Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Baby Road Trips

Soooo... Interesting title, eh?? 😉

For those of you who know me in real life, you know that there is nothing I hate more than a road trip. By golly, I loathe them. Get me on a plane and get me there A... S... A... P!!!! BUT in honor of our Thanksgiving road trip, I thought I would share my previous experience with road tripping with Baby Blossom

Well awhile back I took a road trip with Baby Blossom. Not a long trip mind you. A short one. Only about 3 hours (although that was PLENTY long enough for me)! Really the max amount of time that I like to spend in a car at any given moment generally tops out at an hour. So 3 hours was a pretty bold move for me... And even more so because I was flying solo with Baby Blossom. No hubby... Just us, a bag of toys and our current Kindermusik album. Two girls "enjoying" the open road... How did we survive you ask? So glad you did!

I have very little advice for taking babies on road trips. My advice is DON'T DO IT!  But if you have to then this one tip is key... TIMING IS VITAL! Sleep time = when you should drive. But be careful. This can be tricky, we discovered the hard way. For us sleep time has to be napping, not bed time. SO we have to begin road trips when Baby Blossom would be going down for a nap which translates to late morning or afternoon. Driving at bedtime for us resulted in a LOT of tears and screaming and begging and pleading and ultimately exhaustion on everyone's part. Although, I know some people who do very well driving during bed time. 

Next trick, when I'm flying solo, I fill the front seat with toys and if Baby Blossom chooses not to sleep then we play a rousing game of take one, pass one. This means I give her one toy and wait for her to drop, throw or otherwise lose said toy and then I pass her a new one. Only one though. That's important, we only get one toy at a time. And we save the best toys for emergencies. I always save the pacis for when she is about to have a stage 5 meltdown because that girl LOVES a paci. She doesn't like to use it in the traditional way... No, no because she doesn't follow rules. Rules follow her. And so she surely believes that pacis do in fact make the best teethers and THAT my friend is how you use a paci. 

During road trips, we additionally employ the help of baby jams. Baby jams can be a wide variety of things, but we strive for quantity here not quality. You want to have a plethora of baby jams to choose from in case some don't work. I usually load up the iPhone as well as having a back up CD in the CD player of the car. To get your baby jam idea juices following, I'll tell you a little about Baby Blossoms preferences. When Baby Blossom was a newborn our baby jams included the Beatles as sung by Glee (had to be Glee too) and Daddy's version of Simple Gifts. Now that she's almost 9 months, she shows a preference for Frozen, Kindermusik, and B.O.B. If B.O.B isn't available then she will usually tolerate any number of rapped nursery rhymes as a replacement. 

So let's recap of how to road trip with baby:
1. Drive during sleep time. 
2. Initiate the take one, pass one toy game. 
3. Employ baby jams. 

In the event that none of the aforementioned things work, my only advice to you is to keep a stack of baby mum mums handy and attempt to bribe with food. 😉

Good luck and happy road tripping!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

What would you do...

If you were a breast feeding mama and you just got out of the shower only to realize that you are totally out of disposable nursing pads. I mean TOTALLY out… Like none hidden anywhere including in the depths of the diaper bag which honestly is a black hole for all kinds of things you "might" need at some point or another…

Well first you would never fear right because you are a smart mama and also use reusable nursing pads! Oh, except those are currently wet in the washer... Oops...

So I guess you have the option of sticking the ones that you had on prior to showering back on. Problem with that is that you went to the gym in those and so they are super sweaty and smelly and oh so not helpful. Dear husband has offered to run out and get you some more, but it's like 10:30pm now and you feel bad about sending him off on some fool's errand because it's so late and you know he's super pooped…

So what do you do?

Dang it! You are resourceful! You are a problem solver! You are a mom! You will figure this out right now!

