Friday, July 10, 2015

Let it go

I stopped caring what kind of mother other people think that I am.

It's taken me a couple of years to be able to say that. The only people's opinions that I care about on that matter are my husband's and the two little boys that call me mommy. Other than that, I really and truly do not care.

I used to care. I used to care a lot. 

When I first had Max, I didn't have many mommy friends. I had him at age 24 which is pretty young and so the majority of my friends were just beginning their careers and weren't yet mothers. I became involved with mommy groups. Online and in playdate form in person. While it was wonderful to be able to ask questions and have people to relate to, it was also then that I was introduced to the horrible and disgusting world of mommy wars. If you don't have kids, you're probably unaware that it even exists and I wish that it didn't. Some mothers (not all, because there are truly some amazing mommy friends out there) but some mothers, think that they are superior to all others and they have no problem judging anyone and everyone around them. I've been guilty of it to an extent and I'm ashamed of that. It's one thing to speak up if and when a child is in danger, it's a totally different story to constantly belittle another parent over their choices.

"Max didn't sleep at all last night! I'm going to need a venti latte today!" That was a status that I wrote on Facebook once. To which I had someone comment "well you know that if you're breastfeeding, that venti latte isn't going to help him sleep". Umm.... what??!? She was promptly deleted. First of all, stop being a know it all. Second of all, I love coffee and I don't need that kind of negativity in my life. Laters, baby.

"Mike and I actually went on a date last weekend!" To which I had someone reply, "My husband and I haven't been on a date since ___ was born. I've never left ___ with a sitter." Oh. Okay then. Maybe she didn't mean it and maybe it was just me being sensitive but I felt as if I was being judged for a much needed 2 hour date with my husband. Is she a better mother than I am because she's never ever been away from her child?? That is actually what I thought. And by the way, the answer is no. 

"You're leaving overnight? How are you able to get away when you're breastfeeding?" Again, maybe it's me being hypersensitive to the subject, but I always feel like this is a passive aggressive question. Here's the answer: a breast pump and a great mother/mother-in-law who jump at the chance to watch my boys. Grandmas are THE BEST!!!!!

Due to comments like these and probably my own insecurities, I thought that I needed to spend 24/7 with Max to prove that I am a good mother. On the rare occasion that I left the house when he was little, I felt immediate guilt. I almost could not enjoy my "break" for fear of judgment from others. Social media doesn't help. We are all so connected to each other that we pretty much know the other person's every move. Every date night, vacation, weekend getaway is documented, shared, and left open for other people to judge. She's out to dinner with her friends again. Where are her kids?! Wow, must be nice to get away for a whole weekend with no responsibilities. Is that a glass of wine I see??? This is what happens.

Now, I know I'm going to have to clarify this: if you have children and you are going out every night, you need to reevaluate your priorities. This isn't me judging you, trust me, I get it. You need a break. BUT do so in moderation. Extremism in any form is never good. A break is good, and often necessary! For me, it's necessary. I'm home with my boys every single day. I love them more than life itself, but some days things get a little hairy and MOMMA NEEDS TO GET OUT. That is me being 100% honest. If you honestly do not feel the same way, that's totally fine. To each their own. But know that you are allowed to feel that way and you shouldn't feel bad about it!!! You aren't a bad mother for sometimes saying "the kids are driving me bonkers today and I need to lock myself in a dark quiet room with no one touching me for 10 minutes in order to keep my sanity". That's hypothetical of course ;-) 

We are always going to be judged by others. It's just human nature. What I want my fellow mommas to know is this: you don't have to constantly explain/justify yourself/your parenting choices. You don't have to post a picture of your 2 year old eating pizza for breakfast and then write a paragraph explaining why you allowed him to do so. Rock on with your bad self. I wish I was eating pizza for breakfast! 

Since I let it go (let it goooo), I am much more confident in my parenting choices. I've been raising babies for 4 years (yes, Max is turning 4 in a few weeks and I'm just as shocked as you are) and they have been my whole life. However, I have recently realized that for my own self fulfillment/happiness, I'm going back to school. I'm going to finish my bachelor's degree. Finally! Up until this point, I didn't think it was possible to do so because remember, I was in the mindset that my kids should be my whole world. It's taken a few years but I've realized that I can have it all. I can be a great mother and still do things for myself. I can do it and so can you. Xo.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Never Say Never

Things I said I'd never do but I actually do do or have done. Is anyone else smiling because the previous sentence included "do do" or is that just me? You can tell that I am around boys 24/7 and especially a 3.5 year old who thinks that talking about poop and toots is hilarious. The other day I found myself teasing him about eating poop ice cream. Yes, I did that. It's who I am now. And now I've gotten off subject. ANYWAY, back to the point of this post. We all do it. We all say or have said "when I have kids I'll never ___" (fill in the blank). There are so many times that I've eaten my words since becoming a parent but I've made a small list of the ones that stick out to me the most. 

