Archive for the ‘BN Channel Family’ category

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Boys, oh boys.

Family Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally published on The Little Jobber and titled, I Don’t Mean to Scare You.}


If you have recently welcomed a boy into your family, or you are pregnant with a boy, or you have any interest in making a boy a part of your family sometime in the future, you might want to skip over my posts for the next few . . . years.

In fact, you may want to stop reading this blog. Just close your browser completely and never come back here. Forget the url. Lose my email address. Pretend you never met me. Dodge me when we happen to be shopping at Hannaford at the same time.

I will be sorry to see you go, but I will understand. I don’t want to scare you with my reports of the destruction and grossity grossness of boyhood. Well, toddler boyhood. Conal’s toddler boyhood, anyway. I don’t want you to think that boys are hard to handle and that they do crazy, scary things. I don’t want to give you the wrong impression of life with a boy.

Not all boys relish in the hard-core boyness of boydom. So, don’t worry! You know how on those diet ads they’ll say something like, “Results not typical” when the spokesperson has lost like a hundred pounds? Well, that might be similar to what’s going on here. You know, maybe my tagline should be, “Destructive and gross actions not typical.”

Unless they are . . .

But they might not be! I mean, I’m sure that not all boys think it is hilarious when their moms suction the mucus out of their noses and, at the end, they do a super-quick head turn so the string of mucus slaps across their faces, nose to ear. Sure, some boys think that is funny. Some boys think that when the nose suctioner thingy comes out, it is time for fun! But, not all boys do. Of course, I don’t know these boys. I only know the boy who thinks mucus suctioning is a great big joke fest.

Similarly, not all boys like to get dirty. They don’t all like to lick their dirty hands and then rub those spitty, dirty hands on their faces. No! They don’t all like to do that! It’s not fun for all boys!

But, again, I don’t know those boys. I only know the boy who thinks that licking his dirty hands and then rubbing them over his face is second in the Whoopee-doo Fun Times list only to mucus suctioning. Or, as we have recently learned, hiding the remote in very bad, bad places. Or, possibly, smooshing cottage cheese or ketchup in his hair. Or shoving his mouth full of food, only to turn around and pull the food out. Or throwing his mom’s cell phone away. Yeah, those are all right up there on the list, too.

Anyway, the bottom line is, I don’t want to scare you. But, these are the things that happen around here and you can be pretty sure I’ll have more of the grossity grossness and destruction to report. If you need to move on, I’ll understand. Just, you know, if you do dodge me at the grocery store? Don’t give me the evil eye. I’ve got my hands full over here.

Editor’s Pick by Amanda from The Wink. I have three daughters and have been blogging about the  for as long as I’ve known what a blog was. I don’t have boys, don’t have friends with boys. Felice, the author of The Little Jobber , lives in my neck of the woods, is passionate about running and has a writing style that feels comfortable, familiar, like visiting a friend whose rhythm I can return to no matter how much times has passed. Reading this particular post delighted me with its exploration of terrain I can’t even imagine. Whether you have boys, girls or cats, I promise that Felice will make you nod, smile and go back for more. See the post in its original glory here.

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Stop, Thief!

Family Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally published on Is There Any Mommy Out There?}

I’ve been obsessed with time lately and how it passes. What a trickster time is, the way he seems to hand me moment after moment of joy and love and life in slow, lazy procession until I pause to look back and I’m cut down by how far I’ve traveled. All the tiny incidents add up to the whole year that my oldest children were three and my youngest was one and my last baby was thought of and conceived. I want to yell at him for the subterfuge, but he’s handing me new moments so fast that I can’t take the time, I’ll miss something important. I’m dropping the present and it’s shattering on the floor, gem by gem as I gaze backwards. I refocus on the moment in my hands and it all slows down again, to that disconcerting, tricky lull.

I tell time I know his game, I’m onto him, but it’s inevitable that I’ll forget until I look back once more. It makes me mad. I wish he’d leave me alone, stop stealing my moments and let me have them for mine. Maybe I’ll keep them in a carved wooden box on my dresser, magpie-like, the way I kept little bits of life in high school, a note, a charm, a worn braided bracelet.

I want to keep the way Quinn walks, steady but unsteady, on his toes, his fat little belly proceeding him. I want to keep the way Garrett laughs, mouth wide open, head back, his round baby face lit from within. I want to keep the way Saige runs to me at preschool pickup, the way it feels when she wraps her little body around my middle and wraps her arms around my neck. I want to keep this baby’s first tiny kicks, barely felt today, miniature popcorn popping inside my uterus.

