New title: Aunt pt. 2

Just left the gender reveal! My sister and her significant other made cupcakes. Each had a pink and blue swirl icing top to a yellow cake filled with icing the color of the gender of the baby, blue or pink.

We each first guessed as we ate dinner (my guess was a girl) then for dessert, we were given a cupcake. I was too excited, couldn’t help myself, I cut the darn thing straight to the center and found..

BLUE!

I’m going to be an Aunt to my NEPHEW! Such a happy memory!

When hugging a child..

I saw a meme the other day that had words of advice from a retired Disney Princess. It was Snow White hugging a little girl, and in white lettering it said:

When you are hugging a child, always be the last to let go. You never know how long they need it.cool-quote-hugging-child-Disney-worker

This pulled at my emotions, and as I have self-proclaimed numerous times, I really am not an emotional person. I do get emotional like anyone else, but my family jokes that there is a gene named after my grandmother that makes us all cry at the drop of a hat. Thankfully, I think it must have skipped me.

I don’t typically cry (unless it is a Nicholas Sparks book or movie) at random events, stories, or songs, but for whatever reason, this one got me. Call it my Bonnie-gene, or hormones, or whatever you want; this one meme hit me hard! Ever since my daughter came into my life, anything having to do with children targets the softest string in my heart and plays me like the most soothing harp until I’m a blubbering mess.

As I sat there, rocking my daughter to sleep and scrolling through my phone, tears filled my eyes as her little hands squeezed around my neck, holding me as close as her little arms could. I made a vow then to always be the last to let go.

Whenever she needs me, I will always be there, and whenever she holds on to me, I won’t let go first. I want her to be strong and independent, but to I also want her to know that she can always count on me to be there from through any moment in her life that she just needs to hold on a little tighter to me. And I absolutely need her to know that for as long as she’s holding on to me, I won’t let go.

As I laid her down in her bed after her arms relaxed on my shoulders, I kissed her little forehead and brushed her fine, wild hair from her face, knowing she is the exact reason why that meme meant so much to me.

I’m not crying. You’re crying!

Movie Review – Boss Baby

IMDB: Sethe-boss-baby-718x1024ven-year-old Tim Templeton has always been a boy of an overactive imagination, and for the past seven years, life was all peaches for him, getting all the love and affection from his caring parents. However, life will never be the same and Tim won’t be the centre of attention anymore as the arrival of an improbable new brother named Boss Baby, dressed in a black suit complete with a tie and a briefcase, will shortly rob him of all love, as he takes over the whole Templetons’ house. Nevertheless, although this may be true, soon, Tim and the new Boss in a diaper will need to put differences aside and join forces, as a sneaky scheme involving the head of Puppy Co. threatens to tilt the balance of power towards their insidiously adorable furry antagonists, not to mention that the next Pet Convention is in only two days.. Brothers, hurry up.

Rating: 4 of 5

I really don’t understand how this movie got such low ratings. My husband and I were actually very surprised with how much we enjoyed this film. My daughter also liked it! And that is saying something! (Babies and puppies! How could it not interest her?)

Holding aside the lighthearted-ness of the kid-centric movie, I believe it really dove into a large issue many parents and kids face: new babies/siblings. I can’t tell you how many times I pointed out the way the main character, a seven year old boy, was feeling towards his new baby brother to my husband and said, “See, kids do think like that!” I get that it is just a movie, but I believe every child goes through these thoughts and feelings of having less mommy-daddy time than they did before the new baby came, so it was solidified in this film.

This coverage alone should have won it more favor with critics in my opinion because it actually held merit to a real issue. I guess that is why I’m not a critic; I can never guess what they will like and won’t, and they will never know what I will like and won’t, either. This movie was definitely a like!

 

Engineer Your Life

I’m feeling a little drained and dry recently. I just can’t get motivated for anything. Work has been hectic. I’m making my final push toward an October graduation. And the past two weeks, my daughter has had a cold. She’s doing a lot better now, and will finally be going to school for the first time in a week. Overall, life is happening, and I’m trying to keep up, but I don’t feel like I’m getting ahead. It’s more like I’m treading water or stuck on my hamster wheel.7kkqg0eb_ti-ankush-minda

I know I have absolutely nothing to worry about. My daughter, husband, friends and family brighten my days, and I am generally in a decent mood based on my coffee intake. I just feel like I’m holding on to the caboose of my life rather than engineering the front car.

I’ve said multiple times that I’m a glutton for punishment. I can’t help it. I like being busy, but this is one of those times I think I need to pull back, evaluate my commitments, and find my direct path rather than this haphazard road.

My advice to you, my friends: Be the engineer in your own life. Steer the train as directly as you can toward your goals and leave the rest behind.

Easier said than done, I’m finding, but as with anything, it’ll just take time, and a few more I think I can’s. Choo choo!

Pride and Parenting

​Umm, what just happened here?

My daughter who is now two years old just asked to be put right in bed after good night kisses. She gave hugs and pointed at her bed and said “crib”. She’s now asleep, and I’m kind of at a loss. 

