The Lie

Wednesday March 27th, 2013 marked the first big lie.  Told to me, by Miss Caitlin, age five, with corroborators.  It really isn't the nature of the lie, just the fact that it's the first big whopper, of what I'm sure are many.  Here is the skinny.

I left Caitlin in the care of my grandparents and my aunt Marilyn while my mom, Mac and I took a quick trip to Costco.  The trip, including a stop at the ATM took about an hour.  Not bad for a Wednesday before Easter.  On our way back, we got a call, my aunt Marilyn.  She relayed the story to my mom, Caitlin had cut her finger.  When my mom asked how, she was told, "I'll let Caitlin tell you that story".  All we knew is that Caitlin was upset, there was a lot of blood, and the story on how it happened was pretty sketch.

When we got back to my grandparents house, Marilyn and Papa (my grandpa, Caitlin's great grandpa) were outside on the porch with an inconsolable Caitlin.  As soon as she saw me she got upset all over again.  The washcloth that was wrapped around her finger had lots of red on it.  So I was totally ready to pop her in the car and take a ride to the hospital.  Upon further instruction it looked like she had just cut off the top of her finger.  But how?

According to Caitlin, she was running, fell, and scrapped her finger on the ground.  Kind of like you stub a toe, and believable.  The story was totally believable.  I mean it looked like a stubbed toe, only it was a finger.  So I was buying the story one hundred percent.  Until my Aunt Marilyn chuckled and shook her head.  For Caitlin's sake everyone stuck to the story for the time being.

We did our best to clean up the finger, her "bird" finger as my grandpa kept calling it.  If you know my grandpa, then this is his usual fodder, except that at five, Caitlin has no idea what makes a "bird" finger!  Once we cleaned it, I sat with Caitlin and she kept asking me through crying if I was mad.  Begging almost for me not to be mad.  I told her I wasn't mad that she hurt herself, I just wanted to make sure her finger was ok, and that she was ok.  Little did I know, there was a little cloud of guilt surrounding my daughter.

In the kitchen, away from Caitlin, Papa told me that on GG's (my grams, their great grams) watch, Caitlin actually cut the top of her middle finger off with a potato peeler.  She had been left alone in the kitchen for just a minute when, upon seeing the blood started screaming.  Between the blood and the screaming, my grandma, poor GG, got physically ill.  Papa and Marilyn did their best to clean it up and calm my girl.  As a side note, my girl is not a calm girl, like ever.  Any sign of blood, any scrape, any fall she starts crying immediately whether it warrants it or not.  So I'm sure this was full blown, especially since I wasn't there.

When I think about it, I'm kind of glad I wasn't there.  Because my first reaction would have been to scream and yell.  Out of fear, out of anger, and out of control.  I don't like my babies to hurt, and I think this is actually something I can control.  I know, I'm still learning some lessons of motherhood.

Anyway, after an hour with a cleaned up and bandaged finger, the truth slowly came out.  A teary confession of what really happened.  I wasn't mad that she lied, I just wanted to know why.  Caitlin told me that she knew if she told me the truth about the potato peeler I was going to be mad at her and GG.  She's kind of right... But instead of telling her that, I told her that I wouldn't have been mad, and that in the future I need her to tell me the truth about things like this.  I told her that if I know how she got the boo boo, then I will know how to fix it faster and better.  I also told her that I'm never really mad at her when she hurts herself, I'm just scared.  Because mamas get scared, and they always want to fix boo boos and make them better.

You could tell that made her boo boo feel a little better.  Nothing like a clean conscience, right?

As for her corroborators, I'm not mad at them either.  They were playing along, some how always knowing that she would tell me the truth.  Papa later told me that Caitlin told him, "I can't tell Mommy the truth, she will be so mad!", and he told her, "You tell her whatever you want, and I'll back you up".

Caitlin is a smart girl.  Papa is definitely the guy you want to back you up when you lie to your mother.

We have to save each other {the one about Cynthia}

A note before we begin.  
I did not know Cynthia Wachenheim personally.  I don't know her family or her friends.  I was just so moved and saddened by her story, that I had to write something.  It may be presumptuous or arrogant of me to speculate how this happened.  I apologize if you feel that arrogance or read it.  It's just that when I read her story I saw a small glimpse of what may have been for me, and what could be for other moms out there.  It's also a nod to the great debate about PPD.  There is a vast difference between PPD and PPP, Postpartum Psychosis.  Please know that what most officials and reports are saying, Cynthia suffered from PPP.  Also throughout the piece I refer to her as Cynthia, not out of disrespect, but out of remembrance.  To remember her and her story, so that other moms may not meet a similar fate.   My hope is that one day, with more conversations, 
that we can save each other.  

