Saturday, September 22, 2012

Upcycled Bottles!

My first holiday craft of the fall, an upcycled mayonaise jar:

All I used was an olive oil mayonaise jar that I had cleaned out 7 taken off the label. I drew the face in Sharpie on the outside and dripped a little neon orange paint inside & painted it all around the inside. So easy and so great! Add a glowstick for even more fun!! I also upcycled a coffee creamer bottle to hold my sons Goldfish. I saw this on pinterest and had to try it. I cleaned out the bottle & ran it through the dishwasher:

Hope you all are enjoying your weekend!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Green Plants & Red Water

Playing in the garden is quickly becoming one of my son's favorite activities. I set him in the grass and he will inevitably crawl up to the sidewalk and pull rocks and sticks from the dirt surrounding the plants.

He's playing inbetween the zucchini and strawberry plants. It's amazing, this photo was taken probably 3 days ago and these plants are really large, now! I can even see the beginning of the bell peppers forming. We have gone sort of plant crazy over these past few weeks, not only adding to our garden, but our range of potted plants and flowers, as well.
From left: Caladium, Impatients, Jade & the pink/yellow Hibiscus up front!
The hydraengea bush
Also, my son has developed a love for water after having an immense hatred for it. Bath time used to be the only time he wanted to play in water. Now, he wants to be sprayed with the house and play in our pit bull's water bowl all. Day. Long. So, after getting to the point where I would leave her water bowl on the table (I ended up forgetting overnight once and felt like a regular jerk), I decided I would just give him a bowl of water to play with. But he's 11 months old and his attention span is quite tiny. Food coloring makes everything more fun.
Add a towel & it's Soak City for infants!
Enjoying it!
Still fun!
We've been having fun around here, though I must admit, I haven't done much today! I suppose these days aren't so bad every once in a while. <3

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Colored Noodle Infant Sensory

Just thought I'd share something we did last week that my son had a blast with. We made colored spaghetti! All you need is food coloring, noodles, & a gallon-sized Ziplock bag.

After you cook the noodles, just fill the bag about 1/3 of the way full with water and add a few drops of food coloring. Add the noodles and zip up the bag. You have the make sure the water completely soaks all the noodles, so I just let Connor play with the bag:

I ended up doing this multiple times, and just draining the noodles and rinsing out the bag for each batch.
Easter noodles!
The longer they sit, the more the color soaks in. The light tinted green ones ended up becoming darker when everything was done. It definitely made spaghetti night much more entertaining! The best part is, even an 11 month old could have fun. You do not need to just rely on letting your toddler enjoy nature as the only sensory development! The best part about being a 21st century mother is the ease at which we can obtain ideas and information. Reading something on a website can instantly spark your imagination and create a chain reaction of inventive fun. Let me know how your tots liked it!

Monday, September 10, 2012


Today was an odd day. It was both wonderful and frustrating at the same time. Surprisingly, the frustration had nothing to do with Connor. Alan and I have been trying to make a conscious effort to not sit around with our coffee in the morning. We love drinking our coffee, surfing the internet, and watching TBS sitcom reruns like ''According to Jim.'' I love doing this. I wish I could do this uninterrupted every morning, but obviously we have obligations. This being the case, we are intent on setting a good example and sitting around laughing at a flimsy storyline is definitely not a great impression for a soon-to-be-toddler. So each morning this past week, we have been working out or cleaning or crafting, even gardening, to keep our son with imagines of busy, happy parents.

I love what we did today. We have an old coffee table we got from a second-hand store. The right side on the top is a removeable panel of glass, it looks neat, but if it's not in it's spot, there is a large rectangular hole on the side of the coffe table. I could imagine someone not noticing and setting their drink down. Whoops. So I bought some painter's tape and metallic black spray paint. We taped off a design into the glass, it gives it an art deco, almost:

There are endless possibilities with this one, but we went for a larger design. I think a small, tribal design would be amazing, as well. Then, of course, we sprayed the taped side and let it dry. When we're done, the inlet goes painted side down and looks pretty neat

Of course, after Alan left, I couldn't just let my creativity go to waste. I did one heart-shaped jar today. It was so pretty without any paint, I was almost hesitant to put the acrylics inside. The finished product is definitely worth it, though

Today I heard something I needed to hear. Since Connor was born, I have tried to do the best I could. I attempted breastfeeding, I pumped, I made all of his baby food organically, I have gotten him into music and art as much as I could and made it a point for him to spend time outside. I have had women my same age and older, getting tips from me, asking how to do what I've done, and a friend had never let her 2 year old fingerpaint before she saw me and Connor doing it last month. Yet not once had any of them told me I was a good mother. They never said I was working hard or doing great things for my child. My boyfriend told me all the time and any time I asked. While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, it is always nice to hear ''you're doing a great job.''

