Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Reality of Autism Can't Be Captured in a Picture

What does this picture show? A 5 year old boy, our son, Dayton. No, he isn't praying. He's crying because I made him take his medicine and then told him that he couldn't dissect his sandwich. That's all it shows, and this is what people see. He doesn't have any physical handicaps, he has all 10 fingers and 10 toes. But what does this picture not show?

This picture doesn't show that he doesn't talk. It doesn't show that he is still in diapers and we don't know when he will potty train. It doesn't show that his shoes are all worn on the front and the tips of his toes are calloused because we walks on the balls of his feet constantly. You can't see that he is wrestling with things in his mind that we can't help with, because we don't know what those things are. It doesn't show you that he doesn't play with toys as they are intended, instead everything becomes an object for him to stimulate his sensory system with. Cars get spun, books get tapped, and blocks get chewed. It doesn't show that he rarely will use a utensil to eat, instead he uses his fingers. It doesn't show that every meal is a fight that I dread to take on.

This picture doesn't show how we as a family have had to mold our lives around him and his needs. It doesn't show that he didn't get to go on a cross-country family vacation, because it would be too much change for him. It doesn't show that we've opted out from going to most family events unless they are at our house, because he gets too overwhelmed and either melts down, throws up or breaks things. You can't see that our weekly schedule is planned around his occupational therapy, speech therapy and psychiatric appointments. It doesn't show that we've given up our entire basement so that he could have a therapy and sensory room. It doesn't show that his two little brothers struggle to understand why their big brother won't play with them.

This picture doesn't show my frustration as a mother. It doesn't show that some days, as much as I love him, I struggle to like him. It doesn't show that I've cleaned his poop off his walls, floor, toys, bedding and himself more times than I can count. It doesn't show that in order to get him to take his daily medicine, I have to hold him down and force it into his mouth. You can't see the tears that I cry as I struggle with my thoughts about whether adopting him was the right thing or not, and the guilt I feel from even letting those thoughts cross my mind. It doesn't show how angry I get when someone tells me we've done a great thing by bringing him into our home and that I'm a saint for it, a saint wouldn't feel the way I do at times.You can't see how difficult it is to try to show affection to a child who rarely wants you to hug them and would rather be by himself all day. I'm the enforcer of his rules and routine, and he doesn't like me. It doesn't show how badly I wish that I could break through his glass wall so that we could get through to him and see him continue to develop. It doesn't show how I want to cry when people ask if therapy is working, I keep saying it will eventually and that the process is slow. You don't see how much I want two days in a row to be the same for him, instead of constantly changing.

This picture doesn't show my disgust for the system. It doesn't show that he had to be labeled Autism Spectrum Disorder with Developmental Delays, without the delays insurance doesn't like to pay for things. It doesn't show that for him to get the behavioral therapy he needs there is only one solid provider within a 5 hour distance, we've been on that wait-list for nearly 2 years. It doesn't show that every time I get a phone call from his school I cringe, scared to know why they are calling. Knowing that if I have to go get him, I'm not getting my only break in the day from him. You can't see that everyone we work with is always playing a guessing game with what to do next for him.

I rarely write about Dayton, because our days are usually filled with frustrations, and no one wants to hear those. Everyone just wants to hear the happy anecdotes, and we only have a few of those. I'm not writing this for sympathy, everyone has a sad story of some sort. I'm not writing this so that people can tell me everything will work out, no one knows that. I'm writing this to get out of my own head. We are currently going through the roughest patch we have thus far. I want people to know that a life we a child with Autism isn't always sunshine and rainbows, and it's a tough pill to swallow. I wish I could be one of those moms that is raving about how special their special needs child is, but I can't.  And I know that HE is special, but he is clouded by his disorder, and at times it is hard for me to see past it. I feel like I have constant heartache, and I know it isn't his fault. I know he didn't ask for a life full of obstacles. As difficult as he is to deal with, and I worry about his future, I know that when I look back in 20 years on this difficult period in our lives things will have improved. I do not know how, but in my heart I know they will. We just have to weather the storm, as difficult as it is.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

22 Week Pregnancy Update PLUS Giveaway!

I feel like I JUST updated, but I guess it has been two weeks already! Between Dayton's zillion doctor and therapy appointments, I feel like time is literally cruising right by. Before we know it this little guy will be here! Saying that aloud literally scares the shit out of me!

I'm doing a giveaway (first time for everything), so please bear with me! Details on how to enter are at the bottom of this post!

"If I hold the phone right here it'll hide my double chin." inner thoughts....

