Ever feel like a mom failure?

Ever feel like a mom failure?

No? Just me? Almost daily? 😭

Lately we’ve been off. The house is in disarray, our schedules (don’t hate – we thrive on them) have been cray, we’ve had extras come up and life happens and I’m tired and when my house is crazy I feel crazy and… gasp. All of these things are true BUT we are also at a stage of testing boundaries, sharing those BIG emotions LOUDLY, and if I want to be real – defiance. Straight up. It makes me lose my shit patience on the inside, makes me mad and sad and want to scream and cry all at the same time.

This babe is amazing. He’s hilarious and quick witted and charming and cute and smart and creative and adventurous (hence the name of the blog) and really really really sweet and cute… wait I already said that but I’ll say it again for the peeps in the back – CUTE! 😍

He’s also strong willed, determined, and quite sure of himself. Qualities I absolutely love but they can also be tiring for this momma and those near and dear to us. My goal will never be to extinguish that fire!

Even as adults we have to be reminded and recenter ourselves. We have to go back to the basics and build on what’s worked before. For example: with us – he didn’t really talk until he was 2. No delays and could comprehend everything just didn’t talk. He made sounds and signed and that’s how I knew his needs but there were days that he had huge emotions and literally couldn’t voice them to me so he bit me. My knee jerk reaction could of been ugly but I had to pause for a minute and remind myself. I started acknowledging his emotions… you must be sad, upset, frustrated, etc. and I ignored the biting. By the Grace of God and God alone ignoring the “bad” behavior worked well for us.

When things are out of whack or we are going through a developmental leap (I don’t even think they’re called that at his age but ya know) I have to go back to the basics. I could be filled with mommy guilt and beat myself us but tonight I choose to give myself grace.

I pulled out this book at bedtime and we read it. I can not tell you how much I love this book. I change the wording around a bit in some areas but it’s all of the things I say only this book has a way of letting them HEAR it.

And now I’m off to drink a glass of well deserved wine. Cheers.

Bed-Sharing, yes or no?

Bed-Sharing, yes or no?

I believe in attachment parenting which is defined to me as picking up babies when they cry, following their cues, baby wearing, listening to them, speaking calmly, redirecting instead of using the word no all of the time, breast feeding (IF able and IF that works for mom,) hugging, kissing, endless I love you’s, etc.

It isn’t a fad. I wasn’t mommy warred into it. It came naturally to me.

With this came bed sharing. Let me interject here for a hot second – I was 18 with my first child. I didn’t breast feed him but even then I had a pull to follow his cues. I didn’t do it as well as I have with Jack because I was honing into who I was at that time too but he also bed shared. He had his own room and his own crib then bed then bunk beds but he slept with me for many years.

With Jack I truly thought I’d exclusively pump, for six weeks only, and that he’d sleep in a bassinet next to my bed & then nap in his crib during the day and sleep in his crib at night. All I can do is laugh at my thoughts. 😂 He latched immediately in the hospital 🙌🏻 (a blessing that doesn’t go unappreciated because many aren’t that lucky) and that he nursed for 4+ yrs. Yep!

As a baby he nursed every 2 hours for at least the first 6 months. I gave up on the bassinet on day 1.5 I’m pretty sure. It was easier for us both. He didn’t sleep through the night until he was 2. I couldn’t do the “cry it out method” nor did I want to. I also had know desire to sleep train him. It is NOT uncommon for babies to not sleep through the night especially during their many developmental leaps. Again, bed sharing was easiest for both of us. I could tend to his needs much quicker and was able to sleep more… and what momma doesn’t need more sleep?!

I recently went to see my PCP (that I love, admire and respect) and she said it’s time to get him out of my bed. She said we both need our own space and time. So that got me thinking…. am I doing something wrong here? Will I emotionally stunt him? Will I never have my bed to myself? What if I get married someday? What happens when he has sleepovers here? PANIC ensued. But then I honed back into my mommy gut and remembered that he’s doing extremely well emotionally, I’m not getting married anytime soon or even remotely soon – I’m talking no marriage on the radar period. 🤣 And I’m okay with that. And I’m also okay with him sleeping with me, in my bed, in his little space that’s carved out for him except for when feet invade mine. 🤷🏼‍♀️

And then this. ⬆️

Every family has the right to decide what works best for their family as long as abuse isn’t occurring. It certainly isn’t here. Do you my friends and so will we.

