Saturday, August 27, 2011


Snapshots from my life over the last week...

Mama. Levi said his first word, and I was so stoked about it because Micah would only say Dada for the longest time. Levi will only say it if he is crying and frustrated because I am not picking him up. He has said it three times so far, and every time he says it I get ever so giddy. Definitely one of the best tings about being a mom- the first time your child says your name, says "I love you", and kisses you are some of the sweetest things in life.

Micah flipping off the WIC waiting room. It was way more innocent than it sounds, but all the moms thought it was hilarious nonetheless. Micah and I had to get our hemoglobin checked, and it's just a finger prick. Micah was so good, sat on my lap and held his finger out even though he was scared. The lady picked his middle finger, of course. When he was done, the lady put a small band aid on his finger, and then decided that what he really needed was a giant band aid on his tiny finger. And then she drew a happy face on the band aid. So naturally, when we got to the waiting room, Micah proudly held up his middle finger to the ladies and their children and announced, "LOOK AT MY BLOOD SURGERY, EVERYONE!"

My heart was bursting with pride for my husband.  The nutritionist we saw immediately commented when she looked at my file and then looked at my baby that he was a gorgeous, healthy, perfect gem...commended me on my efforts to exclusively breastfeed, which of all the clients she sees, is extremely rare...she then asked how my experience with nursing has been and what support I have had...and then looked at my hubby, and said the following: "Dad, I just want to commend you on how supportive you have been. I mean it- you are great. More moms would breastfeed if they just had support from their husbands. Seriously, you are doing a great job, and your beautiful baby shows." It was a rare moment for my hub to have a little praise, feel included with the breastfeeding, and it just made me so content with the choices we have made to feed naturally despite the roadblocks in the early weeks.

Poop. Levi has decided that every time we are in the car, he will poop. I don't understand it; Jose is convinced that the vibration from the car seat induces it. He says we should make jiggly seats for constipated patients in the hospital to shake it out of 'em. In other news, Micah has regressed since we added Levi to the family. He has been fully potty trained since about 2, and since Levi arrived, he started going in his pants again. I am pretty sure it is to get attention, and boy does it get my attention but not in a good way. It is something we are working through, and from what I understand, when Micah hits his next big developmental milestone, it should resolve itself... Which brings us to our next point.

School. My first born with not be with me every day for the first time in his life, other than an occasional mission trip. He starts Sept. 6th, and I don't know whether to laugh, dance for joy, cry, or try and take a nap every morning while he is gone.

Hosanna vs. Jose. Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest... Micah blurts out during worship in Sunday morning church, "Why are they singing about Daddy?  They keep saying Jose." Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest... Oh well. At least he is making an effort to listen. I had to stifle the laugh and then explain why we call Jesus another name sometimes.

I absolutely love my life since deciding to be obedient to the Lord, making the plunge, and deciding to stay home. Every day is a new adventure. Most of them involve some off-the-wall incidents, way too many bodily functions, moments where we laugh, moments where I am at the end of my rope and ready to let go...but all in all, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Not money, not fame, not retiring early, not a night of full sleep, not getting dressed up to hit the town. I heard a funny expression this week, and it was "baby rabies". And yes, I think I have been bitten.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Songs of the Madre

I don't know how to do much in life, but I do know what to do when I don't know what to do.


How in the world does that make sense? It doesn't. At least, not to the one who must have their ducks perfectly in line, their 401(k)s ready and waiting, their collars ironed and their children washed behind the ears.

Songs speak differently to me (and to all you other music junkies) than those simply looking for a catchy melody on the radio to dance to. I can hear three notes and be instantly taken back to a moment in high school, swaying in my future husband's arms. Or remembering what my grandfather smelled like. Or  to being in elementary school, having the words changed to "Baby Beluga" in the school music class to taunt me.

I have made it thus far, somewhat sanely, by having an outlet: music. I can sit at the piano when I am stressed and just play for hours. The chord progressions start out melancholy, dark, distressed. They quickly progress to rapid, unrelenting, angry, tumultuous progressions, and build and build and build into....

