My C-Section Was… Necessary.

c-section

Two copies of my birth plan were tucked inside a manila folder… the last thing I packed in my hospital bag… it sat on top of everything else, for easy access. I had poured my heart and soul into that thing… I had spent month contemplating the events that were mere moments in our future. We arrived, I handed my plan over to the nurse… and we reviewed it together. In it, a note to my medical team… “We have no idea what we are doing. I know I’m carrying a giant baby. Please just be honest with us. I understand a c-section may be medically necessary.”

After three hours of active pushing, the news came. “You can keep pushing, but your baby isn’t coming out this way without injury. Dislocated shoulders, broken collarbone… he just isn’t going to fit. My recommendation is that we get you scheduled for the OR before this turns into an emergency.”

Tears… and an overwhelming feeling of defeat. WHY? WHY CAN’T I DO THIS? ISN’T MY BODY DESIGNED FOR THIS? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Three hours of pushing has gone by… surely, just another 30 minutes would be enough time to push this little guy out, right? I remember looking at my husband… apologizing. (Looking back, perhaps he should have been the one apologizing for impregnating me with a tiny giant… my family makes little babies.) But, in that moment… he just looked at my like I was crazy. He reassured me of how awesome I was, as he stepped into his OR outfit.

I didn’t WANT a c-section. This isn’t the outcome I would have selected… but, I knew it was the best option. I was exhausted. I was terrified. Truthfully, I don’t remember much… except accusing the anesthesiologist that he was trying to kill me (because I couldn’t feel myself breathing)… and then I fell asleep.

I remember my husband walking in and asking if I was okay. “Oh my God! Is she dead?” Just what everyone wants to hear while they are already fairly convinced they are dying. The anesthesiologist must have thought we were both crazy… but he calmly explained that I was exhausted and just sleeping.

I remember blurred chatter… as if Charlie Brown’s teacher were speaking. I remember my head was turned left and Patrick was sitting on my right. Then, I assume I fell asleep. I am completely unaware of what was probably the most important and most traumatic part of my birth experience. THANK GOD.

The next thing I remember is Patrick telling me to look at our son… and I simply didn’t think I had the strength to roll my head over and open my eyes… but I did it… and as soon as I saw that adorable child… I didn’t think there was any possible way that could be OUR baby. He was just too damn cute!

Was it my ideal plan? No. Would I have done anything differently? Absolutely not.

The way your child(ren) entered this world… or your family… these are details… intimate details that weave the intricate pattern of your family bond. All people are different. All stories are unique. No one person or story is more important or better than another. In the world of parenting, we are all warriors. So long as you LOVE your child(ren)… and do your BEST to raise awesome humans… you have my unfailing support.

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Post inspired by: Three Truths About C-Section Mamas

Last Minute Basket Boppity

Easter Basket Boppity

Dude, seriously? It’s like 11pm the night before Easter and you TOTALLY forgot about that ding dang bunny you child is expecting to get treats from in the morning… but you have been too busy working/cleaning/checking FB/etc and neglected to push your way through the crowds this year. Perhaps you literally forgot… or maybe you are still in therapy over last year’s fiasco of taking an elbow to the face while reaching for the last Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg (no, I feel no remorse for my actions… those things are my primary springtime food group… #sorrynotsorry).

Honestly, I don’t care why you have been caught empty-handed tonight… but whatever your reason, just thank your lucky stars it’s just an Easter basket… and not as severe as waiting until Christmas Eve to start shopping for gifts. I can totally help you out… so, let’s begin.

Okay, your kid(s) is/are in bed. If this is a two parent household, someone can just run out and scavenge the shelves of the local pharmacy, grocery store, Target… or (because these are desperate times) the gas station. Easter related or not… just grab it!

If you are the only adult… you might have to get a bit more creative. Perhaps a neighbor will take pity on you and stay with your kid while you follow the shelf scraping scenario mention above… but if not, prepare to get creative!

Depending on the age of your kids, you might be able to pull a few quick ones. Go take a look in your snack cabinet. See anything good? (Heck, I put apple pouches and gummies in my kid’s basket. I literally took them OUT OF THE PANTRY!)

Now head over to the creative/art/crafty area of your house. See any new-ish stickers? Coloring books? Bubbles? Sidewalk Chalk (not even a whole box, just a couple new sticks)? New art stuff that hasn’t been opened? It’s all fair game! If they’ve had it for a couple of weeks and haven’t touched it… you can pretty much bet they have forgotten about it.

