From the Mommy Files…

Archive for the ‘mother’s love’ Category

Hey there! How’s it going?

Yesterday was the last day of school. Like you, I’ve been mired in all the end-of-the-year events, shopping for teacher gifts, etc. Plus, I’ve been working on an exciting new project, which I will share with you soon. I didn’t want you to think I had succumbed to a new malady, so I thought I’d better check in! 😉

Boo and Bebs enjoying the beach on California's Central Coast.

Boo and Bebs enjoying the beach on California’s Central Coast.

 

Like you, I like to read blogs. (Thanks for reading this one!) Some posts really resonate with me, and I share them on Facebook or Twitter. I thought it would be fun to share them here with you.

Here are my 3 favorite posts from this past week.

1. Saying These 8 Things To Your Kid Every Day Could Change Their Life

I came across this on Facebook, from The Breast Cancer Site. It really hit home. Recently, I have experienced a mindshift in my parenting. I’d been reciting mantras, reading affirmations, trying to motivate, inspire, uplift myself — and boost my confidence. I realized my kids needed this too. These are some great tips to help your kids feel good about themselves, gain confidence, security, and courage.

2. To Build (or Break) a Child’s Spirit

This one comes from Huffington Post Love Matters, by Rachel Macy Stafford. This post reminds us that what we say and how we say it can have a profound impact on our kids. We do get frustrated. Absolutely. No one likes to be yelled at — not even us. We aren’t bad people. Sometimes we make bad choices, and make mistakes, but that doesn’t make us bad people. We have to find ways to turn these incidents into lessons of what not to do, and how to do better. Even something as simple as spilling milk — I know, even when it’s the 100th time — can get our goat. I’ve realized that we need to be positive and use these as teaching moments. We can make they feel awful, or we can teach them that mistakes happen, and remind them they are loved, and they can do better. Sometimes easier said than done, but we all need the reminder sometimes.

Now something just for fun! 😉

3. Bohemian Momsody

This one’s from Scary Mommy. If you don’t subscribe to Scary Mommy, go now and do it! There’s some great stuff there, and some chuckles too. I’m sure we have all felt like this at one time or another. Enjoy!

What are some of your favorite posts this week? What are some of the other blogs that you follow?
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Been away for a while dealing with my elderly parents. I’ll update you on their situation another time. So much has happened.

 

Let’s shift back to those small beings living in our home…our kids. 😉

 

Bebs is home sick today.

 

Again.

 

On Monday, I heard about this stomach bug that lasted a day, causing vomiting.

I thought, “Phew. Dodged that one!”

 

Spoke to soon.

 

We were up all  Tuesday night.sick_clipart

Just when you think you’re done changing the bed linens for the night…

You know what I’m talking about!

Bebs stayed home from school on Wednesday.

 

Uggh!  I had things to do!

 

 

I’ve got a very full schedule, and not including pick up/drop off, I have about 5 hours, 5 days a week without kids to accomplish it.

I’m singing your song, yes?

 

You’re worried, feel awful for your sick child, and you tend to him/her.

 

But what about the other stuff?

 

I began complaining about all the things that wouldn’t get done that day.

 

You too?

 

Well, there’s my trip to the gym.

I have health issues, and this helps me keep those in check, not to mention it curbs stress, improves my mood, and gives me a sense of “Yeah! I did this just for me!”

I also use that time to read.

Scratch that from the list.

 

Then there’s the grocery shopping, and errands.

 

Oh yeah, I was planning to write.

 

And there is, well, that part-time job.

The one that helps me to celebrate my Greek heritage and culture every day; keeps me involved in the community; gets me published regularly; has been responsible for great learning; offered me the opportunity to meet some really great people (including a mentor!); and, well, I’ve garnered some fans along the way, and their praise and encouragement feeds my ego, and eases my writer’s doubt. It’s more than a job to me.

 

Then there’s volunteering. These days, we must be involved in our kids’ schools.

We have to know who’s in the schools, what they’re doing, and well, if we want activities for our kids, we have to be there to organize and work them – you know. We must also be the teachers’ partners in our kids’ education.