😍😴✌🏻

Miss Betty’s

Miss Betty’s

There is something about the outdoors. Something about the air, the dirt, the freedom, the adventure that can not be explained. Jack comes alive in a different way. His mood changes, his smile is different and his imagination goes wild.

Recently we went to a women’s house that we lovingly call Miss Betty. I can’t even tell you her age but I guarantee she would no longer be considered a “miss.” She lives with her daughter on a small farm and it is perfection. I have known her (my best friends grandmother) for 26yrs this year. But for our kids to experience this too is amazing.

They got to pet the skin of a snake that lives in the barn. I mean, I’d die if I knew a snake was anywhere near me, but this one is welcomed. And got to touch, examine, explore, and hold a birds nest that is made so amazingly that you can only praise Jesus.

So.many.animals run free on the many acres they have from horses to chickens to goats to roosters. And turkeys.

And then the tractors, oh my!

As the day escaped us way too quickly the littles were able to pick their own strawberries…

Can you even? 😍⬆️

Before we were sent home with dozens of fresh eggs!

I have ALWAYS considered myself a City girl but I tell you that every time we encounter a new farm I feel this pull inside of me. There is absolutely nothing like it. The hard work, the filth, the sweat, the tears, the harvests, the peace, the adventure, the imagination, the dreams….

I’ve said it a thousand times and will a thousand more — you can learn ANYWHERE. Follow your heart and the heart of your children regardless of if it’s a farm, a newspaper stand, a video game, etc. Just watch what comes alive in your child. That second right there will help you help them. To see there eyes twinkle is to know their little minds are soaking it up. And the beauty of it all is you’re right there with them. ❤️

Teen Mom vs Mom at 34 and the Differences in the two.

Teen Mom vs Mom at 34 and the Differences in the two.

This blog is called The Adventures of Jack but truly the adventure began 21 years ago yesterday. I was 17 w/ 17 days until my 18th birthday and had just given birth to the most beautiful 9lb baby boy, KJ.

I had absolutely no idea what I was doing if I want to be honest. I knew nothing about breast feeding… I wasn’t even comfortable yet in my own skin. I knew nothing about how to feed him period. I overfed him too many times to count. I knew nothing about colic which he had. In 1997 they (doctors because I had no clue there were other resources) recommended babies slept in a crib or bassinet on their side. He hated it. It took about 2 weeks for my maternal instincts to kick in. We began (safely) bed-sharing, he napped on his tummy, and we gently bounced instead of rocked to sleep.

I have to say the first year was rough. I loved him beyond measure but had no idea that I could follow his lead and develop his own schedule. I was getting so much advice but one reached me more than the others. He’s your baby and no babies are the same so you find out what works best for the both of you. That help me not feel like a complete failure.

After the first year things began to fall into place. He was my everything. Truly. My grandmother once told me (several times actually) that I was put on this planet to be a mom. I am not perfect by any means and she of course is biased but I think she saw in me what no one else could. And even though I was young that couldn’t diminish the bond we had and the love I had for being a mom. His Mom!

I had Jack at 34 – quite an age difference and I see how different of a mom I am now. Some of it makes me happy and some of it makes me sad. For instance: I was ashamed of being a young and single mom. I was so caught up in what others thought. My house was always perfect (I’m kinda OCD anyway) but it took away from time with KJ. He always had to be dressed perfect. When he began school I lied about my age so the seasoned moms would take me more seriously. I mean what woman in the world actually pretends to be older? ✋🏻 I got very involved in his school and the PTA because I wanted to be the mom I didn’t have.

