Happy Mother’s Day

This has been an interesting year for Mother’s in my life. This year a woman who’d said she was done at at one, welcomed her second daughter into the world. In December (just in the tail end of 2011), a Little Fighter took his first breath, defying the odds. Another couple whose desires for a baby were thwarted for years, were blessed with the gift of adoption. Just a few weeks ago, a young woman gave birth to a baby she was told she could never have.

No matter how we become Moms it’s an incredible moment when we do. From the second the stick turns pink and the wheels start turning we are filled with anticipation, longing and sometimes a little dread at the unknown. As our bellies stretch with life we yearn to see the miracle within, and when they place that delicate little person in your arms, you instantly make a vow to love that little thing more than anyone ever will. For me, sitting in the hospital room, after all my family had gone home, I held my daughter in my arms and loved my own mother even more. Maybe it was the hormones, or maybe it was the memory of all the things I’d said to her that I could never take back; all the tears I’d caused, that I could never return, but I suddenly realized how important my mother was to me and how precious I was to her. In fact this moment wasn’t just about the little family we’d just created. I had just done an amazing thing for my own mother and father, in replicating myself, I’d replicated them too!  She’d said it to me when we were wheeled out of the operating room, “My baby had a baby” and my own first words were to her, “Look Mommy,” I said, “Look how beautiful she is!” because I couldn’t believe something so small could be so incredibly gorgeous.

Before Little G was born, I imagined that I would be overcome at the pure innocent love this little creature would have for me, but when she born I realized that it didn’t matter if she loved me or not. It didn’t matter if when she turned 10 she told me she hated me, or if she kissed a boy with tattoos as a teenager, or if she decided not to go to college after high school. It didn’t matter what she did, or said, or felt…because I was going to love her for her entire life….for my entire life. And I do. Oh boy, do I.

My biggest gift from Little G, of late, is when she wraps her blankey around herself and walks over to me to ask, “Mom, can you cuddle me?”. For this I will be thankful for the rest of my days. I will be grateful to my husband for making such an amazing girl with me. I will be grateful to God for letting her be. But I will be the most grateful to my Mom for teaching me how to be this evanescent, all knowing, all healing earth Momma, and for loving me despite years 8-30!

Happy Mother’s Day!


My Bizzaro DIY Mother’s Day Gifts-

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An Atypical Mother’s Day Present

I do love flowers, don’t get me wrong. I love chocolate too, and a day at the spa–well, that’s something I simply adore.  I’ve only had two Mother’s Days (not including the one where I was pregnant). In those two years I’ve watched my awesome hubby struggle with what kind of gift to get me. I mean, what kind of present really expresses how much someone means to you? Big G really is a sentimental guy at his core, and doesn’t ever want to do half-step anything. So this year, when he was asking me about Mother’s Day, during what I secretly call the pre-holiday interview, I mentioned that I wanted something that was going to last. I’m not big on jewelery, and getting an appliance as a gift sends my inner feminist into an angry whirlwind, so we discussed getting a tattoo.

At first Big G wasn’t a big fan, but as the conversation progressed I began to explore how grateful I am to even be a mother at all. After all, the whole reason we decided to have Little G was because after some regular exams brought back an unfavorable test result, my doctor’s recommended treatment had a significant chance of making it impossible for me to carry a pregnancy to term. “If you want to have a baby, I’ll let you put off treatment for a year, but that’s as far as I’m willing to wait,” my doctor told me. I remember the way I felt as if a clock was ticking down the moments until I would have to be treated, and how scared I was that I didn’t get pregnant the first month we tried. Once we were pregnant we moved onto worrying about moving before I was too pregnant to handle it. The walls of my one bedroom apartment began to close in on me as my belly grew larger, but we found a way. We always find a way to get by, and if we don’t find a way, we make one. It’s the best part of our family. The end of my pregnancy was torture. I had kidney stones twice. While treating them we discovered that Little G was breach, and didn’t look like she was planning to move. I cried as the water birth plans we’d made began to fade away. Twice doctors tried to turn her, a pretty uncomfortable and unnerving procedure that is pretty much what it sounds like, they push your baby from the outside, guided by an ultrasound, to get her into position. The first doctor hadn’t clipped her nails and my belly was covered in scratches and my confidence was bruised. The second time we were warned that should she not turn, we were going directly into the operating room for a cesarean. The night before was awful. Both of us were scared. Both of us were disappointed that the birth we’d wanted was not taking place, and most of all, both of us were worried about our Little unborn G.

No, the turning didn’t work, and, yes I ended up having a c-section. It wasn’t what I’d planned, but it was still one of the most incredible things I’d ever experienced. One minute we were a family of two, and a moment later we were three. Big G, Little G, and me. But that was only the beginning. Adjusting to motherhood was difficult. Trying to breastfeed was a painful disaster. Trying to stop breastfeeding was just as bad. Formula was expensive, finances were tight, and then there was the fear. SIDS, viruses, vaccines. I would sit perfectly still at night listening to the sounds of her stirring in her bassinet, just so I knew she was alive. If she was too still I’d get up and run my finger along her hand to see her reaction. I was constantly convinced she’d died. I was never withdrawn from her, but post partum depression didn’t leave me unscathed. I cried in the shower, sad about the scar across my belly. But I got through it. We found a way.

Motherhood and marriage has it’s ups and downs, and my experiences have been no different. We always find a way…or we make one. We are built to survive.

