Chunky Baby Comments

I am the first to admit that Baby B had some serious cheeks a couple of months ago. Honestly, I loved those cheeks! They were absolutely satisfying to kiss. Also, absolutely adorable. (Her cheeks have thinned out but are still wonderful for kissing!) I, however, am still so bothered by the remarks people would make about her.

Although she is a little tiny human, she is still a human. With feelings. She may not yet understand but maybe she does? I’m continually surprised by how much she does understand. How can we know that on some level these comments aren’t affecting her? With so many young people being affected with body insecurities, why would we start putting these ideas into our children’s heads as infants?

Now, let’s suppose that Baby B, at just eight months old, was not affected by these comments. Her big sister, however, was affected. I know, because Little A called her baby sister “chunky” many times. I had to explain to her what chunky meant and also that it is not a nice word to use.

In pointing out Baby B’s “cute little rolls” or her “chunkiness” or stating “my kids were chunky but not THAT chunky” you are pointing out the differences in her body from the others in the room. And, again, if Baby B doesn’t understand this, Little A at three does understand it. Perhaps she now sees that her sister’s body is shaped differently than hers or she may be wondering if you are going to also point out the rolls on her little body? Either way, I have been fighting to keep these types of concerns from her innocent mind.

Thankfully Baby B’s weight was not a health issue and not something that I was concerned with. However, for some families those comments about weight could also bring up health worries. Also, I’m positive that comments about weight with my first child would have made me concerned enough to ask Dr Google. As a new parent there are so many new things to worry about and unfortunately, other’s comments turn into big worries even when that is not how they are intended.

I am not denying that Baby B had full cheeks and more rolls than many babies. I am just concerned with the ways that are thought to be acceptable to talk about these cute little children. Even if our sweet babies don’t understand our words, our older children may.

Letting anxiety go

I didn’t realize that I have anxiety until I saw it in my three year old. As we were getting ready to go to a birthday party, something Little A was excited about, she began to get upset and say “no! Let’s just stay home!” Of course I didn’t tell her this, but those were my exact thoughts.

It would be so much easier to just stay home, to not get dressed, to not load up two kids, to not unload two kids, to not worry about where to nurse baby B, to not worry about what to say, and to not worry about what I didn’t say for days afterwards! I was ready to give up, too.

But hearing those words from my little girl and KNOWING those exact feelings I knew I had to be brave. I had to face all of those little thoughts that can feel huge and scary.

So we went to the party. Little A cried the entire way there because she wanted the toy we picked out for the birthday girl for herself. I feel I should admit that we were also an hour late. But as we drove there I told myself I was not going to worry. Not now and not later. Especially not later, as I have a tendency to dwell over all of the things I should/shouldn’t have said/done.

We had fun. We survived. Baby B was fed, Little A played, and I talked to adults. It was GREAT! I can only hope that by conquering this adventure that Little A will face her fears in the future, that she won’t take the easy way.

As for me, I keep reflecting on my conversations and actions and keep on letting them go. I don’t need to waste my energy on “could ofs”, that I can’t change! My little ones are teaching me, just as I am teaching them, and together we will be brave. We will just let it go.

We have a house!

We have been in the new house for a month now. It has flown by as we have a super long list of to dos! Although it feels like we’ve been busy working on the list, it has not shrunk very much.

Every single long hot shower still feels like a slice of heaven. Doing laundry in the house is amazing. Doing laundry and not depending (and waiting!) on The Hubby is more amazing.

As the “new house ” is starting to feel like just the “house”, I am reminded that the house is not what is important. The things that were missed so much while we were in the trailer are not important.

Two beautiful little girls and their silly dad are important. I could live in the trailer for eternity if that was where my cute little family was (ok, maybe not very joyfully).