Determined to stop his constant theft of my moments, I set a trap for time. I know if I turn and pounce quickly enough I can catch the decrepit old man. I wait for a slow, easy moment, a little lull in time’s flow and I spin faster than the earth, outside of time, grasping with both hands.

Then I falter in disbelief, caught off guard that I actually hold him in my hands and that the arm I hold is strong and young. He is timeless, handsome and confident with twinkling eyes and a devilish smile. “You got me,” he raises his hands in mock surrender. “There’s not much time. When should we go?” He leans forward, feverishly eager, “what should we change?”

Go? Change? I don’t really understand, not yet, I want a glimpse, that’s all, to steal some moments back and save them forever to visit at will. But I have this chance and time is staring at me, waiting. I don’t want to blow it. “What if I’d taken the other job out of law school?” I blurt at him quickly. “Would I have loved it? Maybe stayed an attorney? Maybe I’d have a big career now?”

“Maybe,” he fixes me with his too willing gaze and holds out his hand, falsely casual.

“Wait.” I’m suspicious. “What about Matt? He might not move to Houston. Would we still get married before graduation? What if we wait to see and grow apart?”

Time rubs his hands gleefully. “Let’s see.”

“No,” I stop him. “Not then. Some other time.”

“What about your first baby,” he entices, leaning towards me. “The first one you lost. We could go back to when his heart beat inside you. You could feel him again, maybe we could change things. You could know him.”

I am momentarily breathless. In an instant, I know. Games. Consequences.

“But then I couldn’t have Garrett.”

“True,” says Time, “true. It’s up to you.”

“Maybe something smaller,” I plead, “a moment to hold him as a newborn again.”

Time stifles a yawn and curls his lip. “Bor-ring. You’re wasting my time.” He snaps his carefully manicured fingers. “I know. We could revisit the time when you decided to adopt. You could make different choices. You could have a different little boy, he might stay with you. You could adopt two babies instead, or just your daughter. You could miss so much pain,” he tempts.

I picture it. A lot of grief avoided, but I am onto his tricks. “What happens to him?”

“Who?” he asks, all innocence.

“Our son. Does he get adopted? It’s a terrible life for the children that don’t find forever families. They have to leave the orphanage when they’re sixteen. Does he find a family that loves him?”

“I don’t know,” says Time impatiently, “we have to see.”

“His family is so right for him, he’s happy. They never would have found him if we hadn’t adopted him, there’s no other way he ends up with them.”

“Yes I know,” Time rolls his eyes, “that’s how it works.”

Take a deep breath, I tell myself, be smart, you can beat him at this game.

“My twins then. My other baby. That’s only two months back. A tiny change and they both live. They’ll still be inside of me right now. It doesn’t affect anyone but me.”

Time smiles slyly and stands up straighter. “Ready?”

I hesitate.

“What now?”

“I don’t know. I sort of believe, I mean, I like to think that his soul went to another baby. Another mother. Maybe she’d been waiting a long time.” He stares at me, uncomprehending, and I know it’s futile, but I try again. “I pretend sometimes that…the universe…thought, there is so much joy here, they can handle this pain, and so it gave the little spark to someone else.”

Time says nothing and I raise my voice angry and frustrated. “Is that how it works?”

He shrugs, “I don’t know.” His eyes narrow and he scans my face. “Is that how you believe it works?”

“I don’t know.”

“If it was, would you take it away?”

“No,” I whisper, “no, I couldn’t.”

He holds out his hand to me, palm up, fingers spread. “When do we go then?” My arms stay at my side and his arm slowly drops, his smile fades to a crestfallen look.

A tear slides down my cheek, but it is happiness, not grief that fills me. Or, maybe it is sadness, but it’s the good kind. Sadness because I’ve lived the way I want to live, most of the time, fully, optimistically, without hitting the brakes in caution, without wavering or ducking life to avoid potential pain.

“No,” I tell him, “steal what you will, I wouldn’t change a thing.”

He winces with disappointment. “Yes,” he murmurs as he fades away, “that’s how it almost always works.”

Editor’s Pick by MommyTime at Mommy’s Martini. Stacey is a writer after my own heart. She writes long, introspective, beautiful posts and tackles topics that range all over the map. With three-year-old “forced twins” (one adopted, one not), a two-year-old, and another child on the way, she more than has her hands full. And yet she finds time to think deeply and long, write profoundly, and still manages to make me laugh sometimes too. This post, in fact, is somewhat unlike her usual style in its commingling of fiction with her deepest introspection, but that is why I love it. Just when you think you’re getting to know her, she does something new. You may want to see the original comments on this post. I hope you surely will want to subscribe. You won’t regret it.

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Faddahs.

