I’m Not Dead

I’m not Dead 

I’m sure many of you asked this-whether you were joking or seriously concerned, rest assured, I am not. Toddler chasing is a full-time job and real life doesn’t leave any room for anything else but sleep. I try to sneak in household chores and errands when I can, but sometimes even those can’t get done. It’s my life. I’m learning to love it.

 

May I also say I honestly and truly forgot how hard pregnancy can be on a body? I’m not complaining or even whining (yet), but it takes a lot to create a human while keeping another, who doesn’t value his life at all, alive. Anywho, my hope is to get several posts out to you regularly before number two comes along and yet another inevitable break.

 

One thing is for sure-I’ve missed you. I haven’t even met most of you, but sharing my life and you taking the time to read about it means the world to me. I’m thankful you haven’t given up on me.

 

Until next time…

 

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What’s in my Baby Bag

Hey Loves!

So, I’ve been called an over-packer. I’ve been called anal. I’ve never been called unprepared. So, here’s what I got in my bag.

1. Dipes and wipes- Do I need to explain this?
2 Bibs- for the geyser that is my teething kid’s mouth.
3. Socks- because I don’t like people I don’t know touching my babies feet because I believe you can get germs that way…yucky, Satan-worshipping germs that will infiltrate my baby, then my home and we will all be consumed with a disease that will surely bring us to the brink of death. (I’ve also been called a hypochondriac.)
4. Burp cloth- when the drool seeps past the bib…
5. Pacifier, back up pacifier- I think this is self explanatory
6. Toy, back-up toy- my baby likes to be entertained y’all.
7. K’Tan Carrier- you never know when you need to wear a baby, and in the event that my ergo is not available, the K’tan saves us.
8. A blanket- also known as makeshift play mat or covering for warmth
9. First aid kit-this is more for his clumsy mama 😉
10. Hand sanitizer and Lysol- the GERMS MUST DIE!
11. Wet bags- one for cloth diapers and disposable plastics grocery bags for poop/pee filled clothes
12. Change of clothes-When baby decides to poop everywhere but the diaper.
13. Formula and bottle- Because if something happened to me and I couldn’t feed me baby…#hypochondriacprobs
14. Poop bags-the bags that cover up poopy diaper smells when we change on-the-go.
15. Mommy junk pouch-Necessities like lip balm, lip gloss, concealer, mascara, mints…

Again, I’m over-prepared but I’ve always got everything I need.

Thanksgiving and Black Friday Tips

Forgive my tardiness friends but better late than never, right?

I just wanted to share my tips on how I make it through Thanksgiving and Black Friday with my sanity and my savings account.

The main thing, PLAN! Now, for those of you who know me, keep quiet. For those new to my world, I love to plan. Nothing makes me happier than a plan seen through from start to end. Plans are my happy place. So, I plan my menu, make a very detailed grocery list, plan which store has the best item for the best price, and plan my shopping trip. To date, I haven’t forgotten anything at the store and I’ve stayed on budget. My #1 piece of advice: Don’t buy or cook anything you or your family can’t or won’t eat. Is it polite to cater to others? Yes. Is it financially sound? Yeah, no. Trust me, I’ve had many an item in my house either I or my husband won’t eat and it sucks.

I plan my buffet, I plan the layout of my house to make sure everyone has access to food, bathroom, drinks and entertainment without having to ask me for help. (Ha! You thought I was doing this for my guests!) You see, friends, I plan for me. Just me. If planning for me is wrong, I will never be right. Never.

So, guess what I do for Black Friday? Yup, plan. I look up ads weeks before online. (They get leaked. How? Idk… and I don’t care.) Then, I make a budget and prioritize. Black Friday is famous for setting spending traps, don’t get caught friends. You’re better than that. Now, with the saving grace of technology, you can probably get your needs and wants online and maybe even the day or week before but you have to…PLAN and research to make sure you in the know!

Happy Eating. Happy Shopping. I’m thankful for you, always.

Meanwhile In Mommyland

Hey Loves-

How I have missed you! Seriously- it’s been a looooooooong time and I need my peeps! How are y’all? How’s life?

Me? Oh, I’ve been lost in the depths of mommyhood. After I shared my birth story and our NICU journey, I jumped, both feet first, into being a mom. It’s been rewarding to say the least. I’m in love with my little guy. He’s the best. We couldn’t have asked for a better baby. Which is why I’ve been a little MIA lately. That kid of mine keeps me on toes and grows my heart by the nano-second.