I woke early on Friday morning, even though I didn't have to be at work.  I spent those first few quiet minutes doing what I love.  Checking Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, checking out some blogs, and reading whatever peaked my interest.  That's how I found myself crying before six thirty in the morning.  I came across a Tweet from Huffington PostIt was a report about PPD, to those in the know, Postpartum Depression for those not.  The article included the stigma associated with PPD and the added stigma of PPP, Postpartum Psychosis.  The two are very different and unfortunately get grouped in together in the same conversations.  The article included the story of a woman, aged 44, an attorney, working for the Manhattan State court system, a mother of an 10 month old son, who despite all of those qualifications, all of those stellar achievements, strapped her baby to her body in an Ergo carrier and jumped from her 8th floor window.  To her death, but thankfully not her sons.

And I cried.  Tears running into my ears as I lay there.  Because without help, without a life changing conversation, that could have been me.

Cynthia Wachenheim left a 13 page letter, detailing facts that she was to blame for the evil she was about to do.  She said that she was to blame for the mental delays her son was experiencing as a result of two falls, once from a bed, another from a play gym.  That she could see changes in her son that no one else could.  Despite the insistence from the pediatrician and her family that her son was fine, she felt she was to blame.  What devastated me is that Cynthia didn't get to the edge of that window in one day.  That it's most likely that this was a journey that she made alone.  Was there a time, when she was alone with her son, that she looked around and thought, "It wasn't supposed to be like this".  Perhaps for Cynthia it wasn't that simple.  Or maybe it was.  

In reading her story, regardless of the guidlines and symptons of PPD and PPP I was forced to ask these questions.  How did a mother, who prior to her "break" appear happy, healthy, and herself, meet this fate.  When I thought about her, when I really thought about her, was her life in her apartment so different from mine just six short years ago?  Would all of those feelings of inadequacy, the feelings of dread, all culminate into to a PPP break, if I hadn't gotten the help I needed?  I don't know those answers, all I know is that her story haunts me.  Is it possible to save someone like Cynthia?  Could she have been saved days or months prior to her break?  Would it have taken hospitilzation, medication, or conversation?  Perhaps more education?  

It's unfortunate that PPD sees no color or class, it doesn't take into consideration tax bracket or education.  It can strike anyone anywhere, but for some reason a majority of women much like myself, believe that it can't happen to them.  We, of the college education, the media education, the parenting book education, feel we know better.  What on earth do we have to be depressed about?  For many of us we are married.  To good men, who have made good fathers.  Many of us, like Cynthia have good jobs, excellent successful careers.  All of us have beautifully perfect bundles of joy.  So again what do we have to be depressed about?

But we are.  We become devastated by the fact that the idea we had, while belly full and feet up with a pint of Ben and Jerry's, is not the reality we face when we walk back through the door as mommy.  Our perfect babies are supposed to sleep, latch on, get on a schedule, like their swings or pack and plays.  No book, no mommy friend, no nurse, will tell you that your perfect baby may not like your boobs.  He or she may prefer one am, or may only be content in your arms, for 24 hour increments.  As the days pass, things as simple as showers or hot meals go forgotten.  Sleep is but a sweet memory, formula and bottle making are endless tasks.  And before we know what hit us, we are in fact in an endless loop of somebody else's life.

This isn't the story of all mothers.  I know plenty of mothers who enjoyed every fumble and bump in the road.  They loved the dynamic nature of motherhood,.  Yet  for some of us, some like me who had never up until this point, met a task she couldn't learn and perform well, was a devastated mess.  When I think about Cynthia, I think about what her life was like in her apartment.  On "child care leave" from her attorney job.  Where her greatest accomplishments were now her sons.  Did she feel despair?  Did she feel like her world was closing in on her?  Were the every day tasks of motherhood wearing her down?  Did she look at the dishes, the laundry, and a crying baby and think, "Who the hells life is this??".  We will never know, because Cynthia never told a soul.  She kept up the appearance of "fine".  She smiled, she cleaned herself up, and went to battle daily the demons of motherhood, alone in her own head.

