Why These Are My Favourite Teethers

So many mama’s can relate that once teething sets in, trying to scramble and find the right teether that your baby will enjoy is challenging. You want something that your baby will enjoy. You want something that is safe and free from toxins. Ultimately, you want something this easy to clean.

As someone who is constantly saving and scrolling through endless baby boutique shops through Instagram. I have found not only an independent business who creates safe baby teethers, but her designs are flawless. Until I became a mom, I didn’t really pay too much attention in finding local, Canadian shops. Now, this is something I focus on. Helping local, small businesses build their brand. It really helps when their products are a perfect a fit with design, style and safe.

If you’re like me and seek locally owned businesses, that design beautiful, safe and stylish teethers and accessories, I highly suggest you checking out this Canadian shop!

Addy’s Teethers

Locally made in Hamilton, Ontario, using safe food grade materials with all of her teethers, and teether accessories at Addy’s Teethers. Made famous for their teethers and accessories, every teether and teether clip is in full rotation between play, teething, and used as distraction while running errands & travel.

Even though most baby products are found to be gendered, with Addy’s Teethers you can customize with letters, and several colour options. This allows for a personal touch for your little one, or can be given as a gift for someone else. These are easily paired with outfits, providing a unique and modern element.

I know you are wondering, “How Are These Safe?” All materials, silicone and wood are a Food Grade safe. While your little one is chewing on these teethers or teether clips, you can feel confident that these are safe and free of any toxins.

How do you clean? All products are safe to wash with mild, soap and water and let air dry. Super simple! That’s it!

Let’s take a look at the products below:

Teething Ring

Pros: This design is perfect for small hands. Allowing most ages from 3+ months the ability to hold, and bring the teether to mouth.
This teether is safe and easy to chill in the freezer for those teething moments.
Easy to clean!
Safe!

Cons: With most silicone materials, these rings can attract lint and dust.

I can’t say enough great things about the the Teether Ring, The size, the material, and let us not forget how customizable they are. You can choose from several different colour combinations or make it personalized with a name.

Teether Clip

Pros: This design is perfect. It is not too long to become unsafe for baby, but it’s long enough to attach a pacifier, or used to clip a teether.
All of the teether clips are safe for chewing, and the clip comes in 2 styles, safe metal clip, or wooden clip.
Most items you can choose to customize with a name, use safe wood beads, or food grade silicone.
Easy to clean!
Safe!

Cons: With most silicone materials, these beads can attract lint and dust.

The length, the material, and let us not forget how customizable they are. You can choose from several different colour combinations and personalized names, as well.

C-Clip

Pros: This design is perfectly crafted. It is not too short allowing length to attach to a variety of items. I was able to try this clip out. I attached it to a snack cup, sippy cup, a stroller toy, you name it.
The beads are larger for chewing, and sturdy.
The attachment C style hook, is plastic, making it safe incase your baby detaches the clip.
Most items you can choose to customize with a name, use safe wood beads, or food grade silicone.
Easy to clean!
Safe!

Cons: With most silicone materials, these beads can attract lint and dust.
I found that this clip was hard to attach to a non cylinder like handle or bar. With my stroller and car seat, the handle is more flat, rectangular, making the clip hard to attach. I had to clip it to the car seat shade, in order to make this clip work. This was not the most ideal, but it did work, and I was able to keep my daughters travel blanket secured.

The length, the material, and let us not forget how customizable they are. You can choose from several different colour combinations with these, as well.
I would like to see the length a bit longer, or perhaps offering a longer options, but overall, I found this incredibly useful.

More products

I have had the opportunity of trying out more products from Addys Teethers. These products include:
Freezer Teether – Orbit Teether – Double Orbit Teether – Willow Teether – Rattle Ring – Rosie Ring –
Double Teething Rings – Hedgehog Teether – Various Custom Teethers

With so many teether and accessory options, the list certainly doesn’t end here. The above teethers are the ones I have personally tried, and have become my personal favourites. With so many Canadian companies creating and designing various baby accessories, I have grown to love everything that Addy’s Teethers provides.

While I continue to browse for more accessories with Addy’s Teethers , let me know your favourite Canadian brands for your little one.

*Special thanks to Addy’s Teethers

Inner Strength

I am a failure. My body failed me. I’m not worthy to be a mother. I’m not strong enough. I gave up. I feel defeated. I suck at this. What have I done? Have any of these thoughts crossed your mind? I have let these thoughts come too close to my heart while I was in the delivery room, delivering my first baby girl, and I let them consume me afterwards. I have let myself continually replay these moments leading up to my surgery. 

