Saturday, August 27, 2016

What Not to Say to a Mother of Young Children

Being out in public with young kids can be interesting. I am sure it is not going to get any better when I get pregnant with baby number three, but I don’t care.

Here are a list of things not to say to a mother of young children;

  1. I love when I have a pile of cuddly children.
    “Wow you’ve got your hands full!” is something I hear on a regular basis, multiple times a week. I think most the time people mean well when they say it, but it’s not something that makes me feel happy. It makes me wonder if I look frazzled and worn down when I don’t feel that way. There are definitely days I feel and look that way. Even on those days I don’t want to hear it. Just don’t say it.

  1. “Have you heard of condoms?” Only smart asses say this one. Luckily it hasn’t been said to me yet... I’m sure it will sooner than later. Yes, I know what condoms are. I chose/choose not to use them. Yes, I know that unprotected sex leads to children (insert eye roll here).

  1. Heather is pretty crazy.
    “You know how that happens, right?” Yes, I do. If you didn’t know, it can actually be really hard work, especially with other little ones running around.
  1. “Are you done having kids yet?” “No I’m not done yet, I want 4 more.” Watch their jaw drop.

  1. “I could never handle that many kids…” That’s nice, no one is asking you to. You can keep all the companies who make condoms in business.

  1. “Are they all yours?” “Yes they are all mine, but they do all have different fathers. Actually I’m not sure whose father that one is, there were so many men at the time.” Again watch their jaws drop.

  1. Heather loves to climb.
    “You should…” or “When I have kids they will never….” Parent your kids how ever you want, but don’t tell me how to raise mine. I will not tell you how to raise yours.

  1. “Wow, I’m never having kids.” Even if you don’t think I heard it, I probably did. I am a mom, I have eyes and ears on the back of my head. Are my kids really that badly behaved that you no longer need birth control? Maybe somedays…

  1. “Can you keep them quiet?” or “Why can’t she keep them quiet?” (again assuming I cannot hear) No I cannot. If my toddler decides to throw a huge tantrum in the middle of Walmart because I said no, she cannot have the Doc Mcstuffins fruit snacks because she hates fruit snacks, and I don’t want her to be a spoiled brat. Then no, I cannot keep her quiet. Toddlers are unreasonable and will pitch fits whenever, where ever they like. On most occasions Rose throwing a big tantrum makes Heather upset. There have been times where we dropped everything and left. I have stomped out holding two screaming children all the way to the parking lot. I did all that I could, and no, I could not keep them quiet.

  1. Rose loves to climb too. I love her crazy hair. 
    “Where is your mommy?” or a parent looking at my child/children trying to decide who is their parent. Every time this happens I have an eye on her/them. I am not a helicopter mom. I do not stay connected to my toddlers at the hip. They need freedom and I let them have it. It’s one thing to ask a child where his/her mommy is if he/she looks scared or frightened. It’s another thing if there is someone literally two steps from the child.

Most recently this happened  to us at Home Depot. Rose was literally two steps away. A lady walked past, looked at Rose smiled and said, “Where is your mommy?” from behind her, I said, “Uhhh… Right here…” I smiled and waved. The lady said, “Oh, ok” and kept walking. Did she assume I wasn’t Rose’s mommy because Rose wasn’t attached to my hip. Did she assume I wasn’t her mommy because I was already holding Heather? Or did she just not see me. Either way it was irritating, but nowhere near as irritating as helicopter parents at the park (insert giant eyeroll here, I might do a whole blog post on helicopter parenting soon).

Please, if you do not have anything nice to say to a mom of more than one kid don’t say anything at all. If you can’t think of anything nice to say, read my next blog post about what you should say to a mother of young children.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Postpartum Experiences

I have blogged a lot about my labor and deliveries but I haven’t talked much about my postpartums. My postpartums were very easy, I’m sure having a natural labor and delivery helped alot. The fourth trimester (postpartum) can be a really hard. Many moms have stitches in their perineum to recover from, or stitches from c-sections, some women develop postpartum depression, some women even suffer injuries that affect them for a lifetime. I luckily had it very easy, but my postpartums did not go by without challenges.