So today, when a friend from back home told me there needed to be more mothers like me, I was taken back. It seems weird and perhaps this is a personality flaw, my feeling this need for validation through others, but it made my whole day. Sure these other women learned from me & perhaps since I was younger and some already had more than 1 child, it was a little embarassing. I am just happy to hear that today. I am glad other people notice my hard work to stimulate a creative environment for my son.

Alan thinks so. He loves the kind of mother I am and I know, flaws and all, I am a good mother and I will continue to strive for a slow life with my family, crafts included.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


We've been busy over our weekend, buying plants and vegetables from Home Depot to plant in our yard. When we first together, Alan and I always used to talk about running off into the hills and living off the land. I suppose we are always taking steps in that direction, regardless of the mediocrity. So we planted zuchini, red bell pepper and two strawberry plants in our front yard. They are happy, especially the zuchini and bell pepper, their roots were exposed and wrapped around the bottom. I cannot wait for our first harvest, I will feel a great sense of accomplishment.

I made 2 more vases today, hopefully I will be on my third shortly. The first one is for our first Halloween in the new house
The second is an awesome little message-in-a-bottle type, cork included! I really enjoyed decorating these and I am really having fun practicing and getting different techniques down.

I enjoyed a nice little thunderstorm while Connor napped today. The boy is getting bigger and bigger each day. He is getting more interested in cars and trucks, he drives them around the house now while he's crawling. He's taken more of an interest in walking, but I don't suspect he'll be doing it any time soon. Or maybe I'm just hoping. It is so bittersweet seeing them grow, I can understand why some women want children consecutively. I miss my baby.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Memory Ln

Oh, boy.

I am trying to savor the last few weeks I have with my ''baby'' officially. After October 4, I will have a TODDLER. Gosh, it really does feel like yesterday...

My turtle-lipped little boy! It was all so surreal. He was thrust onto my belly, screaming and somehow still looking perfect. He was definitely worth the wait. He's growing and getting smarter every day. It's truly the most amazing experience of my life. You have to devote yourself to the care and well being of this other, tiny person that you barely know yet somehow still manage to be madly in love with. Don't be mistaken, it is not merely love, you are IN love. I always thought that was a weird way of explaining your love for your children  but it is 100% accurate.

It makes me wonder what in the world I ever cared about before him. I see pictures of my two men together and it swells my heart. My life before my family seemed so vapid and selfish. ''I get so faithful to my freedom - a selfish kind of life'' Gwen, you are perfect in any occasion.

So as the big day approaches, I am gathering ideas for his birthday party. It is Dr. Seuss themed. I have some awesome things I will hold on to until the day I die probably. I know, I know ''he wont remember!!'' but he will see the pictures! I want him to see I took the time to make his first birthday special, even if it is just making a neat cake for him.

Also today, I experimented with the colored yogurt idea. I made the yogurt colors and used it to cover the strawberries. Then I froze them. I left them in the freezer a little long, so we had to wait for them to thaw, but it was definitely worth it! They were delicious and fun!
Epic fail with the chocolate lettering though.
They were pretty delicious, if I do say so myself and it has given me some pretty awesome ideas for more food stuff and crafting ideas. I suppose it's never a failure, always a lesson!
I need a DSLR.
I've been taking lots of strolls down memory lane these past few days. From before I had my son, to the joys of pregnancy, to Hell Week aka the 41st week of pregnancy, to the first 3 months and to now. It's been a whirlwind of happiness, frustration, exhaustion, love and complete chaos (even with a solid schedule). It has made me so grateful for what I have. I'm ready for the poops and cries and screams and upsets of tomorrow. Without those, my life would surely be a boring mess.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Bittersweet Day of Clay

