Boy oh Boy… The Adventure of parenting!

A pregnant friend recently found out she is expecting and asked me what it was like to go through pregnancy and the first couple years of parenthood. I told her it’s hard to explain and gave her a generic answer about how wonderful it is to have kids, and how much I love being a mom, and of course, she would love it too. Then I gave it some thought and realized I can come up with a much better answer then that. So here goes!

Going through pregnancy: Going through pregnancy is amazing… at times. When you focus only on the baby growing inside you, hearing their little heartbeat for the first time, feeling that first little flutter, seeing them on the ultrasound screen. It’s amazing. Absolutely breathtaking. I was just as awed the first time I experienced any of those things as I was every time after that. It amazed me that my body was able to create such a perfect little being. But then there is the other side of all that amazingness. There are aches, pains, morning (ALL DAY) sickness, getting a cold and not being able to take anything for it… you get the point. There are two sides of it. And my answer as to whether I enjoy being pregnant tends to change depending how I feel that day. Then of course as you get to the end of your pregnancy, there is the countdown to a day that your baby may or may not be born on. I don’t know why we even get due dates. We just just get an approximation of when the baby will be here, that’s all a due date is anyways. But that’s not the point here. At the end of your pregnancy, you feel like a waddling whale, you can’t bend over to tie your shoes and you can’t sleep. Then the most amazing thing happens… you go into labor. 

Labor is only amazing for the first few minutes when you realize that the baby is actually going to make an appearance, then you realize that you are in this for the long haul and all of a sudden it just hurts. Like nothing you have ever felt before. But we’ll fast forward through all that stuff and go straight to the point you can actually hold your newborn!

The first time you hold your newborn (once you have gotten past the pain and exhaustion) is amazing. Absolutely amazing. To think that this little creature grew inside of you for nine long, long months and now is looking up to you like you have all the answers… You do have them right? I didn’t. I guess my kids handbooks got lost on the way out. Or the nurses kept them. I didn’t get them that’s all I know. And so begins parenting. 

What’s it like being a parent? Hmm… let me see. It’s exhausting. And stressful. And you will quickly learn there are no right answers. Just a lot (and I mean a lot) of theories. Like a lot of them. And most of them won’t work for you, your spouse, or (most of the time) your child. You might as well just accept right off the hop that you are going to have to make it all up as you go along. But it’s also the most amazing thing I have ever done. It’s overwhelming and scary to be sure. To think that this little being is going to be shaped by me… I doubt myself all the time. I wonder all the time if I am making the right choices for my kids. Especially when they are picking on one another, not sharing, not sleeping through the night like all my friends kids are. I wonder what I am doing wrong. But then I hear people tell me how well behaved they think my toddler is when he can walk through a store holding onto the stroller and listening to me. I hear my 2 year old helping his little brother learn to walk, and reassuring him when he falls down that it was a ‘good try Nick’ and my heart melts. I realize that somewhere along the line, I am teaching my kids to care about one another. Somewhere in all the chaos of a house with two toddlers I am doing something right. 

My point? Going through parenting and raising kids is an adventure. Nothing is going to prepare you for it. There aren’t enough books in the world (and you definitely don’t have time to read them all anyways) to cover every single aspect to parenting there is. The best way to sum it up is Adventure. Buckle up and get ready, because my dear friend, nothing is going to be the same again. Ever. 

Love, hugs and more to come later

Lynn

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover….

What is up with people‘s need to judge one another? On Every. Single. Thing. And not just judge, but openly criticize.

As a mom I face judgement and criticism every single day. My worst critic, is me. Which is normal. How can I make myself a better mom to my amazing monsters if I don’t reflect on the day and find things to improve on? I want to be the best mom I can be for my kids. I don’t expect me to be perfect, just the best I can be. 