In writing this piece, which I'm calling a piece, because as you can imagine now, is way to long to be considered a post, I did some research.  I Googled Cynthia, and I cried more tears.  Already there is outcry that she was a monster, a murderer, a villain.  I'll be honest, prior to six years ago, I would have thought the same thing.  I, like many of us, are of the Susan Smith generation.  We think about those mothers who are monsters.  How could they, why would they?  I'm not saying that what she did was right.  I don't believe that jumping out a window is the answer, but when I read her story I didn't think monster.  I didn't think murder.  All I could think about was how alone she must have felt, how distraught, and how very very sad.  Six years into this gig, I get that the mind of a mother so distraught, so lost, will believe and can believe anything they tell themselves.  But this didn't happen overnight.  Cynthia didn't wake up two weeks ago Wednesday and decide that she was going to jump.  She had been thinking about it for months.

In regards to her suicide letter, thirteen pages in all, it has been reported she blamed herself for some developmental delays that she believed were a result of two falls her son had taken recently.  He was 10 months old, and probably on the move like an average 10 month old.   Is it presumptuous to believe that her son may have fallen in the short span of time that Cynthia was doing something for herself?  Say using the bathroom, eating, or possibly taking a shower?  Was she feeling the guilt because of the things she thought she did to her son, or because had "selfishly" taken time out her herself?  We may never know, but I know how she felt.  I know because once, my darling daughter cried for 25 minutes while I showered for the first time in 3 days so I could make a doctors appointment.  I know because I was convinced that the crying, any crying would leave her damaged and in need of serious therapy.  All I did was let her cry, so I can't imagine in Cynthia's mindset, how she felt about herself after those falls.

I've written in this space before about my struggles with PPD.  That I went undiagnosed.  That it took me the better part of two years to actually admit to myself and my friends that I had PPD.  I was embarrassed.  I felt like it was a dirty little secret.  I was naive to think it wouldn't happen to me.  I was lucky, though, I may have had the key to survival.  I had a friend, who wasn't afraid to cut the crap, and ask me.  I was lucky to have a friend who saved me.  Who admitted she had the same fears I did.  The same feelings of despair.  The same feelings of terror.  I was lucky that I was able to talk to her.  That I could admit that my daughter deserved a better mother, my husband a better wife.  I was finally able to admit that on more than one occasion I had wanted to run away, because it would have been better for everyone involved.  It pains me to write that, but at the time I truly believed it.

In the many articles I have read about Cynthia, I have debated whether or not to publish this post.  It's my understanding in reading those articles that Cynthia had Postpartum Psychosis.  In reading about the condition, it's not something that builds up, it's more of a break or an episode.  That's what the professionals say.  I won't refute them, but I will say that I don't think this happened overnight.  It may have escalated quickly, it may have taken months, but at some point, Cynthia needed to get helped or be helped.  I do not fault her friends or family.  Any journey of this nature is lonely, whether it's PPD or PPP.  It's the one thing that scares us more than childbirth.  I am no expert in either field.  I just know what I experienced.  What was going on with me, and when I have written about it, what goes on with other moms.  This isn't a post to diagnose or cure, this is simply a post to take away the taboo.  To talk about what's happening behind our front doors, and in our minds.  

I won't assume anything about Cynthia.  I don't think anyone will ever really know the answers to the numerous outstanding questions.  Even if she had survived, would she be able to answer why?  Maybe she thought that she was going to let someone down by admitting she needed help.  Maybe she felt like cracking under the pressure was worse in the eyes of her peers, than getting the help she needed.  Maybe she couldn't admit to herself that she needed help.  

For whatever the reasons that brought Cynthia and her son to the ledge that day, it's up to us to continue to have these conversations.  About women brought to the brink by motherhood.  Who should not struggle alone.  There is no shame in admitting that this life isn't the one you thought you would have.  There is no shame in admitting or seeking help.  And there should be no shame for Cynthia Wachenheim.  She was lost.  She was drowning.  She was afraid.  What she needed, she couldn't ask for.

So I'm asking you.  If the only thing I ever do in this space is open the conversation about PPD, then I will have served a wonderful purpose.  I ask you to open these conversations with mothers.  Friends, family, and strangers.  Talk about the things you love about motherhood, but more importantly the things you hate about motherhood.  Someone may just need to hear that's its not all booties and bottles, but more about poop and puke.  Someone may need to know that she is not standing in that, sometimes desolate park of motherhood alone.

