Mom Chronicles Day 299

Mom Chronicles Day 299:

When The Boy isn’t walking but proceeds to climb up the ottoman, up the couch, over 247 loads of laundry, over the back of the couch to stare out the window. #adventurous #belay #notyet #startwalkingfirst #itbegins #grabthewine 

By leaving stuffed animals on the floor you will cause The Boy to initiate growling phase 3. Phase 3 includes bending over to eye level with the animal in question and really showing that animals who’s boss. 

If you think you have a fast baby now, I propose Naked Baby Diaper Races. To win, you and your baby must reach the finish line with you chasing while he laughs madly and crawls away with lightning speed. Contestant babies must be only wearing socks. Mom’s must carry the diaper in question.

Peaches for breakfast end with exploding poopat lunch. 

The dishwasher has become the new “It” place for climbers galore. Lounge in the streams of dishwater as Mommy works in the sink above. Just make sure as you are climbing in you don’t bonk. Bonks in the dishwasher can be deadly and lead to falls. #nobonkzone

Snot. Streams of snot. Buckets of snot. Snot that resembles tears in its path down the face. Clear snot. Grey snot. Green snot. Yellow snot. Donut glaze snot. #somuchsnot

We’ve entered the toddler sleeping phase. I woke up this morning with The Boy’s toenails tickling my ear. I think that means now is a good time to track down those clippers...


Tonight, There Is A Mom

As I rocked The Boy to sleep tonight I held him a little tighter, a little longer, a little closer. Somewhere out there in my town tonight, a mother is preparing to bury her son. She’s laid out her clothes and made the preparations, and she will go to bed tonight wondering what she missed.

I know because I am wondering what I missed. I’m just a friend. 

This Mom will turn the light out, and she’ll close her eyes and maybe she’ll sleep. I hope she sleeps. I hope she sees that she couldn’t control this. But she won’t.

See, as a mom we have that guilt over everything. And when your son takes his life- how can you not wonder what you did wrong? What you missed or didn’t say?

Somewhere out there, there is a Mom rocked by guilt, by grief. Her emotional pain has become so intense that it manifests as a physical ache inside her chest. 

I will always wonder what I missed. But tonight, my thoughts are on this Mom. I hope she can feel the extra prayers going up to God for her.

And as she wakes in the morning to a new reality, one she thought was just a nightmare, I’ll be praying for her. 


She Decided Not To Live

“And yet, her death had so many more actual causes.

Bullying. The neglect of a school district to handle the problem. Parents of the bullies who declined to take their kids’ behavior seriously.

And chief among them all, the fact that multiple eleven and twelve-year-old children were in the possession of smartphones and social media accounts.”

Y’all. I don’t know when we’ll see it. I mean- actually see it. This epidemic that is sweeping through our country and has been for years. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24. SECOND. Between TEN YEARS OLD and twenty four. 

There were 1748 deaths by suicide in 2013 among teens aged 15 to 19 years old, and this number might actually be higher, as “some of these deaths may have been recorded as accidental.”

“In fact, reports show that 43% of teens have reported being bullied online, compared to 19.6% of those at school. With teen suicide rates being higher, the correlation between these deaths and social media may not be so far off.”

Where are we failing our kids? Is it the handing off of smart phones? The allowance of social media? The lack of parental involvement? Is there a digital distraction that keeps us from speaking to our children about these things?

In Ohio, an EIGHT YEAR OLD boy killed himself after being bullied. Was social media involved this time? No. Does it matter? No. A baby. He somehow got it in his head that death was a good idea. Who put that thought in his head? Can you imagine being that Mom?

She came home, called for her son. She didn’t hear him so she went to his room. And her baby was hanging from a necktie. Dead. Her baby. 