Family Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally published on Moosh in Indy}

Moosh- your dad is up in bed snoring and moaning like a severely wounded walrus. Today is Father’s Day and I just wanted to let you know, as someone who’s lived with your dad for seven years that the teasing and relentless obnoxiousness will likely never stop. It’s how he shows us that he loves us.

Seriously.

Your shrieks of horror and protest must be music to your dad’s ears or else he wouldn’t insist on pissing you off so often. He never had a brother. We have to forgive him for this. Guy just doesn’t know how to be surrounded by wimmin all the time. It’s made him a little crazy. Good news? Any brothers that you may have will pale in comparison to what your faddah dishes out.

There is a moment in your birth video where he reaches out and touches you really REALLY quick while the nurses are cleaning you off. He didn’t want to get in trouble. You can hear the nurses say “It’s okay dad, she’s yours, you can touch her all you want.” Later when he told me that he got to be the first! to! touch! you! was the first time I ever saw him weakened with the power a little girl holds over her daddy. He hasn’t recovered since. You are his world.

In another hour he will get up and start teasing us. And poking us. And annoying us. This is how boys show they like you. From kindergarten to high school to marriage. The more they pick on you the more smitten they are.

I think it would be impossible for daddy to be any more smitten with us.

We’re lucky ladies.

Happy Father’s Day dude.

Editor’s Pick by Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Megan Jordan from Velveteen Mind: Moosh in Indy is one of our favorites here at Blog Nosh Magazine and this post brought tears to my eyes.  Casey captured in so few words what would take me scrolls and scrolls of the mouse to express.  That is a great way to sum up Casey and my highest recommendation for you to check her out.  Subscribe and follow her on twitter for laughter and tears, all rolled into one tiny package.  As in, do it yesterday.  Ooh, and that video featured in our NoshTube over there in the sidebar?  That’s by Casey, too.  (if you are reading this late, then no, that video about how to make cool cappucino foam is not by Casey.)

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Soccer

Family Blog Nosh Magazine {Originally posted on The Wind In Your Vagina}

Jenna always works 1 day on the weekend and you can never really tell if it’s going to be Saturday or Sunday. When Jackson started to play soccer games on Saturdays, Jenna suddenly started working every single Saturday. What an ODD scheduling coincidence. Poor Jenna. She is deprived of youth soccer AND the joy of watching a 4-year-old girl who hates her brother’s soccer games. No parent should ever be asked to miss these experiences.

But then she got last Saturday off. At last. Jenna could come to soccer with us.

MetroDad recently pointed out on his blog that we’re raising a nation of pussies. The kids are urged to “use their words” in a world where they can’t leave the house without a helmet and a safety net. The crazy thing about Jackson’s soccer league is that this insidious process of wimpification is being extended to the parents. We’re being declawed. Before the kids were allowed to play their first game, we had to sign a Spectator Contract and initial each rule (and yes I’m totally serious).

These included limited shouting. If we do shout, we promise to shout only positive messages. We are to cheer for our team’s successes but not the opposing team’s mistakes. At no time are we permitted to question the calls of the referees (this sets an example of bad sportsmanship for the kids). And my favorite: After every game, we promise to ask our child what was the most FUN about the game.

Ahh Ha Ha Ha Ha.

Anyway, the Soccer Gods saw fit to smile on Jackson on this particular Saturday and he found himself with the ball and no opposing players between him and the goal. GO JACKSON! Nothing but green grass and a nervous goalie. O MY GOD GO JACKSON! A defensive player was gaining on him but he had plenty of time. TAKE THE SHOT JACKSON! The crowd inhaled—KICK IT JACKSON KICK IT—as the kid behind him slid—HURRY UP AND KICK IT—and tripped my kid into a defeated pile of elbows and knees. The ball rolled limply into the goalie’s hands, unkicked.

No penalty. The crowd erupted into a stifled grumble. But there was nothing we could do. We had signed the contracts. Even as we witnessed blatant and obvious unsportsmanlike conduct, the soccer league had removed our right to protest. It wouldn’t be nice. It might hurt the cheater’s feelings. Then the happy soccer game wouldn’t be fun or nice and a rainbow might catch on fire.

“THAT’S BULLSHIT!!!”

Jenna served as a channel for the soccer collective. Everyone looked at her. We all just kinda blinked. It’s such a relief when something explodes.

We can try to teach everyone to be safe and nice with the hope of creating a world of super safe niceness. But what about the need, for our own health and the culture’s, to scream that’s bullshit? What benefits for the system might reside in a theory of healthy rage? You tripped my kid. And that’s bullshit. You voted Yes on Proposition 8. And that’s bullshit. You’re trying to legislate the expression of anger and the boundaries of love. And it’s just all a bunch of fucking bullshit.

