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Archive for the ‘Motherhood’ Category

Crumby Kisses

Saturday’s are always busy for me. Today was no exception, and in fact it was even more busy than usual. I disinfected the bathroom, organized and deep cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the dining and living room and did three loads of laundry. I got an awful lot accomplished. That brings a nice feeling, but accomplishing those goals wasn’t the highlight of my day. The highlight of my day was taking a break and getting Angel girl ready for bed.

I sat with her in the recliner feeding her bites of cornbread. In between bites we played peek-a-boo and clapped our hands. Then she took the cornbread from my hand and decided to feed me instead. There I sat chuckling, as I nibbled on the slobbery cornbread she stuck in my mouth. Then, she gave me a kiss. A sweet, tiny pursed lip kiss with cornbread crumbs on the side. Then another one. And another one. I didn’t mind one bit. I loved every crumby kiss!

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So? Did you do it? Did you take the challenge? Did you reconnect with your long lost self? *Which in my case happens to be 20 pounds thinner yet far more insecure*. If you did take the challenge, I want to know about it. Tell me you all did something? Play along and save me from feeling sheepish! Oh, and I took my own challenge in case you were wondering. Here’s my scoop:

Four months ago I started exercising. I started very slowly, as in 2 or 3, twenty five minute cardio sessions per week. For two months I did this, knowing it probably wouldn’t lose me any weight but wanting to feel more fit and build stamina. Two months ago I upped it to four days per week and began adding some target specific toning sessions (ah, but the stomach will never be the same again no matter what I do). I also began substituting the majority of my sweet cravings with low fat vanilla yogurt.

You can imagine my disappointment then, when with the addition of exercise and slightly better diet in my life I saw the scale staying at 140. I pondered how this could be, very discouraged. But then it came to my attention that sometimes nursing mothers have a very difficult time dropping the pounds. I don’t know if there is scientific fact behind that, but most of the nursing mother’s I’ve talked to say they really couldn’t lose all the weight until after they had finished nursing. So I decided to wean the Angel girl.

WAIT! Lest you think I’m a truly selfish mother, I’ll have you know that Angel girl is 13 months old and I had been wanting to wean her for a few weeks prior to learning that weaning might help me achieve my weight loss goal. It was more than I ever hoped for to be able nurse her for a full year, but it was definitely time for us. I knew that when I realized she was using me more as a pacifier than as a source of nourishment. 😉

So on May 12 I cut out one feeding. On May 14 I cut out another feeding. On May 15 I cut out another feeding. On May 16 I nursed my darling baby for the last time and it was so bittersweet. But the adjustment for both of us has gone remarkably well. She loves her sippy filled with whole milk just fine and I’ve had very little discomfort in the way of engorgement.

In addition to weaning this last week, I put on a little bit of make up every day. I also upped my workout to 5, thirty five minute cardio sessions (plus I’m still doing the target specific toning). Even though I haven’t lost weight I feel fantastic and have so much more stamina than I did four months ago. But here’s hoping I am finally on the way to a slimmer me!

Click on and sign the Mr. Linky below to tell me about what you did this last week to reconnect with the woman inside.

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I think it’s great that we have one day a year devoted to us. Of course, we are mothers every day but our husbands don’t make us pancakes for breakfast every day. Our husbands don’t make us our dinner of choice (steak, sauteed mushrooms and asparagus) every day. Our kids don’t thank us for being their mommy every day. So this one day that promotes that kind of behavior is pretty cool in that respect. Because we do an awful lot as moms. Whether we stay at home or work, our emotional and physical load is more than those around us might ever realize. It’s important to be good mothers.

BUT…

We need to remember that being a good mother, starts with being a good woman. If we’re not taking care of ourselves on all levels, it’s hard to adequately care for those who depend on us. So this Mother’s day, make some goals to rediscover the woman behind the mother and take better care of yourself.

Lay off on the ice cream a little

Find your inner ‘sexy’…

But don’t take yourself too seriously

Hang out with just ‘the girls’ every now and again
Why don’t I know someone who throws parties like this

Learn something new or start back up on an old hobby.
Next on my to learn list:Hair Bows!

Make your self up on occasion

Like, more often than every 9 years which is how long ago this picture was taken. I actually used a diffuser to turn my waves into semi-curls. That’s the most work I’ve ever spent on my hair.

And even if you happen to leave the house feeling scary looking…

…hold your head up high

Are you in on the challenge? Here’s how it works:

1. Pick one of the above things to work on or make up your own to get in touch with the woman behind the mom. Or if you don’t have time to start on something, you can tell us about what you’re planning to do.
2. Come back here on Monday May 19, 2008 and tell us about it. I’ll have a Mr. Linky up for you to sign. You can put up your post (or posts if you’re ambitious) before then of course, just be sure when you link up that you link to your actual post and not your front page.
3. While not required, I would love for you to spread the word so other moms can get in on the fun. So blog about it in a post or grab the button below and I’ll be very grateful. I might even have a little something special for one lucky participant. 

