Don’t %*#$ with our children

If you’ve been exposed to any manner of media in the last week you can probably guess what this blog is going to be about based solely on the title. Let me start off by saying I usually have to restrain myself from discussing hot topics on this blog or any form of social media because, well, they are hot topics. Everyone is talking, tweeting, texting, blogging, snapchatting about them. My passionate opinion on any given topic is probably similar to someone out there who has already ranted atop a social media soap box so I usually feel discussing it is redundant. Plus, it’s unlikely that sharing my opinion will change the opinions of others, which tends to be the point of many online rants. Instead it will probably only fuel the fire of those who stand in opposition. But this is one hot topic that has set my blood boiling more than most so I’m unleashing the Kraken the best way I know how… via blog.

For those of you who haven’t figured it out yet, I’m here to talk rant about the FCKH8 video featuring children (not just little girls) swearing like Jesse Pinkman about things like unequal pay in the workforce and sexual assault. I’m not going to link to the video, you can find it yourself if you really want to see it. To be honest I turned it off within the first 10 seconds the first time I saw it because I was so appalled. I did go back and watch it from start to finish so I could write this with full knowledge of the video.
There are a handful of important points I could discuss but I’m only going to focus on one.

I’m not going to focus on the fact that FCKH8, the company that produced this viral video, is a “for profit t-shirt company with an activist heart”. Yeah. These folks are using issues like rape to sell t-shirts. Brew on that.

I’m not going to focus on inequality in the workforce. It’s not just women who are subjected to inequality and I’ve thankfully not been personally affected by it so I can’t comment.

I’m not going to focus on sexual assault of women OR men (yes, males are sexually assaulted too, did you forget?). Especially when bodies of college students are being discovered left and right and people are being charged with things like abduction with intent to defile. I just can’t.

I am going to focus on the fact that this company debased children… CHILDREN… to get a point across. Don’t get me wrong, (this is something I really want to stress…) the problems they highlight are relevant, horrible, and worthy of addressing until they are no longer problems. I’ll be the first to admit that and I pray that one day we no longer face these issues. But as a mother of two, a boy and a girl, I am outraged that FCKH8 exploited children by having them use such profane language and smack talk. Yes, this click bait will get millions of views on YouTube, but at the end of the day do they really think that something this in-your-face will make society change it’s ways? How long have people been talking about these issues?

FOREVER.

How many organizations have been fighting against them for years and years?

SO MANY.

How many women and men have been raising their voices in protest of inequality and abuse?

MORE THAN YOU CAN POSSIBLY COUNT.

What about using something this inappropriate, degrading, and disrespectful will help any of these issues get solved? In my mind it’s just creating another problem. Will our children see ads like this and feel it’s okay to be so nasty and rude when they speak up- as long as they’re talking about something they are passionate about? What part of a little girl in a princess dress dropping the F-bomb sixteen times is okay? What part of a little girl yelling, “I shouldn’t need a penis to get paid!” with oh, no she didn’t hand gestures is acceptable? What part of having young girls talk this way is doing anything to help women get paid more and feel safe from sexual assault?

I don’t see how an ad like this is teaching kids, or adults for that matter, to respect themselves or others. Shouldn’t that be at the heart of the issue anyway? They ask us to “stop telling girls how to dress and start teaching boys not to f****** rape”. Yes, teach boys to respect girls at a young age. Teach girls to respect boys as well. Yes, stop making girls feel like they have to show off all their goodies in order to get anywhere in life. Yes, yes, yes. But NO to using this tactic to make it happen.

All I kept thinking while watching the video in full is, “Those poor babies”. Actually, I was also wondering what was going through their parents’ minds when they looked at the script for this commercial. Do you think they saw all the vulgar things their daughters would have to say, and with the nasty attitudes they used, and thought, “Yeah I’m totally okay with my children saying (learning) these things. I think it’s the perfect, respectful way to make society change.” If you wouldn’t let your children say these things to you, in your home, amidst normal conversation, then why are you justifying it for a viral video? I can’t even wrap my head around it.

