Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I will never forget

Growing up in Jersey, we have always felt a certain closeness with New York City. The thought that Carrie and all her girlfriends were just a merely hour and a half away having this fantastic life got us through our boring high school days. Too many times to count, the conversations with my girlfriends were about how one or two or all of us couldn't wait to graduate and move to NYC and live it up. Then broadway came into my life and I had a whole new love for the Big Apple. The way that you could be completely transported to a differently place and time in the 3 hours you sat in your theater seat felt like a blink in time.

I remember Septemeber 11, 2001, like it was yesterday. I was driving in the car with a boy who I had a major college crush on. I had woken up early, gotten my hair and make up just right and sat out on our dormroom steps waiting for him to pick me up. We met every Tuesday and Thursday to go have breakfast together and then get to our 11am class.

"Today", he said, "we are in for a real treat" . . . . "No disgusting caffeteria food today, we are going to IHOP". We were rocking out to whatever song was popular at the time when the music stopped and the DJ said that a plane had struck the World Trade Towers.

A pit in my stomach that would stay for days came reeling us to a stop. We literally pulled over on the side of the road and listened as they described the scene. Up ahead was a Dunkin Donuts who we knew had a Television so we made a beeline for the building. My mouth dropped as I entered the normally bustling coffee shop and there was already 10-15 people gathered under the television.  We joined the group and sighs, moans, and Oh My Gods, were being whispered as the minutes proceeded. We came to know these people in the hours we stayed and watched. We couldn't bear to leave not knowing what was happening just a few short minutes away from us.

There was a men's group of retired "old cranks" (the term they gave themselves) who met every morning to get out of the house, away from their wives and talk about the times. One was a retired volunteer firefighter, one was a retired stock broker, one a retired real estate broker. All had a much different perspective then the two 20 year olds sitting next to them. We stayed for hours, not able to leave until we knew that everything was going to be okay. That feeling never came.

Never before in my lifetime had I felt in danger of attack. Had I felt like the security of "MY COUNTRY" been in danger. Much less the beloved New York City being under attack. Hearing people calling in saying they were trapped in the buildings and just wanted their loved ones to know they loved them. Watching as people saw no other choice to but leap to their deaths before the towers collapsed. But in the same heartache and sadness we also saw amazing acts of kindness up on the screen, for every 10-20 people you saw running away from the chaos you would see paramadics, firemen, random every day people running towards it trying to help.

You would see a group of 2-3 men carrying someone who could no longer walk on their own, women running and hugging other strangers who were sitting on the side of the road simply in a state of shock. While I did feel completely and overwhelming sad at what was transpiring, a flicker of hope and a sense of pride filled my heart knowing that in the midst of the craziest trauma my eyes had ever witnessed there was the American Spirit alive and well. People taking care of people.

The hours and days that followed were filled with alot of sad. Hearing of those confirmed dead, those who's loved ones couldn't and wouldn't ever be found. Children loosing their mothers, Mother's loosing their husbands. Children dying over an act of terror. But I dare say that for ever story of sad there was one of honor. The man that risked his life going back into the very same tower he had just exited because he couldn't leave knowing that there were still his friends and coworkers inside. For every minute that the news mentioned the horrible monsters that caused this, there were two minutes focused on the heroes who rescued, and saved, the masses!

Today I am choosing to focus on the good, the noble, the beautiful. The way that "our people" took care of each other. Sure the government could have done alot of things differently, but we, as one nation under God, a group of normal every day people. WE DID GOOD!

And when my children someday ask  me about this day in History, I will tell them it was the day that their Mama was proud to be an American!

Adios Mis Amigos,

Monday, July 15, 2013

Nothing like an early morning wake up call to get a new perspective

I think I have mentioned a few times that I am not a morning person. 

Never have been and probably never will be (anytime soon at least). I am not a good sleeper. It takes me entirely too long to fall asleep and once I am asleep I often wake and toss and turn throughout the night. This makes morning come entirely too soon. And the only way to combat my groggy sleep deprived crankiness is a giant cup of java. 
This needs to be consumed, completely, before any chance of productivity can occur. 

This morning, like most other mornings, little man woke up entirely too early. Defintely before my achy bones were ready to get out of bed. So I went into his room, after I failed to get him to go back to sleep in his own bed, He was freshly snuggled down under my giant down comforter, 
curled up next to me. I took a deep breath of his mango shampooed hair, kissed his baby soft cheeks, and squeezed him tight!