Same goes for toys they haven’t seen or played with in a while. Dig deep in that toy box!

Have kids who are a bit older? Hop online and start printing out tickets to local museums, events, etc.
– Mini Golf
– Laser Tag
– Train Museum
– Trampoline Park
– Rock Climbing
– Movie Tickets
– Pump It Up

You can even make your own coupon book with stuff they might actually enjoy.
– 30 extra minutes of screen time
– Ice cream date with Mom
– Dinner at Chuckie Cheese (Yeah, I know it sounds like hell… but keep in mind… YOU SCREWED UP! Bet you’ll remember the chocolate next year!)
– Go shopping for a new kite
– Family hike/bike/run
– Picnic in the park
– Trip to the garden center to pick out flowers for spring

Another idea for kids who are a bit older is giving them cash… and then taking them shopping the day AFTER Easter… and they can get twice as much candy/toys with their money.

In terms of the basket? Grab a basket, bowl, box… whatever you can find! Skip that stupid Easter grass (you can tell your kids you are saving the environment or something)… and arrange everything nicely.

Now, set it on the table, take a couple bites out of that carrot they left for the mystical beast, and leave some flour footprints on the table. If you hooked them up with a “unique” gift, you can write a note explaining that you thought it would mean more to them than candy.

OH, SUPER IMPORTANT… if you fail to find any sweets for that basket… either bake something immediately, or stick $5 in their basket so they can buy some.

If you read this and don’t think you need the advice… I bet you know someone who does… so you might want to share it, post it, pin it, tweet it… whatever… because you could save a little kid’s Easter and keep the magic of that mystical furry rabbit alive.

Send Auntie K to HARVARD!

auntiek

Auntie K has been selected to attend a Leadership Summit at HARVARD! Get more details about this opportunity here.

Don’t know who Auntie K is? Um… pretty much one of my favorite people in the world. She’s a high school student with incredible aspirations, hopes, and dreams. Remember that age when you truly believed you could do ANYTHING you put your mind to? Well, she’s there… and she really does have the determination, drive, and brains to achieve pretty much anything she could possibly want to do (like, legit smart).

She’s also one of the only teenagers I trust to care for Munchie (there are literally only three or four high school students I will leave him with) and he loves her to pieces. Oh, and did I mention she’s my editor? That’s right – she edits everything I post, so I don’t look like a total fool on the interwebs. (Which, I totally did look like at one point… before she cleaned up the evidence.)

To sum it all up… Auntie K is AWESOME and I want to do whatever I can to support her in reaching her goals and achieving her dreams. She has the opportunity to attend a Leadership Summit this summer at Harvard through People to People (I’m sure a LOT of us have some sort of connection to this organization).

The catch? This adventure comes with quite a hefty price tag… so, she’s asking for our help. If you’re looking for a way to help a promising young woman continue her transformation into a strong leader, I encourage you to kick a few bucks her way. Think of it as an investment in the future!

A lot of times on these online fundraising sites, people are hesitant to make a donation because they don’t know the person… but now you do… and she’s fabulous! Sometimes, people feel like there is a minimum amount to donate… but there isn’t! Heck, skip your latte today and send her a fiver… grab a handful of paper shreds from the office recycle bin for your kid’s Easter basket and send her the two bucks you saved on Easter grass… that twenty you keep in your wallet for emergencies, send her that – our future is pretty freaking important and this kid is our FUTURE! Trust me, every little bit helps… and Auntie K won’t disappoint. (Hmm… maybe I’ll have her recap this adventure in a guest post upon her return!)

BEST WISHES TO OUR FAVORITE AUNTIE K! Your leadership abilities, passionate attitude, incredible determination, and creative “out of the box” mindset will take you far in life. Cheers!

I Love Pizza… and Mommy

PIZZA

After 30-minutes of NOT napping, I rescued Munchie from the torturous confines of his room. He had tossed all the contents of his crib over the rails, including his beloved binkie, buddy, blankies, and CRIB SHEET… because I guess throwing out the crib sheet is the toddler equivalent of an adult throwing in the towel.

All he wanted was OUT of his crib. He immediately requested we “sugg-le” together on the floor and read some books. Freaking adorable. He proceeded to poke the eyes of every character in the pile of books we read. Then, he insisted on a song. After “You are My Sunshine,” he said, “AGAIN!” About 27 encores later, he let me off the hook.