Toward the end of the video two adult women appear and one says, “UMMM, instead of cleaning these girls’ mouths out with soap, GASP, maybe society should clean up it’s act. This is what a feminist looks like.” I’m sorry, WHAT? This should not be what a feminist looks like. This is, in no way, empowering to young girls. That was your point right? To empower… Try again. I’m all for equal rights for women, of course I am, but I’d never expose my children to this filth, let alone have a leading role in creating it. I’d much rather see these little girls tear off their crowns and gowns to reveal a police uniform, chef hat, judges robe, or surgeons coat. I’d rather see little boys dressed as teachers, dancers, artists, and nurses. That’s empowering. That’s encouraging. That’s a commercial I’d show my children. They’re asking society to clean up it’s act when they are doing a pretty good job of dirtying it up in other ways.

At the end of the day no number of F-bombs from 6 year olds is going to change people’s minds on these topics. They already have their opinions formed. They either want change or they don’t. Allowing children to bad mouth society won’t suddenly make some douche bag say, Hey, maybe I should listen to these tiny cursing humans who are yelling at me and stop being a rapist. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. If it were that easy I’m sure the hundreds of respectful and kind pleas for equality and justice would have cured the world years ago. It seems to me like the main point of this video was to shock. Good job, people are shocked. I am shocked. Good job. People are talking about you. Good job. Maybe you sold some shirts. I certainly won’t be buying one. I don’t care if you send $5.00 from every shirt sold to a “kick-a**” charity. You’re still making money off of adolescent potty mouth princesses. Good job.

Until next time...

My husband, the genius

As a parent, there are few things more terrifying than having the silence of the night broken by the blood-curdling screams of your child. So many scenarios flash through your mind and you are suddenly taken out of reality as you try to figure out what is happening down the hall, up the stairs, or in the next room. Is she hurt? Did she have a nightmare? Did a vampire/werewolf/mutant/bandit break into the house via her bedroom window? All manner of thoughts race through your head from the time you hear that heart-stopping sound to the moment you have your baby in your arms. A few nights ago that’s exactly what happened in our house.

I had just gotten HG latched for his pre-bedtime feeding. That was a miracle in and of itself because since getting his second tooth in, he’s started biting. OUCH. Boobies of the world ache for my suffering. But I digress…
K was already in bed and had been for fifteen minutes or so, about the same amount of time it generally takes her to settle and fall asleep. She’s past the point of crying out when we leave her room so it was a complete shock when I heard her scream. And this wasn’t just an I don’t want to be in my bed or I’m being a punk and demand you read me another story type of scream. This was an I’m terrified scream. I quickly (and gently) broke the suction on HG’s latch, propped him up on my shoulder, and leapt off the couch. I dashed down the hall with my confused baby in tow and burst into through the door to find K, still in her bed, curled up in the fetal position with her hands covering her head. When she realized I was in the room, no doubt because I was shouting “WHAT’S WRONG” in a panicked plea, she sat up on her knees, pointed at an angle toward the corner of the room, and said “IT’S A BUUUUUUUG!!!”

Seriously.

Before I continue I feel the need to share a little insect history… K never paid much attention to bugs until witnessing another little girl have a full on heart attack (not really but you would have thought she’d been stabbed by her scream) at the sight of a basic house fly. And since toddlers are influenced by the slightest little thing, you guessed it, she right-then-and-there became afraid of bugs. We’ve been working with her to just say “Shoo fly!” and carry on with her activity and she’s been making a lot of progress. So you can imagine my shock (and annoyance) when I burst into her room thinking she was defending herself from dementors only to learn that she saw a stinkin’ bug. Now back to the story…

I make my way over to her and reach across the bed rails to comfort her (meanwhile she has retreated back to fetal position and is still crying) while simultaneously trying not to roll my eyes and scan the room to find said bug. I don’t see any signs of the mystery insect so I ask her to show me again where the bug is. She points to the corner of the room and I look up, let my eyes wander, see nothing bug-like, and then something grabs my attention. You should know that in this moment I immediately feel bad for being annoyed with K’s reaction. A spider (and a pretty big one) is hanging from the ceiling directly over where her head would have been if she were laying in bed flat like I left her. This little sucker had pulled some kind of a mission impossible maneuver and had repelled down right over her face. Because of the darkness of her room she probably didn’t even see it until it was practically touching her nose. I would have screamed too baby girl.

