Regarding My Absence…

My goal was a weekly post. I have several posts started, but yet to be finished and edited. I have several ideas yet to be typed into a draft.

My goal was to do this weekly, and it still is my goal.

I’m a full-time mom with a full-time job. Combine that with house cleaning and depression/anxiety, and by the time my daughter is ready for bed, I’m climbing in with her. Every day, I tell myself that I should do a little bit while she sleeps, but by the time I have her in bed I am so tired that I just crawl into bed. (Slight redundancy, there, wasn’t it?)

All I ask is for some patience. I still have to put my life together. I’m still a mess, and my daughter comes first. (And she demands a lot of attention! Such a diva at 6 months old!)

My goal is still a weekly post or even every other week at this point. It’s difficult for me at this point in my life, but trust that I haven’t forgotten that I have a blog.

As always, love each other. Spread kindness and hugs.

P.S. This post didn’t get edited. I needed to type up a quick apology post, editing be damned!!

I Had a Pinterest Fail But It Still Tasted Good

For months I have seen a recipe on Facebook and Pinterest that has intrigued me:

The pizza dipping stick.

That may or may not be it’s actual name.

Basically you roll up pepperoni and mozzarella cheese in pizza dough and bake it, then dip it in pizza sauce. I’m sure there are several (infinite?) variations to try, but I like my pepperoni.

Mom and I agreed that it was worth a try, but first we wanted some garlic bread pizza. So we made that (buy garlic bread, put pizza stuff on it, bake, and eat. So damn simple it’s a wonder I don’t do it more often!).

Approximately a week after making these delicious garlic bread pizzas and having leftover cheese and pepperoni, I decided it was time. I needed to know how this would work out.

I rolled out and cut the pizza dough into strips that I THOUGHT were big enough to support the meat and cheese (oh, live and learn, young Padawan), and proceeded blindly into this project.

I put as much pepperoni as I could fit into the dough strip. Then I grabbed the string cheese and separated it into several long pieces (because it would melt better that way, right?). Then I rolled it all up and set it onto the cookie sheet. (I am so glad I put foil down for this. Keep reading to find out why.) Repeat five times.

I put my creation into the oven and let it bake for approximately 10-ish minutes. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t actually keep time. I just let my nose decide. When it smelled as though I should get these bad boys out, I opened the oven to find cheese melting out of the ends and seams (foil! What a life saver!). The top of the sticks weren’t done, and the bottoms were a nice golden brown.

I turned the sticks over and let the bottoms brown.

After letting them sit for, oh…1 minute…I decided to just go for it and see how these tasted. I poured the sauce into a little bowl, and burned my fingers trying to get two of these onto a plate.

They didn’t taste too bad! Could they have tasted more like pizza? Oh yeah. Should I have brushed the sticks with some melted butter and seasonings? You’re darn tooting I should have! But they were edible . It’s fine.

I’ll do it differently next time.

Cooking is always an opportunity to learn. Remember that!

 

Love one another, spread kindness, and spend more time in the kitchen because cooking is fun!

With Regards to Mother’s and Father’s Day…

I’ve been seeing posts that Fathers Day is not Single Mothers day. I didn’t see this for Mothers Day, but this isn’t about a feminist rant. This is about my disagreement with Mothers Day not being about single fathers or Fathers Day not being about single mothers.

If you are a single parent raising your child without the other parent, you are both Mom and Dad. There is no co-parenting. Therefore, you get to have both holidays.

Single moms aren’t taking away what dads do for their children. Dads are great for children to have, should the father be involved. I see amazing fathers out there, and I’m happy for their spouses and children.

My daughter has a biological father, but not a dad. He’s not involved. I’m raising this child on my own, making all of the decisions. I dress her, bathe her, change her, decide when she’s ready for cereal and fruit and veggies, decide which daycare provider I’d like her with, etc etc etc. Every little decision is mine and I don’t have to agree with somebody else.

Do you know what that makes me? Mom AND Dad. I’m her only parent.

Single parents have it rough and when they’re doing the best they can, you have to give them their credit.

Those of you that have the co-parent and want to tell single parents that they don’t get both holidays, SIT DOWN. I understand where you’re coming from, but you have a second parent in your child’s life. You are either Mom or Dad. If a single parent says it, I’d listen to their reasoning first, only because they are going through it with me.

All parents are wonderful to have. To the single dad figuring out how to braid his daughters hair without the help of his daughter’s mother, Happy Mothers Day and Happy Fathers Day. You get both. To the single mother driving her son and his friends to football practice and cheering him on, you go girl. Happy Mothers Day and Fathers Day to you, too. We have to do it all.

To all the parents out there, keep up the good work. Do everything you can to be sure your child lives the best life they can have.

It’s hard work and we really need to support each other. Please don’t take away from the double duty from that single parents are pulling.