My girls go to two different schools. And Boo attends Greek school on Saturdays.

That’s three schools/PTAs requesting my time.

And I serve on a school board.

You know those days when you have to call and cancel out on something because your child is sick, and it just happens to be the day that everyone else is canceling for the same reason? Yes. We feel guilty when that happens.

 

I’m doing a lot of things, but they’re all very important to me and I make the time for them.

Except on days when I have a sick child at home.

 

NOW WHAT?

 

Most of the to-do list doesn’t get done, and it makes me stressed, and I’ve lost my sense of accomplishment for the day.

Those little things like checking off parts of your to-do list go a long way.

 

I started to complain, and then I stopped myself.

 

I pulled out the to-do list.  to do list (4)

 

Time to re-work it.

 

What could I accomplish with my child home?

Is there anything on tomorrow’s list that I could do at home, and shift some of the other stuff to tomorrow?

 

As my daughter slept, I took the opportunity to write.

 

I made some phone calls, did some work.

 

CHECK. CHECK. CHECK.

 

Then I switched to some household tasks.

– Planned dinners, made the shopping list.

— Cleaned out a cabinet, then started to file some papers.

Those were much lower on the list, but I’m here, can’t go out, so might as well.

 

I couldn’t get to the store that day, so I had to plan something else for dinner with what we had.

 

No gym.

– Watched what and how much I ate that day.

–  Since I was stuck in the house, I made a few more trips up and down the stairs for good measure.

 

I moved my “outside” tasks to the next day.

 

When Thursday rolled around, I got up a little earlier.

– I took care of my writerly tasks before the family woke up.

– I took the kids to school, got that workout in right away – and did a little extra.

– Work

– Volunteered at Boo’s school

– Attacked those errands that I couldn’t do

 

Then it was time for pick up.

 

I actually thought I had caught up from the sick day, and was ready to attack today.

 

GUESS AGAIN!

 

I got up at 5 (These are Golden Hours. I do whatever I want!). Wrote. Answered emails.

 

Then it was time to get ready for school.

 

Boo went to school.

 

Bebs didn’t feel well. Slight fever, lethargic.

 

Staying home…again.

 

As I began stressing about all the things I’d have to give up today, I stopped.

 

Time to re-work the schedule…again!

 

– Fortunately, I checked several things off the list this am.

– Gym? Nope. Extended workout on Monday.

– Lunch with a friend? Raincheck.

– Grocery shopping? Will have to wait until the evening.

 

That frees up some time.

 

What’s on tomorrow’s list?

 

Oh yes.

Laundry. Cleaning.

Let’s go.

 

I’ll be so happy tomorrow. Then I can just play!

 

As winter approaches, we’re all going to have those days when our kids have to stay home from school, and it throws off our day(s).

Try to remember that it’s OK to re-work your schedule.

 

This is a great reminder to not put things off, because you don’t know what the rest of today – or tomorrow – will bring.

 

It’s a reminder to prioritize.

 

Remember that saying, “Man makes plans and God laughs?”

 

It’s so true.

 

Life is unpredictable.

 

We have enough stress. Don’t add to it.

 

Some ideas:

– Make sure you leave some flexibility in your day.

– Schedule the most important tasks early in the day so you’re sure to accomplish them.

– Don’t put off going to the gym until tomorrow, because who knows what the day will bring, and why feel awful that you let yourself down?

– Make that trip to the grocery store today, while you can.

– Don’t leave all the errands for one day a week. Do these throughout the week, when time presents itself.

 

Check these off the list!

 

Take a moment to remind yourself that you aren’t perfect, you are a mom (or a dad), and life is unpredictable.

 

You know what?

 

You’re a superhero already.

 

Know why?

 

Cause you are MOM. Or DAD.

 

Plain and simple.

 

Give yourself a break.

 

Don’t stress.

 

Now, back to my housecleaning.

MACA

Today, around the US is the Million March Against Child Abuse.

In cities across the country, people will gather to be a voice for children.

For years, I’ve been saying, who’s protecting the children?

