What The….???

If I tell you all how much I hate GoDaddy.com, will I get into trouble?  I’m just one voice out here among billions on this planet… but I’ve heard horror stories.  I’ve read about people getting into trouble because they mentioned something negative about some random company on their blog, and were forced to shut it down due to slander.  How can my teeny, tiny voice cause so much chaos, I mean really?

Because, in all seriousness, I HATE GoDaddy.com.

You know what website I’m referring to… the one that has such spokeswomen like Danica Patrick, and I believe Jillian Michaels has signed on as well.  In order for me to get good service, I need to look like these women, or BE these women, apparently.

I log in to blog, and the site is down for repairs.  I log in to blog, and I can’t blog, because the page in front of me is screwed up, there’s no where to enter any information.  If I try to attach a picture, it won’t let me.  IT being the website.  GoDaddy.com.  I’ve had a lot of grief with them, and so here I am, on WordPress, which is much more manageable and user friendly.  And I think looks prettier.  Yes, I had to throw something girly in there.

So, usually on the 1st of every month, I put pictures of Kevin and I out there for everyone to see, along with our current weight, so you can see our progress.  I am going to come clean here.  We’ve been LAZY.  And not that we haven’t had a few things get in the way of our work out regimen, but we haven’t done as much as we planned.  I have no other way to say it, other than that.  He and I have signed up for a 5K, which will be on St. Patrick’s Day.  That gives us roughly 3 weeks to get ourselves back on course.

Crossing fingers…..

138 lbs

188 lbs

Thirty-Five Pounds Of Water Weight

Two disclaimers:

One:  I am severely sleep deprived.  If you see misspelled words or sentences that don’t make sense, give me a break.  I just had a baby.
Two:  If you are male, I am going to give you the option to move your mouse cursor up to that bright red “X’ box in the right hand corner, and close the hell out of my blog!  This blog can be placed in the “TMI” category, and might make you a little squeamish.  If you are brave, you can continue on.  But don’t say I didn’t warn you!
A little back story, first… I was induced a week early with my first born.  My doctor was going out of the country for a three week stint to visit family, and I wanted to make sure he’d be the one to deliver my child.  So, I had gone in on a Wednesday night, had Cervidil (a prostaglandin vaginal insert that aides in ripening the cervix) applied, and waited.  Thursday morning, around 5am, I was checked to see if any progress had been made, and guess what?  Nothing.  Nadda.  I was depressed, and decided to relax in the jacuzzi tub in my room for about 30 minutes, stepped out, and BOOM.  My water breaks.  At 6am, I am hooked up to pitocin.  At 10:50am, my son is born.
No epidural.  Yes, I am that crazy.
Two weeks ago, I went in for my 37 week check up.  No progress.  Nothing had started, nothing had “opened up”.  I didn’t expect some sort of crazy breakthrough at 37 weeks along, but I wanted something.  Even a centimeter dialated would have been good, because most of my pregnancy, I was convinced I was going to go into labor early.  Well, hoped and prayed.  When you get to that last month in your pregnancy, you don’t think to yourself, “Gee, I’d love to go OVER my due date.”
My doctor could tell I was disappointed, and he said, “If you want, I can induce you a week before your due date.”  I gave him my famous “narrowing of the eyes until they are slits” look.  Something was up.  “What’s going on?”  I asked.  He looked guilty.  “I am going out of town around the time your baby is to be born.”  Of course.  “You did this to me last time!”  I made sure he was aware of this fact, which he looked even more guilty.
“I know, and I’m sorry.”
I relayed the information to my husband Kevin, who groaned and became very perturbed.  He immediately got onto the internet (he’s a computer geek, so he will spend countless hours scouring for information) and found information about pitocin.  It scared the crap out of him.  Side effects for the woman: Anaphylactic reaction, postpartum hemorrhage, cardiac arrhythmia, rupture of the uterus… side effects for the baby: Brain damage, fetal death, neonatal seizures, neonatal jaundice, neonatal retinal hemorrhage… is it any wonder he was freaked?  It didn’t make him feel any better that my first born came out of induction in one piece, and healthy.  He pointed out that Ben might have “gotten lucky”, and there was no 100% guarantee for our child.
Even with the possible side effects, I was on the fence.  I didn’t want to do anything harmful to my baby, but I also know countless women who have had pitocin, and their babies turned out fine.  So many of my friends have had epidurals, which it seems epidurals and pitocin go hand in hand, and all turned out fine.  And there was a selfish aspect to all of this.  If I were able to have my doctor deliver my baby instead of someone I didn’t know, and I could do it earlier than my due date… like I said, it’s selfish, but I am only being honest here.
October 18th, I went in for my 38th week check up.  Again, no change, no progress.  After my doctor left the room, I looked down at my large belly.  Nolan was kicking around in there like crazy.  I gently poked at my belly, and I said to it (to him): “You need to come on your own buddy.  We need to make this happen.  Your daddy and I are going nuts wondering what to do about you.  Let’s get it done!”  I know, it sounded like I was giving a pep talk to my unborn child.  I think I was, a little.
Tuesday night (the next night), Kevin and I were getting ready for bed.  I had to go pee.  This is not unusual for a pregnant woman.  And, right there on the toilet, I hear and feel this “pop”.  It was actually four little pops, and then a gush of water.  “OH MY GOD!”  I said this very loud, shocked.  Kevin quickly opened the bathroom door.  “Are you ok?!?”  I looked down at the toilet bowl, and back up at him.  “I think my water just broke.”  He was very calm.  Inside, I am sure he was FREAKING OUT, but he calmly said, “That’s ok.”  We started to get things together, the overnight bag, Nolan’s diaper bag, my son and his overnight bag.  Through all of this, my water kept leaking.  And leaking.  I had some maxi pads that were instantly soaked within minutes.  I looked like I peed my pants, so I changed my pants, only to wet in the clean pants as well.  I ended up grabbing a large bath towel and placing it around me, and that’s how we left our house.  My son went to a friend’s house (his father was out of the country at the time), and Duke the dog went to another friend’s house.  We were on our way.  No contractions yet, but lots of water.
By the time I got to the hospital, and stepped out of the car, water was leaking down my legs.  Miraculously, none got on the seats in the car.  I was admitted, and we went to our birthing room.  We were pretty much the last room on the ward, which looking back was a blessing, because I would soon be making all sorts of noise on that maternity floor.  No contractions yet, just pressure in my lower back.  I told the nurse that I did not want an epidural.  I have to say, every single nurse we had during our hospital stay was phenomenal.  Not once did anyone offer me drugs (although I did take one shot to see if it would help take the edge off, which it didn’t) or try to get me to sign the consent form for an epidural.  They were all so supportive.
When I was first checked, I was three centimeters dialated.  As I labored, and was checked again, I was a 3 heading to 4 centimeters.  Checked again, I was a 4 heading to 5.  It was after the 5 centimeters mark that things started to get more intense.  Contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes, most were long and strong, although some were smaller, which allowed me to take mini breaks.  Kevin brought along a massager, this vibrating tool that enabled him to help massage my lower back through my contractions, but saved his wrists and hands in the process:
I was checked again, and had progressed from 5 centimeters, to 8.  The nurse was getting nervous.  My doctor wasn’t at the hospital yet.  My contractions were much more intense.  With each contraction, I was moaning and wailing very loudly, something I had learned from a prior natural birthing class I had taken, to relax your muscles and just let the contraction go through your body.  I learned later that I could be heard clear over at the nurses’s station, and some of the men wondered if I was being tortured in my room.  I could feel a lot of pressure in my rectum and I knew the baby was going to come out.  I was instructed to lay in the bed, and I told the nurse, “This baby is coming, I can’t wait for my doctor!”  She told me to hold on.  He was almost there, and Kevin tried to tell me to hold on, but with each contraction I could tell the baby wasn’t going to hold on much longer.
At the last second, my doctor walked in, and I could start pushing.  Now, my water broke around 10:50pm.  My doctor walked in around 6:30am.  I pushed a few times, screaming as I did so, and at 6:59am, Nolan Robert was born.  Immediate relief flooded me after he was out.
Did I mention I did this with no epidural?
Nolan is a very healthy boy, weighing in at 6lbs, 10 ounces, and 20 inches long.  No jaundice (his big brother had that for about a week after we left the hospital), no internal heart beat monitor placed into his scalp (another thing his big brother had to endure due to dips in his heart beat)… so maybe there is something to this “no pitocin” thing.  I can’t say for sure.  All I know is that I am glad Nolan is here, and he decided to come out when he was good and ready to come out.
Now, if he would only sleep through the night…..