I delivered my first baby girl via c-section. Was this my plan, Hell No! But, this plan was deemed necessary for a safe and healthy delivery. I was induced 10 days after my expected due date with no signs of active labour. I experienced prodromal labour for a couple of weeks with no delivery in sight. We had to round up our troops a.k.a my midwives to come up with a back up plan. After induction, and several hours waiting, It was GO time. My baby’s heart rate was dropping with each contraction. This decision was necessary, but it defeated me. I felt crushed. I wanted more than anything to deliver my baby the same way thousands of other women do, a vaginal delivery. 

Photo by Angela Best

Being a first time mom, 2nd time or 3rd time mom, doesn’t make this journey any less complicating or stressful. Being a mom is stressful. We all want to do what the other mom is doing. We are always comparing notes, talking and discussing the comparisons. We are simply judging the F out of each other. We can become each other’s worst enemy, and why? If we are all doing the same job, with the same end goal in mind: raising happy and healthy little humans, why are we constantly judging what the other one has, or doesn’t have? If all moms want the same the same thing, why aren’t we supporting each other?

If you shared with another mom that you had a c-section, you have a 50/50 chance that you will get a supportive response. If you shared with another mom your feeding regimen, formula or breastmilk, you will get either a 60/40 response. 60% support for breastfeeding, and only 40% support for formula. Why is that? Why can’t we just support each other no matter what? Once we become moms, we seem to know what’s best for not only for our self, but everyone else and their child. We instantly become the expert. We seem to have all of the greatest and latest sources of information about what’s better to raising our children and being a better mom. Well, let me tell you, you will never be the perfect mom, or have perfect children. I have learned very quickly that what works best for one mom and child, doesn’t work best for all moms. What works for one child in your family does not work for the other the child. I have also realized that what worked well in the 80’s or 90’s when our parents had us, becomes almost irrelevant, and outdated. So, why are we putting all of this pressure on ourselves?

Before I had my first daughter, I had enrolled myself and my husband to a prenatal class set up and hosted by our midwife clinic. There, I had met 4 other moms to be and their spouses. This was an 8 week program. From completion date, we all had remained friends. These girls quickly became great friends and positive supportive women I cherish each day. Our group is what helped me tremendously to get through my constant thoughts of failure and uncertainties of being a new mom. Even though they all had very different deliveries, they acknowledge that we are all strong mom warriors. When the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a family,” they are my village.  

I was holding my baby girl, when all I could think about was “how did I fail at this?” I had one job to do and so far I have failed. I reminded myself of my “mom” group. They were the ones who uplifted me, and reminded me that it’s not the delivery that defines who we are. The delivery is “just” the exit. Yes, some moms get to accomplish their dream birth plan. Yes, some moms walk out of the hospital as the stunningly hot milf that looks like she hasn’t carried a baby in her lifetime, but, if you’re the one who walks out looking like a garbage truck drove over you 3 times, and your belly still looks likes you’re still pregnant, that’s ok too. You know why? Because you just had a BABY! Looking the part of a mom, a mom who just delivered their baby deserves the Hi Fives and credit too. How you dress and what you look like does not define your strength. Your strength is the part where you screamed for a bloody epidural because you were managing hardcore contractions for so long, you needed a break. Or when you found yourself pushing for so long that you had to make the difficult choice to come up with a new plan of action. Your strength was when you gripped your husbands hand so tight you left prints for days because you had to sit still during the worst contraction while being prepped for surgery. Your strength was when you found the courage to walk into the hospital and say “I’m having my baby, today, or tomorrow.” No matter the “type” of delivery, you delivered, and that in itself is strength.

Photo by Angela Best

The delivery of our baby does not, and should never define who we are as a mother. Each delivery is unique, and not one delivery is the same, ever! If any moms experienced a c-section, remind yourself to be patient. Be patient with your healing, be patient with your mind, body and soul. Be patient with the process. You delivered a little human, and that’s the outcome you should be rewarding yourself with, not just the exit. The exit is such a small piece of the whole picture. Your delivery, is no less greater than someone who vaginally delivered their baby. You can never compare apples to oranges, so why the F should we be doing the same with deliveries? One c-section is not the same as the other. One vaginal delivery is not the same than the other. We need to normalize, appreciate and support ALL births. 

