Monday, May 4, 2009

14 Days

14 days ago I made a pact with myself that I was going to do something for myself without any one person’s opinion. I was going to take charge of what is valuable and precious beyond words, which I felt like was suffering for reasons I couldn’t quite put my finger on: my mental health. 14 days ago I made the difficult decision to begin taking anti-depressants. I struggled for months over this. This was the third time I had talk to my physician about it, and the third time I had received a prescription for them and the first time I went through with it and began taking them.

I think my reason for being reluctant was my own person history with anti-depressants, namely Paxil. At the tender age of 17 my doctor, who only spoke with me for about 5 minutes, decided to place me on Paxil and Xanax. I continued taking Paxil for nearly 5 years when one day I just thought to myself why am I still taking these? It had become more habit than anything. My life was in order by this time. I wasn’t partaking in activities and surrounding myself with people who added to the anxiety and depression I was suffering from, so I thought Why the hell not? So I decided to give it a go. I quit cold turkey*. What transpired from that pronouncement was a week long battle of detoxing from a substance I wasn’t even aware I was addicted to. I laid helplessly, crying, day in and day out, I was plagued with chills, vomiting and dizziness. I was stunned at what this drug had done to me. I swore then that I would never, ever take such a drug again.

Fast forward 2 ½ years. Throw in a marriage, then a baby, and I started to feel the way I used to. I wouldn’t necessarily define it as “depression”, but more my inability to cope with certain emotions, such as anger and irritability and feeling overwhelmed. Most of all I felt lost. I felt lost in a world where every mother was happy, had perfect little babies, except me. What was wrong with me?

Like I said before, I had consulted my physician two times previously and they agreed that my taking the anti-depressants would be the best scenario for all parties involved. But as soon as I left their office I would change my mind. I think part of it had to do with the fact that I breastfeed Vincent. I became paranoid that the drug would get to him through my milk and he would become dependent on a seritone booster and that I was paving the road for a life of depression for him. But I think, more than anything, it had to do with feeling defeated. I kept telling myself I could get through it, I could handle it. Everyone else does.

14 days ago I had enough. I knew something wasn’t right. I could feel it deep in my bones. This was something I could change. Something I could help. I can be better for my son. I can be better for myself.

I didn’t tell anyone in my family that I was beginning to take the pills, because I wanted to first see if they noticed a difference in me. No one has said anything but that probably stems from fear they may jinx it! But more important, I have noticed a difference. I smile more. I appreciate life more. I become less frustrated and overwhelmed. I am better for it. I am a better mom for it. I have taken other approaches to building up my mental health as I do not want to rely on a pill to “make me happy”. I have ditched the junk food and made it a point to exercise every day. And I quit those nasty cigs!

I cannot feel defeated over this. I am not weak because I started taking anti-depressants. I am strong for admitting to myself that maybe I could use some help. I am strong because I say fuck the judgment and fuck what people say. I am doing this for us. Us.

You and me, babe. Always and Forever.




* All medical professionals will strongly advise to not stop taking these types of medications abruptly. It can have serious complications. Do not stop taking anti-depressants without consulting your physician.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tender, Love & Caress

Vincent has been having one hell of a time with his top teeth. They appear to be killing him from the inside out, which consequentially makes my heart feel as though someone is puncturing it with a sharp knife. Last night seemed to be exceptionally challenging, getting him to sleep that is. I tried nursing, I tried letting him cry, I tried rockin’, rollin’, whatever, it wasn’t gonna happen. I was dumbfounded. I decided to try to lay down with him in my bed and let him nurse that way; sometimes he will fall asleep that way. No such luck. He flailed about the bed as if he was wrestling an alligator, all the while huffing and puffing, crying and staring at me like why aren’t you helping me mommy? Oh my. This is my heart…in pieces on the floor. For real. What happened next was quite possibly the most touching moment I have experienced with my son throughout his whole (almost) 12 months of life. He lifted his small face up in the air, the room was dark but I could see his silhouette with the light of the monitor. Then he took his hand and found mine. He, with such a sense of desperation, placed my hand on his head. I began the gentle caressing of his head, my lips against forehead, running my fingers through his funky little hair. And that was it. The crying stopped and the eyes closed. Within seconds he was asleep. It was the most kid-like thing he has ever done. Please just rub my head. What a lover.

Once I was sure he was asleep, I slowly took my hand away from head and backed myself up so I could better have a view of his charming, tiny face. I used the glow of the monitor to lay there in complete and total awe. I stared deeply at him. I stared at him in a way I haven’t in a long time. I saw the fragileness in his hands, the life in his breathe. I breathed him in, all of him. I wondered what kind of man he would grow to be. I saw life 20 years from now, him grown and me, well, still young. I allowed myself to feel everything in that very moment. The purity of our love. Like nothing else in this world.



** This photo was taken when Vincent was one week old. I would love to post a recent photo of Vincent in sleepy town, but I wouldn't dare click a camera in fear of waking the beast, the cute beast**

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mommy and Me Drop Out

I have been contemplating whether or not I will re-enroll in Mommy and Me Classes. I began attending when Vincent was almost 4 months old; this was a time of transition as well as trouble for me. I was awkwardly adjusting to my new role as a mother; a new mother to a colic baby no less. My days were spent frazzled and unkempt, often walking up and down the street with my screaming infant in a sling. Looking back, it almost makes me want to cry because it was, literally, hands down, the most trying time of my life. Through all the turmoil I had endured in my young life, this was the tip top of the meltdown moment. I had felt lonely and isolated, as my husband was working very long hours on top of a very long commute. Most days he would come home to find that Vincent has already been put down for the night, so I was factually raising Vincent on my own Monday-Friday. I joined Mommy and Me classes with the hopes of regaining a sense of normalcy in my chaotic life. I wanted, so desperately, the opportunity to sit down and talk with other moms, listen to their own personal struggles and realize that I wasn’t alone. Unfortunately, mostly all I learned from the other moms in the class was that a.) I was the only discontented mother in the world or b.) damn, people know how to put on a happy face when their inside world is crumbling around them.

I will never forget the day when I just blurted out “I’m not that happy”, followed with “and my doctor prescribed me (GASP) anti-depressants”. I could feel the look of pity and confusion in their eyes before I even glanced back up at them. Maybe they weren’t just putting on an act, maybe they were that happy that I was just a freak who couldn’t get her shit together, because the look on their faces showed genuine disbelief that any mother could be unhappy in her role. Mind you, I was the youngest woman in the class, by quite a few years too. Although we never spoke of our ages, it was obvious. Can I say that without sounding rude? Sorry, but true. I was married at 23, pregnant at 24 and a mom by 25. Maybe these women felt perfectly content with their new mommy name because they were older, had experienced more of life and were completely 100% ready to settle down and do nothing but that. I, on the other hand, was struggling and still do struggle sometimes with the concept of growing up too fast, saying goodbye to the freedom I once had, the rebel wear I wore so fucking well. Do I feel like I have missed out on some grand parties, unforgettable concerts or long days at the beach to be at home with my son? Sure, of course, although the latter has always been and will continue to be more worth it than anything else. But I had very limited freedom with my no bottle-taking mama’s boy. Even though Vincent was a planned pregnancy, I was incredibly na├»ve about what having a baby was really going to be like, so I was shocked at the level of responsibility and dedication it took.