1. Yell. I really hate this one. I mean, I don't scream at my kid all day or anything but I do yell... And probably more often than I'd like to admit. I said I wouldn't do it. I said I would always speak calmly to my kids but let me just tell you that when I have told Max to do something 15x and he is just blatantly not listening to me... There it goes. I'm mad and frustrated and my calm voice is nowhere to be found. It's something that I need to work on because I don't want to yell but somedays, there is no getting away from it. Especially when it's been a rough one and he's not listening and he's throwing tantrums and stomping around... It's like, what do you do???? You yell. And then everyone is mad and upset and I just want to call a re-do on the entire day. That happens. This is reality.

2. Make multiple dinners. When I was growing up, my mom cooked dinner every night. We ate what she cooked. There was no "I don't like lasagna! I want chicken nuggets!" We ate the lasagna and that was that. I WISH I could get Max to eat what I cook. The only meal that I cook that he will eat is spaghetti. That's it. When he was younger he would eat anything I put in front of him. Broccoli? Yep! Peas? You bet! The kid ate anything. It got worse when he turned 2 and even worse than that in the last 6 months after turning 3. All of the sudden it's "I don't like mac n cheese", "I don't like scrambled eggs", etc. Since when does he not like something that he ate the week before??? I can't force feed him (unfortunately) and I don't want him to just not eat.. Because his stubborn self would just NOT EAT. So, I cook dinner for Mike & I and then I make Max chicken nuggets, or a grilled cheese, or his beloved PB&J sandwich. Maybe that's wrong, I don't know. But he eats that stuff without a fuss and we all go about our evening. 

3. Pajamas all day. This is pretty self explanatory but, I'll elaborate a tad. Obviously I told myself that my kids will be dressed everyday. And not in what they slept in the night before. Well, there are A LOT of days that doesn't happen. Most days we are just hanging at home so pajamas it is! I do bathe them and change them into NEW pajamas at night but, Max just LOVES pajamas. PJ's 4 Lyfe. 

4. Spank in public. My anti-spanking friends/readers may just want to skip on down to #5. I'm not against spanking, I just said I wouldn't do it in a public place. If something happened that constituted a swat, I would take them into the bathroom or out to the car or something. Never would I EVER swat my child's behind in the aisle at Target. Well, I did. After one of the most epic meltdowns of his life which included kicking, screaming, tears, and eventually chucking the $5 Paw Patrol car that I had originally told him we could buy down the aisle.... It happened. I got him out of the cart, gave him a swat, put him back in, and made my way to the check out.... Gathering the stares of those who I passed. He was still melting down in the checkout but I was not going to leave without buying what I needed to. The teenage cashier stared at us all wide eyed and I could see that she was thinking "control your kid, lady" because that's what my teenage self would also have been thinking. I'm throwing my items onto the belt trying to hurry and force a smile when Finn, who had been asleep in the cart prior to this also started crying. It was one of those disastrous moments where you realize that you have become what you said you wouldn't: the lady with the makeup-less face and sweatpants with the two screaming kids in Target. I could do one of two things: I could cry along with them or I could pretend that I wasn't fazed by it. I chose the latter. I paid, smiled, thanked her, put on my sunglasses so that I didn't have to make eye contact with anyone else, and pushed my howling kids out the door. Again, this is reality.