We need to be each other’s village and support system. We are women of strength, courage and a heck of alot of love. We all are warriors, fighting for the same outcome We are leaders leading the same journey. We are survivors, surviving the same chaos of mom life. Praise each other for the hard days we all experience. We have hard days, good days and days where we want to hide out in the bathroom from all of our frustrations. We all share the same goal. We are capable! We are strong! We are courageous! We are a mom! Let’s do this together!

Finding the balance

My daughter is almost two years old, and I never for a second thought that the hardest part of being a mom is balancing being a mom and a working mom.  When deciding to go to back to work, at the initial time, it seemed like an easy decision. My decision to return to work was purely a financial decision in my household. The time of my return,  and coordinating the household with my husband, we knew we wouldn’t be able to maintain our family’s lifestyle if I stayed at home.  Knowing that, becoming a stay-at-home mom wasn’t a thought. I had mentally prepared myself (at least I thought I had) to return to work. I felt strongly that I would go back to work, carry on with my regular job, and motherly duties: pick up my daughter from daycare, go home & make dinner and everyone would be happy; all would be well. At least, that is what I envisioned would happen. A part of me was excited about the time away from my daughter and homelife. I would interact with adults, and engage in adult conversations instead of my days discussing The Wiggles, Peppa Pig & Sesame Street.  

Leading up to and returning to work, I started doubting my decision. The excitement mixed with fear, mixed with anxiety and nervousness became so surreal. Don’t get me wrong, all of these feelings are to be expected. As any new mom would do, and with the realization that there isn’t another option, I put one foot in front of the other and carried on for days, weeks & months. I’ll be honest, some days were easier than others. Finding the right balance was, and still is the most challenging thing I have ever experienced.

IMG_4983   So many moms to be, and new moms often receive an outpour of advice solicited and unsolicited from family, friends and strangers about what you should, or shouldn’t be doing as a parent.  However, I have yet to receive insight about what to expect or what you should know about deciding to return to work. I wish someone would have told me that your exhaustion level goes from 0-100 by 9:00 AM and you still have to find a way to manage the next 8 hours of your work day on top of the next 4-5 hours work you have at home in the evening as a mom. So, when you think you have 1 fulltime job, times that by 2. You’re now working full time, and you are a mother full time. 

I wish I had known that the feeling of failing: failing as a mom, and failing at work was to be expected, and was likely to happen. There are no words to describe what it truly feels like to “fail.”  While I would hug my daughter each morning in the doorway of her daycare, letting her go was incredibly hard. I would take that extra moment to soak up her cuddle, and her smell, before letting her go. She cried, and then I would cry driving myself to work.  This process took months, before it got just a little bit easy. This wasn’t an easy transition for me, and the one advice that WAS given to me, was that this transition is normal, and your child will eventually stop crying.  I kept reminding myself that she will stop crying… eventually.

As mothers, what we struggle with the most is admitting when something is hard. We are wired to take on challenges daily, from getting the right colour cup and spoon each morning for breakfast, lunch, dinner,  while coordinating multiple tasks simultaneously: pretending to be princesses and fairies reading a book to a group of teddies while the floor is lava (yes, this is a real game). We are warriors! We are STRONG! But where we fall short, and what we don’t talk about is how we try to keep the glue stuck, while dividing our self from what we know best, being a mom and our workplace. What some of us are born to do, is to raise our babies. Our constant need to be the “perfect” mom foreshadows our ability to admit when we are struggling. When we admit we are struggling, we are no longer seen as “perfect,” we are now seen as “weak”. Being seen as “weak” now translates to the feeling of “failed”  which is something no mom wants to feel or admit too.

All I wanted to hear  was that this transition in your life will be hard! This process isn’t always an easy one.  The feelings you are feeling are normal. There is no timeline on your feelings. Your feelings will come and go. You will have good days & bad days. You will constantly feel like you can’t do it all. When you can’t, you feel like you have let someone down and that someone is YOU. You have let yourself down, your child down, your husband/partner down,  and that’s a hard pill to swallow.  I wish I was told that the whole “work life balance,” is completely, and utterly, full of crap! Repeat after me, CRAP!! There is no balance. We are all trying to keep ourselves from sinking, and drifting away at sea. What is true is that some moms are just better at hiding it than others.

Lastly, I wish as a working mom there was better support, for us.  Better resources helping moms cope with their decision to go back to work. This decision is not easy. In fact, it is the absolute, most challenging decision you might face. For some mothers, this means weaning from breastfeeding, pumping and/ or bottle feeding routines and implementing new routines and structure. These changes affect not only you , but your little one. This is a difficult time for both you and your little one.  Changes like these cause incredible hormonal changes that affect you physically and mentally (scientifically proven). Gearing up to go back to work is overwhelming, sad, happy, frustrating, exhausting, angry and all feelings in between and the most important thing we need, is patience and support!

