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babies

Mommy brain, forgetfulness. children

We’ve all heard of Mommy brain, right? You know that condition that makes everything foggy, forgotten and not quite sure if it’s really happening, supposed to be happening or already happened? Yeah, that’s Mommy brain. Hell, I’d bet my reminder list that most of us are in the throes of it at this very moment. Me, I’m convinced that I am probably on the verge of a full-blown case of sun-downers of the Mommy Kind. Shark week and a severe case of mommy brain seem to be co-existing in my life right now, running rampant if you will. I am not exaggerating when I say that if it weren’t for my head being attached, I’d have misplaced it by now. I have had some pretty near misses while experiencing my advanced stage of Mommy brain but some experiences stand out above and beyond the others in the humiliation department. Like this one…

Mommy brain, forgetfulness. children

Oh Mommy brain, why have you forsaken me?

It was a cold day in January and I had an OB/GYN check up. I was at that point in my pregnancy where I couldn’t see my feet. Let’s be honest, I couldn’t see anything south of the topside of my burgeoning belly swell. Who knows what the hell was going on south of that border? But I had a check up, nonetheless, and there was no way I was going in for it without a little landscaping down below beforehand. I refused to look like I had a chia pet in a headlock. It wasn’t happening.

I stepped into the shower and almost immediately; I was trying to lift my belly out of the way, to just be able to catch a small glimpse of my lady bits. Oh ,my poor lady bits I don’t think I’d actually seen them since conception.  All I could do was feel my way. Scratch. Bump. Crease. Opening. Labia. Clitoris. Baby. I’m making a mental note of the lay of the land, as I go. After much panting, praying and contorting, I started the near impossible task. This was a dangerous endeavor, to say the least. I’m no Helen Keller. I’d never done this before. There was a huge chance that some very important parts of me could be permanently severed and left behind to circle the drain. *Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death* Hour of our death? Yes, this could have been at any moment. Can you imagine the amount of blood loss one could suffer if I she severed a lip? That thing’s attached for a reason. Sure it may look like it’s coming detached but damn it, it’s not.

Mommy brain, note to self..no lip left behind

An hour later the deed was done. I grabbed the mirror and when I lifted my belly, what was revealed to me looked very similar to a teenager trying to grow his first beard. Patchy with tufts of what looked like tiny Fu Manchu’s scattered all throughout my groin region. And not the tiny Fu Manchu’s that you might see on some hipster band mates, no these were the scary tiny Fu Manchu’s that you might see on a little person Kung Fu Master with a bad attitude and one eye. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I returned to the bowels of shower hell and after much effort on my part and a mirror that perpetually steamed up; I, finally, got the job done an hour and one freezing shower later.

I was so proud of myself.  I was going to walk into that appointment, drop trough, and show that handsome OB/GYN the most impressively landscaped vagina he’d ever seen on a woman that far into her pregnancy. Of that, I was certain. But wait; let’s take it to the next level. Why stop at just pretty? I grabbed the feminine hygiene spray and after a quick once over, I was not only impeccably groomed but I KNEW I smelled like a beautiful summer’s day. I got this.

After the exam was done, my doctor looks up at me and says, “Everything looks great and (with a knowing smile and a wink) very festive.” What the F*ck? That was inappropriate but I was a over cooked, over stuffed, waddling pregnant Godzilla in need of some extra attention. Hey, Big pregnant Girls need love too. Of course, I had no idea what he was referring to until I returned home. After a quick look in the mirror, to my utter surprise, what I thought was feminine hygiene spray was actually my 2 year olds Christmas themed Barbie spray. Yes folks, festive indeed. My hairless Chihuahua was now covered with green sparkly glitter spray. Nothing says Happy Holidays like a freshly decorated vagina.

 

*P.S. My birthday is next Saturday (9/25) and I would LOVE to reach 1000 blog followers via GFC by then. MY damn GFC was actually not working most of the past year so  if you loved this story, or you just love The TRUTH about Motherhood please consider clicking the GFC box and following me! Thanks. XO Debi

This is your vagina on Mommy brain

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Birth, Pregnancy,labor,dleivery, birth

Birth and pregnancy happen, especially when you least expect it. It seems that it is universally applicable that trying too hard at anything puts too much pressure on ourselves and we end up with performance anxiety. This is why on my first pregnancy, I conceived while still in the “planing to plan to have a baby stage”. There was no pressure, we were just sexing it up and having a good time…maybe too good of a time. When I found out that I was pregnant, I was ecstatic. I had waited for this moment since I had gotten married, maybe since my husband proposed. There is just something so liberating about intentionally making a baby ( *or planning to plan to have a baby) with the man that you love, aside from all the baby making, birth control free nookie.  And I don’t just mean the fact that I took it as a license to eat carbs without guilt for 10 months. Heck to the yeah, I could finally eat and exhale! I was overjoyed, to say the least. Do you know how awesome it is to NOT worry that someone is going to mistake your baby doll dress and burrito belly for a baby bump? It was glorious!

