Tuesday, February 22, 2011


It creeps up when I least expect it, this feeling. A sadness, a defeated wilting, a barrage of anger at myself and my feeling of failure.

I wish I would have nursed Samuel longer. I feel like I failed him.

Yes, I know that is irrational. I nursed him for nearly a year. I struggled and pushed through so many trials with the nursing- the ear infections, the ear surgery, the fact that eating ang getting nourishment from me HURT him. He never loved it. I hung on to it alot longer than he did. He happily switched to bottles without a backward glance. I cried for days, and still do sometimes.

I mourn for the time that was cut short. My body needed to not nurse anymore, and he was already self weaning- but it still hurts.

Because he will not cuddle with me. He won't sit with me. He won't hug me or let me hold him. He's not a snuggler. He's a wanderer. And frankly most of the time, he prefers Mark to me.

And try as I might to not do it, I keep going back to when nursing stopped. I keep feeling as if I could have pushed through, made a way to make it work. But I didn't. I gave in. And the bond I have with him suffered.

Lily is his exact opposite in many ways. She will sit with me for hours. She will snuggle and lie with me. She happily naps with me. She tells me she loves me a hundred times a day. And she seems to really need me.

She also breastfed for 2 years, with no supplementation, no bottles or formula.

Is that the difference between them? Is my choice to stop nursing something that will carry over into our relationships forever? The thought breaks my heart.

I cannot change it now, but if I could, I would. I would spend more time lying with him, nursing him as long as he needed. I wouldn't have rushed. I would have found better ways to position him so his neck and ears didn't hurt. I would have researched medications and how to continue on.

But I didn't. And I regret it terribly.

So if you are nursing, please enjoy it. Enjoy the snuggles and the warmth and the give and take of love. Look down and watch your child as your body provides for their needs. It is a living breathing miracle we as women get to experience.

And hold onto it as long as you can.

Monday, February 21, 2011


The kitchen is warm, breezes blowing in through the open windows. Music bubbles from the speakers on the laptop, filling the room with sound. The babies dance in their chairs, Lily throwing back her head to laugh. Warm crisp chicken nuggets fill their bellies, handfuls of endamame following.

We laugh, we dance. We make up songs. I kiss Sam's head, smelling the soft sweet smell of baby shampoo mixed with the tartness of outside living. The sun hits Lily's face and her eyes glow amber. She smiles and drinks her milk. Sam dances and laughs.

And I look at them and my heart about comes out of my chest. It has been a perfect day, the sun shining warm, wind blowing strong. The kind of day that calls you outside to play play play. And play we did. All day, out giggles ringing out across park and sidewalk and front porch.

A day filled with mommy friends. Women I cannot imagine my life without. With one call, we get together with our babies. It is messy and chaotic and fun. The kids play, swing, eat wood chips. The mamas talk and find a bit of time for themselves in a day filled with doing for others.

And I realized something. I've always been okay on my own. I've always been scared to reach out and be this person. But today I felt good in my own skin. In being open and vulnerable. In caring enough that hurt would be profound, but wanting to care enough to have it not matter.

I am no longer content to be alone. I need people. I need other mamas. I need company and laughter. I need the touch of a hand and shared understanding. I need to be around other women who watch out for my kiddos, who touch them with gentle hands, who call out "I love you too!" without hesitation to my daughter when she calls it to them.

I need people. I need my friends. And the though of it is no longer terrifying, but comforting. I am resting easy in the idea of needing and being needed, and no longer afraid of rejection.

Because, let's face it. Life crumbles. Words are said, feelings hurt. Friends don't always see eye to eye. Inevitably there is conflict. And that used to scare me.

But it's worth it. All of this love and laughter and care is worth every fear of failing at friendship, of not being good enough. It's worth it to know I can go through this life, this motherhood, with others who love my children. It's worth it to know I have friends to care for and to give to. I have my friends children to love and watch grow.

It's days like this that make me realize what life is about. It's about the day to day living, yes...but it's also about the sunshine, the giggles, the bubbles, the chalk, the grass in between my toes and the cookie crumbs on my shirt. It's about watching my babies run and play with children then will grow up with.

And it's about a circle of mommies to share it all with.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I love God. I believe in Him. I walk everyday with Him. I try to please Him.

But here's the thing:

I have friends that are not believers. Friends that are agnostic. Friends that are atheists.


I get the lack of trust, and the lack of willingness to leap into something that will change you from the inside out. I get the fear. I get the feeling that turning your back is easier that opening your arms to God.

I have walked that long and lonely road. I was never in a position of disbelief, exactly, but one of ambivalence and sometimes, hostility. I knew God existed, but I doubted he cared at all for me.

Life had not led me to believe any different, and radical changes do not happen in a vacuum. I had to actively search out something more. I had to reach for more. I had to dig myself out of the hole of anger I was in. I had to come to the absolute end of myself. And I did. Then love came and rescued me.

But my story isn't one that alot of people get to live. Many people have been hurt and abandoned. Many people have been injured by their past. Many people have been put through the wringer by religion so that they shied away from it forever. Their hearts have been hardened by the world so much that it cannot be softened by God.

And I get that.

I cannot judge anyone with regards to their beliefs, because I have walked both sides of this fence. I have howled at God, raged, and washed my hands of Him. I have fallen on my knees and begged for God to save me, to heal my mother. And He didn't. And I don't know why.

All I can say if you are in that place is that the comfort of knowing God is so, so much more profound than the righteousness of turning your back when your pleas, go unheard. I still question. I still don't understand why I am scarred. I still rage, sometimes, because of the remembered pain.


