A Bigger Heart…

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Cupcakes sick, nothing serious but sick nonetheless ;(

No book, class or “must have” list prepares you emotionally for motherhood. I always wondered how I would feel at times when my baby girl was hurting.

My mom has told me countless stories of my rather sickly childhood and I have vivid memories of quite a few of them. I remember my mom sitting up with me as I battled chronic strep throat and my dad was often there too even though “Mom” was always the first name yelled. I was the one in pain so I never even contemplated how they must have felt.

Well, now I know.

It’s awful 😦 Her cries are raspy and her sobs congested. Her great big eyes look up at me.. AT ME! I’m now the one who is supposed to save the day. How did my mom do it? She always knew just what to do. I immediately feel inadequate and contemplate getting a T-shirt made that says Rookie Parent!

She has a bad cold, it will pass. In the meantime I will pick her up when she cries and kiss her tears and tell her its ok..why oh why didn’t my pediatrician send me home with a list of things to do to help ME cope!

I remember preparing my list of things that I just “had to have” like that useless wipe warmer, and that list seems so frivolous right now. In all honestly, new moms need to know that you will somehow have to make your heart bigger and stronger at the same time. Anyone know any stores that carry a device that can do that??

Imagine a Wonder Woman cape tied around your heart..yup that describes the “new heart” you will need.

I know dealing with a sick baby is just one instance in which I will feel ill equipped in this motherhood thing. Experienced mommies I know you are just shaking your head and saying ” poor thing this is nothing, just wait until…” Well you see I’m not ready for the next thing to happen. I’m still trying to figure out how to be..well like my mom was.

How did she know how to do and fix EVERYTHING!

Well that’s the beauty of motherhood..we mommies often make it look easy when inside our heart is trying to glue its cape back on.

So here is my advice to myself and other “Rookie Mommies”:

▪   Step 1- BREATHE!

▪   Step 2- Wrap your superhero cape around your heart.

▪   Step 3- Look into your little ones eyes and say, “Mommy will fix it”. You may not have the slightest idea how or if you can and that’s ok..well, it is ok for me now. I may lose this tactic once she can talk and reason with me;)

For now this approach calmed her and she closed her eyes and fell asleep in my arms. Tears built up in my eyes because I now realized how my mom felt all of those times.

I hugged Cupcake a little tighter, put her back in her crib and prayed ” Dear God, please give me a bigger heart and a couple of capes. I have a feeling one will not be enough.”

Hoping your little ones or not so little ones are healthy and happy! And if anyone knows of a heart cape maker please send him or her my way;)

Keep Calm Mamas!

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Breastfeeding is a choice…and it’s MY choice.

I took the “must attend” classes and read multiple books on the subject and afterwards thought come on now, how hard can it really be? Well, it’s like having a second FULL TIME job..yes the benefit package is second to none and I’m not resigning anytime soon but the requirements are pretty tough I have to say.  Here is a sample of the “job description”:

▪   drink excessive amounts of water (and here I was thinking the constant bathroom trips were over).

▪   eat more calories than you would care to (since your trying to see your feet again)  or else your milk supply will diminish. I  have tested this theory selfishly and yup it is true!

▪   live your life in 3-4 hour increments.. seriously?!? I think this chapter was omitted ON PURPOSE from every book I read!

I’m always thinking to myself “Where will I be in  3 hours from the last time I fed her?” If I’m out I try to strategically make sure I’m by a Nordstrom, who by the way wins the award for having the BEST Momma’s Milking Lounge around..ok, yes, it’s their bathroom  but it has comfy couches, clean changing tables and seems to be the hang out spot for other Breast Feeding Mamas!

If we are out and about and not near my good friend Nordies, I’m fishing out my “peak a boo tent”  as I like to call it since its officially the time in which she likes to make mama a flasher, and trying to find a spot to feed her that wont draw stares or make someone else feel uncomfortable.

As August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month and August 15th is PBD (Public Display of Breastfeeding Day), I have done even more reading on breastfeeding and it’s so sad that many new moms make the choice not to breastfeed out of shame. Yes, I know many moms choose not to do it for other reasons and that is a personal decision that I have no right to judge.  Many other moms simply cant for medical, supply issues and I can only imagine how hard that is as well.

As I read countless stories about people being offended by “witnessing” a breastfeeding session, I wonder if that person looking with disgust at the mom breastfeeding could put themselves in her shoes just for a moment or at least have some empathy/compassion.  If they could see a woman who slept for as little as 4 interrupted hours the night before, running on empty because she has only eaten..or perhaps hasn’t even eaten, and has been wearing the same sweatpants for 3 days because..need I even explain why, would they change their tone/approach? Well, that person was me many many days in the first couple of months..who am I kidding its still me some days and I’m so glad that no one ever approached me and asked me to stop “attending to the needs of my child” because I fear what “my hormones” may have said!

Listen, I’m not saying that I want to stand in the middle of a busy mall ,sit down and breastfeed Cupcake but if I need to feed her in a place that may be public I’m going to do so as discreetly as I possibly can with a squirmy almost 7 month old.

