Monday, December 8, 2014

Mommy Monday: My Favorite Mom Blogs

Wooohoooo!  It's Monday!  Ok, maybe I shouldn't try so hard with the excitement.  The truth is I am really excited to be getting so much done today.  This past weekend, all I did was sleep.  I mean, I was rendered completely useless.  I slept about 10-14 hours each day from Friday to Sunday. I think I am over-estimating exactly how much physical work my body is doing as I build a baby.  Additionally, it has not fully sunk into my mind that I am no longer as young and fit as I was back in the day.  When I pull an all-nighter now, while pregnant, it's like I went out three nights in a row, binge drinking!  When I take Benadryl at 11pm now, again, it's like I went out three nights in a row, binge drinking.  I wake up, feeling hung-over, incoherent, and cranky.  I am learning these things slowly, but let me tell you what, Now that these lessons have been learned, I will be taking heed!

All weekend, as I struggled to stay awake more than sleep, I kept thinking of all the celebrities who make pregnancy look like a walk in the park.  Uhm, yea right!  I guess I would look wonderful too if I had a full glam squad at my beck and call.  I would have energy too if I had a nanny, maid, cook, personal stylist all at my beck and call.  I would be glowing too if I had money for the best vitamins, hair extensions, make up lines, and maternity spa treatments.

But I don't.  Little ol' me?  I have Life.  Real Fucking Life.  So I turned my focus, not to celebrities, although I love watching them like the rest of the world, but to Real Women.  There are times, when I just need to relate to someone REAL!  I am in love with Social Media.  I think, when used responsibly, it is a great tool for connecting with others and a great source of inspirations.  Or at least, that's what I tell myself as I creep around on all these pages, following people I have never personally met.  I'm sure they don't mind though. LOL.

I figured I would share some of my favorite Blogging Mommies with you.  It just so happens that all of these women are pregnant and one has just given birth.  Please know that NONE of the following photos are my own, but belong to the awesome Bloggers out there, sharing their wonderful experiences with us all.  All of their information is posted after each photo and it would be fantastic if you could check out their IG accounts, YT channels, and blogs.  Needless to say, I am aaaalll about supporting self-made, creative women!

Chriselle is this awesome stylist and fashion blogger that lives in California. I love her elegant and feminine style.  Nothing is too over-the-top, although I usually can't afford one single thing she is wearing!  My favorite thing about Chriselle is her honesty.  I have followed her blog, The Chriselle Factor, YouTube Channel and, now, her Instagram since she first started.  You can definitely see her growth through her progress.  I love that she doesn't mind to open up and share about the things she's experienced, whether it be about her miscarriage or opening up about how much weight she has gained during her pregnancy.  I think women need to be honest with one another and we need more role models who are confident enough in their own skin to share those honest moments with others.

 I totally forgot to mention that she posts AMAZING pictures of DELICIOUS FOOD!!!
Follow Chriselle:  YouTube // Blog // Instagram @ChriselleLim

Jade is someone that I totally just stumbled upon during one of my Instagram trolling moments.  Ok, I won't lie, I don't even know what "social media trolling" really means, but I do explore all the time for people to follow who share wonderful experiences and beautiful photos.  Jade has such a simple and beautiful style.  I could actually see myself wearing some of the things that she shows on her fashion/ beauty blog, A Spoonful of Style.  Well, I would wear them if I were as cute as she is!  I have SO MANY things that I love about this woman and her blog/IG account.  First, I love that I can afford just about everything that she posts.  Seriously.  And the clothes she gets aren't from some sort of ritzy, hyper expensive specialty shops.  Home girl goes to the mall!  I think we can all manage that, right?  I also love the pictures she shares of her home.... because I am a weirdo like that.  LOL. I love interior decorations, even though I am no good at decorating at all.  A girl can dream!  I also love, Love, LOVE that she shares so many pictures of her nursery.  I love it because a.) I am terrible with decorating, and I need all the ideas I can get for my own Little Someone and b.) her nursery is to die for!  So pretty and elegant. 

Follow Jade: YouTube // Blog // Instagram @JScott24

Naomi is a lifestyle blogger, living in New York.  I love that she is a city girl, making the city life look as cozy as country living!  She has this artsy-mod look about her and I love that about her style.  Most of the other bloggers I follow don't have as edgy of a look as she does, which is a lot of fun to experience.  My favorite thing about her blog, Love Taza, is that it is so family oriented.  It's loaded with gorgeous pictures of her family and home (I know, I'm creeping again!).  She so relatable in each post, like being a mom is really no big deal, ever.  I love how unapologetic she is about her life and experiences.  It's so beautiful.  She also gives great advice on motherhood and toddler eats.  I don't know if you have ever experienced a picky child at the dinner table, but this Mama right here could use all the help she can get. My Little Darling won't eat anything!

