Why do we blame ourselves?

I know I’m not the only one. I hear it from other moms too. I see the posts on Facebook how moms feel guilty. Guilty for getting a shower, guilty for getting a babysitter, guilty for going to work, or guilty you stay home and not every moment is focused on your children.

I am so guilty of blaming myself. My husband calls it misplaced guilt. I did it today.

Today I took my 2 1/2 year old to a pediatric dentist. Over the weekend he broke one of his front teeth while my daughter was watching, there’s guilty feelings all over that one. I got him in and was just wanting to have them look at his tooth but this was a new dentist so they thought they would do an entire first visit. Ok, fine with me. They wanted an xray of the tooth to make sure there was no damage. I hate xrays. But I let them because I was worried there may be damage.

It was worse than I had imagined.

Not the broken tooth, but the others. He has 6 cavities. SIX CAVITIES. It was like someone punched me in the stomach. Yes he breastfeeds, and he does so to fall asleep. Yes he was 5 months old when he started getting teeth. Yes he is absolutely awful to brush his teeth, until recently. And yes he has an upper lip tie. But he will only be 3 in January. How can it be possible? As hard as I work, as hard as I try. And I still failed. This makes child #4 of 6 that have had to have work done.  I know one dentist told us that some people are predispositioned for cavities and that bacteria can actually be genetic. My husband has bad teeth so we always assumed it was that, but it’s the bacteria that’s the issue, and apparently nursing isn’t helping much but we won’t change it now. Mason drinks pretty much nothing else but water and maybe once a week some apple or orange juice.

So we are set up to have to go to a hospital because our health insurance doesn’t cover the anesthesia in the office, but we will sit and wait probably 4-5 months at the least. I am praying that these cavities don’t get worse and he needs more work. But we just can’t pay the extra $1000 to cover the difference. If we do it in a hospital then we can have OHIP cover the anesthesia but they won’t in an office. He also won’t be able to get his lip tie revised because they only do it in the office with laser. The only positive is the dentist said it wasn’t a severe lip tie so maybe that hasn’t caused his speech delay. But we can’t be sure either way.

I called my husband afterwards. He made a comment about why have 4 out of 6 of our children needed dental surgery. I took it as what am I doing wrong that four of our children have had to have dental surgery. I know that’s not what he meant. But that’s how I heard it. And that’s how I often hear things. Because I am never sure I am not failing. I always feel like I am doing something wrong. My house is a mess, or its something easy for dinner. The boys haven’t had a bath in a week or I spent too much time on the computer.  I didn’t play with them enough today or remember to brush their hair. I know we all do it.

I try to remind myself I am only one person and I am doing the best job I can. I hope when my children are grown they will have good memories of me and how I raised them. The little boys tell me I am the best mom ever. And I know they truly believe that. Ask my teenage daughters how they feel though.

I guess all we can do is the best we know how. We will all make mistakes and feel like we failed. I am trying so hard to push those feelings out and remember everything is not my fault. But that’s something I have struggled with since I can remember, it’s hard to let it go.

The days & nights are long, but the years are short.

This is something I’ve been telling myself a lot lately. Maybe it’s the fact I have a daughter going into 10th grade or my other daughter going into 8th. I think having such a big range in kids gives me a completely different perspective on raising my little boys. Just yesterday those little girls were running around in diapers playing barbies. Just yesterday I put their hair up in pigtails and bought them Hello Kitty dresses.  But in reality just yesterday my oldest was still away for the weekend with a friend and her sister complaining I made her go to bed at 10.

And then just today I sit and hold my youngest as he naps because he loves his mama’s arms to sleep and, you know what? It’s OK. Because tomorrow will come too quickly and before I know it he will be ready for 10th grade.

So when you are feeling overwhelmed and like you’ve had enough of today, remember today may be long but this year will go fast.

It’s been awhile again

It’s funny how life gets away from you and then you realize how nothing seems to have gotten done.

I feel like that a lot. I look back over my day and think “What did I do today?” Well, I did take care of 6 children so that’s a start! But I look around the house and it doesn’t look like anything has been done. Yes I made meals, I may or may not have bathed children 😉 I brushed teeth, drove to and from school, fed the baby, held the baby, put the baby to sleep. Showed the 4 year old how to color or sound out a word, listened to the 6 year old read at bedtime(and let me tell you I will never tired of listening to those sweet little words!), forced older kids to shower or empty the dishwasher, listened to the teenage daughter tell me all about so and so and who did what at school or cheerleading, washed cloth diapers, tried to wash laundry, put the clean laundry in the basket and never get it folded, load the dishwasher, make sure the cat isn’t starving, trip over a few toys, stumble into my bed and wake up the baby. I have to remind myself that what I do daily may not look like much but when I think about it, it’s huge. I am growing a family, I am teaching these little(and not so little) people how to grow into good responsible adults. And that is the biggest accomplishment of all.

My baby is one!

