Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Starting to sink in...

I think I'm starting to get it. It's not about the money we make or how well we do our job. It's about all that space in between. The "down time."  Are we on our devise? Or are we paying attention to the kids. Really, really paying attention. Are we crossing things off the to do list? Or are we tending to the garden, letting the sun warm us from the outside in? 

The more I feel stuck, the more I way to break free. Unruffled my feathers and fly. 

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Blogging again and 642 Things to Write About

Ah, the New Year when everyone busts out their resolutions. I’ve never been big on resolutions but I do have one for 2014. I want to get back to writing and my blog. I feel my command of the English language and the opportunity to paint verbal pictures has waned in the last several years. While at a conference in Monterey, CA this past summer when I had a few hours to slip away for some sightseeing we popped into a little coastal gift shop in Big Sur. I came across the book 642 Things to Write About. The book contains 642 prompts to do some creative writing – from the serious “Write a love letter to the one that got away” to the silly “Boxers or briefs. Discuss” to the thought provoking “Pick one decision you’ve made in your life…How would your life be different now if you’d made a different choice?”

So in my commitment to myself I’m going to pick at least one prompt a week and write. Feel free to comment, edit, and correct my grammar and punctuation. Or give me a new prompt! Enjoy.

How you’re just like your mother

Some women dread being compared to their mother. They want to be the furthest thing from her, look different, think different, know different. But I’m pretty much just like her and totally fine with that. Quirky, funny, loves a good glass of cheap wine, sometimes from a box. People pleasers. Sentimentalists. Hoarders of family memories in the depths of our basements and crawl spaces.

Watching a home video of when I was a child you could hear mom yelling at one of her brood... “Stop that!” Without looking – just listening…I sound just like her yelling at my own girls. Do this, do that, STOP!

Fiercely loyal to her friends I am too. Miles and months separate but once reunited we pick up right were we left off, laughing until we are in stitches or pee our pants, knowing that calories don’t count among best friends and during ‘girls-weekends’, full of inside jokes and things only that circle of friends know.

We also have the same thighs. On a mother-daughter trip to Las Vegas once we had a fellow pool goer take a photo of us – mom and me and my sisters. We sat on the lounge chairs looking like modern day pin-up gals with our legs bent at the knees and big sunglasses. We ALL have the same set of thighs. No amount of running, calf-raises, or barre exercises will change that. They are part of our genes.

We are different people cut from the same cloth. Each beating the same drum but maybe to a slightly different tune. Her’s is broadway mine is pop or country. But when you look closely and listen, I am my mother.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

One Year

We are five days shy if one year! One year as a family of four. One year with two girls. One year with two sisters. One year of sleepless nights. One year of twice the joy and love and laughter and hugs.

Emma finally got teeth between months 10 and 11. She learned how to pull herself up to standing while watching Sophia take a bath. She still butt scoots around the house at lightening speed. I can only imagine how fast she will be when she walks unassisted. She slept through the night, finally, last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday but up at least once Saturday and sunday- there is a learning curve I guess.

Emma tipped the scales yesterday at 19.8 pounds and 28 inches tall. She is my skinny mini. This year will bring a new batch of milestones and I'm sure a tantrum or two. Hopefully Sophie will be working those out of her system.

We have another year to watch our little girls grow. The year ahead for more bumps and bruises, more sleepless nights, more learning, and certainly more laughs, more hugs and more sloppy kisses. I can't wait.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


It's no secret that I love kids, babies, mamas and all the "stuff" that goes with them. As I continue to figure out how to get on the path to working in the maternal/baby healthcare world I will just keep on moving forward and let all the pieces fall together. In the mean time it makes me proud and happy when other mamas, friends, friends of friends, and expectant mothers I know ask me my opinion on baby/kid stuff. Here are a few of my favorite things, new and old. (I'm not getting paid by any of the companies below to talk about their products! They are just products and companies I use and love!)

Moby Wrap- This 7 yards of fabric has been a life saver. It allows you to hold baby close and snuggle but still gives you the benefit of being hands free! I especially love it in the first few months so you can wear baby and not have strangers all touchy feely when you are out and about. When preparing for a shopping trip I usually put the Moby on then get in the car so it is one last thing to deal with at your destination. And baby usually sleeps like a rock when all Mobyied up.