How Far Along: 22 Weeks
Weight Gain/Loss: Up 8ish pounds.....feels more like 50!
Fruit of the Week: Baby is the size of a spaghetti squash!
Maternity "Fashion" Fav: Hand-me-downs! I recently had a friend give me an entire pile of maternity shirts! It felt like Christmas! Nearly every day I've gone to the "new" section of my closet to pick out something to wear. There is just something about putting on new/new to you clothes that makes you happy! I highly suggest when you are done with your maternity clothes either loaning them or giving them to a friend that is expecting! It's always nice to pay it forward!
Baby Buys: I haven't bought me, it isn't for lack of desire! I've been shopping for a new Tula ring sling, which makes me want to get a carrier to match it. And if I get a carrier to match it then I need accessories.....It is sort of like If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, except I'm too indecisive and the thought of spending that much money at once makes me sick!
Fatigue: Nope! I feel like I've drank a Red Bull even though I've only had a cup of coffee!
Sleep: Back to up at least once to pee at night...probably is here to stay!
Dreams: Batshit crazy dreams! Funniest one so far was one that involved a good friend of mine who in real life is not pregnant, but she was in my dream! And she wanted to have her home birth at my house. Not a clue as to why, but when I woke up and told my husband about this and how freaked out I was his response was simply, "Just put a towel down, right?" My friend got a pretty good laugh when I texted her that morning and told her about it.
Movement: When I sit still or lay down I can feel him in my sides and at the top of my stomach. I've seen my stomach move a lot, I just don't really feel it.
Hair: Considering waxing myself from head to toe......
Cravings: Peanut butter, chocolate, banana homemade smoothie! It's a daily thing, and I like to think that it is mostly healthy! If you are interested it is 1 banana, 1 cup milk, 1 cup ice, a spoonful of peanut butter and then a drizzle of chocolate syrup all blended together!
Shit that Sucks: With all my energy lately, I've been getting a lot done around the house. I would say nesting is in full swing. BUT once I've used up that energy reserve, I'm done for the whole freaking day! I SHOULD pace myself, but that seems to not happen very often.
Sausage Fingers: Still swollen, probably forever!
Struggles: I really have a hatred for my double chin and I'm trying to embrace it.....but it's difficult! Skinny faced pregnant people....I fucking hate you! Ok, well not YOU, but your face!
Successes: My house is SO clean! I'm soaking it in for all it is worth because I know that once the baby gets here, it will be disgusting till who knows when!
Mood Swings: Crying over every new word Layne says, check! Crying when Dayton smeared shit in his hair, check! Crying when the hubs said I was sexy, check! As you can tell....everything makes me cry!
Milestones: We have a name! Not sure if I will reveal it out not....time will tell!
Funny: It depends on what side you are on as to the level of funny, but anyways! My husband wanted to get into the hot tub last night, so he turned it down to below body temperature so that I could go in with him. I was getting ready, and realized that swimwear isn't currently my thing. My one-piece from post-Layne was too tight on my stomach, my maternity swimsuit from Layne's pregnancy was too small in the boobs, and that left me with just one other option. My bikini from PRE-Layne.....let's just say that this rockin' bod isn't going out in public (or daylight) in a bikini anytime soon. My LOVING husband laughed and said that the top and bottoms didn't match and that I would fit right in at the local Wal-Mart.....asshole! He was joking, but it still made me want to punch him in the face!
Inside the Hormonal Brain: Panic has pretty much set in. I feel like I have SO much to do before the baby gets here. The nursery needs done, freezer food prep, stock up on diapers, arrange everything for the boys for when the baby arrives, and the list goes on! I keep telling myself there is time, but this downhill slide into delivery seems to be getting faster and faster!

I see people do these bare belly/pretty much naked belly pictures all the I took the plunge! This honestly took a lot of balls for me to do this! Trying very hard to embrace the swollen watermelon look! And before people ask, no that isn't a bug on my stomach, it's a tattoo I got at 15 (I was an idiot), and yes there is sun in Iowa, my stomach just never sees it!
GIVEAWAY TIME! Ok so I'm going to be drawing a name to send out a Starbucks gift card to as a little thank you for taking the time to read my blog! There are 2 ways to enter.

  1. Browse through my posts and pick one that you either love the most or relate too the best. Some of my readers are fairly new, so check the archives! Then share the post on the social media platform of your choice using #myunfilteredchaos with why you enjoy the post/blog.  
  2. Subscribe by e-mail! If you already have, then you are already entered!
If you do both options you will have 2 chances to win! All entries must be done by midnight tomorrow (January 28, 2015). Everybody loves something free! 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Importance of Dating Our Sons

I see all these articles and pictures all the time that preach that dads need to take their daughters out on dates so that they know how a man should treat a woman, which I completely agree with. My question is, where do these men learn to treat a woman? This can be answered in two ways. One, from the way their father treats their mother, and two, from their mother.

Now my sons see my husband open the door for me, give me the unexpected kiss on the cheek, help around the house, and hears him say he loves me. But that doesn't teach little boys how to act when they take a girl out. So just as it is important for fathers to date their daughters, I think mothers should date their sons!

Last night Kayden and I went on a date, and I think we both equally loved it! We got dressed up for dinner and a night at the theater to see Dinosaur Train on stage. I may have shed a tear or two when we were leaving and he said bye to daddy and daddy told him, "I love you. Take care of mommy and keep her safe." I've got some good men in my life!

Wrestling a 2 year old to get a decent picture is extremely difficult!
I hope that my boys realize that when they go out with a lady, that the lady puts a lot of time into getting ready to look nice for them, which should be complimented. Therefore, they should look nice for her. Mama will be making sure in 16ish years that on their dates, my boys don't have on t-shirts, dirty jeans and muddy boots!