It was about this time that Z came upstairs after hearing all the commotion. It was perfect timing because I was in no position to take care of the spider seeing as how in my haste to rescue my screaming child, I’d failed to re-hook the cup of my nursing bra. So not only was I hanging out like a Hooters waitress but was also leaking all over myself and HG.  Being the hero he is, Z quickly squished the spider, who was making a mad-dash back up to the ceiling, between his hands and tossed it in the trash. Seeing my disheveled, and no doubt hysterical, state he assured me he had everything under control and took over consoling K, who was still pretty shaken up.

I went back into our room and resumed nursing HG. I was pleasantly surprised that K’s crying stopped almost immediately after Z took over. Not to knock his parenting ability but normally an event like this would have her spooked and fussy for a good while but within seconds of me situating myself back on the couch she’d completely calmed down. I even heard her happily chit chatting with her daddy (be still my heart) and sweetly wishing him goodnight. Z emerged from her room a few minutes later and I asked him what he did to calm her down so fast. This was his response, and my proof that he is a genius.

“I just told her the spider was Charlotte and that she was coming to snuggle and say goodnight before visiting with Wilbur and going to bed.”

Amazing.

K had watched Charlotte’s Web the day before – her first experience with the story – and had an immediate shift in attitude once the sudden appearance of a spider turned from frightening to friendly. Not in a million years could I have come up with something so brilliant to help calm her down, especially in the panicked state her scream had left me. I guess it pays to have a level-headed husband who can take over when my maternal instincts transform me into a scatter-brained basket case. I stared at him in awe as he shrugged like it was no big deal and walked back down the stairs.

The next morning K woke up talking about Charlotte’s visit to her bedroom and how she scared her at first but it was ok because she just wanted to snuggle. I will never underestimate the magical bond between a father and a daughter, especially with a quick and imaginative mind like Z’s.

Seriously. Genius.

Until next time…

My Mush: 5 months

I’m officially conducting a mushy experiment. On May 6, five months ago, at 3:40 am, Mr. Mushy-face was born. He started sleeping through the night around 2 1/2 months old and has been really consistent ever since unless his schedule gets really distorted. Last month, on September 6, he woke up demanding snuggles and cuddles and boobs. It was right around 3:40 am. This morning, October 6, woke with the same demands. Guess what time it was. 3:40 am. Figuring out my hypothesis? I don’t remember being up with him at 3:40 am during months three and four, after his sleep schedule had regulated, but that’s not to say it didn’t happen. Hey, I’m lucky if I can remember where my car keys are or if I’ve taken a shower on any given day so being able to recognize the connection of these last two months is practically a miracle. That being said I’m anxious to see if I end up feeding, rocking, and singing to my sweet boy at 3:40 am on November 6. I’ll be sure to share my scientific findings.

In the mean time… how about a little 5 months update!

  • Attended his first wedding… well, wedding reception. Stayed up way past his bedtime partying with our extended family!
  • Teething is in full force and he even cut his first tooth! He is rarely without his amber teething necklace these days.
  • Giggles often and is super ticklish on his back and feet.
  • Grabby hands – very intentional about what he’s grabbing for and usually hits his mark. He really loves grabbing my forearm while I’m changing his diaper and grabbing at our cold glasses while mid-drink.
  • One of his favorite new past-times is sucking on the bottom rim of the cold classes mentioned above.
  • 90% for height, 60% for weight – my big mushy boy.
  • Is now seeing my pediatrician from when I was a baby. So surreal, especially because this doctor found my kidney issue when I was 3 months old and one of the patient rooms has a banner from Lynchburg College with my signature on it.
  • Has developed some great balance – can sit up on his own for a pretty lengthy amount of time and can even stand at his activity table for a few seconds.
  • Can often be seen with a handful of my hair in his tiny little fists. Like I said… grabby hands
  • Loves watching the dogs run around outside.
  • Has the cutest cry babble.
  • He can be cheered up almost immediately just by seeing his sister.
  • Loves to ‘fly’
  • Grabs his toes and hands.
  • “Face crawls” all over the place, especially when on a bed. He smooshes his face into the mattress, pulls his knees up, and lifts his head again, flattening out and scooting slightly forward. What an adorable weirdo.
  • Master roller. Leave him alone on his play mat and you can bet he’ll be off of it in about 10 seconds. This boy never stops moving!
  • Mush man is a major flirt. He loves everyone and has a sweet pattern reaction to anyone who looks at him: eye contact, cheesy grin, coy “I’m so shy” look away.
  • Chews on everything, but mostly his hands/fingers/thumb.
  • Has a pretty awesome mohawk – I guess that’s how my babies grow their hair!

