you’ve got that feeling.

So, this is probably a post for my fellow moms who have tried to breastfeed, did or are currently nursing/breastfeeding their kid(s).

I have seen jokes in movies or shows about how your nipples don’t hurt when you breastfeed and I’m here to call that junk out.

I have breastfed or nursed a baby/toddler straight since 2014.  Those suckers still hurt (pun intended).

It doesn’t matter how long it’s been between sessions, if someone were to grab, bite, pull, twist or do something to my nipples, they hurt.

The other day I went to take a shower and just getting in the shower hurt.  Tender, skin, those things are sensitive!

Maybe it’s just me?  Maybe I haven’t done it right?  I only nursed my first born for almost 4 years and my second is about to hit the 2.5 year mark with no breaks between them and tandem nursed for nearly 2 years.

Both of mine were exclusively breastfed and I had a ripped nipple around 3 months into it and wanted to cry every time I had to keep feeding off that side.  It still hurts, it’s not like they get all calloused up like when you lift weights, run or do bars in gymnastics or something.

I feel like I can’t be the only one.  I bet the people who write those jokes in the movies/on television were men or people who did NOT breastfeed because I don’t have any friends who are like “flick my nipple, it doesn’t hurt!”

No one does that.  Because it hurts.

That is all.

Moms, give yourself a break

8421D979-6626-4CDE-8BC9-8CF47218DD34I woke up after my first alarm.  I didn’t run this morning.  I started out the day a failure before I had even begun.

Most moms know it’s hard to find time to get everything in during the day, shoot, most people know it’s hard to find time to get everything in a day – including exercise and sleep.  Usually one has got to give for me.  I sacrifice my sleep and only get 4-6 hours so I can get up and exercise at 6am before the rest of the family is up.  People say “just go to bed earlier.”  I try!

After I get the kids to bed I do all the dishes, clean the kitchen and put away any toys and things that were forgotten by a small child.  The laundry is washed and dried and I try to hang out with my husband before getting food prepared for dinners and lunches later in the week (or put stuff together to make banana bread or whatever we will have for breakfast in the morning).

By the time all of that is done and I’ve sat down for 30-45 minutes with my husband it’s already midnight.  It’s time to sleep for a few hours before I have to get up and either work out and run or sleep an extra hour before I empty the dish washer, fold the clothes and towels from last night and put my husband’s lunch in his car… feed and walk the dog and get ready to start work.

The smell of the fresh banana bread I made came wafting up the stairs.  As I breathed it in I remembered I had not taken out the towels from the dryer when I did a few extra loads of laundry Saturday.  3 days.  Another fail.

Some times I feel like I’m on top of things only to forget something important to someone else like washing baby’s clothes or getting the stain out of someone’s shorts.

Other days I feel like I’m barely hanging on.  I try so hard to make sure my family has clean clothes to wear, a clean house to relax in, healthy, fresh, homemade food to eat and feel like I could use a nap.

I think we just need to give ourselves a break.  Every now and then I leave the dishes in the sink and do them after I’ve run or worked out in the morning.  Sometimes I tell my kids to suck it up and wear something other than their favorite shirt or dress.  Shoot, I even pulled a dress out of the laundry bin Sunday morning because they wanted to match, smelled it and gave it to my 2 year old to wear.

My house isn’t always cleaned the way I like it to be.  Sometimes we have leftovers twice in a week.  Sometimes I just go to bed at the same time as the kids.

I’m learning to be okay with all of that in my life of chaos.  The beauty of it all is that there will always be more to be done and if it’s not done at that specific moment… it’s going to be okay.

So, my fellow moms (or dads) – give yourself permission to sit, relax or go to bed, take a nap or go for a run.  There will always be more to do another day.  Spend time with your kids or your family and enjoy it – without thinking of the huge, ever growing list of things to do.

I know it’s hard.  It’s hard for me and often I find myself falling asleep during the day just trying to hang on.  Trying to be a “super mom”.  But I’m not.  I’m just a regular mom trying my best one day at a time.

accountability

Life is harder when you are or feel alone.

I believe that God made us to be in relationships whether it is family, friends, a team or marriage, etc.

When you have someone on your side, someone in your corner it makes things so much easier.  If you know you shouldn’t do something and you’re tempted but you’ve told your close confidants about it, they can remind you or warn you and watch your back.

I joke about things and say ‘Jesus sees you!’ all the time and hopefully I don’t come across as holier than thou because I know I’m not.

I know I’m capable of any kind of sin, even those that I tell myself or others that I wouldn’t do.  (I tell myself as a reminder that I shouldn’t do them and try to practice what I preach to others.)  I know I could easily become entangled in all sorts of evil that could hurt those I love.

That’s why I tell my close friends and people I trust things that are my weaknesses or tell them things to watch out for so that I don’t get tempted by things or people that could cause me to sin.