When eight and ten year old kids, twelve, seventeen year old kids, are killing themselves in these numbers, it’s time we ask ourselves what WE are doing wrong as parents. Does your kid need a phone? Maybe. Does your kid need a smartphone? I don’t know. Mine sure doesn’t. In fact, I’m not sure if The Boy needs a social media account. The definition of “need” is to require something that is essential. Is a social media account essential? No. It’s not. And neither is handing our ten year old an iPhone.

We get so worked up - I know, I do it too - about mass shootings. But how sad is that, really, compared to these babies who felt so badly about themselves that they decided not to live? 

If your baby decides not to live and you find him or her hanging by a necktie, will it be an issue then?


Life Happens

Well, my dear sister is getting married this weekend to a wonderful man (I’m watching you!) and our plane leaves this afternoon at 4 pm. We will not be on it. My poor husband is being held hostage at the hospital thanks to that tyrant, diverticulitis. He’s been there 5 days. We have no solution yet. I’ve been carting The Boy back and forth to his sitters so I can divide my time between my sweetheart and my son.

My son is NOT happy. My husband is still in pain and y’all, I am weary. The good news is, I’m learning that to take care of them I have to take care of me. So this morning I’m at home getting ready to go back to bed for a nap. It probably won’t happen but at least I can lay down and rest. Except that probably won’t happen either because I’m going to see something that needs to be done. Ah well. I guess I’d better get on with that nap.


Fear and Satan

I’ve kept silent since this tragedy has unfolded in Las Vegas. There are enough people commenting and sharing and speculating about this shooting that I just didn’t have it in me. 

My heart hurts. It physically aches with heartbreak for these people who lost their loved ones and it aches in fear for my little boy.

Fear is something I thought I knew. Something I was familiar with and had wrestled to the ground. I have always been proud to say I feared nothing. It’s scary how fast that changes when you have children. I had a panic attack at church a few weeks ago- my husband and I go to a very large church here in our state. The largest. What a target, is all I can think. We dropped our son off in daycare and went to the service. During worship all I had in my head were thoughts of “what if” and “how would I get out” and “how would I get to my son”. I started hyperventilating and we had to leave.

Thankfully, I was able to speak with some folks that head up our security team and get some answers and assurances. But that’s not something we’re supposed to be worrying about. I shouldn’t have to think twice about entering a large crowd because of a shooter. 

Fear is one of the most crippling things I’ve experience Satan do. I fear life now. I fear the movies and the grocery store, the car and my university. I don’t know the answer to that fear. I do know that I serve a mighty and powerful God. And He’s got me. He’s got my son. He’s got my husband.

What’s happening in our world is evil. Pure evil. There are no two ways about it. And the more I see, the more I focus on God. That’s one thing I’ve noticed that the devil didn’t count on. I can’t count the number of people that I know that are coming BACK to God and becoming more vocal about their love for Jesus and their faith in God after these tragedies. Every time. Another and another.

Evil might run rampant in this world. These heroes like Sonny and his wife... they are just that. Heroes. Along with the hundreds of others who helped that night. And those who are still silently helping. 

My son will be raised to know and love God. And he will be raised to raise HIS children to know and love God. So checkmate, Satan. God’s gonna win in the end. He’s going to conquer you and my fear.


He Will NOT Stop Crying!!

"He will NOT stop crying!"

That phrase characterized my son's first few months of life. Screaming, crying with no relief. Change the diaper, change the clothes, feed him, rock him. NOTHING HELPED!!

And I heard it all. "Oh he's colicky." and "well, he's just an irritable baby" (that gem was from his pediatrician) and "flip him end to end" and "he's just manipulating you" (yes- the four month old baby). 

I was an emotional, confused mess. All I could think was there was SOMETHING wrong with my sweet boy. I KNEW it. And no one would listen except my husband. As a first time mom, albeit a "maternally advanced" mom, you get treated like you just don't know. You get dismissed. But I digress.

Did you know that the sound of an infant's cries are used in torture? I am not surprised. Listening to the boy child cry was pure torture and all I could do was cry with him.