Follow Naomi: YouTube // Blog // Instagram @taza

Lastly, but definitely not least, Amy is awesome!  I love her IG account.  She's, in a lot of ways, a woman after my own heart.  She's currently serving in the military, which I respect so much, having grown up as an army brat myself.  I love her style.  It's a mix of tomboy comfort and simple girly looks.  She's also hella crafty!  I am always tuned in to see what's coming out of her craft room next.  She is also a woman of Faith. I am in love with a woman who has Faith and is unapologetic about it.  I love seeing her doodles on the side of the Bible, and the verses that have inspired her throughout the weeks as she posts.   For me, she is kind of the total package in terms of my personal interests because I can get all my fixes in one spot!  A cute outfit idea every here and there.  Great craft inspo.  Bible verses to meditate and reflect upon.  Honest and so real, but able to maintain a sense of positivity and gratitude.  She also shared her nursery, which was so unique!  I love the ideas I gathered from it.  Pop on over to her IG account and wish her a Major Heartfelt Congratulations on her brand new, perfect baby girl!

Follow Amy:  Instagram @AmyLouHawthorne // Shop Amy's designs @bestillclothingcompany

So yea, I know, these women are all quite different.  I have a personal and unique style of my own, but I LOVE to explore the styles and lifestyles of others.  I am too old and too much of a Mommy to have these explorations first hand.  That's what social media is for me.  A way that I can peak into what other women who are experiencing similar things are doing, how they're coping, and how they're creating and paving a way for their children into the future.  Hopefully, one day, I can do the same.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Belated Tummy Tuesday:: 21 Weeks

Whew!  This week has completely flown by.  I feel like LIFE is completely flying by.  Do you remember those days, as a child, on a summer break from school?  Remember being frustrated, wanting summer to hurry and end so you can be back in school with your friends all day and have something to do?  I remember those days all too well.  I remember living with my grandma at one time.  She told me, "Oh just wait til you get old and slow down a bit.  Wait til you get a job too!  When you spend all your day, rushing around for work and taking care of a family, you are never bored and time flies!"  I just thought she was being crazy.  She was so right!

This week, I have no sketch......  Aaaaahhh!!!  Already slacking at my "weekly task"!  I am so terrible with sticking to schedules and routines.  I am fortunate that I have made time each week to take belly pictures.  Believe me, that's a real improvement to my otherwise completely free spirit.

This week, I have been filled with thoughts about "Being Pretty".  As I admitted before, I literally get up and get dressed and make myself pretty for each of these mini photo shoots.  Under normal circumstances, you can find me sitting around in yoga pants, a baggy t-shirt, with my hair in a messy ponytail.  No make up.  No jewelry.  No smile either.
It never really occurred to me how .... uhm... what's a nice way to put it?  I never realized that I had become frumpy.  My husband never said anything.  My Little Darling is obsessed with nothing other than my growing belly, and for that, she finds me to be the most beautiful being on the planet.

It wasn't until yesterday, Wednesday, that I had to go to volunteer as a Parent Reader for the day at my Little Darling's private school.  I was irritable because I had very narrow guidelines on what books I could read, and I actually had to go out and buy a book specifically for this volunteer session.  I was exhausted because I hadn't slept much in the past few days.  So yea, "Frumpy Mummy" was also "Grumpy Mummy" as well.  After dropping off our Little Darling, The Hubs delicately tells me that I need to do something about my appearance before volunteering because I look like a bum. 

Now, I am never one to get upset when someone is telling me the TRUTH, and he definitely was!  I shower daily, but I never moisturize.  I am clearly African American and my skin gets hella dry if I don't moisturize.  But I am too lazy.  For those of you who swear lotions and coco butters are the way to steer clear of stretch marks, I will tell you now that I am making way for Stretch Mark City. I hang out in whatever pajama situation I pull out of the closet, not caring to match.  I mean, I won't even try to get dressed.  I also have become accustomed to not wearing stuff....  Like, no bra, no make up, no deodorant.  The night before, The Hubs told me I cut him with the heels of my crusty feet.  HE was joking around, but sure enough, my feet looked HORRIBLE!  I mean, I was still wearing polish on my toes from a pedicure that I had gotten this summer.  Yep.  That bad. 

I didn't mean for it to happen.  I am so overwhelmed right now with these plans of a handmade holiday season.  I am always tired during this pregnancy.  I feel like I have to pick between getting rest and getting things done.  I usually opt for getting things done, but those "things" have nothing to do with my appearance, happiness, or wellbeing.  I figured, as long as I manage 5 hours of sleep, stay away from crack, meth, and LSD, and as long as I eat and use the bathroom, I am rocking it out.  Right?  Well, no.  Not exactly.  I am not the type of girl who's self esteem is tied to my appearance, but I definitely find value in taking care of myself.  I notice that when I don't bother with putting myself together, my overall mood takes a turn for the worse.