5. Character tees. I had high hopes for my kids' wardrobes. I dreamed of layers and beanies and v-neck sweaters and button downs and all of those adorable outfits that make little boys look like tiny men. I mean how CUTE are they?! I'll tell you when those types of outfits happen around here: never or on a very special occasion, but usually never.  As previously stated in #3, Max LOVES pajamas. If he has to wear something besides his undies, he prefers pajamas. If he has to wear something besides his pajamas, he prefers sweatpants (who could blame him?) and a character tee. Ninja turtles, Superman, Batman, whatever. If it's got a character on it, that's what he wants to wear. Especially now that he has an opinion on what he wears (yes, this happens early). I always disliked character t-shirts. They aren't nearly as adorable as the striped v-neck that I had in mind but they are what he loves and so I have grown to accept them. I would prefer that he didn't wear them every time we go somewhere so sometimes I blow right past them as he watches me sort through his clothes for what to wear. If he spots that captain America shirt, there will be no getting around it. Sometimes I win but usually he asks for one of his character shirts and so that's what he wears more often than not. He also adores his Batman Crocs and he can't figure out why he can't wear them every single day. Kids just LOVE clothes with their fav characters on them and we have to pick our battles. The superheroes always win. 

So, yes, I do things I said I'd never do. Fellow parents: we can all just eat our words together. Humble pie, anyone??

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Breastfeeding Lessons

Finn is 5 months old tomorrow and our breastfeeding journey is still going strong! That may mean little or nothing to some but to me, it's great! I was only able to EBF (exclusively breastfeed) Max for 3.5 months and by the time he was 4 months old, my supply was totally gone. I have absolutely NOTHING against formula. I am so thankful that science has created such a great alternative for breastmilk. Without it, I would have been at a total loss when Max was a baby. The thing is, I WANTED to breastfeed him longer. Honestly, I just didn't know what I was doing. I should have asked questions. I should've contacted a lactation specialist. Shoulda woulda coulda. I was 24 years old with my first baby and I thought that it came naturally. And if not naturally and easily then well, you just buy formula. Now, I'm not an expert but I wanted to share some lessons that I have learned that have helped me be more successful (thus far) this time around.

1. Getting a good pump. My AWESOME friends got me a Medela double electric breast pump and it is AMAZING. With Max, I wasn't prepared. I got a Medela manual hand pump AFTER my milk came in and had a friend show me how to use it. It's fine if the alternative is no pump. But truth be told, it sucked!!!!! It killed my hands to use it and it didn't express much milk. I basically only used it when my milk first came in and was painfully engorged. This time, I got my pump beforehand and it has helped so much! I have been able to store some and it expresses MUCH more than my hand pump could've dreamed of.

2. Pumping does not equal supply. This may seem like a contradiction from my first "lesson" but it's not. I LOVE that pump and a good pump can make a huge difference BUT it doesn't mean everything. I thought that pumping was a direct reflection of how much milk I made. It wasn't. No matter how great the pump is, it is true that nothing can express milk from the breast like a baby can. I thought that since my hand pump was only expressing half of an ounce after 45 minutes of trying, I had no milk left. This was not the case as Max weighed around 16 pounds by 3 months so CLEARLY he was doing fine. If baby is gaining weight and has enough wet diapers, there is no issue. Also, some women just do not respond as well to a pump like others. I know some that can bust out 10 ounces in 5 minutes while others take 30 minutes to get 3-4 ounces. Maybe there IS a supply issue, but maybe there is not. What I'm saying is, you don't have to give up based solely on what you are able to pump. That's what I did with Max and I was wrong. I did not have a supply issue until I started giving him formula and slowly stopped breastfeeding.

 3. Drinking & eating. When Max was first born I was so concerned with taking care of him that I didn't take care of myself. I drank next to nothing and ate about as much because I didn't have much of an appetite in the beginning. Sure I lost all of the baby weight by one month postpartum but I wasn't healthy. The thing with breastfeeding is, you HAVE to drink a lot of water and consume enough calories to have a good supply. This time, I made it a point to eat those first few weeks.. Even if I didn't "feel" hungry. Then, once my hormones balanced out a little, my appetite came back with a vengeance. Now I'm constantly hungry. I'm still 5 lbs from my pre-Finn weight and about 15 from where I want to be but that's okay with me for now. I'll get there soon enough. Also, I drink lactation tea and I eat oatmeal several times a week. They say it's good for your supply. Not sure who "they" are, but I do it and I think it does!

4. Engorgement does not equal supply. Sure, when your boobs are full they swell BUT once your supply settles in, they become less engorged. This doesn't mean they are empty. A nurse I had with Finn (bless you, Tanya) told me "the older the baby, the softer the breast" and that really stuck with me! With Max, I thought that if my boobs weren't rock hard and bursting that they weren't full. They were, they just weren't engorged. There is a difference. I know that now but I didn't then.