How Sweet Is That?!?

Kids can be a huge pain in the ass.

Oh what, that’s not sweet?  Well, I have to start somewhere, and I am starting with the truth.  They can be.  There are days that Ben reduces me to a child of his age (that would be five), but since I’m female, let’s say seven or eight, because we all know girls mature faster than boys.  So there I am, seven or eight years old, wanting to stick both index fingers into my ears and scream, “YADAYADAYADAYADAYADA” over and over again while he has some sort of ridiculous temper tantrum.  Or, when he loses privileges when he’s misbehaved, and he tells me that he doesn’t care because he’s going to sneak into ____________ (my bedroom, the hallway closet, the high shelves in the kitchen) to get the item that I’ve confiscated, so I can think I’ve got one up on him, but I’d better think again.  And, if he can’t get to the item, he’s just going to play with something else anyway, SO THERE.
Like I said, a huge pain in the ass.
But God devised a plan for us.  He made our children cute.  Our kids can push us to the outer brinks of our limits and what we thought were our limits (wasn’t the line BACK THERE?), and then they go and redeem themselves in such a way that you want to clutch at your chest, blinking away tears because it made your heart feel THAT GOOD.
The other day, I was done.  Like, stick a fork in me done.  I had worked 6 hours and then gone to get Ben from school, which Ben is my main job, the one that takes more work and effort than my office job does.  We had worked on his homework, and it took a long time.  His teacher had photocopied a page out of Highlights magazine, and it was one of those “can you find these pictures in this picture” sort of deal, and I don’t care if Highlights is geared towards kids, finding those images was hard work!  Try finding a sickle (do you even know what a sickle is?) amongst pumpkins, and children dressed in Halloween costumes.   We did some reading after that, picked up the house, and then it was time for me to make dinner.  I know, sounds like very easy tasks, doesn’t it?  But when you are on 38 weeks pregnant, you are performing these tasks with what feels like 20 lb. weights on each ankle.  Well, for me, it would be more like 16.5 weights on each ankle.
I was DONE.  I called my husband Kevin up to relay the message to him that I would not be eating dinner tonight, because chewing took effort, and I didn’t have enough in me to chew.  He made dinner for himself and for Ben, while I lay about on the couch, looking like a very tired beached whale.  Then, the beached whale decided to waddle her way to the bedroom, where she could retire in peace.  And that’s where she stayed until the next morning.
And the next morning, I was told how Ben really wanted to pray with me the night before.  See, that’s part of our bedtime routine.  We say our prayers before he gets tucked in for the night.  Ben asked Kevin, “Can I say prayers with Mommy?”  Kevin told him that I was most likely sleeping, and to let me rest.  So, Ben knelt down before my bedroom door, which was closed, and put his palms together, closing his eyes, and he said a silent prayer for me.  Kevin didn’t hear what it was, but it was said for me.  When Kevin told me that, my heart ached with a feeling of such strong love for that little boy!
And that’s how it happens.  You can be having the hardest day, and a simple “I love you” will make it all worth it.  Or, you can be feeling like a beached whale, and you find out that even when you are at a low point, your children still love you, enough that they will say a prayer for you even when you can’t be there for them 100%.
How sweet is that?

LET IT GO

A good friend of mine had this posted on her Myspace page a few years back, and it coincided with a really difficult time in my life.  I took some comfort in what the message said, and I wanted to share this with all of you.  I’ve noticed that so many people are feeling stuck; trapped; caught up and I thought back to this sermon.

Now, I know some of you are spiritual, some religious, and some don’t want to read anything that has the word “God” in it, and that’s fine.  Just do me a favor, and read between the lines to see what’s trying to be said here.

 

LET IT GO FOR 2007 by T.D. Jakes

There are people who can walk away from you.

And hear me when I tell you this!

When people can walk away from you: let them walk.

I don`t want you to try to talk another person into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you.

I mean hang up the phone.

When people can walk away from you let them walk.

Your destiny is never tied to anybody that left.

The Bible said that they came out from us that it might be made manifest that they were not for us.

For had they been of us, no doubt they would have continued with us

1 John 2:19 : People leave you because they are not joined to you. And if they are not joined to you, you can`t make them stay. Let them go.

