Eating my Words Like Pez

Jul 22, 2015 by

Before I had my sons, I was certain I had the whole parenting thing figured out. I’d studied education in school, taught young children for my job, and read parenting books by the dozens. I was so ready for this.

Reality check: Newborn babies were nothing like I thought they were. That sounds so silly to say, but I was the first of my friends to have children by a solid five years, and my concept of “newborns” was, in fact, more like a four month old baby. Newborns are actually terrifying. Don’t get me wrong, I rush at the chance to see brand new babies when my friends have them, but holy smokes! This was all eye-opening for me seven years ago. The panicked wailing, the bright red skin, the itty-bity diapers, the careful monitoring of poop and pee, the total lack of sleep…it’s completely overwhelming. As most parents will admit, many of my well-laid plans flew out the window. My plan to have a well-scheduled, easy child was replaced with a commitment to full-on attachment parenting in attempt to simply survive the horror that is colic. I answered the door to see our poor UPS man’s red face, only realizing I was holding a nursing baby while signing for a package after the fact. I nursed on-demand, co-slept, baby-wore, all out of necessity for my own sanity.

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Summering On The Other Side

Jul 8, 2015 by

I cannot even believe I’m about to write this post, but guys? It gets so much better.

You see, this was my summer four years ago:

Yes, they were cute. Very cute. Yes, I miss babies sometimes. But in addition to adorably squishy babies, I see sheer, draining exhaustion when I look at these photos. That particular summer pictured above, with a 2 year old and a newborn, was a rough one. My firstborn wasn’t a great sleeper, and I was nursing a baby around the clock. It was an especially hot summer, and I learned quickly the unpleasantness that is nursing in 105 degrees fahrenheit in the sand. Did I mention I was also in graduate school at the time? I love nothing more than day trips with my family, but it was admittedly hard to get out the door for groceries that summer, let alone a day at the Peabody with lunch at Pepe’s.

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Sharing Your Birthday with Those in Need

Jun 24, 2015 by

I have written before about my quest to declutter our home in recent months. Less is more has been my philosophy for quite some time now, and it has caused me to rethink several areas of my life. I’m trying very hard to resist clearance rack clothing that will soon fall apart; we’ve gotten really into local toy swaps both for getting rid of outgrown items (and to acquire new toys), and I’ve unsubscribed to almost *all* marketing emails telling me about sales and coupons (aside from grocery stores) so I’m less tempted to buy things I don’t need. The one thing that has been a challenge? My kids’ birthdays. My sons are fortunate in that they have lots of people in their lives that care about them and want to give them birthday gifts. However, they simply do not need the number of gifts they receive from their friends and family. So, they donate birthday gifts to charity.

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Breaking Up with Screens

Jun 10, 2015 by

Screen time. Other than perhaps sleep training, I don’t know that there are two words that can cause more rifts between parents. It seems to be one of those things that parents are either all for (because screens are the future, we are raising digital “natives”, and they need to progress with the times) or totally against (because it stunts social skill development, can cause emotional disconnect, and overstimulates brains). I refuse to believe this is a black-and-white, all-or-nothing issue.

I grew up in the 80’s. Cable was just becoming a “thing”, and I loved cartoons. I watched Looney Tunes every day after school, and suffered zero side effects of this. (Minus my uncanny ability to paint trompe l’oeil tunnels, of course. I kid, I kid…) However, I clearly remember the horror of the cartoon “hour” ending, and the evening news/Dateline/60-Minutes starting up. There was no 24/7 menu option; you watched them for the short window they were on, then…that’s all, folks!

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Wardrobe Crisis: What am I supposed to wear?

May 27, 2015 by

 

I used to love to shop. For clothes. For me. I shopped sales, I sometimes splurged on fancy things, and I had to seriously keep myself in check when hitting our local outlet malls so I’d still have money left for monthly bills. If you sent 10-years-ago me a picture of me now…she would probably wonder what happened. You see, I still like to shop now and then, but I’ve completely lost the ability to shop for myself. Since having kids, I find plenty of outfits for my boys and my husband, and nothing for myself. Remember the show What Not To Wear? Remember when the token mom getting a makeover would be sobbing in Macy’s that she was overwhelmed and stressed and wanted to leave? I used to think that was absurd, but now…that mom is me!

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