As we cross off “taking irrationally sticky stickers off windows ” and “installing closet doorknobs that were on back order” (why?!) off of our to-do list, I will stop to enjoy these special people. I will take a breath when I’m feeling overwhelmed and snuggle. I will take a moment to roll across the room with Baby B or join the dance party with Little A. Because wherever I am with my three favorite people, I am home.

Just Laugh

I always love it when things are not going so great and something terrible happens but I’m able to see humor and change my attitude. If only I could always let the silly things lead me but sometimes it takes hours or days to reflect and see that it wasn’t so bad.

A couple of nights ago, I was having a hard time with the little cuties when I felt something warm on my leg. I picked up Baby B and there was a puddle of poop on my pants. I just laughed, what else was there to do? I didn’t know where to start, so I took my pants off then changed Baby B. We don’t have curtains yet and it was dark so I had to do a funny crawl so our neighbors wouldn’t see! Then someone drove up to the house, eek! I had to run and get pants on… It was a funny couple of minutes and only because I let myself see the humor in the situation.

Today I missed the humor. I was bribing/ threatening/ begging (basically not good moming) my Little A to go potty on the potty before we left for my mom’s house. She is three and doing well at potty training but, let’s face it, she has many other important things to do. (Hello, we were leaving and she needed to get every bracelet, necklace, ring, and purse she owned on!) When I turned around to see a little puddle on the carpet behind Baby B. Poop. On our less than a month old carpet. Right on the very first piece of carpet anyone will ever see in our house.

I didn’t laugh. It was a mess. I didn’t know where to start and I also had a naked toddler asking me why Baby B pooped on the carpet. I wasn’t at my best. I chose the wrong way to look at the situation. We survived it.

I had the girls all loaded up in their car seats when Little A announced that her ring fell off in Baby B’s car seat. I just couldn’t let this choking hazard slide so I searched. I weighed my options in my head and almost drove away without finding it but I just couldn’t. For five minutes I felt around every crevice in the back seat. Finally I found it and turned around to see the cat had joined us in the front seat. I still wasn’t laughing.

As we drove away I finally saw the humor. I’m glad I had the time to reflect because the more that I reflect the more that I realize our day is filled with silly little girls that make hilarious situations one after the other. I just have to choose to see it that way. Here’s to a funny tomorrow filled with good moming!

Joy and Guilt

We have finally moved in to the new house. In so many ways it feels like it has been a long process but in reality it has been very quick, at just about 6 months. I am overjoyed to have all of the benefits of a house. Space, the ability to shower and bathe the children with ease, the feeling of cleanliness and lack of clutter, being able to set Baby B down without the worry that she might roll three feet to the floor, and so many more.

I am ecstatic to have a beautiful home that so many people put many many hours in to, in order to complete it. I absolutely love the peaceful setting and country land we are blessed to live on. I’m excited to make it our own little home.
However, with every little feeling of joy there is also guilt, sadness, confusion, and curiosity.

Guilt that I am enjoying someone else’s dream. Something that they spent YEARS fighting and planning for, while we stepped in and spent months. Guilt that so many are affected negatively by what brings us joy.

Sadness for so many reasons. That my grandparents in law are not living here. That they have so many battles that they are currently fighting. That they are watching us live their dream. And, honestly, a little sadness that this isn’t a completely joyful experience for us, but life is funny.

Confusion and worries about who and why the situation is effecting others. I don’t know how all of our extended family feels but I sense that there are some hard feelings. I understand why, but so wish they weren’t there. I am hopeful that time will heal.

I am so curious about God’s plan. If I only look at our story I love God’s plan but when I look at the whole picture I can’t help but wonder why? It is hard to imagine that all of the battles will work themselves out peacefully but I have to trust in God’s plan. I hope to some day understand but know that we may never.

It is a treat to wake up in a house, a home every morning. I love it here and can’t wait to see how our lives change over the next six months (but I also fear it)!