Rose was four days old in this photo. We were having
 latching issues life was not easy. I was emotional. 
Physically my recoveries were very easy. I didn’t tear, I did have some soreness down south but it was not painful at all. Heather did put a small hole in my left inner labia, I mentioned it in her birth story (sorry if it is TMI but I thought it was important to mention). It wasn’t painful, just sore. It healed pretty quickly. My husband and I were having sex within 2 weeks after both my L&Ds.

My postpartum with Rose was quite a bit easier than Heather’s was. Their labors were very different. With Rose it was pretty slow and steady, with Heather it was really fast and intense, which made me feel like I had been hit by a bus a few days postpartum. My I ached everywhere like I had done a full body workout I wasn’t ready for. I’m pretty sure no one can prepare for a L&D that fast and intense but I do wish I had been in slightly better shape. It didn’t make a difference during my labor but I think I would have been less sore afterwards.

Heather was a big hungry baby. I did everything like this.
Rose's second birthday was three weeks after Heather
was born. 
The worst part physically of postpartum is breastfeeding, even though it has come to me pretty easily, it’s not always fun. I have always had slight over supply issues, so when my milk comes in I get some pretty intense engorgement. With Rose it wasn’t too bad but with Heather I got mastitis. Mastitis is a infected clogged milk duct. The infected area will be sore, red, warm, and you might get a fever too. I felt like I had the flu. My right breast was very tender and sore on one side, and I was running a decent fever. I took some Ibuprofen and that helped keep my fever down. There is nothing wrong with the breastmilk, and La Leche suggests to continue breastfeeding, and get as much rest as possible (source) . A warm shower while hand expressing milk helps too. The thing that cured my mastitis very quickly was actually RJ. He spent a few minutes sucking on the clogged breast and after a little while of getting hardly any milk at all, he got a big gush of milk, dislodging the clog. A baby doesn’t have the patience or finesse to do this. I can coach RJ and tell him that hurts or more pressure would be ok. I have heard from friends their husband refuse to help or think it’s disgusting. RJ enjoys helping, even if he didn’t enjoy it he still would help. He looks at it the same way he would if I was sick and puking. RJ would help nurse me back to health any way he could. Even though RJ is a sympathetic puker and might puke himself if he held my hair back, he will still do it. It’s not something doctors will necessarily recommend, but when I have mentioned it to my midwives they smile and nod, because they know it works even if it’s a little unconventional these days.

RJ has dislodged a few clogs before they got infected, it’s great. I’m so glad he is happy to help when I need him.

Emotionally, postpartum can be very difficult. Having an infant is extremely stressful, it literally turns your life upside down. All of the sudden there is this tiny human that you are responsible for. It is one hundred percent dependent on you. They cry all the time. They cry when they are hungry, poppy, wet, tired, scared, have gas bubbles, are hot or cold. They cry when they need to poop. They cry when they are overtired. They cry for no reason at all. Being a new parent is a huge adjustment. A lot of parents don’t know exactly what they are in for. When it’s three am and the baby hasn’t slept since five am the previous morning, you will probably break down if you haven’t already. Parenting is especially emotionally taxing at the beginning.  

Postpartum depression is very real, and something all mothers, and fathers need to watch out for. I had a few baby blues moments with both my girls. RJ was the one who noticed and did whatever he could to help me feel better. I remember my worst day with Rose. I had not gotten out of bed for at least 24 hours, and hardly eaten anything. I was just exhausted and emotional. I was worried if I was doing things right. I was trying to find myself. I was a new person. All of the sudden I had been turned into a mother. RJ reminded me I needed to take care of myself just as much as I needed to take care of our baby. He took Rose and made me take a shower, and eat something. I don’t know what I would have done without him during those early days.

