Happy birthday, husband/dad

August 23, 2017

Dear Babies,

Today is dad’s birthday and it’s fitting that he gets some rare space for some thoughts and words. In the craziness that is managing 2 kids and then my own rampant emotions, he is the forgotten family member (on this blog, not in real life) but today he is the inevitable star of the show.

If you want to test a relationship, live together. Join your finances and cohabitate. See how you are when someone has stomach flu or when you want to buy an expensive coat but also have rent to pay together. If you really want to test your relationship, have kids together.

Forget trying to come to a consensus about how to raise them because you will never fully agree. Just try making it through the first year. Twice. Try working together harmoniously when no one has slept and there is a small screaming alien in your room. Try communicating effectively when you are hormonal and literally want to kill them. Try being sweet and kind when you stay awake all night cluster feeding on a blistered nipple and your loving partner snores in your face. Try not losing your fucking mind when someone tells the other how to do something (oh, the baby likes when you rock her like this. OH THANKS. NEVER TRIED THAT EINSTEIN).

Try that and you will see how good your relationship is.

Your dad and I are in round 2 of this and while we currently fight more than normal for us, and while I certainly have banished him from the room in moments of frustration, we are constantly working together to be better.

And I should, in fairness say that he works so hard to keep us going. He is tireless in efforts to keep our family happy and keep me happy and he never gets enough credit.

Sometimes I think I might actually just make up shit to be mad about when I am frustrated and he (usually) hears me and even tries to help – despite how insane I might be.

And sure, his need to fix everything can be annoying and majorly overbearing but his intention is always so kind that I have to remind myself how lucky I am to be married to someone who has the capacity for that type of kindness.

So today on his 35th birthday, I take the opportunity to be grateful for a partner that really values partnership.

You guys are so lucky to have a dad that will always work with you to better our family. He will stand by you and help you as he has done with me for the past 10 years and he will always be solution oriented and willing to sacrifice his own comfort for yours. You should both be looking for partners and people in your life that emulate these admirable and rare qualities.

Plus he’s handsome as fuck.

Give your dad a hug today.

xo

Mom

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Happy birthday, husband/dad

Tongue tied

August 15, 2017

Dear Babies,

Guys, I have to tell you both that you each tortured me in different ways when I attempted to breastfeed you. I have always thought it crazy that something that is supposedly so “natural” could be so fucking painful and awful but nonetheless, I gave it a go.

In fact Babies, because of how bad my first time was, it became my number one fear for number 2 baby. I could live with having my stomach cut open (potentially- or vag in reality), I could live without sleep and I could live with all the barf and poospolsions that a second baby could reintroduce to my life. I could not even think about the nipple pain that would surely come too. To me, it was almost a reason to never procreate again.

So, when the pain began I was not surprised but definitely horrified to have it.

Fuck this fucking shit.

Nipples should never experience a blister. They just shouldn’t. It’s gross and it’s not humane. Want to torture people? Have them breastfeed a screaming baby with a strong suck and blistered boobs. Then you know pain.

Anywho, after what I went through with my first round of breastfeeding – having tried for way too long with no supplements and also no successes I was not prepared to do it again. The dreaded formula that I had shunned with the first seemed a viable solution to the second and so with little hesitation, I bought some, called a doula and gave myself 48 hours to sort my shit out before I officially broke up with breastfeeding forever.

The honest honest truth: I was a little bit excited about the idea that my breastfeeding journey would be over. I miss my small boobs (literally have NO idea what people with big boobs do to keep these puppies under wraps. Like, everything shows cleavage and I am a bit of a Mormon in my attire), I want to drink some wine (and yes, I know you can have some wine when you nurse but I want to have ALL THE WINE), and in theory, I would even like to smoke a cigarette although the smell and real thought of it makes me kind of sick.

I was almost a tiny bit hoping that the doula would say I was a lost cause. Spoiler alert: she didn’t.

