My all time favorite color is green so it comes to no surprise that this holiday makes me giddy inside! A fun fact you may not know, is today would be my Grandaddy’s 100th birthday! I never got him to tell me where that pot of gold is.
When I was younger, he was my all time best friend. My grandmother passed away when my mother was only a few months old. My grandmother on my father’s side passed away from diabetes when I was really young. My grandfather on that side was an alcoholic and a bit off his rocker from many years of war. My Grandaddy was my only grandparent. Many years spent hunting and riding through the woods. Every morning he was up before dawn and at Hardees for biscuits and gravy as soon as they opened. We had our routines we did together whenever possible. He taught me addition, subtraction and multiplication.
I’ll never forget his love for his rose-bush. He had a rose bush that went up and over the house. You could touch a rose on the other side of the house. I have never found a rose that smells anywhere near as good as his did. He also had these odd trees that he called popcorn trees. I’m not entirely sure if that is what they are actually called, but to this day I have never seen any more of them. Around his house he had huge bushes of Azaleas. They were his favorite besides his rose bush.
Alzheimer’s set in and he passed away my 5th grade summer. I don’t think I ever cried so hard in my life. I lost my best friend. I wish I had a recording of his voice. More pictures. More memories. I cherish the few that I do have. As an adult there is so many things I wish I could have asked him and chatted with him about. Something that the entire family wonders is what year he was actually born. The Navy has him listed as being bon in 1917. Our Family Bible has him listed as being born in 1919. Some have speculated that he fibbed about his age to get into the service early which was fairly easy to do back then.
Whichever year he was born, today is his birthday. Happy Birthday Grandaddy! Hope you’re wearing green up in Heaven!
The answer to this inquiry seems simple, right? I have 2 kids. I just don’t believe that stating “I have kids” says it all.
Last night my husband dozed off while watching episode of The Walking Dead. I was in the kitchen cleaning up from dinner and tucking our oldest up for bed (as he calls it). I came in and put his phone on charge and turned his headphones off and put them away so he didn’t strangle himself in his sleep with them. A bottle was made for our youngest and he was laid down. I took a quick shower before cleaning up the bathroom. Around this time when I sat down to do some word searches (helps my anxiety) our 4-year-old came in the room complaining about who knows what and woke the baby back up. The oldest finally went to bed after being tucked up again. It was during this time I noticed the litter box needed to be cleaned out. I cleaned as our cat, Albus, stared in amazement as always. Two hours later the baby falls back asleep after another bottle. It is now 11:30pm. Everyone in the house is sleeping. Why aren’t I? Not only do I have an issue falling asleep, this time of peace and serenity is my only ME time.
I stayed up blogging and planning, searching for words and journaling. I played a few of my favorite games on my phone. The fridge and cabinet were at my disposal. I could eat without someone staring at me eyes wide in awe. There were no butts to be changed. No faces to be wiped. No floors to be swept. No books to be read. No tickle fights to be lost. This time of night I don’t have to be MOM. I can be ME again. I can relax and unwind. My thoughts can be my thoughts and not filled with questions, demands and cries from little ones. After I had some time to myself I finally laid down to sleep. Right at this EXACT moment our youngest woke up. I made him a bottle, but I was up again! My brain would not let me stop. I went ot the kitchen and did some organizing of the pantry and cabinets. I, once again tried to lay down and sleep.
It was a nice thought…. Our baby woke up yet again. Another bottle was made and he went back to sleep. I did a few more word searches to try to ease myself into a deep slumber. I drifted off to sleep somewhere around 3:45am.
I was woken to the lovely sound of my husband’s alarm at 4:30am. I got up and made his coffee and packed his lunch. Made yet another bottle for the baby and changed his diaper. Unable to fall back asleep I turned to my laptop for some reading. Now, here I sit at 6:41am. If I do fall asleep I will be grumpy and super tired and exhausted when our baby wakes up at 7-8am. If I don’t sleep, I will be exhausted later in the day.
Many people would say “Go to bed earlier.” or “Nap when the kids nap.” To clear one thing up, it is extremely rare for BOTH of my kids to be napping at the same time. These genuine moments are when I take the time to get tasks done that cannot be done when they are awake and clinging to my legs for dear life.
Our morning starts out with breakfast for both kids. After breakfast, teeth/gums are brushed. Then, we begin our learning. Each day we do different things. Some times we are outside, working in workbooks, using counting blocks, playing with play dough, lacing cards, etc. During this time, I practice sitting un-assisted with the baby or learning signs. We have a quick clean up session before lunch and then nap time. Usually the baby takes his nap first (he lives on his own schedule) and then the toddler finally gives up and naps. Rarely are they napping at the same time. I take this time to prep for dinner and do any cleaning needed for the day.