Please.  We have to stop this.  We have to stop mothers from thinking that the only solution lies on the ledge of an 8th floor window.

We have to save each other.

For more information on Postpartum Depression
please visit Postpartum Progress
For more information on Postpartum Psychosis
please visit Postpartum Progress: PPP in Mama English

A Royal Daughter

A New 365 Day Journey

I turned 35 today.  I'm writing this Tuesday night in the quiet of my living room.  My living room!  On my new Chromebook.  It's what I've been dreaming about for a while.  To write when ever and where ever the mood strikes me.  I've been blogging, through the trenches as it may seem, for a little over two years.  All from my home PC.  Now, thanks to the village that raised me and continues to help raise my littles, I'm a blogger, dare I say, writer on the move.

I received a birthday Tweet today from Kelly of Live Laugh Rowe.  It said, "Here's to the beginning of a new 365 day journey!".  It moved me.  Here I was worried about getting another year older.  Instead I get a whole new year to learn, laugh, cry, make mistakes, make good, make love, and be me.  It's like getting new blank pages, another great quote from my friend Nay.  I'm excited and refreshed, birthdays really are birthdays in the sense that you get quite literally a rebirth.  Happy New Year (35) to me.

Today, was a most excellent day.  Were there tears (not mine)?  Yes.  Were there interruptions in happiness?  Yes.  Yet, I can't remember having a day so jammed packed with love, life, and laughter.  Family and friends, near, far, and in bloggy land.  I am beautifully and wonderfully blessed.  I had lunch with a friend, a really good friend, that I hadn't seen in months.  I got a text from a friend that I've known for 17 years, and we still consider ourselves real friends.  Even my late night text session with the BF, made my day come full circle.  It's what lies in the little things; the emails, tweets, texts, and phone calls, that remind you that some connections no matter the miles, or the years can't be broken.

If this post seems all over the place, it in fact is.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to write about, I just knew I wanted to write it.  I also wanted to share some of the things that I did, to commemorate 35, my scary age that has turned out not to be so scary.  Also, I'm that blogger, that decided to create a #hashtag to celebrate her birthday.  #thisis35  #megsturns35  Go ahead and groan...

Thanks to my parents for this blessing.
They continue to help make the impossible possible.

Wrote my first blog post last night on my new toy.
It was amazing.

Received some Starbucks love from some lovely ladies!
Kristine, Jennifer, and Jaci.
I'm so spoiled rotten
Me in my birthday suit!
Ha, total joke right.
And the dirty mirrors are my birthday gift to you.

New sunnies.  Green straw.  Pedi appointment.
Pure bliss.

Birthday kisses from this one.
It was a very good day.
Driving home from my mom's house tonight, I looked up at the full moon.  I could see all the nooks and crannies of it.  I'm a dreamer.  Forever looking up.  Dreaming about my next big thing.  My next big adventure.  Tonight, I looked at the bright full moon and thought how thankful I was for this day.  How content I felt.  How everything was perfect and imperfect all at the same time.  And it was the perfect way to end the first day of my next 365 day journey.

Turning 35 {Life Lately}

Tomorrow or today, depending on when you are reading, I'm turning 35.  This has scared me for a while since it's become obvious to me that soon I'll be 40.  But If I really slow down, really think and reflect upon 35, it feels no different than 34, or 30 for that matter.  When I really think about it, I'm still sleep deprived, still stressed about things I can't really change, plagued by chores I never really do.  

Not much has change with one exception, I'm a bit wiser.  Wiser to the fact that those stresses in my life will continue to follow me, that those chores will have to eventually get done, that I'll keep getting older and so will my kids.  Time doesn't stop, but instead of saying it's passes or it's fleeting, perhaps we should say it evolves.  Like we all do, like we all should.  In January I chose my word for 2013, it is Zest.  Tomorrow (today) I will fully accept 35 with zest, and if I'm lucky some chocolate coconut milk ice cream.

Life Lately is a Link up at Life on LeRoy.
Link up your own next Monday.