5. Babies need to nurse for long periods of time. Not true. Some babies nurse for 30 minutes on each side, some only nurse for 5. My boys were/are not long feeders. I can count on one hand how many times Finn has nursed for longer than 10 minutes. I thought this was wrong with Max because I thought that they needed to nurse for longer. The truth is, some babies (and especially over time) become more efficient at the breast. They may be able to empty the breast in 5 minutes while others take longer. There is nothing wrong with either way, it simply depends on the baby! It is not a reflection of supply. Baby may just have their groove down pat and don't need to nurse as long as others, or maybe as long as they did before. 

Maybe it was my own insecurities about not being able to be as successful as I imagined with Max, but hearing those "breast is best" speeches always rubbed me the wrong way. Like I wasn't doing what was best. It especially upset me because I wanted to do more, I just didn't know how. So maybe this could help someone to learn from me! Remember: if baby is gaining weight and has enough wet diapers, there is nothing wrong with your breastfeeding! On the flip side, if you choose to go the formula route, good for you! We are fortunate to have the option of formula and you ARE doing what's best. Keep up the good work! 

Now........ my next task is to get him to stop biting me. It's a wonder he hasn't taken a nipple clean off with his little razor teeth. If I solve this problem, I'll let ya know! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

And then there were 2

My last post was written when I had 8 weeks until my due date. Now, I have an 8 week old baby boy! It's been too long, my friends. I've been wanting to write for a while but I just haven't been able to find the time since Finn was born. And speaking of Finn, I want to share his birth story while it's fresh in my mind. So here it is.....

On Thursday May 29 around 5 p.m. I felt some wetness. I stood up and felt more. I ran to the bathroom and felt more leaking. This is it, I thought, it's time. We went to the hospital and after several checks and an ultrasound to check my fluid level, I was told that I was not leaking amniotic fluid. What the heck! What is it then?? "See that right there? That's baby's head right on your bladder," the young doctor told me with a smile, "it's just urine." I was less than amused. How embarrassing. So glad that my parents, sister, sister-in-law, and mother-in-law had made the hour to hour and a half drive over just to be told that I peed my pants. Super!

Friday May 30: I had my 39 week check up. I was told I would not be induced unless I went past my due date (June 6). The earliest I would be induced was Monday June 9. I really wanted to go into labor on my own BUT at this point, I was just ready for him to be here so I agreed to that. My doctor offered to do a "membrane sweep" which means she used her fingers to detach the amniotic sac from the uterine wall. "If it's going to work, you will go into labor within 24-48 hours," she told me. YES! I thought. Good. He should come this weekend.


Thursday June 5: I woke up with an aching back. At 9:30 a.m. I felt a contraction. Not a painful one, just another Braxton Hicks contraction which I had been having daily for the past 8 weeks. At 9:37, another one. For the next couple of hours they came 7-8 minutes apart. Still not painful, but steady. Then they started to come 6 minutes apart for a couple hours. I called my mother in law to head over to stay with Max. "Something is happening" I told her. The next couple of hours they came 4-5 minutes apart. Mike came home from work. "Just tell me when you want to go to the hospital" he said. I wanted to wait at home as long as possible because I did NOT want to get sent home. I told my parents that we would be going to the hospital soon so they hopped in their car. At 4:45 p.m. with contractions coming 3-5 minutes apart, I decided we should go. I was getting more uncomfortable but I wasn't in actual PAIN yet.

We got to the hospital and I was checked. 2 centimeters. WHAT?! I had been at 1-2 cm for 2 weeks!! Why aren't these contractions doing something yet?! "They're gonna send me home if I don't progress soon," I told Mike, "and if they do, we will be back in the middle of the night because I know it's happening soon." An hour later, I was still dilated to just a "maybe 2". My nurse, Becky, left to speak with a doctor. I was holding back tears. Please don't send me home I thought, I know I'll just be back later if you do...

The sweet resident doctor who I had been mad at the week prior when he told me about my leaky bladder came into my room. "Okay, here's the deal," he said, "you are in early labor. Very early. You're 40 weeks tomorrow and would be induced Monday anyway so I want to keep you... But I need to speak with my attending doctor." He left the room. "Let's go for a walk," I told Mike. As we entered the hallway, I literally ran into my doctor. "MALLORY!!!! You just made my day! I was SO EXCITED when they told me you were here!!!!" She exclaimed. Side note: my doctor is also a resident. She is a captain in the Air Force and stands at about 5 feet tall and can't possibly be much older than I am, if she is older at all. She hugged me. "We are keeping you." Mike hugged me and I cried. WE'RE HAVING A BABY!!! They insert some medicine into my cervix to help with dilation. My parents arrive and I do some walking. We wait.... And wait.... And wait some more.