After my “Hi, my name is Emily and my doctor thinks I’m depressed” speech at Mommy and Me, my sister called me Debbie Downer and we had a good laugh about it. I eventually stopped going because I felt I just wasn’t vibin’ with the other moms the way I had originally intended to. But after a months-long absence from the Mommy and Me world, I am thinking about making a comeback. Vincent is almost a year and I really do see him wanting to play and interact with other children his age. There is only so much I can give him here alone with him all day. Plus, I don’t think I’m too much of a Debbie Downer anymore. I can chat it up with the best of them, swapping funny stories about playing peek-a-boo and our baby’s first word, or the way Vincent is obsessed with having his butt sniffed. Yes, he loves it and he laughs hysterically when you put your nose near his butt. He is mature beyond his years, let me tell you! I’ll always keep it real and bitch when I’m having a shitty day and they can stare at me as if I’m a blood sucking alien from a planet far far away, but I think it’ll be good for Vincent, and in turn, may be good for me, and in turn may be good for my husband. Happy Wife, Happy Life, as we like to say.

Quote of the Week


For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven;
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


"Truckin'" - Emily Macri

Monday, April 27, 2009

You can take that cookie and shove it up your....

This morning I made the decision to treat myself to a mocha and a pastry at the small hippie coffee shop down by the bay. Vincent has been a bit (I mean, a lot bit) fussy for whatever reason, and a toothache kept me awake last night, so I very much deserved a treat such as that, especially on a cold, gloomy day.

While I was waiting patiently for my mocha to be completed, Vincent was demonstrating a lesser form of patience. He was fussing and trying to wiggle out of my arms. I silently whispered in my head “hurry up, hurry up” but all the while kept a smile on my face and kinda eye rolled like “kids, whatcha gonna with do?” when she turned around to see what all the fuss was about (pun intended). Much to my surprise, the lady behind the counter said “ok, ok…here ya go” and put a cookie my son’s mouth! I had half a mind to pull the cookie out of his mouth and threaten to put it up her anal cavity, but I refrained. Instead I stood there, speechless. This may not seem like too big of deal to anyone, especially people who don’t have children, but let me tell you, it was a big deal to me for a few reasons a.) Vincent is only 11 months old, in my opinion he is not old enough for the type of treat he was offered, and when I say offered I mean forced upon by the hand of a stranger, b.) I do not give my child any unnecessary sugar because he is a hyperactive baby, and I do not need anything emphasizing his already rambunctious behavior and c.) I do not want my son to learn that if he throws a fit for no reason whatsoever, he will be rewarded with a tasty, sugary treat. Even before I had a baby, and I think I’ve made it quite clear how ignorant and stupid I was about the whole baby thing, I always asked the mother quietly if I could offer her child a bite of food. I couldn’t believe this lady took it upon herself to shove a cookie in my child's mouth without so much as gesturing to me if I would be okay with it.

I was disturbed. And I put my change right back in my jeans pocket instead of the glass tip jar on the counter.

I was reluctant to share what I’m about to spill, but here it goes! I am on day four of no cigarettes. My reasons for wanting to omit this information are because my family didn’t even know that I started smoking again, and they still don’t. I guess this will be a true test to see if they really read my blog! Also, I happen to be deeply ashamed about my smoking and I have never openly admitted to random strangers, even some friends, that I smoked. See, I use to be smoker. From the ages of about 13 to 23, I smoked about a pack a day. I know, I know, 13 years old? A little young, eh? Yes! Someday I will both impress and sadden you with my old bad girl antics, when I have 4 days straight to recall it all. You will feel very sorry for my mother, trust me. Anyways, since Vincent was planned pregnancy, I quit smoking about six months before I even started trying to get pregnant, to make sure my body was in tip top shape. And besides the occasional smoke with a cocktail (not while I was pregnant DUH!), I had been a non-smoker, and it felt great. I never ever ever ever thought I’d do back to it.

It’s a slippery fucking slope, that nicotine slope! The occasional cocktail smoke turned into the occasional smoke with my friends who smoked, which later turned into the “I’ve had such a crazy, busy day, I need a cigarette to unwind” smoke. The next thing I know, I am buying cigarettes and smoking just to smoke. I was embarrassed. I was washing my hands and brushing my teeth 7 times a day so no one would smell the smoke on me. I found myself watching the clock, waiting for Vincent to take his nap so I could go outside and smoke. I was too busy hoping he’d fall asleep that I wasn’t even enjoying him while he was awake. I got fed up with the bullshit and so last Thursday, I told myself NO MORE! YOU’RE DONE! YOU ARE NOT A SMOKER! YOU ARE A MOM! Not that you can’t be both, and be a perfectly nice mom, but not me. I become agitated and annoyed easily when I’m smoking. I don’t wear it well, plain and simple, and I was pissed off at myself for allowing myself to start down my old unhealthy path. So Friday morning I woke up with the flu. It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly!! I felt like such shit, I couldn’t even think about smoking a cigarette without running towards the toilet. So, on Saturday, I was feeling a little better, but still queasy so cigarettes weren’t really on my mind. Sunday, I felt 100% better but I had just gone two days with no nicotine. I told myself, if you can do two days, just keep going! I am nearing the completion of my fourth straight day of not smoking and I feel great. No, I feel fantasical!

I feel better getting that off my chest. Thank you blogosphere! And sorry Mom!


"Ew, cigs are, like, so gross!"

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Who are you calling a wean-er?

Sunday Fun-day. Ok, so maybe we didn't get to do anything "fantasical" as I had originally hoped for, but we did have a good day. I felt expidetiously better today. Brand new. It's amazing, when you are getting over a horrible sickness, it just disappears as quickly as it surfaced and then it's like you can hardly remember how terrible you felt. I had my energy back, my spirits were high, and I was ready for some fresh air and sunshine. And I got both. However, I did get wind, very much unwelcomed wind that seems to be plaguing the central coast. But it barely put a damper on my mood. Anthony, Vincent and I ate clam chowder down by the water at our favorite local spot; he had beer and I had a root beer. In another post, that will be completed in a weeks time, I will explain the reason for my root beer, wait...what was I saying?

Oh ya! After our "beers" and chowder we strapped Vincent in his backpack and we walked the Embarcadero, window shopped, shop-shopped, and enjoyed looking out at the ocean, something that becomes so easy to take for granted, having lived next to it your whole life. But on certain days, days like this, you take it in, enjoy the moment, refresh yourself in its scent. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I had been on lockdown in my 2 bedroom house for over two days and any slight touch of the outside world would have made my insides tingle. Whatever it was, it was a nice day.

I have made a decision today as well. I am no longer planning on putting an immediate end to Vincent's breastfeeding extravaganza. Of course, I don't want a 2 year sucking away all night and day, I have decided that I will not abruptly deprive him of something he loves so much. I have thought long and hard about this. I am nearing his first birthday and I never really thought that I would get that sentimental and sad over his entering his toddler years, but I think I just might. There will come a time, probably much sooner than I realize, where Vincent won't even want to hug me in public or let me kiss those gorgeous Shiloh Jolie-Pitt lips. Right now is the only time for me to enjoy this closeness. Breastfeeding has brought us so close together and I don't think I'm ready to say goodbye just yet.