From a mother to a mother, I understand you! I commend your strength! A mother who claims they have figured it all out, I am all ears … but until then, I  will continue to send to my fellow moms, support & love during this difficult time ❤️ .

Baby Milestones You Don’t Read About

As a new parent, you might have received parenting books or someone might have recommended a good book that will navigate each month of your baby’s milestones. While this can be good information, and provide perspective to the parenting world, what makes these books just like the others, they only show you the cute and adorable milestones that your baby will experience.  You know…the ones where they will suck their thumb for the first time, babble, say their first word, or roll over. The list goes on.  These are all super cute and fun, but let’s face it, the REAL milestones are what you won’t find in books … Let me tell you what you have to look forward to!

The first time baby pukes in your mouth. 

Yep! This happened to me. Actually, more than once. My daughter was about 3 months old or so. We were playing on the floor, and she was sitting on my tummy while I was singing “row your boat” and she definitely rowed her boat of puke right into my mouth. You might think this may never happen to you, but lets face it, it most likely will, and it’s absolutely disgusting. But, if anyone ever asks you if you know what sour milk tastes like, you can tell them 😉

The first time you get pooped on. 

I know what you’re thinking, this won’t happen to me. You wait, and you will thank me later when it does, because you will be watching for it. I remember this like it happened yesterday. My daughter was laying on the change table while I was changing her wet diaper, when shots fired, and poop sprays outward, covering my hand, the change table, the wall, and behind her dresser. Poop sprayed everywhere. You know when you watch someone at Dairy Queen prepping your blizzard and you think, “Wonder what would happen if the machine malfunctioned and ice-cream would spray everywhere?” Just picture soft serve ice cream everywhere. She was notorious for poop blowouts, and pooping while being changed. Poop will come when you least expect it. And the next time you get a blizzard …. you’re welcome!

When your baby cries, you cry. 

There is no tougher moment than listening to your baby cry. My daughter is 11 months old, and I STILL cry, when she does. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. There is something to be said about a mothers bond with their children. This can happen during your midnight feeding, during your bedtime routine, or perhaps in the backseat of the car. No matter when or where this happens, you will feel personally responsible for your baby’s tears. Your lack of sleep and/or hormones will get the best of you, and you will find yourself shedding those tears alongside your baby.  I remember the first time I cried while my daughter was crying when she needed to see an ophthalmologist.  She was only a couple of days old. As the doctor examined her, and administered eye drops, she cried, and I cried listening to her. Another time, when my daughter was only about a week old and my husband and I were ready to take my daughter with us to do some errands, and there was my daughter crying in her car seat before we got her in the car. Tears were running down my face, while I was singing “you are my sunshine.” Every parent will tell you that you will you cry when your children cry, and I remember saying “nah, I’m not that emotional..” You think you aren’t, now… but you wait!!

The day you feel like the other moms seem to know what they’re doing better than you.

It’s very easy to think that someone else might be handling, or doing something better than you are. Women seem to compare themselves with other women. In some cases, its hard not too. You show up to a baby group, and you see other moms wearing makeup, and wearing their pre pregnancy clothes, and looking so fresh, while you’re still rubbing out ‘sleep crusties’ from your eyes from the night before. Your hair is tied back, because you are on your third day using dry shampoo. That’s when you think to yourself, “man, what am I doing wrong?” or “whats the secret?” The truth is, whether another mom has managed to squeeze in a shower, or put on makeup, or is able to wear their skinny jeans, at the end of the day, we are all figuring out this mom thing, and we are all winging it as we go.  There will always be a mom who appears refreshed, who seems to know what she is doing, one that seems to have all the answers,  and one that stays calm during stressful times. But on the inside, they could be stressing about the things you are rocking. The truth is, we are all figuring this whole mom thing out together, and as much as you think some moms are doing a better job, remember that no one has all the answers. Take time to pat yourself on the back for a job well done!!

First time everyone and everything is covered in food. 

It comes with great pleasure to introduce you and your baby to solids. You may think that you will just throw down some garbage bags and clean up will be that easy. This idea seems to make sense but those garbage bags don’t help protect your walls. While your baby explores the joys of their food in all forms, in a split moment, there isn’t enough preparation that stops a spoon full of puree or a handful of pasta thrown across the room, covering  your walls and floor. Your baby decides to squish their food in their fingers, and then they mash it through their hair, their legs and feet. It’s like an art class gone wrong. Just when you think you’ve cleaned up the mess in your kitchen, and your onto cleaning up your baby, you find remnants of their meal inside their diaper, arms and leg rolls.