I am learning now that I need to put myself, ME, first sometimes.  I had to pause for a moment and look around.  Truth be told, nothing is as 100% as I like to pretend, so why I don't make time to take better care of myself is a total mystery.  As a preggo, I am realizing the importance of making time to do these little things that make me feel beautiful and wonderful on the inside and on the outside. 

It's not selfish to take 5-10 minutes to put on some make up, which I only wear if I am going out to a social/professional event, or if I am planning to be photographed.  It's not selfish to do a home manicure or pedicure, if you can manage.  And if you can no longer touch your toes, or your feet have gone past the point of redemption, it's perfectly fine to get a mani-pedi somewhere and a foot massage!  It's also OK to buy nice maternity clothes.  Yes, you will only need them for a limited time, but let's face it, most of us aren't going to bounce right back into our pre-pregnancy bodies within 90 days, so, if we are being honest with ourselves, we'll wear these maternity clothes for 6months past our due dates.  They're comfortable and why not get a little extra use?

I just want to be clear about something important::  If you prefer to be "comfortable" in your yoga pants, t-shirts, and fluffy socks, there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT!   If you are a tomboy or a "Casual Cutie", as I like to call my yoga pants wearing sisters (LOL), then feel completely free to do that too.  Don't be discouraged and stop putting on your cute yoga pants because most maternity clothes are too feminine or frilly.  Don't sit around in men's pajamas.  It's not selfish to go out and buy the maternity version of your Casual Cutie uniform.

I think the point that I am trying to make is that we need to do what works for us.  We need to do what works for our families.  Taking care of yourself, feeling beautiful and healthy (emotionally and physically) is the Best way to get on the path to taking great care of your family.  Your happiness will transcend into your home.  If you usually put yourself together, then don't fall apart because you are pregnant or because you went from working to being a stay at home mom.  Get Pretty!  Do it for yourself.  There's nothing wrong, bad, or selfish about staying true to that part of yourself.

For me, I will be paying better attention to myself.  I get so wrapped up in art projects and taking care of my family that I forget about ME.  I forget to do those little tiny things that make me feel feminine and beautiful.  As I mentioned before, I am horrible with sticking to plans and routines, so we will see if I fall right back into my slump or if I will be able to keep up my new found motivation to make more time for myself.  First thing on the list:  Chisel off this three month old nail polish off my poor toes!
Happy Thursday.... Make way for FRIDAAAYYY!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tummy Tuesday: 20 Weeks

We are quickly moving through this pregnancy...  This week's post is a recap from week 20.  That week was so emotional.  I went back and forth over whether to find out the sex of our baby for months.  Once I had made my decision, I couldn't go back.  I was worried that someone would be disappointed because we all wanted something different.  I know it's out of my hands, but that need to please and provide is something I can't turn off when it comes to my little family. 

When it came to my Little Darling, I knew I didn't want to know whether she was male or female.  I didn't want to have it in my mind any expectations or plans regarding how I'd raise her differently. I would teach her to cook, clean, and be nurturing.  I would teach her to go camping, self defense, and how to make and manage her own money.  I didn't want to think of a "little princess" when it came to a girl or .... whatever it is you think of when you are having a boy.
This time, though, I got emotional about things.  First, I completely disregarded anything The Hubs wanted when I was pregnant with our Little Darling.  I didn't even feel bad about it unfortunately, but I did want to make sure that, this time, he was heard and had a say in the matter.  Of course, he wanted us to find out.  The other factor was our Little Darling.  I talked, very early on, about having a Gender Reveal party for her. I am sure she has no idea what that even means, but she knew that she would get a party.
This whole thing is so unexpected.  We are all so excited and grateful for this chance to expand our family and I really want to involve everyone in decision making as much as possible. Emphasis on the "as much as possible".  Because of my commitment to making this about FAMILY, I decided to feature our Little Darling for the first time on my blog.  She really wanted a photo shoot so that she could share her news with people. 
So there she is.  My Little Darling.  Big haired and Bright eyed.  I will admit that I had to recreate things for this post.  The box we used for our Little Darling was larger and she was able to unwrap it and balloons came out, disclosing whether she was having a brother or sister.  The box we used on the night of the Gender Reveal party wasn't as decorative either....  Uhm, someone had a lot to do that day and sort of had a melt down while trying to take care of things.  Uhm, that someone might have been me.  So I kind of cried for a few hours and took a nap after burning cupcakes, ruining decorations, and not having supplies to make other things.
Cue: Heroic Hubs.  He walked in with a huge box and pink balloons.  We filled the box, scribbled "Guess Who!" on the front and rushed out the door to the party.