Another day in the trailer life

“Mommmmm eeeeee” then whimper and crying sounds. I open my eyes, remember where I am. Dwell for six seconds on the unfairness of my toddler waking me up at 7:34am, when the baby has been waking me every 30-45 minutes since 3am. Put on my happy-good-morning-mommy voice and smile.

“What’s wrong? Come snuggle with me.”

Little A enters, and climbs on to the bed. Carefully maneuvering so that it doesn’t look like she is trying to wake her (for once) sleeping sister. Loudly tells me how she was scared of the bed and has been awake for a long time…

Twenty minutes later; I have convinced Little A that she does want to eat breakfast, now, not later. As I stand at the sink washing my hands the water abruptly stops. It’s freezing outside. The pipes are frozen. Call The Hubby and add another problem to his list or wait and see if it gets better? Call the hubby. He says hopefully it will thaw out throughout the day.

Thankfully (I hope) we are going Christmas shopping and won’t even notice our lack of water. We load up in my mom’s car and head to the shopping center, 45 minutes away. Baby B starts crying fifteen minutes in and doesn’t stop. I continually ask Little A if she feels ok because she is prone to getting car sick and I’m obsessed with preventing it (only proven way=stay home). She doesn’t get sick. We feed the baby then shop.

In the Target check out line the woman in front of me says “I’m just in a hurry to pick my kids up from school.” When the cashier asked what her plans were for the rest of the day were. He responded “they get out at 12?” Go cashier. You got her. She is making you, herself, and even ME feel rushed and you called her out. She should slow down and I appreciate that you are actively listening to your customers!

A couple more stops then eventually back home to the trailer. The water is still frozen. The best Hubby Ever fills thirty gallons of water and hauls it to the trailer so that we have some water. His jobs never end. Then he goes and works on the house until 9pm.

Bedtime. When hubby gets up for work at 3am he goes out to switch the propane tanks, as it’s empty and we now are only blowing cold air, it’s twenty degrees out.

We knew this would be a challenge. I don’t think we understood how hard some aspects would be but we didn’t understand how wonderful other parts would be. As I write, the counters and granite are being installed. I can’t contain my excitement to move into the house. (Of course I would love it even more if it were my husband’s grandparents moving in, rather than us!) I believe that we will look back on our adventure in the trailer fondly.

I think most of all I will miss the physical closeness of our little family. I will learn from the very relaxed standards that we have held while living in here and try to let our standards slide at times. Little A just said to me “I ate a cereal off the floor but it was clean.” The same floor I smashed a bug on yesterday and the same floor I rarely mop. But it is okay, and it will be okay in the new house too. I hope you eat some cereal off the floor and I hope that woman at target does too.
P.s.

It is snowing! 

Going places with littles

I love having plans and doing something where we get to get out of the house. Then, when I’m about five minutes into getting ready I remember that I have two little kids and the task of leaving home is so exhausting that by the time I get anywhere I am ready to go home.

Yesterday we went shopping with my mom and sister. Although I love shopping and I don’t get to go very often, by the time we got there I wasn’t feeling it. The shopping trip went well, both girls refrained from crying and I found what I was looking for.

Next, the car ride home. Baby B cried the entire thirty minutes home. I thought she would fall asleep but she just cried and cried. Little A whined and begged for the blanket that Baby B was using until she cried too and fell asleep.

When we got to my mom’s house I took Baby B in, worried something was wrong but she was happy the instant I took her from the car seat. My mom brought Little A in and she was a crying mess from being woken up. Ugh. Really, can I catch a break?

I needed to run to the store so I left Baby B with my mom, loaded Little A up, and went to the closest convenience store. As I was carrying Little A in, I realized her diaper was leaking. So we went back to the car and did what any good mom would do: we tied a sweatshirt around her waist.

Sometimes I feel like I either suck at being a mom or other people are really good at making it look easy. But I probably looked like I was rocking it too while we were shopping. Am I good at making it look easy too? Either way, I think we will just resort to online holiday shopping for now.

