*Baby Blueberry Birth Week* T13: Thirteen Pieces of ASSvice, Tips and Formulas*

This is Jean @ workingmomma247 – Jen’s favorite Texan. Jen wanted us to share our birth story or parenting advice of how to handle more than 1 small child. I bring you 13 mom of multiple kid survival assvice tips and formulas. You can cry on my shoulder or thank me later – which ever you prefer. 🙂

I’d love to tell you Jen, that having 2 will be a piece of cake, but that would give you the sunshine and ponies version and I don’t do sunshine and ponies.

  1. The first hurdle to cross is getting both kids to sleep at the same time, it won’t happen often if ever. Your best chances are when they are riding in the car. Good luck with getting them both out of the car without waking one or both.
  2. Your laundry pile will have doubled, even though it’s just one extra little person. I’m sorry but it only gets worse as they get older. I’m pretty sure there’s a quadratic equation to the age of the child- in ratio to number people in the house- squared- divided by 7(loads per day). You should feel so lucky that I’m giving you the top secret formula for laundry. Other moms would kill for this information.
  3. Sleep deprivation will become a privilege and not a right. You can sleep when they sleep…you know that sweet 15 minutes they are BOTH asleep.
  4. You will officially be the last person to eat always. Hope you like your eggs cold.
  5. Start an emergency stock pile of secret chocolate now. You’ll thank me later.
  6. You will miraculously grow octopus arms that you didn’t know you had, sure you thought you had them with one, but you get an extra set with two.
  7. Cleaning your house is an option and not really a priority. As I’ve said many many times before; what’s the point? It’s just going to get dirty again anyway.
  8. Your reading time may hit a small hiatus. I’m sorry to have to say that; though blog time is a necessity and must still be done daily or receive protest from your favorite reader(s)…ahem..cough. Priorities ya know.
  9. There is also a special equation for the number of baby/kid items needed in ratio to the type of car trip and size of car- which is usally greater or equal to the cars weight in mass. Your hubs seems to be a smart man, I’m sure he can figure that one out.
  10. Baby items such as wipe warmers and diaper genies are the stupidest invention on the Earth. Friends don’t let friends use diaper genies.
  11. Always pack more diapers and wipes than you antcipate. A blow out can happen anytime anywhere. There’s a formula for that one too. You didn’t know I was a mommy math genius did you?
  12. A happy baby is a well burped baby.
  13. The formula for the amount of love you never thought your heart had the capacity to hold for one much less two sweet babies, is infinity x infinity cubed.

For more Thursday 13 participants check out the new home of Thursday Thirteen!

Big thanks to Jean for her brutally honest advice and invaluable formulas for success – if your friends won’t tell you this stuff, who will, right? What guest posts do I have lined up for tomorrow? You’ll have to check back to find out…

love thursday: mother love

I don’t think I understood what love was before him – what it truly meant and how powerful the emotion really was. It can be all consuming and blow you over like a leaf in the wind – but it can also just wash over you like a cool breeze, making all the crazy around you okay again. And this love – it doesn’t just go away. Even when they drive you bat shit crazy all day, whining and nagging as preschoolers seem wont to do – there are still these moments, always these moments that just erase the rest of it. It doesn’t matter because there is LOVE and it’s always there. I feel the same way about my husband, but romantic love is more complicated and harder to be sure of – it’s tough stuff and it’s just as rewarding but totally different, you know? This mother love just is – there is no doubt or learning curve – it just exists one day and you know it isn’t going anywhere. I still find it amazing that in two weeks I will be opening my heart to even more of this awesome stuff. It’s unreal.