Oh Sh*t, Pregnancy!

Then I made the mistake of reading all of those nightmare inducing, statistic laced pregnancy books. All the good times I had planned for gave way to worry and anxiety. Thank God, I hadn’t tried to educate myself before conceiving or I would have been scared to death, maybe even chalked up the whole idea. I’m pretty squeamish about pain, blood and body fluids and let’s face it..that’s all giving birth is aside from the miracle it all results in. Before getting pregnant, no one told me about gestational diabetes, the disfigurement of stretch marks, outtie belly buttons, linea negrias, noses spreading, feet growing, acne, bacne and spider veins. Nobody told me that the “glow” was code for ugly, exhausted and fat. Worse, nobody told me about what happens when you give birth. NOBODY told me how excruciatingly painful it would be. No one gave me a heads up that there was NO modesty or dignity in giving birth. My friends never told me that transition labor would feel like a cracked out, ninja ghoulie was trying to chew it’s way out of my lower abdomen. Nobody told me that trying to birth a baby would take as long as a transatlantic flight. NO.BODY.TOLD.ME!! Not even my Mama! Why?Why did no one tell me????

Pregnancy, Nobody Told Me

I had no idea that I’d be put into a gown that couldn’t possibly cover my protruding belly without completely exposing my pasty white derriere complete with assne. No one told me that I’d have 27 doctors, nurses and passersby sticking there hand in my woohoo to check “how far along” I was. I wasn’t told that I’d be bored out of my brain, watching Jerry Springer, when I’d be struck mute by pain and only be able to whisper the words, “Oh Sh*t” and “Oh God” alternately and on repeat. Most importantly, NO ONE told me that I might have a bowel movement on the birthing table.  Between you and me, that’s a deal breaker. I would have opted for a surrogate or adopted a little brown baby from Mexico (then maybe I would have had a chance that the baby would look like it was actually related to me).

But no one tells you these things. To be clear, I intentionally starved myself for the two days before I was induced. When the time came, I gave it my all. I got 25 stitches for my trouble and a gorgeous baby girl. My husband assures me that I did not poop on the birthing table and the only thing I pushed into the world that afternoon was our firstborn. Did he tell me the truth? Or was he trying to restore some of the dignity I had lost from the hourly dipstick checks? I’ll probably never really know. I’m just hoping in the throes of a heated discussion I never hear “ Oh yeah, well you did sh*t on the birthing table! It was real and it was spectacular!” For now, I choose to believe in a world where there are unicorns, fairies and no one poops the table while giving birth. If there’s a next time, I may just be done with it and have Indian food the night before induction. I say go big or go home. Sh*t happens!

During Pregnancy, Sh*t Most Certainly Happens!

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Thank you to Crocs for sponsoring this blog post. Please click here to learn more about Crocs’ new Back to School line. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

It seems the least wonderful time of year is upon us, once more. You know the time I mean, back to school. It’s that magical time when the weather is still beautiful, the kids are just getting used to sleeping in and it is all abruptly interrupted so that we can run around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to find all of the items on the first of the year school supply scavenger hunt list. Next, we get to drag children, who would rather be anywhere else but where we are taking them ( preferably a beach somewhere), school shopping.

I have little girls and they typically love to shop. Though since starting down the path of uniform city, it is not as much fun as it once was for them. But fear not, what we lack in clothing diversification we make up for in adorableness; headbands, barrettes, ostentatious flowers, sassy socks and the most extensive elementary school shoe collection that I’ve ever seen. We love our shoes( like mother like daughters)!

We’ve successfully found the cutest uniform clothing we could find. We’ve completed the school supply scavenger hunt with the exception of the illusive art smock.We’ve bought bought our brand spanking new gym shoes. Next on the list, some funky Mary Janes,the coveted pair of cozy top-siders and ballerina flats. I’m sure we will be getting a pair (or two) of those (perfectly coordinated with our school’s uniforms)

Kelley Crocs!

My girls look forward to shopping for accessories and shoes the most because this is where they can show their personality.I let them go as big and bold as they want to. What is your child’s favorite part of school shopping, aside from spending the day with their Mom? Do they like to buy the funkiest or fanciest? Do they dress preppy or sporty? Or are they part of the uniform kids who have to get inventive and show their personalities through their accessories and shoes? What’s your favorite part of back-to-school shopping? If you are like me, it’s the spending the day with my 2 favorite girls one last time before they head back to school. I linger a little longer than necessary at every stop because I know these moments are not limitless, even if it is a pain in the rump wrestling other mother’s for 20 cent crayons. The smiles of pure joy at a perfect pair of shoes, or the smile I am met with when telling them how pretty a certain uniform top looks on them, or the “Thank’s Mommy” I get from buying them lunch at their favorite place in the mall; all these little things give back-to-school shopping a special place in my heart.