God gave us people around us to sharpen one another and to help one another.  To live life together and helping each other to be better people is a part of that.

I am so thankful for all of the people God has put into my life that I can entrust with important things like my temptations without judging me.  People who will help lift me up and hold me accountable.

marriage is hard

I remember thinking about marriage when I was a kid.  All of the fairy tales end with “and they lived happily ever after.”  What does that even mean?  To me as a child that meant that they never fought or argued or had any sort of disagreement.  I thought that life was perfect and your house was clean and beautiful because everyone worked together to keep it that way.  I thought that my future husband and I would always be nice to each other and agree on how to raise the kids or what to teach them, how much screen time they could have, where we would go on vacation or who we would hang out with.

Boy was I wrong.  I’m just going to get straight to the point – marriage is hard.  Very hard.

We have had arguments with tears, me being held on the ground because I was so angry I wanted to burst (never any physical abuse, that is NEVER okay people).  I have wanted to shut him out and hold a grudge and he’s left the house to go for a drive in order to not say things he would regret because I made him so angry.

Who would have thought?  Definitely not me.

There are all kinds of temptations out there too.  This guy or that with the ‘grass is greener on the other side.’  That guy is nice to me, that guy understands me, the guy who listens to me.  It’s so easy to see all the faults of someone you live with and sleep in the same bed with, that doesn’t always pick up after themselves and wants you to make all the meals and snacks and change all the diapers.  Sometimes I’m tired.  Sometimes I don’t want to do anything and I just want to sleep.

It’s so easy to think if I was with someone else marriage would be easier.  It’s so easy to live in a fantasy world in your head and imagine yourself with someone else.

But that’s just it.  It’s not real.  It’s pretend.  Every person is going to have quirks and things that are annoying to live with or deal with.

We have to fight for our marriage, for a relationship if we want it to work.  As much as I hate being wrong, I’ve been wrong a lot.  I’ve probably apologized more in the last 7 years of marriage than I have my whole life (besides bumping into someone or something).

I’ve forgiven more than I have ever forgiven.  I have cleaned more, cooked more and done so much more.

My husband isn’t my best friend.  He is my husband.  He is the spiritual leader of our house.  Marriage is hard.

I had a tough time being a ‘helpmate’ rather than the ‘leader’ at first because I thought the helpmate wasn’t as important.  In reality, the helpmate is just as crucial as the leader.

I’ve rejected many people before and after I accepted the one.  The one who I would stand by for better or worse, in sickness and in health, in cold or hot, in storm or draught.

Both of us know that things are better when we work together.  When we accept the other’s faults, pains and frustrations.  Men and women think differently because we are different.  Once I realized that he wouldn’t really ever understand me and where I was coming from even if he tried, it helped immensely.

We try to understand each other.  We try to help each other.  We do our best and trust that the other is doing the best they can too.

We could look elsewhere for love, affection or whatever else we may feel we lack in our marriage but we know that it wouldn’t be what we have together.

I thought about writing my own vows when we got married.  I’m kind of glad I didn’t because honestly, I had no idea what I was getting into.  Neither of us did.

I feel like I’ve been winging this whole marriage thing even though we did premarital counseling and all of that.

It’s hard.  Some days I cry from exhaustion or stress (not even related to our relationship but other things going on) and I never used to cry over anything other than breaking my arm before kids.  Some sort of hormonal change must have overtaken my body and I’m so much more emotional than I used to be.

Compromise on both sides happens daily.  It’s hard friends, but it’s worth it.

(*Side note – if you are in an abusive relationship mentally or physically you should seek help.)

packing the pump

It’s official. 

I’m packing up the torture device known as a breast pump and putting in storage (aka my overstuffed closet that contains too many baby clothes in case Jesus decides we need a 3rd minion). 

I thank you, you life sucking horrid, loud, cold, plastic pump for helping me to keep up my supply even when I started working at 9 weeks with Norah and 12 weeks with Rebekah. 

I will not miss you and let it be known I used that sucker (so punny) for 14 months with Norah and 24 months with Rebekah.  This friends is true love.  

You’re welcome children.  Mommy loves you.  The bruises from the pump prove it.  I pray your immune systems and brains are adequately nourished through this stuff they call liquid gold. 

I did make a $1.50/oz selling it for all of two weeks… but after some creeper offered me $4/oz but only if he could watch it be pumped I halted that money making side gig. 

I thought about donating it but our freezer broke and I lost close to 400oz before I had a chance to pack it up and ship it.  Later I ended up throwing away almost 300oz after I found out they don’t take milk after your kid turns 1.  I may not have finished your baby book yet but I faithfully pumped and dumped for another year for this second child of mine so that you could make it to the World Health organization recommended 2 years.

I tandem nursed for just over 22 months and I feel like we may be nearing the end of our journey.  I can barely get 1oz a day now during the entire work day and that’s not much to write home about.

