March 7th

Of course I know what today is.  I’ve never forgotten, it’s not my nature to forget such things.  I’m sure he thinks I forgot, he thinks very little of me.

When my mother was pregnant with me, it was before the days of regular ultrasounds for gender reveals.  The nurses would guess what you were having based on the fetal heartbeats, and amazingly, 50% of the time they were spot on.  On that cold, December day, when my belated birth was finally scheduled, my parents had no clue whether I was a boy or a girl.  Being the first born after the struggle of infertility, you would think that would be enough.

You would think.

The doctor met my father in the hallway.  Being a hilarious man, at least to himself, he decided to follow tradition and exclaimed with delight that I was a boy!!  My father was overjoyed!  How exciting!  Working in construction, his family gave him a gift when they were expecting me, a sign to attach to his work van, advertising his business with a big proud “& Sons” at the end.  The dream was real!

Except it wasn’t.

That doctor told all of the waiting fathers that the baby was a boy, and he thought it was hilarious.  When my father found out I was indeed a girl, he wasn’t laughing.  And pretty much, he has kept that bitter look of disappointment every time he has looked at me ever since.

What a way to start a relationship, right?  So much of my childhood was spent desperately seeking his approval, yearning so badly for any kind of positive recognition from my father.  I can’t remember ever in my life feeling loved by that man.  Not once.  If he walked through the room and I was having a snack, he would look at me in disgust and tell me I was going to be fat, just like my mother.  When I had to get glasses, he told me I would have to start plucking my eyebrows so I didn’t look like a man.  When I got dressed up for school dances, posed in front of the camera before leaving with friends, he would criticize the way I stood, telling me it made me look even fatter than I already was.  Brought home A and B report cards?  Why aren’t they all A’s?  Maybe I needed to study more, to get those grades up.

What in the actual hell??

I doubt myself to this day with a special kind of self loathing that can not possibly be built alone.  It took over 30 years to hate and doubt myself this much, and I have my father to thank for that.

While he is being doted on and told how wonderful he is today by my Stockholm Syndrome poster child mother, and siblings who never had the pleasure of knowing the same monster as I did growing up, I will resist the urge to wish him to choke on his birthday cake.  Instead, I will take pleasure in knowing that I am finally free from his poison.  I have so much damage to try and undo, so much pain and suffering to heal from.

I will also take this opportunity to be thankful for the amazing Daddy that my husband is to our children!!!  They are so lucky and so blessed to have such a magical relationship with him!!  Thank goodness they will never know this empty, dreadful feeling!!

And for that matter, I thank my lucky stars for being blessed with such an amazing man, constantly dealing with this crazy, broken woman that he calls his wife!!  I don’t know how he does it, but I sure am glad to call him mine.  I may have had an awful, hellish upbringing, but I now end each day knowing how loved and important I am to the people that truly matter, my husband and my babies.  God is GOOD!

Happy New Year’s Eve!


Confetti (Photo credit: ADoseofShipBoy)

And happy birthday to me!

What a busy year this has been!  We started the year, pinching pennies and putting everything we could aside in hopes of maybe, just maybe being able to find a new house.  Here I sit, on the very last day of 2013, another year older, presumably another year wiser, and in our new house.  What a blessing!

I am lucky enough to have a handful of friends and family that are true blessings in my life.  This year, I have started taking inventory on my life, and most especially the people in it.  I’m a grudge holder, a habit that is very hard for me to break, but this year, I have found myself releasing the heavy grudges I’ve held for years and just accepting the calm that takes it’s place.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have released grudges, but at the same time, I have come to realize that there are just some people that I don’t need to be around.  Life is too short to be spent worrying about drama, whether self made or brought on by parasitic people in our lives.  Live and let live, but save the drama for yo mama and keep on steppin’.  🙂

I have a giant to do list for 2014, not least of all being more healthy changes for myself.  I am avoiding making any drastic new year’s resolutions because if and when I tend to backslide, it feels like the end of the world for me, not just a bad day.  I am too easily discouraged, it’s silly, but why set myself up for failure?  No, this year, I will make small changes and just strive for happy.  If my choices are making me happy, my husband happy, my babies happy, well then, I think I’m doing pretty great.  🙂

I’ve never been a big New Year’s Eve party kinda girl.  Growing up with your birthday on that day, you kinda forget that it’s any other special day.  I haven’t been out for New Year’s…..ever.  Haha!  Abe and I used to go out for my birthday, but that was well before babies.  Don’t feel sorry for me though, because at home with my husband and babies is where I would rather be.

