Monthly Archives: October 2012

9 Things I Would Have Never Thought Before Becoming a Mom

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Listed below is..well um…a list…of things I would never have thought before becoming a mom:

  1. How much an extra 5 minutes of sleep is really worth. An extra 5 minutes of sleep means the difference between waking up with birds chirping, the sun shining brightly and nicely through the curtains, and hearing pleasant music as you stretch (you know, the kind of music on Looney Tunes when someone wakes up) as opposed to barely making it to the royal swirly throne because you are stumbling all over the place trying to wake yourself up, rushing to the kitchen to get your child’s breakfast ready to get him to stop crying, and trying to be all smiley and crap when your husband gets home. There is a MAJOR difference, trust me.
  2. How awesome it would be if your baby would just forgo the temper tantrum for one day. There is only so much a person can take of her baby throwing a fit over not being able to chew on and play with cords before it becomes really old really fast.
  3. The mom look is powerful. You know that look a mom gets when you’re doing something wrong and she either hasn’t yet or can’t say something to you? Yeah, that look works even on babies (it worked on my son last night). It makes you feel like, “I am Mommy! Hear me roar!” Rawr.
  4. That it was possible to take privacy in the bathroom for granted. It’s true. I have written about this before, but there is a little more to it. Sure, you think that you can give them payback from the smell when you are making poopy and they break in, but no. Oh no. You’re like, “Smell my poopy and tremble! I said TREMBLE! Not keep coming in, examine the tub, grab my leg, and smile!”
  5. That going to a doctor’s appointment would be a vacation. It is a vacation. I hate going to the doctor, but if my husband can watch him while I go or I can put him in daycare for that amount of time, then it is a vacation. Mommy can go somewhere without a little munchkin attached to her! Let’s have a party!
  6. I never thought, in a million years, that I would make up rhymes and sing them to my son to get him to eat, to take a bath, and to go to bed. These will never be heard by another person’s ears as long as I live! I hope.
  7. How much a person would go through to keep him from crying. From carrying him around on your stomach all day and night to running the dryer without clothes in it to letting him gnaw on your hand when he was teething, you would do just about anything (within reason) to stop that crying. Especially when he’s been crying for over 3 hours without a break. (Note to self: If another baby comes along buy ear plugs so you don’t have to hear the crying of the newborn while you walk him all over your home on your belly. Don’t get cheap ones either, get some really big and nice Bose headphones, and be sure to keep the Traitor in your sights at all times. Yes, I am extremely specific, but you need to be specific when that mom brain comes on.)
  8. That Mom brain is real. No, seriously, it IS real. You can only focus on making sure everything is right for your baby that you can’t remember if the dishes in the dishwasher are clean and you try to store your clothes in the pantry because it has shelves. Eh, stuff happens.
  9. That window blinds wouldn’t even be targeted by the dog, but would be by the baby. So long, intact window blinds. I knew thee well.

What are some things that you never thought you would do before becoming a mom?

Marriage Advice

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This past weekend, my husband and I had the opportunity to go to a free, one day marriage retreat. He got to be off work that day and I got a little bit of a break from our son (they offered free childcare). The retreat took place at a castle here in Colorado called Glen Eyrie. (It is a beautiful place! There was even a little bit of snow still on the ground!) There was a lot of great information that the Chaplain gave us and we even took part in a fun little course at the end. In today’s post, I will share some of the information with you:

  • If you and your spouse have a disagreement, talk it out without fighting. There is no need to raise voices and deal verbal low-blows. It is also unhealthy for your children to hear you treating each other that way. Try talking it out using a totem (or a coffee cup). Whomever holds the cup controls the floor. After you state what happened, what it made you think, and how it made you feel, have your spouse (while you still hold the cup) paraphrase what you said, then you go into it a little further. Your spouse also gets a turn. This is called the Speaker/Listener Technique. Most marriage problems can be solved through understanding each other and having good communication.
  • When you get into silly arguments about one person not putting dishes away, it isn’t the event that angers you. There is something more going on that needs to be addressed. This does seem simple and silly, but a lot of people don’t realize it that way or can’t put it into words.
  • Sometimes it is better to try to collect your thoughts before discussing what’s going on. Set a time to talk about what’s going on and take a walk outside with each other and hold hands. Do not discuss the argument during this time. Once the time is up, then respectfully come together and begin your discussion.
  • Ban problem solution. Focus on understanding each other instead.
  • Emotional safety is a key to good communication.
  • More structure to discussing what’s going on means less heat talking to one another and more respect, even if the technique makes you feel silly.
  • In order to have a successful marriage, you have to trust one another and support each other in your decisions. There is an extremely powerful feeling when your spouse backs you up in something.
  • When there is a problem that needs to be solved, it is sometimes better to listen to the advice of someone who is on the outside looking in. We were taught these last two bullet points by doing a maze.
  • Don’t forget to have fun with each other and spend time with each other. Date nights rock!
  • Once something is forgiven, it stays forgiven and is never brought up again.