We came downstairs and I offered him an early lunch. “Pizza or bock bock chicken, Alex?”

“Chi-chin!” – This is pretty much his go to… so we always double-check, if another option is available.

“You want bock bock chicken? Or do you want pizza?”

“EEEEZZZZAAAAHHHH!!!!!” Yeah, I was pretty sure he didn’t initially comprehend (or hear… because he is already perfecting the skill of ignoring adults).

I reach into the fridge, grab a slice of cold pizza, plop it on a plate, and hand it to him. (He freaks out if we put it in the microwave and part of it gets hot… so don’t judge.)

Taking his plate to the table is his new favorite thing… so he carefully grabs the plate and starts walking toward his seat. He then stops, turns, and says, “Tanch you, Mom!” (Two things… tanch is thank… and he started saying Mom and Dad before Mommy and Daddy.)

I respond with, “Aww, you’re welcome, Buddy,” and kiss him on the cheek.

He marches to the table while saying, “I yuvoo.”

*Momma Bish melts into a puddle.*

This new thing of giving kisses and saying, “I love you,” independently and not as a parroted response is freaking precious. Kind of makes me happy he refused to go down for a nap. It was worth it.

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Please note: Despite his charm, this kid WILL MOST DEFINITELY be napping this afternoon.

Staying Home with Kids… and Maintaining Sanity

Staying at Home

Staying at home with kids IS NOT for everyone. (Gasp!) I’m serious. You would be shocked at the number of times people have looked at me and said something like, “I don’t know how you stay at home with kids all day. I COULDN’T DO IT.”  I’ve read countless articles, blogs, comments… blah blah blah… from other stay at home parents and childcare providers that have the same message, “If you had to stay home, you would… and you would be just fine.”

Yeah, sure… when you look at it in terms of survival… the vast majority of the population could stay at home and care for children… if they had to. But, that doesn’t mean they should… especially if you don’t want to. What people are really trying to say is that they couldn’t handle it… and that’s totally fine! If staying at home with kids all day would result in you driving to the closest mental health institution and checking yourself in, then please… don’t stay at home with your kids.

“But, Momma Bish… I stay at home and sometimes feel like checking myself in at one of those places… it sounds like a vacation!” Oh, don’t you worry… I think every parent EVER has felt like this at times. It just makes you normal. That’s why parents (all parents, not just stay at home parents… because even working parents are stay at home parents on the weekends… or days off) need to create a “HOLY SH*T ESCAPE PLAN.” Put it in your phone, tape it to the fridge, tattoo it on your arm… I don’t care… but in a moment of “OMG, I’M SELLING MY CHILD(REN) TO THE GYPSIES” panic/rage/disbelief… just read through your plan and find an alternative solution. I’ll share mine with you… feel free to adopt similar strategies.

MOMMA BISH’S HOLY SH*T ESCAPE PLAN
1. Lock yourself in the bathroom/outside for three minutes and calm down with some of that focused breathing sh*t they taught you in those birthing classes.
2. Call/Text/Message a parent friend for a 60 second vent session. (If my friends and I need to vent, we typically start the conversation with OMG… I NEED THE NUMBER FOR THE GYPSIES!) While this contact doesn’t have to be a parent, they are often able to relate to your situation a bit better.
3. Leave the house. Don’t leave the children… this is illegal… but get out of the house and go do something. A change of environment might just be what everyone needs. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy… go to Target, the park, for a walk… just GET THE EFF OUT.
4. Ditch the kid(s). That’s right… have a list of people to call if you just need a break. (We ALL need breaks. If you don’t know anyone… go to family events and activities, find a parent group, church, etc…) Our list consists of grandparents, aunts, uncles, family, friends, neighbors, teenagers, etc. (Hell, last week, I posted on FB that we needed a sitter and within about 10 minutes I had seven people offering to help.) Taking a break doesn’t make you weak… asking for help is a necessary part of parenting.

As a preventive measure, always have something on the calendar. “Play date” is a fancy term we use to not only socialize our children… but so we can socialize with other adults, too.

The key to staying at home is to form allies… and helping each other out. But remember… being around kids full-time isn’t for everyone. There are plenty of people who have the skills and passion to do so. Find what you love and do it… I’ll sit here and watch your kid(s) while you do. (Umm… except that’s a lie… because I’m at capacity… but you can find someone else who will.)

