The Anger Inside

Whats it like to not be mad every day? I do not know the answer to this question. I wouldn’t say I have an anger issue….. but I wouldn’t be the best person to judge this.

I grew up with mad as the norm. Walking on eggshells all day waiting for the explosion, it always came. This was my at home example of how to act.

As a teen I exploded on other people constantly. Compensating for feelings of sham for not being cool enough, smart enough, strong enough to be a decent person.

I am now a mad adult, wife and mother. Mad at work, in the car, at home, at my husband…….. at my sweet little girl.

I say things that cut deep because deep down I’m not big enough to use my words like an adult. In my mind its unfair, I’m justified in my feelings, and I have gone from 0 to 100000 in a few second. A few seconds after that its coming out of my mouth.

Trying to take those words and screaming back is the worst part. I apologize to my husband, but how long will I be forgiven? When will the final word cut deep enough that its to much?

When your daughter says “mommy, be happy to me”, and still not being able to stop.

When the stranger at the store calls you a little bitch under her breath because you freaked out in the check out line.

When your server becomes visibly upset because you can’t let go of being served what you consider improperly.

When your husband asks stop yelling and cussing  at him in front of the baby and you cuss him out harder.

Small examples of my struggle. Now some of you are obviously thinking, GROW UP, you are a mean person, you need to control yourself, you are in fact just a jerk.

I know.

It is a rage that is so uncontrollable. So familiar to how my dad was that I am deeply shamed. Part of posting this is to get it out. To look at it on a screen and to type the words helps me be more aware of how ridiculous and out of control I can get.

I wrote this post because, today, I haven’t been mad  all day and it made me actually pause and think about it.

Do you struggle with anger / undesirable actions?

Birth and Death.

My moms sister passed away yesterday morning. She had been at hopice and then taken home for her final hours earthside. One of the hopice nurses explained death as another form of birth.

No one can tell you what it is like, you just have to do it. The body knows what to do, you just have to trust it. Those there to help are there to help you overcome fear and pain.

This could be used to describe birth and death.

They usally both take some time, some pain, some fear and a final outcome. They both happened to every single person. They both have an element of the unknown.

I miss her terribly already and am in a stage of grief that makes it seem so unfair.  Its not fair.

Letters

Moving to Florida from Oregon the year I turned 14 was one of the Hardest things I have ever done. At that age your friends are your world. Leaving them all behind with no real plans of ever returning was so painful. I was not just leaving my friends behind, I was leaving my life behind. The Pacific North West is much MUCH different than The East Coast. I had lived in the same town my whole life and it was a small college town. Liberal ideas and free spirits, freedom to roam the downtown area, the safety of knowing every single person since you were 2 or so.

One thing kept me tied to my past and helped me through some rough times. Letters.

Boxes of my Past

Boxes of my Past

I have carried these boxes around for nearly 15 years. Not all of them. As I received more letters I had to add boxes. Some have every birthday card I have gotten since age 12. A few are from Prison when one of my friends was doing his time. All of my baby shower cards, Harper’s 1st and 2nd birthday cards, romantic cards to and from my husband. But most of them are from one person.

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Before I moved to Florida, I got in a bit of trouble…. as teenagers do. I had a really over reactive   Protective mother who grounded me for a year, starting 3 months before I moved. This was not done to hurt me at the time, I was totally starting my pattern of being out of control. She was just trying to Protect me. My friend started writing me letters then, starting in 1999 (though I have school notes from her as far back as 1998)

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Through these letters, she has kept me connected to where I come from, comforted me, letting me know she loves me and that we will always be friends. Though these letters, we have had boyfriends, heartbreaks, moves, losses, weddings, name changes, children, home ownership, stress and life.

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They have contained art, laughs, surprises, gifts and once a lock of her deep blue hair. (I still have it, yes I know its creepy!)

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In between the letters have been countless packages for all occasions, but mostly just because. I still have the Punk/Ska mixed tape play list. I have no idea what happened to the tape, but when I hear any of the 50 or so songs from this tape, it brings me back!

Some times letters come every week, sometimes months go by. My favorite thing is to open the mail box and see that familiar handwriting.