We had to wait for about 20 minutes to be seated for dinner, and my normally wild child stood holding my hand nearly the whole time.
Also telling me the entire wait that he wanted to eat supper!
I guess it wasn't just the two of  us......his little brother tagged along!
I let him pick if he wanted to sit next to me or across from me. I like to think he chose across from me so that we could talk better, but I'm afraid it was so he could see the truck outside the window!

We colored together for all of 2 minutes, which in Kayden time, is FOREVER!
One thing we will need to work on before he goes on a date with someone he isn't related to is his grotesque way of eating......I won't have to worry about him going on second or third dates once someone sees him eat some wings!

An elderly couple stopped by our table on their way out to tell me how cute my son was, that he was well behaved, and they found it entertaining just watching him. When the old lady smiled and said hi to him, he covered his eyes and turned away. She then said, "Uh! Well NEVERMIND!".........ahhh the elderly! I just laughed.

One thing that I'm trying to instill in my boys is paying for things. Call me old fashioned, but if a guy is just dating a girl, she shouldn't pay. So I loaned Kayden my debit card to cover dinner.....and it probably won't be the last time!

Such a gentleman!
We headed to the show, and had an amazing time! It made me sad to see how big he looked sitting in the chairs! I was so unbelievably proud of him though! He sat (on my lap so he could see better) the entire show. The lady sitting next to me said how impressed she was that he was acting better than all the other kids around us, including her own son. Made me feel like I was doing something right!

Completely in awe at the size of The Orpheum!

Ignore the granola bar in his mouth....working on that!

We struggled to get a good selfie....especially with the guy in the background I didn't realize was there till today! 
You can take the country kid into the city, but he'll still have his boots on!
During the show on several occasions he just looked over at me, hugged my face and then kissed my cheek. Yes, this brought on several (possibly hormonal fueled) tears. I can only hope that as all of my boys get older I do this as often as possible which each of them. No, I'm not trying to make mama's boys out of them, trust me, they are far from! BUT if my boys learn from practice with me on how to treat a girl, my hope is that it will spill over to everyone they encounter! I want them to grow to be the honorable and respectful men that will one day (in the extremely distant future!) teach their daughters how they should be treated!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Say It..... I Dare You

Now I am the queen of "insert foot into mouth" moments, so I get it that people are dumbasses on accident. BUT I think when it comes to talking to pregnant women......a pause and the use of a filter should be utilized.

I'll keep this short. Think before you speak, and if you need an idea of things NOT to you go!

"You are a lot bigger this time around!"(while rubbing my stomach without permission).....jerk!

"Mama an elephant." I get it, he's little and right now everything is an elephant.....but the comparison isn't necessary.

Me- "Aww I can't wait till I get to do this again!" - showing a picture of Layne when he was super little and snuggled on my chest.
Response- "You mean when you are pretty again."

"How are you hungry again?!" You create life and then we can discuss my appetite.

"What are you wearing? Is it maternity?" Are you saying that it is too small or are you wanting to get one too? I feel like you are leaning towards the first your mouth.

"You don't need to get much bigger, it looks about done." Well, newsflash, it's going to get bigger as much as I might not be thrilled about it. Feel free to get bent!

"When are you due again?" (with a bitchy tone) ..........STOP ASKING! It hasn't changed in the 2 weeks since I've seen you last. If you don't remember, it obviously doesn't matter.

"I have extremely elastic skin, so I didn't get stretch marks. It must suck." Well I have no new ones yet, but the chances of them coming around are pretty high. So I don't care about you or your elastic skin.

"Oh I don't like that name." (in reference to the possible baby name I shared with them) Since when do I care if you like it or not, I don't remember you being there when he was conceived and earned naming rights.

NOTE: At no time should anyone refer to the swollen stomach of a woman to any food item and/or's just not cool!

So you know someone expecting and you want to know what to say to them that won't make them pissed or run out crying, just stick to a few words. "Beautiful" "Glowing" "Sexy" "Amazing" As long as you don't put them into the combination of, "You aren't really glowing and it's amazing that you have lost all of the beautiful sexiness that you once had!" You should be fine!

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This is Layne's "be nice to all baby growers" face!

Monday, January 19, 2015

7 New Baby Must-Haves!

I felt like baby #1's pregnancy/birth/first few months are all trial and error, sorry first borns. I think that it helps to prepare though for subsequent babies and, for me at least, gave me an idea of things that I want for this baby that I either didn't have with the first or that I would like to get again for this unnamed babe! Hate to break it to you people, things can't all be reused for the next baby, as much as my husband wishes that was the case!

Now I literally read EVERYTHING under the sun about what to get in preparation, but didn't ever find a concise list. So here we go! I've also provided links to the sites/where you can get it and pictures! Happy planning!

1. Aden + Anais Bamboo Swaddles

Honestly I never used these as swaddles, I will use them to cover me while I breastfeed, on the floor while he plays, and to cover him in the car seat. They are made from bamboo fiber muslin fabric. They are breathable, but yet warm. I just can't explain my love of them! I had the classic swaddles before and swore by them. They are now our "night night blankie," but my friend had the bamboo ones and they are just SO darn soft!