Heather's second and third month was filled with this.
Heather’s postpartum emotionally was very different than Rose’s. I knew what I was doing this time, but Heather was nothing like Rose. Rose occasionally cried, and slept incredibly well very young. Heather on the other hand was very collicy and had a very hard time sleeping. The fatigue was much worse. I didn’t question myself like I did with Rose, but the no stop crying for hours and hours a day and sometimes all night was exhausting. Collicy babies are very draining. I remember breaking down many more times late in the night or early in the morning during Heather’s fourth trimester than Rose’s .
All mothers understand what it is like at four in the morning with a crying infant, and having the brief thought of wanting to kill your baby. I have had those thoughts, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t. They are normal thoughts. What is not normal is acting on them. It’s important to know that it is ok to get help. Being a new mom is very hard. If you feel overwhelmed, extremely sad, or depressed, get help.

Heather loved the ring sling, and loved to
sleep next to me. I pretty much lived in my robe.
In England in 1922 they created The Infanticide Act. In 1938 it was repealed and edited (source). At the time, mother would be charged with the death sentence. The Infanticide Act changed that. In 1922 if anyone killed anyone they received the death sentence. After 1922 if a mother kills her own baby who is under one year old, she is charged with infanticide. She is sent to a mental hospital, to get the help she needs. In the UK they acknowledge postpartum depression. Having a baby will turn someone's life upside down. Some people cannot handle it, and kill their baby in a moment of desperation. The UK acknowledges that the mother's mental state was compromised and she is not a murderer, or someone who is dangerous to society. Most mothers are given the proper help they need to live full happy lives. I wish here in the United States we would have a similar law put in place.

The fourth trimester can be amazing and awful all at the same time. I absolutely love the newborn phase but it goes by so quickly. I wish it didn’t have to be such a difficult period of time. The best advice I can give to a new mom, would be to take it easy, enjoy your baby, if you feel off, get help. It is better to get checked and be ok, then ignore the signs and do damage to yourself and your baby. Remember to take time for yourself. Try to do something for yourself every day whether it’s a only a shower, a massage, a haircut, or just a trip to target alone, make sure you don’t forget about yourself.

I hope if there are any mommies out there struggling during their fourth trimester, they know that every mommy has struggled through their own. Even if you feel like no one understands you, we might, at least a little bit.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

How to Survive a Hangover with a Toddler

Friday night I went out with some mommy friends for mom’s night out. I got a little drunk… ok maybe a lot… six glasses of Pinot Noir later I was pretty shit faced. Needless to say Saturday morning I had a bit of a hangover. We’ve all been there, head throbbing, feeling nauseous, the two year old who doesn’t know how to use an inside voice, and thinks you’re the jungle gym for the morning, while simultaneously making the baby (who is nearly a toddler) scream. It’s awful. Managing a hangover and the two girls can be a bit challenging. I thought before Friday comes along I would post some tips on how to survive a hangover with munchkins running around.

Hangover prevention is important, but it’s pretty hard to think about preventing one when you completely drunk. Here are a few things that I try to do to help not have a horrible hangover in the morning.

Don’t get old, stay around 22. I get very few hangovers. I can count the number of hangovers I have had on one hand, and I’ve gotten hammered quite a few times. Age definitely matters when it comes to hangovers. Even though I have only been drinking for a little while, the hangovers have gotten ever so slightly worse as I have gotten older. Stay young!

Eat food that helps absorb some of the booze. Friday we went out for sushi, rice and fish do not absorb alcohol well. Things like pizza, pasta or sandwiches help immensely. Apparently Ice cream does the trick too (shockingly, I haven’t tried that yet).

Drink lots of water. Alcohol makes you dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water throughout the night, before bed, and in the morning does wonders.

My favorite wine glasses yes with a
margarita in it, no stems but still insulated.
Don’t over do it. Know your limit. A bit of alcohol is fun, but everyone has a limit. It is easy to over do the alcohol, especially if you are drunk. When you’re drunk everything seems like a good idea, and in my case, one more glass leads to one more bottle.

If you take all these steps and still have a hangover, which is very likely a possibility, here is how to survive with little ones.

