baby.

What I really want my sister and others to know is you don’t have to “enjoy every moment.” You really don’t have to “miss this when they are older.” Basically don’t listen to anyone telling you how to feel. FEEL WHAT YOU NEED TO FEEL. I want my sister to always know that I’m here  willing to listen and help anyway possible. Also know that being a mother doesn’t define you. You can be a mother and many other things. If you need to cry or cuss I’m here. If you need someone to care for Baby Z, I’m here. . I can promise whatever motherhood makes you feel plenty of other moms have dealt with the same there. Motherhood has been my most chaotic adventures and it has taught me, as I hope it will you, that you are never alone. I am so happy to get to welcome you into motherhood! I can not wait to snuggle Baby Z. You have this Big Sis! I promise!

I wish sleep was optional

I’m sitting here at 6:35 in the morning with a very long list of crap to get done today. Little O thought it was a good idea to wake up at 6, so here I am half asleep and wishing sleep didn’t have to happen. I love sleep. I sleep way too much. My sleeping habits have been compared to a cat or bear. Sometimes sleep just gets in the way of all the chaos I need to accomplish. I’ll just sit here with my coffee, O climbing on my leg, Curious George in the background, and pretend you want to hear me blab on.

If I didn’t have to sleep I could be so much better at using my new computer software and camera equipment. I would already have my backdrops nice and wrinkle free with my stand set up and taken down a few times to really get the hang of it. That’s just on the photography side.

If I didn’t have to sleep my house could be so beautifully well kept. No dishes in the sink or a mountain of  laundry on top of the dryer. Maybe I would even do this thing called mopping my best friend mentions at least once a week. My desk and closet wouldn’t look like a natural disaster has occurred. Who knows maybe I would even remember to put dinner in the slow cooker and end up eating less last minute frozen pizza.

If I didn’t have to sleep I could spend more of my waking hours with Little O working on colors, letters, numbers, and just having fun. I wouldn’t be so wore out by the time my husband gets home and we fall into a tv haze. Hell maybe I would even take more time to look like a person during the day with a little make up and some real clothes on.

This week alone if I didn’t need sleep I wouldn’t need to run around like crazy the next two day to make sure my sister’s baby shower is more than she ever dreamed of. I wouldn’t be playing catch up on the laundry and dishes.  I wouldn’t have missed out on 3 opportunities to visit with friends. Family matters could have been handled better (but I didn’t slap the stupid out of anyone, so that counts for something right?) My Christmas gifts would be wrapped, ok so no they wouldn’t I’m really just waiting for the best friend to use her amazing wrapping skills on my behalf.  I’m sure there is more stuff to list, but I’m too tired to think of it. Point proven.

I’m just saying that if sleep was optional I like to think I could get a lot more done. I know many people get a lot less sleep and work a lot harder than I do, so I’m not saying I can’t get things done. Really I love sleep more than most things in life and I don’t want to give it up. Thanks to little O sleep ends when he says… Really though if I didn’t have to sleep I doubt all of the previously mentions tasks would always be completed. I mean I have this thing called the internet that’s full of endless entertainment and then there’s tv. Maybe sleep isn’t the problem after all, maybe it’s some days I’m lazy.

What my 25th year of life has taught me

Today is my 26th birthday. I woke up this morning thinking about all of the good and the bad that I dealt with in the past year. I always thought 25 will be MY year. So I would like to share part of the chaos I have managed this past year.

I want to start with the the rough stuff first so I can end on a happier note. *deep breath in and out* I found myself saying “One step. One breath. One thing at a time.” for a soild 3 days in late August. I had to learn how to get through my day to day life without one of the most important people in my world. My Memaw (grandmother) suddenly passed away and my world was turned completely upside down. She was the strongest person I have ever known. She lived through the passing of her parents, multiple siblings, and both of her children. She never once showed that she had lost an ounce of faith in her beliefs. She was my biggest supporter and best friend. I had to learn how to grieve and still be able to function, no matter how badly I wanted to give up. That’s where Little O comes in. What no one tells you is how difficult it is to grieve while surrounded by a small child who still needs you to give your all. My world couldn’t crumble simply because I am his world. I also realized that I wasn’t just heartbroken for myself, but I was devastated for the memories my child wouldn’t have with his great-grandmother.  Her passing did remind me of how many wonderful people I have in my life to support me no matter what. I wasn’t alone. It showed me how a family truly comes together when needed, no matter how distance your lives were before.