As I type this, I can hear the pitter patter of little feet, running around and excitedly whispering.  The clanging around in the kitchen and the sounds of puppies following closely behind the pitter pattering tells me the babies are undoubtedly making me my special birthday breakfast.  Probably burned toast, fruit and semi mixed chocolate milk, but having been made by tiny hands and with endless love, it is most certainly a breakfast fit for a queen.

Happy New Year, and here’s to a safe and amazing 2014!

Happy Birthday Noah!

My little Noah Bean is officially 3 years old today!  He was our Clomid baby, after our miscarriage.  It took nearly two years to get pregnant with him, and once we were officially pregnant, it was the scariest nine months of my life.

We suffered through secondary infertility after losing our third pregnancy.  It came out of nowhere and left me feeling broken.  Yes, I had two perfectly healthy, gorgeous, wonderful children.  I was lucky, and I knew that.  But after losing the pregnancy, well, it just leaves a hole that doesn’t ever seem to get filled.

I made myself and Abe crazy with charting and herbs and anything I could find to try and help us to conceive.  After countless hours spent researching through books and Google, I self diagnosed myself with PCOS and made a doctor appointment that confirmed my suspicions.

My doctor offered me hope.  She prescribed the Clomid after extensive testing and ultrasounds, and told me that if at any time I wanted to see a specialist, she would be happy to refer me.  She felt confident that she could help me, and her hope was enough to keep me going.

It was the fifth round of Clomid that was magic.  That, and I changed the days I took it.  My doctor prescribed days 5-9.  Through research, I read several studies that suggested days 3-7 might work better for women with PCOS.  Who knows, maybe it was just a coincidence.  That was the month I got that BFP.  That is also when the fear set it.

Every tiny little cramp or twinge had me rushing to the bathroom, expecting to see blood, expecting to lose my baby.  I prayed and begged God all day, every day to just please, please let me keep our little bean safe.  I bargained, I pleaded, I was a hot mess.

I started spotting.

Words can not describe the fear I felt.

My doctor ordered an ultrasound to ease my mind, and while the tiny baby, flipping around on the screen made me breathe a little easier in the moment, I did not enjoy my pregnancy in the least.  I was just too scared.  I’d like to say the fear went away when I was pregnant with Sara, but it didn’t.  Pregnancy is a terrifying time for a woman who has miscarried.

Noah was due on Halloween.  My doctor originally planned on inducing a week early, but she was on vacation that week.  Go figure.  We ended up going in a week later, where my giant, healthy baby was born.  (He was over 9lbs, ouch!)

The labor was long, and I had a nurse who told me my uterus was too weak to push out a baby, that I needed to prepare myself for a c section.  Well, my uterus happens to have that Latina attitude, thank goodness, and we proved her wrong shortly after she said that.  Neener, neener.

And now, the pictures.

How itty bitty do Matt and Bella look here!?  This is when Grandma brought them to the hospital to meet their baby brother for the first time.

On his way to his very first doctor appointment!  We brought him a cute 0-3 month outfit to wear home from the hospital, assuming it would be large on him.  Well, at nearly 24 inches long, he barely fit into it!  He was a big, healthy boy!

He was the happiest little baby, always smiling and giggling.  That was before he turned two.  He redefined the terrible two’s.

He looks so innocent here.  Looks can be deceiving.

My Noey.  He was supposed to be a Halloween baby, and I think he knows it!  He is obsessed with all things spooky, it is definitely his favorite holiday!

Happy Birthday, Noah!  We survived the terrible two’s, you are getting less and less evil with your baby sister, and you are awesome!  We love you to pieces, you brought happiness where so much sadness once was.


Happy Birthday Abe!

Today my hubby turns 33.  That is still super young, regardless of how old he keeps telling everyone he is.  I like to tell him I’m his young “trophy wife” since he is a whole three and a half months older and one school year ahead of me.  It amuses me.

We wrapped his gifts with super fancy wrapping paper and stickers, as you can see.  Hey, we go all out in this familia.

Happy Birthday to my very best friend and the most awesome husband any girl could ever have!  I love you forever and always!  xoxoxoxoxoxo

Happy Birthday, Isabella!

My baby girl is seven years old today!  That is insanity.  I swear, it seems like only yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital.  It’s cliche’ but true!

Isabella was the swaddle baby.  She refused to even entertain the thought of sleep without being tightly bound as a baby burrito.  Half the time, she would wake up unwrapped, as you see in the photo above.