Spend as long as you can in bed. If your significant other (SO) didn’t get drunk too, let him/her deal with the kids in the morning. If that’s not a possibility, for example, when Heather wakes up she always needs milk. So RJ gets her for me and puts her in bed with me, I nurse her then he takes the girls downstairs for an hour or so. Getting an extra few hours of sleep when you have had a late night helps a lot.

If you are concerned about alcohol in breast milk, please do your research. Alcohol passes in and out of breast milk the same way it travels through your bloodstream, and in the same amounts. The basic guide line is if you are sober enough to hold your baby you are sober enough to breastfeed. For most people the biggest danger to their baby when they are drunk, is dropping their baby, not alcohol transferring to breast milk. Holding a set of keys or phone is nearly impossible when you are super dunk, forget a wiggling baby. If you know you are going to be shit faced, pump some milk before hand. Alcohol doesn’t get stored in breast milk, there is no need to pump and dump (source from La Leche League). Too much of anything is bad. Some women experience a drop in supply after a few drinks. I do not. It is definitely what ever makes you comfortable when it comes to drinking and breastfeeding.

The first bottle of wine I opened all by my self. 
If you’re SO cannot watch the kids, muster up the energy to haul yourself and kid(s) down stairs. The best thing to do from there (if you are still able to stand) is, do everything to make your kid(s) content for as long as possible. For me this involves, changing diapers because if I don’t to it immediately someone will leak or blow out, causing more work for my hungover self in a few minutes. Set out the favorite snacks or if you’re brave feed them breakfast. Rose loves cereal with milk, but sometimes she can be high maintenance about it. For example if she spills milk on the table she needs a paper towel to wipe it up. Sometimes she eats more than one bowl, which would require me to get up and hope the room stops spinning so I can refill her bowl before she decides to throw a tantrum and kick it over. Pick something your kid loves but is low maintenance, for Rose that is typically Cheetos (I do feed my kids healthy food most the time cough cough, at least they eat right?) Fill up milk/water sippies, get out a few toys, and put  something quiet but exciting on the TV. If I pick the wrong movie or TV show Rose gets incredibly involved and repeats, “Mommy look, Mommy look, insert random movie character here” and I lose my mind when I’m not drunk.

Pimm's cup, so yummy but they are too sweet
for me know. I have out grown them...
Before lying down again, I recommend eating something light, a slice of toast or some crackers, and downing a few glasses of water, OJ, or something else hydrating. If you are feeling particularly bad pop a few Aspirin too.

Doing all this even if it is absolute hell during the process, usually gets me, one maybe two hours of time that I can lie on the couch without getting up too much. If I get really lucky and can get Heather down for her morning nap. This turns into two sometimes three hours, as long as Rose is having a good day.

It might seem like a lot to do but if I don’t do everything I can to get the girls content before lying down, I have to get up multiple times to help them.

I hope your hangover recoveries are quick and painless, and these tips on how to do it with little humans help. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Why having Two Kids is Better than One

I absolutely love having two kids. I am not going to say having two kids is easy. One kid is not easy, but most the time having two kids makes things just a bit easier. I make more sacrifices than I did with one, but many things got a bit easier.

Rose reading to Heather when she was about 3 months old.
All these Pros and Cons apply to the age gap my daughters have. They are just under two years apart (23 months). I don’t think there is anything wrong with having your kids further apart, I think any gaps bigger than two or three years, get harder and harder. I have some friends who have had their children about 3 years apart. Their older child can be more helpful, but they don’t seem to play together as well as mine do. From what I have read, physiologically, three years is slightly better than two. When they are two years apart they sometimes compete for attention more when than three years apart (I don’t mind needing to be a referee in the future). More than four years apart they are too far apart intellectually to get along. My younger sister is 4 ½ years younger than me, that was way too far apart and we never got along.


Little to no alone time.