If the passing of one grandparent wasn’t hard enough to process a mere 3 months and 4 days later my Pepaw (Memaw’s [ex]husband) also passed. Our relationship wasn’t as great as the one I had with Memaw. I didn’t like how he did a few things. That’s not worth getting into. His passing taught me more about being there for my family. Once again we were all pulled together. This time I felt a much bigger feeling than sadness, I was angry. Completely pissed to be part of a family having to deal with a loss so soon. There was no reason his death should have happened. A freak accident had turned a normal day into a horrible day. I have very little medical knowledge, but after hearing the news of his accident I braced myself for the worst. Due to being sick I was unwilling to go to the hospital and risk giving him or others an infection. I was able to say my “goodbyes” over the phone. The out-pour of love the family and community showed up with both of their passing’s I could never repay. The one thing that was clear during all of the sadness and anger was the love that surrounded myself, sister, and cousin. The 3 of us have all lost a parent and both their parents. We were not alone though. This was also a reminder in thankfulness. I am so very thankful to every person who went out of their way to help us.

That’s the worse part of my year and while it taught me things I would have rather not have learned… I been lucky to have plenty of great things in my 25th year. So I want to share.

I guess one of my favorite experiences of this year has been diving head first into starting a photography business. For once I had something that I was willing to give my all and put my name on. Using my name for the business was a big deal for me. If I did a horrible job and put my name on it there was no denying it was me. My name pushes me to do my best. I have had some great support with this as well. My friends and family have let me take their photographs, help with childcare, and weren’t bothered with Little O had to be my assistant. Photography has been the only constant in my life that I have always loved. I still have a long way to go, but I’m looking forward to every step.

25 also helped teach me who I wanted in my life and who I needed to step away from. My dad has always said “You are only as good as your worst friend.” The hardest part of ending a friendship is having to explain yourself. So if things have gone south between us I’m sorry if it was on my behalf. A friend should always be there to build you up and never to drag you down. I have cut some ties and pulled other friendships closer. I don’t just have one type friend and I LOVE that! I have friends that get all of me and friends that complete different parts of me. I have to say right now that I love the friends I have that I don’t talk to often, but when we talk it is as if time never passed. My Stephie (even if she hates being called that) has been my main push to write this blog. She might not live close (move back home already [you too Ash]) but when we get together there is never any awkward transition time. I cannot wait to see her soon and be part of her wedding day next year. I’m thankful for each of my wonderful gals.

Little O continues to teach me more and more about myself. He is a little reflection of myself during the good and bad. I never know how to feel when he gets in trouble and turns around smiling looking just like me. I can’t even get that upset about him throwing smaller things because I know he has seen me at my worst tossing something.  Knowing how much he sees makes me much more self aware of my actions. He reminds me everyday to put my phone down and pay attention to the people around me. He shows me how quickly time is flying with each new skill, words, and expressions he shares with me. He really makes me want to be better. I could never fully express how much I love him and how grateful I am for all of the lessons he teaches me.

Every year I learn a little more about Love in all of it’s forms. I have paid more attention this year to how much of a choice love can be. I choose to love everyday. Some days it would be easier to get pick anger or hate, but I have worked on seeing the other side of things and loving myself and others through the rough times. Speaking of Love I want to want to give a shout out to my husband for loving me back. I have also learned to look over the late hours he has to put into work and see all of the great things his hard work allows our family to have.

I embrace every lesson I have learned during my 25th year of life. It was full of ups and downs, but it really was my  year. I can only hope 26 will be a little easier on me emotionally. I have many aspects of life to look forward to in the next year. I want to take the time to enjoy the small things and maybe become a little braver and step out of my shell. Whatever this year throws at me I hope I can remember what I have learned in my past years and take on the challenges and changes with grace and maybe a little more confidence.

I’m still here.

I have been MIA for a while… I really have gotten caught up in the chaos. O is asleep and dinner is in the oven, so I want to give a little update on things around here.