The resolve. Finally, a joyful note breaks through. A lightening in the tone, a quickening of the fingers and a quickening of the heart. The mood of the impromptu piece changes, and so does my posture, my countenance, and finally, my attitude.

I have noticed that when I am stressed with the kids, I sing as well. Tonight, I share with you the lullabies that I sing to my to children, Micah and Levi. Each have their special songs that they settle in to, one written just for them. Micah (4 and a half) requests his when he is feeling sick or can't sleep or is scared. Levi (6 months) requests his by crying, but a mother knows when a song is needed nonetheless.

knocked out cold, sweating up a storm like his father, with his best friend snuggled up

Micah's Song
Besame mucho,
con tu nariz feliz
Besame mucho,
con tus ojos pequeños
Besame mucho,
con tu boca muy loca
Besame mucho,
mi corazon

Loosely translated, this means "Kiss me many times with your happy nose. Kiss me many times with your little eyes. Kiss me many times with your crazy mouth, Kiss me many times, my heart (or my darling). This has been his song from day one.

I cannot get over this view. So in love with my nene!

Levi's Song 
Go to sleep my baby boy, let me whisper in your ear
Go to sleep my baby boy, the night is drawing near
Go to sleep my baby boy, lay down your sweet head
And in the morning, dear, the sun will rise again

Go to sleep, go to sleep
close your eyes
go to sleep, go to sleep
the sun again will rise

This last day has been a doozy, but I know that having a familiar tune to rock to provides just as much comfort to them as it does to me. I am a mom who has a bed time routine for the kids- usually bath time for them both, a snack, brush teeth and potty time, a book, then prayers and lights out for the big one. Then it's changing the baby one last time, nursing him til his tank is full, and putting him down awake.

But sometimes, mommy needs a song just as much as they do.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Psycho in a Hospital Gown

Last night, someone tried to kill me.

Or at least, I thought someone did. It was so real, that I did something I have never done before. Let me set the scene for you...

Hubby Jose and I hit the sack around 10:45 pm last night. I was physically and mentally whooped. Jose had surgery Monday morning, and due to the law that light skinned males are, in fact, the wimpiest ever after surgery, I have been making my self a little crazy trying to take care of the baby, entertain the 4 year old, and the patient. Not an easy task when you are breastfeeding, cloth diapering, have a puppy, and started a new diet the day after hubby had surgery.

But none the less, we (and by we, I mean me and Jesus. Jose was not a help at all lol) made it through the day. The house might have been a disaster, but everyone had a hot dinner, the kids were both bathed, a story was read, kiddo was tucked in after prayers. Levi was dressed, changed, nursed, and put down. Mommy and Daddy had a little time to watch a few episodes of The Office. Good thing for that, because it's the only thing lifting his spirits. Shortly before 11, I let the dog out, put her in bed, and told Jose I had to hit the sack.

Lights out, and 45 minutes later the scariest thing ever happened. I opened my eyes to see, out of the corner of my eye, a large man standing next to my bed in a hospital gown. The next thing I knew, he jumped on our bed and was standing over both of us, arms rearing back with a knife.

Imagine this man, with longish hair, holding a knife...
I let out three blood curdling screams. Jose jolted awake, grabbed me, and said "What's wrong?"

I, apparently, was dreaming. Or having a night terror. This has never, EVER, in my life, happened. I have nightmares all the time. It is something that plagues me- I have them at least once a week, especially when I am stressed or overly tired. Usually it is someone trying to kill me, violently, and it is usually my father (another story for another day). Almost all of my dreams are vividly real- I can practically taste, smell, touch when I am dreaming.

This time, however, was very different. I opened my eyes and it was like he was right in front of me. And I screamed- LOUD. And long. Like in the movies. So loud, and so long, that my throat hurts this morning and I woke up hoarse. I have never sleep-talked, sleep-walked, nothing. The worst I do is occasionally spaz when I am falling asleep- like you have a quick dream you are falling and jerk awake. It took me a long time to fall back asleep, since I was convinced there was a psycho loose in our house, ready to kill me as soon as I went back to sleep. Never in my life has something been so real. And never have I scared the bodily fluids out of my husband like that.