*Let me pause for a second. I had/have a mother. When I was growing up though she wasn’t the PTA kind of mom. That’s as far as I’ll go into her besides saying that she did the best she could. AND doesn’t every person want the opposite of what they have to a certain degree?Along with my mother ⬆ I had very strong women in my life; my great grandmother was instrumental and I see many of my life choices now come from her, my grandma who was/is very much a mom to me and the epitome of unconditional love and strength, and my aunt that was the best mom I think I’ve ever witnessed in motion.*

Back to my KJ after my short detour. We were and are extremely close but looking back I never got on the floor really to play cars or let him jump in mud puddles, or allow him to clean his own room because I had to have things perfect. We had amazing adventures, had so much quality time together, talked about any and everything and for that I’m grateful. We hugged and kissed all of the time and “I love you” was said multiple times a day but I was controlling and never realized it until Jack and for that I’m sad.

No one is the same person they are at 17, 21, 28 and 34. There is a lot of growth both emotionally and intellectually that takes place. With Jack, he gets to wear rain boots, a cape, and shorts in public 😳 and jump in mud puddles and dishes can wait while I play on the floor with him. I’m more aware now of what we put into and on our bodies, I’m more patient and gentle. (I was never a spanker because I wasn’t as a child and it just was unnatural to me to discipline in that way so meaning gentle in the sense of calm voice, eye level, etc. vs no and stop).

Did KJ get the short end of the stick? Sometimes I worry he did. BUT then I think of all of the things I did with him that I’m not doing with Jack. I went to ALL of KJ’s talent shows, school plays, classroom parties, etc. whereas Jack is homeschooled and might possibly not have those experiences with me. I could go on. And on. And on.

There are similarities too though. Neither were vaccinated past a certain point, both bed shared, etc. I honed into my momma gut as I became older. Breastfeeding was immediate with Jack and continued into toddlerhood. Schedules are life. I followed Jacks though and that made life easier. But the real truth is that I stopped caring what people thought of me as a parent. Both of my babes know they were and are loved. And both babes had different needs.

Mommin’ ain’t easy. And I give props to all parents just doing their best for their families…. no matter their age, experience, bank account balance, etc. And momma guilt is a bitch. So the next time I see a young mom or an experienced mom I’ll be yelling Do You Boo – silently though because I don’t want people to think I’m crazy! 🤣

Parental Choice or Mandated Vaccines?

Parental Choice or Mandated Vaccines?

“Unvaccinated children put people with compromised immune systems, babies too young to get them, the elderly, & my vaccinated child at risk!” Right? Wrong. Plain and simple.

When a child has received their vaccines they are unable to be exposed to an illness bc they are covered in a bubble wrap of immunity. — Is this statement logical? I mean I sneeze in your face and you’re exposed to my germs. Exposure is exposer. Let me give you an example. Say there are 1000 people in a closed room and all but 5 were fully vaccinated yet the entire room was exposed. Then say out of the 995 that were vaxxed 7 become infected even though the CDC says vaccines are 99% effective. Did you know this happens to 58% of vaccinated peeps per the CDC? In 2011, a NYC “outbreak” was traced to a 22yo woman that was fully vaxxed, got the measles AND spread it to 4 other people again, fully vaxxed. AND in Orange County a few years ago 18% of those that got sick from Disney had been fully immunized. 🤔

Let’s take a look at the CDCs recommended schedule..And now lets look at the schedule from when I was little.WHOA! Quite a difference. And I survived.

Today we (Jack & I) spent the afternoon canvassing some neighborhoods. There is a Senator in my state that is trying to mandate vaccines. And his opponent is for parental rights. I am not anti-vaccine. At all. However, I am pro-safe vaccine and they simply don’t exist. I hear so many say “Yes but these things exist everywhere; our water, air, vegetables, etc. And yes they do… gotta give them credit. BUT, there’s a major difference between ingesting and injecting.

Ingesting: Mercury for example – most in tuna for instance doesn’t enter the body but the amount that does is passed through (you guessed it) poop. The mercury that is absorbed is metabolized, absorbed through the gut then liver which is called “First Pass”. It’s then conjugated by glutathione that’s passed through bile and waste.