O is finally running all over the house. If I could keep up with him and his messes that would be great. He is also trying to get a head start on the terrible 2’s… Fits are pitched here left and right. Drama King! I’m screwed when the 3’s come around. We did take him to the beach for the 1st time and it was pretty good trip. It helps that we went with our favorite family friends and their kids. I should really get that sandbox I keep saying I would get. Kid lovessss digging in the sand.

Let’s talk me for a minute though. I have been trying to find things that I can really enjoy doing in what little free time I have.

  1. I have missed blogging. I know I haven’t posted anything, but I have still been jotting down ideas for posts.
  2. I am still into trying new recipes. I’m drooling over the pork chops right now. Try the recipe here (dip them twice and they will melt in your mouth.)
  3. I have played around with making signs on canvas and wood. It’s a really good project to share with my husband as well. He is great to bounce ideas off of and he is super helpful with any drawing or cutting that I need.
  4. This is the one I’m most excited about… Photography. I have been taking pictures since I was a child. I was fascinated by my dad’s camera, so he finally bought me my 1st pink Barbie camera when I was maybe 5/6 years old. Since then it’s been rare that I haven’t has some sort of camera on me at all times. Since having baby O I have taken so many pictures and really gotten into learning how I can become better and working on being able to edit them. I am starting a photography business on the side now. I like to call it a paid hobby, until I sit down and start editing. There is just something about finding the right light, getting a real smile, capturing a true moment, then sitting down and looking at something I have done and being proud enough of it to put my name on. It takes a lot more time than I thought it would, I really do enjoy every minute though. It’s something that I feel like really is the Me Time everyone desperately needs.

Now you know what I have been up to other than blogging. I might take a long break between posts, but I’m far from quitting. Soon enough I’ll be back to talking about how crazy life is driving me.

Things I never had to say before Little O

I find myself saying a lot of strange things when it come  to O. Things I shouldn’t have to say, ever. So I want to share a few.

“Don’t lick the dog.”

“Don’t brush your penis with your toothbrush!”

“Don’t stand on the ipad.”

“Stop licking the window.”

“Peek-a-boo.” While in the shower. 

“Babies don’t say shit.”

“Please stop chewing on my phone.”

“Get out of the toliet.”

“Don’t bite my toes.”

“Is that toliet paper in the shower?”

“Get your finger out of the phone jack.”

“Stop chewing on the phone charger.”

“Please stop throwing food at the dog.”

“Juice is for drinking, not to rub on the floor, wall, or dog.”

There seems to be a nver ending loop of “no”, “stop”, “don’t.” In fact he likes to tell me to “no” and “stop” then contuine doing whatever I just tried to correct.  Sometimes he stops long enough to look at me, smile, and then get back to trouble. Then I relaize that my parents got their wish when they would say “I hope you end up with a kid just like you were.” 

There are pletny of other things I have had to say in the last 14 months. I’m sure there will be plenty more chaos to cause me come up with new sayings.  What are some of the crazist things you have had to say to your child?

Mean Mommy: No more pacifier

The latest chaotic adventure at my house has been getting rid of O’s paci.paci

I wasn’t sure if I would even give him a paci before I had him. I made it one whole night in the hospital before giving in a sneaking a paci out of the diaper bag and popping it in his mouth. I felt the need to sneak it because I was convinced the nurses would fuss at me for giving him one while trying to get him to latch… There is only so much crying this frazzled new mom could take before giving in. After giving O the paci that night my goal was to wean him off of it by the time he turned 1.  At some point in the 1st year of his life he started only having paci when he slept, during diaper changes, and as a last resort to chill him out during really bad fits. Now he just passed the 13 month mark and we decided to go cold turkey with the paci… *sidenote: he still has his bear that he uses to sleep and comfort him.*

I began reading and talking to other moms about how to get rid of the paci for months. Cold turkey seemed to be the best route for us. I had tried cutting the tip off of the paci and that just made him madder. So one day riding down the road with my Memaw (grandmother) I told her I was taking the paci away that weekend. She tells me I can’t take it way until the signs are in the feet. At this point I have no idea what the woman is talking about. When I asked her she looked at me like I was the crazy one and said, “In the feet! The signs start in the head and go down and out through the feet.” Yeah… um that cleared up nothing. So I ask if this is some moon thing she finds in the Farmer’s Almanac. She still can’t believe I have no clue what she is talking about and tells me she will just look the sings. Feeling super confused I Google “Signs in the feet during May 2015.” May 12th and 13th are the results so I marked the calendar and had a plan.