I could go on, and on, and on…but I’m not. I’m vowing to do a better job keeping up with you and sharing all my hits and misses. I’ve got a few blogs lined up and I hope you enjoy them!

Until next time friends!

Why I love the NICU 

Hey Loves!

So after the birth of my baby we were scheduled to be discharged the next day until…

After birth my son and I both had complications. I lost a great amount blood leading me to get a transfusion and I was on ‘walk watch’ (meaning I couldn’t get out of bed unassisted) for a while.  I was pretty out of it now that I look back on things. I couldn’t nurse as often as I wanted or needed to. Typing this, I still have some guilt.

My son had low blood sugar issues, we just couldn’t keep it up and, thus, had to be admitted to the NICU. They thought he would need IV fluids (he never did, thank God). That was probably the most pain I ever felt. Before the nurse took him down, I prayed over him, told him how much I love him, to be strong, and never stop fighting.

You see, when I was 20 weeks pregnant, God put it on my heart to pray for NICU moms and NICU babies. He knew I could never fathom knowing that would be us. Every day I prayed for those sweet mamas to have faith and trust God and I prayed for those precious babies to keep fighting and never give up. Every day for 19 weeks and 5 days.

Fast forward and it’s up to me to have faith and trust God and up to my baby boy to be strong and fight.

Yes, it was very scary- down right terrifying but it did so many great things for our family.

We were fortunate enough to be placed in a nesting room and could be with him, with a bit more privacy, every second of every day. We focused on nothing but us. There wasn’t any mail to check. No beds to make. No dishes to wash. Just us being together, learning all about him, learning about us as a family, focusing on our baby’s needs.

I love the NICU and our time there because:

1. It granted me membership to a group of women who will always understand the pain, the fear, the anxiety and the joy of our experience there. I am a NICU mom.

2. It made me realize and eternally appreciate the people in my corner. The people who support me. They people who love me, and now, my son.

3. It brought out my mama bear. I am not a timid person, but with all that was happening, it was just easy and made sense to follow instructions and do what we were told, how we were told. That is until, I felt it wasn’t working. Things needed to be done differently, starting with me. I used my voice and didn’t settle.

4. It made me an advocate. I still pray for NICU moms and babies but I now act. I support events that benefit our NICU. I donate to March of Dimes. I tell my story to empower others.

5. It made me realize schedules and sleep training and whatever else I knew we would do aren’t important. I’m here to love and nurture my kid. That’s it.

There is no way I could thank the NICU staff for their care and concern of our family. Those nurses are the best. There’s no way I could thank my husband for keeping his smile, being positive, and leading me back to God’s plan when I didn’t. I guess that’s the most important reason I’ll always love the NICU, I fell more in love with husband and love my son more than I could ever imagine.

My Birth Story

*Note* We had a very intimate labor and delivery. No family, no friends. No one’s opinion’s or thoughts. No interruptions. We didn’t even tell people I was in labor. The nurse only came when she had to or when I called (keep reading) That is what was best for us, to focus on just us.  The following was completed without any pain medication or interventions. 

8 weeks ago, we welcomed our precious baby boy.

On Monday, February 16, around 4 p.m. I had my first contraction. I knew it was a contraction but somehow convinced myself it wasn’t. I wasn’t ready. It was too soon. Yes, I was 39 weeks, but I had no signs of eminent labor prior to that first contraction. No Braxton Hicks, I hadn’t ‘dropped’, and my mucus plug was still in tact.

And hour later, another contraction and more convincing myself I wasn’t ready. 45 minutes after that, another contraction and by then my husband was home and sprung into gear. Literally. He leaped from one side of the room to the other and while I’m telling him this isn’t a contraction, he is downloading contraction timer apps.

I wasn’t hungry but felt like I needed to ‘power-up’ so my last meal before meeting my baby boy was a smoothie and pasta salad. Around 8 p.m., there went my mucus plug and I had my bloody show and yet I still convinced myself this wasn’t labor.  I had a prenatal appointment at 10 a.m. the next day, that I convinced myself I would make, and my fabulous doctor would surely agree and assure me this wasn’t labor. Right? So. Very. Wrong.