"We don't want you to be in too much pain. You need your energy when it's time to push later so tell me when you're ready for some medicine," the anesthesiologist tells me. Yes, I will be having an epidural. I have ZERO DESIRE to have a "natural birth". ZILCH.

We wait.

At 3:00 a.m. I have finally reached 5cm and I'm feeling pretty uncomfortable. Not in HORRIBLE pain yet, but we are getting there. I agree to the epidural. At 3:30, I'm feeling good and I tell my nurse, now Robin after a shift change, that I'm going to try to sleep. And sleep I do....

7:30 a.m. Dr. Cadle (my doc) and Becky (back after another shift change) enter my room and I wake up. Whoa, I just slept for 4 hours!! They check me. Still at a 5. WHAT?! I stalled at 8 with Max and now I'm stalled at 5. Grrrrr. Here comes some pitocin. Mike helps me brush my teeth HAHA since I can't get out of bed and we wait...

9:30 a.m. I feel a gush of fluid. Oh geez, I freaking peed myself AGAIN. Wait.... I have a catheter.. That's amniotic fluid! Yay!!! My water broke! Becky enters and checks. "Yes, it definitely broke and there's some meconium which means baby might've gotten a little stressed and pooped." Yikes. That makes me nervous :-/ they turn down the pitocin and clean me and my bed. We wait....

3:15 p.m. Dr. Cadle and Becky enter again. My mom and Mike have dozed off. "I'm feeling aching in my butt," I tell them. Dr. Cadle checks me. "Oh! He's right here. You want to try to push?" Push?! What?? I wasn't expecting that yet. "Okay... Yeah let's push!" I say. I push once. "Okay, he's coming! Let me get changed!" She tells me. My mom and Mike jump up. Dr. Cadle slips on some scrubs. Mike runs out of the room LOL I think he was in a panic. "Go get dad," Becky tells my mom. Mike walks into the room covering his eyes haha! Poor guy is squeamish and a nervous wreck. This is his first birthing experience since he was gone for Max's. Mike walks to the head of my bed and Becky teases him about passing out. Everyone is so laid back! "We are going to do this slow to try and avoid a tear," Dr. Cadle says. I push for 10 seconds then rest. I push for 5 then rest. I push for 8. "Okay. Mallory, push towards my hand." I do what she says.

3:34 p.m. Finn Michael is born. He weighs 8 pounds 1 ounce and is 20 inches long. Becky wraps him in a towel and gives him to me. I snuggle my boy- who has a little hair! Dr. Cadle tells me that she doesn't have any work to do. What?! No stitches???? Nope! What?!?!?!? After a traumatic delivery with Max, this was an absolute BREEZE. I don't even feel like I had a baby!! They tell me it's bonding time and to call when he's ready for a bath. Dr. Cadle and Becky leave the room. I pass Finn to Mike. Then he passes him to my mom. Then back to me and I nurse him for 25 minutes! What a champ!! We snuggle our baby, who is still naked except for a towel. I will never forget these moments. When I had Max they put him on my chest for all of 15 seconds before whisking him off to the warmer and cleaning him up. This was so different. It was such a beautiful time.

Finn was a couple hours old before Becky came back in and cleaned him up so I could eat dinner. We had a few visitors: my dad, sister, sister in law, and my mother in law who brought big brother Max! He didn't know what to think at first. I think he was overwhelmed. He warmed up after about an hour and was ready to touch him. I showered and we headed to our postpartum room. Our visitors left and Mike and I spent our first night with Finn in the hospital. 25 hours after he was born, we were discharged and headed home!

Finn will be 2 months old tomorrow. He has his 2 month check up later this week so I'm not sure how big he is now but he has grown A LOT! He is outgrowing his size 1 diapers and his 0-3 month clothes. He smiles all the time :-) he LOVES to cuddle, he loves his brother, he loves to eat. Nursing is going well for the both of us. Most nights he wakes every 2.5-3 hours. I'm exhausted but wouldn't change anything. It's hard to believe that I now have TWO boys. Two beautiful, healthy boys. My heart is so full!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Pregnancy Woes

Disclaimer: some mild complaining ahead... along with maybe a little TMI.