First tantrum. 

Actual toddler tantrums can start around the age of 18 months, but infants can have outbursts too. The difference though, is that infants can’t speak. The best part is that you get a full ear of hysterical crying, and not knowing what’s wrong because they’re obviously unable to tell you, and everyone has stopped what they’re doing to stare at you.

 

Just when you think you’ve figured it out.

As you might already know, babies have a mind of their own. They aren’t textbook. So, no matter what you might google online, read, and think it will apply to your baby, it doesn’t always work. Or, better yet, you might have figured out the perfect thing, and it works for a month, and BAM! Game over! What seems to work today, no longer works. And what didn’t work last month, might work today! Babies don’t keep us on our toes for nothing.

IMG_20181225_123715

Always remember to praise yourself for the good work you are doing. Being a mom isn’t always a picnic in the park. Its hard work, its full-time, always. No mater the challenges the day brings, or the held back tears you’re fighting, or the difficulties you are facing, remember to remind yourself you are doing a great job. You are an amazing mom!

 

 

 

Motherhood: The Truth

A lot of us know how difficult it is being a mom. I’m not just referring to motherhood in the sense of preparing lunches, and picking up your children after school and juggling schedules. I mean at the very beginning from the time your body is creating this tiny human inside your belly.

maternity

I was looking back at my maternity pictures and remembered how amazing I felt being pregnant. I can honestly say, I felt my best (most of the time) but I know this isn’t the case for everyone. This got me thinking about all the tremendous changes we go through.  Changes that aren’t always talked about. Not only does the media glorify some of the most difficult, painful and heartfelt moments, but often times so much of it is untrue. They focus solely on the small percentage of people who don’t experience difficulties that most women go through and expect the rest of us to follow suit.

I have spent these past months and days figuring out how to maintain a clean house, making dinner while entertaining my busy, sometimes fussy 5 month old, and realized it is harder than it looks. Most of the time, I can’t. I felt like I was a failure, and I can’t get it together. You research and try to find a way to make it all work, and if you tweak this, or change that, you can do it all…its a lie! It’s a lie that we can do lots of things well, all at the same time. Yes, most women are multi-taskers. However, while most of us can balance so many tasks at once, we end up dropping the ball somewhere.

So lets break the silence, and take a look at the hard truths, and real talks about motherhood:

Labour: The fear most woman have when they are pregnant. The topic most previous mothers will either share their horror story, or paint you the perfect picture. Yes, we’ve seen it in the movies, but is it actually like that? As much as I would love to say yes, the real truth is no. For most women, myself included, labour is nothing like the movies. It’s long, tiring, and painful. After talking with some moms, here’s what they have to say about it:

“Fast and furious!”

“I feel like time lost all meaning at the end.  I was pushing for 45 minutes but I had no conception of time. Could have been 45 seconds or 45 hours”

“No matter how many people tell you about their experience, yours is completely different. You can think about all the different possibilities beforehand but chances are you will forget every one and you just have to be in the moment.”

“Excruciatingly painful, but resulted in the greatest reward, and you forget about the pain immediately!”

“I could have done without the whole ‘doctor’s hand scraping my uterus from the inside’ part!”

No matter what you read or hear, the truth is,  it’s tiring, can be painful, can be fast, but one thing that remains the truth for all of us, is the reward!

sleep

Sleep: I remember while I was pregnant the amount of unsolicited comments and advice about how little sleep I will get once our baby arrives. It seems to be the first thing people are itching to warn you about. While I find myself scrolling through social media threads, I often wonder how so many celebrities looked refreshed immediately after having their babies. How did they do it? What’s the hidden secret? The truth is, there isn’t. It’s called air brush, dry shampoo, and a 1 day makeover. For some, they might even have a nanny, or home nurse come and assist.  But, lets hear it from other moms:

“It’s amazing how little sleep you can survive on!”

“Our first night home I was so sleep deprived that I was hallucinating carnival music in the sound of the bathroom fan, the creepiest possible music.”

“Amazed at how my body could actually function on 3 hours total sleep.”

“Life exists in 2 or 3 hour increments, it didn’t feel like days or nights.”

“A bad night can be fixed by a quick shower and accepting you won’t get anymore sleep right now.”

“I thought I knew what tired was before a baby, but felt it wasn’t super difficult to function on almost no sleep.”