 

Crocs

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Sometimes,in those fleeting quiet moments, where coherent thought still exists in the recesses of my mind, I think about the meaning of life. I know it surprises me when it happens too. Usually, I’m trying my damnest just to keep babies alive and thriving without traumatizing them in any way that is so awful as to trigger a major mental breakdown in the future. Because, just so you know, I totally hold my parents accountable for my years of therapy..my therapist agreed with me,so there is that. But in those almost extinct moments of quiet, I ask myself some of the big questions of life. One that crept up on my unusually peaceful drive home this morning in the rain was “Why are there no miracles anymore?” I mean, there are everyday miracles like the sun shining or gravity or a mother’s blind love for her child. But what about the real BIG miracles? What happened to seas parting? People walking on water? Water into wine?

Then it hit me, right over top of the head…babies. Babies are a miracle.  I don’t mean in the they are such a blessing in my life sort of way. I don’t even mean the we tried for 7 years before we got pregnant sort of way. Though in there own respects,they could certainly be considered miracles. No, what I’m talking about is the fact that the goo that was left behind on Ms.Lewinski’s dress meets an egg in a moment of uncontainable passion and , in that moment, something that so closely resembles snot turns into Daddy juice and is on it’s way to having a heart beat and breathing, walking around, smiling, and living in the world. I mean think about it, really think about it. It’s really quite profound, the whole process. It’s like creating something grand from absolutely nothing.It is my very own water into wine. There is so many miracles involved with babies, aside from creating them; growing them, sustaining, the way they make our hearts grow, our minds expand, our lives richer. See what happens when it rains and I have a minute of quiet time? I see the little miracles in my own life. How did I not see this before?

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Miracles #1 & #2

 

What are our ever day miracles? Do you believe in miracles? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this discussion. Maybe it’s the rain, or spring and all the new life all around but I am seeing little miracles every where. Go enjoy the little miracles in your life.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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breastfeeding, breastfed, breastfeed, lactation, feeding infants, breast-feeding, nursed, feeding babies, breastmilk, benefits of breastfeeding

Is breastfeeding really always best? I was reading, my friend, Jennifer Brandt’s blog Perfectly Disheveled tonight and was reminded of something that I had buried deep within the recesses of my mind…BREASTFEEDING! Oh how it sucked! No pun intended. It was one of the most awful things I have experienced thus far in motherhood. I know its not PC to admit that breastfeeding sucked for me but hey, that’s how I roll. I am honest to a fault. I always thought that breastfeeding would be something beautiful and magical; a sacred bond between mother and baby. And it was but it was also something else. It was what most Hollywood actresses look like without their hair and makeup done, no stylist standing by, no PR person to spin their words into weaved gold. It was raw, it was painful , it was ugly and, on most days, it hurt me deeply. Breastfeeding kicked my ass physically and emotionally. Worse than that, it was humbling. From the beginning, breastfeeding made me feel like the world’s biggest freaking loser Mommy! Amen. I’m divulging the truth that it was for me.

I remember coming home on that first day, driving 15 miles an hour with our blinkers on trying our best not to damage or mess up this most perfect being that we had just been given. We cooked this baby good and read all the books but when it came down to it, we couldn’t believe these people were going to let us take the baby out of the hospital. After all, what the hell were they thinking? We didn’t know what to do. We could barely keep one another alive, plants were dying all over the house, I’d lost a dog but these assholes wanted me to keep an entire human being alive! WHAT?? Panic set in but there was no turning back. We were going to hold onto this halo/fog of new baby splendor as long as we possibly could. The key was to keep the baby in tact.

We arrive home. Hello baby! This is your new house. The whole world, in its entirety, will be forever changed. You will be the sun and we will rotate around you forevermore. Time for a nap. Gently we place the baby into the bassinet and then its time to turn off the lights, pull the room darkening shades and SLEEP. But wait. That won’t work. If the lights are off we can’t see if she’s breathing. If we can’t see that she’s breathing..maybe she’s not. No! Sorry this plan will not work. Abort mission. Abort mission! Turning off the lights won’t do. Instead, we collapsed in exhaustion laying across the bed, with our heads half in the bassinet, with the ceiling fan light turned all the way on! Just about the time my brain and heart gave way and allowed my eyes to close, the baby woke up..starving. Let the breastfeeding commence. No lactation nurse, no holds barred. Let’s do this.

To my teet I drew my baby. She suckled. She didn’t latch very well. I knew that my milk hadn’t come in yet, as the lactation nurse had already informed me of my ineptitude before I had even left the hospital. She, also, had set me up with a medieval contraption known as an SNS. Not familiar with this? Oh, aren’t you the lucky girl? SNS stands for Supplemental Nursing System which is basically today’s scarlet letter for you are a fucking loser who doesn’t have the capability of feeding your own offspring. That’s right, there are broads in the world breastfeeding their boobie nectar to chihuahuas and I can’t keep my own human alive. Fuck. It was the Chia pet all over again. I was panicked. I was popping Fenugreek like they were the last tic tacs in the world. Anyways, those were my choices…Fenugreek and SNS…until my milk dropped. What does that even mean? It’s not like a gallon of formula is going to come spilling out of me. I pumped..barely a taste for my infant. So, I grudgingly hook myself up to the SNS. Picture, if you will, some sort of human type version of what is used on cows. Basically, it was a small container that you filled with formula, that hung around your neck. There was a very small tube attached to that which was then taped to the top of your breast and down at the nipple.For me, that meant atop the nipple shield. It was a pretty hostile site. Poor baby Bella. Why couldn’t her Mommy just produce like all the other Mommies? I don’t know baby. These fucking D boobs apparently are for fun and not function.ARGH! The humiliation.

