Friday, February 28, 2014

Day 5- My Breast-est Friend

DAY 5!!!! My fifth consecutive day of blogging! I think I have earned a gold star, or a bowl of ice cream. A nice fatty bowl of ice cream! Mmmm. Shall I dish it out now or after I have said my piece?? Now THAT is a quandary! 

This is the first time I have been on my couch for more than a second since 6 am this morning. It is just a normal Friday but for what ever reason, we decided to buy a house today. After the mess of this week I did not think it was going to go through. But today it did! Yup. Done and DONE. That's how we I must really get to planning that dinner party

Okay, so.....3+ weeks ago at a regular check up, the Doctor informed me that Opie had lost weight. I immediately freaked. Being a NICU Mama, the mention of weight loss brings up fears of "failure to thrive" and a return to the hospital. I know it is not rational but I have been chewing my fingernails about this information for 3 weeks. 

I returned to the Docs for a weight check 3 days ago and in a little over 2 weeks he had gained a teensy amount of weight. Minuscule.  Now, in addition to STILL feeding him every 4 hours day and night, I started adding a bit of formula into his fruit in the mornings. And he still barely gained weight. I know that weight gain slows down around this stage in his development as he become more mobile and active. I know. And yet, I fret. 

Opie has been teething for about 5 months now. His top teeth are really starting to pop through and breastfeeding has become a lesson in torture for this mama. I thought that explained my sore girls. 

Two days ago a friend of mine posted this interesting article about Breastfeeding on her facebook page.  I read through it, found it intriguing and dismissed it. Yes, breastfeeding is painful enough to curl my toes but Opie doesn't struggle to eat. He seems to do just fine. (As clearly evidenced by his teensy weight gain, right?)

I was blessed to be able to spend some quality time with some lovely, local Reece's Rainbow peeps. And as I sat there in ABSOLUTE AWE it soothed my soul to be in the presence of like minded Mamas. Even if these Mamas blow my mind with their grace and steadfastness, I feel like I am among peers. They are incredible. 

In showing off Opie's top teeth to one of these dear ladies, she stopped and said "He has a lip tie.....and a tongue tie....LOOK!"

I looked and felt like I should have had a V-8. Face Palm.

Back when Eli turned my breasts into red hot lumps of pain....the Docs diagnosed him with a short frenulum. On a second opinion it was determined that he would grow out of it. Lucky for me and my breasts, it took a while but he did grow out of it. 

Now...why? Why would I forget this and WHY would the 436 1/2 doctors that Opie and I have seen since his birth also have missed this? 

So, here is my public service to all you nursing ladies.  If it hurts. Tell someone. If they dismiss you. Tell someone else. Talk about your sore ladies until it gets better, because it CAN be better! Here is Wiki's scoop on the frenulum. Where else should you get medical advice? (sarcasm.) There is a lot of information online about lip-ties and tongue ties. Here is some from the Mayo Clinic.  Or you can ask me. (You might have to ask me three times, I am clearly a little slow on the uptake. )

Thank you God for giving me SO MANY chances to recognize the issue and fail. Thank you SO MUCH Jessica for pointing out what my feeble mind kept missing. You might be my BREAST-EST FRIEND!

I have hope for the future. If this sorts things out, I may nurse Opie until college! 

Happy Friday! Mama needs some ice cream now! 

I’m writing seven posts in seven days this week. To check out other bloggers who are doing the same, see the list here.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Winging it

When my heart is heavy, my blog posts tend to be fluff. It takes me a while to decide to dump my mood on here for public consumption. I have reached that point today. 

O Me! O Life!

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

I had a conversation with a Professional recently. In describing some of the situations I was struggling with in my life as an adoptive mother, the Professional interrupted me and asked "Is this a long term situation for you? Do you think?"

The question stopped me cold. WHAT THE? Is this person implying what I think they are? How? Why? WHAT? I immediately regretted asking for help. What a joke. 

"If you are asking me if my children will be my children for the duration, um YES! My sons will be my sons forever. I am their Mother. Period." I was very proud of myself for not shouting this answer into the pleasantly blank face staring at me. 

The Professional shifted slightly in their chair then said "Okay." Nervously chuckled and added "Good answer."

This still makes me ridiculously angry. Yes, people struggle with their children. Some might need more help, some children perhaps should not stay with their parents. I understand all of that, but to be one of the first questions to posed to someone asking for advice...well it just seems crappy. Crappy that it happens. Crappy that because I have adopted it is considered an option. 