Being my first baby girl, of course I took, and take, every chance I get to dress her up.  She was like a little doll, with those gorgeous baby blues and her pretty little outfits.

They grow up so fast!  On the eve of her third birthday, she left all of her binkies for the Binky Fairy.  I still have a ziplock bag full of her giant binky stash.  The fairy left her a new bracelet and a book, and she never looked back!  Well, that is until Noah was born and there were new pacifiers in the house.  I caught her sneaking them every once in a while.

Sweet as these curls are, they aren’t natural.  They came from sleeping in foam rollers overnight.  Aren’t they adorable?  I have naturally curly hair and had hoped she would get my curls.  Her hair could not be more straight.  That’s okay though, her hair is gorgeous and definitely fun to style and play with!

My Bella ballerina is going to be a star.  She has said that since she could talk, and she is most definitely already a star in her mama’s eyes.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!  You are AWESOME!!

Rainbow Cake!

I love rainbows.  Everyone who knows me, pretty much knows this.  It’s kind of an obsession.  This weekend, for Saraphina’s birthday party I decided to make another rainbow cake.  Unfortunately, it turned out a bit dry, but it was still pretty.  In the hectic planning, it was a wee bit overcooked, but I have made this cake before with awesome results, so it’s all good.

Here is the party spread.  Rainbow out of fruit, yummy sub sandwich with fixins, Sun Chips, Broccoli Salad, Lemonade, you name it.  Those Minnie Mouse water bottles are just wrapped in wrapping paper, aren’t they adorable?

Now for the cake!

I used two boxes of white cake mix, prepared according to instructions.  Once it was all well mixed, I separated it into six bowls in six equal amounts.  Then I added the color.  I used Gel Food Coloring, because it will not change the consistency of the batter like a liquid food coloring would.  You also get a much bolder, prettier color with the gel.  Looks like finger paint in the bowls, doesn’t it?

Bake for slightly less than the box calls for, because you are using less batter in the pans.  I used 9 inch rounds for each separate color.  Once cooled, stack with layers of frosting in between.  I used cream cheese frosting.  Mmmmm.  I iced it all white to hide the magical awesomeness hidden inside.

How’s that for fancy?  It’s a big hit, especially with the first cut of the cake when everyone sees how wicked cool you are for making such a fantabulous confection.

And if you don’t over bake it, it tastes pretty amazing too.

Have you entered my No Throw giveaway yet?  What, don’t you like free things?  Go enter!  Right now!  Here’s the link.  That wasn’t so hard, now was it?


Excuse me from my usual, awesome, entertaining and informative writing today.  I am recovering from a lovely case of food poisoning.  Feeling better today, but quite drained.

We had a nice weekend celebrating Saraphina’s first birthday with friends and family.  And then I was oh so rudely thrown out of commission from a tainted St Louis Bread Co sandwich.

While you are missing me, go enter the giveaway for the No Throw tethers!  They would make an awesome gift if you are out of the pacifier/sippy cup phase with your munchkins.  Enter HERE.

I hope you had an awesome weekend with far less barfing than I did!

Feliz Cumpleanos, Saraphina!

The day is here, my baby is one year old today.  (And yes, she is still drinking bottles, carry on now.)  She doesn’t look any older than she did yesterday.  I dare say, she doesn’t look a day over 11 months old.  But alas, it has been one whole year since her eventful birth.

This is where I am going to recount my birth story, it’s a mommy thing.  You don’t have to read it.  Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Last year, I went into the hospital on the 25th to be induced.  Four babies, and all of them had to be served eviction papers to vacate the womb.  I hate the induction process because you are tied down to the bed while they poke you and prod you and run iv’s, etc.  It is terribly uncomfortable, and then they expect you to sleep all night to “rest up”.  Yeah, that never happens.  If not because of the discomfort, then because of the excitement!  Abe, on the other hand, has no problem snoring up the whole maternity floor.  Good for him.

So, of course I didn’t get any sleep, and the next morning they decided to start the pitocin.  That is the medication that causes the ungodly contractions.  I was tolerating it pretty well, so they decided to up the dose which had me doubled over in pain and ready for the epidural.  The back pain was what was hurting the most.

Here’s where it gets fun.

I got the epidural, and my back pain went away.  Hallelu-yerr!  But……I still felt every single sensation below the belly button.  I told my nurse, but she seemed to believe I was mistaken.  She checked me, as I was wincing in pain, and still was unconvinced that my epidural was not working properly.  She told me to push the epidural button as much as I felt I needed, that it would give me a little extra relief.