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BUTTON CODENote-you have to retype in all the quotation marks cause they’re coming out skewed here for some reason:
<a href=”http://summersnook.com/2008/05/11/mothers-day-challenge/&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee24/summeresque/womanbutton.jpg&#8221; border=”0″ alt=”Photobucket”></a>

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Being a Mother

School would be out in 15 minutes. I had arrived early and pulled into a space facing my sons class. Only a moment later the school doors swung open and 30 or so kindergartners swarmed out onto the playground to savor a bit of the warm day, the first we’d had in a week.

I watched my little guy in his gray hoodie climbing the equipment, going down the slide and chasing friends around. After one particularly long chase that began with 6 kids, Count Dooku was the only one left in pursuit. I watched as he caught up to the boy in front of him. I watched as the boy turned around and shoved Count Dooku hard onto the ground.

I heard the driver side door click and then realized it was my hand on the handle, tense. I was ready to march on over to that offending child and give him a piece of my mind. But I stopped as rational thought took over instinct. I can’t be there to help him up every time he falls. I shouldn’t help him up every time he falls, even if I am there.

As I watched, Count Dooku stood up and went back to playing as if nothing had happened. I relaxed, thankful for his ability to shrug things off. Yet I was troubled as I realized this was only one of the first of many painful experiences he would face in his life.

How many times will he face physical hurts? Emotional hurts? Will his heart get broken? Will he lose faith in the goodness of humanity? What wouldn’t I give to be able to shield all of my children from hurt and harm all the time?

But I can’t give them that. No one can.

A simple quote comes to mind:

Worry is like a rocking chair–it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.

Instead of worrying, I should be asking myself what I can give them to help them get through the painful tomorrows?

I have gotten by on faith. Faith that God exists, that he is aware of me personally. I have gotten by on love. The love of family and friends has buoyed me up in my darkest times. I have gotten by on others belief in me. Those who have expressed their belief in my ability to be better and do better and overcome hardship, has helped keep me going.

I can give them all of that. But even after I give them all I can to see them through, they will still be the ultimate deciders of their reactions toward what mortality hands them. I can only hope to set an example of patience and kindness that perhaps they will follow.

So much to work on personally, so much to teach, so overwhelming at times are the considerations of a mother.

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Mommy Brain

The Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of Mommy Brain announced its latest guidelines just yesterday, stating that “Not all Mommy Brain, is the same.”

This is only the first of hopefully many steps that will be taken to help treat Mommy Brain, which was officially diagnosed last Monday. But mothers have felt the symptoms and their families have experienced the effects of Mommy Brain for centuries.

“I knew something was different right after we came home from the hospital,” said Iam Spacey of the moment in which she put a soiled diaper in the laundry basket and the babies onesie in the trash.

“I knew something was wrong when I opened my lunch at work one day and found fruit roll ups and Lunchables inside,” said one tearful husband. “I mean, if you think I was devastated, consider our poor son who opened up his lunch at school to find a Turkey wrap and tomato juice. Our son doesn’t eat that kind of stuff. The poor kid came home starving!”

Others have reported similar experiences ranging from simple things like finding the milk in the cupboard and the cereal in the fridge to more serious events like the one that happened to Anita Nadvil of Orem Utah.

“All I wanted to do was be a good mom!” wailed Anita as she recounted the scary experience. “I was just trying to sanitize the binkies! I never would have forgotten about them if I didn’t have Mommy Brain!”

But Anita Nadvil did forget about the boiling binkies. When she emerged from the babies bedroom after a diaper change, the house was filled with haze and smelled of melting plastic. Luckily, quick thinking prevented disaster. She turned off the burner, then escorted her two children out of the house until the toxic fumes cleared out.

Yes Mommy Brain seems to be running rampant these days. For those who have already had children, there is no prevention. Some form of Mommy brain exists in all Mommy’s. Some women have decided not to have children in hopes of avoiding the condition, though this won’t guarantee against similar conditions arising. Even the most healthy of non-child bearing women come down with cases of absent mindedness or worse.

For victims of Mommy Brain there is no cure, but a good support network and a strong resolve can make a world of difference.

“I write notes to myself all the time,” says Anita Postit of Portland Oregon. “Like if I have to pay rent by a certain date, I stick a note saying so on my desk. Otherwise I forget.”

For some women, even that is not enough. One mother, wishing to stay anonymous because of the severity of her condition reports that she has to tape her rent or video rentals to the door in order to remember them before she goes out.