Aden + Anais (photo credit A + A)

2. Tula Baby Carrier

Yes I have raved about them in the past, and I will continue to! I didn't get one for Layne until he was almost 9 months (I think?). I wish I had gotten one much sooner! I've tried the Ergo, and used a Moby wrap when he was brand new, but nothing compares to a Tula! Especially if you will be chasing around another little one, I highly suggest making the investment! Tula's Website

Layne and I shortly after we got (and fell in love) with Blue Zig Zag!
3. Rock & Play

I'm pretty sure that I would have died without one of these. I don't care what kind you get, but you NEED one! Layne had to sleep elevated because of reflux and then later when he got RSV. It was stationed next to the bed and he slept in it every night for the first 8-10 weeks of his life. I will definitely be using it again this time around!

This is the one that we have from Target. (picture credit to Target)

4. Sleeper Gowns

When I got these as a gift I thought, "Ummm the baby is boy, why did I get a nightgown for him?" Then he was born and I TOTALLY understood! They have the built in gloves to cover those baby dagger fingernails, and the lack of snaps/zippers make changing an already pissed off baby's diaper easier! I only had 2 before and they seemed to get peed on daily, so I will be investing in a couple more for the early weeks!

Carter's seemed to be the softest and had the best fit! (photo credit to Carter's)
5. NEW Bottles

Yeah, it seems silly that I would need to buy new bottles. BUT, Layne used 5-6  bottles a day for nearly 11 months. That means they got washed CONSTANTLY! The numbers started to rub off and I would have had to buy new nipples for all of them I threw them away and will buy a fresh set! When Layne took 4 ounces and under, I loved the Phillips AVENT bottles and when he started to take more than that, I turned to Tommee Tippee. The AVENT bottles were great with his reflux and the Tommee Tippee were easy for him to hold (once he finally decided to!)

Layne loved his bottles! They gave him some sleepy eyes!

6. Kangaroo Shirt 

I had seen these online while I was still pregnant before and I thought, "Umm those look ridiculous!" Like with pretty much everything else, I learned that if I had had one it would have been amazing! So, this time around I'm making the investment! Skin-to-skin time is so important with a newborn and between struggling to keep  my National Geographic boobs concealed so that my family wasn't given a peep show and keeping him wasn't as relaxing the whole time as I had hoped. Reviews are great, and I'm looking forward to ordering one! 

I found them at Milk and Baby pretty reasonably priced! (photo credit Milk and Baby)
7. Diaper Pail

I have 2 already, and can't imagine what my house would smell like without them. Considering I have 3 kids already in diapers, I might get another one (fingers crossed the 2 year old is potty trained by then!) The pails are wonderful in the first few weeks when you go through a million diapers, ours was stationed next to our bed! And then as the baby gets older and starts to have real'll be thankful they are contained and NOT in your kitchen trash!

We have Diaper Genies and love them!

Things that I won't buy/wish I hadn't

  • Breast Pump - Who knows if it will work out or not for you, and they are expensive (my insurance doesn't cover it, so I bought one)! I suggest renting one from the hospital, and if things work out, then you can make the investment!
  • Binkies - I had a million of them with Layne.....he hated all of them and never ended up taking one. Try the one in the hospital, and if the baby doesn't seem to respond then (when they really aren't that picky), chances are they probably won't. Those little things can add up!
  • Wipe Warmer - I know some people find these a necessity, but when I ask why I get told, "Well a cold wipe will make the baby cry and wake them up when they get changed at night." Hate to break it to you, you are up in the middle of the night because they are ALREADY awake and crying. Save your money!
  • Baby Shoes - My mom has this mentality that kids should have shoes on at all times, no matter the age, so I have so many pairs that have NEVER been worn. Let's be real, they don't walk and they tear everything off their feet, therefore they are pointless. Save the pennies to buy them a super cute/nice pair for when they are starting to take steps!

Hope this gives you some insights if you are curious on what to start to get for your baby! If this isn't your first, what are some of your must haves?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Let Me Lick Your Face

Let's face it, moms are gross. There is a small percentage of moms that are complete germ freaks, but as a majority, we are all pretty nasty. I include myself in this.....and I'm sure my husband won't look at me the same after reading this.

Sometimes convenience and ease outweighs the chance of my child contracting Ebola or some other disease from who knows what. I realized this all at the zoo today with the 2 youngest. So I've put a short list together, and I will confess, I'm guilty of all of them......and I'm sure you are too!

1. I'll just pee with him on my back.

Yup! It happened today. We left the aquarium, Layne was in the Tula on my back, and my pregnant bladder couldn't take much more of a wait. The thought of unhooking him, having my friend watch him only to then load him back up on me sounded like more work than it was worth. So we trucked into the restroom and I relieved myself  while Layne looked around like, "What the fuck is happening right now?!" The stare I got from a woman waiting when I opened the stall door with Layne smiling on my back was priceless!

We then proceeded to take a selfie to mark the hilarious moment! This didn't help with the stares!