Why had breastfeeding forsaken me? What had I done wrong?

As I sat there, her looking up at me, questioning what wrong she had done in a previous life to be saddled with such a worthless mom, was enough to break my heart. But I soldiered on because I wasn’t stopping until that milk gave in and came in. I was going to breastfeed this baby if it killed me or broke me. Oh, don’t you worry…it almost did. I called the nurse and she barked at me to only do the SNS every other feeding and only an ounce so that it forced the baby to suckle harder and force my milk to drop. I listened because, quite frankly,this is her job and I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. Then in that first 24 hour period, Bella fed every 1/2 hour. Do you know what that means? She was literally off my tit for about 5 minutes every hour for 24 hours. She was crying, out of starvation. I was crying out of frustration, humiliation and guilt. I felt like the biggest piece of shit Mother to EVER walk the earth..even lower than those broads who drove their kids off a bridge. By the next morning, constant crying ( on both our parts) and no sleep, I was at my most vulnerable. And the baby was looking pretty much like an Oompa Loompa. I’m not going to lie to you, I lost my ever loving mind when I realized I had broken the baby. The perfect little baby.

I called the doctor and he said to bring her to the hospital. I was raw. OMG. I was the most exhausted, vulnerable, crazed lunatic on the maternity ward. Oh yes, they made me return to the scene of the crime.The nursery. Immediately, they took one look at our Willie Wonka cast member and told us that our baby had jaundice caused by my malfunctioning bossoms! It was as if someone kicked me in my hemorrhaging crotch, smacked me in my sore raw nipples and yanked my heart out through my chest all while laughing at me. I left the room and ugly cried hysterically…uncontrollably. The Big Guy was freaked out, his baby was orange and his wife was out of her mind. The nurses knew it was hormones. They tried to soothe my fears but it was impossible.

The moral of the story is even after all this, I continued to nurse for 3 months…with the SNS system because I NEVER produced enough milk to sustain my child.NEVER! But that damn lactation nurse kept telling me to keep taking the Fenugreek, it will come in. Then she told me to withhold formula, then I lost her number. I have never felt like such a failure. To this day, it still makes me hang my head to know that I couldn’t just breastfeed. It’s like being 30 and still riding a bike with training wheels. But because I would have been ridiculed by everyone I knew and scowled at for not trying my damnest, I did it again with my second child and again we ended up in the hospital with jaundice. Breastfeeding isn’t for everybody…no matter what people say. If I could have, I would have done it for longer. I did love the bond we formed during that breastfeeding time but if you pan out in the pictures, you can clearly see that I was strapped to that SNS contraption which was neither sweet or bond conducive. So, I say to you…for me…BREASTFEEDING SUCKED!

Did you breastfeed? For how long? Was it easy? Was it hard? Did you use an SNS? Would lengths would you go to succeed at breastfeeding your baby?

Breastfeeding is NOT always best for everyone

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I know many of us have picky eaters. My 3 year old would be perfectly happy to exist on nothing more than chicken nuggets for the rest of her life. Most days I fight with her, barter with her, do anything I need to do ( Dance monkey dance) to get her to eat something different..but some days….I don’t. I know. I am horrible. My kid’s going to turn into a giant chicken nugget. But the nuggets, or Nuggies as they are affectionately called in my house, are just a symptom of a much larger problem…Second Baby Syndrome.

Ahhh, I feel a weight has been lifted just by simply saying the words aloud.Many, if not all of you, know exactly this syndrome of which I speak. I’m not proud to admit this but it is the truth. With Bella, everything was perfect. What I mean to say is that I did my best to do everything right! She was always dressed adorably, not a hair out of place, all meals were up to food pyramid standards, just the right amount of sleep to play ratio. I read to her, I sang to her, I engaged her, TV time was limited, classes were taken, play dates were made and minds were expanded.I used to turn my nose up to those Moms that I saw in the grocery store, who looked like they had no mirrors in their house and so obviously should not have been parents..as they were yelling at a 3 year old at the top of their lungs because the poor kid wanted granola bars. Then we were blessed with Gabs.