Injected: It’s metabolized into the more toxic and harmful methylmercury. Because it’s injected it doesn’t have the option of the “First Pass” through the liver where it can be filtered but instead circulates throughout ALL of the other tissues and organs. It binds with certain tissues that includes neurological, brain, kidneys, etc. This is long term and harmful.Expecting mommas receiving vaccines while pregnant have an increased risk of their baby’s toxicity levels being greater because mercury crosses the blood brain barrier and the placenta which can contribute to neurological abnormalities such as developmental delays.

Concentrations in vaccines and immunoglobulin range between 0.005 & 0.02% which is non toxic. BUT, babies rarely get a single vaccine at a time but multiple vaccines over a short time span per the CDC recommendation. This repeated exposure increases risk for mercury toxicity resulting in vaccine injury. PLUS synergistic toxicity (Synergism comes from the Greek word “synergos” meaning working together. … In toxicology, synergism refers to the effect caused when exposure to two or more chemicals at as time results in health effects that are greater than the sum of the effects of the individual chemicals.) of vaccines hasn’t been studied. So we don’t know the effect of vaccines on those that are susceptible to a lessened ability to excrete toxins.

AND what about the other ingredients listed? Like… aborted fetal cells, formaldehyde, DNA from other species such as monkeys, etc.? NONE have been evaluated for their carcinogenic potential, etc.

Allllllll of this to say where there is risk there must be a choice. No parent says “Hey, I really hope my baby gets measles.” No parent would spoon feed their littles toxic chemicals either.

* Let me add that both of my children were vaccinated selectively and at a slower pace although not to completion. No judgment from me ever. You do what’s right for YOUR family. Let me also add that we stopped vaccinating early on.

Mommy Wars

Mommy Wars

I recently blogged about a little boy kicked out of a library in truth because he has autism. In that post I also touched on red dye and how that we’ve had meltdowns in public and while most people rolled their eyes one person actually cared enough to help.

Yesterday Jack-Jack and I went to Sprouts. As we got in line a mom pulled up with her cart and a little one screaming, crying, and trying to run through the store. There was one mom with her little in front of me and a single woman behind me. I asked if the mom with the upset little wanted to go ahead of me. The lady behind me smirked “good idea” I assume to get the screaming child out of there as quickly as possible to she could finish her phone call.

This sweet momma took my offer. I helped her unload her groceries onto the check out conveyer while the mom in front loaded her bags for her into the cart.

THIS is how we should be. Mommin’ ain’t easy.

My friend happened to call while I was leaving and I was telling her how amazing it was to see women (moms) come together and HELP each other.

The same friend called me today to tell me about her evening the night before. She worked until 5, couldn’t pick up her 3 year old until close to 6 because of traffic and because of bad weather. She had to go to the grocery store to literally grab a couple of things FOR HER SON.

She acknowledged that he was already upset… I would be too. I know I’m hungry and tired by 6-6:30 but he also hadn’t seen his mommy all day. — this kills her btw. She misses him so much throughout the day she’s often in tears and the last thing she wants is for him to be upset. NO mom wants that.

He was in a typical 3yo meltdown faze.. one you can’t rationalize or fix because THEY can’t. They have big emotions and can’t express WHY their upset like we can. Duh. He wanted a treat. She was getting him one for after dinner but of course he kept changing his mind as kids often do and getting more upset by the second.

A woman looks at her and says not only in public, around others but in front of her baby that she can’t let him get away with that or he will continue. WHAT?! WHY? Mind BLOWN.

This complete stranger has NO idea what my friends little was going through.. what if he had just fallen or had a bad day or countless other possibilities? This complete stranger had NO idea that my friend was in excruciating pain and has extreme anxiety regarding bad weather. She didn’t care. She wanted to share her judgement and be done.

This is heartbreaking to me for my friend and all of the other mommas that have experienced this (including myself) because this is NOT helpful in any kind of way. Instead it’s the opposite, harmful!