Check back in a few days. If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm ridiculously indecisive.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sick Days

I am officially gliding down the tail end of a nasty flu bug. Yesterday, in the wee hours of the morning, I was awoken by an overwhelming feeling of nausea and a 102 degree fever. I hadn’t felt so weak and sick in I don’t even know how long! Luckily, my mom had the day off and offered to take Vincent all day. No one has ever taken Vincent all day long. Although I was relieved by her offer, I thought, NO WAY! Sure, he’ll hang for a couple hours but then he’s going to be screaming for his one and only mommy! Well, I was wrong. He did wonderfully for my mother. Granted, she brought him back home to nurse and so he could nap in his own crib, but he spent most of the day away from me and he was just fine. I know I needed it, and so I was thankful, but it also made me a bit sad. I couldn’t believe he could just go about his day without me, like it was no thing.

Now, today, my husband is home and has taken the lead with Vincent. I feel much better, but I am not 100% and I could probably benefit from a little more rest. But I miss my little man. This is probably the most time I have spent away from him in his whole little life. I am legitimately having Vinnie withdrawals!! Gee, mom, cut the cord….he’s almost one!!

Yesterday’s diet consisted of two popsicles and 6 Advil, so apparently, I am making up for lost time by stuffing my face with everything from French toast to Nachos. I would like to write more but what I really want to do is go lay on the couch while Anthony has Vincent on an outing. I am hoping to feel even better tomorrow and do something fantasical with the fam….hopefully!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ignorance Is Bliss

Ring...Ring...Ring...

Anthony: Hello

Me: Hi.

Anthony: How is your day going?

Me: Oh, fine, I guess. But your son is the most stubborn human being I've ever encountered! I mean, it's like, he refuses to wear hats, refuses to wear bibs and stains all of his clothes, refused to take a bottle, screams bloody murder when I change his clothes. I mean, really, he has got to be the most opinionated, stubborn child in the universe!

Anthony: Gee, I wonder where he gets that from?

Me: I know, right?!

Secret Mommy Woes

I have come to the distressing conclusion that I will have a five year old boy who will wake up numerous times a night to crawl into bed with mommy and suck on her boob. Who will follow me around, tugging on my pants leg, begging for a boob. Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but I am no where near a future where my boobs belong to me, and only me, and are no longer the object of desire for anyone – well I guess maybe my husband, but I’m guessing that once these bad boys are no longer filled with ample milk and in turn become deflated water balloons that sag towards my belly button, he will not be quite as interested in them as he once was. Here’s to hoping!

I am at an absolute loss of what to do with this whole weaning thing. Where do I even begin? I’m done. I am 100% done with this breastfeeding thing. Don’t misunderstand me; it has been an extraordinary bonding experience. There have been countless smiles and giggles when I look down at my son, sucking his little heart out, with those huge eyes staring back at me. It has been a marvelous experience, one I will always look back on fondly. Blah Blah Blah. But I have been exclusively breastfeeding for nearly a year now, with no bottle breaks, and I am spent. I am ready for a night away with my husband to a romantic hotel. I am ready to go out to dinner with my girlfriends without having to worry that my child is at home crying, feigning for a nursie. I have given up a lot to be a breastfeeding mother, and I do not regret it, but I am ready to have that little part of me back. I vow to make this happen. But again, I don’t know where to begin! Any advice is warmly welcomed! This is one of the few times where I ask for advice, so if you have any, I’m all ears!

Another secret, looming fear I have is that my son will never walk. Yes, I know he is only 11 months old and it is universally acceptable for children to not walk until they are even 15 months old. But I can’t help it! I’m worried my son will be 2, crawling around on the floor looking up at everything around him and not being a part of that great big world up there. Of course there is that hidden rational self somewhere deep down in me that knows he is completely normal, but my typical irrational self can’t help but wonder “will this child ever walk?” It doesn’t help when every Joe, Moe & Sally that I see in the grocery store always manages to mention “oh, so he must be walking now.” Well no, apparently my 11 month old non-walking son is just plain slow. Thank you. I used to be guilty of this kind of shit, too; always asking people if their baby was crawling or talking. But before I had Vincent my knowledge of babies was, well, non-existent. I had never changed a diaper or babysat once in my life. So when I asked the lady with a 3 month old if he was saying mama, or the lady with a 6 month old if she was walking, I probably came across as more ignorant and stupid than offensive. But I’ve made a secret promise to myself to never ask a mother if her child is doing this or doing that, because if any mother is like me, and they have to say “no, he doesn’t do that yet”, it deep down makes them feel like shit. So for anyone out there reading this, whether you have children or not, just don’t ask! Let them be the ones to proudly announce to everyone, even strangers at the grocery store (because they will) “My son is walking!! My son is talking!! THANK THE MOON AND THE STARS MY CHILD IS NORMAL!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Food for Thought


Regardless of how often I may bitch/complain/vent what-have-you, sometimes it takes one story to put it all in perspective. While browsing through other mommy blogs today, I came across a gorgeous mother of three, who had the tragic experience of losing a baby. Her story was beyond gut-wrenching & humbling. Sure, there may be tough days that come along with motherhood, but you have to remember those small little things, that somehow make it all worthwhile....


like our evening baths together. Something I'll always fondly look back, always remember, always cherish, no matter what.

Quote of the Week

For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.
- James Baldwin

Door to Door Slam

It feels like forever since I've had the opportunity to write on my blog. In hindsight it's only been a few days, but when you rely so heavily on this as your means of expressing yourself, you can feel like you have so much bottled up you could explode!
It's been a rather uneventful few days. Vincent's sleep has been exceptionally off. One of his top teeth finally broke through, but the other one is still desperately attempting its escape and I believe it is causing insane discomfort in the middle of the night, therefore causing no one in this house to get adequate sleep. Other than that it's been business as usual.
What I really want to address with this entry has little to do with motherhood, babies, sleep or my husband. We, as mothers, are entitled to be passionate about other things besides our children. Whether it be books, writing, photography, politics; I think it's important we allow other passions and hobbies into our life to create a harmonized balance. One of my passions was brought out in me the other day and then amplified last night after watching a movie. It's a rather controversy topic, but I do not shy away from controversy, so here it goes.

GAY MARRIAGE.

Let me start out with the bible thumpers that came and knocked on my door the other day while my baby was peacefully sleeping. I have nothing against religious people, per say, but I do have a problem with people walking door to door trying to push their beliefs on other innocent bystanders. And I find it even more annoying when they happen to come bang on the door when my child is taking a nap. Even God can't protect you from the wrath of a mother whose baby is awaken by an unsolicited visitor.

Let me rewind a minute. See, one of the reasons I have chip on my shoulder about door to door bible thumpers is because when my Grandma was sick with cancer she often was home alone, probably lonely, and lived with the fear that she might die at a very young age (47). Then one day Jehovah Witnesses came to the door and took a vunerable, sick woman and talked her out of receiving proper medical care. In their religion they don't believe in medical intervention. My Grandma died shortly thereafter from not receiving the necessary medical care. Would she have died anyway, even if she did get treatment? Maybe. Probably. But these people talked her out of even giving life a fighting chance. I will forever be jaded by this.

Anyways, back to my original point.

The lady that came to my door the other day started her memorized ramble about a "fair government", one that practiced equality for all, no rich, no poor, just mankind living together as one in a fair environment. The whole "equality" thing she was preaching made me ask her how her religion felt about homosexuality, and gay marriage. Well, DUH! As shocking as you may find the hypocrisy, her religion didn't believe in gay marriage and thought homosexuality was an abomination. So let me get this straight....EQUALITY FOR ALL, or for all they feel deserve it. That's how I understood it. I quickly ended the conversation because she wasn't going to make a small dent in my beliefs.