I’m simply feeding my child. Some prefer or can only feed via bottle and my food happens to come from me 🙂

The next time you see a mom breastfeeding, smile at her! That may be just the acknowledgment/encouragement she needs to keep going.  Better yet, just smile at moms in general..we need all the encouragement we can get 😉

So keep calm breastfeeding mamas ,in fact all mamas just keep calm!  AND if all else fails go to Nordstrom ,they accept every type of mama…just bring a full wallet;)

Now go give someone you know who is breastfeeding a BIG HUG 🙂

190 days…

Happy 190 days to my Cupcake!! Ok before you think I have lost my mind or am going to have a party to celebrate this day, I’m being sarcastic, kinda;)

So here’s the deal…for 9 months, 39 weeks or 273 days I counted down to every pregnancy milestone. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Today marks the end of your 1st trimester..Hooray!! Time to say goodbye to that annoying morning sickness and hello to feeling your BEST EVER!  Are you kidding me? Who writes this stuff? If you weren’t feeling like this, don’t worry I wasn’t either, you were left feeling like something was wrong with you or rushed to call your OB (who was #1 on my speed dial even by this point)!
  • Or how about, Congratulations you have entered your 3rd trimester! Time to put your feet up and stockpile that sleep because, lets all chime in now, ” You will never sleep the same again”. Ok, yes that part is true but at that particular time when I was swollen, hungry but couldn’t eat because of my new friend chronic acid reflux and was so tired but couldn’t sleep due to the tiny human jumping bean inside my belly, the last thing I wanted to hear was  “sleep while you can”!
  • Now here’s one of my favorites.. Your (fill in the number of weeks) your baby now looks like a “name that fruit”. Again seriously!

As you may know, I love celebrating milestones so I was happily posting “Cupcakes now the size of a pumpkin” just as proudly as she had won the spelling bee but after she was born I just wanted to stop counting! Why? Well because it’s too damn exhausting especially for the Type A person that I am. Every time Baby Center sends me a reminder email that tells me “Congratulations your baby is now X number of weeks” a pain of anxiety rushes through me before I open it. I think to myself, what should she be doing now and if she hasn’t reached that milestone is something wrong with her! It got to be ridiculous! I started to create a spreadsheet titled ” Cupcakes Plan To Crawling” because she just should be crawling by now, right?…wait how many weeks is she again???

Everyone always says it goes by so fast but maybe its because as moms we are in perpetual count down mode. What if we just really approached the day with no expectations and just watched our little ones from eyes that weren’t expecting anything? As adults we rarely get the chance to “just be” but childhood is just for that.

I was out the other day at my second home, Buy Buy Baby, and another mom asked how old Cupcake was and I froze. I thought to myself, wait is she asking me because my daughter is doing something inappropriate for her age? I know, crazy right! Well I then answered, “she will be turning 7 months on the 21st” and I left her to fill in the gaps using her own expectations and I let go of mine.

My daughter will approach her milestones at her own pace whether I say to her “Yay, you are 28 weeks today” or “Cupcake, today marks the day you should be sleeping through the night” TIME OUT..NEVER say that to your child because they will secretly plot an all night party just to spite you.I have witnessed this with my own eyes!!

Its been said that the days are long but the years are short. Well perhaps if we moms stopped counting down to every little detail we could play a trick on time. Today, just celebrate today and write down the milestones that were created and not check off the ones that should have been reached.

So today Cupcake_____________, well lets just wait and see the day isn’t over yet!

PS. Cupcake is 25 seconds old in this picture…but who’s counting 😉

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T.G.I.F…

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Ahh I remember those days…the count down to the weekend!  My old friend ” Friday Night”, even writing his name makes me blush ;)!  I can close my eyes and memories of him come running back to me:

  • What new bar/restaurant will I try tonight?
  • Will I wear my skinny jeans and black stilettos OR my skinny jeans and my new hot pink stilettos…this decision alone had be consulting five friends to make that crucial decision.
  • Will I stay out to 3am OR call it an early night and come home at 1am so I can really sleep in on Saturday…what’s that, define “sleep-in”- EXACTLY!

You see my old friend “Friday Night” is no longer around.  No no, don’t be sad, we had a great run and made many MANY memories that I’m so glad I didn’t post all over cyberspace. My new friend “Friday Night” now looks a little like every other night of the week:

  • I’m exhausted by 4pm but somehow have to make it until 8pm when I religiously say the rosary so she will sleep at least 6 straight hours!
  • I’m wearing a spit up stained shirt because I have given up on the “I’m always going to look good no matter what” new mom fantasy!
  • I spend my nights rocking my little sweetheart to sleep instead of…well doing anything else!

As I sit here and cuddle with Cupcake my mind drifts to a time when I was dancing the night away… but you know what, I’m still dancing the night away but this time my dance partner is a 16 pound bundle of sweetness that will ALWAYS have the last dance!

My trendy spot to go on a Friday night these days is a place called home. Sweatpants and spit-up stained shirts are allowed and tonight’s special on tap is ice water with a lemon wedge..oh what the heck lets splurge tonight and make it a double..its Friday night after all!

Here’s hoping your Friday night was something you could Thank God about. I know mine was!

Cheers to You!