I may not be the norm. I don't waste my time trying to determine what the norm is. The norm. .. .well it is not where I want to be.  When my husband and I started the adoption process, I told him that from that point, we were essentially pregnant again. We were having a child; a child that would be ours for as long as God allowed. I still feel that way. We labored for Evan and rejoiced when he came home. 

A second later in the conversation, this Professional asked me why I adopted. She was intrigued by my desire to adopt when I was single and why we adopted as a couple when we could clearly have our "own" children. Again. Facepalm. 

I was a little exasperated and a lot off my game by this point in the conversation and my response was terse. "I honestly believe that if you can, YOU SHOULD. Children are dying. Children are suffering. If you can help. YOU SHOULD. It is as simple as that."

I feel that when people hear that we have adopted, they look at us differently. It sets us apart and it should not. I have been very open about adoption in hopes of illustrating the point that if WE can do it, just about anyone can. There is really nothing intrinsically different about us as individuals or as a family that makes us more capable to adopt. That is not the case. To steal from Whitman, life exists and we may contribute a verse. What do we want our verse to be? What contribution can we make to this infinite play? US? We chose to act; to adopt. 

God will not give you wings before you leap. If your feet never leave the Earth, wings would have no use. YOU MUST LEAP. We did not know who we were travelling to adopt and therefore did not know if we had what it took to care for that child. We leapt and GOD is equipping us. Every. Single. Day. 

Jesus' main lesson was love. LOVE. LOVE. Actions speak louder and they should scream love. This is what I want my verse to be. I desperately want it to be a verse of love and that is what I am working toward.

It really can be THAT simple. 

Yea, okay so ignore the voice. I have NO IDEA why I was talking in that way. This conversation started because of  my "Live, Love, Adopt" tshirt. What.Eli said was so beautiful  that I had to bust out my phone and ask him to repeat it. It never comes out as well the second time around. Oh well. The point is clear. 

We have conversations about adoption quite often at the dinner table. It started when Pookie was still in my tummy. I love the natural curiosity of children and I take every chance I can to celebrate the manner in which Evan came to our family. I do not ever want to diminish his losses but I cannot help but rejoice that he is mine. Ours. Forever. 

We were not the best prepared for adoption. I am sure there are families that excel at parenting but I am convinced that Evan loves us anyway. We leapt and God provided the grace, honesty, humility and humor to make it possible.  We are working it out and all the mistakes we make are made with love. We are learning and growing together. As a family. 

Fear is not from God. These little ones are waiting for someone to love enough to leap. To have faith enough to be their family. What better reason to jump? Go get your wings!! 

I’m writing seven posts in seven days this week. To check out other bloggers who are doing the same, see the list here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Plankety Plank!

My heart is heavy today. My emotions are a little dark. I am tired  My baby is kicking  my butt. Literally. He is also up all hours of the night like his Mama and yet he can plank the day away and look cute doing it.
Yea, I think I will just hang out like this for a while. 

C'mon Mom! Try it! It's fun, see?

I'll throw in a little Downward Dog for good measure.

One hand. Ain't no thang. Please no more photos.

I am planking with my own style. On my back. On the couch. With a Kleenex shoved in my nose. And I am still tired.

I’m writing seven posts in seven days this week. To check out other bloggers who are doing the same, see the list here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Day 2: Chow Time!

We just put in an offer on a new house. I don't normally do "new." New is expensive and I have never been able to afford much more than not -quite- vintage. I have been a proud purveyor of jaloppy. "New" makes me nervous. My mind spins with the possibilities that could occur in this new house.

I will garden in a nice hat and pristine gloves instead of my pajamas and bed head.

My kids will ride their bikes down the perfect sidewalks wearing their helmets....and pants. They will not be trying to crash into each other while screaming their heads off. I will not be screeching after them like a mad woman, in my robe. I will not.

I will be able to enjoy a cup of coffee while the boys play quietly in their room.

My garage will be used to house our cars, not boxes of year books, baby clothing and random paystubs from 1997 and beyond.

And I will throw dinner parties. Perfectly refined, nuanced and cultured dinner parties. It is going to rock. My husband interrupted what I thought was a personal day dream session with "oh yea? Who you gonna invite to these dinner parties?"

Hmmm....who would I invite? Well, I tossed out some names to Hubby so I could return to my day dreaming....

Just who would I invite?