It was in this moment, awake, but not really, that it hit me. These are the days I want to remember forever. The days where he still fits in the crook of my arm, but is big enough to understand that it's still "sleepy time". Where he still needs me when he is scared, hurt, or upset. But is also so independent and free spirited that he can do so much on his own. We can pack up and go at the drop of a hat, off to share little adventures at the beach, park, or in our own backyard.

My stomach hurts when I think about how much he has grown. 
Sure I miss the baby, the newborn, the adorable chubby toddler. But this little man that is snuggled up next to me is hands down absolutely my favorite! 

Sooooo we are still in bed, an hour and a half after he woke up. He has had his morning ritual of warm milk and I sipped on my cup of coffee. We have read books on my tablet, played a few games, and he was happy enough to sit next to me while I wrote this whole piece and there is no sign leaving this soft, cozy, toasty warm bed any time soon!

Adios Mis Amigos,

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

How do you, when do you, should you even at all?

Have another kid that is! 

We have never really planned to get pregnant. Little man was a giant awesome surprise. 
I know that it had to be that way because 
I would have never been able to fully commit to deciding to bring a life into the world.
It's such a huge decision. 

Especially for someone who never really wanted to have biological children in the first place. 
I had always wanted to adopt, 
and the thought of having a child, 
growing a teeny tiny cell into a whole human being 
scared the crap out of me. 

Now, one child down. I know what I'm getting myself into. 
I know the months of nausea and vomitting. 
The endless nights of tossing and turning 
because there is absolutely no comfortable position left on  earth. 
The aching boobs, painful heartburn, and labor, HA!!!!! 
I did not have a fantastic pregnancy and my labor was scary.
And now with having a three and half year old to keep up with. 
How could I possible keep up with him and do all that I needed to do 
and still be a somewhat decent Mama to little man???? 

The guilt of not being 100% there for him !!! 
And once a new baby were to arrive, 
he would be lucky to get any semblance of attention like he was used to.

And yet couples do it all the time. Plot pregnancies and perfectly spaced children. 

Why do I have such issues!

Adios Mis Amigos,

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

So I hear your a bad Mother!

My newsfeed has been flooded lately with "mom" articles.  And I have read each and every one of them. Why ? Because there is a part of every Mother that makes them question if they are doing "it" right.
If your breastfeeding you worry if your children are getting enough to eat? If your formula feeding your worried your opening your child up to disease and infections.

If you are co-sleeping, will your child be too dependent? If you let your child cry-it-out will they be emotionally scarred for the rest of their lives?

And your choice for education, public school will surely ruin any chance they have at living a life with morals and values.  And home schooling your child, please don't make your kid weird and unsocial.

We worry and wonder because there are so many voices out there making claims that "this is the way you should Mother, and if you don't do it, well, good luck! Your a bad mom!".

One voice tells us that if you are caught using your smartphone while in a 1 mile radius of your child your a Bad Mama because, after all, your every waking moments should be spent focusing solely on your child.

Another voice that leaves us feeling like a bad mom because we give our children too much attention. We should distance ourselves and allow children to make their own choices, and when a bad choice is made, have them learn from it.

Another voice, tells us that our children should only be fed organic, unprocessed, whole healthy foods. And if you don't, for whatever reasons, well, then you should have never had children you were unable to care for!

And I have not even reached the great school debate. But when talking openly about my ideas, I have been met with both sides. "you MUST homeschool him if you want him to grow up to be a God loving man of integrity. IF you homeschool him he will be weird and have no social skills." 
I am all for seeking advice. Having been at this "job" for 3 and half years I have learned some things. I love it when my sister calls worried or upset about her 11 month old and I am able to tell her "it's okay, that totally happened for us too." I have sent crazy worry stricken texts to a close friend because x,y,and z happened and I didn't  know what to do. I have sought out a mama support system because every mama, no matter what your point of view needs support.

Support without judgement or criticism. "it's okay, when that happened to us, which it totally did, I did this, and it seemed to help" everything is going to okay.

Where are the articles telling us that, "being a mom is hard work, and if you can catch a few minutes of an online "timeout" you should take it. Don't ignore your children, and be sure they are safe and taken care of. But if they are happily buidling a lego tower for the 100th time. You should be able to hop online and see what the rest of the world is doing.

For me, my phone is a lifeline. I am home full time with my 3 year old son. I cherish my son, adore him to pieces, and would not change "jobs" for any amount of money. But sometimes I need a little break. A time to feel "connected" to friends I used to see on a regular basis, and now am lucky to find a second to send a quick text to.

