Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Why Moms Need Social Media

I've been given a lot of grief over my "social media presence".......I say too much, show too much, blah, blah, blah......

Well guess what, moms, especially stay-at-home moms, NEED social media! Like a legit need!

There's a reason that prisoners go crazy in solitary confinement, because we are social creatures, and not meant to be alone. Well when you are a mom, even more so with multiple children, you are alone a lot. Yes, you have kids, but not other peers to talk to. It can make you bonkers!

So before you chastise a mom for Facebooking, Instagramming, Tweeting, or blogging too much consider this.....

Who do you call at 10am on a Tuesday?
I don't have a vast amount of mom friends that stay at home with their crazies. So during the day, I can't just call whoever to vent or tell a funny story to. I can post it to a mom group and get immediate interaction. It makes me feel like I'm not alone in the snot and shit.

It takes a village.
I witnessed recently a mom post a picture of her son to a large group. She was concerned about his head crooked to one side. Within in 10 minutes she had a zillion responses. Moms who have dealt with it before, moms who are physical therapists themselves, moms just offering support and suggesting she get it looked at. Where else can you get that type of love, help and support?!

Captures Memories
I love posting pictures of my crazies, and especially of moments that were special to us. Thank goodness I did! When my phone went for a swim in the toilet at Target a little while back, my social media accounts ensured that I still had some of my pictures. (Yes, I know I should've backed up to a cloud.....I didn't, hindsight is 20/20.)

Legit Support
If I hadn't been added to the local breastfeeding support group page, I'm nearly certain that I would not be successful with nursing Jayce. To be part of a community that supports you and is knowledgeable is not something you can get without the "devil" of social media. There aren't any meeting at 2am when you are having problems and are crying WITH the baby, but chances are someone is on their Facebook account somewhere in the world and willing to help or be a sounding board.

My kids are funny, but I only find their little antics hilarious for so long. But give a group of moms some inappropriate images and memes, and there are hours of fun to be had! Throw in some moms that know how to photo shop and the possibilities for adult laughs are endless!

I always stress about my kids socializing with other kids, so that they can be "well rounded." Until recently I didn't consider my own need to socialize. I've networked with some amazing moms, I have strictly virtual friends (it sounds creepier than it really is), I have moms that I connected with on social media and then met in person (in a public place so I was not killed, don't worry), and then ladies who I knew pre-mom but have become better friends with since motherhood. It's crazy how having this vast array of friends has made me feel more human!

So there it is! Do you understand why I said moms NEED social media now?  I'd love to here the positive thing you get from it! Feel free to comment below, I LOVE reading and responding to them!

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Oh and here's Jayce just being cute on his first ever cart ride. This baby lives in the Tula at the store usually! This picture got shared to a mom group and lots of love was given!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

3 Years Ago Life Changed

Three years ago today I met my first two "born" in that dingy shelter where foster kids go before getting placed. It's the day our world got flipped upside down with a sweet blue eyed seven month old and a "slightly autistic" three year old.

This was shortly after they were first placed with us!
Looking back on the last three years, I'm astonished how much Jason and I have grown as parents and how our boys and family have changed.

Dayton, that "slightly autistic" three old is now six years old. When we first got him he would just color, now he hates coloring. He use to only eat mac and cheese and chicken nuggets, now his menu has expanded and even includes a boat load of fruits and a couple vegetables. He's developed so much! He still doesn't speak, or use the bathroom, but he eats with utensils and can sign for more. This is progress. It's slow, and frustrating, but progress all the same.

We weren't prepared for the behaviors that come along with an autistic child the older they get. The violent outbursts, headbanging, biting, pinching, kicking and screaming. It happens more than we like to admit. Some times there are things that set him off, like dinner not being available right when he is hungry. Other times, there is nothing that we are aware of, it's like a switch flipped. It's a constrance uphill battle, but we are fighting. And no, we don't know what the future holds, but we are confident that we have supports everywhere to help us along the way!

That blue eyed baby's eyes have changed to almost a gray. When we first met Kayden, he couldn't sit up or roll over. Now he runs, jumps, and recently learned how to peddle his bike just like a 3 1/2 year old should! I like to call him my Sour Patch kid. He will be SO sweet one minute and then a little tornado the next. But boy does he love his mama! I think he'd marry me given the chance! Daddy is his idol and does no wrong in his eyes. He is also a great big brother to Layne and Jayce! He loves to try to teach them new things constantly!