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These letters mean so much to me for so many reasons. This is a part of my history. The other half is with her. I will have these for the rest of my life and one day my kid might be interested in them enough to go through them. And long after I am gone it will be a link to my past. Her and I both have Facebook, email, phones…. we never stopped writing letters.

(though you can see some of the addresses written on the letters, neither of us live at any of those you can read)

Do you have something that is a link to your past? Something that brings you “Home” or a collection that you treasure?

Hair Cut and the Future

Its a new year. Time for new things.

Harper, my almost 3 year old, finally got her first hair cut on Saturday. She still has that fine, thin baby hair. Its gold and dirty blond and ALWAYS in her face. Nothing except tiny rubber bands work to hold it back and I can never put it back in a way that looks good. It always looks like a drunk has done her hair. Anyways, my husband made an off handed comment to her about getting her hair cut. OK! she said. I called and made an appointment, letting the girl on the phone know that this was her FIRST hair cut ever. On the way we discussed how it would not hurt, how it is not scary, how the lady is as Harper puts it “a good guy”, and that I will be right there with her. She did so good.  She didn’t cry, or ask to stop. At almost the end she told me “I’m all done mama.” Jess clipped a little curl off the the back and placed it in a bag for me… I totally forgot you are supposed to save a lock of hair. I was just so happy that Harper was not screaming, as she tends to do in new situations that I have failed to explain to her. Her hair is now out of her face and adorable.

This weekend we also worked on going to the bathroom in the toilet and not in her pants. Potty Training, Potty Learning, we call it Potty Time. We tried this several months ago. She seamed interested and was sitting on her little potty once in a while and going. I think mostly because she had no pants on anyways and sat down and just ended up going. We bought her underpants and a tiny toilet seat that attaches to the regular adult potty. It didn’t really take that time. My mother in law watches her when both my husband and I work. she bought a little potty seat and used some bribery. M&Ms…. Once Harper realized she was not going to get a “Special Treat” every time she sat her butt on the toilet, weather she went or not, she was done with the whole thing. She kept peeing in her pants and on the couch and floor. We went back to diapers. This weekend I came up with a bit of bribery myself. Each time you go potty in the big potty you get a sticker. When you get 5 stickers you get an Organic, GMO free, SUPER hippie Lolly pop. “OK!” and it worked. I ask her to go first thing in the morning. Then I leave her diaper off but pull her pajama pants back on. She usually pees a little in them, then tells me “I peed in my PANTS” and does the rest on the potty. Shes weird about poop and tells me not to smell her when shes going… This is how I know shes going. I’m hoping that she will start telling us when she has to go, poop diapers at this stage are just not fun. She had earned one lolly pop so far and didn’t finish it, her hands got to sticky and she aint cool with that.  So hears to hoping my kid will soon be joining the rest of the adults on the big potty this year.

As for me I am going back to school this year. This is the last year I will be in my 20s. This year I am facing my first loss of a family member whom I am very close to. I don’t know what any of these experiences will do to me. I am sure all of them will change me forever.  I will gain knowledge and hopefully help my family be better off, I will gain wisdom from age and will endure the greatest heartbreak of my life. This time next year they will all be in the past and I will be facing new life changing events. Here is to the future.

Im no good at this

I am not a good blogger. For some reason I thought that I would have time to actually sit down and write out my thoughts. HA!

I started this blog in the first place to write about mothering in an honest and judgment free zone. I cant post the things I want on Facebook for fear of people arguing with me. I am not a good arguer. I get emotional and flustered and want to tell every one to just fuck off!

Then I do as I always do with every thing I love. I stop. I stop because I lack the discipline to sit down and do anything for 5 minutes with out my mind wondering and getting distracted.

I didn’t make a resolution for 2014, as I never follow through. But I am going to try to do this more.

To who ever is following this blog, Thank you. I always fear no one cares what I have to say, that I have nothing to say. But usually when I do say it some one likes it =)

Sleep

It has been almost two weeks since Harper has been completely weaned. Other than the emotional and physical pain I was experiencing we had sleep to deal with.

Nursing to sleep (and all damn night) was how it went for the first year. When I went back to work she had to learn to take naps with out me. My husband Naples with her, he loves to sleep. My mom and MIL would rock her and sing. They all worked it out.