Now really, every living person asked this question throws the same answers out. They are perfectly fine answers but for the sake of all of us, I am not allowing myself to invite them. This includes:

 Jesus (puhlease, like He wont be there anyways. He loves my sense of humor.)
Mother Teresa- though I would love to meet her.
Einstein- sorry I think he would be an absolute buzz kill.
Mandela- I don't deny his wow factor.
Honest Abe/George Washington- I think either one of them would make my dining room look little. Not willing to risk it.
Ghandi-this one is a hard one to take off the list of possibilities since I think he would appreciate any meal I served.

You all know the obvious answers...I will not continue to list 'em OR invite any of them.

There is room at the table for 5 guests. I can squeeze one more in if this CRAZY is something you would like to be a part of. I think any other day this group might look a little different but today, well I am in the mood for a partay.

1. Jim Gaffigan.

What is not to love about this man? A nice Catholic Family man that knows how to tell a joke....and makes me look tan. I feel like if I need to serve HotPockets, we would at least be accompanied by a nice little ditty. Inviting him is a total no-brainer.

2. Beryl Markham  West with the Night! I secretly hope that just by inviting her, some of her cool will rub off on me (and maybe some of her writing skill....)
Oh, what a kick ass Kenyan woman. Aviator, adventurer, all around AWESOME. Something about women from her generation...well it would just class up the whole affair. I highly reccommend her book! 

3. Mr Wonderful.
See, I have to invite Mr Wonderful because I think he expects me to. Who wouldn't invite Mr. Wonderful? He so brazenly assumes people want him around, it galls me. GALLS ME. So I guess I will invite him but I may just invite him and make him sit at the table while we all eat, drink and laugh with Jim Gaffigan. I have no plans to offer him food or drink. I may offer his shin a kick or two under the table. Accidentally, of course. He can chat with my husband; who adores him and basically wants to be him (GAG) and he can drink water. From our tap. Maybe I will not feed my husband either. Perhaps then he will choose a new mentor/hero. I am hoping he brings wine. It IS only polite...right?

4. Sarah Palin. Political chit chat would not be allowed at the dinner table.  I am not sure if she really does shoot at things with her finger-guns but Tina Fey makes me want her too. So badly.
"Oh My Becki, well if this just isn't the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich I have ever had!" Shoot shoot. .How is it that my sound effects are somehow even worse this way? "PB&J back on the menu and better than ever." More shooting, clicking noises and winking. Too precious. (In the background Jim Gaffigan may or may not be rocking in his chair humming "Hot Poooccckkkets.") Palin balances out Mr. Wonderful as I think Hubby would not appreciate this invite too much.

***So, little side bar action here. Did I fail to mention that my cooking ability or lack thereof was somehow left out of this little daydream of mine? Hmm. Bygones. We will make up for that teenie omission with wine....courtesy of Mr. Wonderful.****

5. This guy.

Not this guy.
I refuse to believe that they are even the same person. Cant. be. The first guy is invited. Mmmm. Pretty.

I would have invited Tom Hanks, but he is still not speaking to me. . . I think he is still a little angry about THIS. Maybe I should invite his lawyer? Perhaps another time.

And when the guests have all gone home I will get to spend the rest of the evening snuggling with this guy and a bowl of ice cream.

Sounds pretty awesome, right?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Yes Ma'am

The kids were buckled into their seats, the groceries stacked precariously in the trunk and as I turned to push the cart into a stall the cart-gatherer-guy stopped me. "I will take that for you ma'am."

"Oh! How nice! Wait, did you just call me Ma'am?" Cringing visibly, "Oh dear! Please don't call me ma'am, but really, thank you very much! Have a good day!"

I walked to the front of my uber cool minivan with a chagrined chuckle. Did he really call me Ma'am? Psssh. Ma'am? Ouch! Did I really ask him not to.  . .out loud?

As I buckled my seat belt (safety first!) the memory slapped me upside the head. I was in my very early 20s and I was working (insert any fast food joint or other mode of menial employment) and I made the mistake of saying "have a nice day, Ma'am." The clearly ancient woman standing in front of me blanched. "Ma'am? Surely you did not just call me Ma'am!?!?" She laughed incredulously, adopting a valley- girlesque posture. This clearly did not help her cause.