So, farewell pump.  I won’t miss you but I salute you for your service.

I still care.

Sometimes, well ok – most of the time I will go out in yoga pants and a t-shirt.  I haven’t worn any makeup in years so at least I look the same day in and day out regardless I guess.

I usually wear nicer clothes like jeans to church!  Sometimes I’ll even wear a dress or a fancy top.

I don’t know why I try sometimes since I usually end up with cheese, sticky unknown substances or dirt on my clothes and then end up having to wash them with the hope that the random goop will come off.

Fortunately my hair is pretty straight and boring and stays that way so I don’t have to worry about styling it or doing anything to it and it looks fine.

It’s probably just me, looking all raggy (for years apparently) with my 2 crazy bed-headed children who fussed when I suggested maybe we could brush their hair before we left the house.  So many moms look all put together when they go to the store, to church, to the mall, to a restaurant, etc.

It’s not just me, it’s my house too.  I used to make sure everything was put up and in its place.  I used to organize the playroom but now as long as it’s in the room it’s all good.  When friends come over, I don’t clean.  I don’t move things around to make it look nicer.  If my friends care then I’m sorry I’m not sorry.  (Fortunately none of them do or they haven’t mentioned anything and they keep coming!)

Somehow I manage to go to the store without ‘click list,’ forget a few key items and still make dinner every night.  Somehow the world continues to turn even if I look like I haven’t had a good night’s rest in weeks (which is often true).

I try to act like I don’t care that my hair is crazy, there is gunk on my clothes and my office looks like something was detonated in it but it bothers me when I stop to think about it.

I still care.  I still want things to look organized and be in the correct location.  I still want my hair to chill out and not be so fluffy.

Maybe one day things will go back to the way they were but I don’t foresee that happening any time soon and I’m okay with that.  I’ve adapted to a new normal and even though I still care that things aren’t perfect and I don’t always look my best, I know that my family loves me and my little people are learning to clean up their messes despite it taking 5,000,000 times longer than if I did it myself.  Life skills are being passed along here!  We are constantly examples and teaching our tiny humans what is important.  In the end it really doesn’t matter if my shirt wasn’t stained, my hair wasn’t sticking up or the counter was spotless.  All that matters is that my littles were loved by God and ourselves, know that they are more important than all of those things and we can still have friends over and enjoy our time together even if there are dishes drying on the counter or there is laundry running in the machine.

when steps matter

When your Fitbit stops working and your waiting for the replacement in the mail does anyone even care if you workout or get steps if they don’t see them?

I remember running every day and working out all the time not caring or knowing how many steps I got.

Then came this pedometer from work.  It clipped onto my waist band of my pants/shorts and suddenly I was enlightened!  I knew how many steps I got when I ran a mile.  I could see how many I got when I walked from my room to the kitchen and could participate in challenges with my co-workers.

Even without trying to get lots of steps I was racking them up.  I don’t know if it was helpful or if it hindered because I’m so competitive I would walk around the house until it was time to go to bed to make sure I got the most.

I got a Fitbit a few years later since it synced with the site work used and I didn’t have to plug it into the computer like the one they gave me.

Some days having a pedometer is helpful. Since I sit at a computer for work that’s a significant portion of my day that I am sedentary.  I often stand and get steps while working.  I guess I would still try to get up and move some while working without a pedometer but it is easier to remember when you can see how few steps you’ve taken or your Fitbit thinks you are asleep because you haven’t moved in so long…

Steps always count.  No matter if you have a pedometer or not.  Where ever you are with your daily step average you can always work on improving your average and try to move more and sit less!

Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from a tracker or something keeping track of what you do.  Other days it’s nice to just be active and not care about how many steps you or you kid has gotten.

… of course when you do weekly challenges and your Fitbit does for good… you will most definitely loose on paper/online even though you may actually be winning because you are active regardless and it’s good for your health!  (And fun!)

Either way, whether steps really count when you have a tracker or not.  The most important thing is to find what you like to do so you can move.  Find friends who like to do similar things with you.  Or, make friends who already do things you like to do.  🙂

 

we made it!

Apparently life has gotten extremely busy with 2 girls but I am pleased to report that we made it –  my littlest little has made it to 2 years of nursing!  Number 2 has made it to the WHO recommended 2 years of breastfeeding/nursing.

I have to say, it was a lot harder this time around with two nursing for most of the 2 years.  I finally got tired of tandem nursing and cut of number 1 at 3 years 9 months and 19 days.  She was not happy about it at all.  We made it work with extra book reading and other special time together before bed.

Mad respect for women who tandem nurse twins or multiple children for the entire 2 years or more.

Honestly, I guess I really got tired of feeling like number 1 was just using me as a pacifier instead of drinking milk.  I tried but after multiple days of no let down, knowing that she knows how to get milk out after close to 4 years of nursing I was over it.

