Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Mommy Club

***disclaimer....I may or may not have had like a whole bottle of wine by myself while watching this movie before I decided to write this.***
As I’m sitting here, watching The Single Mom’s Club, I can’t help but think about how much it applies to married mothers as well. We all want and need support. Many of us get that from our husbands (when they’re not gone on business trips or deployments or in training), but many don’t.

Even with getting the support when needed, we still need each other. We still need other mom’s and other women in our lives. We need to be able to look at the best in one another and let each other cry on our shoulders. We need to have a chance to vent and scream and laugh and be women, as well as moms. We need to be able to rely on one another to watch our children, to talk about our fears and our dreams, to talk about our past and our future, to exchange recipes and craft ideas, to go shopping together and get coffee or lunch. We need to be able to drink wine or beer freely together and just let loose once in a while. We need to open ourselves up, which is really hard to do as an adult, to go to playdates, so not only our children get some time with others (you know, socializing and all), but so that we can talk to another adult. We need to socialize with each other, regardless of age or color or religion or political affiliation. We need to be able to talk about the latest trends and workouts, the latest foods and drinks, the things that hold us back and the ideas that keep us going. We need to not feel lost in who WE are. We are not JUST moms. While we love our children, we need to be us too. We need to feel sexy to our husbands (or wives or boy or girlfriends or lovers or whatever floats your boat), we need to feel confident that we are good people and funny and creative and shy and outgoing and spunky and witty and intelligent and caring and everything else that goes with being us.

So many of us feel lost. Who are we? Are we doing good enough? For our kids? For our loves? For ourselves? Am I working too much? Should I be working instead of raising kids? Is the house clean enough? Is dinner healthy enough? Are the kids doing good in school? Are they happy? …..the thing is….when was the last time you asked…AM I HAPPY?

So, go to the next playdate. Go get coffee. Go to the park. Go meet other moms. Make a new friend. It’s not easy. No one said it was. Take that step (a few times at least!!!) and maybe you’ll meet that perfect mommy match. You have something in common, talk about the kids. Ask how old they are. Tell the other mom their kids are cute. Talk about what school they go to. Then….then the hard part….invite them, in person, to do something else…not just invite them to be your “friend” on social media. GO. DO. SOMETHING. WITH. THEM. This is how we have to make friends. Use your kids as an excuse…I don’t care. We all need our Mommy Club. Make one. Make a friend. Do this for you.

Monday, May 4, 2015

It can happen to can happen to YOUR child...

I bring this up as a reminder to everyone to always be cautious with kids around dogs. All dogs. I know that so many people are like 
"Oh, MY dog doesn't bite" 
"My dog would never do anything to kids" 
"XYZ breed dogs are great with kids!" 

It can happen...with any breed, any dog. Even yours.

A dog's defense is their mouth. The dog could be hurt or scared or confused or hot or out of his/her element and it only takes one moment. One moment could change your life. One moment could change your child's life.

Is this a bit dramatic, yeah, I suppose it is, but ask this family or this family or this family or these people or our family. (There are many, many stories of pit bull attacks and deaths, I did not, and will not put them here. I do not think that biting is breed specific, though I believe the damage that could be caused is worse in some breeds. Anyhow, that's not why I'm writing this.)

Here's our story (and trust me, our story isn't nearly as tragic as so many others):

About 5 years ago, my heart raced more than I could ever tell you, and as a mommy all I wanted to do was to stop the pain and trauma that I knew my daughter was going through. 

We had gone to a barbecue with some of my husbands’ coworkers. Some people brought kids, some brought their dogs. It was looking to be a fun afternoon with lots of laughter. 

Our daughter was happily playing a few feet away with a big, beautiful dog, so I had just cracked open my first drink. I was interrupted as I was about to take that first, nice cool swig by the sound of my daughter screaming. 

She had been sitting beside someone’s Boxer playing with him. The dog was walking away when I went to my daughter. My husband commented that the dog must have knocked her over as he got up, so I went over to pick her up and comfort her. 

As I turned her over, I saw blood on her face…and a huge gash in her cheek. 

I remember saying that the dog bit her, then I rushed her inside to find some paper towels to soak up the blood and see how bad it really was. Well, it wasn't good. 

Once in there, I remember saying over and over “I just want to leave, let’s go, let’s just go. We need to get her to the hospital. Let's go!” I was shaking, my baby was screaming, her face was torn open. It was horrifying to see my baby like that. My beautiful baby girl…I could do nothing…

This photo is in my vehicle on our way to the hospital. It still gags me to this day to see this. Not because of the gash, but because the gash is on MY baby.