I have been trying to find the time to write this for a few days now but last week I fell down the stairs(this was actually the second time in less than a week). I sprained my foot and ankle pretty badly. I was convinced it was broken. I couldn’t stop crying. I was going downstairs and my ankle twisted and rolled under me. Luckily I was only a couple from the bottom but the pain was excruciating. I would rank it up there close to a kidney stone and c-sections! But I had to walk on it. I was getting the little boys ready for gymnastics. Carter is having some issues adjusting so I was not missing it. Tyleigh went with me to help me and every step I wanted to crumble in a ball. I felt like my foot and ankle were going to crack apart. After I finally hobbled in and out we headed home. My husband wasn’t home yet and finally got home around 9 and took me to the ER. It wasn’t broken, but a severe sprain, ordered me crutches. CRUTCHES I tell you. A mom of an almost 1 yr old who is not yet walking unassisted. I was worried.

Pretty much I sat and did nothing all weekend. Unfortunately that’s what everyone else did too. So the house kind of fell apart. My poor husband is not made for this, he ordered pizza for lunch and ate what we could, he grilled a bit. By Monday he was supposed to go back to work. But my helpers were all leaving me. Tyleigh had been amazing! She ran anytime I asked her to get Mason for me, if I said ow, she would ask are you ok? Every single time. That’s my little mama.  So hubby asked his work to reschedule his delivery and they did. The good thing about that was he was able to be home for Mason’t allergist appointment(more on that later) on Tuesday morning. His sister had been planning on coming with me but she came over and watched Carter for me instead, and, the best part of all, she cleaned my house. I came home and it was so nice to have the dishes caught up, the floors picked up. I couldn’t help but get weepy.

So Mike went back to work after school that day and then Wednesday was hard. I didn’t use my crutches, yes bad patient. For some reason I had it in my mind I would defy the doctors 2-6 weeks of healing and be better in a matter of days. I was wrong. I was then in a lot of pain too.

So Thursday was my baby’s first birthday and here I could barely stand. I baked him cupcakes. We were supposed to have a little party for him this weekend but because of my accident I had to postpone it till next weekend. He still completely enjoyed those cupcakes. I have never seen him shove so much food in his mouth! It was adorable. He loved his presents and it was a good day.

So this turned into more about my foot than Mason’s birthday. But I have been thinking so much about his birth the past few days. How lucky I am and how special it was. I will write up another post about that though.

My ankle is feeling better. I have moments of severe pain and am able to go crutch free mostly. But it gets tired and if I turn the wrong way or put pressure on the wrong spot it sends shooting pains through it all. Its my left foot but driving it irritating it because of the angle it sits I think. I hope it gets better soon. I have 2 parties to do! Carter will be 4 soon!

He took 2 steps!

My little boy took his first two unassisted steps this morning. How can he be ready to walk already!? He has been cruising for awhile, 2 months now and he usually just dives forward when he wants to get from one spot to another, but last night I noticed he was putting more thought into those dives and he wasn’t just diving out of nowhere but kind of judging the distance between him and his destination. And then today I was sitting there watching as he let go of the couch, took for a couple seconds and went forward to the other part of the couch, It was a one two dive.  It makes me want to cry, my baby is getting so big, so fast.This is only the beginning….

I’ve been a bad blogger

I tell you I am so exhausted most of the time I forget what I am doing. Mason is 10 months old today and he is so clingy and wants me to hold him all the time. Well, at least while he sleeps. The rest of the time he wants to get into trouble. Yesterday I found him chewing on a lego wrench. And I sit there holding him while he sleeps a lot. I did put him down yesterday and was so excited he slept for about 20 minutes in his crib. I know, 20 minutes you say. But yes, this was exciting, it was a mid-day nap and he never sleeps in his crib in the day.  At night he will for a little while but as soon as I go to bed, he wakes up, wants to nurse then won’t go back to sleep in his bed and I get tired of trying, so I take him to bed with me. I don’t sleep great, but its better than holding him in a chair. But, often Carter decides to join us and I am worried he will lay on Mason or he will bug him, because he does, or he starts bothering me. So i am tired. I think more tired than I have ever been. I know my other children were not great sleepers, but I feel like I could fall asleep at any moment of the day. I am emotional, I am moody, I am just drained. I don’t get naps. I don’t get to sleep in. I don’t really get to rest. I know it will pass. I keep telling myself, it will get better. I don’t know when. I don’t know what I can do to help it(other than not hold him and let him be miserable all day). I will not let him cry. I will not leave him in his bed all alone to cry himself to sleep. I can’t and I won’t. I don’t care who agrees with me or the ideas people give me. I don’t understand how so many parents can so willingly just plop their babies in a bed and let them cry until they fall asleep. This is my little boy. The little person who relies on me completely. Who looks at me to comfort him and take care of him and teach him. Yes, maybe I haven’t taught him the best sleeping habits but soon enough he will be able to sleep on his own. And when he is 10 he won’t want to snuggle in my arms, or lay on my chest and hear my heart. He won’t need me. And when he is 20 I doubt I will even get a hug from him, so I try to remember, take it in. Enjoy it all. Yes its hard. Yes I wish I could get him in his own bed. But I don’t want it to ever end. He could very well be my last baby and the thought of never having those sweet sleepy sounds in my arms again breaks my heart.