WHY can we not find it in ourselves to stop the judgement? Why can’t we be a village? One of the beauties of parenting is being given the opportunity to raise our children as WE see fit given they aren’t abused or neglected.

“I really want to run into the store while my little one cries, screams, hits, etc.” said no mom ever. But guess what… sometimes we have to.

This.Has.Got.To.Stop.!

Teaching Acceptance & Grace

Teaching Acceptance & Grace

A little boy & his mother were asked to leave the library bc her child was “being too loud.” He has autism and was tapping and humming but was no louder than other children… but so what if he was honestly?!

This is NOT okay in so many ways.

I can’t fix what happened that day to that precious boy and his mom but I do explain to Jackson that asks questions (of course) when we see others with special needs WHY. He’s 4 and doesn’t always understand but he’s compassionate & becomes more so every.time. we talk about it.

My child isn’t on the spectrum but there have been several times we had to sit in the isle at target during a major meltdown before I realized he had an allergy to red dye and he was reacting. Inconsolable, angry, his body limp as he melted into the floor. The looks people would give us. The smirks. ONE time out of several a mom looked at me with tears in her eyes and asked me how she could help. ONE.TIME!

I found a solution that others can’t. We avoid red dye at all cost. We have got to BE KIND and GIVE GRACE! And we have to become educated and educate our children! Gentle spirits begin at home and we have to do our part.

The mother of this little boy shared this:

Think Dirty app 🤬

Think Dirty app 🤬

So I’m scrolling through my fb newsfeed the other day and I see this pop up from a friend so naturally I click on the link because this has become one of my fav apps to use. We don’t use anything toxic so anytime I’m in a buying jam I pull out my phone and start scanning awayand then I read this:

“Attention Attention…. sad, and very disappointing news!

Something’s up with the Think Dirty App (that I have recommended and personally used for a while now) Ratings on some of the most toxic ingredients have been reduced, and they aren’t labeling “fragrance” as a carcinogen, and ironically many of P&G products that are some of the dirtiest products are now saying NR (no-rating).

(From the company: “In terms of ratings changing from a 9 to a 7 this is due to a change in our fragrance ratings. Since fragrance was initially rated in 2013 many companies have put out fragrance policies that state they do not use certain harmful chemicals in their fragrance. For this reason we have decreased it to a 7. For companies with no such fragrance policies we have left it at a 9.”

Their full statement here: https://www.facebook.com/thinkdirtyshopclean/posts/1109640879179140 )”

From https://www.facebook.com/Healthy-Families-for-God-123685951004535/

WHAAAAAAAAA?!?! WHY?!I’m so frustrated (face above) that these apps give us reassurance that we are living cleaner when they simply are not. So BYE Think Dirty, you filthy little app you!

What, Am I a pillow or something?

What, Am I a pillow or something?

When I had my first son I instinctively bed shared. I didn’t know why at the time. Was it because I didn’t nurse so I subconsciously thought this would help us bond? Probably. But then 16 years later I had Jack.

He immediately latched in the hospital. We had no issues with tongue or lip ties. It was smooth sailing. Yet, when I brought him home my instinct was to bed share AGAIN. I was nursing every 2 hours and as a single mom of now two I needed sleep. I mean, right? Nursing in bed made that easier. When he’d wake I could immediately soothe and he’d go back to sleep easily.

Welp, he’s 4 and still in my bed. Strange? Not to us. It works. & studies have shown that…

  1. They become more independent
  2. They do well in school
  3. Dr. Sears explained that it can help with bonding for both mom and baby.
  4. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, their immunity is boosted because of being less stressed.
  5. It helps them grow emotionally based on an article in Psychology Today.
  6. IF bed sharing is a mutual choice then they have a happier momma.
  7. Kelly Mom says they get more sleep probably because they are near mom when woken.

And they tend to wake up happier. This is not to shame ANY parent that doesn’t bed share. Our kids will both be happy and healthy. But to explain that it is completely natural to bed share with littles. It just works for US.