But then you get the other people. The ones who aren’t even directly involved in your life, but feel free to pass judgement and criticism on your choices from the moment you announce you are pregnant. (Or start showing.) (Obviously I know people judge on a lot more then just a mom’s parenting skills, but for the sake of this blog that’s going to be my focus today) 

I remember being pregnant with Alex. It was early November so I was about 32 weeks along.  It was nice outside, my feet were swollen and I needed to go pay the rent and grab something for lunch. I decided that I was going to wear my sandals. It was above 0 for sure, although now I don’t remember the exact temperature that day. So after I paid the rent, I walked over to the superstore and grabbed a pizza for hubs and I for lunch. Then as I was walking past the Tim Horton’s, I decided a double double would be fantastic for the walk back to the apartment. Insert ‘well meaning’ old lady who felt it was alright to come up to me and tell me how horrible of a mom she thought I was going to make since I was wearing sandals ‘in the dead of winter’ and drinking coffee that was going to make me have a small premature baby. (Alex was born 4 days past his due date, and weighed in at 7 lbs 14 oz) What gave her the right? She had never met me. She didn’t know my name, she didn’t even know that the coffee was for me! But she felt it was her place to let me know what she thought. 

Go forward a little while, now I have given birth to my beautiful baby boy and hubs and I decide to take him to the mall and walk around for a bit. Do some shopping. Grab lunch. So we pack up our diaper bag, load the baby and go. While we are at the mall (in typical baby fashion) Alex needs to eat. So we whip out a bottle and mix up his formula. That’s right I said formula. I’m one of those moms. There was no medical reason for me to formula feed. We chose to. We felt it was the best option. I’m not going to defend my choices, my reasons shouldn’t matter to anyone but me. So anyways, we mix up his formula and I have a seat on a bench while hubs runs to the washroom to feed my bundle of joy. Insert well meaning lady who felt it was alright to come up to me while I fed my baby and let me know how much better breast feeding would be for my child and how I was doing him a disservice by giving him formula. Again, she didn’t know me from Adam. She didn’t know without a doubt it was formula in that bottle. She didn’t know if maybe there was a medical condition preventing me from breast feeding my child. She just felt she should let me know that I was harming my child. 

It’s not just strangers who feel they are right in criticizing.  But I was lucky. My family and friends didn’t criticize my choice to formula feed my sons. However, announce to the world that you are going to have a second baby when your first is 8 months old and all hell breaks lose. Announce you are pregnant with baby number 3 when baby number 2 is 7 months old and watch out for flying objects. Turn around and tell people you plan on having baby number 3 in a different province and Hubs might miss out on the birth and holy shit, you better duck you head and run like hell. Whew! Although maybe, in some small way, family and friends have a right to question your choices when it comes to big things. But does that give people the right to start spreading rumors that the REAL reason you are going away to have the baby is because you are divorcing your husband? I don’t think so. 

Seriously. So far in all my posts on this blog I haven’t really explained this trip to Winnipeg. I’ve hinted at it. But I never really gave any explanation as to what led us here to this point.  We planned baby number 3. We were trying to get pregnant. Before we even started trying to get pregnant for a third (and sadly, final) time we agreed that I was going to go to Winnipeg where all my family is to have the baby.

My family couldn’t be here when I had the boys and I wanted to experience the birth of one of my children with my mom with me. She’s my mom. My all time best friend. One of the few people in the world I can talk to about anything and she knows when I just need her to listen and when I need her input. At the time, Hubs was supposed to be going away around the time the baby was due. Therefore he would likely miss the birth even if I was here, and even if he made it to the birth he would be gone again shortly afterwards, leaving me with no support or help with 3 kids. My family don’t have the chance to see the kids all the time. They live too far away to just pop in on the weekend and say hi. I think it’ll be great for the boys to be able to spend some time with their Nana and Papa and uncles. And I know my parents and brothers are  going to love and cherish the time with the boys (I planned on going out there for a couple months while Hubs was away even if I wasn’t pregnant!) 

So the kids and I are going to hop a plane and fly out west in a couple weeks. I have a Dr set up out there to take over my prenatal care, I have a birth plan with my mom. Hubs may or may not make it out there for the birth. We are most definitely not getting a divorce. I’ll say that again so no one misses it… I AM NOT GETTING A DIVORCE. My marriage is fine. 

I get that we are all going to do things differently. As a parent you are constantly making choices; breast vs bottle, diaper brands, cloth diapering, co sleeping, attachment parenting, CIO methods, when to potty train, when to have more kids, the list goes on forever! No 2 moms are going to have the exact same view on every single topic of parenting. But shouldn’t we all agree that as long as our babies are happy and healthy we are doing something right and accept that just because you don’t choose to do things in a specific way doesn’t make it wrong?

Love, hugs and more to come later

Lynn

wash, rinse, dry… and repeat…

Some days, okay most days, I seriously wonder why I bother spending so much time in the run of a day cleaning.