2. Come here, let me lick your face!

Ok, well not literally! BUT there have many many occasions when we are somewhere nice and baby wipes or a wet rag are nowhere to be found. A mom's last resort is to do the ol' lick the thumb and clean the dirt of the face. It really sounds more disgusting than it actually is. And I always think that this is only acceptable because they are little and know no better, I won't be able to do this when they are 15. I think that gets you put on a list somewhere.

3. You just have something in your nose, let me get it.

Until kids understand the concept of blowing their nose, and even sometimes after that, they need help with whatever bats are in the bat cave. And I'm a mom who CAN NOT stand when my kids have something in their nose. The Kleenex doesn't always get it either. Ok, I'll just come out and say it, I pick my kids' noses. It's repulsive, yes, but it's a necessity. The nasal aspirators just don't do the job after a certain point! I refuse for my kid to be the one kid in the play group with a nose full of nasties for everyone to see!

4. Have anymore teeth? Let me stick my finger in your mouth. 

Honestly, when was the last time you stuck your finger in a grown adults mouth to check their teeth situation? Unless you are in the dental profession, this ranks under nasty mom things. I can guarantee that a slim number of you are putting gloves on before you reach in.  It's always a spur of the moment thing for me. "Oh you are drooling, let me see if you have any more teeth (as I insert my bare finger into their mouth and rub their gums)"

5. Oh, he just peed on me. I'll change in a minute.

Unless you belong to some golden shower fetish club, getting peed on should gross a person out. For some reason if it comes from a baby/toddler, we consider it cute or okay. I've literally been peed on, forgot about it, went on with my day only to realize when I took my shirt off that night that the pee stain was VERY prominent on the front. Ehhh, whatever, I don't think I saw anyone too important that day anyways!

For anyone that read this that currently has no children, you probably think this is absolutely absurd. And for anyone expecting a baby, rest assured, as much as you will fight the urge to not become one of the "gross" moms, it will happen. It happens to all of us at some point!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Half Baked!- 20 Week Pregnancy Update

Holy guacamole! I can't believe that this pregnancy is already half over! It has gone so fast, I'm sure chasing the 3 boys has helped me to quickly pass the time! So much has changed since my last update, so here we go!

I feel (and think I look) much puffier/fatter than this picture leads you to believe!
How Far Along: 20 Weeks
Weight Gain/Loss: I quickly rebounded from my sickness pregnancy loss, and am up a total of about 6 pounds.
Fruit of the Week: Baby is the size of a mango!
Maternity "Fashion" Fav: My husband's t-shirts. Yeah I know that it sounds ridiculous but my comfy t-shirts aren't so comfy anymore and my belly hangs out of them. So I moved over to the hubs side of the closet on days when we are just going to be around the house. It's amazing to actually have some room to move!
Baby Buys: Target clearanced out a majority of their baby clothes that were in the multi-packs (onsies, sleepers, pants, etc.) so after we found out that we had another little dude on the way, I picked up some 3 packs of onsies for $2.50! It was a great steal!
Fatigue: Totally stay-at-home mom problems, but if I don't get a nap in during nap time, I'm shot by 8pm.
Sleep: Like a rock!
Dreams: Apparently my subconscious thinks I have a lot of unresolved issues in my past, because last night I was purposely going back to old friends/classmates/acquaintances and either telling them how shitty of a person they were or trying to make a mends. My dreams are similar to that of watching reality TV, so I thoroughly enjoy them!
Movement: My annoying anterior placenta is making this difficult! I have no middle of the belly movements, instead the baby is a fan of my right ribs (which really freaking hurts) and last night, my back. I've never been kicked in the back from the inside before (that sounds super dirty), but it hurts!
Hair: On my head, it is thick as hell and driving me crazy. Over the rest of my body, you would think I have fertilizer in my body wash!
Cravings: Cream cheese....literally on pretty much everything.
Shit that Sucks: The dreaded swelling has begun! My fingers, my ankles, and my feet! Although it is January, I might have to break out the flip flops in order to comfortable on those rare occasions I go out and have to wear shoes!
Sausage Fingers: Rings are off.....and so it begins!
Struggles: Names! With Layne we knew what our names would be before we ever had the gender ultrasound, with this baby we can't decide on ANYTHING! We had it narrowed down to 2 names, but I like one and he likes the other, with no room for the battle continues! I keep getting told, "You have awhile to figure that out!" Yeah I know, BUT I can't decide on nursery paint/theme without having some sense of this child, and I can't keep calling it "baby." HE NEEDS A NAME!
Successes: Personal "grooming" is much more of an effort than it's ever been, so if anything gets groomed at some point during the week (maybe not all at once), I consider it a success!
Mood Swings: Not necessarily mood swings, but being a full blown worrier is in full effect (which is not usually my personality when I'm not pregnant).
Milestones: Baby is a boy AND we half-way through this pregnancy!
Funny: Last week Layne and Kayden were sitting with me. Kayden pulled my shirt up, kissed my belly and said that baby was sleeping. Super sweet, right? Not even 2 seconds later he slaps my stomach and screams "WAKE UP!" I will probably go past my due date, because this baby will be too scared of his crazy brothers on the outside!
Inside the Hormonal Brain: Starting to swell has reserved me a first class ticket on the crazy train! Dr. Google and I have come to the conclusion I'm dying! In all seriousness, I called the doctor and they said just drink more water and put my feet up (like I am doing while writing this). But in this head game I'm playing with myself, I'm taking my high blood pressure I had at 16 weeks with the swelling I've now developed at 20 weeks and have come to the conclusion I have preeclampsia. No, I've never had it before, but I've self-diagnosed like all rational people do! I go to the doctor Thursday, so hopefully he will run a full panel of everything to put my mind at ease!