For a while I was afraid we wouldn’t make it with #2 because it seemed like she was lazy since she never had to ‘work’ to get milk out since her older sister was doing all the work and she just got the extra letdown on the other side.  Whenever she had to nurse on her own she would fuss even after she turned 1 when she couldn’t get any milk out right away and had to put in her own effort to get it out – no big sister around to help her.

I’m sure she felt like it was a big inconvenience not having her milk just start automatically but with perseverance she made it and here we are past the 2 year mark!

Who knows how long she’ll want to keep going and I’m really tired of pumping but I’m going to try to keep it up as long as I can.

Cheers to all moms who try!

 

 

the phone

I was hurrying out the door and getting the girls into the car and buckled up one day and my mom called.  While we talked briefly I realized that my kid’s phone experience will be very different than mine.

When we were growing up we memorized all our friend’s phone numbers.  Our number didn’t change unless we moved to another house.  I still have many of my friend’s phone numbers from high school memorized and will probably never forget!

Remember when you called someone and you had to be sure to ask politely for the person?  “Hello, is so-and-so there please?”  I still plan on teaching my children to be polite even though they may not need to ask for the person each time (though we have already decided not to let our children have phones at a young age).

Remember the days before caller ID?  When you had to answer the phone in order to know who was calling?  When silly people could prank call and hang up and no one knew who it was?

Remember the days before answering machines?  I remember when we got our first answering machine with a little mini cassette tape in it for recording messages.  That was fun, we would sit there and listen to the messages and delete the tape so we didn’t ever have to buy a new one.

One of the best things about only having a landline was when other people called for someone else in the house.  One of my sister’s (Anita’s) best friends was named Elita and because their names rhymed she thought it was hilarious when I would call out “Anita, it’s Elita!” when she called.  We actually had to talk to other people in our family and figure out if someone else was using the phone (busy tones!! before call waiting!).

Also, remember when people used to hold down the ‘hang up’ button on the phone when picking it up in order to listen to someone else’s conversation without them knowing but then they would breathe loudly on accident and give themselves away?  Invasion of privacy?  Sometimes.  But sometimes that isn’t a bad thing when you’re a teenager and doing silly things that you don’t need to be doing or talking to someone you don’t need to be talking to for so long or so late at night.

Man, how in the world did we survive!

As I was thinking about all of this I was saddened that my children will not have all of these luxuries…

Then I realized we DO have a landline right now because I’m required to have one for my job!  Technically if we bought some phones and plugged them into the phone lines that still exist in every room around our house they would produce a dial tone.

If I still have this job in 10 years my kids will get to experience some of the same things I get to.

Gosh, I hope my job stability is that good and I can witness them utilizing a landline instead of a cell phone and loving it.  🙂

Sorry I’m not sorry.

Sometimes I think back to before I had kids.  I remember friends complaining about people who always posted pictures of their kids.  I happened to like them.  I liked seeing pictures of my friend’s kids growing up, playing, acting silly, etc.  (We wouldn’t be friends on social media if they weren’t my actual friends in real life.)

Before kids I posted pictures of me in this state or that, running this marathon, going on this trip or going there.  Even after I got married we traveled quite a bit.  One of my husband’s friends always asked us ‘do you guys ever work?’ since we traveled more than the average person.

Then I had my first baby.

I still traveled, but mostly to visit my family back home.  I still ran, but mostly to the bathroom and around the neighborhood with a stroller or up and down the street with a baby monitor in the mailbox so I could hear if she cried.

Honestly, I tried to hold back posting pictures at first because I didn’t want to turn into ‘one of those people’ people complain about (I do keep it so only friends can see the majority of my pictures).  Then I realized I don’t care if people complain about me being one of those people who posts too many pictures of their kids.  Who’s to say that anyone posts too many pictures of their kids?  If my kids and family are who I spend the majority of my time with now… then that is my life.  If you don’t like my life, then I’m sorry I’m not sorry for posting too many pictures of my cute little monkeys.

I post pictures for me to remember what my kids looked like, a few videos to remember what they did or said and remind me of what blessings they are in my life.  I post them so my friends and family who live so far away can enjoy how wonderful they are and see a little glimpse into our lives even though we live thousands of miles away.

I don’t get as many ‘likes’ on pictures as I used to.  It’s probably because people have unfriended me or unfollowed me, but I don’t mind.  If someone doesn’t want to see my children, they probably didn’t like me that much anyway because my children are little extensions of myself (it’s really amazing how much they act and talk like me… and a little scary sometimes! haha).

In the end, it’s all for my friends, family and myself.  If you want to post pictures about whatever you want, feel free.  I don’t mind.  If you don’t want to see the pictures of my kids, that’s fine, I’m sorry I’m not sorry – please keep scrolling by and have a great day.  🙂