Cracked nipples. Sleep deprivation. Public tantrums. Our only reward is our children? Kidding. Mostly.
Keeping a fun-loving toddler's room neat and tidy can be an uphill battle. Adequate shelf space is critical. Make sure you consider your storage options when accumulating a shocking amount of plastic toys, and create a clear hierarchy of what belongs on the floor and what needs to be stored safely on shelving units.
By Layah and Annie
With six kids between the two of us, we have been busy the last few weeks scouring the Internet for that perfect Halloween costume. Or, for six perfect Halloween costumes. Something more creative than a witch or spider, edgier than a Disney princess but nothing at all with gruesome blood spatters. Something practical enough for mid-activity diaper changes and warm enough for bracing Midwestern evenings.
Never forget that the Internet is a vast, unparalleled resource. Friends, what we found will curdle your pumpkin lattes and haunt your already broken slumber. Brace yourselves. Halloween just got a hell of a lot scarier.
Happy Halloween, mamas! Celebrate MOTY-style! Give the kids candy for supper (and breakfast and lunch) and we'll all suffer the consequences together.
"I'm thankful that this body has grown a strong, healthy baby.
My friend wrote this beautiful caption for picture of the bird's eye view of her 41-week baby bump. When I read it, I cried. I cried because her body is so amazing and strong and wonderful. I cried because I remembered being so huge and the intense feelings of fear and excitement about when & how our babies would make their grand entrance into this world. The anticipation was almost too much to bear at times. But mostly I cried because I never once felt an ounce of pride or enjoyment or happiness for the process in which my body grew a human being. I was never in awe of what my body was doing. Instead, I lived in a constant state of anxiety, pregnancy psychosis, and physical sickness ie: hyperemesis gravidarum.
But I deeply and truly wish I felt the way my friend does about her pregnancy. So I cried. I cried for the loss of never experiencing a beautiful and fun pregnancy. I cried because I know if I became pregnant again, I would most likely suffer tremendously once more (at least according to the stats).
Yet, I know my family is not done growing. Roger and I do want a 4th child in the future. However, as much as I love our biological children, we do not need to create another one for our family to be complete. There are so many incredible children in need of homes that we could, hopefully, be lucky enough to adopt and have the privilege of loving another child as our own.
The Tank - our middle child - is a strong reminder of that. Not only do I have the most wonderful memories of bringing him into our family (the phone call, the last minute shopping at Babies-R-Us; no pain, no torn vagina, no vomiting, etc...), but he also happens to be one of the most AMAZING kids on this planet. Though we did not "create" him, he is just as much ours, holds just as big of a part of our hearts, our love, as either of our biological children. He is our son. We will protect him, along with The Munch and Little Hawk, until our last breath. We would die for each of them - no questions asked.
I'm not sure when my eyes will cease to get watery when I see beautiful pregnant women in very last stage of their pregnancy. I'm not sure when I'll be able to think about my own pregnancies and birth experiences without an overwhelming feeling of horror, fear, and sadness. I'm not sure when I'll stop feeling like I missed out on something so remarkable and beautiful, even though my body did grow two perfect, healthy, human beings. But in the mean time, I know that even though I could never physically & mentally grow my family again, there is another beautiful option called adoption.
Getting out of the house for my hour-long commute in the morning is never easy. With a nursing infant, a toddler who refuses pants, a second-grader fighting her own timeline, and husband who sleeps like he's locked in a K-hole, getting dressed and out of the door by 7:15 a.m. is easily the most stressful part of my day. Luckily, I work in a very casual office and typically wear jeans and a sweater, sometimes even a hoodie.
But today, I had to give a major presentation to the entire company. I was already tense. And, considering that I'm still 10 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight, finding something to wear was a considerable challenge. I woke up half an hour early, showered, and dressed in the one and only thing that fits me.
Like clockwork, at 7:05, as I was holding Midge on my hip, trying desperately to wake my husband and daughter, without raising my voice enough to wake the toddler, Midge had a full-on diaper blowout...on my hip.
So what's a MOTY to do? You guessed it!
"Having a nanny is great because it shames me into cleaning my house and buying groceries at least once a week."
Do you have a lot of kids? Do your kids suck? Do you ever have a day when you throw everyone in the car and leave with no stroller and no plan? And it happens to be raining that day? And you happen to live in a repressed, post-industrial town with nowhere to go and nothing to do? The answer is simple: fast food establishment with a playground! Food, entertainment, confined spaces, padded walls, germ-prevention through vaguely enforced rules about socks. Everyone's a winner.
By Scarlett & Layah
Nursing my first son was a disaster. You see, about 6 years ago, I decided, for health and cosmetic reasons, to get a breast reduction. I'm 5'3", pretty slim, and clocked in at a whopping 34 DD. I hated my breasts and wanted something more manageable. My doctor assured me that he would try to save as many mammary glands as possible and that the technique he would use would leave the nipple attached to the pedicle that holds it underneath (thereby preserving all of those little channels that the milk travels through). I nodded, only half listening, because I was almost 27 and was convinced that I never wanted to have kids. Ha. Joke's on me.
Fast forward 2 years and there I was, struggling to breastfeed my newborn son. Because of the reduced nerve sensitivity in my nipples, my letdowns have never been fast. So, slow milk letdown = frustrated baby = sore, cracked, bleeding nipples. With Desmond, I had to wear a nipple shield most of the 6 months I fed him because my nipples wouldn't heal. My friend Christy told me that it sounded like he had tongue tie, which could very well have been the case. I had to rent a hospital-grade pump to help keep up my supply. It was this HUGE, heavy machine that looked like the engine of a muscle car. It was so heavy and so loud that the only place I could pump was at home. Desmond was hungry all the time and it showed: he was in the 1% of weight and 25% height for his age group up until we started weaning at 6 months and giving him solids.
You know you've done it...
Been so desperate for that perfect photo...the one to show off to the masses via social media, the photo that will garner at least 20 likes*..the one which depicts a sweet, joyful, and sometimes funny moment, featuring your oh-so-adorable children...the one that elicits an "awwwwww"-out loud-from even your most hardened childless friends when they see it pop up on their newsfeed (it may even trigger the desire to have children, if only for a moment)...the one that screams, "Look at how fucking awesome my family is! Suckers!"
And so, while caught up in a momentary obsession of capturing the perfect photo, your innate mommy instincts fail you. The desperate cries of your unhappy child no longer trigger a reaction to comfort. Instead, your eyes widen, your mouth stretches as far it will go as your cheeks burn from fake happiness, and your voice becomes high-pitched & frantic as you say "Over here! Look at mommy! YAY!!!" Your son may even hit his head on the counter, but instead of the logical next step, stopping photo session, you say "Push the chair back!" and continue on.
Eventually you acquiesce to the reality that your perfect photo will never happen and you tortured your poor child for no reason. MOTY.
In news worthy of FOX NEWS coverage, Fisher Price is teaching my infant son about animal death and twats. That's right, folks. The baby toy industry's hippie, liberal agenda is trickling down and affecting our baby boys and girls. If we are already letting this indoctrination happen at such an early and vulnerable age, what will the toy industry (and its profanity-using, bacon-eating liberal supporters) do next? Marijuana-infused teethers? Sage-and-sandalwood essential oil rattles? What is this country coming to?
We love our kids. They drive us crazy. We write about it instead of going insane.