Then last night I watched a Lifetime movie Prayers for Bobby. It is a true story about an ultra-religious mother who finds out her son is gay and subsequently disowns him and tells him if she has a gay son, then she has no son at all. Bobby, as a result of the cruel abandonment of his mother, took his own life. It was a heart wrenching tale of a mother & son and the importance of acceptance, no matter what. Luckily, although through tradegy, she realized the faults in her ways. She became an outspoken activists for gay rights. I became furious with the lady that came to my door. I became furious with all the people that voted against gay marriage. I became furious with all the people that preach to our children that they will burn in hell if they are gay. How can we do that to our children? These kids, they are taking their life over this. They are killing themselves over this!! Again, how can we do this??

I'm personally saddened by California's Yes on Prop 8 result. And I do hope that someday there truly is equality for all. But until then, we need to find it in our own hearts to accept our children, not turn on backs on them, and always remind them that there is so much to live for. TELL YOUR CHILDREN NOT TO LISTEN TO THE DOOR TO DOOR BIBLE THUMPER!!

They are ok, just the way are.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sleep-Deprived Sally...

Vincent was up most of the night last night. So, really, seriously, that 11 hour stretch the other night was a complete and total fluke! What a little tease he is! I didn't know what was wrong with him, though. He didn't appear sick or anything and I was at a lost of what to do. He was up about every two hours and then woke up for good at 5:30am (too damn early as far as I'm concerned). I was so exhausted this morning that when I was walking through the house my legs were weak and I felt like I was floating. A sign of sleep deprivation, I think. His two top teeth are finally coming in, so I think that may be the culprit, but who knows?! I couldn't let him cry it out last night because it was apparent that something was wrong with him; he is never up that much at night. So each time he woke up crying I tried bringing him into bed and nursing him, but even that did little to ease his discomfort. I couldn't even get frustrated because I just felt so bad for him. So - that was my night. Not a good one AT ALL. Hopefully today will look up, as I am going to go out shopping with my mom. That is if Vincent allows such a thing!

Oh, and if you are confused about the title of this entry or you're wondering who the hell Sally is, let me take a moment to explain. See, it has a been a long standing Higgins family tradition to put the name Sally after everything. This is something I have proudly instilled in my husband now, too. For example, if Anthony were to have beer breath, I'd call him "Beer Breath Sally", or if I have a pimple on my face I may be called "Pimple Face Sally", or if a member of our family is eating a great deal of food, they may be dubbed "Pig Face Sally". So, me being sleep deprived this morning I gave myself the name "Sleep-Deprived Sally". You get the drift....maybe. Yes, we do love each other, we just can't look the other way when the opportunity arises to be quirky, strange and apparently insulting to one another. Now that is love. Isn't it?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

How Do You Like Them Apples?

This morning, while on the way home from my parents, I had the unfortunate luck of listening to Jeff and Jeremy in the Morning on KZOZ. I was barely paying attention to the immature male bantering until I heard Jeremy make a comment about Kate Winslet doing nude scenes in her movies. He begged and pleaded with her to never do a nude scene again because her boobs were "horrible" and "disgusting". I, too, became disgusted; but not with the beautiful Kate Winslet but with the despicable Jeremy (aka Mr. FuckFace). As soon as walked in my front door, I walked straight to my computer and shot Mr. FuckFace an email:


Hi guys! This morning, while listening to your show, I heard Jeremy make a comment about Kate Winslet doing nude scenes, or the fact that he wishes she never did a single one again because those "things" are "horrible". HELLO! That woman has had two children, in which she probably breast fed both of them. I'm sure her boobs don't look like that of a 22 year old chick who has never had a baby. But that is what is so refreshing about seeing her in the roles where she does go nude....she is real. She is relateable to her audience. She hasn't fallen victim to the plastic surgery addiction that most Hollywood women have divulged in. She is happy and comfortable with her body, which should be applauded by both woman and men, NOT ridiculed. I don't get offended easily, but I have to say this comment struck a cord for 2 reasons. 1. I am a 26 year old mother. Although I have lost all my baby weight, my body does not look the same. Yes, my boobs hang a little lower and they are uneven as well. 2. I don't appreciate you insinuating that if there is a slight imperfection in your body, even after having TWO CHILDREN, you should "do something about it". Imperfections make us human, unique and beautiful. And especially for a woman who has done the most amazing thing a woman can do, have children, twice - she did not deserve your insult. I think you owe her and every woman out there an apology.

Emily Macri
I will let you know if we ever get that apology we so radically deserve....

Um....ya....

So I guess that whole sleeping through the night sleep thing was a fluke! Vincent was up twice during the night last night and he woke up for good at 5:00am this morning. As you can imagine, I am a bit tired and I wish so badly I could just go crawl into my bed, snuggle my cold little feet into the end of the sheets, and peacefully sleep for another hour or two.

A girl can dream, right??

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Baby Book

Every mother diligently fills out her child's baby book (well, at least for the first kid...). I have spent countless hours updating and maintaining Vincent's baby book so that he will have something to look back on and feel guilty over when he is a teenager and he decides he hates me. There are two pages in the back of the baby book: Letter From Mommy & Letter From Daddy. As soon as my pen hit the page the words just started flowing. I mean, if anyone is going to bring out my most loving, nurturing emotions, it will be my child, right? I filled up the whole page within minutes and I wrote as small as possible so that I would not run out of room. See, to me, this letter from mommy thing was a piece of cake. The other page, Letter From Daddy, has remained stark white for the last 11 months. This has brought about more than one argument between my husband and I. "Why can't you write a letter to your first born son? What is wrong with you?" I actually gave him a deadline - you must write your letter in three weeks or else....

Three weeks came and went and still there was nothing but the lonely lines on an empty page. Last night, I was fed up. I didn't yell. I didn't scream. I didn't make him feel like the shittest father in the world. I calmly explained why it was so important to me. You see, Anthony's father was tragically murdered when Anthony was a mere 2 years old. Needless to say, he never knew his father and I don't think he has one single memory of him alive. He has nothing but old, torn pictures to look back on. "Anthony, what if, God forbid, you were to die tomorrow? Wouldn't you want Vincent to know, in your own words, how much he meant to you? How much he changed your life for the better? How you could never describe in a million words how much you love him?" I think I finally struck a cord.

Anthony's lack of expressing his emotions with the written word in no way is to say he is not a loving person. I know that my husband would die a thousand times over for me and for Vincent. He does, however, suffer from the inability to wear his feelings/emotions on his sleeve. But the thought of him not leaving behind anything for his son to read, to feel, left him feeling rather guilty.

Late in the evening I found him at the kitchen table, with a pen in hand and the baby book wide open. I saw his thoughts reeling in his head. I didn't dare speak a word. I didn't want to disrupt his emotional breakthrough. He only wrote a little, and he said he needed to think about it more. And that's all I could have asked of him, at that very moment, when I marveled at how much he has changed over the years....how far he has come...

GOOD MORNING!

QUICK NOTE:

VINCENT SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT LAST NIGHT FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!! I got my first full nights sleep in um....if you consider waking up every hour to pee during pregnancy...1 1/2 years!!