One child is ONE CHILD but two children feels more like ten! I naively thought that having two would be as easy as one. ( What I meant to say as easy as my one was.)What did I know?  Suddenly, my days went from doting, anticipating every need, hitting every milestone in stride and ending the day patting myself on the back for a job well done to feeling like I couldn’t can’t keep up. It all became a blur. A fog filled with love and clamor.Noise.Chaos.More love. It enveloped me.I fell into it willingly.But somewhere along the way, I got lost. I lost sight of all my expectations. I think I evolved (or perhaps devolved ) in my parenting skills, however you want to look at it.Somehow I became , what I now know to be, the exhausted, sleep deprived Mom whose husband travels for work all the time and who has not had a shower  or shaved her legs for 3 days. And after a testing morning trying to get her older child off to school, she NOW is standing in the middle of the grocery with her 3 year old tantruming over the exact same granola bars that Mommy had to throw away this morning because said child had spat it out all over the new carpet because…it tasted “bad”. All I know is that it was not humanly possible for me to keep up at the pace I had been doing with one child. There had to be a give and take.

It’s a hard moment in motherhood when one has to accept this fact.It feels like defeat but really what it is IS growing pains.It’s you growing into your role of motherhood. I am certain I experienced the 7 stages of grief when letting go of my expectations of motherhood. First there was shock and denial. What? Both kids won’t nap at the same time?I can handle this.I don’t need sleep! 2nd stage, Pain and guilt. I can’t take this any more.Mommy needs some time to decompress too.Please go to sleep. Oh, no don’t cry. It’s OK. Say awake.I’m such a crappy Mommy trying to force my toddler to go to bed, just so I can have some alone time. I suck! 3rd stage, anger and bargaining. GO TO SLEEP!!! Just be quiet and go to sleep. Please go to sleep! If you go to sleep, I will take you to Chuck E. Cheese tomorrow. 4th stage, depression, reflection and loneliness. Crying because you feel overwhelmed. During this time, you finally realize the magnitude of your loss and it depresses you.You can’t be the parent that you had expected to be..because it’s impossible. You may feel isolated, left to reflect alone on your lost expectations and focus on what you thought things could have been.( Cue the montage of you and your pre baby body running in a field of lilies with your perfectly coiffed matching dressed little girls.) You may sense feelings of emptiness, failure or despair.5th stage, the upward turn. You begin to adjust to your new role with new expectations.Life will become calmer and more organized. What that really means is that your house will be dirtier, the meals will be less food pyramid organic and more chicken nuggets for the finicky pallet of the most distinguished toddler connoisseur. Mommy guilt will begin to lift. Stage 6, reconstruction and working through.As you become more functional, your mind starts working again ( mommy brain may have lifted a bit but, let’s be honest, probably not.It’s a slippery slope from pregnancy brain to Mommy brain to full on forget where you put your vajayjay this morning.. sun downers.I’m just saying). You will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by motherhood. For example, the 5 second rule becomes perfectly acceptable.God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt, may be heard around the house.Summer afternoons in the pool may begin to qualify as bath time. And finally, you will reach stage 7, acceptance and hope.You learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. This in no way means instant happiness. There’s no magic pill for motherhood. Once you give in to the reality that parenting two babies is exponentially harder than one, you can adjust your attitude, your expectations and your technique. You can have hope that one day, you will sleep again.Someday…maybe when they are married and sleeping safely in their bed with their husbands. (Sucker, She’s your problem now!)

And so as I sit here, stuffing more random pieces of paper with notes scribbled on them into Gabs’ baby book, I am reminded of the quote ” Don’t be sad that it’s over, be happy that it happened!”~Seuss Be glad that you cared enough to have the expectations and to impose them on yourself in the first place. Then, go feed that kid some chicken nuggets before they throw a tantrum in the middle of the store:)

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co sleeping, co-sleeping, the truth about co- sleeping, the family bed, parenting styles

Time to give you the real truth about Co-Sleeping and more importantly, how to safely co-sleep with your baby. Since I scared you all straight with my earlier post and all the good news the world has to offer, I’ve decided to redeem the day. I’m a half full kind of gal and I refuse to let the cold hard reality of the world change that.

When I became too obsessed with scheduling and time, I removed my watch. I’ve not worn one in about 5 years now. I was seriously about to get carpal tunnel from all the twisting of my wrist to check the time. So, I eliminated it from my day.I’m about to do the same for CNN. Anyways, in the spirit of redeeming myself, I have decided to write about something that is very positive in my life…co-sleeping. We have been safely co-sleeping since our first baby was out of the bassinet and I’d love to share with you how to safely co-sleep with your baby.

co sleeping, co-sleeping, the truth about co- sleeping, the family bed, parenting styles

Co-Sleeping makes us Closer

Oh, yeah. I know some of you are rolling your eyes and tsk-tsking me for committing such an unthinkable crime against parenting dogma but the family bed is where it’s at for us. I know, I come off as somewhat snarkilicious on here, at times. It’s OK. You can say it, I’m fully aware.