Until next time…

More tips for new parents

There is no shortage of articles giving new parents tips on everything from burping your baby to dealing with diaper rash. Trust me, I’ve read many of them. So it might seem a little superfluous that I, a mother of only two, should feel qualified enough to offer my own tips. But I’m going to anyway. I’m by no means an expert but I have learned a few things along the way that are worth passing along.
Ready? Set. GO…

Ask for discounts

When you get the hospital bill, you may have a small panic attack. I know we did. Even with great insurance and a completely natural birth our bill was still worthy of heart palpitations. The health care system is absurd. But before you freak out too much, call the hospital and see of they offer any kind of discount for paying the bill in full. It might be worth putting it on a card or utilizing a flex spending account when you get hundreds of dollars knocked off the bill. We’ve received 15-30% off our bills in the past. It never hurts to ask (and ask and ask – sometimes finding the right person can take a few calls).

Accept help, and modify it

Lots of people will probably be saying things like, “Let me know what I can do to help” when you welcome your new family member. Theres no denying this is a kind offer but it’s also a vague one, especially because your new parent brain can’t comprehend anything past counting the hours of sleep you’re NOT getting. Take note of those friends and family members who offer to help and accept their generosity by giving them a task when you think of it. Could you use someone coming over to help you with an overflowing pile of laundry? Ask. Could your older children benefit from some time out of the house? Ask.  In desperate need of your favorite Starbucks drink? FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY ASK. Don’t feel guilty. They did offer.

Don’t be afraid to say no

Chances are as soon as you pop out your little miracle there will be half a dozen people asking When will you be home? When can we come meet the baby? When can we invade your space? Ok, maybe they won’t actually ask that last one but there will be days when visitors feel more like invaders. As I mentioned in my recent post on postpartum pet peeves, your hormones might be totally off the charts so there will be days when you’re just not up for company. And that’s okay! If you’re having one of those days, know that it is completely acceptable to say no thank you. The baby’s not going anywhere, they can come another day when you are feeling up to it.

Don’t forget your pregnancy nutrition

This one is more for the new moms out there but important for papas as well. When you’re pregnant a lot of attention tends to be focused on your nutrition. Not only making sure you are eating well for yourself but for your growing baby as well. Just because you’re no longer eating for two it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still work toward great nutrition for yourself. It’s far too easy to turn that nutritional focus toward your baby and let your own eating habits fall to priority zero. From the sleep deprivation to the energy you exert settling into your new role as mommy, you might reach the end of the day and realize that you’ve forgotten to drink a glass of water or eat an actual meal. This is especially important for nursing mamas. You can burn upwards of 600 calories (more if you have a super eater!) just by nursing and if you don’t take the time to replenish your fuel supply, you will quickly find yourself drained… in more ways than one. I know a lot of new moms are driven to losing their baby weight but making sure you have a healthy, balanced diet is just as important postpartum as it is during pregnancy.  You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of the little ones who depend on you.

I invite any other mamas reading this blog to share your own parenting tips and secrets! After all, once you earn the title of mommy we’re all on the same team!