Ah....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Blow The House Down

Today marked Vincent's 11th month of existence. I am constantly shocked and flabbergasted by how quickly this time has gone by. In so many ways, it seems like I was just in the hospital, pushing for 2 1/2 hours to no avail, and finally finally finally getting to see that little face I had so desperately been longing for all those months. Everyone always used to say to me, while I was pregnant, "the first year will go just like that" (finger snap...you get the picture). SO TRUE! Well, maybe not those agonizing months when the devil possessed by small baby and sent my emotions through the meat grinder, leaving nothing but uncontrollable sobs and swollen, puffy eyes. Ok, so it was colic, but I think the other version better describes my life for three months. Ya, those months probably didn't go by "just like that" (finger snap).

I officially booked Vincent's birthday party location and ordered the invites. I am a master of procrastination so I'm actually quite pleased that I am ordering my invitations and booking the lo-cal a whole month before the party! Normally one of the more responsible women of my family, such as my ultra-prepared, uber-organized sister or my just plain neurotic mother would have had zero faith in my ability to plan anything effectively and would have taken over by now. I'm not offended by their lack of faith; I'm actually relieved they know me well enough to know I just won't do some things and are always there to pick up the pieces.

My mother-in-law took Vincent for about 2 hours today, as she does everyday Tuesday. Anthony always manages to say something stupid like "oh, that'll be nice for you". "Yes, honey, it will be nice. I can now have 2 hours to pick up your dirty socks, wash your stanky boxers and prepare you a home cooked meal without the squealing interruptions of your son." He so does not get it. It's not like I take 2 hours to sit on my ass and read a book, like I've been craving to do. I'm doing shit around the house. The clothes and dishes don't wash themselves. Shocking, right?

The weather SUCKED today. I don't know how fast the wind was blowing, but it was blowing hard enough to rip my fence out of its cement retaining wall and hard enough for me to worry that when I stepped out of the shower I may be looking out the window to find that my house was swirling around the sky trying to determine where to land. Then, of course, I'd come across some faux-tan-gone-WAY-wrong little people and they would sing and dance for me....and...ya....you see where I'm going with this analogy. Point is, the wind was blowing so fucking hard that my electricity went out for hours and I was climbing the walls with a severe case of cabin fever. My technology withdrawals were like nothing I had experienced before. I couldn't believe how consumed my life had become with these things that people used to completely live without. I was deeply ashamed when the power finally came back on and I was about as happy as a kid on Christmas morning. I literally ran through the house with my hands up in the air, yelling "HALLELUJAH!! PRAISE JESUS!! MARY MOTHER OF JOSEPH!!"

I can't bag on my husband too much tonight. See, with the weather being so crazy and the wind howling so loudly that I'm even a little scared, the cats are starting to act, well, petrified. If it were up to me they'd just cuddle up in bed right next to me tonight, but Anthony does not want the cats in the house at night. So, the hardass he is, grabbed them both and put them in the garage for the night. He seemed to have been gone for a long time so I peaked out there to find him gently settling them into fluffy pillows and blankets and giving them each equal amounts of pets and affection. I smiled and walked away before he could see me. That's the man I fell in love with. The closet softy.

Oh P.S...Have you happened to try the Double Stuf Peanut Butter oreos??!! Let me say again...HOLY MARY MOTHER OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND PURE....WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN MY ENTIRE LIFE??

Monday, April 13, 2009

Photo of the Day

My mom, being the avid garage sale enthusiast she is, picked up a toy recently for both the babies. At first glance it looked like a great toy! All shiny and attention-grabbing - the kids would LOVE it!! Then, as we looked closer and thought more clearly, we began to question it....






As far as I can tell, all this puzzle is doing is teaching the kids how to....um...open a window and jump out, unlock the front door for strangers, and open the gate to roam free. Why in God's given name would you want your child to learn how to unlock every latch & lock??

My only conclusion is that Melissa and Doug have never had children...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lush

It is nearing 8:00pm and I am already holed up in my bedroom, comfortably nuzzled in between my sheets. It has been one hell of a weekend, full of excitement, full of family, and of course as usual, full of super good food. Every time my sister and her husband visit I can very well guarantee to put on at least a couple of pounds. They are two of the most amazing cooks I know and every meal they prepare is prepared with diligence and an abundance of love. You can taste the sincerity in their meals and it makes your tummy warm before you even take a bite.

The babies had their first official Easter egg hunt and just as I had originally presumed, we simply threw eggs about the lawn and then willingly stumbled around to grab them. It was completely simple and yet incredibly enjoyable to witness and be a part of. Those two little babies have grown tremendously in such a short amount of time - I can't hardly stand it! Lucy is beginning to walk more steady and with much more confidence. Her face just lights up with accomplishment when she steps her tiny little feet across the living room only to fall happily into your welcoming lap.

Vincent's impending first birthday has me thinking about boobs - mine that is. I always assumed I would breastfeed Vincent for the first year, as recommended, and then POOF we'd just stop. Now that 12 months of breastfeeding is right around the corner, I see no "poofing" happening anytime soon. Vincent is a boob man. Always has been. When he was 6 weeks old he defiantly pushed away any one's attempt at bottle feeding him and would cry out in agony until he got his fill from the real deal. I have yet to keep an accurate record, but if I were to have to guess how often Vincent breastfeeds I would estimate about 6-7 "nursies" (as we call them) a day and probably one or two at night. Nowhere near a slight wean is what I am getting at. How do I stop him from his strong suckling desire. I know for a fact that most of his nursies are for comfort and comfort only, not for food. He is a good eater when it comes to solids and can actually shovel in more than I could probably consume in one feeding. So although I know breastmilk is still good for them nutritionally, I don't believe Vincent needs to be breastfeeding as much as he does. I vow to begin my weening process at 12 months. I know I will need to work on this slowly, but I also know it will be HELL in this house during our weening process. I'm sure you will hear all about it when the time comes.

Seeing as it is Easter, I want to keep this post both positive and inspirational. So, as I leave you tonight to snuggle up with my husband, eat my Good & Plenty's and watch E! I wish you all a Happy Easter & a wonderful week ahead.

There is still much I'd like to bitch about, like the nagging cough I have that is keeping me up at night and the cough syrup my mother-in-law gave me this evening that apparently contained codeine and has me feeling high and lushed out, and the fact that my husband is pouring money into a motorcycle we never get to ride, and that I have $2000.00 in dental bills sitting on my table that I can't pay. But, like I said, positive and inspirational, positive and inspirational, positive and inspirational....

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dear Vincent


Dear Vincent,

You have been the most incredible, life changing thing that has ever happened to me. Your wild, strong-willed personality just lights up my life. From the first moment I saw you, I knew I would do anything for you. To have a baby is to learn that you would die for someone else. It's a hard concept to grasp, to be a mother, until the day you see your child's face and finally discovering the meaning of unconditional love. It's something you cannot explain to anyone who is without. Your untameble spirit keeps me on my toes, to say the least. Being a new mother is not the easiest thing for me. It did not come to me in this miraculous way they make it seem like in the movies. There are days when I feel so overwhelmed and that I don't know what the hell I am doing! But at the end of the day, you and I are in this together. I believe we are both learning from and growing with each other everyday. You have taught me more in just 11 short months that anyone has ever been able to. You have made me appreciate life in a way I just never could before. When I look into those big eyes and kiss those big, pouty lips, I see so much of myself and so much of your father. It makes me unbelievable proud, like heart-about-to-explode proud! My only hope is that I can provide you with the same level of love and happiness that you have bestowed upon me.