We also took a pretty neat personality test that was very accurate, for once. Apparently I’m green. Greens have a need for harmony. All in all, I hope this has been helpful for you as it has been for us. What other tips do you have on making a marriage work?

La Llorona – The Weeping Woman

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La Llorona (lah yoh-roh-nah), or the Weeping Woman, soon will be made famous by the television show Grimm. There are a few different tales about La Llorona. The general consensus is that she is a beautiful woman with long black hair and she wears a white dress (sometimes a veil, depending on the story), and she will steal children away and either never return them or kill them. She is mostly represented as a woman who drowned her children (I’ve read most places that she had two children, but I’ve also heard 3), and she is actually represented as a goddess in one tale I read. However, I will give you two of the legends in tonight’s post.

Legend #1

La Llorona was once the most beautiful girl in town. Rich and poor men alike fawned all over her. One day, a handsome man caught her eye and they eventually got married. The couple had two little boys together. Everything was going great for a while, but her husband started going back to his old bachelor ways and would be gone for months at a time. Whenever he came home, he would only really acknowledge their children. The future Weeping Woman became jealous of her sons. Her husband also was thinking of leaving her for another woman in his wealthy class.

After one of his usual disappearances, the husband rode by their house and only talked to the children, completely ignoring his jealous and lonely wife. She reportedly became so jealous of her sons that she walked them down to the water and drowned them. Realizing what she had done, she wailed and grieved. The next morning, someone found her dead on the river bank, and they buried her in the spot they found her. Beginning the first night she was buried, La Llorona has appeared wailing for her children. Children are warned to not go out at night for fear that she will snatch them up and never return them.

Legend #2

Another tale gives La Llorona’s supposed real name, Maria. Maria was a beautiful peasant girl who was admired and sought after by many men. During the day, she would be seen around her poor settings; however, at night, she would be seen hanging around men in the town in a white dress. She fell in love with the attention she would receive, but she had two young sons who she would leave at home while she fooled around with the men. One day, two small boys were found drowned. It is said either they died from Maria’s neglect or she even may have killed them herself.

Even though there are a few different variations of the tale of La Llorona, she is reportedly beautiful, wears a white dress, killed her children either by her own hand or through neglect, and wails at night. Her story is often told to little children to behave and not go out at night for fear they would be captured by her and never seen alive again.

Do you have any stories similar to La Llorona that you would like to share?

13 Forbidden Things and 5 Revelations

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Here is a quick list of things that you are forbidden to do as a mom:

  1. Talk on the phone. Sure, you may be on the phone with the airline company about an upcoming trip, but who cares? Let everyone in the house try to talk to you when you can already barely hear the attendant on the phone. Then they look at you like, “What’s your problem?” Really? People wonder why I don’t talk on the phone very often.
  2. Have a clean house. As soon as you clean something it gets torn up. What is the purpose of this cleaning if it looks the exact same way by bedtime? I have yet to figure this out.
  3. Privacy bathing. Privacy? Yeah, right.
  4. Privacy on the swirly throne a.k.a. the toilet. This one could have its rewards. If the family just has to see you making poo poo, then they can smell how well it’s going. The door was locked for a reason.
  5. Quick and clean mealtimes. Since the baby likes to wave his hand in front of the spoon and spit out food, a hazmat suit may be required. Why do feedings have to be so difficult? Why can’t the baby just sit there and let you feed him and get it over with.
  6. T.V. time. Apparently watching your T.V. show in relative silence is a denied request. Just wait until everyone’s asleep if you want to watch T.V. without people interrupting you.
  7. Walk around your home without a kid attached to your leg. Eh, you learn to walk with them on you.
  8. Hang kitchen towels on the oven door. The baby/toddler will start to grab them off the oven door as soon as he is able to scoot across the floor.
  9. Wear house shoes. The toddler will be attracted to them. It is inevitable. Regular shoes are the same way.
  10. Sleep without waking up multiple times a night. I know you can’t get comfortable when you’re pregnant, but still try to sleep as much as you can. Once the baby or babies come into the picture, you will never have a completely restful night’s rest for a very long time…if ever.
  11. Intact window blinds. I miss intact window blinds. They are a thing of the past.
  12. Clean windows/mirrors. Tiny little hand prints will be all over windows your child can reach. There will also be nose prints from Daddy playing with the little one through the window. This especially happens right after you clean them.
  13. Clean clothes. I don’t care if you just washed your clothes and put them on – a stain will appear in T minus 2 minutes and 37 seconds.