I hope Jenna has next Saturday off.

Editor’s Pick by Amy Turn Sharp of Doobleh-vay : I love Black Hockey Jesus. He is funny, strange, and wildly inappropriate and yet endearing and interesting. I like it when bloggers let it all hang out and he does with flair! He is a great family man and it show through no matter what outrageous topic he is thinking about! You can subscribe to his feed here. Rock on BHJ!

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The Infant Slim Fast Diet (republished via Maddie’s Dad)

Family

{Originally published on The Newborn Identity}

A couple days ago I said that, thanks to Rigby, I had cared for Madeline flawlessly for the most part. I’m not going to say this statement was untrue, but I will do my best impression of a contract lawyer and direct you to the statement, “for the most part.” Before you get too worried please realize that no babies were harmed in this production. Nonetheless, I may have made one pretty bad mistake while caring for Maddie that, when I realized what I had done, made me tear up. Wait. The contract lawyer in me has advised me to revise that statement. I didn’t tear up…dudes never tear up unless “Field Of Dreams” comes on TBS…I just inexplicably found that wetness had appeared on my eyeballs.

So, as you may know, Maddie is off the bottom of the weight chart for her age not only because she was a preemie, but also because she has been adversely affected by the media’s tendency to glamorize women of nearly anorexic weights. Okay. Maybe it was mainly because she was a preemie, but I’m pretty sure that re-run of “The Simple Life” I once watched while feeding her didn’t help.

Anyhoo, the first week I was left home alone with Maddie my wife left me with a million instructions on how to take care of her. There were ten steps to be followed when changing a diaper, elaborate demonstrations of how to swaddle her, heck, there may have even been a long discussion of how to even breathe around the kid. That last one may have been an exaggeration, but it gives you the idea.

At the end of my first week as Maddie’s day-time caretaker Heather came home and was very impressed with my work. Had I correctly instituted the ten step instructions on how to change her diaper? Check. Was I able to swaddle her pefectly in ten seconds or less? Check. Did I put two scoops of formula into the 110 cc’s of water every time I fed her? Check, er, what? TWO SCOOPS? I thought it was just one!

Heather’s jaw dropped. “You’ve only been giving her one scoop?”

I cleared my throat and said, “Um, er, perhaps?”

Heather was not happy. “That’s just great, babe,” she said (although she may have said something less loving than babe), “because our baby is already so fat!”

This is when “Field Of Dreams” suddenly came on TBS. I looked at my little Kate Moss baby and felt like the worst dad ever. After a few seconds, however, she smiled at me with an expression that said, if I wasn’t exactly the world’s best dad, I was pretty decent. I scooped her into my arms and smothered her with kisses.

Ever since that little hiccup Maddie has received two, if not two and a half scoops, in every bottle I’ve ever given her, and when “The Simple Life” comes on I change the channel and tell her that most men actually find Kate Winslet way hotter than Paris Hilton.

Editor’s Pick by Ashlee from Mama’s Nest: As a fellow preemie parent I can definitely relate to intensity of packing on the preemie pounds. Mike’s hilarious take on his days as a stay-at-home dad and life in general will keep you cracking up and coming back for more. Read more of The Newborn Identity and be sure to subscribe so you never miss any of his crazy stories. Read the original post, as well as his readers’ comments about one baby’s unintentional diet regime.

***Update***

Maddie passed away on April 7, 2009. The Newborn Identity and Maddie’s mom’s blog, The Spohrs Are Multiplying, may be up and down this week due to high traffic demands. Fellow bloggers are helping to stabilize the sites, but keep checking back. Regular updates are available via their friend Meghan, as well.

In the meantime, please show your support by donating to the March of Dimes (in lieu of flowers, at the family’s request) or directly to the Spohrs via PayPal sent to the email address: formaddie@hotmomreviews.com

5

Special Needs

Family Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally published on The Big Piece of Cake}

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before – but my three year old son, Oliver is weird.

This is at least partly due to something called SPD (sensory processing disorder) that causes him to engage in activities that “feed” his need for a lot of sensory input. His teacher explained this to me by saying, “remember that kid in your class who just couldn’t stay in his chair? The one who would fidget so much that he’d actually fall out of it sometimes?” Well yes actually – I do.

I remember several kids like that. They were the ones who ate paste in kindergarten, fell into the pond on the second grade field trip and consistently got in trouble for “touching people” in more or less every grade through middle school. And now, as it turns out, I’ve given birth to one.