…love thursday is the brain child of chookooloonks – read it, love it, read the comments to love some more…

Food For Thought

I just watched the latest video at momversation entitled “Are your kids bad eaters?” Talk about food for thought! I swear MM has two different eating personalities, or else something has changed so recently that it still hasn’t sunk in for me yet. It seems like just the other day, I commented gloated that MM will “eat anything.” I’m not sure which MM I was talking about because I am pretty sure I can list out for you right here what MM will eat:

  • cheerios (or basic equivalent thereof)
  • macaroni and cheese
  • hot dogs
  • macaroni and cheese WITH hot dogs
  • gold fish, teddy grahams, etc.
  • yogurt, string cheese and almost every other kind of dairy although he will occasionally turn down a glass of milk
  • pasta with meatballs or meat sauce or plain with Parmesan cheese
  • pizza – this is the amazing thing – for the most part, he’ll eat any pizza we make – the only topping I’ve seen him turn down is black olives
  • grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly or turkey and cheese sandwiches, but whether or not he’ll eat the turkey is questionable

And oh right dessert – or any breakfast food that might as well be dessert like pancakes, waffles or french toast. And you know I’m looking at this list, thinking, “That’s not so bad. I bet there are kids out there who will eat way less than this – did I mention my kid will eat spinach? Oh yes, that’s right. So in some ways, he’s a very good eater with a varied diet and about half the nights in the week he will likely eat dinner. But then there are the foods he won’t eat.

  • Chicken. Of any kind. Well, that’s not true – he’ll eat chicken nuggets sometimes at Wendys – but the night I made him homemade chicken nuggets, which were delicious by the way, he refused to eat them. Or anything else on the plate.
  • Pork, Ham, Hamburgers, Steak, Fish
  • Almost all vegetables – sometimes he seems to like broccoli but not often enough to count on it. He likes corn but not on the cob.
  • Enchiladas or anything else which is assembled in a way that makes it unclear what he’ll find inside.
  • Sometimes he’ll refuse an entire dish because of one or two elements within the meal – like if I make spaghetti and meatballs – that’s okay, but if it’s spaghetti with chicken – that might be vetoed altogether.
  • Potatoes – baked, mashed, diced – almost all kinds, sometimes even french fries (right – I know – I don’t really like french fries either, but he was normal about them at one point, like his father)
  • chili and most soups and stews

So it’s a toss up. His diet is varied enough that I almost feel like I could work with it – but when he decides he doesn’t like something, it’s the way he goes about informing me that drives me up the wall. It’s when he turns down an entire meal without even tasting it that I get testy. I know that growing up I was required to at least try things. I don’t mind if he doesn’t finish a meal, if he at least makes an attempt to try things. So sometimes that’s my only prerequisite – just try it. I’ll choose my battles if you will and demand simply that he: Taste it. How hard is that?

Sometimes we’ve offered dessert as a reward but very rarely, because it seems to me that this is sending the wrong message, but sometimes you are just having that night and you don’t care about the message, you just want peace – you just want a night that works. And what about when you are at a birthday party or family dinner and dessert comes? Do you let them have dessert if they didn’t eat dinner – didn’t even try it? How do you work around the fact that your entire family is dying to watch him eat cake because apparently the art of eating cake as a child is high entertainment or something. Do you cave for just those occasions and then try to pick back up again in the privacy of your own dungeon home?

Sometimes I feel that every night is a battle – ending with us begging and pleading him to eat – and I wonder if we simply pretended not to care, if all this picky eating would go away? But what about when he turns down dinner flat out, refusing to try a bite, and then an hour later of course they are starving. Especially when bedtime comes around – “How can I go to dinner when I’m still. so. hungry?” And your heart breaks a little. And sometimes you let them have a bit of string cheese or some milk, but then other times you are not feeling so gracious, because they are the picky jerks who turned down the meal you slaved over, certain they’d love it, and you say, “Maybe you should have thought of that before you turned down dinner.” Or, “Nobody ever starved between lunch and breakfast,” or some other evil thing.

Sometimes I wonder if I don’t get this right, will I lose for good? Is there a point in this battle where you make it or break it? Have I already lost? Am I asking too much? And it seems pretty obvious to me that all kids at least go through a picky phase, if not a picky lifetime. Does it go away on it’s own or is there a secret mommy weapon that we aren’t given until we get really desperate and start groveling to the fates for pity? Is there a passcode? An initiation? Is this all just a parent club hazing technique? When do I get a beer? Actually, can I have wine – and actually – can I have a rain check?