I was never able to put her to bed any other way than nursing her. Some nights if I tried to get up after she had fallen asleep she would wake up and cry until I came back. This is why our $400 crib, $100 crib mattress and $150 bedding set went unused! So glad I bought that shit! Those nights sucked. After working all day and giving her my full attention until bedtime I wanted some time with my husband or to myself.

So now what? I had to turn to the ones who had been putting her down all this time with out the boob. The first few nights no one one got any sleep. We wires through it and found that she just wants you to rub her back and tell her stories. Jack and the bean stock and the 3 bears are the winning night time stories right now. I find myself falling asleep midway through most of the time.

Tuesday morning something amazing occurred to my. My daughter slept through the night for the first time EVER! It has been 2.5 years of nursing to sleep, being the only one to put her to bed and constant interruptions all night long. It felt crazy. It must be a fluke! But she has kept it up 3 nights in a row.

I still feel sad about weaning but she sleeps snuggled up to me so we are still close. Tonight she asked to sleep on her little bed ($100 crib mattress on the floor next to our bed) and fell right to sleep. Tonight might be her first night sleeping solo.

Though it was very hard to be her only night time comfort for so long, I would not change it.

An Awkward Mother

Weaning a Toddler II

Back in December Harper had to undergo dental work in the OR, under anesthesia. The oral surgeon assured me that her decay was a result of my night nursing and that if I were a good mother I would knock that shit out.

Being “nurse shamed” never feels good and coming from some one with a doctorate feels almost worse.

I argued my point about studies and he trumped me with “I was on the team of dentist who ran the study PROVING breast milk destroys teeth!” I just shut down at that point and listened to the after care instructions.

I did not, however, believe a word he said about breast milk and tooth decay. My husband on the other hand, felt that the doctor knows best. Its his profession after all to know about tooth decay.

I reached out to my mamas on Instagram to find out how some of them night weaned gently. One mama, who also has a boob obsessed toddler, suggested Dr. Jay Gordon’s gentle night weaning program. We started down that path of long nights filled with tears and NO sleep. By the fourth night I said fuck it, and kept nursing my baby to sleep.

In April I noticed that nursing started to become painful, like some thing sharp rubbing. Her main biting  tooth, one of her only front teeth left, was looking messed up. Like it was starting to wear down like her other 3 that had to be removed.

We took her back to Dr. Know-it-All and he said not to worry, its a normal wear pattern. Because its her only biting tooth its just wearing faster and more noticeable than if she had all of the other teeth to help out. I noticed he did NOT say that her teeth were following the decay pattern of night nursed babies and toddlers……

Now its August, 9 months after my first attempt at night weaning. Back in December she was still nursing as much as she pleased, day and night. Sometimes up to ten times a day! Slowly over the months I started cutting feedings out. She was only nursing right when I got home from work and at night. I decided to cut out the after work nurse. This was sad because it was her favorite nursing of the day! Right when she got her mama back from work. It took 3 days to transition. I was shocked. I thought it would be weeks of screaming.

Saturday night was just like any other, nursed all night. Sunday became a different story… when I went to lay her down for a nap, sharp pain clamped on my breast! Her tooth had wore down like a needle on one side and it hurt!!! I kept trying to adjust and get it more comfortable. The only way it didn’t kill me was if she were laying right on top of me. That night I sucked it up and nearly cried from the pain. Monday morning I noticed her tooth had punctured my nipple and drew blood. I knew the time had come to wean her completely.

Monday night I told her she had a sharp tooth that made mommy’s boo boos hurt and she could not nurse. This did not go over well. I tried to nurse her a little bit through out the night but had to make her stop. We got little sleep that night. I woke up with comically huge breast that put Pam Anderson’s to shame. They also hurt all over now due to all of the backed up milk.

Tuesday night while I was brushing her teeth she asked me to take her tooth out. This broke my heart :( She knew it was her that was hurting me. I told her mommy’s boo boos were sick and couldn’t give milk any more. Tuesday night was the first night since she has been born that she did not nurse.