I went round and round with doctors, who wouldn't listen. And eventually I read an article called "The Loudest Silence I Ever Heard" by Travis Norwood. You can read it on his website at www.travisnorwood.com. The article talks about his visit to an orphanage and that none of those precious babies in the orphanage were crying. Twenty or more babies- a silent orphanage. Those poor babes had given up. No one was meeting their need for comfort and affection and so they stopped crying out. 

What an eye opener. I mean- I knew whatever was wrong with my son was medical- but still. I was so thankful for those cries. I resolved to do the best I could do without a solution and that was to just hold my sweet boy and let him cry while I comforted him. I discussed this with a couple of moms in my area- my resolve to just wear him (I love my Lillebaby) and comfort and love him. I heard things like "wow I couldn't do that" and "oh she needs to get used to comforting herself". 

And it made me sad. I think if my son were capable of comforting himself, he would. And let's be honest- sometimes I need to be comforted by someone else. Now when my son cries, sometimes I sigh and get frustrated. But even then, I remember that orphanage and I thank God that my boy can cry and be tended to. So I'll tend to him while he lets me. Even if that means 24 hours a day. 

Oh and that medical problem? We switched pediatricions and I was right. Boy had severe reflux and is now under the care of a pediatric GI at Children's. 


Post Partum Depression: The Myth

I used to be like everyone. I figured PPD was mostly just a sad woman with a newborn who's hormones were  out of whack. Then when my son was born, we experienced a pretty traumatic birth and C section. My milk never came in. I started Reglan to help produce milk and it caused PPD. I saw a doctor, got off the meds, stopped trying to breastfeed, simple right? I'm fixed. 

Except it's not that simple. Yesterday my son turned 9 months old and I still struggle daily with PPD. Turns out it wasn't "just the medication". I'm in school full time. I don't work. I'm blessed to have my surprise miracle son, as well as the opportunity to stay home with him. But that's not right either, because PPD doesn't care how blessed you are. This is the silent struggle. The stigma. Sure, once we're all being candid behind our screens we'll talk about it. With strangers. With "internet friends". I mean, if you talk about it with PEOPLE you'll be a sad pitiful sobbing mess with runny $23 mascara, right? And please explain to me why $23 mascara is running?

PPD is characterized by so many things I never considered. Anger. Frustration. I mean- white hot anger. Anxiety, lack of sleep (because who's sleeping that has a child under 5, am I right?), sadness, the desire to be around people, the desire to hole away and never go anywhere, the hatred of the sun and the heat because it demands my happiness, and the hope that I'll get ANOTHER sunny day to try again.

It leaves me sobbing in the hallway because I want SO badly to be the best mom for my son. It makes me angry because I have no time away from him. It makes me feel guilty because I want time away from him. I am, after all, a super hero, right? I shouldn't need time.  It leaves me amazed and so very thankful when those big blue eyes light up and he laughs that deep silly laugh of his. And at the end of the night, PPD makes me angry again. It clouds my thoughts and gets in front of my eyes so all I see is what's in my head. I don't see my son. I don't see my husband. I don't see me.

And that's it right there isn't it? Where did I go? Who is this woman with this body, this hair, this boy? I'm certain I don't know her. Not anymore. I'd love to get to know her, but quite frankly, I just don't have the time.

Mental health professionals say it takes at LEAST a year for a woman's body and mind to return to normal after having a baby. That's before experiencing PPD. I consider it hard time. 

Most of my days are so very good. The last few days have been so hard. So rough. So exhausting. All I see in the mirror is this shell of a woman I once was- with that boy I prayed for and dreamed of for 15 years. He deserves Mom. So he's going to get Mom. I'm not sure where Krystal is, but hopefully one day soon I can introduce the two and they'll like each other.

Until then, I'll rest on God. Because there's a reason he gave me THIS boy at THIS time and it must be because I can do it. So I am determined to do it well. I am determined to choose the happy. To have a smile. And to trust God.