READ ALSO: Co-Sleeping is not for Sissies

But when it comes to co-sleeping, I must admit I become completely full on granola; share my life, share my bed with my babies. Crunchy even. I did not plan co-sleeping. I planned on 2 weeks in the bassinet and then a seamless transition to the crib shortly thereafter. But like everything else in motherhood thus far, I was thrown a curve ball.

co sleeping, co-sleeping, the truth about co- sleeping, the family bed, parenting styles

Co-Sleeping is safe if done appropriately

When it came down to it, Bella would fall asleep in my arms after nursing and when I tried to put her back into her bassinet, she would wake up…always. Tired Mommy say what? I did what most exhausted, “so in love with her newborn that she can’t stand to miss a second of this creature’s life, doesn’t truly know where she ends and the baby begins” Mommy would do…I laid her in bed with me. Right there, between my husband and I..in a positioner ( I know those things have since become about as taboo as those unsafe walkers of the Hewlett- Packard commercials).

I can say that in those first few months, sleep was not the sleep that people without children experience. No, my sleep was half-awake, hearing every single noise, breath, fart of the night, being uber aware of any motion in the entire house and the yard, pseudo conscious delirium…at best.

I was terrified that I’d roll on top of my sweet co-sleeper and smother her. I know you were all thinking it. So, in those first few months I never really got any sleep of any benefit. But what I did get was a crazy tight bond. You know the bond you get from breastfeeding? When you co-sleep, for me, the bond is that times two.

READ ALSO: Breastfeeding Sucks

There is something magical and reassuring about waking up and looking over and seeing that little face so peaceful in the middle of the night.The smell of a little next to you, the feel of little gangling arms and legs, surprise hugs and kisses, even the occasional head bunt, reassuring karate chop and rogue face punch have become endearing to me.

By bed-sharing, when my little one wakes in the middle of the night, they put a hand out to find me or the Big Guy and they are reassured and go back to sleep. There is something to be said for being within arms reach. It makes me happy. I  never planned to co-sleep but co-sleeping found me. It took hold and it is one of the best parenting decisions that I have ever made up until this point. I’m just exhausted of people making co-sleeping parents feel like it’s some sort of dirty secret. I think it is natural, beautiful and amazing.

Both girls, ages 3 & 5, are currently still co-sleeping with me during the weekdays, while the Big Guy is out of town. On the weekends,  they sleep in their own bed…at least they start out there. I don’t see a problem with it. I think it is every parent’s decision. It’s more about what works for your family. For ours, we’re doing it the Jolie-Pitt style..for now.

My plan is once we are all back in the same house to put the girls in a bed together and me and the Big Guy in one. What are your thoughts? How old is too old to co-sleep? Are you absolutely against co-sleeping? Why? Why not? Do you do co-sleeping? When did you stop co-sleeping? When will you stop co-sleeping? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on co-sleeping?

Co-Sleeping is Natural

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The last few days, life has been weighing on me like a ton of bricks. I’ve been somewhat of an emotional wreck.I’m feeling as if I am falling short..in every avenue.


I have become accustomed to the weight of the world pushing down on my shoulders like a spring about to be sprung at anytime. This I am used to but  kept telling myself..”I” can do this. It’s only  for a few more months. I can hold it together.If the Big Guy can go away to support his family, leave his home and his children..I can do this. I am afforded the luxury of staying in my own home with our little family by my side. Sure the silence after they go to bed is deafening and sometimes heartbreaking, but it is the least I can do.I owe it to ‘Us’ to be able to do this.Of course, I have my occasional breakdowns and find myself having a nice long, ugly cry over some seemingly innocuous incident. But then I move on and I am free of the pressure for a little while.


But I forgot about one vital piece of information…them. More important than can I do this, can they do this.


Bella had a terrible time last year when this all began.She had to leave her preschool with all her friends, her teacher, her life.Then when the Big Guy had to leave this past spring again, she was a wreck.He had to leave the day before her 5th birthday. An angry, displaced, overwhelmed little basket of nerves. I understood. I gave her some time and space. I was there with hugs and consolation. I was there overflowing with understanding and love.Always standing by with love. I never want them to feel a lack of love because of the lack of people around to give it. It broke my heart to watch her have to go through this at such a young age. To feel such misery and discombobulation is awful for anyone to experience. Eventually, the anger subsided. She grew up..too much and too fast because she was forced to accept the situation and learn to live with it.This breaks my heart to know that she has lost some of her innocence about the world because of money. I hate to see my children want for anything, especially when it is their Daddy, whom they really do hang the moon on.


There was one person who was silent through it all, my Gabs. Gabs is 3 and this situation with the Big Guy having to be gone, for work, has been going on since right around the time she turned 2.She was just a baby, really. So, I never considered how it would affect her. I don’t think I even put her into the equation because she was so small. However now, she is 3 and a half and she has found her voice.She notices everything and she has an opinion.The last 8 months have consisted of me being here with my girls trying to figure it all out, the Big Guy being gone, on his own,alone.It’s been Christmas Fridays and funeral Sunday nights left standing on the stoop, while watching  through tear filled eyes as my girls run down the road waving bye to their Daddy;screaming “I love you” at the top of their lungs. It’s been Sunday nights filled with meltdowns of little girls missing their Daddy. Its been week nights of soothing little broken hearts calling out for their Daddy. It’s been hard all the way around. Lately, Gabs has been acting out.She cries for her Daddy almost nightly and she tells me on a regular basis that she hates me and quite frequently can be heard asking “You hate me, don’t you?” I know that she doesn’t hate me but lately her question has been cutting like a knife through my soul. She wants her Daddy and I am beginning to wonder if she doesn’t think I am punishing her by not being together. Does she think I have control of this situation? In her little mind, does she think I have willingly chosen to keep us all apart?