I remember the day I found out I was going to have a son. It was what I always wanted and I couldn't believe how blessed I was. I got home and wrote to you:


Be a gentle man

Be a man of your word

Always shake hands with a firm grip

Look in the world straight in the eye

Hold your head up high

Be brave & be strong

Be simplistic & kind

Be rough around the edges

Keep them guessing...

Be honest and hardworking, in anything you choose to do

Love your mother

Respect your father

Be an individual

Do not get caught up in following others

Never bully

Appreciate the little things,

the loud thunder of a wide open motor,

or the causality in the strum of a guitar

Respect and love women

appreciate what they are capable of

Be recreational.

Enjoy the sunshine on the back of your neck

Be proud of the grit under your fingernails

Do not cheat. Do not lie.

A lying, cheating heart is an unforgiving burden

Don't waste your potential

Don't waste your energy on undeserving individuals

Take Risks.

Question what they say...even me

Admit when you are wrong.

Apologize from the bottom of your heart

Mean it...Show it...

Be rowdy and boisterous

Make a scene!

Stand out!

Give in

Be patient and calm

Do not envy

Accept love for all it stands for

Do not take people for granted

Say "I love you often"

Mean it...Show it...


If this sounds like a lot to ask of you, don't be intimidated. You are my sunshine, the completeness to me once emptiness. You could never let me down. You could never make me turn my back on you. It's you and me, Bud. Forever and ever, Amen.


Love,

Mama

Don't Call Me, I'll Call You....

Let me start off by reiterating that I have Vincent on a fairly strict nap schedule. This took ample amount of time to accomplish, and I must say I am quite proud of it. Vincent naps at 9:00am and 1:00pm. Now, every once in a while we forsake this path for whatever reason, but for the most part we can count on a nap at those two particular times. At 8:55am this morning I sat down on my rocker with my little man in tow with the mission to nurse him to sleep. (Yes, I am trying to get Vincent to learn to fall asleep without a boob, but I can't always be a hardass). Right as Vincent's droopy eyelids started getting heavy, my cell phone rang. It was my husband. Luckily, I had the phone right there next to me so I simply pressed the ignore button so the phone would stop ringing. Then, without fail, the house phone starts ringing. I jump up to answer it because my husband as the annoying habit of letting the phone ring about 50 times before he gives up. This is how the phone call went:

Me: HELLO (annoyed)

Anthony: Hi.

Me: I ignore your phone call for a reason...I'm trying to get Vincent down!

Anthony: Oh, sorry.

Me: Click (hang up)

After I finally got Vincent to sleep, despite the numerous interruptions, I called my poor husband. I felt bad for hanging up on him, even though he should have known not to call at 9:00am!! He seemed rather unrattled by my bitchy behavior. I am still undecided on whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. Ha Ha.

Well, my sister is in town now and I'm super excited. As soon as Vincent wakes up we are going to head over to my parents house where they are staying. The weather is starting to somewhat improve. The sun is starting to shine through, but there is still a bit of a chill in the air. This creates quite a dilemma for me because it's a little too warm for my Uggs, but a little too cold for my flip flops. If you know me at all you know I only wear one or the other, so I'm still trying to decide which shoe to put on. If this is my biggest problem of the day, I think I'll be in pretty good shape.

xoxox

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Murphy's Law

Why is it that every time Vincent is screaming bloody murder in his car seat I get stuck behind someone leisurely driving at a glacier's pace?? It is much like the law of gravity; what goes up must come down; Vincent cries we cruise like snails. Other than Vincent's heinous hysteria on our way home from Morro Bay this afternoon, things are going pretty well. The weather is gloomy and opaque which hasn't managed to damper my mood quite yet. Although I do wish it would rain. We are in desperate need of a good rain, and hell, if it's going to be dark and dreary outside, I'd like to take advantage of the distinct smell that only rain can bring about.

My sister, her husband and her precious baby Lucy will be in town tonight. I am looking forward to spending a long weekend with my family, watching Lucy clumsily attempt walking (although I hear she is getting more and more balance as the days go by), and put together a "faux" easter egg hunt for the babies. I imagine we will just be sprawling eggs on the lawn for the babies to crawl around and grab. I don't foresee Vincent searching high and low, in bushes and trees for the sought after eggs! Lucy on the other hand...

I am begining to hear the faint whimpers of Vincent, letting me know he has awoke from his nap. So I will sign off for now.

xoxox

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Good News Bears

What an awesome day! Seriously...

It started out as a so-so day. I woke up tired, ran out of coffee and I thought that very thing was to be a prelude to a bad day. But slowly, things began to look up. Vincent and I hopped in the car earlier this morning to bring my mom her birthday card and flowers (and I slurped a couple cups of coffee there...ha ha...the hidden agenda!). Afterwards, once we got home, we did our play thing for a little bit and then it was nap time. I put Vincent down at 9:00am (without nursing) and he moaned and groaned for no more than 5 minutes before he fell fast asleep. I scrambled to take my morning shower and do everything else that needs to be done around the house because once he's up, forget about it! Apparently there was no need for my mad scramble because Vincent slept for 2 1/2 hours! I almost got bored and looked forward to his waking so I could have some company!

We then took a short trip to the local park where I scoped out a potential location for Vincent's first birthday party. This was a success and I did, in fact, pick the location!! We laid lazily on the grass and Vincent kept his eyes glued on the kids skateboarding throughout the park, mesmerized by this ability to roll around so fast and effortlessly. I think I may have a future skateboarder on my hands! I snapped multiple photos of my young nugget and enjoyed the brief sunshine that shone down upon us.

After our ride home (a rather fussy one to say the least), we came home, grubbed some lunch and before I knew it, it was nap time again. This time Vincent nursed to sleep, but I didn't mind because when those tiny little eyes become lazy and slowly shut and his big lips begin to slow down on their once fast paced suckling, I am able to take in the loveliness of it all. I get to stare down at my young son and take in his silence...I mean beauty...ya, that's right, beauty.

I opted out of my performing my other wifely, motherly duties such as folding the clothes that were beginning to wrinkle in the dryer and attempting to prepare an adequate dinner. Instead I, too, curled up in my own bed where I entered a deep slumber for an hour until Vincent woke me up.

Once Anthony arrived home, I decided to ditch the clan and drive to my parents house where I could enjoy a relaxing and much needed soak in their hot tub. This is a treat I try to reward myself with from time to time when Anthony gets home from work. While at my parents I pulled out the scary, intimidating scale that never fails to make us feel like shit. I have never, and never will, have a scale at my home because if I were to have one, it would be become an unhealthy obsession. I have enough fucked up shit going on in my head, I don't need to add to the craziness. But I indulged the "woman" in me and hopped on. My jaw hit the floor and my eyes nearly popped out of my head. "There must be something wrong with this thing" I thought to myself. It's not that it was feeding me bad news. It was the exact opposite. It read 123 lbs. Let me tell you that before I got pregnant I was 128 lbs. This insane little machine thingy was telling me I was 5 lbs lighter than before I even got pregnant?? But let me also remind you that my body in no way shape or form resembles what it used to. How could I weigh less and look worse (in my own opinion)? My once small, perky boobs are now ridiculously uneven. This happened very early on in Vincent's life when he decided he only wanted to suck on one nipple. Apparently my right nipple just didn't blow his skirt up. I was eventually able to seek help through a lactation specialist and I am happy to say he began nursing on both sides; however, the damage was done. My right boob is noticably smaller than the left. I try to be body-obsessed but it's hard to say goodbye to our old selves and welcome with open arms these morphed bodies that may be hard to look at naked. I was happy to see the results on the scale though. It means I am getting somewhere. Now I just need to start working out so I can obtain the muscle I once had.