Hoping today (and tonight) go better. The dream and fitful sleep have made me a little on edge; this stupid diet is making me even edgier- I just want some friggin chocolate. And since everyone is so demanding of me today, I just want to crawl into my bed tonight and have someone hold me. Stroke my hair, tell me it's going to be okay, rub my head until I fall asleep.

Just as long as it's not a psycho in a hospital gown.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Big Latch On... Or not.

He was not having any of this...

When I heard about The Big Latch On a few months ago, I absolutely knew I wanted to go.

I have become such a lactavist (I love that new word, hehe) over the last few months, and in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I naturally wanted to be a part of it. The Big Latch On is an event in which breast feeding women come together at the same time, in different locations across the globe, and nurse at the same time- 10:30 am- in an attempt to break the previous Guinness World Record for most women nursing at one time. It is truly empowering. That being said, with my goal in sight, I have been planning for weeks that this would be a great way to celebrate my 6 month goal of nursing.

I should have know it would not exactly go as planned. Levi had his shots yesterday, which set the tone for the next 24 hours. Let me give you my time line of last night:
9:00pm- Kids bathed, bedtime routine finished, Micah conked out. Levi nursed, and snoozing.
12:30am- I stumble to bed after finishing up my cloth diapers and laundry for the night. Can't sleep because Jose is working, and I don't sleep in the bed well alone.
1:00am: Levi wakes up to nurse, mad as a hornet, and HOT. Thank you, vaccines, for giving him a fever. 
1:45am: Baby changed, tylenol'd up, nursed, but fussy because his fever is breaking.
2:30am: Levi falls asleep. I move him to the crib, where he freaks out.
3:30am: Levi nurses again, falls asleep, and I move him successfully. Now, I finally hit the sack.
5:30am: Levi wakes to nurse, I put him in bed with me and snooze while he nurses. He falls asleep as the sun is rising.
6:30am: Micah wakes me up.

Yikes is right. Jose let me sleep about an hour and a half once he got home, but of course woke me up a half hour late to leave for the event. Luckily it's right down the road, and I got my self gussied up and left.

So there I am, Levi wrapped up in my Moby, getting my goody bag and registering for the event. I joined about 50-60 other moms at the event, most with their entire families in tow. The air is charged with excitement. A record is breaking around the world! We are part of it! The 5 minute warning sounds: get settled with your babies, find a quiet spot, and get ready to latch. Basically the breastfeeding mom's version of start your engines. Then, one minute and counting. Latch your babies and raise your hand when they are latched so we can count...

Babies are excited everywhere. FOOD TIME! Nursing bras coming unhooked, skin out everywhere, the clock is ticking...And does Levi have any interest in nursing?  NO! OF COURSE NOT! Not when his mom is so excited about being part of this. He is quite content to look around at all the OTHER mom's milk makers, smile and laugh, and have nothing to do with mine.

The minute is up, the count is done. My hand never raised. My baby never latched. But I still felt so awesome to have been there, supported, and witnessed so many moms doing what is the best for their babies.

And so what if it didn't all go as planned. I won a raffle :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Oh, to be home again.

This is how I feel, sitting here at the keyboard, ready to pick up one of my favorite pastimes again that I never have time for. There are so many friends that I have to thank for kicking my rear into gear and saying "HELLLLOOOOOO! Start doing it again because we need a laugh!" So this is for you.

This is also for my munchkins. My boogers. My reasons number 3 and 4 for living, respectively (1 and 2 are Savior and Husband). There is so much craziness, absolute insanity, laughing till you want to pee, tearing my hair out, bill stress, and everything else that goes on in this house that I figure it must be documented. It will be my therapy (I cannot afford it, so this will HAVE to suffice). It will also, someday, be my form of payback on paper. When my children come to me at 30 and say they have not had a vacation since their honeymoon, they got pooped on all day, their favorite pillowcase got eaten by the dog, and they realized that they can't remember the day they last showered, let alone had adult contact with any one, I will just giggle.

And when they ask how I did it, I will silently hand them three books. One will be the Bible. Two, a copy of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstien. Thirdly, a printed form of this blog.