I won't say that The Hubs and I were disappointed about having another little girl.  We aren't, but there is a part of us that really wanted to have a little boy.  I was so sure it was a boy because this pregnancy has been 100% different from that with my Little Darling.  No vomiting, very little nausea in general.  I am growing faster than I did in my first pregnancy.  Well, I was taught a lesson!  You just never know! So we will be welcoming another precious baby girl into our family.   I made our Little Darling her shirt, when we did our pregnancy announcements, which featured her in a series of photos. I thought it was only fitting that her little sister got a matching shirt.
The awesome thing is that our Little Darling prayed and prayed for a little sister.  In the end, this Little Someone will be her best friend.  They will grow up together and take care of one another.  They will have this inseparable bond that no one will understand except for them. I cannot wait to watch that bond form and blossom.  My younger sister and I have always been very close.  We argue all the time, but that close bond we have is something that can never be shaken or broken.  I love that. It's something truly special and it is something that I don't really share with my brothers.  I am also incredibly relieved that I will have the fun of buying cute clothes for little girls.  I hate to admit it, but I can always think of cute decorations, toys, projects, outfits and accessories for little girls.  So it looks like my job as a crafty, DIY Mama just got easier!
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mommy Monday :: Conception.

I will warn you now that this post will be long and grab some tea, and get ready for a tiny novella's worth of reading.  This week, I wanted to open up a bit about my experiences with conception.  I know, right?  TMI...  Well, maybe not.  I don't plan to tell you all about the intricacies of my sex life that led to my finally getting pregnant.  I wanted to talk about how I DIDN'T get pregnant for years.  It was a very emotional season in my marriage.  Fortunately, we found peace and then BOOM! Baby #2 found its way into our lives. I can tell you now that it would not have happened if I didn't put my Faith in something grander, bigger than myself and my selfish desires.  I don't think I would have survived this ordeal if it wasn't for finding comfort and strength in God.

We planned to have our children 5 years apart, and we started trying for another child when our Little Darling was 4 years old, thinking I'd give birth when she turned 5.  I was off birth control for months before we started "seriously trying".  After 1.5 years of no luck, I started medications.  I did two different meds for about a year and a half with no luck.  Suddenly, some things happened that just made me give up on the whole idea of ever having another child. 

My husband started blaming himself.  I couldn't have that. I cannot see the man I love be in a position of hurt.  I need him strong and confident. He's my rock and he knows it, but I could see this stress eating away at him emotionally. Then, some of my friends, with whom I'd shared my struggles, had gotten pregnant.  I'd always thought that we would be pregnant together, but when I saw they were moving on with their lives, I didn't feel as much of a dire need to be pregnant anymore.  I felt like I missed my chance.  Things got worse, when I went to the emergency room one morning, thinking a baby was moving within me.  I was hoping that, since my period had become lighter, that I was pregnant without knowing.  It turned out to be gas.  I was disappointed, sure, but not as much as I was embarrassed because the nurse was so unbelievably condescending and rude to me.  Like, are you so desperate to be pregnant?  I couldn't live down the embarrassment or the $450 medical bill that went with that reality check.  And the absolute deal breaker was the ultimate confirmation from my doctor.  My OBGYN told me that aside from having unusually short menstrual cycles, everything was in perfect working order for my husband and me.  She told me I was in the 2% of inexplicable infertility and that, if I wanted to have another child, I would need to see a specialist.
After all this time, medicine, and breaking down in tears every month after starting my period, I just couldn't do it anymore.  I was becoming really depressed about it.  I was a failure.  My body was broken.  My husband was completely done for, although he continued to put on a good show for me.  I knew it killed him.  It had been killing him, and I selfishly pursued things with little regard to how hurt he was each month.  I was also really resentful to my friends who were announcing their pregnancies left and right.  I was left out.  Alone.  So, when the conversation about whether we would further pursue the fertility options came along, my husband and I were on the same page completely: HELL NO!  We were 100% done!  We wanted to have sex for Recreation and not procreation.  Sex had become a job. It wasn't interesting anymore because "certain positions are more conducive to conception". We needed to reconnect because we were both hiding sentiments from one another as we struggled with the failure each month.
It was amazing to have that burden lifted earlier this year.  It made us more powerful as a family.  I was able to find delight in motherhood and being a wife again.  I started working out and lost weight that I had gained because I put my whole life on hold while trying to get pregnant.  My husband got a promotion at work and his superiors raved about his productivity and positive attitude.  Everything was much better and I literally was completely content with not being able to conceive.