And then the real fun began tonight after dinner when I went to go put Vincent's pajamas on. To put it mildly, putting clothes on Vincent is like trying to tame a wild beast. He flails his body from side to side, screams in horror and does everything in his power to scoot away from you. In fact, it's normally a two person job. So, being the push over mommy I am, I always try to find him a toy that he's really not suppose to have in hopes to distract him long enough to put his diaper and his clothes on. Well, apparently Vincent somehow managed to call 911. Don't ask me how an 11 month old baby successfully dials those three particular numbers, but he did it! Within 5 minutes the sheriff arrived to "access the situation" at hand. I was mortified and apologized on Vincent's behalf. He was totally cool about it and even gave Vincent an honorary sheriff sticker. A sticker that will surely go into his baby book as a tangible memory of his very first 911 call. Something tells me it won't be the last....

It is now 8:45 pm and I am writing this in bed, capping my night with a blog and an episode of The Duel. What is with me and lame ass reality t.v? My guilty pleasure. I'm entitled to it, right?

Anyways...it's been a rad day. I am signing off now, cuddled up in my new micro-tech sheets, wishing you all a goodnight.

xoxox

Photo of the Day


A day in the park....


Viewer Discretion Advised

Before we go any further with this blog, and before I ask other mothers to check it out, I want to make one thing very clear. My name on this blog is Out Spoken Mom - and it is that particular name for a reason. This is a no holds barr on my experiences as a stay at home mother to a high needs child. Sometimes, if the mood strikes me, I will swear. Sometimes, if it has been an exceptional burdensome day, I will tell it exactly how it is. This blog is solely to represent the good, the bad and the ugly of motherhood. I am not the mother who paints on a plastic smile when my world is crumbling around me. And I know going into this, some people will be offended with my words and my opinions. My only response to that is you don't have to read it. If you are the perfect mother who never swears, never loses her cool, always loves her husband, and always revels in the beauty of blissful motherhood, MORE POWER TO YOU! I wish I could be more like you. I, on the other hand, am astonishingly impatient, I swear like a sailor, I want a divorce at least once a month, and I except and appreciate the bad and the ugly as much I do the amazingly wonderful aspects of motherhood.

The bottom line is that I am doing my best. I love my son more than I could ever explain to you. Everyone has their own opinions and I do welcome them wholeheartedly. However, I will advise you that nasty, berating comments and messages about what a shitty mother you think I am will not faze me, so you are wasting your time. However, if you're a mom just like me, which I imagine there are quite a few out there, I believe you will take comfort in my entries, maybe even a few laughs here and there, and most importantly you will feel a little less alone in this world.

Redemption

If you read my previous blog about how pissed I was at my husband, you'll be happy to hear he made up for it. See, today marked my mother's 51st birthday and due to my ridiculous hectic day yesterday I was unable to make it up to the store to get a card. On his way home from the gym, Anthony went by the store and picked up a Birthday card and a bouquet of flowers for my mom. So, those daggers eyes I expected to be handing out like candy was quickly replaced with a genuine smile and a semi-sweet "thank you". That is just like men, isn't it? Just when you think you'll get the opportunity to rip them a new one, they do something endearing and you just can't be mad anymore! Damn it!

I also wanted to clear up one thing from my previous entry. When I said that Vincent was crying his crib and I was simply ignoring him, I do want to clarify that it was his bedtime and we are trying really hard to get him to fall asleep without a boob in his mouth. I wasn't ingenuously divulging in shitty t.v for the hell of it. I only let Vincent cry in his crib if I am trying to get him to sleep. Although I used to have to do it every now and then when he had colic and cried non stop. Sometimes I just needed that break, even if it was just for 5 minutes so that I could regroup and collect my emotions before I snapped entirely and ended up in the mental ward.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

One of those days I guess....

As of right now, Vincent is crying in his crib and I am trying to drown out the noise with lame reality television. My dear husband is working out at the gym. Must be nice, right? You're gone for 10 hours during the day, you come home and give Vincent a bath and then your job is done and you get to go work out?? WTF? Really though, I can only blame myself. If I said "no" he wouldn't have gone. I gave the OK and now I'm pissed. I do this time and time again. And I don't know why! Whenever he walks through the door after working up a sweat, I throw dagger eyes his way and wish him dead. So why do I let him go? I have come to realize it's some sort of fucked up guilt thing that I have within myself. You know, he's worked all day and he deserves to go out, right? But what about me? I've worked all day too. The only difference is that I didn't get to take a lunch break or even shit by myself! I need to respect my job as a mother and realize I work hard too. Actually I work harder. I need to go to the gym God damn it!

I ate bad sour cream at dinner and now my stomach hurts...

I just took a valium...ya it's been one of those days!

Happy Little Nuggett


To Cry or Not to Cry?

So, my older sister Amy, had a baby just 6 days after Vincent was born. She is around 10 1/2 months old now and is a horrible sleeper. She takes short cat naps during the day and at night, well, she's up about every hour and a half. She co-sleeps with them and needless to say, no one is getting any sleep. She just called me nearly in tears because she was attempting to let Lucy "cry it out" for her afternoon nap. I, for one, am an advocate for "crying it out". It may not work for everyone but it has worked wonders for me and Vincent. I've been trying to convince my sister for some time to at least try it, but she doesn't have the heart for it.

While I'm on the topic of crying it out, I have received quite a bit of flack from other mothers in regards to letting my son cry himself to sleep through other online chat groups I am involved with. Well, you know what? What works for one family may not work for another. No one has any right to judge any other mother for what she thinks is the best for her children and her family. We have to make that personal decision, and it's no one else's place to criticize.

Vincent is an incredibly high needs child and always has been. I needed that break. I needed that nap time and I needed a decent rest sleep at night. He still doesn't sleep through the night completely, but we are getting closer. He only wakes up once, at the most twice at night to nurse. Before I implemented the cry it method, my days were awful! Vincent would wake up at 4:00am and be extremely fussy...then he would take only 30 minutes and wake up fussy, miserable and tired. I then became angry, resentful, overwhelmed and fed up! During his awake hours I couldn't enjoy him because we were both just pissed off. Once I began letting him cry himself to sleep instead of nurse to sleep, everything turned around 100%. Vincent now takes 1 1/2 hour naps twice daily and wakes up refreshed and happy.

So if you are thinking about trying this method, be prepared. It will be incredibly difficult at first. When you are sitting there listening to them cry, it will break your heart into a million pieces. You will feel like the scum of the earth and like the most horrible mother in the world. But you are not. You may also receive criticism and judgement from other people. Who cares? I didn't. Only you know what is best and believe in it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Can the first year be over yet???