So tonight, a smattering of what has happened in the last 6 months (sheesh! pathetic!) since I sat here and vented last....get your popcorn, people.

I completed one of my New Years Resolutions. This was probably the most meaningful resolution I have ever made.And I make resolutions every year, but never keep them- so this was big for me. If I was a 15 year old boy, I would dare say it's EPIC.  I breastfed Levi until 6 months, not a drop of formula. This was a huge success for me! After such a horrible experience with Micah, I knew I was going to this time around. I was prepared, educated, and determined. And boy did it pay off. Levi's 6 month well check was today, and he is 27 inches long and 20 pounds even. I think I deserve a pat on the back for that one :)

I am growing out my hair. I have not cut it since the first week of January in an attempt to grow it out. Micah told me all the beautiful princesses have long hair, and I caved. How can you not, when phrased like that by a 4 year old?! Honestly, it's starting to make me itch because I have not had hair this long in 2 years, when I chopped it off to donate it and haven't let it grow since.

I am starting the 4 Hour Body diet with Jose on Sunday.  And I am serious about this. I made up a chart today to put on the fridge, complete with start weight, arm/thigh/waist/hip measurements, body fat percentages, and goal weights. Since I am being frank, I will tell you what I want out of this: to get back into my size 16 Ann Taylor jeans. I have had them since I was 17, and the are the most amazing pair of jeans ever. Think Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants worthy. I know what you are thinking- a size 16? What is she now? Well, the previous title of this blog was "A Day in the Life of a Pregnant Heifer." Figure it out yourself. I looked DANG good in those jeans, and dangit, I am going to wear them again.

I became a stay at home mom. Quite possibly the most risky move I have EVER made in life, seeing as how I like to have my proverbial ducks in their rows. I went back to work after Levi was 9 weeks old. That lasted for 2 months. I would come home from a 12 (or 13 or 14) hour shift at the hospital, missing my babies the whole time, boobs ginormous because I hadn't pumped in 6 or 8 hours (no help meant no breaks), and utterly exhausted....only to find that my poor husband was drowning. I was barely keeping up my milk supply to pump and go to work, he could never manage to keep the cats fed, the dog happy, the kid happy, the baby satisfied, and the house in somewhat decent shape all at once. I came home one night crying after a horrible day at the hospital, it was 8pm and Jose had not fed Micah dinner yet or given him a bath, and he said something magical... "Baby, I never realized how hard this was. I can't do it. If you want to stay home, I will gladly pick up an extra shift." And the next shift I worked, I have my notice. I had been praying for a way out, and the door swung wide open.

Not only am I staying at home with 2 kids, I decided to get a puppy when Levi was 2 months old. I know, I know, call me crazy... but, yeah, call me crazy. We got Charlie, a black Lab, when Levi teeny tiny. She was 12 weeks old, he was 8 weeks old, it would all be gravy! They could grow up together! Micah wanted a dog! And now, we are still loving her...just doing lots of obedience training with our 60 pound dog. I wouldn't ever have changed a thing. I always said our life was kind of like Cheaper by the Dozen, and this move just facilitated making it a little more like that.

I am hooked on cloth diapering.  It is the most easy, cheap, cute, bum saving thing I have ever done. Levi is 6 months old and has never had a real diaper rash. There are not nasty chemicals all over his skin. In 6 months, we have had ONE blowout diaper. With Micah, his diaper rash was so bad his skin would peel off and bleed, and he probably had a blow out a day. This is just fantastic. I wish that Jose and I had more money to get fancy schmancy diapers, because there are some awesome ones out there, but the truth is I think I am getting a little obsessed with how amazing they are. We have 26 diapers that are one sized, will last him from birth until potty training, and we have even taken them on trips with us. I will never buy disposables again if I have to!

I am considering going back to school. This is going to have to wait a while due to fundage, but I have two goals in sight: Becoming an MSN/CNM (Nurse Midwife) and an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). Eventually, I want to do home births. I can't wait! For now, research alone has to sate my craving...

So hang on, gang. It's going to be a wild one. Now that there is a bed time routine and I can actually have a grown up life again after 9pm, the blog is on.