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The lies we tell each other.

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Finding the Balance

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In the last 9 months since my son was born I have had difficulty finding the balance between being a Mom and all the other things I have to do. I will admit that writing frequently on this blog has taken somewhat of a backseat and so has my laundry, eating regularly, showering, my mental sanity, the list could go on forever. In my quest to be the ultimate Stepford Wife/Mommy/Maid/Chef Extraordinaire, life has served me a heaping slice of humble pie. I guess that’s a good thing since I haven’t eaten breakfast in 3 months.

The Princess gave me a false idea that I was some sort of parenting aficionado. She nursed on a schedule, slept through the night, had 3-2 hour naps a day, and was content doing her own thing. I could clean my house, do laundry, shower, eat, have dinner on the table by the time Hubby got home, I could do it all. Back then I thought myself as the parenting superhero, full cape and costume. Oh why I yes I will gladly accept that parent of the year award. Turns out, that had NOTHING, NADA, ZIP to do with me. It was her personality as a baby. Granted it has changed now, but back then, she was an EASY baby.

Now my son, whom my family doctor asserts has been ‘touched by fire’, is NOTHING like my daughter. Complete opposite in fact. At 9 months, he is still not sleeping through the night and must be carried at all times when he is not climbing onto, under and into whatever his surprisingly nimble little body will allow. He is also insanely attached to me. It’s not all bad. I mean who doesn’t love snuggles by their very own cuddle monster? But when I am attempting to make dinner and I have a fiery ginger screaming himself apoplectic to the point in which he begins to gag and vomit, it becomes stressful. Hubby will often hold him and stand in the kitchen just so he can see me and have his needs of being held fulfilled.

In the beginning of my maternity leave, Hubby would often come home and ask ‘What did you do today?’ Cue the hand waving, heading bobbing ‘oh no you did not just ask me what I did today!’ Sleepless nights, up-all-days, 2 children needing every ounce of attention I could muster had set me on the precarious edge of sensitivity and insanity. And poor Hubby was catching it in all directions. A few months later I sat him down and made a very frank confession. That Mom that had the spotless house and dinner on the table with baby #1 is gone and likely will not return for a few more years. Not until my baby boy is sleeping regularly, more independent and I have caught up on some sleep. I couldn’t be that Mom without something, such as my children being left behind. I love a spotless house, but never at the expense of my children’s happiness and well-being. He would just have to settle for a tidy house that gets cleaned thoroughly on the weekend, dinner an hour after he gets home and a slightly crazier wife.

Life isn’t so bad though. I am still searching for that elusive thing called balance, but I get done what I can in a day and stop trying to beat myself up for what didn’t. I may be a raggedy mess of a Mom, but I am doing my very best that I can and I am ok with that. As I lay here, typing this post on my phone, laying next to my baby boy who is getting some cursed molars, I know that this too shall pass.

“Mommy, Where Do Babies Come From?”

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228149Oh yes, that bomb dropped last week.  I guess I had it coming now that we are pregnant, but I didn’t think at 4, she would be asking me.  We were getting ready for school and she came up to me with the most curious look on her face.

“Mommy, where do babies come from?” she asked.  I stood there for a good 5 minutes trying to find the most age appropriate answer.

“Umm, where do you think they come from?” I asked using the movie ‘Knocked Up’ as my saving grace.

“I think when you eat food it sits in your stomach until it grows into a baby,” she answered seriously.

“Yup.”  And that was the end of the discussion.  I wish I had something much better to offer at the time, but I was unprepared and needed time to figure out what, if anything I wanted to provide given her age.

I started researching how was the best way, if it was appropriate to tell them at a young age and what repercussions to expect.  From what I gathered, any age is appropriate as long as the material is age appropriate and straightforward.  A study showed that children who were given information from an early age and information that continued on throughout youth and puberty were less likely to have unprotected sex, teen pregnancy and STD’s.  That was enough to convince me to give her the facts.  And besides, I don’t want to be that mother (or grandmother) on Teen Mom or 16 and Pregnant.  Nooo thank you.  I ran into my neighbour, who is also the blogger from Mafa’s World, she suggested ‘It’s Not The Stork’ by Robie H. Harris.   So off I went to my local book store and kindly approached the sales rep.

“Um excuse me, do you have any books on sex,” I whispered, “that are appropriate for 4 year olds?”

“Yes, sure, follow me,” she replied and led me to the children’s section.  She said that most parent decide what books they want and how much they edit.  She handed me a book about periods.

“Um, no sorry, for 4 year olds, not 14 year olds.  I need a book about where babies come from.”

She handed me ‘It’s Not The Stork’ as well as ‘A New Baby Is Coming! A Guide For A Big Brother Or Sister’ by Emily Menendez-Aponte.  I paid for the books and went on my way.

I was so nervous picking her up from school that I must have dropped the bag about 6 times.  Flashbacks of my ‘sex talk’ came flooding back.  I was maybe 12 years old and I was in the living room watching the original version of Degrassi Junior High, the episode where Spike announces she’s pregnant.  My mother whom was sitting in the kitchen saw what was on the TV.

“Do you have any questions?” she yelled.

And as quickly as she asked, I quickly replied, “Nope!”

And that was the extent of my sex talk in my preteens.  She always had warned me about boys and their intentions, STD’s and pregnancy but that was definitely the moment that stuck out in my head.

So when the Princess and I got home, I read ‘A New Baby is Coming!’  I really liked this book.  It didn’t give specifics but openly discussed that sometimes children have feelings of sadness, or anger and that it was alright to ask Mommy and Daddy about it.  We then read ‘It’s Not The Stork’ which gives a much more detailed account and cartoon pictures of private parts and how exactly babies are made. S-E-X.  When I said the three-letter word, the Princess just looked at me with this quasi confused and disgusted look on her face.  I didn’t give her the how to’s, but she was pretty much content with what I told her.  But when Daddy came home, she felt the need to inform him also.

After the Princess went to bed, Hubby flipped through the books and just said he was ‘not ready’ for this conversation yet.  I edited some of the information as she’s still only 4, but at least we have these materials available for future questions.  So far, she is content with what she knows.

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National Hot Fudge Day

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Mmm I would love a Hot Fudge Sundae

National Food Days in New York City

Ohhh yeah, now this is what I’m talkin’ about!! I can definitely get behind this national food holiday. Hot fudge sundaes are what makes ice cream so freakin’ great: you have your already sweet, cold frozen ice cream in any flavors you wish (though chocolate and vanilla are the staples), and you cover those scoops with hot, dripping, gooey chocolate sauce. Add chopped nuts, whipped cream, and a cherry on top, and you’ve got the quintessential hot fudge sundae. (Food for thought: the “hot fudge” in a hot fudge sundae has very little similarity with the culinary definition of fudge!) Of course, over the decades we’ve added bells and whistles and doo-dads to the sundae, but this is really the classic version and nothing beats a classic. Besides, who can pass up the gooey chocolate sauce running into the slowly melting pools of ice cream, the combination so sweet you…

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