It's a Birthday Party! {plus a gift for you}

Who knew there were so many March babies in bloggy land.
I was so lucky to cross paths with Colletta from Colletta's Kitchen Sink.
She leaves the most wonderful comments here and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the two of us are turning 35.  Colletta turned 35 today (Sunday the 24th) and I'll be 35 on Tuesday the 26th.  We decided to do a little bloggy swap, just for you.  Plus Colletta is giving away the most amazing book I never even knew existed!  Ready to get your domestic diva on???  Well meet Colletta, get acquainted, and win The Gentle Art of Domesticity.
Colletta's Kitchen Sink
Colletta is 35 (Happy Birthday) and blogs from Hyndman, PA.  What I love about Colletta is that she loves to read.  She is always posting about books or giving them away.  She has her goodreads status in her side bar is is working her way to her reading goal of 100 books for 2013.  I like her style.  Colletta also has an ETSY shop for all of you who Etsy.  And boy is it cute!
0-3 Month Duck Hat and Diaper Cover Set - Easter Photo Prop - Ready to Ship
Find it here!
Here are some of Colletta's favorite things, and if you stop by her place today, you will find some of mine!  Plus you can get the skinny on why Colletta started her blog in the first place, which I always find interesting!!
Top three favorite TV shows:
Castle, NCIS, Bones

Favorite authors:
Dani Pettrey, DiAnn Mills, Susan May Warren, Denise Hunter, etc, etc, etc.

Favorite book:
Other than the Bible, Pride and Prejudice or Little Women
Favorite food:

Go-to beverage of choice:
Ovaltine, Sunny D, and Dr. Pepper.

Favorite Outfit:
Comfy pants, with a favorite t-shirt.
Favorite Accessory:
My pearl necklace that my hubby got for me at Epcot-Japan. I got to pick out the oyster and be surprised at the pearl! So fun!
Why do you blog/write?
What do you hope to accomplish with blogging/writing? Blogging gives me a creative outlet and also helps me to find a community to socialize with. It can be a bit hard to find community when being a SAHW-M. It also helps me with my anxiety/depression to have a daily routine and socialize as well as being a journal of sorts.

I have to say that Colletta and I could spend an entire day watching TV and reading books.  Now be nice readers and go wish her a Happy Birthday on her blog.  Then be really nice readers and fight with each other over the chance to win this awesome book!
image via Amazon
This gorgeous and unusual book, full of whimsy, warmth, and a wealth of stunning
photographs, helps us to see domesticity with new eyes.
Whether she’s knitting a tea cozy or baking jam tarts, crocheting a blanket
or sewing an apron, Brocket fills her home with beauty, color, and fun.
She transforms day-to-day domesticity into a realm of possibilities,
both practical and imaginative—
and encourages us to do the same in our own lives.
I've added it to my wish list, but you don't have too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



The promise of a new day
The promise of spring and new beginnings
 The promise and possibilities that blank pages bring to a busy mind.

 A promise of laughter after a hard and exhausting day.
A promise to me, that I'll keep swimming, no matter the current,
the temperature, or terrain.
I have a friend, who has a friend, who doesn't believe in promises.  Because as the friend would say promises can be broken, or will be broken, or are meant to be broken.  I'm not sure, but all I know is that they don't believe in promises.  The idea really stuck with me.  Promise is a word thrown around, much like love.  I promise I'll give you chocolate if you just stop crying, I promise I'll make dinner every night of the week if you just...  I promise, I promise, I promise...
It leaves me to think about the essence of promise.  Why we love the word or the idea.  Why we dwell on the promises of things, people, hopes, or dreams.  I like the idea of a promise.  It's hopeful.  Pregnant with possibilities.  And while we may be disappointed in the end, may we never be surprised by the fact that there will be more promise to meet us there.
Linking up here