Later this week or beginning of next week I will be putting together a list of my must-haves for the baby! Be sure to check it out!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Birth Wars.....Annoying As Hell

Oh you had an epidural? A natural birth? A hospital birth? A water birth? A home birth? A cesarean? Fan fuckingtastic.......and equally annoying! 

Here is a bit of background on my birthing experience. Leading up to Layne being born my "plan" (the word plan makes me laugh, because kids once again don't give a shit what your plan is!), anyways my plan was to have an all-natural birth at the hospital and to go into labor on my own. No drugs, because I didn't want my baby all drugged up once he was born. Ha!

The real story is this. At 38 weeks, after a growth scan, I got told if he hadn't gotten bigger by 39 weeks, plan on not leaving the hospital, because I'll be induced. He was measuring in the 3rd percentile and hadn't grown since 37 weeks. Well 39 weeks came, and I got sent to Labor & Delivery to be induced. Apparently my pain tolerance was high, because after 1 bag of Pitocin, getting my water broken, another bag of Pictocin and oh 26 hours, I finally asked for some drugs. I was exhausted and stuck at 6 cm for 8 hours with no end in sight. Finally after 32 total hours, I had a c-section. Layne was born, and came out screaming....far from the tired drugged up baby I had always been told I would have. But most importantly, he was healthy, little, but healthy!

Yes, I just shared my birth story with you. No, I'm not putting myself on an pedestal or putting down how your bundle came into the world. If you've had a baby, you have a birth story. It's been that way for......EVER! 

Now yes, some people have badass stories that I think should be shared. For example, my friend who had contractions for an hour, only to accidentally deliver her 9 lb. 6 oz. baby on the living room floor. Shit happens, and hearing those stories are awesome. But when people share their "typical" births and want to tell you how awesome they are because of XYZ.......come on! Get over yourself! You gave birth probably in a similar way to MILLIONS of other women. Unless I asked you how your child came into this world, I don't care. Please don't just offer up the information to try to make the way that I gave birth sound terrible. 

I sound like a bitch. Oh well. The war of how babies are born drive me nuts! I think that a baby just being born healthy and safe is a win! Why do women feel the need to throw their method in anyone's some people tend to do!? I will say that I've been asked about birth from expecting moms, just because they are curious of what to expect. And I can give MY story, but the information I give isn't to make me feel more superior to anyone else, it's to give a heads up and a hey shit didn't go according to the plan, but Layne was completely fine. So if things get changed last minute, everything can still be ok. 

With this baby, my current "plan" is to attempt a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean for those of you that have no idea what that means). Is that going to work out? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe I will end up scheduling a c-section at the last minute. WHY. DOES. IT. MATTER?! I want a healthy baby, that's all! Stop judging.

Let me end this on a bit of a lighter note. I've come up with some responses to the judgy remarks people make from time to time. *reading note, I imagine the question being asked with an eye roll!

Oh, you are getting induced? Have you tried having sex?
I did try sex one time, and got put in my current situation. And I don't have Google like the rest of the world, so I wasn't aware that sex was a way to help induce labor. I'm sure my man is completely stoked to get busy with my lady parts. If he's lucky my water might break during it!

An epidural, really? You should have just breathed through the contractions.
Your right, I should have breathed. But the idea of sticking a needle a mile long into my spine sounded so pleasant and I could only hope that they let me keep it so I could stab you in the eye. 

You had a c-section? I wish you could experience how amazing birth is.
Yeah the idea of ripping to my asshole sounded awesome, but exhaustion/baby distress sort of outweighed my dream of shooting a pop can from vagina later in life. 

Those were actual remarks that were said to me. My responses were what was going through my head, but I was on too much of a postpartum hormone roller coaster to even form a sentence. The following are what I would like to think would be "good" responses to questions that I never received, but I'm sure other moms have.

You didn't have any pain meds? Bet that hurt. 
No it didn't hurt at all. The act of pushing a bowling ball through through a small space is the most comfortable thing I've ever done. 

Water birth? Won't the baby drown? (for the record I considered this, but my hospital didn't allow it)
Wow, you are educated. My uterus that the baby was growing in had scuba gear built in, no worries!

Home birth? You must be a hippy.
Yes, I plan to smoke weed during my labor while rolling around in my hemp sheets in my VW bug, then if I'm lucky I will go outside and squat behind a tree so that the baby and I can be one with nature. 

