Tag Archives: motherhood

Welcome to Two: Kids Say the Sweetest Things

29 Apr

So, my title is probably confusing to you. “In her last post, she was celebrating her son’s first birthday, and now he can already talk?” And you’re not that too far off, because my child is the smartest child alive, but no, he didn’t go from one to talking overnight. I took a year away from blogging because life kinda got in the way.

But today, Facebook reminded me of a post I wrote some time ago, all about those early maternity-leave days, and it made me miss my writing moments. So here I sit, ready to pick the digital pen back up and put my thoughts to screen. But where do I begin capturing all that’s happened in the last year …

I could write about the time Reece pooped in the tub … and then did it again two days later because who doesn’t love that surprise?? Or what about the time he repeated the F word in public? There was that time I took him to Publix with me at 8 a.m. and let him get a cookie just to keep him happy, much to the disappointment of the bakery lady and every other person I passed. P.S. My son looks adorable at 8:15 a.m. with sprinkles speared all over his face and eyes wide open with a sugar rush.

Let’s just say, this boy has given me some stories. But the sweetest memory in the whole world came to mind, so I’ll share that to start.

It was a warm day, and PoppaNut, Reece and I were hanging out on the back patio just taking in the fresh air. PoppaNut was preparing the grill for a delicious dinner, and of course, Reece wanted to do the same. He wheeled out his plastic Weber and started to “turn on” the burners.

“Mommy, do you like corn?”

“Yes, Reece. Mommy likes corn.”

“You want carrots, Mommy?”

“Sure.”

IMG_4334With each fake food item Reece dug out from his grill cabinet, we’d discuss it, and pretend to gobble it up. “Oh, yummy,” we’d both squeal. And the game continued.

After some time, he was busy playing away on his own, grilling things up, serving them and cleaning it all up again.

As the sun started to set, a warm glow filled the backyard. Reece’s wild excitement had changed to a soft, sweet tone.

I said, “Reece, what are you going to make Mommy next?”

And he said, in the sweetest voice ever with such honesty, “Happy.”

And in that moment, my heart filled with overwhelming love.

And I wanted to say, “My sweet boy, I’m already happy. I’m over-the-moon, beyond-my-wildest-dreams happy. You and Daddy make me SO happy and I love you so much!”

But my throat closed up while I held back the tears … and all I could get out was a smile and a twinkle in my eye. And that’s life in a nutshell.

MommaNut

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No Filter: The Mommy Definition of Gross

6 May

Before I had a baby, I thought it was gross to clip your toenails in the living room. I thought drinking out of the milk carton COULD be considered gross — although PoppaNut knows I sneak a swig or two out of carton from time to time. Things like chewing with your mouth open, digging in your ears and wearing dirty underwear are certainly gross, motherhood has completely changed my grossness radar.

It started with pregnancy, when my belly served as my lap tray and catch-all. My belly became a magnet for all things sticky, like ice cream, jelly and BBQ sauce — and I’d sit blissfully unaware for hours that my shirt had been stained with “insert random sticky thing” and I was proudly displaying it everywhere I walked. Yeah, gross!

My Rather Large Catch-All Belly

My Rather Large Catch-All Belly

 

Then, there was labor. Let’s just say a lot of gross things happened within those hospital walls, and everyone has been sworn to secrecy. Between the blood and the bodily fluids, I’m pretty sure PoppaNut and I are both still scarred from the experience. I mean, there was a morning when I literally had to pee with a lady two inches from my hoohaa while she used a spray bottle to clean said area — and that’s the most mildest gross part I feel comfortable sharing. Again, I’m pleading the fifth on the rest of it, but it was beyond gross.

Then, we brought baby home, and within five minutes of our big arrival, I managed to get poop on our freshly painted nursery walls. That beautiful Quicksilver hue now featured spots of Reece’s infant tar, and no amount of scrubbing seemed to diminish it. Double gross!

Fast-forward to Reece’s gastrointestinal appointment, where PoppaNut and I try to keep our little one entertained for 20 minutes while we wait for the doctor to arrive. We bounce, we tickle, we play games, he pukes … all down the side of my shirt and arm. And the crazy thing is I don’t even flinch. I don’t rush to clean it up, I don’t make a gross face, and I don’t even move like something gross has happened … because at this point, it’s happened a billion times and now I’m used to it. When the doctor walks in, I’m still casually dabbing it off with a burp rag, and without any hesitation, I go right into Reece’s symptoms. It’s like “Yeah, nothing to look at here, folks … just puke down a new mother’s favorite top … keep it moving.” But it’s still gross!