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One more thing… this whole post has me thinking about how I COULD be an accountant… but that would drive me crazy… and I would just start punching people in the face… which is why I’m not an accountant. Let’s all do stuff that makes us (at least moderately) happy.

Don’t Be Jealous I’m So Glamorous

Glamorous

I know that I always look glamorous as hell… in my yoga pants (that hopefully don’t, but probably do, have food crusted to them or milk spilled on them) and old t-shirt (which most likely has chocolate finger prints on it, thanks to a granola bar that I fed my grubby little kid…with the name of an organization scrolled across the front/back of it that I once volunteered/worked for, proving at one point in my life I really did have my sh*t together) and my (not so) flawless complexion which doesn’t even need (but could really use) a fresh application of makeup (which I never wear… like ever… even before I had a kid or two to tote around… because it’s just not my thing) and my hair up in a perfect ponytail/bun (and by perfect, I mean it’s a hot freaking mess… because fine and thin hair doesn’t stay in place when you are wrestling toddlers to the ground as you calmly explain why they need to wear pants in public… as they continue to struggle and wiggle like a snake, acting as if wearing those pants will cause their legs to fall off).  So… I mean… it’s pretty hard to nail this look… but I do it daily… like a boss.

You’re welcome world!

Brownies for Breakfast

brownies

“I’m sorry, you can’t have four brownies for breakfast. You can only have one.” Yes, these words really did (truly) come out of my mouth this morning.

Two years ago, as the size of my ever-growing belly stretched into new dimensions that challenged the laws of physics, I was on a mission to feed my kid healthy, organic foods and raise him with a picture perfect and incredibly wholesome diet.

Yeah… I laugh at that fat lady… riddled with nonsensical ideas floating about in her brain… something that can only truly be described as a hallucinogenic state brought on by an overwhelming amount of crazy pregnant lady hormones.

Don’t get me wrong… we eat a well-rounded diet, buy organic when it comes to the most important foods… but there’s no need to deprive my kid of a brownie for breakfast… especially one that he painstakingly went through the effort of procuring himself this morning, during a quite intense mission… using MacGyver-like tactics… until the holy grail of chocolaty carbohydrate goodness was in his grubby little hands. (I know… because I sat at the dining room table and watched the whole thing happen… but he didn’t know I could see him.)

He grabbed the plate, removed the foil… and exposed his prize. With fists full of brownies, he rounded the corner toward me, shoveling piles of deliciousness into his face. Oh, and what a face treat they were… I could tell from the elated grin on his face… all the larger since he had indeed discovered these treats on his own. Independence is rich.

Rather shockingly, he shared a handful of brownie with me… as he consumed his portion. Then, back round the corner he went… emerging with even MORE brownies.

*insert the scratching of a record here*

I don’t think so kid. I mean, yeah… brownies aren’t much worse for you than syrup soaked pancakes (actually… they may even be a little better for you)… but your limit is one.

So sure, I let my kid eat brownies for breakfast sometimes… and for the record, leftover cake is also a perfectly legit breakfast food… but who cares? The key is moderation… special treats… and balancing it out with plenty of nutritious meals the rest of the day.

I know I’m not the only mom feeding my kid “non-meal foods” at meal time. So come on… share the love… what do you let slide as breakfast/lunch/dinner on occasion? (Yes, this would include feeding your kid an entire meal of Goldfish crackers… which is usually covered up nicely by saying, “We had fish for lunch!”)

Proud Mom Moment – My Kid Discovered Bubble Wrap

Bubble Wrap

Okay, let’s be honest… he didn’t like invent the incredibly entertaining, ingenious material that is so amazing… it has its own virtual apps… but he did figure out how to pop it… and for me… that’s pretty much the same thing (aside from the fact his type of discovery doesn’t result in any money in the bank… yet).

Seriously though… how freaking awesome is bubble wrap? The travesty is that most companies are opting to “save the plant” by using alternative shipping materials (like those stupid bags filled with air that aren’t any fun to pop… but you still have to pop… or they don’t fit in the trashcan), so the rarity of bubble wrap actually arriving at my door to cuddle the contents of my precious packages is truly depriving my child (and all children, for that matter) of the genuine fun (and an added risk of suffocation, I suppose) that is part of the joy one feels when opening a package. I mean… I might have gone straight up hippie and consumed my placenta… but that doesn’t mean I want to give up my bubble wrap. (Get with it Amazon Prime… I don’t want my sh*t delivered within the hour via drone… I want it in a giant box filled with an unnecessary amount of bubble wrap! Shoot… I will even let you get creative and select the size of those bubbles!)