Ergo- Another great carrier. Is is comfortable and won't fatigue your back like some of the other carriers on the market. You can front or rear carry and even side carry and it is good up to 40 lbs! I carried 35lb Sophia (at the time) last summer in the Ergo on my back and pushed Emma in the stroller while we were on vacation. Sophia loved it because she didn't have to walk and felt like she had some special attention!

Bum Genius Diapers- I have used these cloth diapers since Sophia was a baby. I prefer the All-In-One diapers that allow you to expand them as the kiddo grows! I'm now using them on Emma. We have about 18 Bum Genius Diapers in our stash. Talk about a money saving option! The diaper seem expensive at first but considering I've used them through two kids it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the cost savings. I have replaced the velcro and leg elastics once. (Thanks Mom!) I need to redo the velcros again. That is my only negative about the "Aplix" style diapers. The Aplix or Velcro does get worn out and needs to be replaced. I'm learning that snap closures are better.

FuzziBunz- I only have one of these diapers but I plan on buying more. They are an adjustable pocket diaper with snap closures. They are a very trim fitting diaper. Adjustable waist and leg elastic make them easy to fit at any stage.

Rockin' Green Detergent- This stuff literally ROCKS! It is affordable, gets diapers super clean, smells great, natural, and fights urine/poop oder in your diapers. I've read a lot of reviews that people like it so much they have started using it for regular wash-not just diapers. I bought 2 bags on Black Friday in an online deal and still have 1/4 of the first bag to use. I use it mainly for my diapers and do the diapers every other day! It's about $.31/wash.

CJs BUTTer- Diaper cream that is cloth diaper safe! It comes in a variety of scents, comes in a stick so you don't have greasy/messy hands, and comes in a travel size for the diaper bag. Works great on diaper rash but also good for minor cuts and scrapes. I buy mine at Abby's Lane- they are local if you are in Maryland, DC, Virginia but also have an outstanding online store.

NoseFrida- This thing is bizarre. When I told my mom and mother-in-law about it they both threw up in their mouths a little bit. But it works! Affectionately called the "snot sucker" it is a straw tube contraption that allows you to literally SUCK the snot out of your kids' noses! It sounds disgusting but really works. It is much more effective and efficient than the blue bulb sucker thing they give you when the baby is born. You control the suction and can remove more snot than the bulb. Abby's Lane also sells these on their site.

So there are a few of my favorite can't live with out baby/kid things.

Another great thing for mom's wanting to try cloth diapers- check out Jillian's Drawers try cloth program. You can buy a sampling of a variety of diapers- different closures, fit, inserts, materials. See what works for you and your little one. What you don't want you can return and what works you can keep. Everything is explained on the site. It's a great way to learn first hand about the different types of diapers available!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sick of being Sick!

I think it is time to fumigate our house and rid of all germs. January has been nothing but one long revolving cold for our family.

Sophia came home from school on January 6 with a runny nose and a cough. She seemed a little better Saturday morning so we proceeded with our plans for the day. We even went to our neighbors for dinner (gee I hope they didn't get the bug!) I knew she was going down hill when she didn't want to play and went to lay down on the couch. I think we skipped church on Sunday because by this time both Sophia and Emma were snuffly and just not feeling great.

And so the week went. Both stayed home sick on Monday, Emma came home early on Tuesday because of fever, not eating, not eliminating.  Thursday Emma was home. Sophia just suffered through the rest of the week. I went out of town on Friday. My husband called when I landed to let  me know he was going to have to leave work and get Emma again.

That weekend landed Emma at the doctor's office at 6:15pm on a Friday night and a trip to the ER on Sunday. All while I was out of town. Helpless. My husband dealing with two sick kids - solo. I ended up having to take two more days off the next week because Emma was consistently running fevers.She returned to daycare on Wednesday but still had a low grade fever. At least by this time we figured out the cause of the fevers and finickiness- TEETH. Finally at 10 months she was getting her first tooth. But apparently this kid goes big or goes home-she has two coming in simultaneously on the top and I think two on the bottom as well. As of today they have finally broken through the surface of the gumline.