This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise since we speculate that my father was like this as a boy, AND after reading up on the subject, my husband says that he was definitely a sensory seeking SPD child. Thanks guys – you’re the best. The inability to walk past a puddle without lying down in it was one of the qualities I prayed for every night when I was pregnant with Oliver. Right up there with ten fingers, ten toes and the immediate ability to sleep through the night. (I’m just kidding about that last one of course. No first time pregnant woman worries about something as silly as their child sleeping through the night. They’re too busy obsessing over baby names, nursery themes, and important registry items like educational mobiles.)

Oliver also has very delayed speech, and adds a lot of jargoning (the official word for jibber jabber) to his special needs quirkiness. So yes – I have one very odd little duck as my first born. I have of yet to meet any almost four year old like him. And the truth is – I love him for every single bizarre behavior he throws my way.

I don’t just think he’s “special” – I think he’s FABULOUS. No one – and I mean no one – shows enthusiasm for preferred activities like Oliver. He doesn’t just hug you – he flings himself at you. He doesn’t just watch DVDs – he acts out the stories. He doesn’t just finger paint – he body paints. He doesn’t just say “please” – he proclaims PLEASE! He loves to be tickled and will beg you to keep going until even you can’t stand it anymore.

His exuberance makes me smile, then laugh, then cry from laughing so hard. And I think my heart might break when I worry about the people who won’t understand him or appreciate him. The people who will hurt him or bully him. Or make him feel any less than the very sweet little soul than he is. Because that will happen.

Instead of wasting my time on worries though, I prefer to plan for tomorrow, next week and next year. I work with his teacher on figuring out where this speech delay originates and strategize about how to correct it in the short and long term. We have more or less ruled out autism with a pediatric neurologist and are on to having his ultra-waxy ears cleaned out for a hearing test so that he can be assessed by a developmental pediatrician. As Miss Erin (or as Oliver calls her, “Miss Smerin”) likes to say, he is a bit of a puzzle. There seem to be several issues at play and all are fairly elusive…

But I really don’t spend too much time thinking about the problems and the boy that he was “supposed to be.” I’m far too busy enjoying the boy that he is. I recently spoke with a close childhood friend who has an autistic son and we agreed that not only is this better for them, it’s better for us. In describing her own son, she said, “every day, he makes us laugh. He’s just his own little person. While the other boys are in time outs for fighting over what to watch on TV, he’s busy figuring out the remote controls.”

This makes me happy just thinking about it – the fact that it’s okay like our kids for being different. Who got to decide that there is only one way to be anyway?

But the hard reality is that there is a standard for “normal.” That’s the reason that there is a special needs label. And it is our job to take our special needs children and try to teach them how to navigate a world that wasn’t set up with them in mind. It’s hard. And it’s scary. For all of us. But it’s not impossible.

I could so easily fall into despair over the “what ifs” associated with Oliver’s future – but what good does that do either of us? He deserves better than that. I’m the grownup and I set the tone for our house. If I am an emotional wreck over the things I can’t control, then everyone suffers for it. And at the end of the day, he’s not responsible for my feelings – but I am responsible for his.

So if he finds a ball of yarn entertaining, and wants to spend his quiet time unraveling it and then lashing all of the furniture together…fine. I’ll clean it up later (but only after he’s gone to bed since its disappearance could usher in “the end of the world”). If he wants to bring 12 straws to bed with him – or possibly all of the kid toothbrushes we own – who am I to judge? Perhaps this is soothing to him. Maybe he likes the way they feel in his hand – or just the fact that he can hold “all” of something in that one hand. He jargons reasons to me and I just say “fine.” I may do a little struggling first, but in the end, I let him decide. No one ever died from bringing straws to bed.

And every day I see progress – and his beautiful smile. And I know that it will be okay. Even though I understand that he’ll never be the easy going child that glides effortlessly through life. Or…maybe he eventually will. I’ll never know if I don’t do everything I can to help cultivate his self confidence. And his confidence in my own unwavering support.

My son is the greatest gift that I have ever been given. All of my children are. And I refuse to squander any of this fleeting time with them on anger or ingratitude.

I’m not a particularly religious person, but I consider each one of my children to be miraculous. And their current challenges and oddities just make them all the more unique and special. I need all of them as much as I need food and water. I need them to be safe and I need them to be happy. I need them to grow and laugh and love and know that there is nothing more important in this world to me than their existence. And if they have their own special needs – then I will meet them. I will be there from the time that they are unaware of these challenges to the time that their own personal demons emerge. I will always be there for them. Because in the end, I need them far more than they could ever need me.

Editor’s pick by Amy Turn Sharp of Doobleh-vay: I love Kate’s blog so much. She is so funny and refreshing as she writes what she wants and she is honest and charming. She is a very engaging blogger who really loves her community and wants to connect. I loved this post about her son and found great love in her words. I love Kate so much because she tells it how it is! Subscribe to her blog today!