One day, my friend invited me to a worship night.  I almost didn't go.  This friend and I had a small falling out, I think related to Facebook (isn't social media the worst?!), and we never discussed the issue with one another.  Instead, we just stopped talking to each other unless it was to attend her kid's birthday party or for church.  I had this invisible tug at my heart, telling me I needed to go.  It had been so long since I had that spiritual shot in the arm.  I went and the service was the Best worship experience I'd ever had!  There was an indescribable energy flowing through the room. 
The message throughout the worship was that you need to place your Faith and Hope in God.  You need to submit to God's will and allow for his plans for you to surface, rather than pushing your own agenda.  That message hit home with me so hard, and for the first time in about a month, I felt the pains of not being able to conceive return.  It was different, though.  It was more like, I just wasn't honest with myself.  I was fine and happy that my life had returned to a state of normal.  I was happy I wasn't depressed. But, Man!!!  I really still wanted to be pregnant!  After the worship, I made up some excuse to run out and get away from everyone.  I sat in the parking area, crying and praying for about 20 minutes before driving home in silence.  It never occurred to me that I wasn't honest with myself about my feelings regarding wanting another baby.  I hid how much I wanted it from everyone, pretending like I didn't care if it happened or not.  I did!  I spent 3 years trying.  Of course I wanted it!  So I prayed for hope, for a stronger sense of faith, for guidance, and most of all that I be pulled onto His path, rather than fighting for what I wanted.
I know I have several friends who aren't religious and think prayer is a waste of time.  Maybe you all are right.  But you know what?  MY life is fuller knowing that I don't have to carry the burden on my own.  MY life is more positive and comfortable knowing that there is a greater Being in control of the things I am not.  MY life is more manageable knowing that, when everything and everyone else fails me, I have at least one constant in my life:  I am Loved and Cared for by my God.  That power and that confidence is something that can't be shaken or replaced.  If it wasn't for that moment, I would have never found peace.  And that night I did.
Fast forward 3-4 more months, and Bang!  I am pregnant.  It was perhaps the BIGGEST shock of our lives.  I took the test and showed it to my husband.  He didn't believe it was true.  I ended up taking 3 more tests just to be sure.  Somehow, after 3.5 years of failing at conception, we were both a hot mess emotionally when it finally happened.  My husband was an overprotective crazy person, barely allowing me to do anything.  I was sure I wasn't "supposed" to be pregnant, so I just kept waiting to miscarry every day and secretly praying in my closet, hidden from everyone, over the baby's safety.
I only told a handful of friends on purpose.  Unfortunately, there were a few people who found out by accident, and while I appreciate their support, I want to really thank and acknowledge the friends I meant to tell:  Jami, Jen, Saima, Brian, Amanda, and Danielle.  I don't usually drop names on my blog, but I had to in this case.  I chose these friends specifically.  I knew that if something horrible happened, and I fell apart as a result, that I could trust these people out of everyone I knew to care for me and to help me pull myself back together.  These people are the most selfless Blessings I have in my life right now outside of my family.  Thank you for your support, prayers, positive thoughts, play dates, long-winded text sessions, and Thank You for just plain being amazing!  I learned an important lesson about trust through these friends, as I rarely open up to people about anything personal.  I don't know many women who are confident and wonderful enough to put aside criticisms and competition long enough to just be compassionate and understanding.  I know these women are.  So thank you!
Enough with the heavy...  Time to return to my snarky, sarcastic self!  I would like to end this with the top 10 things I heard during the 3.5 years my husband and I were trying to conceive.  I am happy I don't have to listen to them ever again!