After nap time, we have a snack and read a few books and then I start dinner. When my husband gets home he takes a shower and then we all sit and eat dinner. Dinner time is always hectic in our household. Right after dinner we have some family time, tablet time for the 4-year-old and then both kids take a bathe. Our oldest brushes his teeth, uses the bathroom and then lays down for bed. As any mother knows, this is the time your child will all of a sudden become thirsty or still be hungry. They need to poop. They have a serious question to ask you. After you’ve read them 5 books, they request 10 more. They want to know what the plans are for tomorrow. How many legs does an elephant have? Why do we pay for electric? Who drives the fastest car? What happened to that toy that they left at the doctor’s office a year ago? (Usually this leads to lots of crying)
I begin cleaning the kitchen up from dinner and getting the baby ready for bed. Some time is spent with my husband with the help of some squealing and drool from the baby. Then my nightly routine begins all over again.
Between pregnancy back pain and a baby who wakes 5-6 times a night, I’d easily say I haven’t slept through the night in a good year.
“Just hire a baby sitter.”
We are on a budget. Babysitters are not within that budget. Even if we did, I cannot bring myself to be away from our baby just yet. He had many issues as a newborn and I fear that since he cries quite a bit someone will hurt him out of frustration. I have many fears and worries when it comes to this subject.
“Why doesn’t your husband help?”
My husband helps a lot even though he works full-time outside. There are some nights, mainly on the weekends, when he gets up once or twice with the baby. I don’t have to get up those times but I still hear him crying and wake up.
Until my next full night’s rest, I will live off of coffee and energy drinks!
I have found that with each of my boys this has been different. Here are my top 5 must have items for each baby besides the obvious diapers, wipes, etc.
Receiving Blankets. He spit up A LOT. I would have at least 4 handy in my diaper bag at all times.
Pacifier. He was my binky baby. He had to have that and his blankie or else he would REFUSE to do anything especially sleep.
Lotrimin.The only time he would get a diaper rash is when he was teething. They would come on quickly and make his little bum bleed. The only thing that worked for these rashes is Lotrimin or a store brand that has the SAME active ingredient.
Puppy Pad. What an odd item, right? I would use these to change him on in restrooms. After use, they were tossed as to not bring germs into my diaper bag.
Change Of Clothes. I cannot count the times he coated our clothes in spit up. A change of clothes (or 2) were a neccessity!
Orajel. He is a hard teether. No diarrhea like with Kaleb. Instead, he gets miserable. This helps soothe his aching gums.
Light Up Toys. He had a rough start and the only thing that gave him comfort many times is something that lights up.
Amber Teething Necklace. He usually wears it, but after it is cleaned it sometimes gets tossed in there so it is not lost. I found mine at a local thrift store for around $25. If you order online, make sure you get authentic amber.
Tylenol/Motrin. He started teething at 2 months. At 7 months he has 4 teeth. His teeth make him MISERABLE. This helps ease his pain so he isn’t so grumpy.
Gripe Water/Gas Drops. I selected both products since we used them for basically the same thing. Kamden was tongue-tied and fought awful gas issued early on. We did our best to prevent it, but the gas drops and gripe waters were life savers!
Every baby is different. Both my boys are complete opposites so my diaper bags were completely different. Everything I thought I would need for my second baby I have barely used. Kaleb was very self-reliant and never wanted to be held. Kamden is attached to my hip since he had issues early on. We tried EVERY soothing method ever.
It is best to be prepared as possible for a new baby, but you can never be 100% prepped!
What are your must have items for your diaper bag?
Before I had my first son, I had ony heard of ALL the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding. There is no denying that breastfeeding is the best. I did quickly find out with my second son that there are various things that I never knew about breastfeeding. These topics were never discussed. While breastfeeding is a beautiful bonding moment between you and your baby, it has a dark side! Here are 9 things I have found in my breastfeeding journey I did not want to hear.
Your breasts will be lopsided at some point
Ideally, you want to switch breasts with each nursing session. This allows each breast to empty and signals your body to produce more milk. If you nurse your baby and they refuse your second breast, one will be full and the other empty, thus creating lopsided breasts. For some mothers, their baby will only eat from one breast causing the neglected breast to dry up. This often happens when one breast flows easier than the other breast. As far as lopsided breasts go, over time it gets better. However, for some mothers, uneven boobs is the new black.
Your Breasts May Leak
With my first son, I rarely leaked. When I did, it was not enough to cause ruckus over. That quickly changed with my second. I would hear phantom baby cries and start leaking like a geyser! A baby crying signals your let down which is what causes the leaking. This is why it is suggested that mothers who exclusively pump while their baby is in NICU record and listen to their baby cry during pumping sessions. You can be at the park and hear another baby crying and start leaking! Be prepared to have your shirt soaked at some point in your breastfeeding journey. Carry an extra t-shirt with you and always keep breast pads on hand.