Today was bittersweet. My boyfriend is amazing and when buying the new carseat for Connor, he saw a hot glue gun and got it for me. It makes me feel so loved when he thinks of me while he's away. Unfortunately, his job requires him to work quite often and Labor Day doesn't matter to treadmills. So, while he worked, I thought I might return the gesture and make him a little keepsake. I made the plaster out of cornstarch and baking soda, and I absolutely cannot wait to try this again. I will be the first to admit they are NOT perfect! There's some cracking, and the edges of the handprint molds are unshapen, as I forgot to place the dough in a round saucer or bowl to keep them clean. This was definitely fun!

The bitter part was the realization that my friend, Sara, will be Afghanistan soon (if not already). She is admirable, brave and doing something I could never do. Even though we haven't seen each other in a few years, we talk often and have been friends since we were 12. I am still so sad to hear of her  going to a war I don't believe in. As far as I'm concerned, we are DONE over there, it's been 11 years. Do we really need to instill decomcracy in every single Middle Eastern country? I digress. All I know is that her wedding reception in May is going to be a huge celebration. :)


These past few days have been all about coming together as a family. We put down our beloved Xbox controllers, turned off the TV and created things! This is a new adventure for me, as I've only been a mother to a tanglible child for 11 short months. So after all the excitement of fingerpainting, I decided to do something a little different.We browsed Pinterest for a little inspiration and found spray painted mason jars as vases. Our first attempt involved car paint and a more... industrious look than I'd anticipated.

I guess after our Michael's run will include some blue twine. It can be my Cowboys vase.

The next two we got a little fancy with. We saw a pin about acrylic paint on the inside of the mason jars or vases. This renders them completely useless as far as holding real plants with water (the paint with soak in with the water and kill the plants) they are beautiful and leave a clean look. The designs in the glass are not colored, the paint is merely a backdrop.

We each started out with one color that would match the regular spray paint we bought (it's called lagoon. Ít's a bright aqua marine).

The pin online said to turn it upside for 20 minutes, but it was still wet the next day. While doing this, you have to swirl the paint all the way down so it coats completely and evenly. Otherwise, the paint will just fall down from the bottom.

After we created stencils (which I did not photograph due to my udder excitement and sheer negligence) we went outside with the still drying on the inside acrylic and spray painted over the taped on stencils.

We ended with the biggest glass vase we had in our house and the rest our paints, just to see what might happen. It was pretty awesome if I do say so myself:

So we plan on getting new paints this weekend and another couple of vases. Today, I have a plan to surprise daddy when he gets home from work. Let's see if my homemade plaster works!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Technicolor Days

Excuse the absence! The important thing is: I am back and feeling refreshed.

So, this past weekend, my family and I enjoyed crafting together (yes, even the 11 month old got in on the action!)

First, Connor and I played with Crayola fingerpaints on a canvas bag I had:

I loved the way his little feet looked with all the colors

Then, we expanded on the fingerpainting idea. I wanted him to have something safer, something he could eat, yet have fun with at the same time. I had always heard of edible finger paints, I had never heard of merely greek yogurt and food coloring. voila!

We did this one outside. Connor had a blast, he has even clapping for himself:
Though you can't keep the yogurt paintings, it's a fun way for even babies to have fun and learn at the same time. Plus, he can shove all he wants into his mouth and you don't have to stress!

I have been feeling wonderful and it shows in my family! We have been having a blast with all the crafts, and though we can still play in the water outside, I know fall is coming and that electricity will come back into the air... I absolutely love autumn. My new locale provides a Michael's. Let's do this!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Forever and A Day

In today's society, soul mates are something that seem to only exist in Disney movies. It seems like people are rushing into marriage, as if dating for five years is completely out of the question. In November, Alan and I will celebrate our 4th anniversary. We have friends who have been together half the time and are married. Alan's brother and sister-in-law have been together almost literally the exact same time we did. They got together 2 weeks before we did and have been married a little over a year now.