I’d hear these awful stories and wonder why something more wasn’t being done.

Kids can’t protect themselves.

They look to adults for protection, for shelter, for everything.

Sure kids can be rambunctious.

Sure they can drive you nuts.

But to abuse them?

I’ve often said, anyone who abuses a child should be punished to the maximum penalty of the law.

And released to the masses to be tortured.

A child?

I look at my own kids and I know, if someone threatened or actually harmed them, I’d go crazy on them.

What about all those kids who don’t have anyone to protect them? To shelter them? To give them love?

As a community, as a society, as human beings, we have an obligation to be a voice for the children.

They need us.

We can’t allow anymore abuse to take place.

Today, we are asked
TO BE THERE, TO BE A VOICE.

TODAY
Americans across the nation in over 100 cities and 45 states will gather to raise awareness of child abuse and crimes against our children.

TODAY
We gather to put an end to the enormous amount of lenient sentencing passed down from judges.

TODAY
Please join children’s organizations, churches, all child advocates and groups in this never before history making event.

Our children are screaming out for help!

The peaceful walks will take place today, all over the US.

Who will protect the children?

Will you?

Join MACA even for one hour.

On Facebook, search “Million March Against Child Abuse.”

Info on Chicago event is here.

Boo has always been a very sensitive, very spiritual child.

She fully recognizes the role of God and saints and angels in her life, and she embraces them.

We’re starting to see this in Bebs as well, as evidenced the other day when she asked me for a meeting to discuss Jesus’ love for us.

This morning, Boo asked me if I knew what she did before she was my baby.

I didn’t.

Intrigued, I asked her to explain.

This was our conversation.

Boo: Mommy, do you know that before I was your baby I was a little angel? I lived in Heaven and had these teeny, tiny little wings.Image

Mommy: Really? What did you do in Heaven?

Boo: Mostly I flew around, but I got ready to be your baby.

Mommy: How?

Boo: Well, I got my wings and then I flew around, then I met my saint, St. Eleni.

Mommy: Did she talk to you?

Boo: Oh yes! She told me what my name was going to be, and that she was my saint and she’d watch over me too. She told me that Jesus was getting me ready to send to a mommy and daddy.

Mommy: What else did she say?

Boo: She told me that Jesus had been building me and getting me ready, because he chose the best mommy for me.

Mommy: Then what?

Boo: Then St. Eleni sent me off, and I flew over your wedding, and watched it.

Mommy: You did?

Boo: Yes. That was the first time I saw you. You looked so beautiful! St. Eleni told me you were going to be my mommy, and soon I would go down to Earth to grow in your belly.

(I got pregnant with her at the end of our month-long honeymoon)

Mommy: Then what happened?

Boo: Then I came into your belly. My little wings disappeared because I didn’t need them anymore.

Mommy: Did you see your sister in Heaven?

Boo: No, because Jesus was still building her. He was getting her ready so you could be her mommy too.

Mommy: Wow. Did you ever see her before you were born?

Boo: I did. But I just got a peek.

Mommy: Hey, Bebs, did you fly around in Heaven before you were my baby?

Bebs: Yes. But I will save that story for another day! (giggles)

Boo: Mommy, you see, Bebs loved to fly so much. She flew for long periods at a time. This is why it took so long for her to get in your belly.

(Hmmm. I never told the girls that it took me 8 months to get pregnant with Bebs.)

Mommy: I see.

Boo: Then when she got in your belly, her wings disappeared, because she didn’t need them anymore.

Mommy: OK. Anything else you want to tell me?

Boo: Well, we saw Baby Dimo flying around with his little wings. He came down to your belly, but his wings didn’t go away, because Jesus called him back up to Heaven. That’s why he isn’t here with us.

(I named our lost little one Dimosthenis, after my father-in-law, which would be his name even if he were here with us. It was a way to verify his existence, however short.)

Mommy: Do you see Baby Dimo anymore?

Boo: Sure. He checks up on us sometimes. I wish he was here with us. Then we’d have a little brother. But Jesus knows what he’s doing.