7

The Dirty Truths No One Shares with New Moms

Familyb_2_2

{Originally published on It’s My Life.}

“I am so tired.” She said, “why don’t they tell you about this?”

“Bu-uh-ut,” I stammered. “I did tell you.”

And I had, over and over again, for at least the last four months of her her pregnancy.

“Oh, I know,” she answered. “I just didn’t realize that no sleep, meant really no sleep.”

I thought back to all the times I’d tried to warn her and I knew I was partially to blame. It’s true. We don’t tell our pregnant friends everything, not because we don’t think they can take it, not because we don’t think they’ll believe us, but because it hurts to relive it and it’s easier to joke about sleepless nights than to go into details about how hard it really is.

So, my dears, here it is, the dirty dirty truth. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

No one tells you that you will stand in the shower day after day and sob because you can’t stand the thought of getting out and facing your baby again. No one tells you that some days you stand in that shower and it takes all your willpower not to curl up into a ball on the ground under the pelting shower stream. You don’t let yourself because you know that you’d never get up again.

No one tells you that with every lost hour of sleep you go slowly a bit more crazy and that the middle of the night is the darkest, scariest, and loneliest time. That you will dread the dusk because it’s the signal that night is coming and you just don’t know if you can survive another night.

No one tells you that you will grow to hate being touched and that some days it will again take all your willpower not to scream when someone places a hand on you, even as a gesture of love and support. By the same token, no one tells you that you will grow to hate sex or even the promise of sex and resent the person requiring it from you. Sex becomes just another chore at the end of a long and tedious day of tending to people’s needs. A chore that requires a lot of touching.

No one tells you that spending all day with a baby is boring. Mindnumbingly boring.

No one tells you that you will feel like half your brain has up and left you. You will forget everything. You will lose the ability to multi-task. You will lose the ability to form a coherent sentence.

No one tells you that you will resent, and even sometimes hate your kids, for many, many things like destroying your body and stealing your brain.

No one tells you that you’re going to lose your hair by the fistful and pee your pants when you sneeze.

No one tells you that you will hate breastfeeding. That it’s going to be the hardest thing you will ever have done. That your nipples will crack and bleed and that you will have to bite down on something, a blanket, your t-shirt, a burp cloth, every time the baby latches on. That you might not produce any milk or that you might produce too much and that you’re going to feel betrayed by your boobs over and over again. And yet you will persevere long beyond what a rational person would endure and yet you won’t be able to articulate why you can’t just quit and admit defeat already.

No one tells you how relieved you will be if you do finally throw in the towel and just focus on enjoying your baby or when miraculously your nursing woes vanish and you suddenly realize that you haven’t needed to bite down on something during the latch in a while.

No one tells you that you will feel like every other mother is doing a much better job and that you know they think you’re a terrible mom.

No one tells you that you will constantly second guess every little parenting decision you make.

No one tells you that you will be sure that your baby secretly hates you.

No one tells you that you’re terrified that your child will love her daycare providers more than you. And they might tell you that it’s not true, but you won’t believe them until you see it for yourself.

No one tells you that you will eventually grow to want sex again. That you’ll want to be hugged and touched again. That you’ll have time to spend with your partner and that you’ll want it that way.

No one tells you that you will fall in love with your baby, maybe not on day one or even on day 30, but on one day, when you will wake up and look into those eyes and understand why people kill to protect their children.

No one tells you just how much your life will change, how much you will change, how much your relationship with others will change. Or how OK you will eventually be with all that, once you make peace with your body’s shortcomings and finally, finally, get some sleep.


Editor’s Pick by MommyTime at Mommy’s Martini. I’m new to reading It’s My Life. In fact, this is the first post of Jessica Rosenberg’s I read. But it struck such a deep chord with me that I had to nab it for Blog Nosh. I vividly remember feeling, as a brand-new mother, that it was not okay to admit that I wasn’t loving every minute of my life with an infant.  Jessica captures the heartache and loneliness, the physical and mental exhaustion, so perfectly — and she is not afraid to say that all new mothers need to know they are not alone in this. I admired her honesty here, and I kept reading and reading and reading. Her blog is full of such eloquence and truth. You might want to check out the original post with comments. Or subscribe now. You’ll be glad you did.

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Perspective

Family Blog Nosh Magazine {Originally posted on Momo Fali}

The way I look at the world has changed. It’s not because I’m getting older and it’s, for sure, not because I’m getting any wiser. It’s because I am the parent of a child who doesn’t fit the mold.