Okay so, we all know that pregnancy is a wonderful and miraculous experience. It brings the most amazing blessing that can ever be received. There is nothing that I wouldn't do for my (now 2!) boys, nowhere I wouldn't go for them. There is no greater joy in my life than being their mommy!

I can only speak for myself but, sometimes I feel guilty for complaining about my pregnancy woes. There are so many women who long to get pregnant or to have a healthy pregnancy and my heart aches for them. They may want to slap me for saying this, and that's okay- I understand... but I'm also allowed my opinion and feelings.


At 32 weeks with son #2, I am OVER IT. Some women absolutely love being pregnant. They would do it 100x if they could. I am not one of them. This will be our final baby (unless by some act of God) and I have truly tried to enjoy this as much as possible, knowing that I will not be doing this again. But truth be told..... can it be over already?!

A friend of mine who is also pregnant (a few weeks ahead of me) sent me a message earlier this week that read "are you as miserable as I am?" and I replied "YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" It was nice to know that I am not the only one who feels this way! And maybe we *aren't supposed to say it* but some things about pregnancy really are not fun.

This is my experience.

From the time that word "pregnant" shows up on that test... or a double line... or a little + sign appears, it all begins. It's really amazing how quickly things begin to change.
-------1st trimester--------
1. Bloating- take that pre-menstrual bloat and multiply it by 5.
2. Urination- as my body begins to produce more water and my uterus grows, the frequent urination begins.
3. Boobs- my boobs begin to swell (the part I like LOL) but with the good comes the bad and they are so sore, I can't stand to touch them. Also, my veins in them become darker and more prominent and it looks as though someone has drawn a road map across my chest.
4. Fatigue- after doing absolutely nothing, I feel as though I have ran a half marathon. I can't get enough sleep.
5. Moodiness- think I'm moody the week of my period? Imagine that lasting for approximately 10 weeks. Yeah.... my poor husband!! I feel like a monster has invaded my brain and there is nothing I can do about it.
6. Nausea: If I even THINK about going more than 2 hours without a little snack, I am sick. If I eat too much, I am sick. If I eat something that my little womb resident disagrees with, I am sick. However, I was one of the lucky ones. I only vomited a couple times a week and it stopped at the end of the first trimester. Some of my fellow preggo sisters were extremely sick the ENTIRE time. I am SO sorry for them!

The great part about the first trimester is seeing your little babe and hearing their heart beat for the first time. That part is truly awesome and makes the crappiness worth it!

-------2nd trimester-------
Okay, the second trimester (in my opinion) rocks. I regain some energy! My nausea subsides! My moodiness (for the most part *wink wink*) also subsides! My boobs are still getting bigger (score for me!) and I won't complain about that ;-) My nipples are getting large and weird but I don't mind that all that much. And, yes, I'm peeing like a racehorse but who cares?! I feel great! I enjoy indulging in my cravings. I am beginning to have a baby bump and feel sorta cute in my little preggo tops. I also start to feel baby move... which might be my favorite part of all! I also get to find out baby's gender... super exciting!!! If the second trimester lasted forever, I may have a ton of kids! But it doesn't.......