He's started asking more questions. Questions that we knew would come up eventually, but never were fully prepared for it. He asks if he was in my belly like Jayce and Layne? He asks why there are pictures of their Adoption Day on the wall, and who all is in the picture?

He knows the word adoption, but is still too young to fully grasp it. We answer all of his questions with nothing but the truth. I tell him that he was in his birth mom's belly, just like Dayton. We use her name, because she gave him life and deserves credit for that. We tell him that the pictures are up there because that's the day we officially became a family. We tell him that the judge in the picture is the one who said that they could stay with us forever and be their mommy and daddy. For now, those answers satisfy him. I know it won't always be that way, but for now, it will do.

Oh how things have changed!!!

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Friday, March 18, 2016

The Day I Peed in a Potty Chair

This picture isn't a stock photo! Hello Nebraska sky!!!

I wish this title was a joke, but it isn't!

Recently I took a 3 hour road trip with all 4 boys and left the hubby at home. My mom and step dad live on a cattle ranch, and calves are being born all over the place, so the boys enjoy it! We left after nap time, and only stopped 7 times to let them potty, the first was 15 minutes from home. Our return trip home, we left after breakfast, and Jayce only cried for 2 of the 3 hours!

Well we trekked out to the ranch again this weekend since the hubs has to work stupid hours! Today we left after lunch and traveled over nap was GLORIOUS!!!! So now that I feel like a pro at traveling with children (after all, it's been 1 1/2 times!!) I've assessed what I've done right, and not so right! Here are my tips!

Keep the kids dehydrated!
I'm not talking like brown pee dehydrated, I'm talking more like instead of an entire water bottle of water, it's like a third full. I gave them that full water bottle during the first go-around, hints the 7 potty breaks!

Just doing his thing!
Don't drink the 30oz of water and the coffee!
I've now made this mistake 3 times, apparently I'm a slow learner! I squatted in my back seat in the boys' potty chair. That 6 inch diameter isn't made for this booty, but I didn't spill! This is our exact one if you don't know what I'm talking about! Since then I've worn stretchy pants and held it until we made it to our destination. For anyone wondering why we don't stop for formal potty breaks........have you taken 4 kids into a gas station that is bound to have candy/trinkets/toys every where, and been by yourself? If the mental image doesn't explain it, let me just tell you it is pure hell!

Individual Suitcases!
My mom got all of the boys these suitcases for Christmas! Everyone has their own color and they hold the perfect amount of items for the trip! It makes finding jammies or clean underwear super quick and easy! Word to the wise though, don't let them help you pack. I made that mistake and it took me 2 hours to pack 4 bags....for a 2 day stay!

Our kids don't have tablets and the only screen that they have in the car is the DVD player. Well thank you Honda for also including wireless headphones for it! I can jam to some 90s on 9 while Woody and Buzz Lightyear save the day in the back!

Very intense!
Stick with easy and quick. I'm a huge supporter of the granola bar, these are our favorite! Crackers get crushed, fruit gets mushed and most other options are just as much a pain for me as it is for them!

Naptime is where it's at!
Leaving once they had full bellies and were due for nap was the perfect situation! Layne slept the WHOLE WAY! Jayce slept 2 hours and Kayden slept an hour and a half. Considering Kayden rarely naps any more, I was a bit thrilled! Dayton didn't sleep, but he be bopped around in his seat while I played music that was probably inappropriate for the toddlers! Don't judge me, I was celebrating!

That face!

I'm obsessed with his squishy cheeks!
Less than amused with me!
I didn't think I would enjoy taking them out of town on my own, but I am! It helps that grandma and grandpa take a huge work load off of me, and I get to shower every day! To any moms wondering if you can do it, you can! The initial anxiety I had was intense, but now I feel like a professional! Here's to hoping our return trip is just as smooth!

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Monday, March 14, 2016

An Ode To Formula Mamas

Recently I stirred up this major shit storm between some of my blog posts like Dear HatersWhy I Freed The Nipple, I'm Not Crunchy, Just Cheap and Lazy, and I'll Blame Breastfeeding, along with my "brelfies" on my Instagram. Because apparently breast vs. formula is like politics and everyone forms this hard line between what is "right" and what isn't. I've gotten some extremely negative comments based on what I've said about my choices, so let's be clear.