And it doesn`t mean that they are a bad person, it just means that their part in the story is over. And you`ve got to know when people`s part in your story is over so that you don’t keep trying to raise the dead. You`ve got to know when it`s dead…

Let me tell you something. I`ve got the gift of good-bye.

It`s the tenth spritual gift; I believe in good-bye. It`s not that I`m hateful, it`s that I`m faithful and I know whatever God means for me to have He`ll give it to me. And if it takes too much sweat I don`t need it. Stop begging people to stay. Let them go!!

If you are holding on to something that doesn`t belong to you and was never intended for your life, then you need to….LET IT GO!!!

If you are holding on to the past hurts and pains…LET IT GO!!!

If someone can`t treat you right, love you back, and your worth…LET IT GO!!!!

If someone has angered you…LET IT GO!!!!

If you are holding onto some thoughts of evil and revenge…LET IT GO!!!!

If you are involved in a wrong relationship or addiction…LET IT GO!!!

If you are holding on to a job that no longer meets your needs or talents…LET IT GO!!!

If you have a bad attitude…LET IT GO!!!

If there is a particular situation that you are so used to handling yourself and God is saying “take your hands off of it” then you need to LET IT GO!!!

Let the past be the past. Forget the former things. God is doing a new thing for 2007 LET IT GO!!! Get right or get left!! Think about it and then LET IT GO!!

 

Three Things Never To Discuss: Religion, Politics… and oh yeah, Breastfeeding….

I want to start this off by saying (not just because I fully believe this, but because I want to protect myself from flying objects, fruit and rocks):  Breastfeeding is BEST.  There’s no mistaking or arguing the matter.  The facts prove it.  I don’t need to attach several different links that support this theory.  If you want to provide the best nutrients for your baby, you breastfeed, plain and simple.  I will never disagree this fact.

Now, since I am 33 weeks pregnant, I’ve been reading a lot of pregnancy related magazines.  And, I found this statistic located on the bottom page of one of my favorites:
“$13 BILLION: Additional health care costs because U.S. moms don’t breastfeed as recommended”
I won’t say which magazine this was in, because in case one of the 3 of you who read my blog happens to know someone who knows someone who works for this magazine, I certainly don’t want to get into trouble for citing anything or calling a statistic out.  But I have to tell you, reading this made my blood boil.
As you can guess from what I just said, no, I did not breastfeed my 5 year old son, Ben.  There are personal reasons that surround that, and from day one, Ben was bottle fed with formula.  Did I feel guilty about it?  Yes.  I wanted to do the “right thing” by him and his health and his well-being.  Ben went on to become a very healthy child, given the circumstances.  He went on to get maybe 1-2 colds a year, never had an ear infection in his entire life (knock on wood) and is very bright.  So of course, I question what this statistic means.  Anytime Ben was sick, and I brought him to the doctor, not once was I asked, “Ma’am, did  you breastfeed your son?”  Has anyone else been asked that question?
I can tell you that I have friends who breastfed exclusively, and have children who have asthma, allergies, and were sick more often than my son.  I also have friends who formula fed exclusively, and their children also suffer from the same plight.  So, based on this situation, I have always chalked up genetics to how a child may be growing up.  If you and your significant have allergies, asthma, etc. than your child may also wind up with that.  Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce these ailments, but it doesn’t seem to be a 100% security blanket against it.  Does that mean you shouldn’t breastfeed?  Of course not.  It just further confuses me in regards to this statistic.
And infuriates me.  I have other friends who tried desperately to breastfeed, one in particular comes to mind (she’s one of my blog readers).  A good friend of mine had twins who were born 10 weeks early.  Her babies were unable to feed in the beginning, and so she pumped every 3 hours, trying to get as much nourishing breast milk for her babies as she could, but eventually, her body was unable to make enough milk, and due to the babies’ size, they had to be put on special formula to help them gain weight.  I knew someone else who produced tons of milk, but the milk had little nourishment in it.  Her baby was still failing to thrive.  I am sure there are countless other stories.
The bottom line is, we all have moments where we feel less than stellar as parents.  And we feel judged at times.  It can be breastfeeding, or whether you work or stay home with your child, what sort of food you feed your child, how you parent or raise your child.  Some days it feels as though you try so hard to do your best, and then you read something like this, and it makes you question whether you’ve done the right thing or not by your child.  That will be something each person will have to decide on their own.  It feels as though throwing statistics around like this goads you into breast feeding, versus allowing you to make your own decisions based on the fact that it’s the best option, and from what I’ve heard, a fantastic bonding experience.  Why can’t we let that be the merits that guide someone to choose breast feeding?
As for me, I do plan to breastfeed my baby in the making.  I have a very supportive husband who will back me all the way, but if for some reason I am unable to, I am going to cut myself some slack!  Being a parent is hard enough!