Now, for the grossest story to date … Reece was about one month old when he woke up at 3 p.m. for a nighttime feeding. Sluggishly, I threw on my pink fluffy robe and headed in to assess the situation. Reece was making some grunting noises, so I placed him on the changing table and checked his diaper. No poop. But the pushing continued. So, I took off his old diaper, put a fresh diaper right underneath him and pressed his legs up to his chest, foolishing thinking the diaper was well-positioned to catch anything that might come out. Well, I know personally now where the phrase “Shit has hit the fan” comes from. Shit hit everything BUT the fan in this case. It shot out like a Supersoaker Max D 6000 Water Blaster, minus the water. I received one hit to the chest and one to the arm. The wall and diaper genie were blown away, and I sat completely frozen for a good minute solid.

How in the heck do you clean this up? If it was in the morning hours, I would’ve hosed myself off on the side of the house … that’s how bad the destruction was. No one told me poop could fly! 300 wipes, 30 minutes and a scrubbed bath robe later, most of the remnants were gone and the poop explosion became my motherhood fodder. Nasty!

Now, there’s a whole new host of things I do that my before-baby self would gag at. I talk about poop at the dinner table. I pick crap out of Reece’s ears and nose with my bare finger. I regularly find lint hiding in my baby’s formula-collecting neck rolls. I’ve found a dirty diaper in my purse (and my mommy brain has no recollection of how it got there). I get puked on a few times a week, and sometimes, I don’t even change my clothes. And when Reece farts, I almost always laugh.

I could go on and on. In a way, I’m kinda proud of this new me. Who knew I had an iron stomach and balls of steel to deal with this motherhood crap … yes, the flying-across-the-room, hitting-mommy-in-the-chest crap. And that’s life in a nutshell.

MommaNut

Mommy Lies: Speaking the Truth about Motherhood

29 Apr

When I was pregnant, I counted down the days to my maternity leave. I thought, “Three glorious months where I just get to focus on me and my family.” I had all these visions of taking naps with baby, going on picnics as a family, not speaking one word of work talk and just really reveling in this stay-at-home mommy mode.

Enter child. Reece had a different plan for us. Instead of spending time napping together, we spent time bouncing … and bouncing … and bouncing. Reece’s acid reflux meant he hated to lay down, screaming at the top of his little lungs when we changed his diaper or switched his clothes. So, the baby carrier became our best friend. I would literally wear Reece around the house for hours, bouncing and swaying every which way until he found comfort. I am now completely skilled at cooking dinner and folding laundry with a baby strapped to my front side.

Bouncing at a Baby Shower

Bouncing at a Baby Shower

And instead of going on picnics as a family, PoppaNut and I spent time driving around Tampa Bay together, getting Reece to settle down and take a much-needed nap. Sometimes, the car ride was the only way he would sleep. We’d let the road take us, sometimes to the beach, sometimes on an old country road, anything to put him to sleep. One afternoon, we drove to the Skyway Bridge and back, allowing the two of us to strategize our next plan of attack against the alien in the backseat.

Planning Our Attack

Planning Our Attack

People would ask how maternity leave was … “Don’t you just love not having to go to work?” they’d gush. Sometimes I would tell the truth … “this stay-at-home mommy thing is a lot harder than I thought! And my maternity leave is nothing like I thought it would be. We are in doctor’s offices all the time, I swear our baby hates us and all I talk about is poop and puke. HELP ME!” But people started to look at me crazy, and this is when I learned that all mommies lie to each other.

Well, most mommies lie to each other. I have some really close mommy friends who I can talk to, and I certainly tell PoppaNut the real truth! But I learned that most moms tell each other a whole host of lies about perfect children, blissful rest and spotless homes, and I was the oddball revealing the dirty truths of motherhood (at least for me). In fact, I started to think I shouldn’t go to certain things like baby showers. I mean, who am I to freak out a new mom with tales of acid reflux and colic? Shouldn’t I just play along?

And this is when I realized the true meaning behind, “The truth will set you free.” And it certainly did. My first moment of truth was over Long Island Iced Teas with PoppaNut. Maybe it was the liquor or maybe it was the warm breeze at the outdoor café, but I revealed my deepest, darkest secrets about motherhood and waited for PoppaNut to gasp in horror. I told him how hard it was, how I didn’t know what I was doing, how my maternity leave was never what I expected and so on. But instead of judgment, PoppaNut kissed me and told me he felt the same way. He grabbed my hand and reminded me we were team and we would get through it together.

Long Islands = Truth-Telling

Long Islands = Truth-Telling

And so the sharing continued. To new mommies and experienced mommies and everyone in between, I stopped sugar-coating it all. Now, I’m not staying I told only the bad parts; I just decided to tell the whole parts: the good, the bad, the ugly. I spoke MY truth, letting everyone take what pieces they wanted from my story and using it in their own life. And when I did speak that truth, I found that I made closer bonds with my friends, stronger connections with PoppaNut and found a new appreciation for the crazy land of motherhood. After all, there’s a ton of us going through the exact same thing at the exact same time.

I say those first few months helped me earn my motherhood stripes. And the memories of that time are starting to fade, and I’m left feeling a bit nostalgic of it all. Wow, we really did make it through it together and we are at the point where we can (almost) laugh at it all. And that’s life in a nutshell.