Wednesday I couldn’t even wear a bra and this pain was almost worse than nursing. It looked and felt like strings of pearls were under my skin all the way up under my armpits. I bought a cabbage after work and cupped a leaf around each of my girls. The coolness felt great but I don’t think it took any swelling down. I slept with an ice pack too which helped with pain but again nothing was gonna make it go away.

She didn’t want to got to bed last night and it was a struggle to remain calm as she tried every trick in the book and then threw a fit when I wouldn’t let her get up to play. My husband took over and she only got worse. At 10:30 I figured I should just go to bed myself, I was exhausted from the last few nights. She told me a long story about her day and fell asleep snuggled up close. She only woke up once and started crying. She won’t ask to nurse, but I know that’s what she wants. Again my husband took over and she fell right to sleep. My breast still hurt today but not as bad.

I NEVER wanted to force wean. I wanted her to choose when she was done. I do feel super sad about never being able to look down at her happy face, smiling up at me. Or watch her little eyes flutter off to dreamland in my arms. Or just being her ultimate comfort when she needs me.

I guess I feel a little happy I will be done only because for approximately the last 880 nights I have been the only one to put her down to sleep and no one else could. She still only wants me but at least we can work on it .

An Awkward Mother

A Lettet to The Worst Magazine Ever

Dear Parents magazine,
You fail. You are nothing but a gigantic advertisement for shit no one needs.

Out of 171 pages, 86 of them are an add or contain an add. For junk food, medications, pet supplies, cleaning supplies and just other random junk.

Let me break it down.

Food

Milk
Green Mountain Coffee
Jello
Gerber Graduates
Plum Organics
Wandy’s
Kool-Aid
Crystal Lite Liquid
M&Ms
Keebler Cookies
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
Kraft singles
Ranch dressing
Valasic pickles
French’s Flavor Infuser
Quaker Oatmeal Cookies
Oscar Meyer Deli Fresh Meat
Turkey Hill Ice Cream
Post Cereal
Similac Powdered Formula
Enfanil Powdered and ready use formula

I would never buy or feed my family any of this sugar, fat, artificial, GMO garbage. Except the coffee and Plum Organics.

Why would you advertise some of the most unhealthy foods possible. The only veggies I saw were in the Wendy’s salad (which is fast food) and covered in ranch dressing, what’s the point?

Beauty / Body Products

Johnson & Johnson Baby head to toe wash
Secret deodorant
Curél Itch Defense Lotion
Neutrogena daily cleanser
Neutrogena Acne Wash
Ora-jel toothbrush & toothpaste
Pantene Pro-V hair care solutions
Dove soap bar
Bio Oil
Schick Intuition Razor
Veet
Always pads
Banana Boat sunscreen
Huggies diapers, pull ups, little swimmers and wipes.

Again nothing on this list I would actually buy. Except the diapers. Most of these products are full of harmful chemicals (looking at you J&J) and I wouldn’t use them.

Medication, ect

Epi-Pen
Little Critters gummy vitamins
Zyrtec
Daytrana Patch (ADHD Med)
Dulco Ease
Pedia Sure Sidekicks
Dermatest
Monistat
Gardasil (HPV vaccine)
Lanacane
Auvi-Q (talking epi pen)

Direct marketing from pharmaceutical companies has caused the hypochondriac to damn near never leave the house. You now have all symptoms to all diseases and need ALL the drugs!

I do like the gummy vitamins as they contain fruit juice for the coloring and have no artificial anything. At least the brand I use doesn’t.

Cleaning Products

Tide detergent
All detergent
Arm and Hammer detergent
Oxi Clean
Swiffer/Bissell mop
Samsung washer & dryer
Hoover vacuum

Laundry never ends…. stop reminding me!

Pet Supplies

Seresto flea collar
Front Line Plus flea Med
Bentiful Chopped Meals
Adam flea and tick Med

I thought this was a parents magazine. If I want pet meds I will get a pet magazine, thanks.

Other Crap

Identity Gaurd
Behr Paint
Bubble Guppies DVDs
Cuisinart
Geico
IKEA
Inch Bug
Canon
Progressive
Citi Bank
Preschool Prep DVDs
Kindel
Huffy
Aetna
JC Penny Portraits
Kumon Learning Centers
3 pages recapping previous advertisements

So I guess you will take money from ANY company and just slap an add in there.