Are your kids picky eaters? What aspects of their pickiness drive you nuts the most? Do you have any secret tricks to get them to eat? Have you gotten the passcode yet?

Homemade Baby Food, Here I Come

I’ve been thinking about homemade baby food for awhile now. We’re planning to nurse for the first year, which will help save some money but what about baby food? It does get kind of expensive and I am home all day – but how do you go about it? What foods are good when and how do I prepare them and store them and reheat them? I know it’s not rocket science but I’m totally newbie at this. I’ve looked at those baby food makers but they seem kind of expensive and surely there must be an easier way?

Well today GoodyBlog featured this awesome website Nurture Baby. Founded by Christen Babb, a fellow mom who created a website which has all the recipes, cooking techniques and nutrition info I could imagine needing to make Baby Blueberry her very own homemade baby food. I’m feeling so empowered now after having spent just minutes reading through the cooking techniques and recipes on her website. The recipes are sorted by both age and food type and everything is so easy to navigate and understand – consider me impressed.

Now I just need to have the baby.

– edit –

Just wanted to add a couple more helpful links and tips from friends, family and commenters.

  • My cousin recommended Annabel Karmel for recipes – Karmel also has cookbooks that my cousin loves – another recommendation from the cuz. was a food processor – preaching to the choir – someone want to give me one for free?
  • Reader Shirley recommends wholesomebabyfood.com
  • Reader Lisa Cain recommends www.babyfood101.com and to also try feeding baby the same foods you are making for the rest of the family.

If you have any other website recommendations or tricks of the trade, definitely mention them in the comments section (see below for other tips and comments) and I’ll try to add them to this list accordingly.

The Things I Want To Teach Her

Apparently I’m having a baby. I mean, I know I’m having a baby but you know sometimes it just sort of occurs to you like you maybe hadn’t really really realized it before? That comes in waves for me, this understanding that in a couple months I will be a mother of two. That I’ll be caring for an infant, recovering from a birth, and that MM will no longer be an only child. I’m still scared shitless that this is all a huge mistake – that MM won’t want to be a big brother, that I’ll be losing my first baby for this second one whom I know nothing about except that she definitely has a future has a soccer player if she’s interested.

They say a woman becomes a mother when she gets pregnant – that the maternal instinct is just there. I didn’t feel that way with my first pregnancy and I largely still don’t feel that way about my second. It wasn’t until that moment, holding him for the first time, that I really got it – that I felt that love and it was real. After that it held strong and fierce, surprising me with it’s strength, as I’m sure my love for BB will be. But right now, in this moment, I am just a pregnant mother of one. So it’s weird to think about my life in the not so distant future where I will be a mother of two – I’ll have a son and a daughter.

I wonder how raising a daughter will be different than raising a son. Raising MM has felt largely natural to me – I’ve grown accustomed to his man bits and his all boy personality (though terribly sweet) and I can’t imagine anything else even though anything else is coming soon. I think about the lessons I will have to teach my little daughter as she grows up – the lessons I learned and the ones I wish I’d learned sooner. They are different from the lessons I’ll want to teach MM because, well, boys and girls are different and they have different things they each need to learn. Not like math and science and English, but life.

*

Things like, “Date less. Spend more time on non-romantic endeavors. Don’t stress out so much about, “Could this guy be the one?”” Because honestly when he is the one – you know – he does treat you right, there are no games, and while it’s not simple, it’s not rocket science either. There’s no need to search under every rock and stone – if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. At least, that’s the conclusion I’ve come to after a long, tedious search for love. There’s a quote from Juno about love that I really really… love:

“Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person is still going to think the sun shines out your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.”