I'm human, she's five, everybody poops {A lesson in motherhood}

Caitlin is OCD.  It's not really news to those that know her.  I mean she was the walking definition at two and a half when she lined up every pot and pan in my cupboard from the kitchen to the living room.  She also did this with books, cups, dolls, crayons.  I just laughed and thought it was cute, and said that she would just be highly organized and self motivated.  But really I was worried she would turn out like me. 
I'm not as OCD as I once was.  When I was five, I spent an entire month constantly washing my hands, until they were raw and chapped.  All in the name of washing away the germs that would kill me.  Yes, I told my mom I didn't want to get germs because I would die.  Have I ever mentioned that my Mother is a saint?  So that OCD carried on with me for most of my life until I became a mother.  I had to check a lot of that shit at the door.  But I'm still OCD about germs, poop, and dishes.  I'm not really sure why the dishes made it, but a sink full of dishes just about sends me to the loony bin, and I get a sick satisfaction in loading a dishwasher.  I know, you don't have to say it.
So now that I've set the tone, my kid is type A, OCD, just like her mother.  Since I'm nothing like my mother, this has turned into a situation.  I don't have the patience.  I don't have the empathy.  I forget what it's like to have to have something done a certain way.  I forget what it's like to have irrational phobias.  Then I look at her, crying and telling me she is scared and then it clicks. 
Oh, Crap, that's me.  That's all me in that little body.
What do I do now?
Last week we had to tackle just how alike we are head on.  I didn't handle it well.  There was a lot of yelling, a lot of tears, and then a lot of talking, apologizing, and then more crying.  I'm not the kind of mom that is calm and collected.  It's sad, but true.  I'm a yeller.  I always have been.  I've tried and tried, but.... 
The situation is this:  A few weeks ago I lost myself over poop.  Yup, poop.  Caitlin was doing her thing and for the first time in months needed my help.  For her privacy, now and in the future (sorry, love), I'll just say that it got everywhere.  Like everywhere.  Not her fault as she is only five.  I know, I forget too, that five year olds still have a hard time with the basics that we all take for granted.  But back to the poop, it was everywhere and I lost it.  I yelled, I was accusatory, I was disgusted.  I can admit it, I was way overboard, I was way out of control.  In my defense (if I have one), I was in the middle of dinner, and Mac had just done her own business a few minutes before, so I felt I was up to my eyeballs in poop.  Still, my freak out had a major impression.
Fast forward to last week.  My poor little OCD child, who takes declarations and freak outs in the literal sense, was "holding it in".  She was saying that it was going to hurt to poop, that she couldn't do it, but after two days of trying, Miralax, and crying, we figured out she was just holding it.  It was awful, I was frustrated, she was scared.  And we went back and forth like that for an hour.  Then when I collected my self (a little), I was able to calmly ask her why she was scared, her response,
"If it's messy will you be mad?".
And I broke.
Because isn't this what Mommy Dearest was made out of?  I mean it doesn't get clearer than that.  I was waiting for the phone to ring to get the "Lifetime Achievement for Motherhood" award.  What is even the right response to that? 
I felt like this was my "no wire hangers" moment.
I excused myself and called my BF, who saves me every time.  When I told her the story, with a cracking voice she said, "You are human.  You are human before you are mom.  You make mistakes.  And they can be fixed".  Then she proceeded to give me the correct dialog to apologize to Caitlin, to calm her fears, to help me admit my actions, and to open the conversation.  Thank God, right?
So that's what I did.  I got down to Caitlin's level and laid it all out.  That Mommy makes mistakes.  That poop isn't the worst thing in the world.   That poop is messy, but we can always clean up.  That everyone poops, and it's because it's the healthy thing to do.  And that Mommy was very, very, sorry.
Then I called my mom, to cry and say, "Oh my God she is just like me".  And my mom said to just talk to her, reassure her, but to know that I can't change her or what she believes the first time out.  That it will take time.  It will take patience.  It will take everything I've got.
Have I mentioned I'm not patient?
Like with most fumbles in motherhood there was a lesson to be learned.
But did I learn it?
I'm human.
She's five.
Everybody poops, eventually.