“Still exhausted, but nothing coffee can’t fix.”

“I just take it one day at a time, and give myself permission to nap instead of cleaning the house.”

Somewhere along the way, we are told that women are born to be mothers. We are the ones who can get it all done. We are great wives, great homemakers, great moms, great friends, and no matter what, we can do it all. And then…we have kids. And the truth is, kids limit us. For the first few years or longer, our babies require all of our help to learn and develop, and to grow into young adults. But in the beginning, this means that the primary objective is to meet the physical and emotional needs for our little humans. This is where time is limited. The amount of sleep I get is limited by my daughters bad dream, lost soother, or teething pain.

Feeding: There is so much pressure towards women on how we feed our babies. There’s pressure in the media, through our families and friends on whether we formula feed or breastfeed our babies. Not only is this strictly a personal choice, but no matter our choice, women shouldn’t be scrutinized for the decision they choose. Articles we read, and even in the media, make breastfeeding “easy”. Even though it might be easy for some, the truth is, it’s very hard for most women. But, lets hear it from other moms:

“Without lactation consultants we wouldn’t be happily breastfeeding at 6 months.”

“Not easy!”

“So much more difficult than everyone makes it out to be; would have been impossible for me without my lactation consultant.”

“Challenging, complicated and very emotional, but I’m so grateful to experience it.”

The choice you make is completely a personal choice.  And for most women, it’s not easy in the beginning, but leads to a rewarding bonding experience in the end. For some women, including myself, breastfeeding was not in the cards. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, some things are not meant to happen, and that’s ok. Women should never be faulted for their choices or their inability to breastfeed their baby. Every woman and their circumstances are unique, just like every baby is unique. ♥

Zoey-park1

Being a mom comes with its ups and downs. By the end of the week, you might be feeling like you are at the end of your rope. You might feel cranky, stressed, angry or even find youself shouting at your family. Sometimes you need to take a step back and remind yourself how far you have come. Remind yourself that its ok if you have no energy to cook a gourmet dinner, or that your house isn’t company ready. Remind yourself that this is a sign of the greatest accomplishment life has given you, a baby. A baby who has filled your life thus far with giggles, snuggles, drool covered kisses and endless smiles. These moments don’t last forever, so embrace them while you can!

My wish for you

Before you were born I always dreamt of what you would be like, who you would become and how your life would be once you were here. Now that you are here,  I find myself wishing for so many things for you. Things that I never knew I would ever have to wish for. zoey sleeping

I wish that when you start going to school, you not only make a lot of friends but you are respected and treated fairly.  I wish that you don’t have to worry about your classmates bullying you over the internet, at school, on the playground or on your way home from school. I wish that schools enforced a more strict  “no policy” against bullying. I wish that if you see someone being bullied you feel safe helping them.

I wish that when you decide to date, whether male or female you are treated with the utmost respect from your partner and the community around you.  I wish that one day, everyone will be treated as equal, and you can freely express romantically that you have found the love of your life without being criticized by the choices you have made.

I wish that one day when you decide to explore the world around you, and travel abroad, you can do it safely without feeling scared. I wish that as you explore this world we live in, you always feel safe. I wish one day when you attend concerts, sporting events or any kind of entertainment you are always safe having fun.

I wish that as you enter into the work force, one day, you are treated equally and you are respected and supported by your achievements. I wish that as you strive to be the best that you can be, you are treated fairly, and you work hard reaching for the top.

I wish one day we all got along. That no matter what race, or ethnic background you are, we all got along.  No matter our physical, or religious differences we treat each other with respect and love, and ultimately how we want to be treated, because at the end of the day, we are all the same. We are all human beings. We all have feelings, and we all come from a place that deserves happiness and love. I wish that if someone you are acquainted with is treated unfairly or disrespected, you also feel safe helping them.

I wish that weapons become a thing of the past. I wish that where ever you are living or travelling too, you are always feeling safe. I wish that when you visit new places, or attend outings with your friends, you don’t have to worry about feeling safe. I wish that proper security measures are in place where weapons are seized and the government has placed a more strict weapon control in our community.  family

My ultimate wish for you, as you grow up and become the best young lady you can be, is that you stay true to your self. No matter the difficulties life and adulthood hands you, you over come it with grace, love and respect and that you are always happy. You stay true to yourself and you don’t let anyone try to change that. As you get older and times become challenging, as they often do, you know you are so well-loved, and you remind your self each day that you are. Just know that some people don’t come from the same place of love, but if we always treat everyone with happiness and love, you are doing your part. One day I hope my wishes for you come true, but if not, maybe one day you will make some of these wishes come true for yourself and for those important around you.