-Mac McGuff from Juno

I remember talking to a friend of mine in college, who was already married. I asked him if he thought the boy I was dating would be The One (because married people are experts on these things) and what he said upset me at the time, but it was true. He said he didn’t think that guy was the one (he so wasn’t) because if I had to ask, then I hadn’t figured it out yet – that when you find the one, there is no more questioning. It’s “The End” but not in like a sad, depressing way, so much as, you just know. The dating scene is over, you won. That’s not the kind of thing that you can understand though if you haven’t experienced it. It causes me so much grief to see friends going through the scene – sticking with guys that don’t treat them well, under the premise that they could be the one, and what if this is meant to be, and “I think I might love him.” Because man I’ve been there. And looking at it from the other side of the game, if I could have just skipped way more than half of those failed relationships and done something else while I waited to meet Dan – I totally would have.

Things like sex. Lessons like, “Don’t give yourself away to make someone love you.” (Which if you’d told me I was doing that I’d have laughed and said, “I’m not that stupid.” But I did. And I was.) They say sex complicates things but that’s like a gross understatement. Once you get those three little letters involved in a relationship, everything gets harder. You become invested – your emotions for that person become tangled in that act that you shared, even if you didn’t intend for them to. And as a mom, I can’t help but add that having sex, no matter the precautions you take, is like saying, “I accept that a baby could result from this.” Because they do – whether you planned it or not – pregnancy happens. AIDS happens and that’s awful but pregnancy – man that’s huge. That’s life. If that guy that knocks you up doesn’t turn out to be the one, you still end up stuck with him forever – even if he isn’t physically present, the reminders are there. And when they are physically present – is that a good thing or a bad thing? It’s important. It happens.

And I mean, babies are wonderful – being a parent has been oh so rewarding. But it’s also hard – and it’s something that changes you forever. Your life is never just your own after that – you are responsible for the well being of another human and you will love them to an impossible degree, thinking about their needs and wants and happiness constantly, often more than you think of your own. It’s expensive and time consuming and all encompassing and there are no take backs. So sex is pretty huge – and it’s a pretty special thing – it’s like the biggest thing you can give someone – there’s nothing bigger than that kind of a commitment of yourself. Use it wisely.

And ohhhh body image. I don’t even know what lessons I will have to give on body image, lord knows I haven’t figured it all out. I know that society has crazy hard expectations about beauty and that you can become obsessed with perfection that isn’t real. That whole BMI thing – putting people in a little box of “should be” with no regard for their individual differences. People are not the same. They have different bodies, different diet needs, different things that work and don’t work. But they are all beautiful. Everyone is beautiful.

The important thing for me, that took me way too long to figure out – is more science than soul. It’s about what you eat, how much you eat, and what you are eating for. Activity level and why it’s important. That whole idea that the food you eat is not placed before you solely to please your palate (although it’s nice when it does). Food is the fuel your body needs to keep going – too little food or too much food leads to unhealthy outcomes. Calorie counting has helped me tremendously with this – the idea of turning it into math – this is what my body needs, this is what I am feeding it. It’s helped me so much during this pregnancy and I am so proud. And yeah I still over indulge sometimes – sometimes you need that treat – but that’s okay because calorie counting always works the next day or week when you are ready to get back on again.

Exercise is something else that I never really got until recently. Which is not to say that I’m good at it now – but that I kind of get why I should do it and how it helps. For me it’s as simple as, “Exercising more helps to make up for your indulgences. Exercise more and you can choose to eat more – or to lose more weight.” And also important is that the end goal should be realistic – it should be healthy – it should be, “I feel like I’m wearing my own skin again – I have energy to spare and I am happy.”

And no matter how much weight you lose, how short you cut your hair, what color you dye it, what clothes you wear – you will find that it will still and always be you under there. You can’t escape that – you’ll always be there. So you’d be better to learn to love you than spending a lot of time trying to change things that cannot be changed. I can’t tell you how often I’ve gone for a new hair cut or color and been so disappointed that it was still me – just me with different hair, a different outfit. Still me. I think I spent my entire teen years trying to erase myself only to wake up one day and desperately want just me back. And realizing that was one of the coolest, healthiest things I’ve ever done.