 

Happy Mothers Day. Happy Fathers Day. Happy Parents Day. Love each other. Support each other. We all work our asses off to raise children.

Baby Wearing! Let’s Talk About It

I have tried wearing my baby, and it’s going to be a process! I know every baby is different, and some just don’t like being held chest to chest all the time. Sometimes my daughter gets in that mood.

While I was pregnant, I was gifted two different wraps for babywearing. I get the appeal of these–they aren’t full of buckles, and the fabric makes it easier for baby to feel your hands on her back. Somehow it just seemed nicer to have these wraps. Try as I might, I just can’t get these bloody things tight enough to feel like my daughter is safely secured on my body.

Enter the Infantino 4-in-1 carrier.

The appeal of this is that I’ll have to option to carry my girl facing forward when she gains a few more pounds. Sometimes she just doesn’t want to cuddle with me and be carried chest to chest. I’ll have to carry her facing out so that she can look around. My girl is so curious. The times that I could carry her chest-to-chest, it felt wonderful. Even though I had to buckle several pairs of buckles, I didn’t feel like she was sliding down my belly! I’m excited to try this with her facing out, but right now she’s just too darn small.

Anybody have any tips on getting those wraps tight enough? I’ve tried a few times and I just can’t seem to get it down. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong!!

Give me your feedback, people!

And if you have been trying to find a way to wear your baby and are frustrated by those wraps, I encourage you to try this carrier (check out the link below). I love the price and my daughter felt so secure on me. Like I said before, lotsa buckles, but I think they end up being worth it (except you don’t feel that way when baby decides she’s done being worn and gets wiggly and fussy on you).

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My Life is Hectic and I’ve Never Been Happier

I’m not only a new mom, but I’m also a single mom. My daughter is just an infant and her biological father and I ended our short relationship before I knew I was pregnant. I was okay with the relationship being over. I didn’t necessarily want him back, and I was never going to entertain the idea of rekindling the fire just because I was pregnant.

If you’re thinking about throwing me a pity party, don’t. Honestly, it feels right to be raising this child without her father. I remember daydreaming years ago about having a child one day, and somehow in my mind I was always doing it alone. I don’t have to co-parent, and it feels amazing to me. Is it hard? Damn right it is! I’m absolutely exhausted, and I do need help with my daughter (which is why I live with my mom for the time being), but I make all of the decisions. I didn’t have to agree on her name (thank goodness, because I thought of her name years ago and I’ll be damned if I was going to waiver!).

I recently made the decision to just bed-share. For now, it’s just easier, especially since I’m breastfeeding. If her father was around, I wouldn’t be so comfortable with that sleeping situation  (then again, I would probably end up kicking him out of bed).

They say to wait until 6 months for cereal. My daughter’s increasing appetite told me that I needed to start giving her cereal earlier than that. I started her at 3 months old and she’s already a pro. My mother suggested it at 2 months and I waited. It was my decision to start her on it.

There are a ton of little decisions parents have to make, and normally there are two of them talking it out and either agreeing or compromising and while this works for most, I just didn’t seem to see it working for me. Don’t get me wrong: I did not become a single mother on purpose. In fact, I was coming to terms with not having any kids at all when I found out that I was pregnant.

My life is not ideal. I burned through everything I saved when I moved and fought to find a suitable job, then had to take 2 months off after having my baby. It’s all gone. I’m behind on my bills. I’m on WIC and foodstamps. I live with my mother.

Some people would use this as an excuse to whine and sit on their ass. I found that job and it’s now a full-time position that could have career potential if I apply myself. I have a beautiful and happy baby. I created life and I get to watch her discover, learn, and grow. It’s an honor to do it.

I know my situation isn’t “ideal”. I know it takes two for a reason. I can’t deny, however, that doing it this way feels right. Even though I am absolutely overwhelmed, I can devote all of my attention and affection to my child instead of splitting it between her and a significant other. I’m grateful for being in a situation that allows me that kind of control.

I am definitely in a good spot, despite being in a not-so-good one at the same time. (Wrap your head around that one!)

I have a good job, I have friends, and I have a wonderful child that I thought I’d never have. Make no mistake that I am happy despite life’s shortcomings. My little goofball is worth everything.

Find the good in all of the bad, my darlings.

I’m Not Going to Follow All the Rules

I’m using my phone to type this up with my daughter asleep on my chest while she fights a fever.

We’ve been without Internet for a couple of weeks now (we’ll get it back soon, reality just bites a big one), so I’ve not even tried to keep up with my blog.

I’m here to talk about the rules set out for child rearing, and other parents’ concerns. Right now, my daughter is 3 months old. Keep that in mind.