This doesn't phase me. As a woman, I do long for that trip down the isle and the phone call to change my last name. But the thought of marriage scares me. Let me rephrase that: the thought of DIVORCE scares me. Terrifies me. I am scared of the emotional pressure and restraint marriage would put on Alan. Though we share a child, there is something freeing about not having the strings. But I truly believe it is going to take something drastic to separate us. We are best friends, passionate lovers (though passionate fighters as well!), and a great team when we have a common goal. I am very deeply in love with him, even if the thought of marriage is still a little frightening.

It's strange that some people see this as being uncooth. I always believed it made more sense to live with someone and get to know them before you marry them. In our modern times, this seems like the only logical choice for two people who truly care about each other and wish to stay together. I will say, though, from experience, that moving in with someone too soon is never a good idea. Knowing someone before moving in with them is vital to the development of a healthy relationship. Alan and I lived together almost the entire time, until we broke up briefly and eventually lived apart (while dating) for about 10 months. This has been the only time we have broken up thus far. It lasted all of maybe a week and we simply decided to live apart. It was wonderful and exactly what our relationship needed. Our relationship shifted and has since changed, though we are not perfect and sometimes fight like cats and dogs. This is the one thing we desperately wish to change for Connor's sake, though our stubbornness often gets in the way.

Now that things have changed, I am overall much happier with our relationship. He has done things I could never imagine anyone else doing for me. I know I take this for granted, most relationships end because someone took someone else for granted. I try to constantly remind myself to be appreciative of everything he's done and in turn, this puts me in a much better mood. Relationships are difficult and being around someone all the time can create agitation and resentment. The trick is growing up and growing together, experiencing life together and getting closer along the way. Putting aside petty differences and remembering what's really important will make life so much easier. I am no saint and these are things we are still working to acheive. Yet I have ever confidence we will get there. After all, aren't we soul mates?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The 'F' Word

I have been thinking about family and forgiveness lately. Drug abuse has been a reoccuring issue in both mine and my boyfriend's family. The most recent of which was our brother-in-law. It was common knowledge he had abused drugs in the past, but claimed his last jail sentence had gotten him clean. We all believed him, as did our sister, the one whom he was dating. To make a long story short, we found out he was still using drugs heavily and it created a deep rift between the entire family. Our sister had gone back to him as quickly as we had found his tourniquet. It was devastating and we all felt her to be a hypocrite and very, very dim.

As of today, they claim his sobriety and it is hard to deny. Our suspiscions linger, yet things in their household have changed. He is seeing his first three children more, in fact, before his sobriety, he very, very scarecely saw them. Our sister has had a lot to do with his turning around and their child together is beautiful. His decision to stay with our sister and not leave and still come to family gatherings is compendable, considering we all told him he was scum and we absolutely, without a doubt hated his guts.

We have a found a way, as a whole family unit, to dismiss whatever hesitations and objections we still reserved and show our children what it really means to be a family. I look at my son and want him to love his cousins and aunts and uncles and have memories that he will cherish. But I am a total hypocrite. When was the last time I spoke to my own brother? His addiction has ruined our family in more ways than emotionally. I have found that not speaking to him is my best option, every time we speak, we fight. Why is it that I cannot find it in my heart to forigve my very own brother? Just thinking about the whole situation stresses me out and upsets me. Part of me doesn't even want my brother to meet Connor. I just know my brother will be spun out and I do not want my son to ask why his uncle looks the way that he does. But I know letting this anger go will allow me to become a better mother to my son, by not harbor so much anger and frustration.

I hope my brother learns and cleans up his act. I feel as thought this is the only I will be able to accept him back into my life and allow him into my sons. I am unsure how he has managed to survive to the age of 34, and much less about how he maintains himself without my father around. There is a certain level of forgiveness for my brother. I forgive him for selling everything in father's home for drugs. I forgive him for hating my mother, because he doesn't know how to release his anger over what he feel is infidelity. He is a child inside, the drug abuse has stunted his emotional growth therefore, he is difficult to deal with and be around. So, when my brother is clean and comes to me in a positive way, I will be full of forgiveness. I will make it my obligation to simply let it go if and when that day ever comes. Until then, I cannot afford to allow him into my life. This may sound harsh, but after 20 odd years of drug abuse, manipulations, bribery, thefts and empty promises, tough love is all I can afford to give and for that, I apologize.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

When The Real Work Begins

I have been a parent for about 10 months and the only thing consistent is that it is always changing. Not that this is always a bad thing, but your child goes from staying put and spitting up everywhere to keeping their lunch down and getting into literally everything they are not supposed to. You give one struggle for another, always. This has me wondering about when he gets older and the parenting becomes more difficult than reading Dr. Seuss & keeping them from electricuting themselves. I wonder about the lessons his father and I will teach him and the beliefs and values we hold as a family.