*

I don’t imagine that I’ll be able to just explain these things to her and that she’ll accept them – I know you have to learn those things on your own, but I hope that if she’s at least heard these things out loud that when she has the opportunity to get it, that she will and she’ll remember and it won’t feel so strange as it did for me, kind of figuring it out on my own. I never had that actual mother figure growing up. I had a strong web of women in my life, aunts and grandmothers and a string of step mothers, but it’s different. There are boundaries and there’s a lack of time. For the most part it was just me and my dad – who did an amazing job raising a sensible, smart girl (in my humble opinion) but you know you can’t answer every question even if you try – they might not hear you until they hear it for themselves.

I won’t be able to teach MM and BB everything – Even if I tell them verbatim all the things I’ve listed here, they still may not get it. And there will be things I’ll miss, that will seem so much more critically important to them because they will be their life lessons to learn – the things which will make all the difference. There will be things I get right and things I get wrong – things they get right and things they get wrong. And that’s fine. But if I could hand pick a couple lessons to pass on to Baby Blueberry and any other girls who haven’t figured this stuff out yet – those things up there would be the things I’d want to start with.

Then I’d put on some ultimate girl rock – an ego boost in a song – because girl power, that idea that YOU ARE AWESOME and deserving of the BEST – it’s not egotistical – most people no matter how confident they seem are not confident at least not all the time. People need an ego boost – a reminder that they rock. Because we forget. So after I spent hours or days or awkward minutes trying to express those things above to my little girl, I’d probably put on this song and be like, “This will explain everything.” And then she’d be like, “Mom you are so lame.” But seriously.

“Now That You Got It”
by Gwen Stefani

Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?

Now that I’m your baby the things you promised me now I want
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?
All the stars I was reachin’ for you had in the palm of your hand
& if for just once I would let the
padlock on the door be open
Well, dammit, just get on over here
This better be the best thing I ever felt
My days, they better be sunny
It better be nothing but all that I want

[CHORUS]
Now that I’m your baby, the things you promised me now I want
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
If I’m really your baby then share with me your secrets & all
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?

I’m the raddest queen of them all
I could have anyone, so what I want?
Perfect, get it right, never wrong
So you gonna step it up? Or you gonna be gone
Not like the rest (not this), nothing is typical (ain’t nothing is typical)
This is not a test (no test), this is a for sure (it’s all gotta be for sure)

[CHORUS]
Now that I’m your baby, the things you promised me now I want
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
If I’m really your baby then share with me your secrets & all
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?

(Yo Gwen whatcha make ’em do?)
Well, I’d train him like a marine corps
Boot, camp, make him like a superhero (yes ma’am)
That always better be his response
Or I don’t give a dog a bone
Attention! Show me your skeletons, let’s not play games
We can be closer than sharing last names (gimme my award)
The award is a purple heart, it could be yours
If you earn that medal, yeah you could be my boy

[CHORUS]
If I’m really your baby then share with me your secrets & all
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?
If I’m really your baby then share with me your secrets & all
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?

Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it? What you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?

How about you?

  • What lessons do you hope to pass onto your children?
  • What have been the life defining ah-ha moments of realization in your life?
  • What is your ultimate Girl Power anthem (or Guy Power for any male readers)?

What Kind Of Parent Are You?

Can you tell I’ve been missing you guys like crazy? Just wanted to post my results from this cute parenting quiz at T Mobile’s website which I saw at Karen‘s blog while trying to weed through my google reader. It’s seriously geared towards teenagers so I kind of had to guess at what my responses would be – I think that’s the kind of thing you learn about yourself more from experience than anything but I liked my results a lot all the same. Because I’m a nerd.

Anyway, I went ahead and marked all my non-blogs as read to speed things up but I still have 197 posts to peruse from all your wonderful blogs – I’m hoping to avoid having to mark any of those as read, I’d like to feel like I have some small idea what you have all been up to for the past two weeks, but yikes – I am behind. Feel free to stop by and comment if something gigantic has happened to you since I’ve been gone. Anybody win the lottery, get pregnant, etc?