It Is Difficult
Breastfeeding is not easy, but it is instinctual. Not only do you have to learn this process, so does your baby. Each baby is different, so what worked with one may not work with another. Your baby can experience a number of issues that make breastfeeding more challenging. A few include:
Your baby having a NICU visit
Tongue, lip and cheek ties
Dairy, soy, gluten allergies
Babies born pre-mature
Thrush (yeast infection in baby’s mouth and on your nipples)
Each mother experiences her own issues with her breastfeeding journey. I found that reaching out to support groups on Facebook saved my sanity. I also had a friend of mine who worked nights that answered so many of my questions and pushed me to not give up. “Just one more session.” She would tell me. Having your family on board with breastfeeding is also a huge help. No mother ants to hear “Just give him formula” on the nights she is worn out, tired and exhausted.
Thrush Is Very Common
Before I had my first, I had NEVER heard of thrush. When he got thrush, I had zero knowledge about it. A family member mentioned it to me and my response was “How could he have thrush, we were just at the doctors yesterday…… Wait… What is thrush?” Yeast thrives in warm moist places. Many woman have experienced a yeast infection before and they SUCK! Thrush is a yeast infection in the mouth. It is extremely painful for babies which is why it causes issues with latching. A baby with thrush will not want to latch properly if it is causing them pain to do so. They will also un-latch improperly causing you extreme pain. Your nipples can also get thrush from your baby’s mouth. This will make your nipples have a pink color to them along with severe cracks. With my first he had what I would consider extreme thrush. It became so painful for me to breastfeed after he latched improperly and almost ripped my nipple off. Seriously. I had a rip from one side to the other.
So, what does thrush look like? Thrush will be white specks in the mouth that you cannot wipe off with a wet cloth. Catching this as early as possible is key! The doctors will prescribe medicine for the baby and your nipples. It is also recommended that you sterilize pacifiers, bottles, pump parts (anything that your nipple or babies mouth comes in contact with) until the thrush has subsided.
What Is Sleep?
It is no mystery that babies wake up many times during the night. I do believe that I was misled with my first as he slept AMAZING and still does at age four! My second is seven months and still wakes around five times a night. My second is the baby who taught me to VALUE sleep. From the get go, he would not sleep well. He was constantly crying because he was not getting enough due to tongue lip and cheek ties. Then, we discovered dairy and soy allergies. He is now 7 months old and neither of us know what sleep is. There is no sleeping through the night. I have probably not slept an entire night in a year or so. Motherhood is fun, right?!
Pumping – Another Adventure
During the course of my son’s ties, I as exclusively pumping. It took 1.5 hours for me to pump leaving 30 minutes to feed him. By that point, it was time to start the process all over again. he had lost weight, so I feared letting him sleep longer than 2 hours without eating. Pumping, in my own opinion, is more difficult than breastfeeding. Especially if you are exclusively pumping. You have to find the right nipple shield for your breasts. If you don’t pump, you become engorged. If you aren’t nursing you face clogged ducts and mastitis. Am I pumping enough? Am I pumping too much? How do you store milk? Before feeding, the milk has to be warmed in a bowl of water….. This added in to my lack of sleep. Parts to be cleaned. Parts to be replaced. Then everything is going great until your pump gives up on life.
Engorgement = Sweating
This is something I had not read or heard of ever before. When your breasts start to fill up, YOU WILL SWEAT! I thought I was losing my mind! I was the only one sweating, constantly cranking the ac down trying to cool off. Truth be told, it takes a lot of work for your breasts to produce milk. The more engorged you become, the more you will sweat!
Clogged Ducts And Mastitis
At some point many mother experience clogged ducts. This occurs when a breast is not fully emptied. If it is not treated, it can quickly become mastitis. Mastitis is an infection caused by untreated clogged ducts. A red warm lump and fever are common symptoms of mastitis. If you are pumping, you are more prone to clogged ducts. A baby is the best way to get rid of clogged ducts. They are the best at emptying the breasts! I was exclusively pumping and had clogged ducts NON STOP! I was constantly massaging and applying warm compresses.
Your Breasts Become A Hot Topic
When you are breastfeeding, EVERYONE wants to know how it is going. How the baby is latching. If your nipples are cracked. Your 4-year-old will stare in amazement as his sibling eats from your boob. He will also make sure all of Sonny’s knows that his brother is crying because he will not latch onto mommy’s breast properly. Your mother wants to watch you nurse to ensure you are doing it properly. You are constantly researching about nipple shield sizes and latching and sending pics to professionals. Doctor appointments are often filled with breast talk. If you are having issues, like I did, all you think, breathe and do is about the boobs.
I am sure there is many more I could add to this list. These are the top 9 that stood out to me that I had never heard and did not want to know. What are some things you did not want to hear about breastfeeding?