With so much love,

Mom & Dad

What I don’t say often

Being a mom comes with a whirlwind of emotions, challenges, and a new definition of who are and who you’ve become. You are no longer thinking about your self and your husband, you are constantly thinking about your child. From

the moment your baby is cradled in your arms, your life instantly changes. You naturally adjust the time you once had all to yourself or with your husband, you are now spent caring for and loving the child you both have created. As we go through the motions of waking up several times a night, and operating on far too little of sleep, and finding yourself eating cold dinners, and skipping lunch or eating stale granola bars you find at the bottom of your purse, you still manage to love your child unconditionally and that love you have for your child is so profound. You adapt, and make the best of these moments. You turn these moments into memories. These memories that we will look back one day and congratulate ourselves for making it past what we thought were the best, the worst, and the hardest times of our life.

As we continue to grow and love as a family, our marriage changes. All the attention we found ourselves giving to one another shifts and makes room for our children or in my case our baby girl. We put ourself in the backseat while our daughter rides shotgun. Our attention shifts to her and her needs, and it’s no longer all about us. Our date nights, happy hour and our weekends spent binge watching Netflix have been replaced with copious amounts of laundry, nailing down naps during the day, bedtime routines and mom and tot groups. The place where the topic of our conversations is about our daughters bodily fluids, or the new skill she has learned.

So even though our marriage has changed, ultimately it has changed for the better in many ways. And we are ok with that. We’re good with where we are. We want to be **here**. But being **here** takes a different kind of “being married” than being **there** — without a child. There are so many moments where I get so tired and so distracted, we have limited face time. I don’t always remember to say the things I want, to make sure my husband knows how I feel. I am so preoccupied with being a mother that I forget to be his wife.

There are so many things I think the father of my child needs to hear and deserves to hear.

I am beyond thankful for the partnership we have together in this life that we share together. I love having you alongside me as we raise our daughter together. I am very certain I don’t always say the words “I appreciate you!”because we have such a small window of real conversation time each day.

My husband is not a mind reader. Although I wish he could, he definitely can’t. Nor does he pickup on my passive aggressive hints I put down. I do know he wants to be a fixer. When there is an issue, he wants to fix it. I have to remind myself that I have to communicate in words when I need help, or a break. When I do that, it becomes easier for him to reciprocate the gesture back, so it becomes a win/win.

Not only do I love you but our daughter also loves you and needs you. The role you play in her life is so great and she will thank you her whole life. She is too young to say it now ,and depending on her mood will she show it, but once she calls you “dadda” which then turns to “daddy” you wait. Your heart will fill up.

There is no doubt that my husband sees a lot of the worst parts of me. I can be the most cranky, the most tired, and that’s what happens when your best friend, you’re life partner is with you and around the most. I often forget to say the simple things like “thank you!” Thank you for picking up my socks, making the bed, getting up to get me a drink, even though I could have done it, to name a few. Thank you for being the best dad to our baby girl. Thank you for being my best friend, my partner in crime, my husband. It’s so easy to treat the people you love, the worst.

Lastly, I think you’re totally “hot!” I definitely don’t tell my husband enough how much I am attracted to him. That he’s stunning in so many ways. I have to remember that I was his wife first, and then we became parents. Without being his wife first, I wouldn’t have been a mom. The mother of our beautiful baby girl. I feel like he needs to know that he still knocks my socks off.

However you choose to tell your husband you love him, remember to to acknowledge him both as his wife and as the mother of his child. It’s very hard to forget through the tiredness but it will make him feel good.

To my dearest husband, my best friend, I’m completely crazy about you, I love you, and I think you’re hot!

The Plan

From the moment you find out you are pregnant, you start to think about all things that come with being pregnant, and after your baby arrives. You spend hours researching from all the foods you can and can not eat, to nursery decor and baby proofing the house. One of the most important things that you start to think about is your birth plan.

I remember being asked so many times “ what’s your birth plan?” Or “ you have a birth plan, right” of course I would always say “yes,” even when I knew I never thought about it. I knew automatically what I didn’t want, but a birth plan? Why would I need a plan for my birth? I thought I would show up at the hospital, and the plan would be that the baby would come out. That’s the plan, right?

After my husband and I attended our six-week prenatal class, there were discussions about birth plans, what it all meant, and what it included. This became so much more clearer. We planned so much, from the nitty-gritty details of our ideal delivery and arrival of our baby, what items we wanted to have in our room,  who was going to cut the umbilical cord and an in-depth music play list that I would have playing in my hospital room. Yes, this was important!