It’s almost too much for my heart to bear.The rock and the hard place that I am nestled between is this; Bella is finally comfortable in school ( after being yanked out of her school in Virginia last year) and has finally made friends after the alienation episode at the beginning of this semester. I feel like I owe it to her to make life as normal as possible. After all , she is the child and I am her parent so I need to sacrifice to do what is best for her. That has been the plan since we first pulled this nasty trick on her. The Big Guy and I agreed to sacrifice so that the kids could remain in  their home, their city, until the end of the school year..to give them security and stability. It’s been incredibly difficult but it seemed to be what was best.


Now,little Gabs is begging me to move us to be with the Big Guy; crying nightly, angry, confused, melancholy and still so small. What do I do? How do I choose? One scenario I pull Bella out, once again, and she has to start over..yet again. That doesn’t seem fair. But then on the other hand, Gabs only wants to be with her father.Its such a simple request and a luxury that all children ,with two happily married people,should be afforded.But even this simple request, I can’t provide for the little people that I love more than life itself.This weighs heavily on my soul.Am I making the right choice? How can I choose one of my children’s happiness over the other? What are going to be the ramifications of these choices we are making today for our children down the line?Am I damaging my little ones?


So, here I sit alone in the quiet reevaluating every decision that I have made since the beginning of this entire situation.The last 24 hours have been a roller coaster of emotions. It started with goodbye on a Sunday night, the girls started crying and they wore down the armor around my heart.And I haven’t been able to regain my strength and stability, the weight of their little breaking hearts has knocked me off of my feet.Today has been a succession of crying over movies, tv shows, Gabs telling me that she hates me, and a bedtime reading of Love You Forever. I feel like a fragile ball of exposed nerves  roaming free in the world. I am exhausted from the gravity of this whole ordeal. For now, I’ll pull my armor back on and regain my balance, for my girls. But I have to do some very serious soul searching. We think we are giving our children everything they could hope for but in the end, it boils down to what everything is to our children. For my girls, everything is a good night hug from their Daddy. It is priceless. How do I choose who deserves to be happiest? How do I tell one that their needs has to be put aside for the others?

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When I was in my 20’s, I felt I was too young to have kids.When I actually did have my first girl, in my early 30’s, I was planning to plan to have a baby. Then we planned Gabs and after 1 month of actively trying, we were pregnant. When is the right time? There really is no right time. It’s like that moment right before the wax is removed from your upper lip, its scary as hell but sometimes you’ve just got to pull the trigger or you’ll never accomplish anything. If we were all to afraid of the certain pain it takes to remove the wax, we’d all be running around either with hot wax or hair on our upper lips. Am I too old to have any more? Has my womb become a cavernous black hole filled with cobwebs and brittle remnants of my past? These are the thoughts that plague my mind in my 5 seconds of free time every single day, lately.

I don’t feel 38, I feel the same as I did when I was 25 but much, much wiser in the ways of the world, relationships, and myself. After Gabs was born, we were conflicted whether or not to have another baby. After all, we already had these 2 perfect little girls and, at least me, felt that to have any more might be getting greedy.The Big Guy and I discussed it and decided to make a decision by the time Gabs was 2.Two came and went and it was basically accepted that we were a family of 4. We both breathed a sigh of relief that we had made a decision…sort of. Gabs is now 3 and I am not sure what I feel anymore.

The Big Guy occasionally makes a joke that we need to have ” a boy”..you know our illusive unicorn baby. I’m not sure if he’s joking just to drive me insane or if he actually might want another baby.It starts getting hard when you see that your babies are no longer babies. Bella’s in kindergarten and it feels like she already has one foot out of the door. Every day she becomes more and more independent. I realize that is what we want to happen. She is amazing but with each new miracle and milestone she performs, we know its only a matter of time that she is no longer in need of our immediate care. Then there is Gabs, who is just  so sweet and lovable and squishy but each day I can see her getting her big girl face and it breaks my heart. She is picking up everything at lightening speed because she is her sister’s little clone.

Lately I have noticed myself wondering what if? How would this be? How would our lives change? I just don’t know if its a genuine hunger for another baby or is it not wanting to have my options closed or am I just feeling the twitches of my uterus a little more than usual because my girls are growing up so quickly? How do you know when you are absolutely done? Obviously, it will start with a serious talk with the Big Guy.It’s a little hard to broach the subject when I’m not sure how I feel myself and he’s only here on the weekends. That’s a pretty serious topic to hit him over the head with when he walks in the door on a random Friday evening.