From nursing her to sleep, rocking, then just cuddles to now. I’m a little heartbroken and relieved. Relieved that I didn’t ruin her potential sleep independence and that I may no longer have to spend hours trying to put her to sleep. At the same time, I’m heartbroken because she doesn’t need me for this small piece of her life anymore.

Is this how parenting is throughout your kid’s life? Happy when they prove you raised them right, but sad when they don’t need you like they used to?

Mind you, the night before we had only maybe slept four hours because little miss decided to wake up in the middle of the night and not go back to sleep. Even during those following days of similar nights, she would still want us to stay with her in her room, cuddling, until she fell asleep. 

This night is new, and the start of a new milestone for her, I’m sure of it. I’m just as sure that there will be setbacks, each of which I will cherish preciously knowing they too will come to an end, but this new step has really brought another secret of parenting no one shares with you to light.

I used to think pride was a seven deadly sin, and in some forms I think it could still be one, but now I know, it’s a parents greatest attribute. 

We are so proud of our children as they grow and master even the smallest skills, but it is also that pride that keeps us seemingly strong when we want to breakdown with the realization that our children will one day no longer need us as drastically as they do now. It’s our pride that gets us through the tough years, days, and hours. It’s how big our heart swells and breaks at the same time when we look at the achievements of our children. 

Here I am, sobbing over the fact that my two year old no longer needs me to put her to sleep anymore because I am so proud of her, but it’s my pride that is keeping me somewhat together and elated that she is growing into an independent child.

I’ll definitely be hugging her a little tighter in the morning. It’ll be all too soon that I’ll become embarrassing, and my pride might not save me then.

Insomnia..

bedI’m feeling a bit like The Walking Dead again lately, and I guess it is appropriate with the season change and all, but man, insomnia is kicking my butt. I try each night to at least get six hours of solid sleep because eight would just be striving too high, but with a toddler fighting colds and teething her last round of baby teeth for a while (I hope), even six at times is unattainable, especially in a solid form. Broken sleep patterns and lying in my bed staring at the ceiling, begging the sandman to drown me in his sleeping sand, are the new norm since I have become a parent, but I didn’t realize just how bad it was until I stumbled haphazardly onto this wonderful vat of knowledge.

New parents don’t get jack for sleep! Well, duh, but did you realize how little you were actually getting in this little one’s first year of life? New parents experience a sleep loss of 20.3 hours per week, making up 1,055.6 hours lost in the first year of a child’s life – equivalent to 44 days. New Parents Lose 44 Days of Sleep in Baby’s First Year

44 DAYS!!

Bet you won’t find that in any of those wonderful pregnancy and baby books! I’m telling you, if they would make these facts known to not only adults, but teens practicing unsafe sex, the birthrate would drop tremendously! There is so much that people don’t tell you about pregnancy, birth, and raising a child. I swear, it’s like some sick joke of those who experience it before you that they don’t tell you everything just because they want to see you suffer through it, too. Misery loves company!

The lack of sleep is kicking in, and I’m finding myself ranting, but 44 days!!

Then I remember those beautiful blue eyes, perfect button nose, and the goofiest smile I have ever seen, and losing 44 days of sleep, 44 days of my eyes closed and not being with my beautiful little girl, is completely worth it. I’ll take 44 days of memories with her over 44 days of unconsciousness any day.baby

Well, maybe just give me four of those days back? Make it an even 40? Darn you, insomnia.

Love, Life, and Loss

Almost a year ago, in exactly seventeen more days, my daughter entered this world.

I know there are better introduction sentences in the classic novels of history. – Call me Ishmael. – A screaming comes across the sky. – Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. True written masterpieces of art! But I tell you this, none of those have moved me greater than the one written above. As each day passes, and the number dwindles down, I find myself becoming an even bigger mass of emotions.

Panic. Love. Anxiety. Peace. Despondent. Elated.

This tiny human who grew inside of me then entered this world via me has been part of my life for almost an entire year. From this wrinkly, sleepy little creature who fit so perfectly on my chest to the now taller than my head to waist wiggle worm, she has grown so much. I can hardly believe that all of three-hundred and forty-eight days ago I was desperately waiting to see her face for the first time when now all I see in my mind’s eye is her silly smile and bright eyes.  

I will never know a greater joy then to see my daughter’s face. I will never know a more peaceful moment then when she is asleep in my arms. I will never be able to forget a moment I spend with her for the rest of my life because I try my hardest to live my time with her with everything I am.

I know, I’m sappy today, and it has everything to do with what today is. Today is the day of the funeral for my maternal grandfather four months after my maternal grandmother’s passing. I guess you can say I’m contemplating time and mortality. Both of my grandparents lived long lives into their seventies, and I know they lived well, but how long is long enough?

I’ve heard older people say, “I’ve lived a long and happy life, so I’m ready to move on to the next stage.”, but how do they ever come to that point? Will I ever understand their feeling of a life complete? I couldn’t imagine one day suddenly feeling like I had lived every moment I could live when life continues to happen around me.

Maybe they are just at peace with the way their lives played out and know that whatever greater moment there is after this life, they will still in someway play a part in the current world they live in. Maybe they realize that while their bodies may not be here, the love they shared will never die as long as their loved ones live and share it with others.