You wrack your brain and nothing comes to mind… You start to think that you'll just have to risk waking up in a puddle of breast milk in the middle of the night. BUT THEN you see a dirty pair of socks on the floor! Ah ha! Lightbulb! You will stuff your bra with socks... You.. Will... Stuff.. Your bra with socks… … …. … 

And here you are, a 28 year old woman, stuffing your bra with socks… The irony of this situation is most certainly not lost on you, dear woman…



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Love You

Seems like so many of my posts are related to time and milestones… So this post will be as well…

One year ago I officially 'revealed' this blog. It was hard to do, but I'm so glad I did. Although I've neglected this blog more than I intended to after Baby Blossom was born, I can't tell you how much it has helped me to document our story which was, as I'm sure you know by now, full of ups and downs.

When I first 'revealed' the blog to the world of social media, the support I got was phenomenal. So many women with similar stories came to me and I loved having the opportunity to pour out love to them and their babies. I love this graphic from Pregnancy After Miscarriage & Pregnancy Loss. It is a reminder of how many women have lost and that we aren't in this alone.

My heart beats for those women who have experienced tragedy while walking along the path toward motherhood. I initially thought that perhaps today in light of it being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day I would publish my post of things to not say to someone who has experienced pregnancy loss. But as candles all over are being lit in remembrance of these precious lives, to publish the aforementioned post seemed a little too negative. For today, I want to tell a story of encouragement and light. I want to tell of a story of someone who helped me immensely along the path to healing after I lost Sweet Pea.

SO this is the story of my dad, commonly known as Poppy.

Telling family that you miscarried after you just told them that you are pregnant is excruciating. Different members respond differently. Some don't respond at all. Some fly to your side. Some cry with you and remind you that you didn't do anything wrong and that there's nothing wrong with you just because this horrible thing happened. Some don't understand because why should you cry over someone you never met. And some family members say just the right thing at just the right time, whether they knew it was the right thing at the right time or not.

A few days after my D&C, I got a text from my Poppy. And it said "I'm going to tell you everyday that I love you until you stop crying and start smiling again." A few days after my D&C, I was still a total wreck… well quite honestly a few months after my D&C, I was still a total wreck. I cried. I cried a lot. I never resisted the urge to cry because I knew that I needed to grieve my baby fully, with everything inside me and so when I knew I was going to cry I just gave into it and I wailed.

But one day I eventually did stop crying. One day I eventually began to smile again. And every day in-between those 2 events, I got a text from my Poppy saying "I love you."

The greatest gift we can give someone is our love. And sometimes the second greatest gift is the reminder that you are so supremely loved even in the midst of all the brokenness and the heartache and tears. I know that I needed that constant reminder during my dark time.

So thank you to my Poppy for reminding me everyday that you loved me until I stopped crying and started smiling again. I love you too.

And that sweet friends, is a perfect example of the right thing to say to someone who has experienced a pregnancy loss.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Babies Don't Come with Manuals

There's no manual that comes with mommy-hood. There are days that I sorely wish that manual had popped on out with this baby. But it didn't and so here we are...

I love being a mommy. Holy Moses, do I love it! I had no idea exactly how much I would adore it until I held Baby Blossom in my arms for the first time. I also was completely overwhelmed with being a new mommy (and let's be honest, 8 months in I still get completely overwhelmed some days!). I spent the first 6 weeks of her life convinced that the rock n play would give her a flat head because middle of the night feedings lead to entirely too many google searches.... Seriously, I made my physical therapist friend check her head every time she came over because I was so freaked out she would get a flat head from sleeping in the rock n play. Oh and that's just one example. Google is not a friend of new mommies. If I can give you one piece of advice it is stay away from google during late night feedings.. It only fuels the insanity! 

For Babies are not born with manuals and yet everyone has an opinion on how to care for them. Google and trips to the grocery store will show you that. 

And let's not even begin to discuss that once you think you have it figured out, those darn babies go and change on you and all of a sudden you're a blubbering mess.... Again....  We finally figured out breast feeding and oh wait it's time to start solids! What am I supposed to give her? Does she need water? How many meals a day? But she had no teeth! Oh wait she's crawling now and pulling up on everything. You mean we have to baby proof?? What do we need for that?