I apologized and visibly blushed whilst internally I rolled my eyes thinking "Ha! Who does she think she's kidding?" She seemed nice enough but I was embarrassed for her and vowed not to be her in the future. I would not cling to the illusion of youth when I was clearly past my prime. Oh the logic of a young adult, ever so wise and compassionate. When you are young you cannot imagine being anything but young and vibrant. The folly of youth. 

And now. . .I. AM. THAT. WOMAN.

Yes, Ma'am.

He called me Ma'am...rightly so. So why does that instantly fill me with embarrassment? I had my 20s. I didnt just survive my 20s, I embraced them and I have no regrets. I filled those years to bursting with incredible memories and experiences. To be honest, my 20s lasted well into my 30s. Looking back at all the fun, I can recognize it for what it was: self-focused, frivolous and fun. I had no concerns. Little resposibility. Nothing that mattered more to me than searching for my next adventure. Why is it that youth is so coveted? Youth rarely recognizes the joys that can come with responsibility. The growth and beauty that can only come from sacrificial love. Youth can be so blind.

To that cart-boy....I am sorry. You did not misspeak. Honestly, I doubt that I looked in the mirror before I ran to Costco with the boys. They had clothing on AND I had showered....which was my biggest success that day.  If I remember correctly, I was wearing yoga pants though I have obviously not done yoga in ages. My hair was almost, kind of pulled back, I had minimal if any makeup on....all of which highlighted the signs of exhaustion and age. Costco was getting the best of me that day for sure. But, c'mon...I survived Costco with all three of my boys. You cannot do that AND look awesome. I challenge any 20 year old to brave Costco with my boys.

Moving on.

I look in the mirror today and I see new gray hairs. Wrinkles. Zits (from consuming an entire bag of chocolate chips the other night. . .) Dark circles under my eyes. I see my age. I cannot deny it. It is not pretty and yet it is beautiful at the same time. The general public may not understand or appreciate it but  I know I look this way because there are 4 people in my life, every day that mean SO much more to me than my appearance. I often end up looking wasted, harried and barely thrown together because my energy and focus is not on me. It is on them. Almost all of my time. This is not an excuse, I am sure I could find time (and do for special occasions) to make sure I look presentable. I do not mind that my priorities are different from the norm. This is who I am. I am a Mama. I am a Ma'am.

My days can be so draining that by 4 o'clock I am begging for bed time. After tucking my sweeties in I want nothing more than to put my feet up and rest with a heat pad on my back. A nice glass of wine in hand and lose myself in some silly romance on TV; but only if I still get to go to sleep before 930. (It is 10 pm right now and I am eager to get myself off to bed.) I cannot fathom getting all done-up to hit a club at this hour.  I wouldn't mind going to a movie but I would want to do that in my jammies. I have nothing to prove; I simply want to enjoy my downtime in comfort.

The days of living for nights out and rowdy, empty entertainment are behind me and as fun as those frivolous years were....I am relieved that those years are behind me. Throwing on a pair of yoga pants instead of searching for my nice jeans so that I can scoop up Mr Pookie just a little faster is totally worth it. Spending my time on the floor to teach him how to crawl instead of using that time to put on make up. . .or blow dry my hair. . .well that is a no-brainer. It is far more fun to shop for them than for me. I know that there are ladies out there that can do it all AND still look wonderfully put together. More power to them, sadly, that is not me. At all.

Loud, rowdy, busy. My 20s summed up in 3 words....well that just doesnt sound fun to me anymore. How I appreciate a nice glass of wine now. A moment of silence.  A night of sleep. A moment to read a book. Being able to use the bathroom all by myself. The heft of a sleeping baby in my arms. The joy of getting to shower before noon. All the ugly and difficult ways motherhood is making me a better person. I am finding that sometimes taking care of those you love the most is the best self-care you can employ. It may not feel great all the time, but it will refine and redefine who you are, what you want and how you see the world.

Yes, I am not 20 anymore. Duh. The wrinkles, bags, and signs of exhaustion have been earned. Why should that cause embarrassment? They may not be pretty but they are the hallmarks of my motherhood and should be celebrated. I have reached that season of life where others are more important to me than I ever could have imagined. Why society discounts that, instead proclaiming self-indulgent, self focused youth to be the end all.....befuddles me. So what! I am aging! That does not define who I am, but is simply a fact of life. My life is so full of experiences, laughter and love that leaving youth behind should not be done with chagrin. SHOULD NOT be viewed with embarrassment.

Embrace it.

Own it.

Flaunt it if you want to.

And for Pete's sake. Call me Ma'am!