Mommy: He does.

Boo: Mommy, I think we should save some for another time. This is not stuff that mommies usually learn about.

Mommy: I’m so glad you told me. It’s a nice story.

Boo: Jesus made me just for you. He told me He chose a very special mommy for me and He did. I love you.

Mommy: I love you, too.

Bebs: I love you too! And my sister and little brother angel!

Mommy: I love you, too, Honey.

Interesting and revealing conversation.

It touched my heart in so many ways.

I do believe that things are predetermined by God.

Boo’s revelations are stunning.

Could that really have happened?

Lord only knows.

Many mysteries are revealed through the eyes of a child.

These stories are precious.

I’ve heard people say that children are innately spiritual, and somehow it gets “beaten” out of them as they grow older.

Some say that children regularly commune with angels and saints.

Their innocence, pure love and faith allow it.

I hope she will continue on her spiritual path.

It brings her such joy and it seems to ground her.

What amazing little girls I have and what a blessing to learn these things that most mommies “never do.”

Next week, I will commemorate two years since I lost my baby.

Two years after my molar pregnancy adventure, I can honestly say, no, we don’t really ever get over it.

Two years ago, I was patting my belly, dreaming about bringing home a blue bundle of joy.

Two years ago, I was on top of the world, expecting my third child.

I’d always wanted three.

If you’re new to my blog, a molar pregnancy is a rare type of miscarriage that can act like a cancer, and if untreated, can become cancer.

In some cases, it can become cancer anyway.

In September 2010, I was blissfully expecting my third child.

A month’s end, I went for my first prenatal checkup.

The exam went well; we set a due date.

Then there was the ultrasound.

I’ll never forget that moment…I never felt so unsure, so worried in all my life.

To that point.

I didn’t know that was the start of a roller coaster of an adventure that really doesn’t end.

It just gets on a more even path with fewer bumps along the way.

During the ultrasound, the doctor searched for the baby, to no avail.

I’m not sure how much time passed, though to me it was an eternity.

The doctor finally spoke.

“What I’m seeing here is not typical. I see the placenta, the sac—maybe two sacs, and one is pulling away from the placenta. I’m looking, looking, and I’m sorry, I can’t find the baby.”

Huh?

This is not what you’re supposed to see on your ultrasound!

That was the start of my life-changing journey.

I had a D&C, bled for several months, had all sorts of complications.

Ultimately, I endured 14 weeks of chemotherapy.

Now, when you’re going through this, and the health crisis in looming over your head, you’re not really thinking so much about grieving.

There are too many other things in play.

When you reach that magic number for negative (your HCG—pregnancy hormone level—reaches a normal range), it all rushes in like a huge tidal wave.

For me, this happened about 5 months after the molar pregnancy was diagnosed.

To some, I should have gotten over it by then.

It doesn’t help when you read stuff on the Internet that basically says you were never pregnant.

But I beg to differ.

I got pregnant the same way I got pregnant with my daughters.

There was conception, implantation, rising HCG, morning sickness, my belly was growing—and there is that little thing called a positive pregnancy test.

Not to mention, I already was in love with that child and dreaming of meeting him.

While all this was going on, it was really difficult to see pregnant women and babies—and it seemed like they were everywhere.

I couldn’t escape it.

It took a while, but I finally got to a place where I could see these people and not get upset.

I finally got to a place where there were more good days than bad, and I could be happy for people expecting a new little bundle of joy.

I could even hold a baby and be happy looking into a sweet little face.

Every once and a while, though, it sneaks up on you.

One day at church, the priest was acknowledging the altar boys—and their moms.

As I sat there, I began sobbing, thinking, I will never have a son.

I’ll never have a son—whether he’d serve in the altar or not, who knows—but there are things that I will never experience and celebrate, because I don’t have a son.

Sounds a little silly, I know, since I have two beautiful daughters and I get to experience many things with them every single day.

I recover quicker now, but sometimes it still gets me.

I’ve written a book about my experience with molar pregnancy and dealing with the loss.

However a pregnancy is lost, it’s still a loss.