And to continue the trend, moments like today occur. As I sit typing this I am nursing a baby and a bruised back side. You see not only did I fall down the stairs while trying to get laundry done, but my child unbeknownst to me took a bite out of a baby mum mums box and decided to hide the bite on the roof of her mouth. I noticed said bite while I was changing her and then got freaked out that she would choke on it and thus began a 30 minute tug of war where I could NOT for the life of me get her to open her mouth. The one time in her ENTIRE 8 month life where she refuses to open her mouth or chew on anything.  We tried toothbrushes, fingers, pacis, toys and with every failed attempt I began to get more panicky. Finally I managed to get my pinky in there and scrape it out. Moral of this story is that boxes are not harmless toys and you can't turn your back for a second. Not even to do the wee baby's pile of laundry which is so tall the baby will have to go naked tomorrow if it doesn't get done today. 

For, sweet friends, no matter how much you wish it, there is not a baby manual to tell you all these things...

And it's in the chaos of all these moments that two things occur. Number one, I notice that some things haven't changed at all. I still love Baby Blossom fiercely. She still loves to cuddle and sleep in my arms and I never get tired of holding her and looking at her and realizing that God gave us a most precious gift. And number two, I'm thankful for grace. Grace to make mistakes as I stumble through this journey called mommy-hood. Grace to get frustrated and cry and not to win the mommy of the year award today and to feel like I'll never get a full night's sleep again... Grace to realize that tomorrow is a new day and tomorrow I will be an even better mommy than I was today because experience and Jesus are the best teachers. And no manual ever written could possibly compare to that!


Saturday, September 6, 2014

One Year Old: Dear Sweet Pea

Dear Sweet Pea,

I've been thinking about you so much lately. I go to bed thinking about you. I wake up thinking about you. I look at your little sister and think about you. I have to be honest even now, a year and 7 months after we lost you, I still struggle. 

You see, my Sweet Pea, today could have been your birthday. If you had been like your little sister and come on your due date (well she came on her first due date that is) then you would be one year old today. I'd be lying to you if I told you it didn't hit me like a ton of bricks. I think about what a glorious party we would have had for you. All your friends and family would have been there. We would have had a smash cake for you and you would have made a mess with it as you sat in your high chair. I would have taken pictures like a crazy woman, not wanting to miss a single moment of your first birthday. The party would have been months of planning and I would have loved every minute of it. You would have, of course, had the perfect birthday outfit and your daddy would have been the most patient man in the world as I went psycho trying to find it. 

It is in these moments that I am swept up with grief over losing you, my precious one. Because not only did I lose you, I lost all the hopes and dreams that I had for you. I lost watching you taking your first breath, first steps, prom dates, high school graduation, your wedding. I lost learning about your likes and dislikes. I lost the sound of your laughter and figuring out what it takes to make you laugh. I lost comforting you while you cry.  I lost you and even more I lost knowing you.

I hold dearly in my heart that short period of time we were together. For you were my first and you made me a mother, even though we never met outside of the womb. 

I still love you so very much, Sweet Pea. I will always, always love you. I look forward to the day with eager anticipation when your daddy, your little sister, and I all get to meet you for the first time. Until then I take comfort in knowing you are safely swept up in the arms of the Creator. 

Happy birthday, my beautiful Sweet Pea!


Friday, August 8, 2014

Go Shout Love

Photo Courtsey of http://goshoutlove.com/?page_id=33
I want to take a moment to recognize the work of some AMAZING ladies over at Go Shout Love! If you haven't heard about them, then by all means you must go check them out… DO IT… Right now… I'll wait here for you to get back.

I have to be honest, I LOVE LOVE LOVE what these ladies are doing. Perhaps it is the music therapist's heart in me or the years of working with children with special needs. Whatever it is, their cause truly speaks to my heart. Essentially, they are reaching out to families who are walking through hard times and helping them out. They utilize social media, online auctions, apparel, and so much more to raise awareness and funds to help out these amazing families. Please go check out their website if you haven't already: www.goshoutlove.com Or find them out on Facebook or Instagram!