Yesterday I opened the dishwasher to empty it, to have Alex reach up to get something off the counter (that he shouldn’t even have been touching) and knock my last full can of Pepsi off the counter into the dishwasher… all over my dishes. I didn’t care too much about having to run the dishes through again.. I mean really all I needed to do was throw some soap in and push a button. But it was my last can of pop!! And since my back was turned I lost over half of it to my dishes.

Today I had a basket of laundry sitting on the floor that I needed to fold after I put Nick down for his nap. So I bring Nick up, leaving Alex downstairs, as I normally do. I come down to find him shaking his sippy cup upside down over my clean clothes watering them with apple juice the way the character on TV was watering his carrot.

I have also walked in on him and Nick throwing cheerios at one another. And then laughing hysterically while they crush them into my FRESHLY swept floor. Now I remember why I stopped letting them eat cheerios in the living room while they watched Barney and I tried to do laundry.

Add in the way they take every single toy out of the toy boxes and throw them around the house 30 seconds after I just finished picking them all up, and I am sure everyone can see the frustration.

Alex helps me pick up his toys now. I thought it would be an incentive to put the toys away after he uses them so it would take less time. Turns out cleaning with Momma is fun. Now when I say we are going to pick up toys when I am finished with the dishwasher he runs to the toy bins and empties them as fast as he can. *sigh*  Ah well. What can I do. I’m sure one day soon I’ll blink and they’ll be all moved out and I’ll be wishing for these days again! For now, this Momma is going to finish her coffee and go get the laundry out of the dryer. Again.

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

My life is worse then yours… I mean better… I mean…

So yesterday while I was killing time wandering around the internet, I found a couple pages where women were comparing whether being kicked in the balls hurt more then child birth. I have nothing against the blog post I read, it made me laugh hysterically. But it got me to thinking why does everyone have this insane need to believe they went through worse pain then anyone else? When it comes to the whole kicked in the balls vs child birth debate, I am firmly on team childbirth. Obviously pushing an 8 lb bowling ball out of there hurts more then being kicked in the balls right? But then my husband asked ‘Have you ever been kicked in the balls?’ hmm. Good point. I guess I can’t compare them can I? (Of course, I am still right, I really think that being kicked somewhere sensitive hurts less then pushing out a baby… )

But anyways, that’s not the point I was trying to make with this post. What was on my mind after reading all this was why do we all want to have experienced the worst pain? When I was pregnant with Alex, I didn’t hear much as far as labor stories went. But I was one of the first of my friends to take the journey into motherhood. After I had Alex… all that changed. It became a contest. Who had the longest labor. Least drugs, most drugs. Went the furthest past their due dates, had early labors. Biggest babies. Tore. Needed stitches. And the list goes on. And on and on and on. 

Shortly after I had Alex I sat down with a friend, who for the sake of this post, and not broadcasting her name all over the internet will be called Jane. So Jane and I sat down and we talked about our labors. Hers was fast. I mean fast! I think it was something like 4 hours… she didn’t build up to the strong contractions, she plunged right into them head first! Mine had been just shy of 24 hours. Slow. Drawn out. Exhausting! Do I think hers was easier then mine? No. Harder? No again. Just different. Both of our bodies had to do the same work to get our babies out. (Our babies were even about the same size, and her and I aren’t built much differently either) Would I trade labors with her? Again, no. And she agrees that she wouldn’t want to trade either. Mine was long, yes. But even though the pain lasted a lot longer then it did in her case, I think I much prefer getting in slowly from the shallow end and adjusting as much as I can before the real fun starts. 

Now labor isn’t the only time women seem to need to ‘have it the worst’ I see this all the time when women start talking about their husbands. Why in the world do women want it to appear that their husbands do the least, are the laziest, worst in bed etc etc etc? Personally, I much prefer to brag my husband up, suck it ladies, my husband rocks. Don’t get me wrong… he isn’t by any means perfect. He drives me absolutely nutty sometimes. But what do I gain by focusing on those things and making him seem bad to others? I don’t know… maybe I am going about this whole marriage thing wrong?  