Letu2019s hold hands while we eat, Mom!.jpg

 

When the time came, Thursday January 25 at 6:14 AM, our baby girl arrived. Did we follow our “birth plan?” No! In fact, it was far from our plan, and that was OK!  My delivery ended up with a scheduled induction, an epidural,  and 2.5 hours of pushing, with no sign of baby’s arrival. This led to a last-minute c-section for delivery.  I decided  that pumping versus nursing was the best way for me to feed our baby, along with having to supplement with formula. All of these things, were far from what I had planned and originally wanted to have, but this needed to be done for the safety, and happiness for my baby girl, and myself. The one thing that stayed true to our plan, and what was the most important to us,  our baby would arrive safely, and healthy.  We knew everything else would fall into place, and it did.

After the delivery, I learned very quickly that a plan is just a plan. When it came time for me to make a plan, and discuss what I wanted and didn’t want, I never thought that our birth plan would change. So, for all the mom’s to be,  expect changes, especially  “think on the spot” last minute changes. Don’t beat yourself up over your plan not working out or think for a second you have let yourself down, or your baby down, because a plan, is just a plan, and only that.

 

Don’t say the M word

There comes that time in your marriage when you feel ready to start a family. You spend endless days and nights talking about it, planning about it, and finding the exact right moment.  No matter how much planning and preparing for the special time, no one ever prepares you for the “What If’s.” What if it takes longer to get pregnant? What if you miscarry?  There are so many “What If’s,” and yet, so many people only talk about being pregnant, and everything else except the really upsetting stuff.

Well, I’m here to break the silence. Part of going through the motions of trying and getting pregnant comes as a “package”, and this includes the good, and the BAD.  When the time was right for my husband and I, we both couldn’t be happier. What I did know going into this, was that it can take time, and that patience will be your strongest strength. It wasn’t because of my age, but in general, for most woman, conceiving doesn’t always happen right away.

After a few months trying, we got a positive. For me, the signs were very early on. What does this mean? What I mean is I take a test. One of the moments during this whole process, and all part of this “package” I learn quickly I don’t enjoy, and despise peeing on a stick. I wait my 3-5 minutes, and look for a line, positive sign or a smiley face. My line was faint. It was there, but not vivid.  So, like any couple would, my husband and I were excited.  Now, most people at this stage would wait to share with family, and immediate friends. Anyone who know my husband and I, we were not that kind of people. I knew ahead of time, anything can happen during this time.  What I didn’t know, nor was ever discussed with me, was that most first pregnancies result in miscarriage, or chemical pregnancies (early miscarriage). Such as, 10-25 % of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, and up to 70% of first-trimester miscarriages end in chromosomal anomalies.

The following morning, after spending the previous day excited and nervous, I knew instantly something wasn’t right. Symptoms of stomach cramping, spotting etc which lead me to take an immediate doctors appointment. The next two weeks persisted of multiple blood tests checking my HCG levels, which lead to an early ultrasound, which confirmed the worst possible news, there was no baby.

I knew going into these tests, that this was most likely the case of a “chemical” pregnancy. How does this differ from a miscarriage? The difference is “timing” A chemical pregnancy is the most early time of a pregnancy, often mistaken for a missed period. Miscarriage takes place between first-trimester up to 20 weeks, once there is further progression of development.  If it wasn’t for my extensive research, talking and sharing this disappointment with other woman, I wouldn’t have been as level-headed, and motivated to try this journey again.

We tried a few weeks after, and I experienced very different body changes. After a couple of weeks of discomfort and not feeling myself, I went back to my doctor.  She had me do a urine test, and the nurse asked me ” any chance you could be pregnant?” I looked at her and without hesitation I say “No, well I guess there could be, but it would be very minimal given 2.5-3 weeks ago I miscarried.” The nurse prompted me to take my test. I sit back down in the doctor’s office, giving my doctor a list of my symptoms, when the nurse interrupts me, with a huge smile on her face. She looks at me and says “So, what do you think?” All I remember was sitting there super puzzled, and super nervous, and the nurse says “The test is positive! But not just a line, but the bluest of bright blue positive lines.”

So in light of all the ups and downs,  disappointment and sadness, for all the Moms, moms to be, and woman out there, to never be afraid to talk about and share your journey, no matter the good & BAD. Sometimes we need the reassurance that we are not alone, and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Photo_1503022900223

Our baby girl at 18wks