Day 1 (May 12th)

I cut all of the paci tips off and threw them away, but one just in case I just can’t take it. We stayed busy and skipped the morning nap, so I only had to deal with crying for the afternoon nap and bed time. Nap was the worse! I laid him down like I normally would all except giving him the paci. He just laid there for about 10 minutes looking around almost like he was thinking Okay Mom, you forgot my paci. I’ll just wait for you to bring it to me. So I think I’m in the clear. Wrong. He started crying off and on for the next 30 minutes then stops looks around and finally 45 minutes after I laid him down he falls asleep. All was good until he woke up early from his nap, couldn’t find paci, and started screaming like he was dying. I got him up and gave him his snack and turned on his show, but the screaming still continued for about 10 more minutes.

Bedtime started off a little rocky. O was crying in the rocking chair before even being laid down. Since the husband was dealing with the O I made us each a “survival drink.” Once O was put in his crib he cried for about 10 minutes he gave up and went to sleep. So we thought This is a good sign. Maybe he will sleep all night. Wrong he woke up screaming 6 times during the night. Our game plan was to go in his room and let him know he is okay and that it is still “night night.” After each visit he would cry for about 5 minutes and go back to sleep. It was like each time he woke up he forgot he could fall asleep without his paci.

Day 2 (May 13th)

By O’s morning nap I was too tired to try to skip the nap. I let him stay up about an hour past his normal nap in hopes the tiredness would put him to sleep with less fuss. He gave me a 15 minute grace period to “remember” he needed his paci before he started crying. In that period he babbled, yelled a time or two, and tried a few fake coughs. When his subtle attempts to to get my attention didn’t work be tried fake crying and then got mad and lightly cried for about 5 minutes. 25 minutes after being laid down he was asleep. Unfortunately he woke up after 45 minutes and started screaming because he didn’t have his paci.

Nap 2 is a bit of a blur since I’m pretty sure I fell asleep before he did. There was some light fussing on and off for maybe 20 minutes. He slept for about 45 minutes then woke up screaming again and I refused to get him up after another short nap. I told him it was still nap time and let me fuss for 10/15 minutes with the pillow over my head. He gave up and went back to sleep for another 20. When he woke up I was over fighting with him and we took a ride.

Between the lack of sleep and O being extra grumpy from crap naps I was over my child when the Hubs got home from work. I handed him the kid and made dinner as slowly as possible. I was so over my child in fact that I offered to mow part of the yard to not have to deal with him.  I was dreading bedtime. It was my turn to do bedtime. I was very pleased when O didn’t fight me while I rocked him. I was even surprised when he didn’t cry when I laid him down. I kept waiting for the grace period to end and the crying to start, but it didn’t. He went right to sleep without a peep. I was prepared to for another night of multiple wake ups and crying. He slept all night though! I didn’t have to get up once. He didn’t even fuss when he woke up in the morning without paci.

Day 3 (May 14th)

Nap time went flawlessly. He went right to sleep without making even a tiny fuss. He even took his full nap without the crying wake ups.

*so far it is looking like we have broken the paci. I guess there is some truth the quiting things when the Farmer’s Almanac says the moon signs are in the feet. I thought this would be a week or so long process. If you want to ditch the bottle or paci the next time the signs are in the feet are June 8th and 9th. To see all a list of date and signs check out this website.

Week 1

The paci is gone but sleeping is way worse. He pitches fits before he is laid down if he isn’t rocked to sleep. (which we decided a long time ago he would not be a rocked to sleep baby. He use to be the kid you could just lay down and he would pass out.) Plus now he has started waking up closer to 6am than 8am. Oh and here is a great kick in the ass, O is finally getting his 5th tooth in on top of all of this. (Yes my child is taking forever to get his stupid teeth that will just fall out in a few years.)