My son is not typical. He is not autistic, he doesn’t have Downs, there is no disease, disorder, or diagnosis of any kind. On one hand, that’s something for which I am happy. On the other hand, it can sometimes be frustrating.

The geneticists were sure there would be some way to classify him, but after extensive testing they came up with nothing. He is an enigma.

His expressive speech is that of a three year old, yet his teacher says he’s gifted. He is still in need of therapy, but our county agency doesn’t want to pay for it anymore because his I.Q. is too high.

He has a hearing loss, but it’s not something a hearing aid can help. He loves music, but can not sing you a song. He can read a book, but can’t tell you what it was about after he closes the cover. Yet, he can take a computer test on that book the next day and get every question right. So far this school year, he has taken 103 such tests.

His defective heart is stable enough that he can ride roller coasters and play sports, but an anesthesiologist at an outpatient surgery center won’t touch him because he’s a “heart kid”. Something as simple as ear tubes requires a trip to the hospital. A tonsillectomy meant an overnight stay in the ICU.

He’ll be seven in May, and as of Sunday he weighed 37 pounds. He can ride a bike, but can barely reach the pedals.

His is different. He is special. And, you know what? It’s all in how you look at things. My kid’s clock may turn counter-clockwise, but he still knows what time it is.

Editors Pick from Amy of Doobleh-vay. Momo Fali is a daily read for me.  She is hysterical and real and breaks it down each day for me. I love the humor mixed in with the hard issues of family life. I think she is a true gem of the blogosphere. Check out the funny things like this that her son says! Follow her on Twitter here and subscribe to her blog here. Momo Rules!

9

Choices

Family Blog Nosh Magazine {Originally published by ConverseMomma on Ordinary Art.}

When I was having the first of three miscarriages, sitting on the couch stuffing ice cream in my mouth, and sobbing at all the EPT commercials on television, a bloody maxi pad tucked between my legs, I got a phone call from someone close to me. She was pregnant, young, scared, and about to have an abortion. She wanted me to console her. She wanted me to wrap my arms around her and rock away the regret. I remember wanting to slap her. Instead, I spoke calmly through clenched teeth. I told her it was going to be okay, assured her that I loved her, even as I felt the soft spots of my heart, that once she had claimed, hardening against the impact. It was not fair of her, of me, of circumstance. But, this is how it was.

Two miscarriages, an oncologist office, and a handful of “experts” later, they told me I would never be a mother, not in the traditional sense that I had always imagined when I was young and reckless with the way I used my body. Instead, I pinned my hopes to adoption, on an 18 year-old girl. She wore a tiny bikini the weekend that we met, and swam beside me in the hotel pool. She just knew she could never have an abortion, not with all those couples eager and waiting. She wanted, instead, to give a gift. I thought about her capacity for bravery, and all I could do was hug her, go back to my hotel room, and cry.

When my son was born, and the nurses called me Mommy, the woman who carried him for nine months and pushed him out into this world, lay weary in her bed beside us. The beginnings of her loss were already creeping across the hospital room. I just could not see it. I did not think her choice was anything but noble, me being on the receiving end of it. We celebrated with popsicles sticks that left our fingers sticky and blue, and I tried not to see the way her mother had to hold her up, her unsure legs too shaky for the long walk to the parking lot, unassisted. In the months that went by, her grief only grew. It became something large and imposing, threatening the fragile bonds that we had established all those months that she had been convinced the choice would be an easy one, but turned out never to be. My son is a gift she gave me, but at what cost to herself? That is the question left unanswered between us.

I did not want to acknowledge the loss. I just wanted the simple celebration that I thought should be my right as a new mother. For a long time, I was so thankful for my son’s birthmother’s decision that every time I heard the word abortion I considered it a slight against the blonde-haired child that I held in my arms, and sang lullabies to against the backdrop of silence, in the nursery with the walls I had painted in blue. I felt abortion was a kick straight to the empty damaged uterus that I carried inside my body. How could a woman be selfish enough to have an abortion when adoption was an alternative, when couples waited years to fill their homes with the pitter patter of little feet, when my son was alive and growing strong because of his birthmother’s choice?

This answer is simple.

Those women are not me. They have their own paths, their own reasons, their own stories to tell. If I keep sitting here in judgment, expecting them to make determinations with their body based on the heartbreak of my own, than I have no right to call myself mother, sister, and friend. I dishonor the pain that my son’s birthmother suffered when she let Bug go, with nothing but the hope he might come back to thank her for it, when I expect every woman faced with this decision to choose as she did. Adoption is not an easy choice, and not the only one worth making. The truth is that these decisions are never simple. I know that. And this is why I write these words down, and will my heart to listen. I want to be glad when I read something like this, and learn that there are women who live without regret. I need to support that. I need to understand it. If I don’t, I will be the one stuck carrying around a regret that should not belong to me.