We went to the truck, I climbed in the backseat with her in my lap, trying so hard to comfort her, but freaking out the whole time…adrenaline was going strong. My husband was driving as fast as possible while being safe and he dropped us off at the front door of the children’s emergency room. I rushed in and they immediately ushered us to a room. The staff was AMAZING and I calmed quickly once we were there.

It was very difficult to even keep her calm. This next photo turns my can see the hurt and terror in her eyes and the cut is so deep you can see the nerves and the bone. EW.

The Dr. said we were very lucky because there was a nerve exposed, but not broken, that gives her the ability to blink her eye. 

The doctors and nurses were amazing there and made the whole process much better. A plastic surgeon came in and did the stitches (19 stitches. 5 internal stitches and 14 external).

There were other puncture wounds, one small one under her eye (likely from the other canine tooth) and one inside her mouth from the bottom teeth.

We are sooo incredibly lucky that he bit where he did…had the bite been a little higher, she could have lost her eye…a little lower and it would have been her neck…Thank God for small miracles.

Are we mad at the owners? No. 
Did we sue? No.
Are we mad at the dog? No. 
Did she do something to instigate this? Maybe, but not that ANYONE there saw or heard.

So, I bring this up as a reminder that ANY…and I repeat…ANY breed of dog can and will bite.  Most people are SO shocked when they find out a Boxer did this to's difficult to even find statistics about Boxer's biting people, to be honest, but it DID happen...and it happened to MY daughter.

Today, you can't often see the bite, and most people don't even realize it's there because she wears her hair down so often. But it's there, and will be for her whole life.

She is not scared of dogs. While she had her stitches in, we took her to a friends' house who has a boxer and a pit and had her play with them. To this day, she still LOVES dogs. I was (and still am) way more hesitant than she is about dogs being around her or our son, but she's fearless and amazing. As a matter of fact, she sometimes plays too rough with our current, LARGE, dog and we have to remind her that our dogs defense is her teeth.

It can happen to you, to your child. You are not invisible. They are not invisible. Dogs are not perfect.  Dogs are dogs.

Teach your children to respect dogs. Never let your child approach a strange dog without first asking the owners. Always stay close and watch your children around dogs. Always.  

Educate yourself. Educate your children. Be safe.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I still don't have lemons...but I have a son.

I have an interesting story to share with you all. It may seem long, but it's true and it's...well, it's pretty amazing.

As many of you already know, My Love and I went through years of fertility treatments, without success, trying for a second child. We chose to stop that journey 2 years ago after yet another failed round of injections and insemination.

We never did anything to prevent another pregnancy, but since it didn't happen, over and over, we assumed it wouldn't. We actually were in the process of scheduling the big 'snip' for him because I didn't want the stress of the possibility any more. We were happy with our only and amazing daughter!

Anyhow, let me jump back about 3 years ago...

Picture this: Going through fertility treatments...daily injections...stress...crazy emotional roller coaster...every waking thought absorbed by baby brain...

I get a call out of the blue by my amazing and wonderful friend who lives in Florida. She is one of the most beautiful people you could ever hope to meet. Her heart is so giving and generous to so many. So she calls me out of the blue one day and says "I need your address. I have something to send to you." I give it to her and she simply says "I had a vision. I have something to send to you."....ummmm, ok.

So a bit later, I get this bubble wrap manilla envelope in the mail with a letter and a big rock inside of it. The rock seemed like some kind of quartz with blue in it...
The letter...well, the letter read something along the lines of "I had a vision about your future. There is a rock enclosed in the envelope. You need to meditate over this rock, saying this chant (I don't remember what it was...I think I still have the letter, and now I'm going to have to look for it). After that, you need to plant the rock with a fruit bearing tree. If you do this, you will have a son on March 15th."

Remember this part, mmmmkay!  "A SON.......ON MARCH 15TH....."

So, thinking..."no way will this work...I'll get around to it one day"...and I set it off to the side. I'd read the note now and then, pick up the rock, think about doing it, but to be seemed a bit weird, so I'd put it back down.

Well, fast forward to the past deployment, 2 years ago. A different friend and I traveled down to Florida and on our way home, we stopped to get some amazing wine and while we were there, I saw some lemon trees...thought, yum, I want a lemon tree and bought it. When I got home, I needed to pot this I said to myself, "Self, this tree bears should toss that rock in the pot just to say you did it, mmmkay?" I did. And I didn't think much of it...I didn't do the chant or meditation or anything...I put the rock in with the tree and babied the crap out of the tree cause I wanted lemons (I STILL DON'T HAVE LEMONS!!).