Parenting 101 or something

We had a situation last week.  A parenting situation.  It involved glycerin suppositories and enemas.  I'm serious.  So on my way home from Walgreen's I was talking to my BF, and I said, "I get it, I get that making your kid do something they don't want to do is basic parenting 101.  But that's mostly reserved for eating their vegetables or doing their homework.  I doubt its a rule reserved for making your kid poop (not actual word used)".
And I meant it.  The books really only scratch the surface of what you will face as a mother don't you think?  The books are all very vague.  They never give you situations that you can use, like "what will you do if your child has an exploding diaper at three months old at Target, literally poops up her back and front, and you get poop in her hair".  Yeah, there wasn't a chapter on that one...
 What about a chapter on wiping butts into the next millenium?  Because you will be wiping butts that are not your own for the next 6 years with one child, and longer if you have others.  Yes, you really could be wiping butts for up to 8-10 years. 
I know.  I'm sure a part of you just died inside.
Also I wish I would have known that poop is an ongoing conversation when you have kids.  How many times a day, consistency, constipation.  The list is endless in the poop department.  I wish a book would have also told me that my kids poop would be up for discussion with other mothers.  That's right because mommy friends always welcome poop conversations.  Even over lunch, because it's not even gross anymore, it's just real every day life.  Which sucks for your one childless friend who just threw up in her mouth.
Other lessons I could have used:  Cheetos do make an appropriate breakfast.  Sweet tea will not kill your children.  TV is highly appropriate in all situations, especially if those situations involve peeing alone, eating out at a restaurant, or driving long distances in the car.  Your baby with be teething for the better part of three years.  Your child will only eat things that are white, or orange, or green, but never together, and never at the same time.  Your child may not do the same things in the same time frame as other children, there is nothing wrong with your child, so stop listening to that friend that is trying to convince you your kid needs: speech therapy, occupational therapy, a better mother perhaps, or a combination of any of those.
Where is that book?  Where is the book that explains all of that?
 There isn't one, because if you read that you would be bribing your child with a five dollar bill to eat one single solitary pea at the dinner table, no one, and I mean NO ONE, would procreate.  Ever.
So yes, while it's basic parenting 101 to make your kid do something they don't want to do, I think I get a free pass when that something in question is poop. 

Saturday: morning, noon, and night {LifeLately}

 This was me Saturday morning.  I wasn't happy.  It was almost 10 am, and I had only been up an hour and a half.  I had made big plans for Saturday.  They included PJs that I may or may not had planned to wear all day.  Plans that included laundry, a jog, and some blogging.  A morning that did not include a mad rush to get me and the troops ready for a visit to the Botanical Gardens.  I had forgotten this little event the my mother in law signed us up and paid for... Oops. 
I'll admit that once the day got rolling it showed a lot of promise.  Look at these two budding artists.  The event at our local gardens offered a paint and plant.  The girls had a blast, Mac of course made a mess, and fun was had by all.  They look so serious here, but I promise they just really get into their art.
 I will say that the morning improved greatly when word got out that we could make our own succulent garden.  The girls got to pick out their plants, add dirt, rocks, and the best part of all, animals.  Here is Caitlin's masterpiece.  She chose a very graceful and beautiful swan for her garden, and a purple clip on butterfly.  She was very proud of her garden.
 Here is Miss Mac's.  Let's just say I put this whole thing together, because Mac was completely uninterested until... She saw her choice of animals.  Then she promptly choose, "Marty" and "Melman".  Madagascar is huge in this house.  I'm kind of in love with my handy work.
Once Botanical Garden time was wrapped up (cupcakes included), we walked over to the nearby park. My mother in law came along and it was a good thing too, because I wrote a blog post via my iPhone that I emailed back to myself.  I know, I know, I was supposed to be there enjoying my children, and the weather, and the kids who kept running into me on their scooters.  I was, and I was also blogging.  I can multitask like a beast when the mood strikes.
I had settled into the idea that this was a pretty good Saturday.  I was content.  The afternoon brought lunch and a trip to Michael's and Whole Foods.  And then the afternoon brought pure bliss, in the form of Coconut Milk ICE CREAM...
Two reason why this is notable.  One, I can eat this.  Even on my continued diet of no grain/no dairy.  It has minimal cane sugar, which has been ok'd by my doc.  Can I get an AMEN?  Reason two why this is notable:  It's delicious.  Like I think I'm eating ice cream.  Editors note:  it does have a coconut flavor, but when you haven't eaten chocolate, sugar, or ice cream in over a year, this is heaven on earth.
Saturday afternoon, gave way, lazily to early evening, with dinner outside in the front yard.  I was finally enjoying the weather.  I was enjoying the company of neighbors and the hubbs.  My kids were having a blast in the grass and mud.  But I had some nagging items on my grocery list that Whole Foods just didn't cover, so I weaseled my way into a Target trip.  At 8pm, alone.  I made a pit stop.
Saturday night has never looked so good.
And finally the 10am me was smiling.
Linking up with Alli for Life Lately

WTF is Happy Hour?