MommaNut

And Baby Makes Three: Welcoming Our Son

10 Apr

Since my last post, we’ve welcomed a beautiful son into our crazy nuthouse, making it all the more crazier each day but filled with more love than I ever thought possible.

Our Little One at 3 Weeks

Our Little One at 3 Weeks

Our knucklehead is five months old now, learning to roll and belly-giggling at nearly everything around … including Peanut and Cashew. And now that PoppaNut and I have found a good routine in parenthood, I’ve had some time to reflect on all of it. What would I tell my pregnant, swollen-feet wobbly self about what I’ve learned so far?

1. You might be scared of needles but you’ll love how you feel after the epidural, even after they hit a nerve in the process. You’ll play Words with Friends, sing to “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and even take a nap while you wait for your labor to progress.

2. You’ll be sad when you don’t get that “beautiful made-for-Facebook” photo of you, your hubby and your new son following an unexpected C-section. Have a good cry and move on. You’ll experience more love in those four hospital walls than you ever thought possible and that’s what matters. The photo your old high school friends see online doesn’t.

Mommy and Reece's First Photo

Mommy and Reece’s First Photo

3. Stop reading every baby book. It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. When your son is five months, you still won’t have a clue but you’ll be okay with it. You learn as you go. Instead of keeping your nose in a book, look up and live your life. Stare at his eyelashes and feel his breath on your chest. These are the moments you’ll miss later. Read when he sleeps.

4. Accept help. You are gonna need it. Don’t be too proud to say, “Can you come over and just hold my baby for a moment so I can shower?” My best friend Ashley gave me some great advice just days before Reece arrived: “When someone asks, just say yes. If they want to drop off food, just say yes. When they want to do your laundry, just say yes.” And so, you need to learn to say “yes” to help, followed by a huge “THANK YOU!”

5. Remember that your family started out as a twosome. You and PoppaNut are a team in all this, and remember to be a wife and not just Reece’s mother. You two have to master the craziness together! And you’ll be closer for it. And when he starts “Boys Breakfast” on Saturday mornings, which allows you to sleep in and have “alone” time, be sure to thank him. Not all husbands are as thoughtful!

Daddy and Reece, Snuggled Together at the Hospital

Daddy and Reece, Snuggled Together at the Hospital

6. You’ll have issues with your new body. You’ll want to have your old body back with those small little feet and skinny waistline. You’ll want to get in your old clothes as soon as you get home from the hospital, but they won’t fit. You’ll want to be scar-free, but you need to learn to wear that C-section scar with pride … along with the extra pounds for a little longer. Your body went through a lot and you have a beautiful son as proof. The weight will come off eventually, but give yourself time. Be understanding and compassionate with yourself.

7. When that sweet little boy goes to the dark side at three weeks old, crying for six hour stretches at a time and you can’t figure out why, know that you will get through it. You’ll want to rip your hair out, you’ll be beyond frustrated, you’ll give your baby to your hubby so you can go cry in the bathroom for five minutes, and you’ll wonder what you and PoppaNut were ever thinking when you decided to have a baby. This is NORMAL! And with the right formula and medicine, you’ll get Reece’s acid reflux and milk-protein intolerance under control. You will have a happy, healthy baby in the end!

You Will Look Back and Laugh at This

You Will Look Back and Laugh at This

8. You’ll worry a lot in the beginning if you are going to be a good mother. You’ve never been the type of woman who was dying to have a baby, so you wonder how you’ll do. But, Ms. Professional, you’ll actually love your title as “mother” most. You’ll love the way he wraps his small hand around your finger when you feed him a bottle, you’ll cherish the way he smiles when he sees you across the room, you’ll run to his room to get him his “lambie” when he starts to cry, and you’ll cherish saying prayers together each night. And when you see your husband hold your son, your heart will break with overwhelming love. So, stop worrying. You’ll get the hang of it.

9. You’ll forget a lot. No one told you how hard those first few months would be … or maybe you didn’t listen. The first month, you’ll say “how could anyone ever have another baby?? This is ridiculous!!” But your memory will start to fade, and you’ll start boxing up those cute newborn outfits and you’ll realize the time as already flown by. The hours of endless crying have stopped and your home will be blissfully wonderful with your new addition.

Our Happy Baby

Our Happy Baby

10. You’re joining a club! You won’t think of it that way at first, but once you start needing help with recommendations or tips, you’ll find a whole community of mothers out there ready to give your advice. Find those people who you can be completely honest with and confide in them. Accept the advice that makes sense to you and pass on those tidbits that don’t work for your family. You’ll know what right for you three. You’ll feel judged at times, but you’ll learn to brush it off. You’ll also learn that your “say it like it is” mentality spills over to motherhood … and you’ll speak your mind whether people like it or not. And you’ve decided that an admirable quality!

And that’s life in a nutshell … motherhood isn’t exactly as I expected … it’s better!

MommaNut

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