In spite of the differences in progression of Mommy Brain in all of the women mentioned in this article, they share one common thread – A good support system. Husbands who tease them and help them laugh at their Mommy Brain moments. Mother’s who sympathize and offer suggestions. Children who love them no matter what Mommy Brain moment they have next.

Of course not all victims of Mommy Brain have a good support system in their home and community, but more and more of them are finding support in an online community of mommy bloggers. These mommy bloggers are mother’s who are willing to share their Mommy Brain moments in order to help others going through the same thing to feel they are not alone. It has become a lifeline to some with severe cases.

“Reading stories from other Mommy Brain victims on the blogs is so great!” says Imjus Truthful. “It’s therapeutic to be able to laugh at the stories of mom’s who have it worse than you do.”

If you’d like to learn more about Mommy Brain you can visit the official website at: http://mommybrainvictimsrus.com

If you would like to donate to research for treatments and a cure for Mommy Brain call:
1-800-BRAINLS

Together, we can make great strides in helping victims of Mommy Brain around the world.

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Sometimes, you just have one of those days.

You wake up aching from head to foot, sniffling and coughing. The throbbing in your head compounded by shouting little voices.

The husband is sick too and is leaving for work late and before noon has even arrived you’ve snapped at your him and your kids a few times. Then you have a miscommunication about who is supervising the kids during finger painting and both of you are astonished to emerge from where you had been, to see bright red foot prints on the carpet leading to the bathroom door.

Then there is more snapping about the poor communication and frustration as the husband has to leave for work and can’t help your aching self clean up the mess. The mess that is smeared over the entire table, two chairs and a good size section of carpet. The bright red mess that is now a rather visible pink reminder on the floor. Before scrubbing you put the children, who are also mostly red, into the shower.

You get things cleaned up just in time to hear moans of “I’m hungry!” and now it’s time to fix lunch. And when you open the fridge something catches the door. Knowing you probably shouldn’t, but impatient and already incredulous about things, you yank on the door to get the fridge open and the worcestershire sauce falls out, lid flies off and part of your kitchen floor is covered in brown liquid.

You shake your head and chuckle maniacally to yourself while sopping up the mess. “Of course!” you say, trying to laugh to keep the tears away.

Add to this that the baby won’t nap and has been screaming in her crib for the last half hour of cleaning and showering and cleaning again, and even laughing can’t keep the tears away.

After things have calmed down a bit, you get on the blog to write about it. Not for pity, but just to have other moms tell you that you’re not the only mother who has days where everything seems to combine against every ounce of patience you have. Right?

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1. Yesterday as I nursed Angel Girl in the computer chair while reading blogs, I leaned back too far and tipped us over. As we fell in seeming slow motion I tightened my left arm firmly around her and braced us for the fall with my right. But the force of impact catapulted her right out of my left arm. She was about to face plant onto the carpet when my right arm (thank goodness for reflexes) caught her across the belly, her nose an inch from the floor. Though not hurt she cried for a minute because of fright. Then it was back to sucking happily on the mama, while the mama chuckled and shook her head at the instant replay she kept seeing in her head.

2. On the day we actually went out and did something really cool (Science center), Obi-Wan peed all over himself. And me being the good mama that I was, I rubbed the wet spots with damp paper towels, put the pants back on my son and told him to go play some more because we weren’t leaving after we’d just arrived.

3. Count Dooku informed me at dinner the other night that, “you make da worst dinners of da house.”

I’m really not a bad cook people. He was trying to say that Daddy’s dinners are better. Hubby has been cooking for months now and he’s better at it than I am. He’s a cook. I’m a good recipe follower. And Count Dooku is going to be eating soap if he doesn’t learn some tact.

4. I’ve been given an award! Cheryl at Happy Meets Crazy says my writing inspires hers and has bestowed the ROAR for powerful words award on me:

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“…ROAR Award for good writing. The rules for being A Roar for Powerful Words recipient are that I share three writing tips and pass the award on to three more bloggers worthy of recognition and esteem…”

So three writing tips:

A. Don’t force the story. You may have started writing it with a certain ending in mind but if you’re a really good author you’ll let it take it’s own course.
B. Spelling and grammar people
C. Don’t ever write something based on what you think your reader will want to read. When you write it for you it’s always more powerful.

Thanks Cheryl! I’d like to pass this on to:

Michelle at In the Life of a Child who inspires me with her beautiful descriptions of life with her sweet family, Aubrey at aubrey annie for her prose like blog entries that captivate the attention and Holly at 2 Kids and Tired whose blog entries always seem to make me feel cozy.

5. I’ve been given another award! Michelle at In the life of a Child has given me the Forever Friends award:

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I’d like to pass this on to all of my regular readers! You know who you are so take it!

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