I want an article that tells me I am not overprotective, I allow my son freedom to explore and discover. I am also totally not okay with taking a backseat and allowing him to choose at the age of 3 what he is capable of doing. Things that in my gut, I know are not okay for us. Again I say, for us. I am not judging or criticizing. It's just not right for us, and I don't like being told that is should be.

Being a mom is hard work. It looks different for everyone. Some mom's are 100% okay devoting their undivided attention to their children 100% of the time. Others feel like their children are better with distance and freedom, and take a more relaxed approach. Some have the resources to go all out on their grocery shopping and others are counting every single penny and organic everything is simply not in the budget.

My point is, why are we so adament that "our way" is the best and that every mama should be doing what we are doing.

I know I make mistakes! Every day I am reminded that I am not perfect. But I do know that when it comes to raising my son, I have absolutely postively chosen the best choices for us, at the time I chose them. Will I do some things different if, and when, we have another child. Probably. But I would choose differently because it's a different child I am raising.

So why write this rant, I wish more women that were knee deep in the trenches of motherhood would know, and believe, that they are a great Mama. They are doing the best job they can and should be supported and loved through it.

Follow your Mama instinct 100% of the time, but realize that every Mama has a different instinct.

No matter what your path was into motherhood we are all here. We are all trying our best.

Adios Mis Amigos,

Thursday, February 28, 2013

3 years and Counting

                                                                       Well, my little man is in fact a little man. 
It's taken me some time to come to terms with it. He is three years old! He knows his A,B,C's and can count to 20. He is beginning to write his name, shapes, and even picking up on some Spanish. Tears fill my eyes as I watch my sister with her 7 month old baby, if I could go back to that time with him and do it all over again with him a million times I would. These 3 years have gone too quickly.  Before me stands a sweet, gentle, and compassionate little boy.  A little O.C.D. he likes every one of his toys in a certain place, lined up and organized. He can be a typical boy laughing at "poopy-pants and toots" (but then again so does my 36 year old husband) and he is drawn like a magnet to puddles of muddy water. But best of all he is a mama's boy and always tries to take care of me and protect me against whatever threat he sees. (even if it's just Daddy boy's "tickle monster")

If I had known 3 years ago the amount of love that would fill me heart, I would have never believed it.You think that you love them when you see their tiny little face, kiss their soft cheeks and take in the itty bitty fingers and toes. Your heart melts when you hear their sweet little baby cry and smell in the sweet goodness of "baby smell".  I thought that my heart was full of love that day. While it was the fullest it had ever been it has grown since then. With every diaper change, sleepless night it grew in love with the fact that he needed me. With his first steps and first words, it grew knowing that God had blessed us with this amazing gift. And now with hearing his precious voice, and his "love you mama" "I need a snuggle mama" it grows even more. Sometimes I love him so much it hurts, physically hurts my heart, my stomach. I wish I had known what I know now, and could have told my "new mama" self a few things. 

I would have told her first and foremost snuggle every chance you get. Seriously! Ever. Single. Chance. Laundry can wait, you can wear a dirty shirt, he wont care, he doesn't care if your hair is a mess, there are dishes in the sink or dust is mounting up on the shelves. They are only in this moment once and you will regret missing it! Enjoy each and every phase because they will be gone in a blink.

Then I would tell her to trust her instincts. God has made each of us for this very reason. If you think they are hungry, feed them. If you feel like you need to give him formula then do it. Don't let anyone's opinions cloud your "mama instinct". If you have the conviction of breastfeeding, seek the help you need to stick to it. You need to do whatever gives you peace. We live in a world where for some reason women are cruel to other women. There will always be judgement, uninvited opinions, and Lord knows there are generations of well meaning mothers, grandmothers, aunts, friends, and sisters who did things very differently in their time. Remember there are some things that are tried and true and work, but there are other things that are no longer recommended because time has proven them to be dangerous. Go with your gut! 

Finally, let go. Let go of what you think it should look like. Motherhood that is. It's a messy job, one fought hard with blood, sweat, and many tears. I thought I would jump right into motherhood, I was, after all, a Nanny for over 10 years. I knew kids! But nothing will prepare you for the reality of it all. The 24/7/365 of what it means to be a mom. There is no right way or wrong way. And what you thought it might be will certainly not be the case. Go with it. Don't be so caught up in your own expectations that you are unwilling to bend, change and adapt.  Find your own way. Learn what works and get rid of the rest. 

At the end of the day, God sent you this child for a reason. He has entrusted you with the greatest blessing and trust that His wisdom is beyond yours.  Enjoy the Ride !

Adios Mis Amigos,