Dan and I have two children. Two wonderful children. Sure, they are tough at times but then they give you a smile that lights up the world and all is well. Why not have more? Well, that’s a complicated question.
I’d love to have more children. I love the toddler years and to be honest I’m a little sad that they are coming to a close for us. But the idea of birthing more children, that’s really tough for me. Pregnancies were tough for me. With Big Brother I slept a lot and was sick for about 8 months. I lost quite a bit of weight, thankfully I had some extra to spare so danger there. One month of not feeling sick really isn’t enough though. With Little Sister there wasn’t really time to sleep and I was only sick for about 6 months, that was better, but no walk in the park.
Then came the deliveries. When Big Brother was born it was the most wonderful and flat out terrifying day of my life. Little Sister’s delivery was much less exciting but the fears and difficulties came after that. Had she been born in a different time or even at a hospital with different newborn screenings our life would have taken a completely different path. However that wasn’t the case and we are happy to say she is a completely healthy little girl. After her birth was one of the darkest times in my life. It was mild for me but postpartum depression is real and scary. So in the end, no, I don’t want to carry and birth more children.
I have however, always seen myself as someone who would adopt at some point in my life. The idea of helping to care for the world’s children that don’t have anyone to care for them has always been in my heart. I was sharing these thoughts with a friend of mine recently and she asked me a question I didn’t expect.
Is it fair for you to adopt children when there are couples out there who cannot have their own and you can? Just a thought.
(this was the idea, not word for word)
Honestly, this has never occurred to me. I have always assumed that there were lots of children in the world who needed a family. More than there are families to love them. But perhaps I am wrong. Is it fair? Am I taking something from these other couples?
I know I’ve been absent for a long time, I’m sorry about that. I’ve really been focusing on my jewelry lately and my little corner of the internet has suffered.
But, I’ve come back for a really good reason. I keep seeing posts in the various groups I belong to about toddlers climbing out of their cribs and moms at their wits end. Sometimes you can move them to a big bed, but sometimes that’s not ideal. Space issues, room sharing, scheduling, etc etc might keep them wanting a child in a crib rather than a big bed. A few years ago crib tents were an option but they have since been recalled. So where does that leave all these moms?
Well, I stumbled upon a great solution simply by accident. (I wish I could take genius credit for this, but sadly, no) Before Little Sister was ready for potty training she kept taking off her clothes and diapers in her crib, and then accidents would happen with the occasional decorating moments. It was a rough few weeks. Ok, AWFUL few weeks. I dreamed up many ways to keep her from making messes, but eventually I stumbled upon one that worked. Wait for it… (the simplicity is going to get you)…
Backwards. Sleep. Sack.
When Little Sister figured out she could lift her leg up to climb out of her crib, that same sleep sack that kept her crib clean originally also kept her in her crib. The sleep sack prevented her from lifting her leg high enough to get over the railing. YAY!
At around $25 and going up to a size 5T (including feetie holes) this makes for an easy and inexpensive solution to a common parenting problem.
Babies are difficult. Not because they mean to be or they enjoy stressing out their parents, but because as little mini-humans their means of communicating with us is very limited. The only way they know to show how they’re feeling? Crying. Or a giggle or smile if you’re lucky.
I’ve been fortunate that I have a generally happy, easy-going little guy. He’s never really been a crier. Sure if he’s hungry, tired, or has a dirty diaper, there will be fussiness. Or if he’s in pain (shots, or if he bumps his head). But for the most part, my little guy sort of goes with the flow.
This is NOT the experience for everyone, I know. And you can usually spot these poor parents who have suffered through colicky, easy-to-cry, difficult-to-soothe, “high maintenance” babies when you’re out with your own little one. Typically I run into these tired, overwhelmed, “glad that’s over” parents when I’m out at the store with my son.
The typical reaction I get when we’re out shopping is “oh how cute/what a good boy/he’s so sweet!” From the mama’s whose little ones are two and three I hear “enjoy these days, they grow up so fast!” From the parents of middle and high-schoolers I hear “I remember when you were that little.” From the proud grandparents it’s usually “what a happy fella, he looks a little younger/older than my grandson/granddaughter.”
But from the parents whose children were perhaps not as easy, not as calm, not as chill as my dear son, the tune is so very much different…
“You’re brave for bringing him out alone.”
“He doesn’t cry much? JUST WAIT”
“I wish my son/daughter was this well behaved when he/she was this little.”
“Wait until he’s older, he’ll be tearing up everything in your house. That’s what little boys do, they destroy things.” (my personal favorite to date)
These poor parents probably had a rough experience with their little ones, and unfortunately it’s colored the way they interact with other babies and parents they come in contact with. It’s always a bit sad when I run into one of these Mamas whose baby-days were so difficult. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have a baby that won’t stop screaming, doesn’t ever sleep, spits up all the time, and generally turns entire worlds upside down in the hardest of ways.
At first I would be annoyed when I would get these negative-toned comments towards my son and our future. I mean really, way to be a Debbie Downer and rain on my Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade! To tell me it’s just going to get worse/harder from this point forward feels like they’re tearing down my experience to feel better about their own. Why steal the joy/happiness from one new mom because your experience wasn’t that great?
It really used to bother me, these doom and gloom Mamas walking around, spreading their message of misfortune to other parents out there.
Parenthood is hard. HARD. Regardless of the baby. But it’s so much more difficult when the baby has a tough time adjusting too. So instead of feeling irritated by these parents, my heart has just started to feel sympathy for them. Every new Mom & Dad wants to bask in the glow of their newborn baby, and I’m sure there’s nothing more difficult than wading through the long, dark midnight hours with a fussy, crying, unhappy infant when you haven’t showered or slept in four days. They remember those difficult days much more clearly than the few good days sprinkled within that first year of hardship.
This makes me sad for them, and I make sure to say a little prayer for each one of the frazzled, fizzed-out, frantic Mamas when I meet them. Because although it gets easier with time, it will always be hard to look back on those first few months and remember the difficult days and miss the sweet bonding memories of a cooing, giggling, smiling newborn.
We each have our own journeys in life, and certain stretches are easier for some than others. If you find yourself face to face with one of these worn down, wish-it-were-easier Mamas: smile, listen, and ask God to give their hearts some peace and their bodies (and babies) some much-needed rest. And be thankful for your own sweet one.
Even on the toughest days, they are such a blessing.
I love to cook. I really really do, unfortunately I am not the best cook. Oh sure, I try really hard but it’s never quite perfect. Once a month my work group has a cookoff where the winner of the last challenge gets to pick the theme. One time I came close to winning, but just that once. So coming upon this recipe was just awesome. Allison and I were talking over our favorite ingredients and then started to dream up a yummy recipe. And now you get to have it too. Not only is this recipe delicious, but it’s super easy too.
What you need:
8 Portobello mushroom caps
2 packages of meatloaf mix (the one with beef, veal and pork)
1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese
1/4 Panko bread crumbs
2 tbl spoons Wildtree Rancher steak rub (sorry forgot the photo of this)
Brown the meat mixture, then add the rancher rub, Gorgonzola and Panko bread crumbs. Mix this through.
Stuff the uncooked mushroom cap with the meat mixture.
Then bake for 10-12 minutes at 350C (or until the mushroom is tender).