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.

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)!

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!

An emotional week

Last Friday was Baby B’s 6 month check up. I hate giving my babies shots so I was not looking forward to her appointment, but I was extra concerned this time as Baby B had petechia after her last vaccines. After discussing my concerns her Dr said we couldn’t do shots because it was a couple days short of two months since her last vaccine and that she wanted to do some investigating before we made a vaccination plan. I am delighted that we have a Dr that really listens to our concerns but I left a little worried because she seemed concerned as well. We are going to have a blood test on Baby B and wait on anymore vaccines for a bit.

I’m ok with this plan for Baby B but I still find myself worrying that we might find something is really wrong with her. Although I pray that Baby B is A O K, I can’t help but worry about worse case scenarios. I actually don’t even know what the petechia may indicate. Basically, I’m not even sure what I’m worried about! Health concerns in little ones are awful and I pray for every family going through any type of health issue.

Then this morning I felt a lump in my breast. Breast cancer terrifies me. Honestly, it causes so much anxiety in me that I change the channel or turn off the tv if people are talking about it! My mom had breast cancer when she was only 34 so I am aware that I am at a heightened risk of also getting it.

Since becoming a mom I am afraid of something happening where I could no longer be there for my girls. I am sure this is a very normal fear for any mother. Anytime that something seems off with my breasts frightens me. I’ve been battling a plugged duct for the past month but this morning I felt around and there is definitely a lump in there. I’ve been thinking that my armpit lymph node might also be a little enlarged for the past couple of days as well. I very much hope that it is nothing or some kind of breastfeeding problem but I am scared.

I cried off and on all morning thinking about my babies and how I don’t want them to have to go through any thing scary and stressful. I made a Dr appointment for Friday. Then, as I was remembering how I felt when my mom was battling breast cancer I actually felt a little relief.

My memories are all good! I was ten when my mom went through it and I just remember skipping school on chemo days and eating cookies, drinking hot chocolate, playing board games, the nurse with blue hair, and family time. I don’t remember being worried about my mom except for when she had surgery. I don’t remember her being sick, even though she lost her hair. If there is a sickness now or in the future I hope to have the strength and positivity of my mom!

I am praying for health all around in our house and in all of the houses. I am praying for health in your house, too.

Sometimes you feel like a rockstar

Do you ever have those moments or days where no matter how challenging it is you just know you can do it? It might even be that you HAVE to do it but you still go into it confident, knowing that in a matter of time you will be looking back on the challenge with a proud smile? I had one of those moments today.

The Hubby is usually the chef in our house but he was working hard painting the house, so I made a gourmet dinner (of spaghetti). This might not sound hard but we were ending a too-fun-weekend of aunty and five year old cousin visiting: we were all exhausted! So exhausted that Little A fell asleep and I had to pick her up and throw her around and dance with her to get her to wake up!

So I started boiling the water and put Little A in the bathtub (I guess I felt so good I figured I could add an obstacle ). Baby B wouldn’t let me set her down so she was my helper. I had to go potty with Baby B in my arms. The Hubby walked in, he was impressed. Both of the girls cried, it was definitely a challenge but dinner was made and eaten.

The actual accomplishment was small, I know, but it felt huge today. I love the feeling of being a rock star at being a mom.

God’s Time

Like many others, I’m sure, I have spent a lot of time planning, dreaming, hoping, and praying for the future. But sometimes I don’t know what I am planning, dreaming, hoping, and praying for. Sometimes God’s plan is not my plan. God’s plan is always better.

We had been married for two years when The Hubby finally agreed to try to have a baby, I had been waiting for him to get on my page for the whole two years! I was so disappointed when it took us six months to conceive. (I realize that this is nothing compared to the struggles that many face while trying to conceive.) We were praying and dreaming of a sweet baby but God knew the timing wasn’t quite right. I applied for a new position in my company that I really wanted in February and two days before my interview I found out I was pregnant. I can’t say how things would have been if we had gotten pregnant that first month but I would have been six months pregnant applying for a position I had wanted for years. God knew what was best for our family, with that position I received a raise, better commute, and more flexibility (perfect for Doctor appointments).

While I was on maternity leave The Hubby was thinking about switching companies. I really felt like a new baby was a big enough change and asked him to wait. It was something he really felt he needed to do and when the baby was six months old he made the change. The new job was so much better for our family that I was able to quite work and stay home with Little A! God was pushing The Hubby to do it because it would be a bigger blessing than we could understand!

Fast forward two years and we were considering some more big decisions. I was eight months pregnant with Baby B and we were meeting with a builder, considering building and moving to a small town three hours away. We know like ten people in a fifty mile radius of this town and we were honestly going to say goodbye to hubby ‘s good job and our family and friends. Then we were notified (or God intervened!) The Hubby would have to move over there for a month before we could start building and building would be another six months! That would be seven months of not having a house, as we would have to sell before we moved. With a baby on the way I told hubby we could do it but let’s have Baby B before we do anything too crazy.

The Hubby doesn’t like to let go of an idea once it is in his head. He started looking for other options and found a perfect piece of property for sell just outside of the town we lived in. He made some phone calls and determined we could purchase it and sell our house a little later. Still very pregnant, within two weeks of the due date, I again asked him to wait! I had one thing on my mind: having this baby! He drove up to look at the property, again, and stopped by his grandpa’s on the way home to get his opinion on the property.

Grandpa, usually the idea encourager, asked The Hubby to wait to make the decision. Grandpa was in the process of building a house (the foundation was poured) and he was waiting for test results because he may have cancer. He told The Hubby that he may want to sell to us. He did have cancer and he did sell to us. Thankfully, God gave us the obstacles on moving out of town so that we were able to purchase from The Hubby’s Grandparents.

Of course, building the house that The Hubby’s grandparents have dreamed of for years is not easy. It is very bittersweet, as we are so excited and so thankful but also very much wish that they were building the house. I believe that our new house will serve as a daily reminder that God has a plan, a big plan, that we may not understand today or even tomorrow. But God has a plan, it is in His hands!