All the books, all the experts, all the other parents say it over and over again, like a broken record. "The first year of having a baby is the hardest". It couldn't be more true...or at least I hope so. When you, as a couple, are used to the spontaneous lifestyle, the late evening BBQ's, the nights out, the movie date nights, the staying in bed in the morning - and then you throw in a baby, who winds up dictating your every move, it can be a rough adjustment. I've had to look at my husband as not just a spouse anymore, but a father, and vice versa. The evenings are no longer considered "wind down" time after work, but a mad scramble to get the baby bathed and fed and then asleep. For us stay at home moms, the adjustment can be even more difficult. Feeling isolated from the outside world, often feeling lonley and disconnected. Where girls lunches and break time gossips used to be, is now the place of playmat time, baby talk and nursing and rocking to sleep. For us unlucky ones, whos children don't even come close to sleeping through the night, we have begun to understand more clearly the term of being exhausted. Throw in a colicky baby and my case of spinal meningitis, and you have a tough fucking year. All those books, experts and other parents also say "but it's all worth it and you won't change it for a thing". And that, too, is true. Having a child has been the most amazing thing I've ever done. Being fortunate enough to stay at home has given me the chance to build an unbreakable bond with my son. Have a colicky baby who cried nonstop for months taught me a level of patience and stregnth I thought I could never obtain, and will make any other baby I choose to have seem like a piece of cake. Having been diagnosed with spinal meningitis when Vincent was 3 months and my ability to still take care of him by myself showed me that I can do anything. It has made me more proud of myself than anything else to date. You have to find the beauty in the madness. The hardest times are also the most rewarding, and show you just what kind of person you can actually be. A strong woman, a good mother, and a loving wife. Although it's difficult, you have to look at that glass...take a good long look at it and you have to decide whether it's half full or half empty. The way you look at that glass will define your life, and especially your attitude as a mother. My glass is half full...today at least...

Friday, February 27, 2009

Fighting (un)Fair

Note to self: After being up all night with a teething baby, do not attempt to talk rationally to your partner at 5:00am. World War Emily vs. Anthony began at 2:00am, after Vincent had already been up crying multiple times. As I huff and buff while getting out a bed again Anthony mutters "Emily...chill out, he doesn't feel good". Ok then, why don't you, dear husband, get out of bed and do something about it? Oh that's right! Vincent is only calmed by nursing in the middle of the night, which last time I checked, can only be done by the person with boobs. So, I did, as I have every single night since his birth, get up out of bed and tend to my son.

By 5:00am, Anthony was getting ready to walk out of the door for work and I was exhausted. Not only had I been up too much during the night, I awoke to the number one unwanted visitor: My period. The cramps started instantly! Then...as if I was in the mood AT ALL, Anthony tries to grab my boob! Seriously!

It remains a blur as to who threw the first blow (figuratively speaking), but what exuded was a battle of words consisting of frustrations we have both been feeling but never saying. Name calling followed, and then of course I cried. I HATE when something like that happens. I have to learn to fight fair, take the gloves off and realize, when it comes down to it, all we have is each other, and we can't turn our backs on each other. Although a make up took place via telephone on his way to work, a fight like that leaves wounds. I have spent this day regretting things I have said, and yet trying to get over the things that were said to me. We have to remain in this together. We have to take the time and talk with one another so an explosion doesn't take place at 5:00am. The stress of trying to raise a baby can sometimes tear a couple apart. The sleepless nights, the arguments over who does what and who works harder (um...ME), can takes it's toll. We have to try to remember what this is all for, our family, and I will (try) to fight fair...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Support

After an exceptionally difficult day yesterday with my wild child, I sought support online, and I found it! After growing almost resentful of other moms with their "easy" babies, I realized I am so not alone. I found a support group online called "Raising the Spirited/High Needs Child". They gave 12 traits of the "high needs" child:

1. INTENSE
2. HYPERACTIVE
3. DRAINING
4. FEEDS FREQUENTLY
5. DEMANDING
6. AWAKENS FREQUENTLY
7. UNSATISFIED
8. UNPREDICTABLE
9. SUPER-SENSITIVE
10. CAN'T BE PUT DOWN
11. NOT A SELF-SOOTHER
12. SEPERATION SENSITIVITY

Vincent fits into every single one of those categories. I realized it is nothing that I am doing wrong, and I realized that I am not alone. Other moms out there grown resentful, cry from sheer exhaustion, and barely make it through the day without nearing a complete and total mental breakdown. The fact is, although everyone has their struggles when raising a baby, having a high needs baby is different, and often way more difficult. Although there is nothing I can do to change my baby, I can learn to accept it and to make the best of it through other mother's stories. The tough news to take is that most of these high needs babies never get "easier". They take these personality traits with them through the toddler years and beyond. I know I have my work cut out for me and I know I will continue to have days when life just seems to damn overwhelming. But I also know that the same characteristics that make Vinnie "difficult" now, will also be the same traits that mold him into a driven young man. As far as having another baby goes, still on the fence on that one. Vincent requires so much, and probably always will. I am trying to deal with the disappointment I feel in raising an only child, since I always imagined having two children, but I am dealing with a very unique baby - one that simply requires more energy than the average baby. Some days I feel so lonley and sad that I just want to curl up and cry, but I don't have that luxury. I have a tiny little man that is waiting for me to play peek-a-boo with him or take him for a walk, or feed him breakfast. I am so lucky to have my mom who has been a constant support system and helps out whenever she can. Everyone said the first year of raising a baby is the hardest and I am hoping that in three months, when Vincent reaches his first birthday, days will get a tad bit easier - at least in some ways. I need to let go of the anger towards the mother I see casually strolling her baby around the block, or the mother in the grocery store that have her hair styled and her make up on, or the mother who cleans the house while her baby sits contently on the floor playing with toys. I need to accept that that is simply not my life, it's not my situation. And I need to make the best of it. If I can't brush my teeth until noon some days I need to just go with it and realize it could always be worse. I have a healthy, active, beautiful baby that means more to me than anything else that has ever been on this earth. He is my sunshine, my life. And although somedays I could very well lose my mind, I wouldn't change my son for anything. His wild spirit keeps me on my toes and, frankly, sometimes makes me bust up laughing!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Money Wars

Ah. The infamous dollar bill. The object we all allow ourselves to become slaves to. The dollar bill. The ruler of the world. The infinite matter in which we base many decisions on. The dollar bill.

So it is. Decisions are to be made, in a time when I am simply not ready to make any decisions at all. The dollar bill. Can't get it out of my head. Should I, shouldn't I? The question weighing on my mind so heavily is one which every mother goes through....should I return to work? Baby will be eight months old this month. Before he was here, I thought eight months was pretty old for a baby, a perfect time to think about going to work part time. But he is so small still. Still so dependent on one constant factor in his life: Me. His mommy. We can hardly stand being away from each other for more than an hour.

The dollar bill. The monetary objects we all strive for, whether we admit it or not. Would I like to buy a house? Yes. Would I like $50 jeans from Lucky Lu Lu's? Yes. Would I like to splurge on matching Enduro mothercycles for the Mr. and Mrs.? Yes. Would I like to give my baby everything he wants? Yes. But at what price? Am I willing to trade this for that? With tons and tons of hard thinking the answer is clear. Vincent doesn't care about the number of toys he has sprawled on the floor and he certainly doesn't care whether I'm wearing designer clothes. And frankly, when would the Mr. and Mrs. ever have the time or opportunity to ride around on our matching bikes? Am I willing to trade such valuable time for some ridiculous price tag or even more ridiculous mortgage? No. I look at him and I couldn't bare to miss one second of his tender little life. He needs me now just as much as he did when we left the hospital. I am not ready to go back, and I don't know when I'll ever be.

I'm taking it one day at a time, but for now, the answer is simple. I choose him. I choose him over anything else that has a pricetag. He is priceless. His gorgeous little face is more valuable to me than the face of any dead president. Hands Down.