Then there is the factor that no matter how old I may feel, I am, in fact, 38. I always told myself no ba
bies after 35. It was like this magical stopping point because of risks and statistics. Of course, I have spoken to my doctor and she says that I am perfectly healthy and another baby would not be an issue. Then again, there are NO guarantees in life. None! Have  I mentioned to you that I am a complete control freak.Then I get that feeling of tempting the fates, again.I am so conflicted. To be clear, there is no baby in the works. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and I thought you ladies could weigh in.So, my question to you …what’s too old to get pregnant? How did you know that you were done having babies..for certain? I just keep having a feeling that I am supposed to be the Mommy of 3 but that could just be the baby pictures I just looked at talking. But how could these pictures not make your uterus twinge?

“https://3.bp.blogspot.com/_9uZoyBGwKCM/S9ZnMFf-XDI/AAAAAAAAASU/ywpjDaZl6mw/s1600/gabi” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”>
You do have to admit, we do good work! Look at those gorgeous little girls!
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Big Guy:” The Kids asleep?”
Me: “Yeah, we better hurry.  You know they’ll be waking up soon for… something….anything”
Big Guy: “OK. where do you want to do this?The kids are in our bed right? How about the living room?”
Me:”No way, we’re too exposed. We’d be right out in the open.”
Big Guy:” How about Bella’s room?”
Me: “NO, that’s right across from our room..they’d walk in and there we’d be. It’s too easy to get caught!”
Big Guy: “What about Gabs room? They’d have to make a turn, we’d have a warning!”
Me: “Sounds good, but not in the bed..that would be gross!”
Big Guy:” OK, so we got about 10 minutes on Gabs’ bedroom floor?”
Me:”Yep!”
Big Guy:” GO!”

Sound familiar? I know I am not the only one with co-sleepers, or small children in general. This was NOT in the baby handbook! How people have more than 2 kids, I will never know. It must be pure unadulterated dumb luck. I know how we go the first one, we were alone, we were married, we lived in Tennessee and nothing was on TV so we got a lot of practice entertaining ourselves!  Then we went on a romantic getaway with nothing to do but linger in each others arms. BAM! There ya go! But number 2, that baby was conceived on a Labor Day afternoon while a baby napped, Daddy had the day off, and Mommy was feeling frisky. Now, fast forward to 3 years later..there is no way that we could conceive another one. Love making has been reduced to an Olympic qualifying sport.It’s all about being very strategic and very fast, rushed and quiet (Sush, you’ll wake the girls).There’s no falling into it, no looking longingly into each others eyes with that hungry look. We still have those hungry looks but now its usually a hunger for sleep.

We’ve never really been busted, probably because we are like merry minstrels roaming from room to room to find a spot to engage in the occasional coitus. Making matters worse, now he is always out of town for business so that leaves me with only 3 nights and 3 days of potential love making to choose from.  So, if I say I’m too tired or I’ve got a headache, I have to think carefully because the opportunity may not present itself again until the following week.(Yes, a whole week more)Who are we kidding, you can’t make “love” in that sliver of time we are allotted after our kids fall asleep and before the first time they wake up for water, the potty, nightmares, what have you.Let’s call it what it is, we are making a quickie and sometimes we can’t even get through that before someone wakes up and calls out. Nothing like being almost there, and having to go soothe a cryer back to sleep. That will dry you up quicker than a shot of Sudaphed.Don’t worry Daddies, I’m pretty sure it can shrivel your junk up too, within a matter of seconds. Thank God its the quality and not the quantity that counts. Quality is fantastic, quantity, well, we need to clear up some scheduling conflicts…like children running a muck and working out of town! I never understood what the hell all this “I have a headache” stuff was about. Then I had kids and I realized, the headache of which they speak is the headache it is to try and choreograph “Special” time with your partner.

Sometimes, you just need a back rub and that’s it. It’s not code for anything but I’m tired and my damn back hurts from chasing and lugging kids all day. Can you help a Mama out and just rub my back? But we can’t even get through that without someone waking up, calling out, or creeping up on us.I have been busted getting a late night massage in front of the fire place, thank God it hadn’t evolved any further. That’s why I know the living room is too exposed.  I have a friend who told me that her and her husband used to rendezvous in their closet for “special” time, away from the prying ears of their teenagers. My closet just isn’t big enough for those kind of escapades. Her and her husband are both on the smaller side. My husband is a giant and I’m life size not fun sized, so there’s no way that could happen in my house. Plus with all that clean laundry that’s hiding out in my closet floor, there’s no room left for love making…unless the big guy wants to hump my clean nighties that are in desperate need of being put away. He never sees them on anymore, so I am sure one look at them and he’d be done.

How do you coordinate special time? Dose the kiddies with Benadryl? Lock the doors and turn out the lights and pretend no ones home? During nap time? Where do you have to hide to get your groove on? I need suggestions, I am running out of  rooms that are safe. I was thinking about the basement but then I’d die if one of the kids woke up, came looking for us, and fell down the stairs. Oh, the joys of Motherhood! Happy Parenting!

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