Love truly is not meant to be silent… In all aspects, in all facets of life it is in fact meant to be loud!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Check out this post from Scissortail Silk!

My dear sweet reader,

I want to take a minute to share with you a wonderfully compelling blog post written by another. When I read this particular post it thoroughly resonated with me. I hope that for those of you who have also walked the difficult journey of becoming a parenthood after miscarriage or for those of you who are still walking through that journey, you find comfort and inspiration in these words. You absolutely do not suffer alone nor do you have to suffer in silence. Your loss was real and worth every tear that was shed. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.

I also want to end this post by saying I believe in love. I believe in faith, hope, and love. And I believe that the greatest of these is love. Don't confuse our, perhaps, disagreement on choices made with judgement or lack of love.

I love you, dear one, and I will always fight to shatter the silence of pregnancy loss.


Please take a moment to read the post below:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Three Months

Dear Baby Blossom,

I can't believe that you are three months old... It is so surreal to me at times. It seems just yesterday I was carrying you in my belly. It seems just yesterday I was dreaming about what you would look like and what your little personality would be like and I was also worrying if you were okay in there. Now I worry if you will be okay out here in the big, wide world. I suppose some things haven't changed at all... Still you have unequivocally rocked our world in every way, shape, and form.

Being your mommy is my absolute joy and privilege. To be honest, I had no idea exactly how much I would love being your mommy until you got here. Oh, I dreamed about it of course... But it wasn't until I held you for the first time that I knew I loved being YOUR mommy.

I love you so much. I love your sweet laugh and gummy grin. I love how I know whether you are tired or hungry by the way you cry. I love holding you and rocking you while you sleep. I love how expressive you are at such a young age. You not only have a range of smiles and laughs, but you frown and furrow your brow too. I love how when you wake up in the morning the minute you see my face you light up. I love dressing you up in all kinds of cute clothes (even though I know that clothing isn't really your favorite thing right now, but we'll work on that, eh?).

You rolled over for the first time a week ago (the evening of Saturday, March 29th) and you did it again this week. I am ever amazed by how quickly you are growing. You sometimes are a little dramatic and I'm pretty sure you got that from me. You started sleeping at night better and for that I am grateful. About a month ago you decided that it was okay to go 6-8 hours between feedings at night. This has helped mommy and daddy tremendously. But I have to be honest, I sometimes get a little freaked out when I wake up and it's been 8 hours and you haven't awoken to eat. I check your breathing by placing my hand on your tummy and once I know you are okay then I can go back to sleep. Every once in awhile you decide you need to eat every 3 hours at night and that's okay too... Albeit, that means we take extra long naps in the morning, my little snuggle bunny.

When you were in my tummy, your daddy and I prayed over you every night and we still do today. We pray for you to continue to grow and develop. We pray that you are protected from all harm. We pray that you come to know Jesus. We believe in the power of prayer in this family and want to instill that into you as well.

You are so beautiful. I know I'm your mommy and I'm biased, but I knew you were beautiful from the first moment I laid my eyes on you. I want you to never doubt that. This world can be cruel to young girls. It will tell you things that aren't true. You are beautiful, my sweet daughter, and I promise to always tell you that because I know someday you may forget it.

Keep growing, pretty girl. Your daddy and I will be here every step of the way cheering you on and loving you.

I love you always,


Friday, February 28, 2014

Little Acts of Faith

My dear, sweet reader! I thank you for bearing with me in my absence as we have been adjusting to our life with a newborn and I must say what an adjustment it has been! BUT that is a different post for a different day..

There were some definite surprises that occurred after the arrival of our beloved Baby Blossom. There were a lot of things I anticipated with having a newborn (ie. sleep deprivation, sore boobs from breast feeding, an increase in laundry, being confined to our house for awhile, etc.), but there have been so many things that happened that I didn't anticipate. I didn't anticipate that little acts of faith would continue once Baby Blossom made her way into the world and that has been a huge challenge for me.