I tell women that it’s a profound loss that must be grieved.

If you don’t grieve this loss, it will haunt you.

It’s something you really don’t get over.

You just learn to live with it.

That little one is in your heart always.

And you have your very own angel in Heaven.

I take comfort in that, but sometimes, I do get thrown for a loop.

I’m compiling some visuals for the book, and requested the ultrasound images from my doctor.

When you have a complete molar pregnancy, they don’t send you home with pretty ultrasound pictures.

However, those images have been indelibly engraved in my mind.

I could close my eyes at any time and see them.

I didn’t think it would upset me so much.

They arrived and I found myself hesitant to open the envelope.

Inside was a printed sheet of images and a CD.

I pulled it out, and wow, if I could have hooked up a printer to my brain and hit “print” I would have gotten the same thing.

Since so much time had passed, I’d thought my brain was exaggerating these images and they didn’t really look that way.

I couldn’t control the wave of emotion that swept over me.

I looked at the images and it was like I saw them for the very first time.

Like it was happening all over again.

I was surprised at my reaction, nearly 2 years later.

I put them away, and went about making dinner.

It was a good thing we were expecting company—I had a diversion.

I felt this intense sadness hanging over me.

My roller coaster took a sharp turn, but then got back on a straight track.

People don’t speak about pregnancy loss, and they should.

There’s no need to suffer in silence.

So I guess this is something we never get over.

That void remains in your heart and in your life.

People that have never been through this cannot truly understand.

They’ll tell you to “get over it,” and “so much time has passed.”

These are events that change us forever.

But we have to be sure that we don’t spend every moment wallowing in our grief.

Let’s do something positive with it.

Make that little one proud.

Here’s a virtual hug for you, and a little push.

Go out there and having an amazing day!

Many of you know that I experienced a molar pregnancy in September 2010.

It was with great anticipation that I looked forward to the birth of my 3rd child, only to have my world decimated by the revelation of the molar pregnancy, and of course its aftermath, wrought with complications.

And then there was chemo.

As I struggled to deal with it all, I proclaimed that I was now the mother of 2 daughters and 1 angel baby.

Since the day of that earth-shattering diagnosis, I have prayed for that little angel baby.

He’s visited me in dreams.

Ok, you’re saying, “Stop the truck! HE?”

He’s come to me several times in dreams and pronounced that he was a boy.

So I finally got my boy, but he’s an angel in Heaven.

Many times I have contemplated how and when I would tell the girls about their baby brother.

There was never an “if”. I would share it with them someday, somehow.

That day came much sooner than I expected.

A few months ago, the girls were arguing about who was the big sister.

Bebs was not satisfied to be just the “little sister.”

I tried to explain to her that I was a little sister, too.

“But you’re a big sister too!” she retorted, with all her 3 year-old wisdom.

I am.

And she kept repeating, “But I am a big sister! I am a big sister! Mom, will you tell her?”

I paused for a moment to ponder what she meant by that. How could she possibly know?

I recall talking to her about the baby when I first found out I was pregnant.

She was 18 months old. I figured she wouldn’t tell anyone.

I never told Boo. For some reason I thought she’d run to school and tell everyone.

This was strange, because I hadn’t kept any of my pregnancies a secret.

 Foreboding?

A subconscious safety mechanism for what was to come?

Who knows?

Then I wondered, could Bebs actually remember that, on some level?

I thought the best thing to do was to go with it. After all, she really was a big sister.

I sat the girls down.

Mommy: Yes, Bebs is a Big Sister.

Boo: And who is this other person?

Mommy: It’s an angel baby. He lives in Heaven with Jesus.

Funny, there were no other questions.

Good thing, cause I wasn’t sure where to go from there.

From time to time, the girls mention their little brother—but only as Bebs refers to him—as the BABY ANGEL.

Last night, after one of Bebs’ monster tantrums (it’s tough to be 3, after all!), she started talking about the baby angel.

Bebs: I’m sorry, Mommy. The Baby Angel said I am a good girl, and I should be one.

Mommy: Did you talk to the Baby Angel?