The only thing women seem unsure about whether they want to brag up or complain about is their kids. On one hand you get mothers who have the BEST of the best kids. The ones who are perfect. Always listen, sleep through the night, super easy to potty train etc. But then you also have the ones who go on about how their kid is a worse sleeper then yours, teethed worse etc. Honestly.. if my kid doesn’t sleep and your kid doesn’t sleep… let’s become night time friends and entertain one another instead of trying to outdo one another on who got less sleep! 

Women aren’t the only ones who do this. Men do it to. In all ways. Who scored the most (whether that be with the ladies, or in a sporting game) who is the best at video games… you get the idea. 

There is nothing wrong with some healthy complaining. And I also don’t see anything wrong with exchanging stories. But the embellishing needs to stop. Stick to the facts. Who cares if someone has it worse or better then you. Be grateful for what you have and the journey you took to get there… after all, it’s not going to be listed on your tombstone that your life was better then these people and worse then those!

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

Pregnancy

Today I am feeling especially pregnant. Not that I ever really feel not pregnant, I mean with the big belly, baby bouncing, and all the other wonderful pregnancy things a woman gets to experience. But today I feel really pregnant. I’m only 21 weeks.

Only… Already… I guess it depends on how you look at it. Since April of 2010 I have been pregnant a grand total of 101 weeks. There are only 145 weeks between April 1, 2010 and today, January 14, 2013. That makes 21 weeks seem like nothing. Makes the end seem so far away. Yet at the same time, I’m already more then half way through my third and final pregnancy. 

Anyway, back to feeling especially pregnant. Anyone who has ever been pregnant knows that feeling of helplessness you get when you have to strain to tie your shoes… or when you sit down on the floor and struggle to stand back up. That’s me today. Feeling a little more pregnant then normal. And it’s only going to get worse. And I can’t wait. Weird eh?

I love being pregnant. I love feeling the baby move inside me. The little kicks and jabs and sudden needs to pee when they hit your bladder the right way. It’s amazing. Hearing the heartbeat for the very first time. Or the 100th. It’s all amazing. Seeing the little one moving around on the ultrasound screen, finding out if you are going to be buying pink or blue. Or not finding out and holding onto the suspense a little longer. I had to find out. I hate not knowing things! And I love to be able to buy a bunch of the color I am going to need. Decorate the baby’s room (not that there is anything wrong with a gender neutral room, I went that route with my first born) And naming the baby! And using that name. It makes me feel like the baby is already a part of our family. (Not that I am saying the baby isn’t a part of your family if you don’t know the gender, to me it just made a big difference!) Where was I… Oh right.. The amazingness of pregnancy. 

It’s not all amazing. There are the sides of it that some people pretend don’t exist and others dwell on looking for sympathy. The aches, pains, stretch marks, constipation, bloating, weight gain, morning sickness. Ah the list goes on! But it can’t be that bad can it? Most of us have more then one baby. Some of us (like me) even go as far to have 3 in less then 2.5 years. I know. What was I thinking right?

I’ll tell you what I was thinking… I was thinking my brothers and I were all pretty close in age, and we got along great. And fought like cats and dogs. They were my best friends. And my worst enemies. We stick up for one another, we help one another out. We love one another. I don’t remember a time when I was an only child, even though I was the oldest. As far as I am concerned, they were always around (well except my youngest 2 brothers, I remember Mom being pregnant with them and them being babies) I wanted that for my babies too. To always have a play mate, a friend, an enemy, a confidant, a partner in crime… someone to blame for the things they do. But mostly, someone to grow up with and make memories with. 

Ah the joys of motherhood and pregnancy. The stress, the joys, the tears, the smiles, the sleepless nights. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love it. Even on days like today when the boys are picking on one another and are cranky. After all, that’s what naps are for, right?

 

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

 

a little more intro… just cause

Last night I couldn’t sleep. I don’t know why. Kids were sleeping. Hubs was sleeping. Baby wasn’t keeping me up bouncing. But I was awake. So while I was awake I thought about some random stuff. I thought about what to make for supper tonight (tacos sounds pretty good to me). I thought about what was left to do for our pending trip to Winnipeg (more on that later). I thought about what I wanted this blog to be, and I thought about who I am as a Mom. 

I don’t want this blog to become be whining about being a parent and how hard it is. I also don’t only want this blog to focus on the good. In fact I don’t only want this blog to be about my kids. I want this blog to represent who I am and who I become as I walk down this uncharted road. I know millions of people have and are raising kids, which means the road of parenthood could be considered well walked, and I suppose in some ways it is. But no one out there is me. And no one out there is raising my kids. Therefore, for us, it’s uncharted. 