First of all, I’ve started bed-sharing. It’s just easier. My daughter gets so picky about her bassinet and her crib isn’t even set up yet. Was I worried about rolling over on her and crushing or smothering her? Of course! But I’ve become a much lighter sleeper since I became a mother. Also, she has a blanket draped over her while she sleeps. If she doesn’t want it, she kicks it off toward her feet. They say to take all the pillows and blankets off the bed if you do bed-share, but I can promise you I’ll have the shittiest of sleeps if I do that. No point in sacrificing my sleep if it means I won’t be able to function well. I should mention that I’m a single parent. It’s just me in that bed with my baby. The pillows are on my side only, I have my own blanket, and she’s down far enough that she doesn’t reach my pillow. I do take precautions, guys, just not the same ones the AAP sets out. I don’t want to be the paranoid, overbearing new mom.

Second, I’m already giving her cereal. Yes, I’m sitting her in a little chair and putting very thin cereal in a spoon and feeding my 3 month old daughter. Her appetite has become more than I can keep up with. She picked up on what to do very quickly, which is a good indication to me that it was time. It’s only in the evening, and it isn’t much. She also breastfeeds or finishes the formula I used for the cereal (sometimes both!). Her stool is normal, just lighter in color.

My daughter holds her head up very well and is gaining more control of her arms and hands. She is developing as she should be and I’m taking feeding cues from her.

They say that doing this contributes to food allergies? My mother fed me cereal at 2 months and I have zero food allergies. My system is just fine. Each person is different, but I need to take my cues from her. She may not know she’s doing it, but that’s because I need to be observant of her.

Third, I will be piercing her ears within this first year. Hear me out: She. Will. Not. Remember.

“You should wait until she can make the decision herself!”

If she doesn’t want to wear earrings when she’s older, then she doesn’t and the holes close up. Simple as that.

“But you’re opening her earlobes up to infections”

Well, yeah, if I don’t clean her freaking ears while they’re healing. I do have a role to play in this. I am her mother and I have to keep her clean.

 

Don’t want to bed-share? Fine. Don’t.

Don’t want to feed your baby cereal before 6 months? Okeydoke, it’s your child.

Don’t want to pierce your daughter’s ears as a baby? Okay. I can dig it. My mom pierced mine when I was expecting months old because people thought I was a boy all the time. I don’t remember it happening and my ears are fine.

Take your cues from your child, take necessary precautions, and just do what feels right. There is no one right way to raise a child!

Stop the mom-shaming.

Open Letter to Nicole Arbour

Nicole, I like your videos. You take real life situations, say what you’re really thinking, and add humor. Usually, I agree with you. If I don’t agree with something you say, I can normally either let it go or see your side (while still disagreeing, but I do attempt to understand).

Unfortunately, I can’t let this one slide. It took me a couple of tries to finish watching your video about ADHD and ADD, because it legitimately upset me.

I agree 100% that kids these days are grossly overdiagnosed with these learning disabilities, and I agree that big pharma is bleeding us all dry. Medicine is a messy and fucked up world, but it’s necessary. That being said, saying that ADHD is fake is insulting. There are people in this world that really do have this. Chemical imbalances and misfires in the brain are real and sometimes are serious enough to need treatment. Just because it’s in the brain, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

You’re somewhat correct about Adderall being the equivalent to speed. What you weren’t correct about it that it’s new. That’s how it always was. To somebody that doesn’t have ADD or ADHD, it is speed. That’s why it’s so commonly misused among high schoolers and college students. To somebody that legitimately has ADD, it calms us. It helps us focus.

When I was in elementary school, I was evaluated and diagnosed with ADD. I had to take Ritalin twice daily, and my grades were perfect. When I was 10, we made the decision to let me be off the meds and observe how well I do without them. My grades suffered, but I fought it for the next 6 years when I decided enough was enough and asked to be evaluated again. I was once again diagnosed with ADD and prescribed Adderall. When I remembered to take it, I did well. Hell, I aced the ACT after studying and crying for the entire week before the test. I haven’t taken it since and I can honestly say that if I had a small dose beyond college then I would probably have published a novel by now.

You said you were given a drug and you hallucinated. It makes sense if you were diagnosed with something you don’t have. I’m sorry that happened to you, honestly and truly.

I can anticipate the question of how many meds I take. I’ll be open and honest: when I remember, I take a prenatal vitamin. I take an antidepressant for postpartum depression. I have an allergy pill that I currently hesitate to take because some women have a drop in milk supply if they take any. That’s it. That’s all I take. It took having a baby to ask for an antidepressant that I should have asked for in my early 20s. I have dealt with my anxiety for my entire adult life without meds, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have it. I’ve just been able to go through life without the help of medicine thus far. I’m taking antidepressants now because if I don’t, then I cry at the drop of a hat and my infant daughter needs a mother that is on her game (especially true since I’m a single mother).

Once again, I do agree that people are overdiagnosed and overmedicated. It is a colossal problem in America. But I implore you not to discount ADD and ADHD, or any other conditions that involve the brain.

I do like you, Nicole. We don’t have to agree on everything. But this is one that I can’t let go.