He is so much more than our own knowledge. He is so much more than our human experience. He sees ALL, and He knows ALL. He sees the big picture. He sees beyond the pain to what it creates in us. Hurt, betrayal, rejection, loss, abandonment, anger, sickness...all of it is a bridge. It spans the gap between us feeling like we can conquer the world on our own, and knowing we need to reach for a power beyond us to survive the world.

I could be bitter. I could be angry. I have been. And rightfully so. But now, I can surrender to the knowledge that all of my life is in the hands of One who sees it all, who knows how to refine me into a person capable of handling anything coming my way.

So if you don't believe, I understand. I would never judge you. I would never look down on you. I would simply pray that your heart would unfold in the tiniest corner, soften slowly enough to just let a little bit of God's love seep in.

Because, my friend, hope and love are everything. And they are magnified a thousand times by sharing it with a God who loves you back, fiercely. It is so profoundly comforting to rest easy in the knowledge that even when you don't have the answers, He does. There is nothing He does not want to give you, and nothing he will not lead you through. All He asks of you is communion with Him. A dialogue. A stretching of belief to cover things unseen. A closing of the eyes and reaching out in prayer to Him, to feeling Him surround you. He asks for you to love Him, because he loves you.

So if you are in the place of fearing to believe, fear of stepping out on faith, I understand. You are poised above a precipice, and the unknown lies below. But I can assure you, sweet friend, that you will never regret the step. Never.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Dear Lily,

The day you were born was the best of my life. I had waited so so long for you. When I first looked into your eyes, the world stopped. I KNEW you. I looked at this tiny new person, and I said "Oh! Hi! I've been expecting you."

It was as if there was never a time you did not exist. And I have thought about that moment alot since. I believe, deep down in the sacred parts of my soul, that God allowed me to know you so I would keep going. That He gave me knowledge, somewhere in my soul, that you were waiting for me. That you had chosen me.

And when you were born, there was a great shift in my spirit. I knew, beyond any doubt, that I was born to be your mother. I was born to wash your tiny feet and hands, born to clothe you and carry you, and born to sit and nurse you for hours. Everything clicked, and I settled into my skin for the first time ever.

You saved me from myself. From feeling never good enough or strong enough. It wasn't about me anymore. It was about your smile, your giggle. It was about your care. It was about your comfort. In caring for you, I cared for that part of myself which came alive when you were born. I nurtured and reparented myself.

You were such a sweet baby. So small. When I had you in the sling, nobody even knew you were there. You would nestle in and sleep, or lie quietly and listen to my heart. Every night, I would make up a hot water bottle and wrap my t-shirt from the day around it. I would tuck it next to you in your bassinet, and cover the whole thing like a bird cage to keep you warm. I would sleep with my hand over your chest to feel your breathing, and to know when you cried. You were so small your cries made no noise.

I would nurse you for hours. And soon you started to grow. You left the preemie clothing behind by the time you were 10 weeks old, and we celebrated that you were in newborn clothing! You were so tiny. I should have been scared but I wasn't. You were fierce as well, a fighter. I could see myself in your stare.

You grew. And now, my sweet angel, now you are a little girl. A baby no longer. You are in school. You have little friends. You are compassionate and kind. There is not an ounce of meanness in your sweet little soul. You love everyone. You give to everyone.

You still save me, everyday. God put me here to be your mama. I know that with a clarity that I have never experienced in my life.

For so long, I was a wandering and floundering ship, tossed on waves. Until you. When you came, I found the harbor I never had before. You brought me home to a life I never knew I deserved. You are so much more than just my baby girl. You are the reason my life makes sense. You are the reason I know for certain God loves me.

So here's to four years together, you and I. The lost and the found. The saved. And the sweetest girl who saved me.

I love you to the moon, and beyond. You are my everything.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Mama said there'd be days like this

Put Sam and Lily in tub.

Sam takes off his diaper.

Clean him up quickly so he doesn't poop in tub.

Take his screaming hiney into his room.

Load him up with lotion just as Lily calls out that she has to poop.

Try to get a grip on Sam to put him in crib. Give up cause he is greased like a pig.

Run to Lily. Wash her up quick, dry her, put her on toilet.

Turn around to see my son is covered head to toe in powder.

Catch him as he slips on the wet tile.

Fall on my butt on the wet tile while holding him.

Tell Lily to stop laughing.

Take Sam to his room, still greased and slippy.

Chuck him into his crib, turn around and see that his room is covered in powder.

Yell inappropriate words.

Tell Sam to stop laughing.

Remember Lily is still on the potty.

Run in to clean her up. She hands me toilet paper with a sigh and disgusted look.


Spring Sam from crib. Start dressing him.

Lily screams from her room.

Run to her, slipping on wet tile again.

Kiss toe booboo.

Remember Sam is loose, the bathroom is open, the toilet seat up.

Scramble to the bathroom.

Find a whole roll of toilet paper on floor.

Yell inappropriate words.

Tell Sam to stop laughing.

Apologize to Lily for said words.

Drag Sam to Lilys room, dress Lily.

Turn around to see Sam throwing himself off the window seat.

Catch him by the head.

Feel like supermom for a sec until my back seizes up.

Yell and fall over on floor.

Apologize for yelling.

Moan. Give Sam the evil eye for laughing.

Sit up because Sam is yanking my bun and glasses.

Stumble to kitchen.

Pop 6 advil.

Get back just in time to see Sam throw himself from the window seat again.

Take him to kitchen. Give him ibuprofen.

Give Lily Tylenol for good measure.

Sit on the couch with both.

Catch Sam as he throws himself from couch, but knock Lily off couch in the process.

Hold both while they cry.

Cry a little too.

How long til bedtime?