Editor’s Pick by MommyTime at Mommy’s Martini. Ordinary Art is one of the first blogs I discovered when I found out blogging existed, and I was hooked from day one.  ConverseMomma is a lyrical writer who isn’t afraid to explore the sometimes searing emotions associated with mothering.  With two young children, a job outside the home, an intense love for her family, and deep aspirations to pursue her writing full-time, ConverseMomma’s blog explores a whole host of topics that expose the difficulties, contradictions, and beauty that make up a mother’s life.  In fact, she told me, she almost pulled this post because she was concerned that it was too raw — and that’s precisely why I admire her: she thinks so carefully about what she does and doesn’t shy away from what can be hard to write (or read). You may be interested in seeing this post with its original comments.  And while you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe to this wonderful writer.

7

Remember

Family Blog Nosh Magazine {Originally published on The Extraordinary Ordinary.}

“You’re not going to remember any of it anyway,” was what she said. I felt like she had just socked me in the stomach. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but forgetting makes perfect sense. I do it all the time.

But this? I’m not going to remember this? I guess she would know, she’s been through it.

The sleepless nights, the loads of diapers and laundry, the tantrums, the baths, the food flung across the floor. Those are the things she was referring to, saying I’d forget all of that. She was meaning to encourage me. And yes, I don’t really mind that I’ll forget all of that. I will enjoy my hindsight rose colored glasses when they arrive years from now.

But I would gladly remember all of the stress and strain, fatigue and frustration vividly if it meant I would remember all the rest just the same.

PatacakeBecause it makes me sad to realize that I’m also bound to forget the beauty of these years. That fresh out of the bath smell. That toothy grin. The way Miles says ‘careful’ about five different ways, all of them hilarious. The wiggle of Asher’s shoulders as he does a little dance. The pudgy little fingers holding tight to that blankie. Those pouty little lips. That laugh. Oh, that laugh from the gut that surrounds me and makes me feel hugged. I will miss that. I don’t want to forget.

She said that even though she had pictures and videos, it wasn’t the same. She still couldn’t remember on her own. The pictures were reminders, but not experiences. The videos seemed to be of a child she no longer knows, because she can’t remember.

I suppose it’s like my own childhood memories, vague and a bit fuzzy around the edges. Some more vivid, but always fleeting. Like a dream you wake up from and try to get back to by quickly closing your eyes and willing yourself to remember. Most of the time you can’t. I suppose it’s like that.

I wish I was going to be able to remember it all. Miles and I running through puddles in a down pour at the Farmer’s Market, splashing and laughing. Miles a little unsure at first, then looking at me, reading my face and relaxing, letting himself have fun in the rain. His drenched hair and wide eyes. The slap-slap-slap of his shoes as he ran. The smell of rain, herbs and flowers in the air as I listened to the thunder and my son’s laughter. Oh, how I want to remember.

“You’re not going to remember it anyway.”

I thought about forgetting so much after this conversation. I thought my heart would break at the realization that I’m going to forget.

Then I thought about the future, pictured myself sitting there trying to remember. I imagined it and realized that the mom in that photo in my mind wasn’t sad. This Future Me wasn’t sad. Because these two boys were still there, making new memories with me. They were 6 and 8, or 16 and 18. They were 30 and 32. And I imagined how I will still be there, wanting to eat up every moment, pouring my love on them and watching their lives.

Even if I’m not going to remember it all, I want to live it all. There’s not a thing, good or bad, I want to miss.

Maybe I’ll be blessed with a good memory in this regard, maybe I won’t. But that will not stop me from living fully aware of the details and fine lines, the tones and the under-tones, the expressions and vivid moments full of life and laughter. The scrunched up nose and crocodile tears. The look in their eyes while they make new discoveries. The feel of their skin. The sound of their voices. Right now. Today.

I am living what I might forget. But I am still going to live it. As long as they are mine to hold in this life, I will live it with them. That makes all the sad thoughts of forgetting turn to happy thoughts of living, eyes turned toward today rather than yesterday. And a heart filled with joy in the expectancy of tomorrow.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t hope that I’ll remember.

Editor’s pick by MommyTime of Mommy’s Martini. Heather’s blog, The Extraordinary Ordinary, is a wonderful mix of stories about the day-to-day moments that make up our lives as parents and deep, beautiful sentiments like this one. She is someone I added to my reader almost instantly, as her writing never fails to lift my spirits. You can check out the original post and all her readers’ comments, or, better yet, subscribe now, so you won’t miss a single one of her funny or heart-warming stories.

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