Meanwhile Sophia's runny nose has stopped but she has been running low grade fevers still and has now developed a cough. We went to the doctor Tuesday evening. She definitely has some rasp in her lungs and was prescribed something to dry it up. I recall the doctor saying if it wasn't better by today or Monday to call back. Well guess what-it hasn't gone away, may be worse, and now Emma is coughing. Are you kidding me? I can't wait to get the batch of EOBs from the insurance company. I'm sure we have been to the doctor at least 6 times in the month of January.

This doesn't include that the original cold has cycled through both Phillip and I too. And I am now dealing with some sinus pain and headaches, lots of sneezing and crap running around the back of my throat.

21 days of unhealthiness. 21 days of cranky. 21 days of Kleenex. 21 days of doctors and feeling like my hands are tied because I don't know how to make my kiddos feel better. 21 days.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

When the milk runs dry

After nearly 10 months of nursing the journey Emma and I have been on is coming to an end. I'm not ready to be done nursing and Emma still takes to the breast very willingly. But my milk supply is just not what it used to be.

It was great to have time off during the holidays because I could nurse often, and not have to pump so much, but I also think we were up three or four times a night because she is only getting snacks and not full feedings while nursing. Sometimes I wish our breasts were translucent so we could actually see how much milk is in there and what our little nurslings are consuming!

I'm frustrated because I feel like my body is failing me. Not keeping up it's end of the bargain. Granted I have successfully nursed Emma 2 1/2 months longer than I was able to nurse Sophia but I was really hoping to make it the full year.

I counted the ounces in my freezer last night - 45oz. I send 15oz. of milk a day to daycare...you can do the math. Remember my stockpile? It's all but gone.

I tried fenugreek, I tried nettle, I tried oatmeal. Each pumping I have to work to get 1.5oz. Supply is not keeping up with demand.

The emotional component of nursing it perhaps what is most difficult. I feel that the end of nursing really signals that Emma is no longer an infant, no longer a baby. I won't get that daily, continuous, calming, closeness nursing provides.

And to boot, while cleaning out her lunch bag from day care, she didn't finish 2 ounces of a bottle. 2 ounces of precious liquid gold. 2 ounces that could get us through half of another feeding. 2 ounces that these days takes me 15-20 minutes to remove from my breast. Wasted.

I grounded Emma after that but I don't think she understood. I think she just grinned and clapped.

I will keep pumping until the well is really dry. I am so not ready to be at the end of this road.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Princess Sofia"

My sister-in-law sent me this story the other day. Having a daughter named Sophia, I had to read it.


I have a love hate relationship with the Princesses. I grew up watching them. Love Cinderella. My middle name is Aurora (as is Sophia's) and I married a Phillip thus we are a living Sleeping Beauty (Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip-minus the sleeping thing and white horse and fairies following me around...) But as I have grown older and studied Media Literacy and the damaging effects of the Princesses....I cringe.

I am reluctant to overly encourage and share Princess stuff with Sophia. I prefer her to watch the more neutral movies and TV programs like Winnie the Pooh, Cat in the Hat, Fireman Sam, etc. and if we are going to watch a movie I'm glad she will pick Cars over a princess.

But Princess Sofia? It's over the top for me. She is targeted for girls age 2-7. She is "the purple-gowned kiddie princess. She becomes a princess when her mom marries the king of her storybook world." Disney assures us "That the inner character of kindness, generosity, loyalty, honesty and grace make you special, not the dress you wear." But when you have a 'kiddie princess' in a sparkly purple gown and tiara leaving in a castle and being a part of her MOM's STORYBOOK WORLD??? you are not going to be teaching my daughter much to relate to.

This Mom's Storybook world includes a husband who works very hard and carries the weight of his family's little world on his shoulders.

Two 'princesses' who cry, still have potty accidents, have tantrums, and hug you so fiercely you fall over.

While our 'castle' keeps us warm and dry the girls share a room and a dresser and a closet. We all share one small bathroom.

The have matching fuzzy footie pajamas that I bought on sale and to boot it was buy one get one free! I spent $8.80 total on their Christmas jammies.

There aren't a lot of sparkly new dresses and "bling" to wear. Our storybook includes making the food in the pantry and freezer stretch until pay day and having to say No to a box of band-aids because I literally didn't have the $1.99 to buy the fancy box of boo-boo fixers.

I hope Princess Sofia doesn't infiltrate my Princess Sophia's little world.