Until next time…

Too many thoughts, not enough confidence

When I first started this blog it was for two main reasons:

1. I was applying for a social media management job and needed a writing sample that proved I had some skill at blogging.
2. We’d just gotten married so I wanted to be able to keep family and friends updated on our lives in Georgia.

Despite the face that I ended up loathing my social media management job, I soon realized that I loved blogging. As time went on and my ‘published posts’ pile began to grow I really fell in love with the process of pulling my jumbled mess of thoughts together, creating something cohesive enough to understand, and spitting it out for the blogosphere to enjoy. Z and I were diving into an adventure as newlyweds with new jobs in a new city and I was working at a few very unique places that provided plenty of blog-worthy stories. I kept things simple and really just used it as a forum to brain dump. All of a sudden I was getting comments on my posts. I was used to comments from family and friends but comments from people I didn’t know… how exciting! That meant people were finding my humble little collection of thoughts. Most of them were fellow bloggers so in an attempt to build a community I started reading and commenting on others’ blogs. With every new blog I found I’d stumble or be referred to three more. Eventually I formed a long collection of favorites which I promptly added to my Google Reader list. Oh how I miss you Google Reader. At first my fellow bloggers inspired and energized me to keep sharing my bits of randomness and even encouraged me to pump up the number of posts per week.

But then one day something shifted.

Blogging became something I did to get recognition instead of something I did because I enjoyed it. I would be disappointed if I didn’t receive X number of comments on a given post and feel inadequate when I’d see other bloggers with sidebars filled with paying sponsors or getting featured spots on well-known websites and blog forums. I’d read a perfectly formatted, hysterically witty, or insanely creative post and feel completely inadequate in my own writing. I’d end up starting a blog about a topic that I felt really passionate about, remember that inadequate feeling, and stop writing. Soon my ‘published posts’ pile stopped growing and my ‘drafts’ began to multiply. I wouldn’t trash the blogs that I started but I’d become too critical and decide it was better to hide away posts that I felt weren’t good enough. Each time I’d sit down to write I’d just get more and more frustrated. Frustration would turn to anger and I’d start discrediting other bloggers because, clearly, their ability to come up with a pin-worthy blog post was because they had it way easier than me in life.

This blogger has an expendable income so she can go on these lavish vacations and blog about it.  Not me.
This blogger has a house like something out of Better Homes and Gardens so she can blog about all of her wonderful interior design ideas. Not me.
This blogger has started her own business that seemed to get really successful overnight so every blog is a personal advertisement for her business. Not me.
This blogger just has EVERYTHING figured out and lives a perfect, care-free life. Not. Me.

Basically I was creating lame excuses to pad a ridiculous woe-is-me mentality. Which at the end of the day was just a way to hide the truth, my lack of confidence. Combine my hum-drum attitude with the fact that I was no longer writing weekly updates on our daughter and you get a very neglected blog. It was a sad state of affairs and, in some ways, still is. Yes, I was able to kick a few more posts out there while pregnant with our son and have been keeping up with his monthly updates but the love I once had of sharing random thoughts and funny stories has dwindled down to nothing but a tiny flicker. I’ve let my lack of confidence overpower my love of writing. I’ve let the comparative and competitive nature of social media sway my opinion of myself. I’ve neglected the original purpose of this blog and, in doing so, have let myself down.

I know I’ve made a lot of proclamations in the past about starting new habits, new weekly staples, and getting back on a schedule with every-other-day posts. But that’s not what Life in these times… is all about. It’s about this life that I love and am blessed to call my own. It’s about the good and the bad and the poop-covered. It’s about the struggles and the joys. And it’s about all the things that pop into my head that I find worthy of transporting to text. It’s not about what everyone else thinks or being a well-known name… although there is still part of me that secretly not so secretly wants to be a famous blogger, get paid to write, and be able to support my family from home. Then again there’s also a part of me that dreams about Robert Downey Jr. stopping me in the middle of the mall to tell me I’d be perfect for the new blockbuster his he’s filming, but I digress.