The waiting room

Have you ever been in a situation or location where you felt a strong connection to strangers? Yesterday I had my ultrasound appointment to check the lump I found in my breast. This appointment was at a specialty imaging clinic and apparently it is a very busy clinic.

I was shocked when I walked in, mom, and babies in tow, to find a completely full waiting room at 9:45 on a Wednesday! Now, this waiting room had strangers sitting right next to each other, the courtesy seat in between was not an option. There were so many people that many had to stand!

As I nervously waited for my 10am appointment I felt connected to the others in the room. Maybe it was because I was both hungry and thirsty or maybe it was because they were an hour behind schedule? But I really felt a surreal connection to these other nervous waiters.

I didn’t talk to anyone (other than the woman who asked if there was a plug in in the play area and then walked away cussing when I said no) but I really wanted to. I wanted to share my worries and explore theirs. I wanted to tell them that it would work out for them and that we could support each other.

As I sat waiting for the results of my ultrasound I was scared, terrified, actually. I was fighting tears, willing myself to not cry until I had a real reason to. When she came back and told me that everything was normal I had so much relief. As I left that little room, I said a prayer for my friends in the waiting room that I never got to meet, that they too may leave with that same feeling of relief.

Three

You were still in my tummy three years ago. It was the day you were due to arrive but you didn’t make an appearance. Five days later you finally arrived. You made me a mommy. I am so thankful for that.

As I hold you, cuddling you to sleep, I am amazed by the many ways you have grown, but also by how babylike you are still. I rarely get to cuddle with you anymore and soon you won’t snuggle up with me anymore. I just want to hold you tight and squish you up when you try to grow. But I’m also extremely excited to see you become a big girl, a teenager, a young woman, and some day maybe a mommy or a chef or an engineer. I can’t wait to see you become more of you.

I so wish I could be everything for you. Because you are everything to me.

How sweet and silly you are in the mornings makes me so excited for you to wake up. I actually can’t wait for you to wake up in the mornings. I love the way you love your sister. It is an over the top, very squeezey love, but it is pure love. I’m so proud of how smart you are, even when you don’t want to listen to my “lessons “.

Thank you for being my little girl, so interested in the world around you. You are so adorable but also gorgeous on the inside. Thanks for letting me learn to be a mommy while you take on life.

Give A Smile

Attitudes are so important. That’s obvious but today I had a reminder of why that is. Today I had my breast lump dr visit and then a trip to the hospital to get baby B’s blood drawn. I have been so scared and worried about this darn lump. I checked in for my appointment this morning and the receptionist was nice. Seriously nothing over the top but she just seemed happy and like I wasn’t bothering her. It is so silly but at that time, she was exactly what I needed.

Then, the nurse who came out to get me was sweet and carried Baby B’s car seat for me and held Baby B during my exam. I know this is little but it was so helpful to me and meant a lot. The Dr was kind, and made me feel less worried. I just appreciate people being nice so much.

Next I carried Baby B, her car seat, and an over filled diaper bag over to the hospital. The sweet lady that checked us in was just so genuinely kind. It made me so happy to be helped by another kind person. The lab orders weren’t in their system (not her fault) but she took care of it as if it were. She kept checking in with me while she was waiting for the orders and was just an all around positive energy in that waiting area.

The waiting area was also blessed with another patient that certainly leaves his fun little mark wherever he goes. Despite holding a ziplock bag filled with prescriptions and waiting for another test he was lighting up the room with his over the top happiness. He told me he wanted Baby B to wake up so he could smell her little baby feet. He was just such a bright person in a dreary place.

The phlebotomist girls were also kind and helpful even through a crying baby with hard to get to veins.

It was a simple trip, one that many others make every day. But this trip was special because every person I met was kind, positive, and doing their best. I didn’t encounter any negative and I can only imagine how energized and loved we would all feel if every interaction with strangers was so special. Let’s all make sure to give a stranger a smile today!