We were busy all weekend and he spent a night with his grandparents so he was spoiled to sleep or naps were in the car to visit family. He goes to sleep about every other time without crying. He also decided to drop his morning nap. I’m convinced he has been on such a shitty sleep schedule that he is extra grumpy all around. I’m over hearing “He is too young to not have a paci.” I’m also over the screaming when it’s time to sleep.

Week 2

He is finally going to sleep without a huge fit every time we lay him down. The problem this week has been O waking up in the middle of the night multiple times and screaming every time. That got old real quick. He did decide this week that he wanted his morning nap back. So maybe he was just over tired last week and that made things more difficult. The Hubs and I have been back and forth on what to do with O waking up so much or for the longer periods of time. Simply going in his room and laying him down wasn’t working anymore. O also started a habit of waking up at 3am and pitching a fit until 4:30 or later, on top of a few other wake ups. At some point O finally started standing up in his crib and throwing out his bear. During some of the way too early fits he would fall asleep sitting up with his face again the rails. Finally we deiced to do the full on cry it out.

I am not a fan of CIO. It is hard for me to not get him after a while of screaming. Before any of you try to condemn me for letting him cry it out just save your breath. I know my son’s cries and I know when he is just pitching a fit and when he needs me. The only reason I went in his room this whole time was to reassure he that he was okay and wasn’t alone. I wanted him to know he could claim down without the help of the paci. Big surprise he lived after crying a few minutes.

Anyways… Last night was the Hubs turn to deal with wake up. He said O woke up sometime between 3 and 4 and cried for a pretty good while and then gave up. Once O stopped crying the Hubs went in O’s room and laid him down and he went to sleep. To my surprise O even slept until after 7:30. I’m hopeful that now we are back on a normal nap(s) schedule his night time wake up will be fewer and shorter and we all might get to sleep again.

If you are a mom going through breaking the paci and/or a horrible sleep phase I’m here to let you know that you aren’t alone. If you are a mom dreading this I’m here to say “It sucks, but you can get through it with enough coffee and/or drink of your choice.”  This wasn’t easy, but I am glad to be getting it out of the way now. I look forward to nights of sleeping. I’m thankful to my husband for getting up multiple nights to help me, for my Boo listening to me complain every day, and for my family asking to keep O so I could have a bit of a break here and there. Fingers crossed that O sleeps tonight.

Go eat your dad’s food.

As a mom you give and give parts of yourself. I will give until I have nothing else to give, but let me tell you I won’t always do it willingly. Over the last week or two I have gotten really sick of having to share my food with Little O. I’m a bit of a food thief when it comes to my husband’s plate, so I shouldn’t get so aggravated about sharing my own food. But damn kid your waffle taste just like mine! Stop throwing your food down and screaming for mine. I have a friend who has said multiple times that kids taking her food would drive her crazy. As a mom with a child who wasn’t a food thief yet I thought, That will change. Now I think she is in a world of trouble when she has kids.

Some foods just aren’t made for a 1 year old with 4 teeth. Sorry kid, but you can’t chew a stake. Some foods have a higher chances of allergic reactions that I don’t want to give him yet. I live off of peanut butter, no joke I eat it at least 5 times a week.  1. I don’t want to worry with O having a bad reaction to peanut butter. 2 sandwiches aren’t easy to chew with 4 tiny teeth, little less ones that stick to your mouth. 3. It’s MY sandwich! Go eat your dad’s food! It’s not like I keeping all the good food to myself. My child eats way healthier than I do and he still gets some tasty snacks.

Here is another crazy idea Kids… Mom has to eat too. Chances are if we aren’t sharing our food that we are waiting until you have been fed before we get to eat. So listen up O. When I have spent the last 20 minutes helping you eat, I don’t need you to start screaming every single time I sit down to enjoy a meal. I can not and will not only eat when you are asleep. I like food. I love food. Look at my ass and you can tell I like to eat. If I have to hide in the kitchen or put you in the play pen for a few minutes so I can eat I will. If you come up to me acting all sweet and want a bite of my food I will probably give you some. However if you start howling like a hell hound solely because I’m trying to eat I will continue to love you but I might like you a little less for ruining my meal.