The only proclamation I’m prepared to make today is that I’m going to do my best to push my self-conscious tendencies to the side and get back to doing what I once loved.  No more excuses. No more comparing myself to other bloggers. No more writing about something solely because I think someone might find it Huffington Post worthy. Just me. My thoughts. My family. My days of spit-up and stickers. My life in these times…

Until next time…

Four Must-Have Products for New Moms

*This is a guest post from the SmartMom blog. SmartMom is an iPhone app for moms who love to exchange advice and help each other out. You can download the app here to join the community. I’m excited to be joining the SmartMom community not only as an active presence on the app but as a blogger as well! 

If you’re expecting a new baby, chances are you’re overwhelmed by everything you’re reading in the baby books. People will tell you to look for the basics — teething toys, diapers and baby clothes — so we talked to several new moms to find out exactly what you’ll use…and use…and use during the first weeks at home with a new baby.

From taking care of your newest addition to taking care of yourself as a brand new mom, we have five of the best products that you’ll find at your very own drug store or makeup counter.

BB Cream

During the early days as a mom, wearing makeup will be the last thing on your mind…until you see yourself tagged in your friends’ Facebook pictures when they come to visit the new baby. BB Cream, short for beauty or blemish cream, covers like a tinted moisturizer or a lightweight foundation.

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 contains caffeine to soften lines and vitamin E and seaweed extract to control oil production. Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfecter BB Cream SPF 15 contains hyaluronic acid and glycerin to moisturize dehydrated skin and cover up your dark under eye circles.

You can supplement with a concealer and additional makeup if you’re feeling ambitious, but a good BB Cream will keep you covered through your make-up free days at home with a new baby.

Lanolin Cream

If you’re breastfeeding, your friends or doctor might recommend investing in a nipple cream, but they won’t stress enough how much you’ll really need it. Lansinoh’s 100% pure HPA Lanolin is highly recommended by lactation consultants, but most drug stores have their own brands that are equally effective and safe for baby. If you have questions about a specific type of brand, it’s best to contact your doctor or lactation consultant.

Postnatal Multivitamins

Every OB/GYN will tell you that you need to take a daily regimen of prenatal vitamins during pregnancy, but it’s easy to forget to take your vitamins when you have a tiny person who relies on you day in and day out.

Nature Made Postnatal Multi + DHA helps to supplement the nutritional needs of nursing moms to ensure they have the nutrients necessary to pass through to their babies. They include Vitamin D and Calcium for bone health, EPA (an Omega-3 fatty acid) for heart health and various B vitamins to support the mother’s energy levels.

Baby Moisture Lotion

We all know about diaper rash, but eczema, dry skin and general irritation is very common in newborns and infants. Stick to a brand that has no added chemicals or irritants. Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion contains natural colloidal oatmeal, along with other natural emollients, to soothe and help protect a baby’s delicate skin.

What items are on your must-have list for new moms?

For more posts like this one, visit the SmartMom Blog.

My Mush: 4 months

I can’t believe I’m already posting another monthly update, but here we are, watching time fly by. Before giving you Mr. Mush’s 4 month stats, I thought I’d share some deets on what the rest of the family is up to.
We are loving being in Virginia getting some real quality time with my parents. I’m so thankful that I get to have playdates with my high school friends and their babies, and have even taken advantage of seeing some college friends as well! I’m getting theKeenBean back up and running {new listings every day!} and am eager to get back into teaching my natural childbirth classes. Finding an affordable {aka FREE} place to hold my classes has proven to be a bit more difficult that I had hoped but it will all work out.
Z is having a great time in grad school so far, learning a lot and getting some first hand experience teaching. His classmates seem really nice and he’s been comforted by having some fellow dads to connect with. Each day he comes back with fun stories and new ideas on how to use his degree. I’m so proud of him and can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Keelin has adjusted really well to our new living space and is enjoying meeting new friends on a regular basis! She’s also enjoying testing all of us {since there are more people in the house to pay attention to her} and pushing boundaries. You know… you’re average 2-year old shenanigans.

Alright, enough about the fam, on to the star of this show…

The smile. The rolls. The flexed toesies.

  • Rolled over from back to tummy (August 11).
  • First tick. Gross gross gross. Ew. Gross.
  • Officially outgrew his swaddle pouch so we’ve transitioned to a sleep sack and, inevitably, tummy sleeping.
  • Happiest baby in the world – if he’s not hungry or tired he’s smiling.
  • Met a handful of mommy’s college roommates and dance friends.
  • Blows raspberries and bubbles like it’s his job.
  • First belly laugh.
  • First time in his Baby Einstein activity saucer – LOVES IT!
  • Snuggles and smiles with his big sister.
  • Pushed bedtime ahead and still sleeps through the night!
  • Advanced to 3-6 month clothing – although I refuse to take his too-small 3 month clothes out of the closet just yet.
  • Tried out a Johnny Jump Up. Still a little small for it but he’ll push and spin around for a little while
  • Deliberately reaches for toys, people’s faces, mommy’s smoothie, etc.
  • Showing signs of teething {drooling, chewing on everything, etc.} but no teefies yet.
  • Loves falling asleep on your shoulder – prefers it actually!
  • First trip to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

Seriously, more pictures mom?

Until next time…

Postpartum Pet Peeves

Most mom or pregnancy blogs talk about the stressors of pregnancy because, let’s face it, there can be plenty. From the morning sickness and strange cravings to the swollen ankles and sciatic pain, certain aspects of pregnancy are doozies. While preparing moms for the not-so-glamorous parts of pregnancy is important, the aftermath is often forgotten. Being that I’m four months postpartum with HG, I feel the need to share some of the less thrilling and down-right obnoxious parts of postpartum life. Here are my top three postpartum pet peeves.

Hormone hostage

Just because the pregnancy is over doesn’t mean your hormones are back to normal. There is a definite adjustment period after baby is born where your system is equalizing. Pair that with sleep deprivation, an overwhelming sense of uncertainty and responsibility {especially for first time moms}, hospital bill shell shock, and the unbelievable level of love you have for your new little miracle and it’s no wonder you’re a moody mess. During the time you spend staring at your new baby you could be smiling one minute and bawling your eyes out the next, with no explanation why. And please, please for the love of all things holy, don’t even try watching a sappy/sad/inspirational/romantic movie anytime soon. Especially one that involves babies/children/animals/true love. You’re better off sticking to explosive action flicks.

Shedding like a dog

You know how your hair completely transformed during pregnancy? That miraculous volume, shine, and super-human growth you experienced during pregnancy is like hair heaven. You walk around pretending you’re in a Pantene Pro V commercial while simultaneously rubbing your beautiful bump. All is right in the world of cosmetics.
Then you have your baby, looking like a hair model while in labor I might add, and you settle into your new life as a parent thinking you were not only gifted this beautiful new life but beautiful new locks as well. Three months flash by and all of a sudden you wake in the morning wondering when you let the neighbor’s golden retriever use your pillow. Your brush is full of hair, your shirts are covered in stragglers, you’re in a constant state of feeling like you walked through a spiderweb, and you pity the poor shower drain after every shampoo. Your family is even affected as your loose strands somehow find their way to everything from clothes to facial hair. Bye bye Pantene contract, hello tumbleweeds of tangles.

The ‘nothing fits’ phase

Whether it takes you a while to shed your baby weight or you seem to drop most of it with the birth of your child, there’s a phase that most new moms enter into called the ‘nothing fits’ phase. Your maternity clothes are a little too baggy and your re-pregnancy clothes are a little too tight. You can fit into both but nothing actually fits. Maternity clothes are obviously more comfortable but when you’re already feeling a little, well, saggy, there’s no need to add the diaper butt that comes with a loose pair of elastic-waist jeans. Remember those out-of-wack hormones I mentioned before? Yeah, they don’t help much when all you want is to feel comfortable in your own skin and not one thing in your closet fits the bill.
There’s a phase a lot like this during pregnancy, when your baby bump is just starting to grow and you’re not quite ready for maternity garb. It too can be frustrating but the excitement of your healthy growing baby usually overshadows the in-between stage.

Thankfully we as mothers can handle these horribly obnoxious postpartum stages because of the amazing tiny humans we created {our husbands helped too} that rely on us not totally losing our minds.

So these are my postpartum pet peeves, what are yours?

Until next time…

Going grad: let the adventure begin

It’s been a while since I posted anything that wasn’t about being pregnant or tracking the kiddos as they grow. But that’s all about to change.
As I look back on the lifespan of this blog there has definitely been a fair amount of ebb and flow. Obviously my own life has shared the same shifts so why wouldn’t the blog that tracks my “Life in these times…” follow suit? Now my family has started yet another grand adventure and this little collection of memories will help me tell the tale.  May as well kick things off by explaining what we’re up to!

Around about the time I found out we were pregnant with HG, Z started seriously looking into grad school. It had been nearly three years at the Aquarium singing the same 30-minute show as much as four times a day. For a guy who used to tell me, “I’ll never do another summer stock production… 72 shows is just way too much”, {referring to The Lost Colony outdoor drama where we met} you can bet that 1,000 times on stage singing about dolphins took its toll. Not only was Z ready for a change, but knowing that our family was {and hopefully would continue} expanding, the idea of a teaching career that could provide stable income for the future was one we were both pretty excited about.  So we dove into the application process and things just started falling into place:

  • Z was accepted at VCU to receive an MFA in acting pedagogy.
  • My parents graciously offered their home {a stones throw from campus} as a place for our family to live while he is in school. AKA no rent.
  • My mom retired this year. AKA help for me while Z is in class all day and childcare if/when I get a side job.

We created a rough draft of the next two-three years all before HG was born. God really laid out His plan so it was kind of easy to see it all. At least the spark notes version. With a basic idea in our minds we set it all on the back burner so it wouldn’t overshadow the birth of our sweet boy and the adjustment to a family of four.

As you can tell from my recent updates on Mr. Mush, all has been well on the family side of things. We welcomed HG, settled in beautifully to family-of-four status, made our move and, after a relaxing week at the beach, are officially ready to kick things into high-grad-gear. Big, exciting, and completely faith-driven things are in the works and I’m thrilled to see them all unfold. I’m going to be continuing my natural childbirth business and my Etsy shop but I’m also planning to kick this blog back into high gear. More posts, a wider variety of topics, more wit, maybe even some reviews. Overall lots of good things. Que Alec Baldwin circa Along Came Polly. :)

Z’s first day of classes is today and I’m so incredibly proud of him. Good luck my sweet… let the adventure begin!

Until next time…

My Mush: 3 Months

Excuse me ma’am, can my classic good looks and I help you set up your beach chair? What a stud, right?

I’m a few days late posting this month’s update because, as you can tell from HG’s white onesie deviation, we’ve been at the BEACH all week! He officially turned 3 months on Wednesday so I had to snap some beach-tastic photos to celebrate. A lot has happened in his third month, here are the deets:

  • Big time hair puller
  • Loves chatting… ALL THE TIME! Such a talker. As my aunt says, “He’ll be speaking in paragraphs when he actually starts talking”
  • Smiles and laughs with his whole body
  • Moved to a new state- first long road trip at 9 1/2 hours. Slept almost the whole way!
  • Sleeping through the night!
  • Does great with tummy time, lifts his head all the way up and pushes his booty into the air while digging his toes into the ground.
  • Rolled over (tummy to back) on July 22!
  • Met his great grandmother (Gigi) as well as lots of cousins, great aunts, and great uncles!
  • First shots- cried for about 5 seconds. Mommy kept it together pretty well.
  • Stops nursing to look up and smile at me… Talk about heart melting!
  • First time at the beach/toes in the ocean! Wasn’t sure about it at first but loved sitting in the surf by the end of the week!
  • Swaddle Houdini. Manages to get at least one arm out every night.
  • first giggle
  • Loves everyone he meets and handles ‘pass the baby’ with ease.
  • First dip in the pool
  • Has conversations with stuffed animals, especially ones with BIG eyes!
  • Has the best open mouth grin EVER.

happy to get that bowtie off!

 

Until next time…