Instead she took a look at me and a look at the baby and gave her diagnosis. A tongue tie that would prevent you from ever properly latching. With this came a ready solution. Clip the tongue tie.

Within 24 hours your tongue was cut and within 48 hours my boobs were healed and within a week I forgot how terrible it had all been and now, 3 weeks later it feels like a distant memory.

Now instead of a living nightmare, nursing you has become a chill time where I can sit alone and do things like write to you about nursing.

I don’t know what the main message is here. Call a doula when in doubt? Try everything you can to fix problems? Maybe that things that seem horrible and insurmountable at the time won’t feel that way forever.

Either way, let’s all keep this train moving forward pain free and now maybe with a little more sleep?

xo

Mom

Tongue tied

Truth

August 14, 2017

Dear Babies,

I’m having a bit of a hard time writing to you lately because I’m hesitant to express myself fully and completely. If I wrote my truth, you would be a little bit concerned for my sanity and not because everything is crazy but more because of the wild vacillations between complete bliss and terror.

Literally one minute to the next I can be as happy as I’ve ever been and then as stressed as I can imagine ever being. Right now I’m sitting with Baby 2 wrapped on my body peacefully sleeping with ambient music playing in the background beside a lake in the shade. WHAT COULD BE MORE AWESOME. I literally can’t imagine a better more happy moment.

An hour ago I woke up to your dad shushing a SCREAMING baby. And not like, screaming screaming. I mean fucking wailing. Nothing causes me more stress than hearing this baby cry. Both because I hate when my girl is sad and because her cry has this insane making tone to it.

There is no way to describe the past 7 weeks. They have been a fucking emotional rollercoaster. To ride it with me is to truly experience a hormonally driven episode of madness. But then also the best kind. See? Hard to explain.

I just want you guys to know that life will throw you moments (or months or years) that are so good and so bad all at once. And that’s ok. Things can be both. They can move from one to the other in the blink of an eye. Good and bad are not mutually exclusive and we can’t want them to be. The good makes the bad, bad. That’s true but without the bad, how good would the good be?

Embrace it all and try and enjoy the ride. Or at least hold on.

xo
Mom

Truth

Your tribe

August 11, 2017

Dear Babies,

Yesterday was not my best day. I tried to get a bunch of shit done and mostly failed. Nothing like failing to feel like a failure. Amiright?

Well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you need a fucking village of good people to help you out when you are sinking (or to share in the good times when you’re not).

There I was, at the mall after a 24 hour period of some really challenging parenting and interactions with people that seemed to kick me when I was down (unintentionally, but still…) and Baby 2, you would not stop crying. There was nothing I could do right. I fed you, changed you, cuddled you, rocked you. Fail.

I was leaving the mall after camping out in their nursing room defeated when I ran into a friend who asked “how are you”?

Nothing like having to answer that question when you are so not ok to send you down a cycle of events that lead to you bursting into tears in the middle of the mall. Nothing.

And what did she do? Well, to start – she validated me. She didn’t shame me or tell me to buck up or offer any real solutions. She didn’t make it about her or even try to relate. She just listened to me, validated me and then took me to a store where she bought pants that got her through a rough time and encouraged me to grab a pair before walking me to my car and helping me with the baby.

Sure, the pants were an impulse purchase that turned out awful and needed to be returned but the intention was perfect and so much so that on my way home I called another friend and asked her to come over.

After an afternoon with that friend my shit day was erased and I felt supported and free all at the same time.

And whether it’s having a rough day with a baby or a rough day with something else we need our village. No one was ever happier being alone. We need to talk and socialize and commiserate and share.

Crying in public sometimes is inevitable. Doing it alone doesn’t have to be.