So after research and several long talks, we found something we liked. A quote by Hannibal who was faced with crossing the Alps- Aut inveniam viam aut faciam” – “Either I will find a way or I will make one”.  Once we read it, it was decided.

Now that you’ve heard the story, tell me what you think of my Mother’s Day present:

Happy Valentine’s Day-even to the hypocrites

Every year it happens. Valentine’s Day comes around and the haters start spewing their disdain for what they call a “hallmark holiday”. These are the same people, mind you, that start singing Christmas songs in June. In my mind that makes them huge hypocrites. Sure there are some people who say Christmas celebrates Jesus’ birthday, but that date was just as manufactured as Valentine’s Day. In fact, do your research and you’ll find that Jesus’ real birthday is sometime in the summer. They chose to celebrate it in December in order to have a holiday that coincides with the Pagan winter solstice for recruitment purposes. And if you don’t think that Christmas isn’t the most incredibly capitalistic holiday there is, you need to wake up.

To be honest, I can barely tolerate Christmas. I hate that they start putting up decorations in August. I hate that there are laws saying when you can start putting up decor. I hate that my favorite radio stations get taken over for two friggin months. I hate that I have to hope Big G gets a bonus just to be able to pay for it. I hate having to save up for it. I hate having to rearrange my furniture to fit a tree into my tiny living room. I hate the subsequent electric bill. I hate that I have to spend money on paper to wrap these things in. I hate the cartloads of gifts I have to truck around. I hate having to lie to my kids, and come up with ways to keep the spirit of Santa alive for my 10 year old SS who is starting to figure it all out. I actually don’t mind wrapping gifts, because it feels productive, but what I really can’t stand are all the people who come out of the woodworks to tell me what an awful, terrible, no -good, heartless person I must be to hate Christmas.

And then you all come out on Valentine’s Day and talk shit. Seriously? For all of those people who want to tell me that Christmas isn’t about material items, and thousands of dollars, don’t try and take my favorite day away from me! I spent the entire Christmas season trying my damnedest to enjoy the process. I tried to not post complaints on facebook for the entire month. I tried to get into the spirit by baking cookies, making rum balls and even a gingerbread house. So I just don’t want to hear the V-Day bitching. I tried, so you can you.

Valentine’s Day, just like Christmas, can be perverted to convince you to spend ridiculous amounts of money on plush animals, chocolates and roses. You can choose to cram yourself into a crowded restaurant, and eat the sub par offerings of the day with sacherinne labels, coated in pinks and reds. OR you can simply choose to express your love to the people in your life that you truly care for. You can choose to write a simple note, or make a craft, or start your own stay-at-home tradition. You can make the day whatever you want it to be.

For all of you singles, you can go out with your friends, you know, those people you love to spend time with? You can have a movie night and take the opportunity to indulge in treats you’ve been avoiding since Christmas, or paint the town red with a V-Day inspired bar crawl. You can even spend the time loving yourself. Take a long bath, play video games all night, give yourself a pedicure or a facial. Just because you don’t have a beau doesn’t mean you need to hate on the people who do.

To me, love is the absolute most important thing in the world, and we should have a day to celebrate it. For those of you who say, “we should celebrate it all year long”, you’re right. But just like we have a day to remind us to celebrate our veterans, mothers, fathers and the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a day to remind us to say “I love you” is important too.

So Happy Valentine’s Day to you all, even the haters. Tell someone you love them today. It’ll make you feel good–I promise.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to bust your budget

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. Same time every year. The day before payday. No matter how much better we’re doing, somehow Valentine’s Day always finds us without the ability to indulge in the lavish Valentine’s Days of my past. It’s my favorite holiday (don’t judge me-I deal with that concept tomorrow). Before Greg I used to make sure I celebrated in a big way. It never mattered if there was a man in my life. For me Valentine’s Day is about love–all love. I used to take weekends away with my best girlfriend at the time, or go out to expensive dinners. There were always flowers and chocolate of some kind, and maybe even some sparkly bauble to gush to my friends about.

Now that I’m older, broker, and wiser I find that I don’t need all that craziness. I mean, I’d love a weekend away, but it doesn’t have to be in February. Any old weekend will do for a SAHM who is in desperate need of a vacay. In fact, I’d hate to know that Big G spend big bucks on flowers that are half the price any other day of the year. I’m not a big fan of chocolate, and never eat an entire box. I have all the baubles I can wear. With a kid in the mix now, finding a single sitter is harder and harder to do, and I wouldn’t dream of asking my Mom to sacrifice her romantic evening with Daddy just so we could go out (not that she’d say “yes”). I’ve even found that the food on V-Day isn’t as good, and the service is certainly crappier.

That does not mean that Valentine’s Day won’t get celebrated, however. For the last few years I’ve gotten into finding a creative way to make something for Big G. Last year I took all the movie tickets I’d saved from our whole relationship and decoupaged a box with them. I can’t say it turned out as awesome as I’d imagined, but it’s a pretty cool keepsake. This year I made a book for him, complete with hand-colored illustrations by yours truly. Grace is getting a Valentine’s Day Barbie I got at the supermarket. She’s easy to please.

As for dinner…well, I’m cooking. I’m a pretty darn good cook, if I don’t say so myself. So for a fraction of what it would cost out at a jam packed restaurant, I’m making filet mignon with garlic shrimp and scallops and garlic smashed potatoes. I’m celebrating my loves without all the hoopla, and not because anyone is making me, or expecting me to. It’s just because I want to.

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day this year?

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