Things A Person Who Can't Have Children NEVER Wants to Hear:
1.  "You are actually lucky!  You can drink/smoke/party/ do (_insert illegal drug_) without guilt."
First, I don't have substance abuse problems.  So I actually find zero comfort in having the option to do things that I never do anyway.  Second, when you decide that you want to conceive, you actually have to STOP doing all those things.  So let's just say I was a chain smoking, drunken crack whore.  I would have to check myself into rehab before conception in order to avoid potential miscarriage and potential harm to the embryo months and months before even getting down to the baby making.  But thank you!  Now, I know things about YOU that I wish I didn't.
2.  "Have more sex."
Seriously?  Just let that asinine comment soak in for a bit.  I am TRYING to get pregnant!  I have become a jizz receptacle ON PURPOSE!  If I have anymore sex, my husband's penis will shrivel up and be useless to us both.  You will be able to park a Smart Car inside of my vaginal cavity.  I am not sure why people think "more sex" is the simple solution to conception. Conception can only occur during one week of the month within a 3 day period.  Trying to figure out when that will happen is insane, unless you have the perfect model body. 
I don't have the perfect body.  My cycles are mega short, so "having more sex" during the typical ovulation window did nothing for us because I missed my ovulation each month by about 7 days.  Mind you, it took 2.5 years and an ultrasound to figure this out.  By then, I had received loads of advice on when to have sex, how to have sex, which positions to screw in, and multiple reminders that if I swallow semen I won't have a baby.  Also prior to that point, I was having sex literally whenever I could.  My hubs would take a break from work and rush home to bump'n'grind.  I would be late to work because we would bang, while I was in the shower getting ready for work. If my husband and I had any face time, our parts were joined during this time.
3.  "You already have one kid, so be happy with that. Don't be greedy."
Cue: Throat punch.
4.  "Just get in-vitro, find a surrogate, adopt.  Problem solved.  Now you don't have to get fat."
While I am really excited that you manage enough disposable income to purchase children at your leisure, I am not in the same boat financially.  Had I known ahead of time that conception would be so difficult, I would have saved $40K prior to my being ready to expand my family so that I could purchase or build the child of my choosing when I felt like it.  Unfortunately, my infertility was unexpected.
I don't think there is any wrong way to build a family, personally.  I grew up in a loving, blended family and I couldn't be happier.  But I do find it exceedingly arrogant of people to just assume that tossing money around and using science is a quick fix for us all. For me, I needed to know what was wrong with me.  Why couldn't I have another kid? I spent as much money on figuring out what was going on with my health as I would've on buying a kid.
5.  "Maybe you should have thought about this sooner, rather than waiting so long."
Yes, that's right.  I should have had a child at 8 years old when playing house was my favorite pastime.  Now, at 31, I am all old and decrepit with useless parts.  Please think of the stupidity behind these statements.  I think people should approach conception when they are ready.  That may or may not be on the timeline an observer agrees with or understands. 
6.  "It's just not meant to be."
Why, thank you, God, for letting me know what is meant to be.  Why do people say this crap and think it is supposed to make someone feel better about things?  It doesn't.  It's like wanting something with all your heart and trying with your whole being to make it happen only to fall short and have someone kick you while you're down, and let you know that you were dumb enough to take the chance when you never had a shot in the first place. Well, that's how it feels when you are stuck in the situation.  The truth is, assholes that say this have no clue what they are talking about and should just silently hug you, while you cry about having gotten your period again.
7.  "I am so incredibly fertile.  Whew!  My husband looks at me and I'm knocked up."
Really? *Clap. Clap* Good for you!  I am so happy that you have 8 children and have chosen to singlehandedly over populate the earth with your power-pussy.  Please take a seat.  It's not ok to gloat to someone while they are in pain about shortcomings that are out of their control.  Also, I am not sure you get to brag when three of your children are disfigured, two of them have remarkably low IQs, and the rest are plain ugly.  Just kidding.  That was mean.  But I can't say those thoughts haven't crossed my mind a time or two after someone has bragged to me about their amazing conception rate.
8.  "Kids suck.  They make you fat and ugly.  They never appreciate you and they're a drain on your finances.  Why would you want one?"
Please do us all a favor and pour hydrochloric acid on your genitals.  People like you should be left without the option to contribute to the world's population.  If you have a friend who HAS children and wants more, expressing these sentiments will earn you a slap to the face and land you with one less friend.  Struggling with conception is hard and emotionally painful.  No one gives a rusty fuck if you hate kids.  As a good friend, you should be supportive.... or at least silent.
9.  "Just pray on it."
I am in love with my God and very spiritual.  I just have to be clear on something very important...  The time of Mary Magdalene is over. If people are getting knocked up through prayer alone, well, I need to be involved in this action because I'd have to see it to believe it.  While, yes, I did take time to pray for fertility, favor, and anything else that might aid in conception, I will be honest right now.  I also took medications (although they didn't work) and I had a whole wide world full of unprotected sex.
10.  "Don't worry.  Stress stops you from conceiving.  It will happen for you one day.  Be patient."
Actually, scientifically speaking, the longer you wait, the LESS likely it is to happen for you.  Women have a finite amount of eggs to grow into babies.  I am sure they taught you that in 5th grade health class.  Moreover, who the hell, aside from Halle Berry, wants to get knocked up at 45?  Your body is exhausted.  Your child is considerably more likely to be born with defects.  The pregnancy is also harder on your body.  But never mind those facts.  Let's talk about what raising a toddler is actually like in your 50s.  That shit SUCKS!  It's a game changer.  Trust me. When you are arthritis ridden, naturally tired, and craving a certain amount of peace that you've waited for all your life, the very last thing you want is a toddler, potty training, school activities, and drama related to children hitting puberty.
 I look at these comments/advice now and I laugh. I will say that during the years I was trying to conceive, hearing these statements over and over really got under my skin.  So if you have a friend who is struggling to grow their family, just be supportive!  Hug them.  Make them laugh.  Make them feel worthy and special.

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tummy Tuesday: 19 Weeks

These past few days have been really interesting around here. I started several new projects, all of which I am excited about, but I don't entirely have time to execute them all in a timely manner.  By timely, I mean for the holidays.  Oh well, it's the thought that counts, right?

This week has also been an emotional rollercoaster for me.  I have been in 900 arguments over petty misunderstandings and miscommunications.  While most of these squabbles have happened on social media (Facebook), I can't just chuck things up to context getting lost in written versus spoken word.  It's not that.  I think my hormones have it out for me.  There comes a point when you just have to stop and think about the common denominator in so many situations..... and, well, it was ME!  I am not happy about my lack of control when it comes to my emotions these days.  I am exhausted with apologies and overwhelmed with emotions, both positive and negative, and insecure about some friendships, as this pregnancy and my occasional bad attitude progress.  It's a lot to process. 