------3rd trimester----------
This is where things get hairy... literally.
1. Weight- obviously weight gain comes with pregnancy and I am totally okay with that. BUT.... all of the sudden I have a ginormous belly. I can hardly bend over to shave my legs. I am shaving other parts blindly. I can't paint my toenails. My belly gets in the way when I try to reach the clothes in the bottom of the washing machine. Nothing fits comfortably except for my husband's clothes. Which, unfortunately, are not acceptable to wear in public.
2. Urination- I am peeing every 1.5 hours through the night. I am peeing when I try to lift Max out of the tub. I am peeing when I bend over to pick up toys. I am peeing ALL THE TIME AND ALL OVER THE PLACE. Someone get me a diaper!!!!!!!!!!
3. Acid reflux- in the past week, I have developed acid reflux. If I bend over, I can feel it. When I'm laying in bed at night, I can feel it. If you've never experienced it, it feels like a burning sensation in your esophagus and every so often a little vomit starts to creep up and then you get to swallow it. It's quite unpleasant.
4. Constipation- enough said. It's also uncomfortable to sit on the toilet for long periods of time. And don't get me started on hemorrhoids.
5. Boobs- they are huge. Which I personally don't mind since "not pregnant Mallory" was not blessed with a large chest. However, the nip situation is out of control. I mean they are getting real weird. And sometimes they leak with a little colostrum. Yep, more bodily fluid leakage.
6. Swelling: felt like going to the zoo last weekend. By the end of the day, my feet were puffy and swollen and you could see the indention of my shoe. Cankles?? Oh yeah!
7. Restless nights- aside from constant urination, it's SO hard to get decent sleep because I am so uncomfortable. I am normally a belly/side sleeper which is obviously out of the question at this point. I find it incredibly odd and uncomfortable to sleep on my back. The solution is to sleep on your side with a body pillow or any pillow wedged between your belly and the bed and also between your legs. This brings great comfort... momentarily. After an hour-ish, the side that I'm laying on has gone numb and I have to switch sides. Repeat approximately 6 times throughout the night.
8. Random aches: my lower back has a constant dull ache. Could be my little guy's position, could be due to the damage on my tailbone from Max's delivery. Whatever it is, it is annoying and painful. My sweet husband gets the task of rubbing it numerous times a week. Lucky him! Also, last night I woke up to cramping in my legs and literally had to get up and start stretching at 3 a.m. Oh, and on days when I've done "too much" (which basically consists of totally normal activities like vacuuming my house) I am so sore that evening that my legs buckle randomly when I try to walk to the bathroom. Sometimes I have to crawl there. I'm not even kidding.

Take all of that and add random stretch marks and you've got yourself QUITE a party, right????

Why am I sharing this??? Not because I just want to tell people bizarre, personal, and gross things about myself but to share with my fellow preggo sisters that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Maybe you have experienced all of this, maybe a few things, maybe your pregnancy(cies) have been different. No pregnancy is the same. This one has been much harder on me than Max's. I just want you (and your significant other) to know that you aren't crazy. Or at least you are only temporarily crazy. It takes someone very special to make all of this worth it... and even make us want to do it more than once! And that's exactly what we get... the most special and precious gift in the world. So, hang in there! (I'm mostly speaking to myself when I say that)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Am I Doing Enough?

I often find myself feeling like I have/am dropping the ball when it comes to teaching Max certain things. These are some thoughts that I have had:

Should he be able to count higher?
He doesn't know his ABC's...
Sometimes he names colors correctly, other times they are all blue. Same with shapes.
We don't do enough "activities"...
Does he get enough socialization?
Maybe I allow too much iPad time...
Am I doing enough?

Am I doing enough??????????????

I sometimes feel that since I am a stay at home mom that he should know everything because my "job" is to teach him these things everyday.... right???? Who knows? I recently read a blog post that a friend shared on facebook. It was titled "What should my 4 year old know?" I found it INCREDIBLY refreshing. The author's words really hit home with me. "She should know that she is loved wholly and unconditionally", "She should know that she is safe", "She should know that the world is a magical place", among other things. (I will attach the link to the actual post below)

While some kids are potty trained by 2, others aren't until they are 4. Some 2 year olds can count to 20, some (like Max) cannot and only choose to SOMETIMES count to 10 always skipping the #6 (don't ask why!). Some kids respond to flash cards and will name the contents of said flash cards on command while others (like Max) would rather rip said flash cards and fling them about the room. The point is, all kids are different and they learn at different speeds. We (myself included) should stop worrying about how much they can't do and focus on what they CAN.

This is what I know for sure:
*Max has an awesome imagination! He loves to make believe and pretend that we are different people/creatures and we are in different locations.
*He is polite. He always says "please" "thank you" and "excuse me".
*He knows that mommy is always there to kiss his ouchies and make them better. He knows that daddy will be home after work to wrestle and play.
*He knows that he is safe and loved and he loves us almost as much as we love him! And he tells us that all the time :-)

So, because of that, I know that I am doing enough!

Here is the link to the blog post that I am referring to. If you have a chance, read it. You won't regret it! If you are like me, you will feel validated. You will feel like you are doing enough. Even better than that... you are doing GREAT! :-)

Holidays & Winter Thus Far

Well I haven't blogged since before Christmas so here's a recap of our fun and busy holiday season!