So, I’ve been a bad blogger. I am so tired. I forget to write. I start to write, then forget to post my entries. I will try to do better. But I will be enjoying these sleepy snuggles so I might forget.

I love breastfeeding.

I can’t imagine not breastfeeding. I have had struggles while feeding some of my 6 children. Some worse than others.  But I never gave up. Its hard sometimes. I have given up so much for them. Right now I don’t eat dairy, eggs, almonds or coconuts. I’m not gonna lie, there are days when I think this really sucks. But then that moment comes when my baby wakes up and anxiously squirms in my arms trying to find his food, then he latches on, and sighs. When I look at his beautiful little face and he looks at mine and I know how magical it is, this special bond we have. Its not something you can explain.  It makes me whole heart flutter and I well up with tears, like a warmth that goes through your entire being.

Even though this little boy has been outside of my body for almost 9 months we are still one, I still jump when he cries, or wake up when he moves at night, he still relaxes in my arms and wakes when I try to lay him down.

I feel so blessed that I have 6 amazing children. That they have each been able to nurse, some longer than others. That I have given up myself for them. The power of  breastmilk never ceases to amaze me. I have nourished this little person for almost the last 18 months, 9 within and now almost 9 outside, and he is amazing. Soon he will start some solids. It scares me with his food issues. But I think he is ready. It also makes me kind of sad too though.

I know I am the most important person in his life.  I know, as hard as it can be at times, I wouldn’t change it for anything.  I hope we are able to breastfeed for a long time to come. I know, even now sometimes, I get discouraged. But I also know that as he gets older, he can express how special it is to him.  Breastfeeding a baby is different than breastfeeding a toddler.

I love being the mom. I love what moms are given, this special feeling, this special place in their baby’s hearts.  I wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world.

Our attempt at a Toronto Blue Jays game

My husband’s work was having a family day where they got everyone tickets to a Toronto Blue Jays game. They were taking buses and paying for the trip.

Well, we never go on the buses. Too many kids in too many carseats and we do not want to be forced to stay the entire time. The past 2 years we have gone to the Buffalo Bills in Toronto games and we know, its not easy, its long, its loud. So we planned to go on our own.

The game started at 1:07. At 1:07, we were stuck in traffic. We did not get going on time. Then we had to stop and get some pampers. I cloth diaper, but when we go out, I do not want to mess with dragging wet bags and 2 sets of cloth diapers. I use pampers at night, one a day I figure isn’t so bad. And I know how stinky night time cloth can be, so this works for us. Only Mason was completely out of disposables. Of course.

So we got on our way and things were going ok. Baby fell asleep. That always makes the ride easier. Kids were all either watching a movie or playing a game. Then we got to Toronto. And the traffic began. It never ceases to amaze me how traffic can stop on a highway for no apparent reason. It wasn’t bad weather, no accidents, just traffic.

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This was when traffic was going ok. But it kept stopping.

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I was bored so I started taking pictures 😉

Then Riley had to pee.

We were so close but still so far away. I think it took us 45 minutes to go 15 minutes away.

Poor Riley. He sounded like he was going to hyperventilate. But he made it.

As soon as we got into that crowded, over priced parking lot, my husband ran over to him with a cup. Thankfully, he is on  6 so he doesn’t mind peeing in a cup. That last 10 minutes of the drive though Carter cried, he kept saying he had to pee. We told him you are wearing a diaper, just pee. But he wouldn’t. So he too, went pee in a cup! He really has never gone in the potty so this shocked us. But it was a one time thing.

We got out, got all packed up and walked to the Rogers Centre. We were late.

We had decent seats though.

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We got there for the 5th inning. I was shocked. I didn’t think it would go so fast! But then the next two innings were slow, and apparently my husband enjoyed them.  I got kind of lost. Like I said, we had good seats, the dome was open and we were on the shaded side, but the diamond was across from us and it looked so little. I am used to football games there. I am also not a baseball watcher. I went to a Cincinnati Reds game once when I was in the 6 th grade and on the safety patrol. It was our little field trip for being on that all year(yes I am from Ohio!)

After we sat for a couple of hours my husband looks down and asked me if I wanted to leave and go to the zoo. We have a zoo membership and had hoped to  go if we left early but since we got there late I figured we wouldn’t be able to.

I looked at all the kids, Mason was grouchy and wouldn’t nurse, Carter was flopping around, Riley was whining about Hayley not letting him use her phone, Hayley wasn’t paying attention to the game. I think Tyleigh was watching the screen over the actual game and Justin was watching the game. So I said ok.

We left. We never made it to the zoo.

It took us an hour to get through a couple of streets.

We stopped at McDonalds on the way home and at least let the kids play for awhile, but there was this awful little girl screaming her head off with parents no where to be found, so we went to eat and headed home.

Some might look at that day as a failure. But we didn’t. Sure we didn’t get to really do much. But we were together, all 8 of us. And when it comes down to it, that’s what matters. Even with the cranky teenager and a crying baby(although he didn’t do to bed that day).

We won’t get many more of these entire family trips so I will take what I can get now.