Fast forward again to this past summer...I still track all of my cycles (they are not regular) and the symptoms of ovulation, so I had a fairly good idea of when things happened; however, we had seen these symptoms come and go many times without any reason to believe this time would be any different.

While we were camping in the mountains, I had a dream that I went to the bathhouse and when I walked in, this sweet, Southern black lady handed me a pregnancy test and told me I had to take it...and it was positive. I told Jeremiah about the dream and we laughed about it because neither of us even entertained the idea of that being possible...even mocking about how it was probably because we were talking about the big 'snip'.

As we're driving home later that week, I started thinking it was possible...but didn't want to get my hopes up or anything, so kept dismissing the idea. A few days after we were home, it kept creeping up on me, so finally I took a pregnancy test and it was, as you know, positive! HOLY CRAPOLA!!  That same week, my lemon tree made a baby lemon tree...WHAT?!?!  (it's true!!), being obsessive, I looked at my chart, determined when I ovulated (our 12th anniversary) and determined my due date was....wait for it...MARCH 15. I knew, then and there, this was a boy...and NEVER doubted it since then.

We did an ultrasound to estimate the due date because of my irregularity, and they gave me the due date of March 28...which I still am not sure of because since that date was given to us, EVERY measurement since has been 2 weeks big...putting the due date at...wait for it...MARCH 15. And, of course, we know that this little baby is ALL boy...(been confirmed multiple times).

So, all that being said, here is a photo of me, at 37 weeks, measuring 39 weeks and ready to meet this new little man in my life.

So, basically, the gist of the whole story was that over 3 years ago, a distant, but wonderful friend predicted the sex and due date of this we'll see when he actually decides to come out. 

Regina, you are amazing and I love you. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Where are the white coats?

This is going to sound really weird to a lot of you, but I feel like such a fake, a phony, a fraud. I feel like a fraud because I have spent so many infertility appointments in the same waiting room, surrounded by pregnant people, hating them. Absolutely, hating them, wishing they didn't exist...or at least not at that moment...because I couldn't have what they had. Now, sitting there, I feel like I don't belong. At my doctor's appointments I keep waiting for them to come and take me away in a white coat for thinking I could be pregnant.

But, on another note, I had my 28 week OB appt today. Everything is looking great still. Baby is moving good and fluid levels are within normal range, though baby is measuring a little bit big. 10-11 weeks left until I get to meet my new little man!!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Our hearts are broken...sweet Bailey is gone...

Our hearts are broken... We've known this was coming, but that didn't make it any easier. Thinking logically about it, I was ok, but my emotions don't agree. Bailey hasn't been doing well for a while now and we could see her health getting worse and worse. I have shed more tears in the last few days then I would like to admit. 

Explaining this to our daughter was the toughest thing we've ever had to do, but she is strong and she will be alright, in time. 

I did take some time alone with her and spend a special day for just she and I. We went for a ride in the car, for a walk in the woods, and we hung out at the lake for a while. We both enjoyed ourselves and I got some great photos of my beautiful Bailey. 



  We Lost a Friend

We lost a special friend today
the kind you can't replace,
and looking at her empty bed
We still can see her beautiful face.
We know she's in a special place
our Lord has for such friends,
Where meadows, fields and flowers
help make them strong and whole again.
We know she's watching over us
She'll be with us when we cry,
So with one more kiss on her beloved head
We told our friend goodbye.
I love you Bailey. WE love you. So much.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Baby Hampton showed us the goods!!!!!!!

We had our 20 week ultrasound anatomy scan today. Of course the ultrasound techs won't tell you much as they do their work, but as I asked questions, she was able to show me or confirm what I asked.

 Profile shot
 Baby was all curled up in there. Tech even said we may have to come back for more measurements later.

So, from what I can tell from the very basic knowledge I have of ultrasounds, everything looks great!

Thumbs up!! 

The tech didn't get quiet at any point or turn the screen away or anything, so I don't feel like there is anything scary.

Big feet, just like sister!

When they finally brought My Love in the room (hospital policy is that ONLY the patient can be present during the actual exam), she went over all of the basic parts again, listened to the heart, and pushed and prodded until we found the goods!

We have a boy!!!!! 

I just knew it! I've known it for a while in my heart, so it was a great confirmation to see the evidence.

We did a gender reveal to our daughter first, then announced to family through phone calls and texts, then we posted photos that my friend (and amazing photographer) took to the rest of the world!

So exciting!! We have our girl and now we'll have our boy!