Alan and I share the same belief about God and organized religion: we prefer the former, thank you very much. We don't go to church or read the bible. My family stopped going to church after a devastating situation with one of the pastors. Alan stopped going because he just did not believe it. I can remember searching myself, reading the bible and practically anything involving religion to find a belief. I felt lost as a teenager, searching for a faith or at least someone that understood my concerns involving most organized religions.

For instance, we are told over and over again that God's love is unconditonal, yet this is a fallacy. We must be constantly repenting for our sins, lest be banished to the firey gates of Hell. There are conditions to experiencing God's love in the afterlife, according to most monotheistic religions. I'm already going to hell for fornication, poisioning my body, tattooing my body, having a child out of wedlock... man the list goes on! I talked down to my parents, for crying out loud, something wholly unforgivable. Isn't eating meat on a Friday during Lent a hell-worthy tresspass? I just get so confused as to which parts to take in and which parts to discard.

I want to tell Connor that he is going to wonderful place after death, regardless of how he's lived his life. Life is all about experience. He is going to be a good person, I do not need to scare him with stories of a hoofed beast to get him to be a better man. I want him to believe in God. I do. I fully believe there is a higher power, greater than ourselves that helped us get here. It's not a man or a woman or even any sort of human. I read a book once called ''Conversations With God'' by Neale Donald Walsch. It changed my life. Whether or not Walsch actually communicated with a higher power is irrelevant once you delve into the theories this book has to offer. We are all merely souls in human bodies, searching and experiencing to figure out Who We Are.

If he wants to go to church to learn about the bible and religion, we will take him. If he wants to say he doesn't believe in a higher power, that's his business, I just want him to be a good person. I want him to believe that good things done bring good things in. That doesn't begin with ink and paper, that begins with our family and the foundation we lay for him. There is always room for bettering, after all... isn't that what this journey is all about??

Monday, July 30, 2012

Receipe for A Better Life

Whenever I mention the fact that for the first 4 months my son ate baby food, I was the one making it, women are always shocked and always say the same thing: ''That must have been time consuming!'' Recently, I spoke to an older woman in Target about this subject. She was buying food for her grandbaby and sparked a conversation by asking which kind my son liked the best. (This happened about a week ago & Connor has since refused any type of baby food) I explained about my making his food for the first few months and she, as if on que, mentions how time consuming it must be and if I bought a Baby Bullet.

Why is this the first question people ask me? To me, making my child's food seemed like the obvious way to go: it would be cheaper, it really doesn't take up too much time and best of all, I know exactly what he is eating. I can remember passing baby food jars and seeing them separate and looking just plain unappealing. So I would just cook and puree fruits and vegetables with an $18 personal smoothie blender from Wal-Mart. It was literally effortless and I felt like a super mom with my fridge full of organic goodness for my son.

So many things are wrong with our bodies, so many diseases are because of our poor diet. I know I am not perfect, I love carbs and fast food hamburgers, but I do try to be conscious and healthy, especially now that my son is refusing to allow me to feed him. I must be vigilant about the food my family consumes. Millions of people claim that autism rates are on the rise because of the vaccinations in early childhood, yet some experts claims it begins in urtero. Pregnant women are notorious for their need for food and in modern day society, a working pregnant woman would hardly have a problem with a quick stop to pick up dinner for the family, rather than stay on her feet.

In my vow of increasing healthiness, we ate baked lemon pepper chicken, black beans, spinach salad, steamed carrots & grapes for dinner last night. It felt good to know that I was eating for fuel rather than gluttony. Tonight, we are having chicken stir fry with brown rice. Making positive changes can only bring out positive experiences! It is often difficult for me to heed my own advice, and the road to absolute health is going to be a long and rugged journey. Yet in the end, after all the hills and valleys, knowing my son will reach for an apple over a bag of chips when he's older will make me feel great.