Here are 5 thoughts on babies, pregnancy, and motherhood:

  1. Judging. Don’t judge another mother that walks around with food, formula, breast milk, and/or spit-up stains on her clothes. You will have these stains very soon, don’t worry. Oh, and half the time you won’t know how those stains were possible.
  2. Alone time. Alone time will be virtually non-existent once you have your baby. Take alone time when you can get it. Even though you don’t think not being alone will affect you, it will. Your mood will show it.
  3. Stress. Babies do bring lots of joy (hang in there, you’ll see), but stress is going to come with the territory. If you get to the point of having a breakdown over being a new mom, tell someone. Lay the baby in the crib and walk away. Go outside for a couple of minutes for a breather. Call a friend to see if she can watch the baby for an hour or two so you can collect yourself. It’s normal to get stressed out, but find a healthy way to relieve the stress.
  4. Jealousy. You hear of mothers just saying what perfect angels their children are and how everything in their life is so awesome with their newborn. Well, they’re lying. At least partly. Nothing is all unicorns and rainbows with a newborn. You are thankful for your little one and can’t imagine life without him, but you have awful moments, too. My husband has to remind me every so often that those mothers out there that say their babies don’t ever cry and are perfectly well-behaved are lying and are going through the same things that I am. Those mothers have their moments, too.
  5. Underappreciated. The life of a mom is underappreciated. Note: I didn’t say unappreciated. You do get thanks, but maybe not as often as you deserve. Don’t let it weigh you down and take it out on your husband. Husbands, bringing home flowers, or even just one flower, isn’t that difficult. It is appreciated more than you know.

What would you add to either of these lists?

 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

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Since my brain doesn’t really want to work with me (or work at all for that matter) today, I decided it would be a good day to post pictures of my son. Specifically, pictures of him putting random things in his mouth. I will add more pictures to this when I take more pictures of him doing these awesome things. Enjoy! (I know, I’m an awesome mom. Taking pictures of my son eating paper and all that instead of immediately taking it out of his mouth.)

Things I Didn’t Know About Pregnancy and Taking Care of a Baby

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The whole baby growing, birthing, and raising process was entirely new to me. I didn’t know jack squat. In order to help expecting parents and for your entertainment, here is a list of things I didn’t know about pregnancy and taking care of a baby. (If you want to read about the birthing process in-depth or want to read about my other baby experiences, look in the birth, life as a stay-at-home-mom, and random/humor categories.)

Pregnancy:

  • Morning sickness- It’s just awful. Morning sickness isn’t just in the morning, so I have no idea on earth why they call it morning sickness. This awfulness can last all day and night. However, it can also cause you to lose 14 pounds and start to worry your doctors, because you literally can’t eat anything. The awesomeness that is this nausea may also not be eased by zofran (a wonder pill for pregnant women) and you may just have to wait it out. Some women have this their entire pregnancy. Here’s a tip: eat citrus. Especially lemon. Drink lemon water. You know what? Just go on a strict lemon diet (it was literally the only food I could eat for a long time) until you can eat other foods. Strangely enough, morning sickness hit me right at my 6th week of pregnancy and didn’t end until well into my second trimester. Since I can’t throw up (tummy surgery when I was a baby), I dry heaved like crazy. That hurt. A lot. Me no likey.
  • Food aversion-This new (not-so) bundle of joy can also cause you to not be able to eat your favorite food, like popcorn. I had eaten popcorn since I was a baby and totally started to hate it. To this day, I can only eat three types of popcorn: movie theater popcorn, popcorn that you pop on the stove (yes, it exists), and Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Microwavable Popcorn with Pour Over Movie Theater Butter (extremely specific, I know). Also, I had, and to this day still have, a strong aversion to pizza. That’s right, pizza. Sadly, I found this out with Domino’s pizza and their robust tomato sauce or whatever. Baby no likey.
  • Food experiences- I only had one, slightly odd craving. Tabasco flavored Slim Jim beef jerky dipped in vanilla ice cream. Happiness erupted when I had those two together. It makes me laugh a bit when I think back at how happy I was for food then. Ah, the memories. However, it also brings to my mind a bad experience. Seafood was never really my thing. In fact, the only seafood or fish I’ll eat is Southern fried catfish. Breaded properly. One day, I ordered some Chinese food and wanted cream cheese wontons some kind of bad. The person on the phone did specify that the restaurant had cream cheese wontons and not crab. He must not have understood me, because I bit into it to discover that it was crab and cheese wonton. Melted cheese and crab meat were the two first things I ever threw up in my life. Never again.
  • Stretch marks- I’m not saying definitively that if you scratch a certain part of your body that stretch marks will appear, but that happened to me in a couple of places…in PERFECT scratch mark shapes. Space and everything. It is highly recommended that you just pat your itchy spots or put lotion on the itchy spots every time they itch. I would wake up a few times during the night to put lotion on my person. There are no creams that can prevent stretch marks. If you have the genes for it, then you will get the marks. I know, it stinks. I’m sorry.
  • Feet- They may grow. Mine grew half a size (not from swelling). I was very sad to get rid of my favorite pair of shoes, but it was too uncomfortable to squeeze into the pair.
  • Ribs- They can twist together. It hurts. A lot. Talk to your doctor if you think this is happening to you.
  • Face- It is inevitable, your face will probably get a little fatter. How fat depends on the person. For me, let’s just say a certain attendant at the eye glasses store asked me if I had my picture taken while I was pregnant. I was in denial about how fat my face had gotten until I looked at my I.D. Not awesome. (Hint: Guys, your lady will probably have some image issues while she’s pregnant. Just comfort her and assure her that you are still very attracted to her and that you love her. It helps.)
  • The Waddle- The waddle is funny. I laughed at myself when I began noticing that I was waddling. Your spine is out of whack, your equilibrium (ooh, big word) is thrown off, and you have a belly out past your feet. You will waddle. Embrace it like the penguin you’ve known you could always be….waddle waddle.

Taking care of that little monster angel:

  • The first poop- It is nasty. Your husband may get so dramatic when he sees it that you will pee yourself from laughing and he has to change it while you change yourself. (Remember bladder control = non-existent now.)
  • Poop- It may spill out of the diaper and onto you. How this happens when he has a diaper, onesie, and pants on, I’ll never know.
  • Pee- Even girls can arch their pee to hit you in the face. I learned this from a good friend who has a girl. There are things called peepee-teepee’s made for boys. It’s a little cone-type thing you place on their weewee’s when you change their diaper. True story. Really wish I heard of that when my son was younger.
  • Spit up- Some babies spit up more than others and it may require you to give them medicine a couple of times a day to correct it. Before my son got his medicine to correct this, he spit up in my mouth. You see, I was at a friend’s house the weekend before my husband came home from Afghanistan. While we were waiting on the rest of the people to meet at her house before we went to a free football game, I played on the floor with my son. When I lifted him up above my head, with my mouth open (I was talking to him), a waterfall of puke landed in my mouth. My friend, Amber, rushed over and put a burp cloth under my mouth so I could spit it out. She also gave me pink lemonade to get the taste out. It took so much pink lemonade.
  • Colic- Having a baby with colic is extremely stressful. I feel extra sorry for the parents of multiples (twins, triplets, etc.) when two or more of their children are colic. Your baby will eventually grow out of it, causing you to permanently lose your mind in the process.
  • Favorites- your husband may be your baby’s favorite person, even though you feed, clothe, soothe, clean, and bathe him and all he really sees for the first four months of life (except for the first week of life) of his daddy is on a computer screen. Sigh. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad my husband and son bonded so well and that my son is always happy when he saw/sees his daddy, but I am a little jealous. This kid still cries the most around me. Oh well.
  • Diapers- They weren’t kidding when they say newborns need to be changed a lot. So many diapers.
  • Older babies- Once your baby gets older and you get into a routine, things will get easier. Then harder again as you deal with a mobile baby. Encourage your baby’s independence, it’ll help him more in the long run.

Old Irish Superstitions, Legends, and Mythical Creatures

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Finally, my post about old Irish superstitions, legends, and mythical creatures. I apologize that it took so long to write, but I finally just felt well enough to research this and to type it out. Enjoy!