No alone time is definitely the biggest con to having two kids. Their nap schedules rarely match up. When they do it is heaven! When they don’t it feels like forever till I get alone time. RJ is great about watching the girls while I go for my monthly Brazilian wax, make a trip to Target, or moms night out with my friends. I savor my alone time a lot more than I used to.

Twice the mess

I am the jungle gym.
If you are OCD, two kids might drive you insane. On rough days, the sink is full of dishes, the laundry gets left, the clutter builds, the floor is covered in crumbs and toys. Heather (my second) is way messier than Rose ever was. She is always sticky, or covered in crumbs. She leaves soggy, half eaten snacks on the floor, and if I don’t see them before they dry, they set like cement. Now I’m not saying it’s impossible to have a clean house with more than one kid, but it takes A LOT of work. On rough days I never have the energy to clean after the girls are in bed. Sometimes the cleaning goes a few days, and that’s ok. I have kept the girls and myself alive, fed, and loved that’s all that matters. There are days when Heather goes down for nap, Rose asks to watch a TV show or movie and snuggle. I can never say no to a Rose snuggle, so leave chores for later.



Rose and Heather play together all day. Rose has a hard time sharing sometimes, but they can play for hours and hours. I am sure it’s because we had them close together. I’ve noticed with some of my friends kids that are far apart, the older sibling wants to play pretend or more sophisticated games and gets frustrated with the baby. This doesn’t happen with Rose and Heather. The way my girls play so well frees up time for me to do other things. I don’t need to use the TV as a babysitter while I do the dishes or cook dinner like I did when I only had one. Rose and Heather play, chase each other, and wear each other out while I do the house work. It’s great.
I can never resist a snuggle from Rose and Bullseye.

They help each other

Rose feds Heather for me all the time. Even if it’s just passing her a cracker, it is still super helpful. Heather is great at helping Rose calm down. When Rose is throwing a tantrum on the floor Heather will crawl up to her and just sit next to her. It always shocks me how quickly Rose calms down with Heather’s help.

They teach each other

We try to pick up the toys every night before bed. Heather at 9 months old follows Rose’s example and puts toys away. Heather will stand next to a bucket, I will pass her a toy at she will throw it in. Sometimes following each other is not always a good thing. We have a set of LEGO that looks like ice cream (LEGO Ice Cream). If you blow through some of the pieces they make a whistling sound. Rose does this, then Heather does it too, it gets pretty loud sometimes. Most the time when Heather copies Rose it’s a good thing. I think Heater is more developed than Rose was at the same age because she has a big sister to watch. Rose is slowly learning how to share, some days are harder than others but after a few reminders she does ok.
Playing in the play room.

They look out for each other

Rose loves Heather so much. If Heather is hurt Rose tries to make it better (even if she caused the pain). Rose already shows a bit of protectiveness when they are playing with other kids. If there are big kids around Heather, Rose will play near Heather too. I’m sure as they get older Rose will watch over Heather at the playground and be the protective big sister.


Two in diapers is hard

Having two in diapers is not as bad as people make it out to be. Aside from the cost it’s pretty easy. We just have a assembly line during diaper changes. Usually Heather first then Rose because Heather likes to escape. We buy our diapers from Amazon that helps keep the cost down (Rose diapers Heather diapers). I can imagine you wouldn’t want two in diapers if you did cloth diapering. Cloth diapering is not for me.

It’s twice the work

Yes you have two little humans to take care of, but that doesn’t mean you have twice the work. They entertain each other, they feed each other. I do the same loads of laundry I did before Heater got here. I don’t make twice as much food. Loading them into the car is a bit of a hassle if the big one has a temper tantrum, but she can climb into her own seat when she feels like it. Two is not twice the work.