We found out on December 23 that we are having another BOY! Max is getting a little brother :-) we are SUPER excited! At the beginning of this pregnancy, I thought I was having a girl. Mostly because I found myself much more nauseous and sick this time than with Max. Once I made it through the first trimester, I began to feel the exact same way I felt with Max and so I changed my mind and felt that it was a boy... And I was right! We have had a second ultrasound since then confirming the gender and we (and our bank account!) are happy to have another boy! We have decided to name him Finn Michael. Mike & I tend to be fans of 1 syllable first names and we don't know anyone named Finn so we really love that name! Max & Finn sound like one ornery duo ;-) Michael is obviously my husband's name but it is also my dad's first name so Michael is the perfect choice for Finn's middle name! I am so excited to meet him! I am trying not to wish my pregnancy away but I am just getting very anxious for his arrival! I am now 23 weeks and am hoping and praying to continue having another healthy and uneventful pregnancy. 

We had a wonderful Christmas! It was our first Christmas back in Illinois since 2009. Max was spoiled per usual and got lots of toys, including a power wheels mustang car... Which he loved! I am looking forward to warmer weather so that he can ride it all over our neighborhood. We spent the day at our house and my parents and 2 younger siblings came over for lunch. It was a great day! We rung in the New Year at my friend Caitlin's house with a few friends and Max even stayed awake til midnight!! Then he promptly fell asleep in the car before we left the driveway at 12:10 ;-) and we all slept in until 10am on New Years Day!

January brought us a good friend's wedding (congrats, Baziles!) and LOTS of snow! I passed my 3 hour glucose test which my doc made me take early this pregnancy and am happy to report that I do not have gestational diabetes this time!! Yay! We took Max to see Sesame Street Live. He loved it!! He was only upset that he couldn't join the characters on stage. My younger Marine brother Taylor made it back to the good ol US of A after a 7 month deployment and we are SO grateful for his safe return! We get to see him next week and can hardly wait! It's been over 2 years since I have seen him! With him and us being military, we have been unable to coordinate visits back to IL at the same time... Until now since we live here again :-D

This brings us to... February! We hosted a Super Bowl party for Mike's co-workers and their families. We had a great turn out! The kids had a blast playing together and I was happy to meet some more Air Force wives here! I feel with living off base here and having our longtime friends and family close, I haven't been as connected to the base/Air Force as I would like to be. Lately I have been meeting more wives and attending play dates and activities to try and get more involved.. And also to give Max some social interaction! He needs some more buddies around his age and I miss having a lot of mommy friends like I had in Wyoming! 

February is going to keep us busy! This weekend I am hosting a mini shower/celebration for one of my best friends, Bailey, and her baby girl Mila who will be making her appearance Earthside in 1 month! :-) Next weekend we will venture down to my parents' house to see Taylor and spend the weekend with my side of the family (all of us will be together- yippee!) and the weekend after that, Mike, Max & I are heading to San Antonio! Mike has to take a week long class and is taking a few extra days off so Max & I are going with him for a little mini vacation! I am super excited! We haven't traveled in a while and I am looking forward to getting away for a week and a half! I can't wait to take Max to Sea World and other fun activities! We are driving though so THAT should be interesting since we all know that Max is not the best car seat rider. 

Max is doing great! He is becoming more aware of Finn.. Or "Pen" as he sometimes calls him. He says "Finn is in mommy's belly, not daddy's belly" and yesterday he told me that he loved Finn (tear*) so sweet! He hasn't had a pee pee accident in forever-- even at night!! He is such a big boy! He was so easy to potty train that it's almost shocking! He has such a fun imagination and I love to hear him play and talk to his toys. His newest obsession is ninja turtles and he really believes that he is one-haha! He is such a sweet boy and he is learning lately the importance of sharing and taking turns with friends. 

Finn and I are doing great too! I am feeling really good... Sort of uncomfortable at times but great for the most part! I don't really sleep well at night. Between the pee breaks (approximately 4-5 times) and Finn's constant moving and kicking, I am quickly reminded of the lack of sleep that awaits me in the near future! It's much different being pregnant this time around with an active toddler and it has confirmed that I do only desire to have 2 children. So, I am trying to enjoy this pregnancy as much as possible because it will be our last! And no, we will not try again for a girl ;-) we are perfectly content with 2 boys! 

Thanks for reading!! Until next time. Xoxo