I guess I take solace in knowing the love I felt for my grandparents is still within me even though it is stung with the pain of loss. I think I’ll hold onto their memory a little tighter today, and know that it won’t die within me as long as I share it with my loved ones. And I think I know who I will start with.   

What They Don’t Tell You About Pregnancy

As soon as I found out I was expecting, I did what most women do; I researched. I scoured website after website, book after book, reading as much as I could to know everything I could about what was happening with my body and the growing one inside of me. From “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” to “Mayo Clinic: Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy” and all things BabyCenter.com (live by this website!) as well as other websites, I’ve read them all!

Almost eight months now of research, and there have been so many “not a big deal” items that have popped up during this pregnancy, I will never use the phrase again. I have learned that any time a complication is listed on any form of self-education I read as only 20% of women will have this condition or only one out of ten women experience this, I will ultimately end up with it.

Placenta Previa: Placenta previa (pluh-SEN-tuh PREH-vee-uh) occurs when a baby’s placenta partially or totally covers the opening in the mother’s cervix — the lower end of the uterus that connects to the top of the vagina. Placenta previa can cause severe bleeding before or during delivery. (BabyCenter.com)

Placenta previa occurs in one out of 200 pregnancies.
http://umm.edu/health/medical/pregnancy/labor-and-delivery/placenta-previa#ixzz3GmVAh7UM
University of Maryland Medical Center

My experience with this condition was early in my pregnancy and, thankfully, resolved itself as my baby grew, and we entered the second trimester. This “simple explanation” was definitely anything but simple to me; it was scary! The number one thing that a woman is not supposed to experience during this time happened, and there was nothing anyone could have done about it other than put me on bed rest and wait for it to stop. One highlight from this involuntary undertaking was the chance to have multiple sonograms to make sure my baby was still with me; I have her heartbeat practically memorized now, and it was amazing to see her grow week by week!

Subchorionic Bleeding: Also called subchorionic hematoma, subchorionic bleeding is the accumulation of blood within the folds of the chorion (the outer fetal membrane, next to the placenta) or within the layers of the placenta itself. These bleeds, or clots, can cause the placenta to separate from the uterine wall if they get too large, if they develop in a bad spot, or if they aren’t eventually reabsorbed.

A good 20 percent of pregnant women will experience some kind of bleeding early in pregnancy, though it’s often hard to tell what’s causing the problem. (What to Expect When You’re Expecting)

This one kind of snowballed with the previa, occurring during the same time frame. A three millimeter pocket had formed within the folds of where my daughter latched on causing some blood vessels to pop, bleed, and form the pocket. The bleed had stopped, but the remnants were present and attributing to the complications associated with the previa. Another “nothing to worry about” and “it’ll resolve itself” later, the pocket reabsorbed after being monitored by multiple more sonograms.   

Gestational Diabetes: This is a type of diabetes that some women get during pregnancy. Between 2 and 10 percent of expectant mothers develop this condition, making it one of the most common health problems of pregnancy.

When you’re pregnant, hormonal changes can make your cells less responsive to insulin. For most moms-to-be, this isn’t a problem: When the body needs additional insulin, the pancreas dutifully secretes more of it. But if your pancreas can’t keep up with the increased insulin demand during pregnancy, your blood glucose levels rise too high, resulting in gestational diabetes. (BabyCenter.com)

This new, lovely, “not a big deal”, “not the worst thing that could happen” condition has been a pain in my posterior (pardon the expression). After failing the first one-hour glucose tolerance test and almost passing out/getting sick from the second three-hour test, I had to meet with an endocrinologist. They put me on a controlled diet that feels eerily similar to the diet I was on when I was losing weight before I got pregnant, but this time, calories are way more flexible; carbs, not so much. The first week was rough; my blood glucose numbers were all over the place and nowhere near the desired range. I am now entering the second week trying to control my blood glucose levels, and just over the past two days, my numbers have finally started to stabilize and be in the range I need. I had to add a bit of exercise to the end of each meal, but just ten minutes of walking and finally getting a hang of how much of what I can have, I am starting to feel a bit more comfortable with it.

My only words of advice and my initial reason for posting this blog is to let other women who are expecting know that no matter your condition, big or small, no matter what the doctors or nurses say, or even those around you, it is OK to worry. It is OK to feel frustrated, to be sad, or to just be upset. Whatever you are feeling isn’t wrong to feel. I cannot tell you how many times I cried from frustration and aggravation during all of these “simple explanations”, these “nothing to worry about’s”, and these “not a big deal’s”, and at the time, it was what I needed.

When you are first affronted with something that you have no control over, anyone’s initial reaction is to be upset, so be upset! As you make your way through and learn what you need to, you will eventually find peace and learn how to deal with it, but in the meantime, if it is a big deal to you, then let it be!

This too shall pass.

64 days until I meet my daughter which will make it all worth it!

*Disclaimer: if you feel that you need help getting past something that has occurred in your pregnancy or even in your life, don’t sit on it and let it develop into more worry. Ask for help from your family, friends, and/or doctors. You can be upset, but human nature is to learn to deal with it, so if you find yourself sinking further into your emotions, ask for help!