(Ps. I’m your fucking village forever, Babies. You can ALWAYS AND FOREVER count on me to be there.)

xo
Mom

Your tribe

Double fun

August 10, 2017

Dear Babies,

Having 2 kids is not for the faint of heart. Fuck, having one kid is a job. Two is a circus. The struggle is real friends and should you dare to venture down this path of adding to your brood, know this:

There are SO MANY diapers. I often spend a good 30 minutes corralling older baby upstairs and cleaning back to back shits from both. That's a lot of time to spend arms deep in someone else's shit.

No rest for the wicked. One naps, other doesn't. One is ready to go out, other needs to eat. One has a bedtime that coincides with others "witching hour" so the options for evening activity are bounce a crying baby or put a toddler who just leaned the art of a good negotiation to sleep.

If you pump, you get a solid 10-15 minutes of total alone time per day. Worth the weight in milk.

Annoying other mom's are just as annoying the second time around. No. More so because bitches, I know.

But amid the chaos are some really beautiful moments. This morning Baby 1 came to see Baby 2 and held her little hand admiring her tiny fingers. Sure, you tried to pull one right after but for a split second the tenderness and love were real and I remembered why we did this in the first place.

Anywho. I've got 3 more blissful pumping minutes and some weather to be checked on so I'm off for now.

xo
Mom

Double fun

My job

August 9, 2017

Dear Babies,

The other week we were hanging out with friends some of whom have and some who do not have kids. When sitting with those friends who don’t have kids I found myself in an interesting situation.

I would ask them about their lives, their jobs in particular and listen to them talk about whatever project or task or office nuance was going on and then the conversation would end.

No one asks me about my job currently and I feel a weird sense of embarrassment that I don’t have anything “meaningful” to contribute. What’s a day pondering the trials and tribulations of feeding and sleeping got on meeting with celebrities or coming up with mind blowing ideas?

Why does raising and nurturing a human seem like something that is boring. Why do I make lighthearted jokes at my own expense about how I’m not up to anything interesting. Why the shame in admitting that not only is this my job but that I love it.

No one rolls their eyes at other peoples day to day.

So to my beautiful babies who I am so happy to be parenting, don’t be ashamed to be you and do whatever it is you do.

xo
Mom

My job

A rigid schedule with much chill

August 8, 2017

Dear babies,

I'm sitting at the paediatrician watching a mom with 5 kids (who, by the way, has a killer body and is in JEANS!!! I haven't washed my hair in 4 days but ok…) who is sort of casually standing around while her blond brood run around, touch everything and cause a hubub.

We all want to be that mom. Effortlessly cool and seemingly as chilled as a freezer while making he art of mom-ing seem like the most natural thing in the world.

Side note: she is also on her phone and wearing awesome sandals. I'm leaking through my breast pads.

I strive to be chill. I'm my core I'm chill and chill is everything that is important to me but the thing that you learn about kids is that they are not chill. Even chill kids are not chill and not only are they unchill, they are also creatures that thrive on being scheduled. It's a sad sad truth.

Give a kid some predictability and watch them thrive. Give a mom a thriving kid and watch her shower. It's a circle of calm.

So how to blend the push and pull of wanting to be relaxed and then not being able to fully relax?

It's like anything in life, my girls, a little bit of black and a little bit of white to make up this grey world. It's having a bedtime but being open to staying up late when the night calls for it. Not eating shit food but taking some bits (or slices) of cake. Sticking to what works but trying new things and having a routine that can be adjusted when the need arises.

I'm no better, babes. I have a schedule of shit I like to do but you'd better believe that I'll be ditching weekly yoga if a good friend calls for an impromptu lunch I have classes with both of you girls but I'm happy to ditch them if we are not in the mood or want to do something else.

That's the balance between being a crazy overscheduled rigid nut and a somewhat chill parent.

Sure, I'll never be hair done allowing you guys to lick the toys in the doctor's office (because I fucking hate germs and think this place is super gross) but I'll be chill enough to know that I can't be that mom and reasonable enough to know that maybe she's looking at me thinking the same thing (minus being put together and having 5 kids).

Balance. It's chill.

xo
Mom

A rigid schedule with much chill