Irish Superstitions- http://www.atozworldculture.com/a-z_culture_sample_content.asp?nid=20.34&cid=71&ada=y&parent=culture

Superstitions during Oíche Shamhna (November’s Eve or Hallowe’en in Ireland)

  • Ravens, water-wagtails, etc. are considered to be Satan’s messengers of bad luck (bad, birdie)
  • If you leave an ivy leaf soaked in water overnight and no spots form on the leaf, then you will have a year of good health
  • You will have a dream of a future mate if you throw a lock of hair into a bonfire
  • Dust thrown onto fairies’ feet or goblins’ feet will make them release whatever souls they have captured
  • If you hear footsteps behind you, don’t look back. You can see spirits and they can kill you if they stare back at you
  • If you call someone’s name three times, it can be deadly to the person whose name you called (Bloody Mary, anyone?)

Other Superstitions

  • To keep evil souls from following you at night, cross a stream of running water ( Must have been why Ichabod Crane needed to cross that bridge so badly)
  • You will die ahead of whoever you live with if you watch a cat rub its paws on its face (See ya later, Garfield!)
  • If you walk counterclockwise 12 times around St. Mary’s Place’s Black Church, the devil will appear and grant a wish of the witness as long as the witness surrenders his or her soul to the devil when he or she dies.
  • Boiled milk will cure boils
  • To relieve rheumatism, wear an iron ring on your ring finger
  • It’s bad luck to find a frog or worm in your home
  • It’s bad luck to fall on top of a grave
  • It’s bad luck to have lilac inside your house
  • It is considered a death omen if  a bird enters a house
  • It is considered good luck if you see a lamb early in the morning with a ray of sunshine on its face (pretty)
  • Doing laundry on New Year’s Day is considered good luck for the new year
  • A white clover can protect you from evil (those exist?)
  • If a child walks backwards, then it is believed that he or she is cursing his or her parents (That means I cursed my parents a lot as a kid)
  • If an enemy ties a knot in a handkerchief, then the married couple he tied the knot for will not be able to conceive a child. In order for the couple to conceive a child, the enemy must untie the knot.

Two legends- http://www.atozworldculture.com/a-z_culture_sample_content.asp?nid=20.34&cid=71&ada=y&parent=culture

Shamrock- It’s emerald-green color represents spring and the essence of life. Druids would perform healing and worshiping rites wherever they encountered a four-leaf clover. The three-leaf clover’s shape resembles a solar cross that used to be utilized as a compass. St. Patrick (responsible for the establishment of Christianity in Ireland and credited for preventing snakes from invading Ireland) declared the clover a wonder plant, and he taught that the three-leaf clover represented the Holy Trinity. Even today it is represented as a good luck charm, even for gamblers, as long as the owner keeps it handy, keeps it away from the public eye, and never gives it to someone else. It is often displayed on graves as a sign of protection.

Red-haired women- Bringers of bad luck. May have come from a legend about Macha, a goddess often associated with horses and races. Because her husband would brag about her running speed, the king of Ulster dared her to race against his fastest horses. If she didn’t win, then the king would behead her husband. Even though she begged for mercy (she was pregnant at the time), she was forced to run the race. Macha did when first place, but it caused her to giver birth to her twin boys prematurely. This cause her to curse the Irish men and their descendants so that they would have pain as awful as child birthing pains. In the battle of Ulster, not only were her twin boys spared of the curse, but a young legendary Irish warrior, Cúchulainn, was also spared of it. Cúchulainn won the battle without any help from the other soldiers. Thanks to the goddess Macha, red-haired women have forever since been feared. (I am a red-haired woman! Hear me roar! Rawr. Seriously though, my natural hair color his brown with a little bit of red. It doesn’t stop my husband from calling me a soul-stealing ginger-that means I have a lot of freckles.)

Mythical creatures- wikipedia.org

Bean sí or Banshee- a fairy woman who begins to wail if someone is about to die or has died. It is said that if several fairy women wail at once, then a great person has died. They are commonly represented as being dressed in gray or white and teasing their hair with a silver comb. (Not as evil or scary as portrayed by Scooby-doo movies)

Leprechaun- a fairy who has the appearance of an old man and is dressed in either a red or green coat. It loves being involved in mischief. A leprechaun spends his time making shoes and storing coins in a pot of gold that is hidden at the end of a rainbow. Even though leprechauns were once thought the tallest of the mound-dwellers, they are now pictured as being very small. If captured, a leprechaun can grant you three wishes in exchange for being set free. The leprechaun is not considered either evil or good and may be the son of an evil spirit and a nefarious fairy. (I want gold)

Leannán sí– a beautiful fairy woman who is infamous for being the mistress of human lovers. The human lover of a barrow-lover lives an artistically inspired, but short life. (Long life and no fame or short life and much fame? Hmm, decisions, decisions. Right guys?)

Púca– Irish for goblin. It has been shown as either being a troublemaker or gracious.