I did have a great day, today though!  Today, I am actually 22 weeks along, but as I have mentioned this blog is a little back dated so that I can have some peace of mind in knowing that I don't have to rush to take pictures and whatnot each week.  I have a three week cushion of time.  And I needs it!  This week, I have been a sinus/allergy hot mess, complete with migraines, constant nosebleeds, dermatitis, aches, pains, and exhaustion.  I ended up skipping my "Mommy Monday" post this week.  It's a good one, so I will have it ready for next week for sure!
Today was such a great and Productive Day!  I don't know about you, but my personal self-esteem is measured by how much I can accomplish.  I wish it were tied to past accolades, my beauty, or something that is a little more in my control, but what drives me from day to day is my TO DO List and getting tasks done.  So today, I powered through my headache and my nosebleeds to check things off my list.  I checked off everything but ONE thing.  Holllaaaaaa!!!!

Today, while out running errands, I had the wildest thought- I need to make a list of things I need to STOP doing while pregnant!  LOLOLOL!  I figured I would share these thoughts.

1- Stop Not Wearing Maternity Clothes
Yes, I can still fit into my regular clothes.  No, it's not very comfortable if I wear jeans or something that doesn't stretch.  My "uniform for life" is yoga pants with a t-shirt, but it is officially colder than a witch's nipple in January here. That means, I need sweatshirts.  I have them.  Just not for a growing belly.  I have TWO long sleeved maternity shirts.  Two.  I save them for when I have to get "jazzy" for a night on the town or some event.  Otherwise, you can find me smashed into a regular t-shirt and a sweatshirt that has all kinds of baby guts hanging out the bottom.  Most of my shirts are not at all meant for bellies of any sort.  I also refused to waste money on "maternity yoga pants" because they looked the same as the ones I had.  WRONG!  Maternity yoga pants have some sort of hidden skin coverage contraption or something because my current situation has me with baby guts and mama butts hanging out everywhere.  Today while out, I caught a huge chill from the icy wind.  That was my sign.  It's officially "Cover Dat Ass Season".

2- Stop Drinking Before Going Out
During this pregnancy, I have been REALLY dehydrated.  I feel like I am always chugging some sort of liquid.  I have developed this irrational fear that if I don't keep water in my car or drink 8ounces before leaving my home, I will shrivel up into a prune and die.  I have had vivid nightmares of my death by dehydration.  I always turn into an exotic dried fruit, never a prune actually.  Nowadays, this water chugging situation is making me a maniac.  Last week, when I picked up my Little Darling, I screamed at the attendant, "I'm DYING!  I need a potty!  Can I potty in the school?  Are the kids gone?"  She looked terrified.  I was mortified.  When I got out, my bladder was so full, it was throbbing.  I did a hobble/pee-pee dance across the parking lot and into the bathroom.  Without knowing it, I let out maaaaaaybe some moans.  The attendant asked me at least three times if I was all right.  Uhm, yea, lady!  Unless you wanna pee for me next time, I think I have it under control. I am pretty hell-bent on not embarrassing my Little Darling while pregnant.  I nearly failed.  A total fail would have been voicing those sentiments out loud to the attendant.  I smiled and was polite.  Mission Accomplished.

3- Stop Talking to People On Facebook
This should read: Stop Talking to Humans in General!  I am WAY too emotional.  I mean, I am a bitch.  I am mean.  I can't help it.  I keep trying to not yell at people and go off, but I am not able to make that happen.  I have prayed and prayed over this, let me just say.  For whatever reason, people and their arrogance and their unnecessary sensitivity to things I say or post on Facebook make me insane and... well, Evil.  I am usually quite opinionated, but never hateful.  I will argue something that is of importance to me.  Let me tell you, arguing about Kim Kardashian's naked titties is NOT a priority to me at all.  Yet, I argued vehemently about Kim Kardashian's bum, tits, and sex life.  I mean, for real?!  My hormones will be the death of my sanity as I know it.  I am to the point where maybe I should stay away from Facebook.  Or maybe I should find a way to disable the comments section on my page.  That way people will be forced to do what they should have in the first place:  Mind their business, Bite their tongue, Keep scrolling.  Unfortunately, in regards to the people who annoy me face-to-face, it's a whole different story.  They will all have to get hit with my handbag until my hormonal rage dies down long enough for me to see/think straight.  I'll smooth it all over with hugs and apologies later.
So for the next week or so, I am going to try three NEW things to improve my life as a Preggo:
1- Cover my guts and butts
2- Skip the 8oz drink before walking out the door, and have it an hour before I hit the road.
3- Be positive on Facebook or just stay away for a week.