So people judge me sometimes. Tell me I am overprotective. Tell me that I am a ''food Nazi,'' strategically crafting each morsel that enters my son's mouth. To me, this definitely is not the case. I do not feel as though I am losing hair over what my son ingests, although I am aware of what I purchase and put in front of him. He has had tastes of ice cream and french fries, but his meals are avocado and chicken, spaghetti with organic, grass-fed beef. Many times, his meals are vegetarian and those are usually vegan, as well, though he does enjoy the occasional grilled cheese sandwich.

Kids have to be kids. My son is going to eat ice cream and candy and he is going to eat fast food (hopefully not for a long while!) and drink soda. Can I help how much of this he gets? Hell yes I can and one of the most important choices I feel a parent can make is what their child ingests. Really, what kind of child do you want? I hear everyone say ''Well I turned out just fine!'' Well, you know what? I have no clue how I am not 500 pounds. I am a carb-addicted salt fiend who developed a sweet tooth after pregnancy. I want my son to crave good food. I want my family to be healthy and thriving and playing sports in the front yard rather than watching television all day. The best part about this dream is that I can make it a reality. And I'm halfway there.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pop Grudge

There are few artists I find as repulsive as Lady Gaga. Not musically, though some of her songs are bland and lifeless, others I really do enjoy. I mostly mean as an artist in general. Every other part of her except the part where she sings and helps write music. I find her to be desperate for individuality and attention from the media. It is almost as if she is trying to display herself as some sort of higher being we mortals must struggle to understand. I find it tired and frankly, pathetic.

Her latest publicity stunt is really one of the worst. Upon the release of her perfume, Fame, Lady Gaga stated that it contained blood and semen. I imagine that smelling something like Kevin Spacey's basement. Let's not forget the time she couldn't remember the lie she told and wound up telling different stories of how long she was in that stupid ass egg. We all know you didn't spend 3 days in the egg, Gaga, you didn't poop in there.

This is where music went... to idolizing morons in meat dresses. Remember when Gwen Stefani was the hottest chick in rock music? She was real, down to earth. She sang songs about wanting babies and missing her Middle Eastern ex-boyfriend. I guess I'm beginning to sound like my mother, ''your generation doesn't know what music is!'' I miss instruments other than a synthesizer. Sometimes I feel like hip-hop and indie are the only genres that have remained the same. Pop music just isn't what it used to be. Have you ever read the lyrics to ''Raise Your Glass'' by Pink? By far the most asinine thing I have ever read and that song was in the Billboard Top 40. Maybe it's because I grew up in the 90s, but I just do not understand listening to music if you have to be high on E to enjoy it.

My college history professor  always said it takes 50 years for an event to become history. Until then, they are current events. 50 years from now, the world is going to call this the Gray Age... nothing is new or inspiring. The movies are all remakes or sequels, the music is vapid, and the government actually thinks the best way to gain money is to cut the spending on education. Listen to music with sustanence, watch an artsy movie and read a damn book. I am terrified my son will become unambitious in skinny jeans. I would rather him listen to death metal, at least he will be interested in musical instruments, not getting with the right producer.

Monday, July 23, 2012


''She put on happiness like a loose dress / Over pain I'll never know''

The are few things in the world that impact humans the way music does. From birth, we are predisposed to crave music and harmony. I can remember hearing mewithoutYou for the first time during my freshman year of high school. The songs were grungy and acidic, off of their very first LP, which sounded as if it had been recorded in a basement. I loved it. Who were they?

They're a Christian band from Philidelphia. They were the antithesis of everything else I liked, and were by far more talented. The band's singer/songwriter, Aaron Weiss, had a way with words I deeply loved and envied. Their first EP, [A--->B] = Life, was what really got me. Weiss' lyrics are painfully personal and his raw delivery only compliments the intimacy. As a listener, I became connected with Weiss, transfixed by his shameless acknowledgement of his virginity and inner thoughts. ''No use in saying how I'm sorry, so I'm trying not to speak'' We had a relationship, my thoughts and his beautiful words. While he spoke in biblical rhymes, things I am wholly unfamiliar with, I saw beauty every time I heard his music. Gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh.