Thanks for the gigantic waste of time.

Your disgruntled half reader

Now I would not really write a letter to Patents magazine about their adds. Its a business, I get it.

I’m just shocked that about half the magazing is an add for horribly unhealthy foods and other junk I would rather not see on EVERY other page!

I used to read Parents from cover to cover. I would ignore the crappy advice and delight in the personal stories and recall announcements.

I lost ALL respect for the magazine when I came across a two paragraph blip about how supplementing breast milk with formula can help you breast feed longer. They actually quoted a lactation specialist saying so.

I’m not saying that’s not true for some women but that is not how it was presented. That’s when I took note that there were over six formula adds in that particular issue.

That fuled my interest in how many adds were crammed into an issue and how many articles were written about baby/mommy products.

Most of the time I throw out the magazine with the other junk mail. Tonight I decided to have a little fun.

An Awkward Mother

An Awkward Interest

I have always been drawn to documentaries, biographys and historical fiction. In a way it lets me live someone else’s life for the duration of the film or book.

 When I was growing up, as a means of escape, I would imagine an elaborate fantasy life. I had a few I would go back to over and over and new ones would pop up, so I could BE someone else. 

Once I learned to read, I would let stories take me away. And wish every night I could run away and become part of the stories.

 Reading stories about princesses and shit is fine and dandy, but reading someones true story is what captives me completely.

I find that I am drawn to biographys and historical fictions about women who have suffered and overcome unimaginable atrocities. Like the Jaycee Lee Dugard story or Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. Sometimes I have to put down a book like those and just breath. Collect my self and wrap my brain around horrific acts people can do to one another. 

The same goes for documentaries. My old favorites were anything to do with animals. It was the Earthlings documentary, after all, that opened my eyes to what a Factory Farm was. 

My recent favorites are those that have anything to do with the struggle of LGBT&Q community. Particularly if it has to do with religion. For the Bible Tells Me So deals with children (some adults) coming out to their over the top religious families, the challenges and losses they face and unexpected outcomes. Its beautiful, sad and worth the watch. Fall From Grace follows both sides of the fight between. The people of Topeka and the Westburough Baptist Church. It is by far one of the most disturbing things I have seen. 

I watch and read these people’s stories from a white, straight and by some accounts privileged, point of view. I will never have my feet bound and sold to a husband. I was not kidnapped and sexually abused for years. I do not fight for my life to not be eaten, because I just taste so good. I do not have to prove myself or fight laws to be with, marry and have children with the person I love.

I hace tried to share some of this with friends and family. Mostly I am met with indifference or “I could never watch that”. I will admit its difficult to stomach some of the harsh realities of our world, past and present. I feel it is necessary, for me, to know about these things.

Sometimes I escape my life to be someone else, and when I get back my life seems pretty good.

What is your favorite documentary, biography or historical fiction? Did it change your life?

An Awkward Mother.

Time

Time. Its my worst enemy! I’m always out of it, in need of more of it and can never get back the time that I have lost. I’m also super good at wasting it. I’m a distracted person and really welcome distraction to avoid doing other more important things. I put off house work to craft, I put off home work to clean and I put off crafting when I must do homework. All of my life I have wished I could go back in time. To fix the mistakes of a choice  that turned out so, so bad. But than I would not be who I am today right? I would be better! Or maybe not..
Guilt plays a roll in how I spend my time. I’m away from my daughter 9 – 13 hours a day and when I do have “free time“, I feel obligated to give it all to her. But than the distraction kicks in. I’m playing with her, but folding laundry. Bathing her in the left side of the sink, washing dishes in the right side of the sink. I hear her call for me 100 times a day to “play toys” and “run together”. Mama has to finish the dishes, mama had to put away the laundry, mama has to get ready for work, mama has to cook dinner, mama doesn’t want to to….
I need a good balance. A schedule of time to follow. I need to give my 100% or at least 85% to one task at a time instead of 10% to 5 things that do not get done. Or at least if they do get done, they do so poorly.
For now I will just work on quality time. Giving my all, or most, to one thing at a time. Letting my mind restfrom the ever powerful feeling that I need to be doing something to prove my worth to my self.
An Awkward Mother.
How do you manage your time? Leave a comment!