Sometimes I feel so inconspicuous. 

I have so much to say. So much I want to hear about. But we're all so caught up in "go go go". The checklist. It's all about the checklist. To Do. Our phones, tablets and social media. I would literally give my left arm for a group of people who would regularly forgo their technology for a campfire and some conversation.

Conversation. Webster's Dictionary defines that as "the informal exchange of ideas by spoken word". 

Not, "let's have pizza", or "did you sleep?" Ideas. True thoughts. Today's kids have (with exceptions, always) no idea what it means to have an exchange of ideas. Or how to problem solve without Google and a tablet.

I'm not writing this to knock kids these days, or our generation. Rather to say, I miss conversation. It's so hard now to find someone who will look you deep in the eyes and CONVERSE. 

As kids in the Army we had such ideas. And a lot of goofing off, too. But man. We could talk. Now... it's people attached to their phones.

I pray that I am able to demonstrate the type of conversation for my kids that I'm talking about. Maybe without the constant blue light of technology lighting up those tiny faces. 


Keeper of the Castle, Protector of the Progeny


It's been quite some time since I've posted. Currently I have an old month old son, Myles. I start back to school for the fall semester in a few days. He, obviously, is the light of my life. So. Where were we? I was getting a mastectomy and finishing up school.

Eventually the mastectomy will happen. I'm still adjusting in my new role as "Mom". I'm kinda rocking it, I'll be honest. Except currently I have this hardcore neck ache because The Boy is a Velcro baby. If you have kids- you know what that is. If you don't- hahahahahahahaha. Wait. Just wait. You'll hear that a lot from me now, but it's all in love and fun.

I don't have many blog followers, and because it's public there won't be photos of my son, but baby photos are okay, right?  

That's my love, Mr. Myles. Now that I've shared him, it's doubtful you'll see more. This boy has started trying to stand without support at 7 months old.

What? They do that? And then someone said, "oh well you'll convert him to a toddler bed at 18 months." So in 8 more months you want me to put my BABY in a real bed? Why don't I just give him my keys and retire as the family driver? What is this nonsense?

Y'all. He's so damn smart. I mean. He was crawling at 4 1/2 months. Well. It's insane. Luckily he's not a genius, because he's still not cleaning house or doing my homework, but he HAS tried to clean my face with a washcloth, so either my face is super dirty and I need to fix that (when was my last shower again? or else he's just super fastidious. 

And on the topic of showers. No one tells you that 8 months after the baby is born you'll still have a hard time showering. They act like once he's not "new" anymore it will be fine. They are ugly liars. It will not be fine. I set a reminder on my phone last night to make sure I at least brush my teeth everyday. And he's 8 months old!!

Many of those same people will tell you let the baby cry. For now, I won't even go there except to say, if you were crying and upset because your world had ended, wouldn't you want to be comforted?

Anyways. So here's my welcome back to me post. I have the app on my phone so MAYBE there will be more posts. But I also can't remember to brush my teeth or shower so it's really up in the air at this point. Happy Saturday!!



Cancer Sucks

Knowing that every person in my life has been touched SOMEHOW, by cancer, I am constantly amazed at how many people are so callous towards those suffering from cancer. Whether it's an employer, or someone who just either doesn't know or doesn't care, it's sad to see that type of indifference.

In this case, I have a very good friend of mine who's father is suffering from stage 4 oropharyngeal cancer. He's a great man who has worked hard his whole life, and is now unable to work due to the treatments that he is going through. His daughter is trying to take care of him and help with the bills, and as anyone who has tried to live and fight cancer knows, that is extremely difficult to do. So she doesn't know it, but I asked her for the fundraiser page she started for his treatment.

Anything that you can give, whether it's a dollar or a hundred, will be greatly appreciated by the family and I know it will help him be able to focus on fighting this horrible disease rather than worry about how he's going to pay for his treatment.

Please click this link to help my friend and her father.