There is an ongoing debate in this house.
I'd say fight, but we don't always yell and scream about it.
Many times we get some smart ass and sarcastic barbs in.
But mostly we fight about it.
Because what is Happy Hour?
In this house it means that on some Friday's Daddy goes and has a quick drink with the guys.  He's had a long week at work.  He needs to unwind.  Decompress if you will.  Because he works.
Well guess what?
About a month ago, when I thought he was on his way home, and he was really at Happy Hour, I put up a protest.  I decided and then declared that not a single chore, save making dinner for the kids (see microwavable) would be done while Daddy is at happy hour.  No laundry in.  No dishes rinsed.  No toys picked up.  Mommy would be observing a happy hour of her own.  I sat in our recliner, turned on Nick Jr, and read my latest copy of Entertainment Weekly cover to cover.
Then when he walked in the door, I shared my disgust, declared my own happy hour, and promptly left.  I went to Target.  I walked around alone, with no cart.  NO CART.  I looked at clothes, shoes, bedding, shampoo.  I bought Mumford and Sons.  I didn't have to go down a single toy aisle.  I didn't have to buy an Icee.  Just me in my happy place, having a happy hour.
Last Friday, after another tantrum about happy hour, I locked myself away, listening to that Mumford and Sons CD, while typing and writing to my hearts content.  Sure there was the occasional interruption, but that was ok.  I got through entire thoughts in just minutes.  When is the last time that happened?
I stand by my declaration.  If Dad gets a happy hour then so should mom.  Fair is fair right?  And while I'm sure an actual happy hour with cocktails and appetizers would be fabulous, I'm happy with a little peace, a little reading, or a little writing. 
Because what the blank is Happy Hour?
Whatever I say it is...

Comic Relief {Friday Funnies}

After the week I've had, I thought I should lighten the mood.
I need all the laughs I can get.
So here are some of my favorites from my Pinterest boards.
Happy funny Friday.
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Is it weird that I want this framed and in my living room?
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I seriously need this on a t-shirt.
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They call him "Aristocat" and he is fabulous.
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I wish I would have used this line a time or two. 
I really do love Lucy.
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I can't stop laughing at this. 
Do you think there is a sippy cup of milk waiting for him?
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I feel like this when I'm typing at work too.
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I'm only including this one because I literally laughed for 10 minutes.
Ten minutes.
Can I get an Amen?

It's ok. All of it.

It's ok that I'm at this weird place emotionally tonight, right?
I mean I keep telling myself it's ok, but it doesn't feel right.
I feel like something is missing.
A piece of the puzzle.
Then I think that's ok too.
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It's ok that the last week has been hard marriage wise.
That I've been stubborn.
That for the first time is about six years I dug in my heels.
That maybe I was a little too dramatic, a little too harsh, a little too me.
But it's not always my fault.
It's not always his fault.
And even though it's hard, it's ok.
Because at the end of the day, I still want to be here.
It's ok that I broke tonight as a momma.
That I had to face my actions as a mother.
It's ok that I didn't like myself at all.
Then I spoke with a friend that reminded me that I'm human.
I'm human before being a mom.
And that it's ok if I get frustrated and lose it a little.
Because I can always apologize and explain.
And while I did all that I'm still a little broke.
It's ok to be in this spot to reflect.
It's ok that I see so much of myself in Caitlin and it scares the crap out of me.
That she is very OCD, as I was as a child.  As I still am as an adult.
That she takes words in the literal sense.
That she has phobias I cannot calm or change.
It's ok to be frustrated and broken hearted about both.
It's going to be ok.
It's ok that I miss blogging.
The daily minutiae of it.
The tweets between bloggy friends.
The daily reading of my favorites.
The funny and food shots on Instagram.
I feel a little lost without the interaction.
And I feel a little strange about that.
But blogging and bloggy friends have become a huge part of my real life.
Writing in this spot almost daily was not just therapeutic, it was affirming.
Hitting publish is an accomplishment like no other.
And so without the daily interactions, the words as they flow from mind to keyboard,
I feel lost.
And it's ok, that many wouldn't understand.
That they would laugh and say that this world is made up.
Just some space on the Internet.
But it's more than that to me.
And if you are reading this, you are making it ok, to want more,
to write more, to be more.
I'm telling myself it's ok to feel this way.
It's ok that some weeks, pieces of your life's puzzle go missing.
Not for long, but just long enough.
Long enough for some tears, some reflection, some regrouping.
And if I keep telling myself it's ok, then maybe it will be.
Inspired by this linkup.
Its Ok Thursdays