Please wish me luck on not getting locked up for beating someone with my purse or for indecent exposure.

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Blankets and Hot Chocolate... Minus the Hot Chocolate

Today is going by so quickly!  Well, I feel that way about every school day.  Before, my Little Darling and I would sleep in until 9-10:30am on most days.  We would have breakfast together, watch a little TV, go for a morning walk, and then start homeschool lessons.  We would then go back outside for another walk and play.  Somehow, it felt like there were twice as many hours in the day over the summer.

Now, I am awake at 6am.  Honestly, I am not a fan!  Every morning, I want to break my phone, the alarm clock, and my iPod touch.  Yes, I need *that* many alarms to wake me up every morning and somehow, I still barely manage to get out of bed.  After I am up, however, the marathon of morning tasks begins.  I am making breakfasts, ironing clothes, waking people up, packing lunches, brushing hair, getting things together, and dashing out the door.  By the time I get home, it is around 9am, and I am ready for a NAP!

Unfortunately, I usually snack and then nap from 11-1pm and I have so little time to do anything in between waking up and going to pick up my Little Darling. Then she has to get her homework, chores, dinner, and bedtime routine done in a matter of hours... and this getting dark early?  Uh, NO THANK YOU!  As soon as the sun sets, I am ready to put on some pajamas and sleep!  LOL.  Yes, I am getting old and this is the primary indicator.

Today is a rainy day, here in my city.  That contributed to my already existing exhaustion.  I took a nap and my bedroom is literally 5-7 degrees colder than the rest of my apartment.  When I awaked from my nap, I had only two things I wanted:  A cozy blanket and a mug of hot chocolate!  The funny thing is that today is actually the last "warmish" day that we will see in my city for a while, as the Polar Vortex creeps upon us, starting tomorrow.  Let me tell you, I am SO NOT READY to begin freezing my ass off from now until the end of March again.  Please, Mother Nature, No repeats of last year!

While, I didn't find that glorious mug of hot choc, I did go through my pictures of projects that I had finished, but not documented.  I found a nice, cozy baby blanket I finished over the summer.  I started to blog about the progress here.

Over the summer, my friend *A* had a sweet baby boy.  Baby N came a little early, which was a surprise.  I love to spoil my friends, especially when it is their first baby!

I made Baby N this blanket as part of a set.  I think I remember complaining about this project and all the things I had to take apart to redo over and over until it was finally finished!  Ha!  Well, guess what? I spoke waaaaaaay too soon!  I'll have to share with you my TRUE "most difficult project ever" on a another day.  Looking at this sweet baby blanket now, I feel foolish for ever getting frustrated in the first place.  I love the way it turned out!

I used a mint green, baby blue, blue, two browns, an off white, and a light beige color.  This is actually the first "Little Boy" blanket that I have made that I actually completely love!  It was so much fun to use a variety of colors and explore that.  For me, my mind only thinks in "Little Girl".  I can think of patterns and colors and projects all directed at little girls with no end in sight.  When I have to think of boys, my mind says "Blue and white. A teddy bear."  LOL!  That's really it!  I am really so very exited for *A* and her little family. I really tried to be a little more creative.  Hopefully that showed a bit.

I actually made a little set for Baby N.  He was born a little early and I know it is hard for babies to maintain their body heat, so I wanted to make sure he had a little jacket and hat to go with his set.

I have a Horrible confession, however....  My Little Darling totally stole the jacket!  I wasn't sure if I would mail it because it wasn't "perfect" enough for me.  Do you ever have those problems?  When you just don't trust your judgment and you are never satisfied with what you have created?  I have that problem all the time!  I am sure the jacket was fine, but it doesn't matter now.  As I was deciding whether to include it in the package, it mysteriously disappeared!

Unfortunately, I realized I was pregnant and started feeling tired and sick every day.  I knew it was better to mail what I had than to wait any longer, otherwise, Baby N wouldn't have gotten any package at all!  I did find the jacket on the teddy bear I used for this shoot a couple of months after I mailed the package.  My Little Darling told me it just fit him so perfectly that she wanted him to keep the jacket for the winter.  Ha!  I can't argue with that logic one bit!

I was happy to mail everything out, even though I didn't get around to mailing the rest of the projects I had done. Slacker, I know.  Somehow, pregnancy kicks my butt in ways I will never understand.  I do think that *A* and Baby N were happy with their package.  My friend was so very kind enough to feature my blanket in her newborn photos of Baby N.  Ok, I am just going to do it  and toot my own horn here, which I very, very rarely ever do.... 

Baby N looked absolutely 100% perfect snuggled in the blanket I made for him!  Thank you, *A*, for sharing those first moments with me and using something I'd made to do so.  It means so much and looking at these photos warms my heart better than any mug of hot chocolate could every manage!