By 9 p.m., my contractions were about 20 minuets apart. By 1 a.m., they were 8-10 minutes apart and I was in the throws of labor. I did my best to rest. I labored in the tub, I walked around our bedroom. I tried to eat- My body wasn’t having that. We left for the hospital close to 8 p.m. because I knew my water needed to break.  Now, we live (on a good day) 20 minutes away, my husband got us there in less than ten minutes without causing a pile up or making me un-easy. For a second, I thought he was at the wrong hospital.

We checked in, birth plan in hand, ready to get this show on the road. I was about 5 cm dilated. (I honestly don’t remember my effacement percentage or what station I was at.) I continued labor using the tub, squatting bar and walking. Up until about 11 p.m. I was pretty cool. I was level headed. I was in tune with my body and aware of my breath. Then the birth fairy showed up and added a dash of crazy.  I then took her crazy and turned it up a few notches.

I asked my nurse for everything from a C-section to benadryl. I was tired-NO-so exhausted I thought I wouldn’t wake up if I ever went to sleep again. I was over the monotony of contractions. I was officially in ‘The Dark Place’. I mean dark. I’m pretty sure I flipped off breath awareness and there was only 1 affirmation ( What I do in this moment is building a way to my future) and bible verse (Proverbs 3:5) that I would even consider mentally chanting. I was at the corner of done and finished.

Sometime after 1 a.m. (Wednesday morning-can you see why I’m tired now), I was back in the tub and miraculously got a nap in, it was probably just 3 minutes, but it felt like 20 and after that, I decided in was going to push. It was time to meet my baby. No more delaying. No more denying.

I pushed 3 times, standing up. During the third push I heard the screeching feral moan that seemed to last forever and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from…it was me. I was crowning.

Two nurses hurled me in the bed and begged me not to push, to wait and let my lady parts stretch and, equally as important, to wait on the doctor. At this point, somehow, I thought it best to take matters into my own hands because these medical professionals were clearly delusional. Wait? Seriously! I had already driven past the corner of done and finished, waiting was 200 miles behind me. Then my husband activated (again, y’all he was on it) and diverted my attention somehow. He praised me for what I was doing and thanked me. That was a beautiful tender moment. It was fast and fleeting cause this kid had to come out, but beautiful.

The doctor arrived and gave the go-ahead. One push and his head was out, full of black curls-I mean full y’all.  I’m not sure why but seeing his head made the last 39 weeks and 5 days real and worth something. One more push and his shoulders were out. Then, I reached down and pulled my 6 pound 9 ounce, 19.25 inches baby onto my chest.  Nothing can describe that.
More to come! Stay tuned!

Another Quick Craft-Nursery Edition

Hey Loves!

So, clearly, I can’t stop finding things to do or make for my little guy’s nursery. Seriously-I don’t go looking for this stuff, it just pops up and then and I’m like ‘I have to make that!’

Well, I’m glad I made this Door Jammer. You can’t beat using some scrap fabric and just ten minutes of your time to help that baby sleep a little more soundly, right?

Oh-and y’all would be so proud. I followed the tutorial exactly-I didn’t change a thing. That never happens. I didn’t even get fancy with the hair ties.

It’s cute. It coordinates. It works.

#mommywin

Until next time…

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What’s Been Going On In My Head

A friend and I had a convo last week about things that were or were not Facebook appropriate. I’m not sure this will fit the mold, so I wrote a blog.

Now that the election is over, I want you to think about something the next time you want to discredit a candidate. I want you to think about who they represent and the privileges said represented don’t have that you do. Think, just for a second, about the fact even if your w-2’s and socio-economic status’ were identical, because of what you look like, you haven’t certain privileges that they don’t, that I don’t.

Being a mom changes you and I realized that, more than ever this voting season. I have to do what I can at the polls to ensure justice for my child. Some of you will never understand and some if you may think that simply raising children with love is enough. (Note: to those of you who have expressed undying love for unborn child, I appreciate that and not disregarding it.) I used to. That was until I saw the utter heartbreak of wives and moms that looked like me mourning the loss of their mercilessly slain spouses and children, who looked like mine. I cried with them, not just for them because that could be my reality. Heartbreak. Pain. Suffering. No justice.

While you go about your daily task and walk through this life with joy, those women, their friends and families have no rest. They have a battle to fight with no weapons. I just can’t ignore that anymore. I can’t exclude myself from being aware anymore.