I'm done, I'm done. I enjoy creating sarcastic conversations way too much! What sort of birth questions were you asked? Any clever responses? I'd love to hear them! Spread the word of birth acceptance, because after all........people have been giving birth for awhile, and there isn't one right way!

Layne taking his first breath! 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Moms Are Badass Superheroes

Let's face it, moms are amazing, myself included! We grow a human, that human comes out of us, we feed and nurture the human and then something happens, they develop a death wish. Once they begin to walk, every child seems to be on a mission to kill themselves through a various range of activities until they reach the age where they begin to reason with what the consequences could be, somewhere around 20ish or so!

This is where "Super Mom" comes into play! Now I am probably the farthest thing from a helicopter parent there is. (I'm writing this from my kitchen floor while I hear our one year old at the top the stairs yelling and hitting the carbon monoxide detector test button, but he's too lazy to crawl down to join the rest of us!) But there seems to be a reason for me to jump in and save multiple lives throughout the day, and why my children get themselves into these situations, I have yet to figure out! The worse part is, they continue to repeat, even after the rare occasions I let them face the consequences (falling off the back of the couch is bound to happen!)

The freezing cold here in the Midwest and everyone being sick at some point has had us home more than I would like the last few weeks, thus a lot of "Super Mom" lifesaving moments have occurred and I thought I would share them with you! Surely some of you can relate! I can't be the only one here with kamikaze kids!

While I was doing dishes, Kayden (2) was so kind to unlock the deadbolt, open the front door and put Layne (1) outside in a onesie. I heard the door shut, went running and found Kayden waving and saying, "Hi Layne!"----- he then put himself in timeout.

All three boys were playing on the small landing upstairs between the bedrooms and started to wrestle together. I ran up there to break it up while the 2 oldest were pushing the youngest towards the edge of the stairs. FML!

As many moms can relate, using the restroom without a child at your feet is a rare occasion, but sometimes I like to do my business without an audience (and maybe play some Trivia Crack?) Kayden took this as an opportunity to move his play kitchen table to the toy shelves, and climb as high as he fucking could to get the play phone I had recently taken away!

Dayton, the oldest, is currently suffering from some severe Pica (eating things that aren't food). Thus the wooden shards of puzzles that I'm able to keep him from choking down is a feat in itself!

I'm considering using a bungee cord at the dinner table. Layne, even with every strap that highchairs come with, is able to wiggle out of the restraints. I went to go put his plate in the sink, walked back and found him hanging from the tray.....I found time to take a picture before saving him!

The point of electrical child safety things confuse, when they can take them out! Kayden is a pro, so I am on constant, "Layne don't put your finger/toy/tongue in the electrical outlet" watch!

Kayden shares very well. So well that I often hear, "Layne open your mouth. Eat it." If it was food it would be one thing.....last week it was the pom poms from an art project we did!

Teamwork often plays into the death missions as well. Kayden got a new HUGE dump truck for Christmas. The first thought that the boys had was for Layne to climb (willingly) into it while Kayden pushed it while running 100 miles per hour and crashing it into the wall.........Layne falls out crying......and yet they continue to repeat it!

Honestly these are just a few recent stories, and I'm sure that there are more that I just did without even thinking of. Being a superhero mom didn't occur to me until my friend taught Kayden that his Wonder Woman action figure was "mommy" has now morphed into calling it/mommy "elephant," I won't start on my annoyance with that! And to think that there will be yet another life to save in a few months scares the shit out of me!

Monday, January 5, 2015

And The Sex Is............

It's reveal time! We went for our "big" ultrasound today and the baby is healthy and ACTIVE! The head started over on my right hip and by the time we were done it was in my left rib. I conveniently felt NONE of the movement due to my damn anterior placenta....that thing really pisses me off! are the results!

And because dad is VERY proud of his son and the ultrasound pictures he was giving, here are some of those as well!

Attempted profile picture, but every side view has his boy parts in view!

Looking from under his butt, legs out, penis sayin' hello!

Now I'm sure a lot of people are thinking, "Are you bummed, because you wanted a girl?" And yes, a part of me is, but that's a very small part. I was just SO happy the baby was doing so well. On the other hand, I have NO idea what I'm doing for a nursery. I had a girl nursery planned, including paint colors picked out! So I'm open to any suggestions! The hubs wasn't so thrilled (and rolled his eyes, while making a displeased sound) when I mentioned that this might mean we try for a girl.....a WAYS down the road!

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Sh*t They Didn't Tell Me- 6 Months As A SAHM

So here I am just over 6 official months with my new job title, stay-at-home mom (or SAHM if you are into the whole acronym thing)! I've had a lot of mixed emotions as the months have gone on, some of which may be pregnancy hormones, but definitely not all of them. I wasn't sure if today was the best day to write this update, as the likelihood for me to rip someone's head off before midnight is entirely possibly, but this blog is honestly therapy for me. I would imagine the "high" I feel after my brain "vomit" is the equivalent to the way drug addicts feel when they get their rush.......minus the fact that I don't drink (wish I could though), take pills, snort, smoke or shoot's practically the same thing!

I feel like everyone I know, or pretend to know (after all we are Facebook friends) is pregnant. Some people are completely excited, and some are scared shitless (as you should be, because newborns are tough as hell). Some people plan on working and some will stay home after the baby comes.  And although I'm like a rookie when it comes to the whole parenting thing (birth till 18ish years), I like to think of myself as a seasoned vet of babies and toddlers....and now being a stay-at-home mom. I would like to share with you what I've learned over the last 6 months.

1. Kids don't give a shit
It sounds harsh, but it's true. They don't care if I just mopped the floor, they will throw their food on the floor and spill their milk all at the same time, look at me, say sorry, then smile. And dammit, that smile and cute little voice usually gets me. They also don't care if I'm tired, sick, annoyed, busy, moody, etc........they still expect to be fed, changed, bathed, and entertained for all of their waking hours.

2. Cleaning is a joke
Seriously, don't ever think that your house will be "white glove clean" if you stay-at-home. I've realized that we are home more now than we have ever been, and thus the kids make more messes than I can keep up with. Some days, making sure that the floor gets swept after dinner is a chore in itself. The hubs always tells me to relax about the cleaning, but I still struggle. Clutter and chaos wears on my nerves and sends me into a high anxiety state of mind, So I put blinders on....and pretend that I don't see the absolute disaster in the next room.

The current chaos in our other living room/play area! Clean it up and it looks like this in an hour!

3. Scheduling "Me Time"
For my own sanity, I have to have some time for myself to get away from the endless sticky hands and shitty diapers. This is when part of me wishes I still worked, so that for 8 hours I could focus on something else. But none the less, I literally have to schedule it. Currently "me time" has been Sunday mornings when I get to go to the grocery store alone. Doesn't sound very glamorous, and it's not, but it's a breather! Maybe one day my husband will surprise me with an entire day at the spa for myself and then a hotel room where I can sit in the quiet all night's always nice to dream!

4. Mental breaks are REAL
I lose my shit a lot, no seriously, A LOT. When the kids have been needy jerks all day and I had a list of things I wanted to get done, but instead got none of it done (like today), I lose it. I cry. I send texts to my husbands that I shouldn't. I yell at the kids. And then when they go to bed, I feel guilty as hell about it. It is days like this that I want to punch all the people that say "they grow up so fast" or "cherish the little things." I love my babies, but some times mama is going to be crazy for a bit, act like a fool and then kiss you and send you off to bed!

5. I don't clock out
People always say that being a mom is a 24/7 job, but being a stay-at-home mom is literally a 24/7 job. I don't get the luxury of clocking in and clocking out. A kid decides they are going to get up an hour before they usually do....that hour early I got up to be alone, drink coffee and watch the news just went out the window. Kids go to bed, and there are still dishes to do, laundry to fold and the whole fucking list that I didn't accomplish when they were being demons all day. If 6pm came and I could just sit down and say that I was done for the day, that would be great, but let's me real, it will never happen.

6. I'm the first
It sounds like there are a lot of things I hate about my job, but it isn't all bad. I love that I was the first to see Layne crawl, eat table food, take his first steps, say his first words and teach him all sorts of super cute things. I couldn't imagine having day care be that "first" person for everything.

7. Stretchy pants
Yeah I'm fat and pregnant right now, and yes, I do love maternity clothes. But there were a few months that I was home and not pregnant! Being able to justify wearing stretchy pants every day is amazing! It would be difficult to fly upstairs in 2 steps, roll on the floor with the kids, or save multiple lives in a skirt or dress pants!

8. Make-up is a joke
I don't wear it unless there is a chance that I MIGHT run into someone I know while running whatever errands we need to do that day. This is something that I never thought I would say. I was a makeup fanatic and wouldn't walk out the door without it on! It's not because I'm "letting myself go," it's because it isn't necessary. I don't see the sense in taking the time to do up my face when the 4 men I will see all day have seen me in much worse, and yet they all still love me.

9. Constant mommy guilt/paranoia
It sounds weird I know, but it is so true. I constantly feel guilty that I didn't get in the solid 20 minutes of reading to the kids or that Kayden still only knows 1, 2, 3. I compare myself to other moms who are home with their kids and they are doing all of these wonderful things. Their kids know the ABCs, can count to 20, blah blah blah.....and here I am just happy that my boys give each other kisses, say please and thank you and know "I be nice to mama." As a recovering overachiever, it's difficult for me to not have my kids be that too.......accepting that I think is a step in my recovery!

10. Blogging is amazing
Blogging seriously is amazing and I think I would lose my mind without it. 6 months ago I never would have imagined that so many people would read my blog. It warms my heart to know that I can bring a smile to someone's face or let them know they aren't the only one going through something. I've received Facebook messages from people I haven't talked to in years that share with me things that I would have never imagined! The nerd in me loves where all my readers are from, so I want to share that with all of you! The top ten countries are.....drum roll please......United States, Canada, United Kingdom, South Korea, France, Australia, Germany, Ireland, Poland and the Philippines!

So do I love it? I do! I also express every other emotion about it on any given day, at any given time. Like all jobs, the perks outweigh everything else, otherwise I wouldn't do it! At my year SAHM update, we will have the I'm sure I'll have a whole new perspective then!