Bebs: Oh yes, Mommy!

Mommy: What did he say?

Bebs: He said not to have tantrums. That I’m a sweet girl.

Mommy: Yes, you are a sweet girl. Can we see more of this sweet girl?

Bebs: OK.

Mommy: Do you see the Baby Angel a lot?

Bebs: Yes, Mommy.

Mommy: Does he look like you?

Bebs: No.

Mommy: Does he look like Boo?

Bebs: No.

Mommy: Does he look like me or Daddy?

Bebs: I’m not supposed to tell you.

Mommy: Why not? I’d really like to know. (I’m curious, after all!)

She paused for a moment.

Bebs: Well, he looks like Jesus!

Mommy: Really? Does he have dark hair?

Bebs: Mommy! OK, well, he has white hair…

Mommy: Really?

Bebs: I can’t tell you that. It’s a secret.

Mommy: What else does the Baby Angel tell you?

Bebs: It’s a secret between a Big Sister and her Baby Angel.

Wow. I guess she’s right. I’m really not supposed to know.

Not to be outdone, Boo chimed in.

Boo: I know what the Baby Angel looks like!

Mommy: Tell me.

Then she presented me with a small painting her godmother gave her, of an angel watching a baby in its cradle.

She pointed to the baby.

Mommy: This is the Baby Angel?

Boo: No, Mommy. We are the baby, and the Angel is our Baby Angel, watching over us.

 5 year-old wisdom.

As a tear came to my eye, I thought this would make me sad.

But somehow it did not.

It’s actually comforting to know he’s here with us.

Knowing the girls acknowledge him too, and he’s part of regular discussion.

This morning, Bebs was acting up again.

Mommy: What would the Baby Angel say?

Bebs: Oh, I don’t think he would like it.

Mommy: Then you should be a good girl, a good big sister.

Bebs: You’re right, Mommy. I’ll be better, for the Baby Angel. I have to teach him things. That’s what big sisters do.

Yes they do.

And if he can help with behavioral issues too, A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

I knew losing a child could change a parent forever.

Who knew the influence that angel child would have on his siblings.

It was time.

We probably should have sent her before.

Our precocious 2-1/2 year-old was more than ready for preschool.

When we went to tour the school, she was sad when we left.

“I thought I was going to school,” she said. “Why are we leaving?”

I had to tell her a few more times that we were only visiting.

When we went back to register, she thought for sure that she was staying.

This time she didn’t cry.

She got angry.

“You said I was going to school. Why are we going home?”

I tried to explain that she would start in a few days.

Finally she accepted it and went on with her day.

Yesterday we went shopping for a first day of school outfit.

I let her select it, as well as two new pairs of shoes.

She was very excited. 

Getting ready to leave for school

This morning, she was rarin’ to go.

Boo and I took her to school.

Immediately, something caught her eye and she was off to play.

We kissed her goodbye and wished her a great day.

No tears.

Bebs did really well too. 😉

As we left, I had this strange feeling in my stomach.

“I just LEFT her somewhere, and she will stay ALL DAY.”

Weird.

We came home and it was strangely quiet.

Strange to not have Bebs at home.

I called the school mid-morning.

She was doing great!

When we picked her up, she was upset.

Not upset at being at school.

Upset that we came to pick her up!

She wanted to stay even longer!

Daddy was worried how she’d do after 6 hours at school.

I guess we have an answer!

A woman at the school said that she talked a lot – much more than the other kids.

“Is she really only 2-1/2?” she asked.

In the car, I asked her if she had fun.

“I missed you, Mom,” she said. “But I was having fun. Can’t I stay longer? I’ve got things to do.”

She told me!

Bebs at school...she already looked different

Miss Independence is ready to leave the nest for a few hours a day.                                             

Mother Bird is doing well.

Perhaps Father Bird is having a tough time?

We better get it together.

This one is going to reach a lot of milestones fast.

Bebs rocked the school!

Let’s put on our seatbelts and hold on tight.

Surely she has taken over.

That school will never be the same.

In a good way, of course. 😉


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