We cranked that baby like crazy.  My back pain, as I said, was completely gone.  But the contractions, the pressure, everything else was 110% natural and unmedicated.

During one check, when they wanted to break my water, they noticed that Sara had her hand on top of her head.  They decided not to break the water because they thought the hand may come out first and complicate the birth.

That’s what I wanted to hear.  Complications.

Things moved really quickly after that.  At my next cervical check, my water broke.  They said I was at about a 6, but with the water breaking, I felt the heavy pressure building up fast.  Abe told the nurse that I tend to dilate pretty quickly and that she should call the doctor.  She hesitated, but called my doctor so she could come soon.

It was less than twenty minutes after my last check, when I measured only 6cm dilated, that I told Abe I felt like I needed to push.  The nurse, who was perfectly lovely and very sweet, seemed to doubt my Spidey senses.  She offered to check me again, and then seemed astounded when I was fully dilated and the baby’s head was near crowning.

Funny how a mama who has had three previous babies tends to know when “It’s time”.

Now, mind you, my epidural was failing me.  It took away the back pain, yes.  But it was not my back giving birth.  We were quickly told that I may have a “window” in my epidural.  “CLOSE THE WINDOW!!!!”  But there was no closing of that window.  I was oh so privileged to experience a completely unmedicated birth.   Well, unmedicated where it counts.  Unmedicated where you don’t want it to be unmedicated.

It burned.  I won’t go into any more detail, but I could have puked or passed out from the pain.

When Sara was finally born, she didn’t cry.  She didn’t make any noise.  She was quickly whisked away and the on call pediatrician was called in “stat”.  I was so light headed, the room was spinning and the voices sounded distant.  I heard one of the nurses ask Abe to stop filming the baby.  I knew that wasn’t good.

I felt myself ask if she was okay, it all felt like a foggy dream.

After what felt like an hour, I heard baby noises.  Abe told me she was fine, but I sensed doubt in his voice.  Do you see her left arm in that picture?  How it’s held straight down and not pulled up or moving?  They suspected a broken clavicle.  I thought back to when they were going to break my water and her hand was on her head, wondering if that is what caused the problem.  X-rays were ordered, and finally, I was handed my precious little girl.

It is unfair to judge a mama’s hair and makeup after over 24 hours of labor and a particularly painful and stressful delivery, by the way.

She was born weighing exactly 9lbs.  To my shock and delight, she was also born with dark hair.  The trend in my babies seemed to be getting lighter and lighter, so we were all surprised at the little chicana baby!

The x-rays showed no fractures, so the pediatrician diagnosed her with having a “stinger injury”, something common in football players.  Her arm slowly began moving and gaining mobility.  What a relief!

We came home two days later, to a house full of siblings that already loved her to pieces.  What’s not to love?

It is so hard to believe that this was one whole year ago!  Now she is standing up and cruising around the house, giggling at her Noey and chasing the kitties.  Babies grow up in the blink of an eye!

Happy Birthday, Saraphina!  You are going to change the world, you have already made mine a better place.

Double Digits

Ten years ago today, I was in the hospital, scared and excited for the birth of my first baby.

He was two weeks late when my doctor finally decided to induce my labor.  The pitocin gave me excruciating back labor.  When I requested the epidural, I had a four hour wait.  Four very long, tear filled hours.

He was born later that night, a vacuum assisted birth that gave him quite the cone head.  He let out a few small cries, but then he was quiet.  He looked around the room with his wise little eyes and just took everything in.  He was calm, quiet and laid back.  He is like that to this very day.

Matthew was our first and only baby for over three years.  As much as I wanted another baby, I felt guilty taking away any focus from Matt.  As it turned out, he was made to be a big brother.  He has always been loving and kind and very protective of his siblings.

Don’t get me wrong, he has done some rotten things to them as well.  Haircuts, broken toys, mean pranks.  But at the end of the day, he is a very loving, sweet and thoughtful kid.

I have said it before, but I will say it again.  Babies grow up too fast!  You blink your eyes and they are turning ten!  He will be able to drive in six years!  He will graduate high school in eight years!  That is not a very long time at all!  It feels like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital, and now, here he is, a whole decade has passed.

(I had hoped to make it through this post without crying, but I just took a sob break.  So much for my street cred.)

Happy Birthday, Matthew.  You are an amazing kid and you are going to do amazing things in your life.  You made me a mommy, the greatest gift of all.

This picture was taken six years ago, when my little baby was only four.  Don’t you just want to munch those chubby little cheeks?  And the twinkle in his eye….Love.  Love in a tiny little four year old package.