Sometimes it's not enough for me to just feel. I have to make the feelings tangible, to create an atmosphere for them all. If you want to know what it feels like to live in slow motion, go for a night drive, one of those nights when the air is electric, roll down the windows and play their first album from start to finish. Magnificent.

For The Sake of Sanity

There are few things in the world as terrifying as becoming a new mom. A lifetime of responsibilities placed on your shoulders only minutes after the most traumatic experience any human can have. It's baffling to me why women didn't just come together and say, ''we have the ability to bring life into the world, we're all awesome!'' No. No, women are caddy, so there are Breastfeeding Nazis and crunchy mamas who laugh in your face for doing what you feel is the right thing and vaccinating your child. Women are vicious. Some women will openly bash you for using formula, and at the same time, their child goes from breast to chili cheese fries. Veggies are best, too, Mom.

It is frustrating. Who are we to judge? I attempted to breastfeed my son. Two days after we left the hospital, he went 24 hours without pooping and had ulric acid in his diaper, which is a terrifying experience, consider the acid from his dehydrated urine turned red when mixed with the gel of the diaper, resembling blood. I broke down and fed formula until my milk came in the next day. That third day, however, we were returning to the hospital for a jaundice test. His lack of nutrition from the past days had skyrocketted his jaundice levels and we were in the hospital for the weekend. When my milk came in, I tried vigoriously to get my son to latch. My sister-in-law had one had on my breast and one on his head, my mother-in-law showed me how to stimulate milk production. The nurse was telling me breastfeeding, not breast milk from a bottle, was the only way.

I cried and cried trying to get him to latch. Finally, I said screw it. I pumped every 2-3 hours (5 hours at night) for almost 4 months. My pump had broken and so had my pocketbook. I was not working and my boyfriend was working part time. We tried vigoriously for 2 days to get him to latch, though of course, by now it was almost impossible. He pulled off after a few seconds, upset and annoyed it wasn't coming out fast enough. I cried for those 2 days, feeling guilty for giving in.

Now? Now I know better. Now I know I did the best that I could and next time, I will try again and do everything I can to breastfeed, just like I did this time. I did the best that I could for my son, and I will be damned if I let a woman talk down to me for using formula. Breast is best, but things happen that you will never, ever be able to control. This isn't the middle ages, there aren't a bevy of wet nurses available for hire. Now Connor is beyond happy and thriving. He has such a quirky personality and I love watching him bloom. Do I still get a twinge of sadness while preparing his bottle? Not even the slightest. I feel happy. I feel blessed that I was able to give my son what I did give him, and blessed we live in a age where I could feed him regardless of my production or his funky upper lip.

So maybe we should all just realize that shit happens that no one can control. New moms need support, not judgment and guilt. Especially when she may already be feeling that way about her newly inadequte body. For the sake of every new mom's sanity, let's celebrate the fact we accomplished a great feat, instead of hating the fact that we don't all do things the same.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Survivng The First Seven Days

It's been ten days since Alan, Connor & I have moved away from our familiar desert to begin our new lives here in the city. The differences are unexpected. Connor is much happier with carpet, Alan is much happier with a shorter drive, and I am enjoying the house and Target.

Leaving my mother was no easy task. Connor loves his Oma, his face lighting up so bright every time he sees her. I'll miss eating tuna or Pie for The People and watching The Real Housewives. Yet I know I am a soul which seeks change. I can remember being little & wanting to move, not realize how lucky my family was to own their own home. After my parents got divorced, my mother & I moved almost every year until I finally left home at age 17.

Since then, the Hi-Desert has been the place I've resided the longest, though I have lived in 5 different houses in the 5 years I resided there. It's never easy to leave, never easy to get started in a new place, but change blossoms creativity and inspiration. I am a happier person with change, finding the joy around me sparkling that is normally so demure due to my pessimistic attitude. As much as I will forever cherish those silhouettes of Joshua trees amongst the vibrant, rose-hued sky, my family needed change and progression. The desert is not progress, it's where you begin or end your life.

They say life is like a play -- Act I & Act II. Act I is wild, you make mistakes, you blow money frivolously, stay drunk for three days straight... Then there is a nine month interval, and Act II begins with a bang.

Here's to my Act II