Sometimes it’s going to be posts about my kids (let’s face it, they are my whole world and as a stay at home mom I spend a lot of time with them, making them easy to write about!) Sometimes it’ll be posts about married life (which anyone who is married knows it’s not always a walk in the park, especially when the man you married is military. I’m not complaining, but any marriage comes with it’s share of work!) Sometimes it might be about a new recipe I tried, a new craft the kids and I did, a home makeover project, or even just a random post that has me rambling! 

I won’t lie, I’m not the mom who plans out our whole day with activities. I’m not the mom who takes my kids to art galleries and museums once a week and worries about there being enough culture in their lives. I don’t have a designated hour of the day to teach my kids colors, the alphabet and numbers. I do things with my kids, we bake cookies, color Easter eggs, finger paint, build with blocks, play Ring around the Rosie. I read to my kids *almost* every day. We build with blocks, and run around being silly. I also turn the TV on for the kids and let them entertain themselves while I get a couple things done around the house, or sit on my computer because I need a few minutes to myself. I’m not going to pretend I am perfect, because, frankly, no one is. But I do the best I can, and this blog is going to be my journey! 

So before we start this journey, let me give you a little background on me, and my little family. 

My husband and I met in 2008 when we were both in the Canadian Forces, we became good friends almost right away, and left it at that since I was in a relationship with someone else at the time. I left the Forces due to an injury a few months after we met and went back home while he finished up his training. After I left, my boyfriend and I decided to go our separate ways, and Hubs thought he would ask me out. I turned him down. Before he even finished asking. I did not in any way shape or form want a relationship, let alone a long distance one. We kept in touch, and he stayed on my mind. In July of 2009, I was out with a friend when I brought Hubs up in conversation. Her reply was ‘you really got a thing for him huh?’ hmm. I hadn’t really thought about him in that way, but I started thinking about it then. He had always been in the back of my mind, and there was something between us even if we hadn’t labelled it! So I decided to call him and ask him out. (I think he was a little surprised!) In October 2009, I moved out east to live with him and make a go of things. He proposed to me a couple weeks after I moved here. We got married April 2, 2010 (I wanted April 1, but he didn’t have the leave to get to Winnipeg in time for the wedding, so I went with the 2nd instead!) A couple weeks later, I found out I was pregnant with our first child. In December of 2010 we welcomed our first son, Alexander Mychael into the world. About 7 months later I found out I was pregnant again. To say I was surprised would be an understatement! In March of 2012 we welcomed our second son, Nicholas Sidney into the world. At this point we sat down and really talked about how many kids we wanted and how far apart we wanted any additional children… so about 5 months after we had Nick we started trying for baby # 3. In August I found out I was pregnant again, this time with a little girl, Zoey-Ann Marie, due in May! We both agreed this is going to be the last addition to our family (children wise, you never know what pets may join us down the road!) and that brings us to where we are now! Hubs is soon to be heading out on a course with the military (well 3 courses back to back) and the kids and I are going to be heading out to Winnipeg to spend some time with my family and have the baby! 

That brings us to today, and right now the kids are waking up and I need to get them some breakfast! 

 

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

Getting Started

I decided to start a blog. Again. This time I am hoping to stick to it a little longer then I did last time. The problem I had last time was simply that I didn’t like the site I was using. After fiddling around on this site for a little while, I am liking it much better. So.. Onto the blog!

This blog is, very simply, going to be about the life of a busy stay at home mom and military wife with (soon to be) 3 little ones! Currently I have 2 little boys, Alex who is 2 and Nick who is 10 months. I am just shy of 21 weeks pregnant with our baby girl, Zoey! Since this is going to be our last pregnancy, we are very excited to be welcoming a little girl into our busy family! 

I hope everyone enjoy reading about the things my children get up to, and the trials and joys I face guiding them through childhood into (hopefully) wonderful contributing members of society! 

I hope my family and friends who are far from us enjoy using my blog to watch the kids grow up, even if they can’t see it in person! 

And I hope that I can keep up with this one, the way I neglected to keep up with the last one I started ha ha! It’s a resolution of mine to be able to keep family close this year, despite the distance between us!

 

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn