Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Definition of Irony

That would be me! For the last year and a half, the husband and I have been TTC. (That's trying to conceive if you're not into acronyms.) Obviously we have not had luck in doing so. So this is where it gets to be ironic. I'm scheduled to have surgery next month and obviously I cannot be pregnant. Today, after all those years, I FINALLY show definite signs of ovulation. After surgery it is not recommended to get pregnant for about two years, and assuming I'd even be able to get pregnant then (and would want to), with pregnancy being nine to ten months away, we are at least three years away from having another. If we even decide to have a third child that is. I still think it's crazy ironic that I went so long TTC and now that I am in a place where I shouldn't get pregnant, my body is pretty much saying "Let's do this!".

Somebody cue Alanis Morissette....

Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Petite Picassos

I have this slight Pinterest addiction lately. If you haven't checked it out already, you should. (But I warn you, you will waste a good portion of time there.) I found this adorable kid craft, and knew I wanted to do it. We went to Michaels and bought the required items since they were all on sale (and/or I had a coupon) and set off! 

We used 20x20 canvas boards and masking tape for this step. I think they ended up costing about $5 each. LOVE Michaels' sales! Those 'O's were tricky little things. 

Miss Zoey is oh so serious in her finger painting.

Mister Ford just worries more about mixing the colors and then complaining that his finger is dirty.

Warning!!! Kids get dirty in this project! You can see the kids painted on beards and mustaches. 
They crack me up! 
Mom even got in on the mustache action! 

Their masterpieces are drying! Can't wait to see what they are going to look like! 

After a long soak in a bubble bath, the kids are squeaky clean and smell so fresh. 

The next day the paint is dry and the tape comes off to reveal the final look. Not too bad if I do say so myself. :)

I loved doing this project with them, and I foresee more projects like this. I love kid art on the walls, and my kids are quite the little artists. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Brain Fart

I haven't blogged in forever. I kind of miss it. Every time I actually get time to sit down and blog, I forget what I wanted to blog about. Pretty sure I need more sleep.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Great Reminder!

This is such a great reminder for those parents who chose not to circumcise their son. This picture is simple. Feel free to print it off and give it to grandparents, daycare providers, etc!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dear Aidan

You came into my life exactly one year ago today. I have been friends with your mama for several years now. We met on an online 'mommy club'. Your sister Isabella and my little girl Zoey are the same age. I remember when your mommy told me that she was pregnant with you. I cried tears of happiness! You were a very much wanted baby. Your mama and daddy had a pretty good life before you were born. Your sister and brother, Michael-Xavier, filled their life with love. Having you was only going to make their lives that much sweeter and perfect.

I had several conversations with your mommy and she was always so cautiously optimistic about the pregnancy.We all tried to calm her fears, but her maternal instincts were too strong. One year ago today something went wrong. Horribly wrong. In an instant, you were gone. I remember hearing "She lost the baby." Lost the baby. Like you were a pair of keys or something that you can just misplace.

You were so tiny when you were born. I never saw you, but I heard that you were just beautiful and that you already looked like your siblings. I'm sure you were simply gorgeous.

For the past year I've seen the hurt and pain your mom lives with. I'd do just about anything to take that pain away. I don't know why these things happen to such good people. Your mom is one of my best friends and it kills me to see her going through this. I know from personal experience that every day gets a little easier and a little less painful, but your heart still aches. I am not going to pretend to know what your family is feeling because I have never been in their shoes. I'm sure their world is a little less sunny without you in it.

Your life and death has made an imprint on my life. I think about you daily. I miss you. I miss the person you would have been. Is it strange even though you weren't my child? I am certain you would have done amazing things in your life.

After you passed away, your mama told me that she is comforted by the fact that when the wind blows, she feels your presence. Although I am thousands of miles away from your family, the wind is blowing here. As I feel the breeze touch my skin, I think I can feel it as well.

"I dropped a tear in the ocean. The day you find it is the day I will stop missing you."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Boobs Are For Breastfeeding

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I have been posting a ton about breastfeeding these last few days. It is one of the parenting topics that I am most passionate and outspoken about. I feel as though even in this day and age, breastfeeding is such a taboo subject. But why? It's quite common in other countries for mothers to nurse their children to past their toddler years. In fact, our own American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you breastfeed your child until he or she is at least a year old!

I am proud to say that I nursed my son for one year. Yes, I know that so many other women nurse for much longer, however I had many things working against me. When my daughter was born in 2006 I wanted to breastfeed her. It just seemed right. Natural. However, we had so many problems those first few days. On the third day of her life, she had lost a lot of weight and wouldn't nurse and had to have and IV placed in her arm to feed her. As a new mom, I was scared. I was scared of what could happen and having just been through a hard labor with eventual c/section, I wasn't in any mood to argue with the doctors. She refused the bottle at first too. This actual made me feel a bit better because I was no longer convinced that she just didn't like me. (Sounds silly when I type it out!) Finally she took to the bottle, had the IV removed and we were good to go home. It was a lot less stressful at the house and I was free to try to nurse again. By that point however, she wanted nothing to do with it. Also, my milk never came in. (I now know that if I had been trying to pump regularly, it would have helped tremendously.) I was fortunate enough that I could pump a few ounces of colostrum and give her that. It's been five years, and I have so many regrets. (Some that pertain to breastfeeding/formula feeding, some not. But I will have a blog post on that later.)

I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and it makes getting pregnant very difficult. At least in my case. When I FINALLY became pregnant with my second child, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I started researching PCOS and its effect on breastfeeding. To be honest, it didn't look hopeful. I was still bound and determine to nurse. I never gave myself a goal on a timeline. I just wanted to nurse my child. I was met with a lot of negativity when I voiced my desire to nurse my child. I had zero to little support. I was feeling discouraged, but I still wanted to at least give it a try. I had been told several times that I would never even be able to conceive another child and I had, so when I was told I would not be able to breastfeed several times, it lit a fire in me and I became even more determined. I had done loads of research and knew I was going to give it my all. Finally after nine long months, my baby was born. A boy. We named him Ford Donald Robert. He was born on April 22, 2009 and was 10 pounds 8.5 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. He was PERFECT. So handsome. After my doctors were done closing me up (I had a c/section.), I went to my room. It was time for that first latch. I was so nervous. What if my baby rejected my breast again? All of those feelings of defeat would come back. To my surprise, he latched on right away and started sucking. He did it again. And again, and again. We had no problems!

I really believe that America over-sexualizes breasts. I mean, everywhere you look, TV, movies, music videos, magazines, billboards, etc, all you see is boobs, boobs, boobs! And you know what, that is fine. It really takes a lot to offend me. However, one thing I absolutely CANNOT stand is when people think breastfeeding is 'gross' and 'offensive'. How is feeding your baby gross? It's one of the most natural things you can do. Boobs are made for breastfeeding! I was not afraid to nurse my child in public. I refused to hide in a bathroom or put a blanket over his head because it might offend someone. When I see a mother nursing in public, I kind of smile to her. I try to encourage nursing mothers. It's time to bring normal back!

"While breastfeeding may not seem the right choice for every parent,
it is the best choice for every baby."
~Amy Spangler

Because this post is getting pretty long, I'm going to end it with a few pictures from my collection of nursing pictures. I love each and every one of these pictures. I'm sorry if these images offend you. It was not my intention. However I will continue to post these types of pictures in an attempt to normalize breastfeeding. It is nothing to be ashamed of. I really hope you enjoy these pictures.

"My opinion is that anybody offended by breastfeeding is staring too hard."
~David Allen

After his first 'feeding'.

Just a couple of days old.

Almost a month old.

Watching my baby eat. Always so calm and peaceful.

Even when he wasn't eating, he still wanted to be close to them.

Love how he's looking at me here!

Big sister Zoey wanted to be in the picture too! I'm so glad she will grow up knowing
that breastfeeding is normal, healthy and the natural thing to do.

Oh no! There's a lion on my boob!

Sissy wanted to help feed her brother. I pumped so she could help.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Ford nursing.
He was about 10 months here. I love the way he's looking at me.

This is a short video clip of Ford nursing when he was only three weeks old. Perfection.

This pretty much sums it up. :)

"When she first felt her son's groping mouth attach itself to her breast, a wave of sweet vibration thrilled deep inside and radiated to all parts of her body; it was similar to love, but it went beyond a lover's caress, it brought a great calm happiness, a great happy calm."
~Milan Kundera

(For 101 reasons to consider breastmilk, click here!)

Monday, July 25, 2011

"When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure."

July 25, 2008: The worst day of my life. I received a phone call early in the morning from my father saying that my grandma was not doing well. He and some of my aunts and uncles were going to be making the nearly 3 hour drive to be with her. I jumped in the shower and about half way through, I just started crying. I knew it wasn't good. My dad called me back shortly after that and confirmed my fear. "Amanda, grandma just died." My heart sank. My world collapsed. With that one phone call I had lost more than just my grandma. I had lost one of my best friends.

This was three years ago today. Not a day has gone by that I am not reminded of my grandma. Whether it's seeing a picture of her, someone mentioning an inside joke, a beautiful butterfly or hummingbird, or just seeing a glimpse of her in my children. I feel her presence. I would give almost anything to be able to see her, or even talk to her, just one more time. I want to tell her I love her. I want her to meet my son. Ford was born 9 months after she passed away. He chose her birthday for his own. It still gives me goosebumps when I think about it.

I don't think I'll ever stop missing her. I love her too much. I think the reason I still get so emotional over everything is BECAUSE of how much I love her. Grandma Vonnie was a pretty great person. I don't think I've ever met anyone who would disagree with that. I am proud to call myself her granddaughter. And because I have cried more while writing this post than I have in a long time, I am going to end it here. I have a couple of pictures to share too. :)

What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.
All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.

- Helen Keller