Little acts of faith...

I had planned to write this blog post when I was still pregnant with Baby Blossom, but didn't quite make it that far and after having her and experiencing so much of what I did, I felt now was in fact the right time to write it.

When we first found out we were pregnant with Baby Blossom, I struggled with fear. It was almost unbearable, almost all consuming, almost drowning. I had the worst war with fear throughout the first trimester and really throughout my entire pregnancy. I felt the need to guard my heart in case we lost her like we did Sweet Pea, but at the same time I didn't want to keep myself from loving her completely. It was such a strange dichotomy, wanting to dream about her and imagine her being her with us and also trying to protect myself from pain in case she went to heaven first.

BUT as the weeks progressed I found myself realizing that I couldn't live as though I would lose her and it was time to put a little faith on display through actions. After all, faith really is an action word. Hebrews 11 (commonly known as the faith chapter) is full of faith action words: by faith Abel brought, by faith Noah built, by faith Abraham obeyed and went, by faith Jacob blessed,  by faith Joseph spoke, etc. It was time for Jessica to do some things by faith. 

I referred to them as little acts of faith. Not big, not grandiose, but small every day tasks that helped me battle fear and walk by faith.

I remember one evening in my first trimester, Kevin and I were grocery shopping at Publix. We came to the vitamin section and low and behold there were DHA supplements on clearance. I mean a SUPER STEAL and there were 3 or 4 boxes left. I knew that I needed to be taking DHA while pregnant as the thought of eating any fish in the first trimester sent my stomach into spins. SO when we found these boxes on clearance I knew we should buy them all, but I was seized up by fear. What if we buy all of these and lose the baby and then I have to stare at them, a reminder of what we lost. I remember very distinctly the war going on and the conversation I had with Kevin about it. I finally said to him, by faith Jessica bought the DHA. I chose to complete a little act of faith. It wasn't anything big or dramatic, but to me it was mind altering in defeating the fear.

This continued throughout the pregnancy... Little acts of faith in order to defeat fear. Announcing our pregnancy on Facebook, buying baby things, checking out baby books from the library, buying maternity clothes... All of these are incredibly small tasks, but I associated a huge amount of fear with them because... well... what if we lost her?

What I never anticipated as I progressed through this journey was that the little acts of faith would have to continue once she was born. I never in a million years thought that the almost debilitating fear would continue when she was on this side. In fact, I was so ready for her to be on this side because I thought surely she would be safer than inside. I was so incredibly sick during my third trimester and between lung infections, heartburn, asthma, the flu, and a number of other illnesses seemingly on a cocktail of drugs at all times. I was terrified about the side effects of the drugs on Baby Blossom... I seriously thought if I could just hold her on this side, I could keep her safe...

And now fast forward to our first night at home after being in the hospital and the realization that we are responsible totally for her well being coupled with a far unhealthy obsession with SIDs and the result was fear beyond measure. I ugly cried the first night that we had to go to sleep at the same time she did as I was scared beyond words that I would wake up and she would be gone... That somehow I would lose this perfect gift much like I had lost Sweet Pea.

And so the little acts of faith continued.... because you can't stay awake forever... Eventually one has to go to sleep.

So every night, I pray protection over her and remind myself that ultimately she is in God's hands and I trust His faithfulness and then I go to sleep.

Your little acts of faith don't go unnoticed, my sweet reader. Be encouraged. He is faithful.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Rainbow Baby

My dear sweet readers!

I owe you an apology for my continued absence over the last month! HOWEVER, I am thrilled beyond repair to announce the arrival of our rainbow baby, Baby Blossom She graced us with her presence VERY early in the morning on January 6th. We are so thoroughly in love and so excited that she is finally on this side! We are slowly, but surely adjusting to life with a newborn and as always would appreciate your continued prayer as our journey into parenthood continues.

I promise I will resume posting soon! In the meantime, keep a lookout for me and enjoy these pictures of our rainbow baby.