I have many friends that literally can not wait until our President is out of office. I’ve definitely had that feeling with other presidents, so please don’t think I’m disregarding or discrediting their political stances. I’m not. Again, I’m asking you to think about who our President represents. Despite running a country with the most ineffective and expensive health care system, a country where education is after-thought and our children are suffering, a country where its people of both dying of starvation and over-eating, he continues the work for who he represents. I’m not going to get into my voting record and political party-affiliation (as if I haven’t put enough of myself out there), but I’m sorry if he doesn’t represent you. Really, I am.

But what you should know is he represents me, more than ever now because, in addition to giving my child a more even play field to children in other countries, he is the one of the few that want justice for those slain children and some type of peace for those that mourn them. (Please don’t think or say anything asinine like “That’s not a reason to vote for someone” Duh! I got that. Just read and understand where I’m coming from. This is about thought process and changing said thought processing before you speak.)

Do I want to think this morbidly about my child’s life? No! But I would be ignorant if I did not grasp how much of a reality that could be. Do I want to think about that one parent who will ask her child to play with anyone but my son simply because she doesn’t understand enough about his skin-tone not to be afraid. Not at all, but I have to. Do I want think about the day when I see the innocence dim from my child’s eyes when we explain to him how he is ‘different’ and thus will have to behave differently in situations than friends that don’t look like him? Nope. Not one bit but I have to. Am I just chomping at the pervious bit to teach my child about extending tolerance that isn’t extended to him…you get the jist…

Now, for those of you who don’t have this problem, who have the privilege of not dealing with the above, I’m not condemning you. In not mad at you. I just want you to have the option to have some more clarity. You can read this and then proceed with life as usual, or you can read this and have no choice but to think a little before you speak from your vantage point of privilege. That’s my whole purpose-giving you just enough information to choose how you want to think.

Happy Labor Day!

Hey Loves!

The summer really did fly by! Although the weather still feels like summer here in Florida, Fall will be here before you know it.

How are you celebrating Labor Day? We are celebrating in a few ways:
1. Cleaning and packing for a trip
2. Enjoying a day off (for my husband, of course)
3. Realizing that in a matter of weeks I will actually be in labor!!!!

That’s right! The Mrs. is going to be a mom and I couldn’t be more excited. My life is changing and, as always, I’ll be sharing it with you!

Have a great Labor Day and be safe!

VBS, IBS and MIT

Hey Loves!

So, I know…it’s been a while since we’ve last chatted. Like, a long while and I’m sorry. So very sorry.

A bunch has been going on and, while I would love to sit and talk with you all day, other things popped up.

This summer I was able to achieve one of my adult goals-teaching Vacation Bible School (VBS). Since my youth volunteer years, I’ve always wanted to teach young children the love of Jesus at VBS but I’ve always been working and/or in school or the church was attending didn’t offer VBS- sad, I know.

This year, thanks to my awesome, supportive wonderful husband and my awesome church, I taught first grade. It was a blast! I had a great time and have the sleep-logs to prove it. I thought the battle (classroom) scars from my previous years of teaching would make VBS a breeze. I don’t think I’ve ever been more wrong.

It was tough on my body because my IBS flared up and on top of not feeling well, needing the patience of Job, and trying to keep up with all the other things in my life, eating was hard! WAIT! I forgot to tell you I was diagnosed with IBS in early June which was great because we have an answer to why I will randomly not feel well for days. I started the long and arduous process of eliminating specific food groups from my diet for a two-week period of time to see what food groups my body doesn’t like so much. So far, my body hates everything but water and some occasional empty carbs, GF, of course. Hopefully, we will have some more answers soon so I can continue with my somewhat-normal life.

All of that has led me to focus on MIT, not the prestigious university, simply Making It Through. These past few weeks have been rough, really rough, emotionally and physically but I’m still here. I made it this far. I just have to keep making it through the sleepless nights, the stomach pains, the nausea and the fatigue to the moment where it stops. Make it through what I can get done on my to-do list and accept what I can’t. I’ve learned that floors don’t magically sweep themselves and that mess will happily wait on you until you can clean it up. Rome wasn’t built in a day and 10 loads of laundry isn’t supposed to get done in one day either. It is not as easy as it sounds and the guilt of not getting things done is real but, at least I’m MIT.

How are you MIT?

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