And now that this post has turned into something of a rant… what ever happened to those freaking awesome environmentally friendly, cornstarch packing peanuts? Those things are incredible! You can get them a little wet and stick them together. I imagined creating towers… no, that’s thinking too small… EMPIRES with those things when I had kid(s)… and now… I have to pay a freaking fortune for them at the craft store? No bueno.

Ugh… whatever… refocus. (As I scroll back up to look at my child, brimming with excitement, as he stomps on 1″ plastic bubbles, squealing with joy.)

The day my kid learned to pop his own bubbles (and not in a dream crushing sort of way… or any of those soap bubbles that I try to avoid blowing because it makes me dizzy) was one of my proudest moments to date… and a true milestone (take that baby book publishing companies).

Cheers Munch-a-rino! Thanks for always sometimes usually making Momma proud. (I mean… you did Sharpie the television this week… so I have to take that into consideration.)

#omgpleasejustSTOPtouchingstuff

Stop Touching Stuff

WHY THE FRUIT LOOPS DO YOU TOUCH/BREAK EVERYTHING WE OWN?!?!?! I swear toddlers are hard-wired to find anything and everything of value (crap… it doesn’t even have to be of value) in a given space and break it… usually in a way you never even thought possible. The first thing Munchie ever broke was our cable box… just days after coming home from the hospital… and that was just the beginning.

More recently, he has dumped coffee all over my laptop… twice. The second time, he carried my (cold) coffee from the kitchen to the dining room, climbed up on the chair, and tried to drink it… which resulted in coffee EVERYWHERE, including some in his mouth… so no one slept that night (like I could sleep anyway… as my poor laptop’s fate just hung in the balance).

Oh… and I was far too frazzeled to even update anyone on our winter play date with friends… when Munchie ventured into the off-limits formal living room at our friends’ house and THREW A MOTHER EFFING FABERGE EGG! (Their kid knows the room is off-limits… mine, not so much… and I certainly didn’t know WHAT was in the room.) By the grace of all that is holy… that thing didn’t even break. I seriously thought I was going to die.

This morning, Munchie was watching his daily dose of Yo Gabba Gabba and he started swinging the television. (Wall mounted TV on an arm, so it pivots. He is NOT allowed to move it… which means he does it all the freaking time.) We put our remotes on top of the TV, so he can’t reach them. Well… in all of his “Dancey Dance” excitement, the TV went swinging and the remote went FLYING, hit the ground, and busted into pieces. I didn’t even know a remote could open like that! I mean, sure… it gets dropped, thrown, etc all the time… and the batteries pop out… but the whole thing just busted apart! I tried to reassemble the darn thing… but failed. No buttons worked. Thankfully, P Bish rode in on a white stallion to save the day.

You know those coupon books kids make their parents? (Exchange this for a hug, one night off from doing dishes, or… I will clean the bathroom, vacuum the stairs, etc.) I want one of those… but I just want it to be filled with coupons that say, “I promise not to touch anything for one hour,” but knowing my kid… it would only be valid while he was sleeping (in which case, P Bish might want to use it one night when Munchie sleeps in our bed… since he likes to touch things with his toes when he sleeps… and spent all of Saturday night rubbing his feet in Daddy’s beard).

 

 

Postcard Exchange FAIL – Sorry Maryland

Postcard Fail

We are participating in a 50 States Postcard Exchange. I thought I was really cool… designed an awesome factual postcard, and I knew they were going to look great… because if you have received a card from me in the last few years, you know I use a high quality company who mails my cards for me. Well… I send my first batch of cards out… and start seeing people (from the team I mailed cards to) posting to our message board that they received a blank postcard.

Everyone was being overly nice about it and didn’t want to call anyone out and say what state it was from. Thankfully, a super sweet mom sent me a message (after I directly asked if the card was mine) to inform me that she was fairly certain it was… because there was a crab on the front. #fail #facepalm #fiftyshadesofred

I just ordered a hefty stack of my postcards from VistaPrint. They should be arriving at my house in a couple of weeks (because I wasn’t paying a kajillion dollars for shipping) and I can resend.

Sorry to my fellow Marylanders for making our state look a bit incompetent. I promise to make up for it the remainder of the year by being timely… and perhaps even rubbing some Old Bay on the cards for a bit of a scratch and sniff feature.

The Twists, turns, and true tales of a mom and her pint sized human

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