My Mom Screwed Me Up

I think I need to elaborate more on my “Mommy Guilt”.  Most of the behaviors we have in life stem from something linking to our childhood.  That’s common knowledge, a simple two plus two equation.  Parents were our role models.  Often, you will see a good behavior and want to mimic that; other times, if it’s negative, you can go one of two ways: you either mimic, or you don’t.

I know, that’s like hearing there’s a 50/50 chance that it will rain today, right?  I mean, in essence, every day there’s a 50/50 chance that SOMETHING will happen.

This can extend out to your surroundings, other relatives, friends, etc.  But, it all begins with parenthood.  How’s that for added pressure?
Both my sister and I are struggling with being the “supreme parent”.  We want to do it all.  We want to be all to our children, because growing up, we went without.  Many times, young girls look to their mothers for guidance, and we had none.  We lived in an apartment filled with filth and garbage.  Dishes sat in the sink collecting mold.  Mom had cats, and the cats would piss and shit all over the carpet, and it would never get cleaned.  She’s have parties and invite all the neighbors.  These parties consisted of illegal drugs and booze. Our front door was never locked, because she didn’t want anyone to feel they couldn’t just come in whenever they felt like it.  We were the party apartment.
Most of the time, I’d escape and wander the apartment complex with other friends.  We were roughly eight years old.  How many of us would allow our young children to go wandering late at night, with no supervision?  I can’t even imagine letting Ben do something like that!
There’s more to this story, but I will spare you the details.  The point is, I saw how my mother behaved, and I swore even at a young age that when I had children, I would do the exact opposite.  I would spend time with my kids.  I would keep the house clean.  I didn’t know though, that once I had a child, it would kick start something inside me that almost resembles obsessive compulsive disorder. If I don’t get something done in a timely manner, I feel guilty.  If I want to spend time doing something other than spending time with my son, I feel bad.  If the house needs cleaned, I can’t do anything else until it’s done.
I work very hard at not going overboard.  I don’t want my son to grow up with his own issues of dependence, because I didn’t teach him independence.
And I know that overall, he’s going to come out a little scathed, because we all come out a little scathed.  No one is perfect.  You do the best you can with what you’ve got and pray it all turns out in the end.
It’s definitely a work in progress….

Holy crap.  I haven’t been on in almost a month.  Has it really been that long?  A quick glance at my blog tells me that yes, it certainly has.

I want to ask the other moms out there (and dads, if you want to contribute, please do): How do I get over the mommy guilt?  Dads, how do you get over the daddy guilt?  Or, do you even have the guilt?  Do you feel just as bad as I do, taking even 30 minutes, sometimes more or sometimes less, to do something all for you?

Right now, my son is watching a 30 minute movie, and I think, “What the hell is wrong with me?  We could be _________________ (going for a walk, reading a book, playing a game, learning, doing something productive).”  And here I am with my ass on the couch, blogging.  I know his brain won’t melt.  And, he’s watching a construction DVD, so he’s at least learning something that may be of use to him someday in the future, perhaps?  Look at me, trying to justify my not spending time with him.
When I started this blog, I had grand ideas.  And I still do!  So much of what I want to accomplish will come later, after the new year so right now, this is a place for me to talk and pretend I have other grown ups surrounding me.  You know, before we had kids and the focus of conversation was on ourselves and not on our children.  And not to say I don’t enjoy having the topic be about my son; you will find that most of what I talk about on this blog consists of being a parent.  How do I get around the guilt though?  This doesn’t just surround my family, it’s also house cleaning related too.  Right now, I’ve got my eye on items that need to be picked up and put away, dishwasher that needs to be emptied and re-loaded.  How can I ignore that?
Does anyone have suggestions?  Anyone?  I can tell you that I have so many things I want to write about swarming in my head…. yet the mommy guilt trumps those thoughts every time!
GCC Creative Writing

Creative Writing at Glendale AZ Community College

Africanist, artist & woman

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