Two cost twice as much

We got lucky and since Heather and Rose were born in the same season. Heather fit all of Rose’s old clothes… for a while. Heather is bigger than Rose, and grew out of things quickly. By six or seven months Heather fit into the summer stuff Rose wore when she was one, but I have not bought Heather many clothes at all. I do not spend twice as much on food. I think we waste a lot less, but I don’t need to buy more yet. If Heather starts a pouch of applesauce and gets bored, Rose will finish it. We have not bought more toys at all. We don’t have a lot of toys. We just have a few good ones, LEGO DUPLO, lots of puzzles (my favorite Melissa and Doug puzzle), a tea set (duh we have two girls), and a big block bead maze like the ones you find at doctors offices. We have an odd mixture of soft and hard toys too. We have enough they don’t get bored, but not so many it’s overwhelming if every single toy bin is dumped out. I think a lot of people have way too many toys.
Shopping in Costco. They love the double cart. 

I love having two kids. I love hearing their their giggles as they chase each other around the kitchen island. I love how Rose kisses Heather before her nap every day. I love seeing two cute kids piled on top of RJ. I love getting big hugs and slobbery kisses. I love having two kids I cannot wait for a third. I’m sure the dynamic will completely change but I cannot wait!

Thanks for reading! I will be posting some more recipes soon. Keep an eye out for them.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

R rated Movies you Should See

Growing up mormon we were not allowed to watch R rated movies. Even mormon adults are told not to watch them. The LDS Church teaches that its members should only watch “wholesome”, and “uplifting” movies and TV. The problem with that is there are some really good, iconic movies that are R rated. They are referenced in tons of other movies, even Disney. There are a ton of great movies that I think everyone should watch, no matter what. This is a list of my favorite R rated films.

Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket was the film that inspired this post. It’s a movie about the Vietnam war. It’s a very good example of what war was like, why it sucks and why it’s wrong. It is R rated because war is R rated. It is definitely something worth watching. One of the first few scenes is sent up in Mulan. It’s a great movie, we watch it over and over again.

Fight Club

This is another movie referenced in tons of films. It’s kind of crazy and a little fucked up but I love it.  

The Breakfast Club and American Pie, are both teen coming of age movies. The Breakfast Club came out in 1985, and American Pie came out in 1999. Both are really good movies. It is interesting to see how different things were after only 14 years.

The Breakfast Club

This movie is rated R. There is a TV 14 cut, but the pieces cut out are a big part of the movie in my opinion. I really like this movie, the R rated cut of this movie should definitely be on everyone's watch list. 90% of the movie happens in a single room, it’s the dialog and the characters that really make it interesting.

American Pie

This movie is my high school experience in a nutshell, except I was the only one who didn’t get laid. It’s a classic. “This one time at band camp” came from that movie. You have to watch it to know what happened that one time at band camp.

Pulp Fiction

Again another movie that is referenced everywhere. This is my favorite Quentin Tarantino film. Pulp Fiction is a great movie the first time you watch it. It probably doesn’t make complete sense until probably the 10th time you’ve watched it. I have watched it at least 50 times and I still catch something new every once and awhile.

The Usual Suspects

Who is Keyser Soze?


Alien is not very scary. It is a horror movie, and it is suspenseful, but there is no CGI so it’s obviously fake. The sets are amazing because they were all real, they are so intricate and detailed. Again this is a movie referenced everywhere. For example Megamind, Despicable Me 2, even Toy Story.

Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs is a really good gangster, crime movie. It is also directed by Quentin Tarantino. It is pretty gory during a few scenes but is definitely a must watch. I see it subtly referenced all the time.  

Risky Business

Risky Business is a classic movie. Tom Cruise dancing, in his tighty whities, sliding through a hallway, is iconic, and referenced everywhere.

American Beauty

The main character in American Beauty, Lester Burnham is very relatable. RJ felt a lot like Lester a few years ago. Now he only sometimes feels like Lester at work. There are parts of this movie that resemble the beginning of my relationship with RJ, a lot, and that’s why we love it. It’s about a normal average guy whose life goes to shit, and how he handles it. In the end he is happy but the movie doesn’t have a happy end. It’s a great move that we watch over and over again. It’s not referenced in many places, but it is one of my favorites.    

Basically as soon as I was no longer a mormon I binge watched all these iconic rated R movies. I now watch them on a regular basis. Thanks for reading!