I write about my life and my experiences, currently; breastfeeding is my life. If I had started this blog when Layne or Kayden were babies, it would be about formula feeding. I've been on both sides of the coin. Choices as a mom are just that, choices. What is right for mom and baby is different for everyone. So for as much love as I give all of the nursing mamas out there, I want to give some love to the formula mamas as well!

Layne taking a bottle as a baby and totally loving it!

Dear Formula Mama,

You rock! I don't think society gives you the credit that you deserve. When someone use to ask me why my baby had formula, I would say that I failed at nursing. But in hindsight, I regret saying that at all. My baby had formula, because that was what was best for him and I both. Don't let other people's preconceived notions make you feel like you failed at anything! You are doing what is best for you and your baby!

Your financial commitment is commendable! It's liquid gold, because you worked your ass off for you to be able to provide that for your sweet babe! There's no shame in that game! And to the moms that have babies with allergies, my hat goes off to you! Your formula is more like liquid plattinum, because you could buy a new car with the cost of that!

You shouldn't feel guilty. I did for a long time though. I thought because I chose to give my baby formula I was somehow less of a mother. Other moms made me feel that way too. It took me a long time to realize that it didn't matter how my baby was fed, the fact was he had a full belly and that's all that really mattered.

All babies get sick. Every time Layne would get a cold or ear infection, I would tell myself that if I had still been nursing him he wouldn't have gotten sick. Guess what? Jayce has had more colds than Layne ever had in his life. So don't blame yourself if your baby gets the sniffles, I like to think of it as them working toward perfect attendance as a kindergarten with that strong immune system they are building!

You work hard too! Instead of pump parts, you have bottles to clean, and holy moly there are a lot of bottles. Moms who have never done bottles before don't understand that headache at all. Or the fact that when you want to take the baby out for the day, you stress about having enough bottles/water/formula for the time you will be gone. I remember being a hot mess on our way back from a road trip with Layne, praying he would sleep the last two hours of the trip. It was midnight and I only had enough formula in the car for an ounce size bottle. Luckily he slept!

Whether you gave formula straight from birth or later transitioned to it, you're doing some wonderful work! Keep your head up and be proud! You are keeping a baby happy and thriving and that is all that counts! Because let's be honest, no one requires your child to wear an ID badge to kindergarten stating how they were fed for the first year of their life!

A Mom That's Been There

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Monday, March 7, 2016

Dear Haters

Boobs, breasts, fun bags, sweater puppets, chesticles, tits, bazookas, air bags, dairy pillows, hooters, knockers, jugs, melons, boobies, gazongas, sweater stretchers, wife material, speed bumps, traffic stoppers, mosquito bites, molehills, bee stings, snuggle pups, udders, double lattes, baby feeders, and the list goes on......

What do all of these words have in common? They all mean the same damn thing and all women have why do we hate on women for using them for their intended purpose?! 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am pro-fed babies, in whatever way is best for mom and baby, but I never realized how many people fucking hated breastfeeding until I became successful at it. We are at 9 months and stronger than ever. I have nursed in public and uncovered countless times. I've nursed at family events, school events and in my own backyard. So....

Dear Haters,

Fuck you. Fuck you for thinking that you could judge me for my choices. Fuck you for acting like what I am doing is wrong and that you are better than me. Fuck you for making me feel like shit for doing what is best for us. When did anything I do directly effect you?!

Do you know how much blood, sweat and tears has gone into this breastfeeding relationship? Do you know how many times I've wanted to give up? Do you know what it feels like to be the only person your baby wants at 2am and no other person will do? Do you know what it's like when a baby is cluster feeding for hours straight? Do you know what it feels like to feel like you are cheating your other kids because the baby is hungry? Do you know how many times I've stayed home instead of gone out with friends because my baby hates taking a bottle? Do you? No, you don't. 

I've posted several pictures of me nursing the baby before, and put it out there for the world to see, judge and criticize, because there are going to be haters in every group. But do you know why I posted them? Do you know why I made myself and my baby vulnerable? I put them out there because I am so damn proud of myself for being successful at this and staying committed! All I feel is pure love when I look at them. I posted it in hopes that maybe one mom out there would see it while crying with cracked nipples and a fussy baby and have hope that one day it will get better. Or that someone who knows someone who is nursing would see it and they would realize that it isn't taboo. I didn't post it for you. 

I hope that I've enlightened you a bit. Made you understand some more. Given you a new perspective. Something. Anything. If not, bye Felicia! 

The Breastfeeding Mom That's Over The Bullshit

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