Yes, if you were wondering — I AM still pregnant.  I’ll be 39 weeks tomorrow, and though all my other babies have been 41+ I’ve always had an idea that #ninjababy may arrive early.  I have to say, I’m ready when he is.  Though I’m being patient, and I know he’ll come when he’s ready, the last two weeks have been uncomfortable!

I developed SPD ( symphysis pubis dysfunction ) which is something that I hadn’t had to deal with in my previous pregnancies, and a little over a week ago I started prodromal labor.  I’ve had Braxton-Hicks contractions every 3-7 minutes for 14-16 hours a day for nearly nine days now.  I’m tired, it’s hard to find even a reasonably comfortably position to sleep in, and the last day or so my back has ached like you wouldn’t believe ( well, maybe you would? )

Even with all that has gone on, and the incredibly stressful pregnancy we’ve experienced, I’m at peace.  I know that when #ninjababy is ready, he will appear.  I have everything I need to welcome him home.  The house isn’t as clean as I’d like, but I don’t think he’ll notice…and if I have to wait three more weeks?  Well, I know it will be worth it 🙂


I Finally Get It: Nobody Really Cares

Tonight I was texting with a woman I call my friend ( though I’ve never met her in real life) in an attempt to talk through some of the things that have been bothering me, and hopefully feel better. The plan backfired horribly, and I ended the conversation feeling worse than I had when it begun. In the middle of it, however, I came to an epiphany:

Nobody Really Cares.

That seems to be the root of most of my stress and sadness at the moment. Pay attention, now — NOBODY really cares. This weighs on me, more than I realized until I started to talk about it.

Now, I have to add a disclaimer. I have some friends on Twitter that have gone above and beyond what I would expect any stranger to do for another. They have helped me out of jams, encouraged my home based business, and sent me boxes of hand me downs and diapers for the arrival of the the #ninjababy. These people make me cry, and give me hope for humanity. I’ve NEVER met any of them in person, and yet they give of their time and resources without being asked and expecting nothing in return. To these people (you know who you are) I say THANK YOU, and mean it from the bottom of my heart. You have kept me going.

Here in my real world, however, I feel like some lone tree on an island. There is so much drama and chaos going on in my life, and no one can be bothered to so much as send an email or text message to make sure that I’m still breathing.

I’m going to have a son in October, I’m going to bring another human being onto this planet, and I don’t think my family and “friends” even know when my due date is, or what we’ve chosen for his name, or anything pertaining to our plan for birth. No one really cares. No one has called to see how I’m feeling. No one asks if there is anything I need, or want. I’m fairly sure that half of them don’t even know how far along I am. I didn’t expect a baby shower, but maybe the offer of a casserole for the freezer, or some acknowledgement that a major life changing event is about to happen? I’ve given up my dreams of having a doula here, or a professional to do birth shots for me. I can’t do it alone, and nobody else really cares.

I’ve stopped doing pregnancy photos and weekly updates. I’ve given up the idea of a belly cast or henna or lovely maternity shots. I’m the only one who seems to care about any of that. My heart is breaking at the thought of not getting the pictures I had envisioned at the lovely waterfalls not far away…but nobody really cares.

I don’t think TBA has felt his son kick more than twice in the last seven months. Every time I mention there is a hand or knee or elbow poking around, or try to slide his hand onto my stomach to feel the rolls and somersaults as we lie in bed at night, he doesn’t really care. I’m hurt by this, I don’t understand it. How could you NOT want to bond with your child? Even if you aren’t really “into” it, do it to humor me… take two seconds, let the #ninjababy kick your hand, smile and make me happy.

I’m excited for the new arrival, and yet every time I try to talk about anything pertaining to #ninjababy with anyone in real life…well, they don’t care. I shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for being excited or wanting to buy little diapers or look at onesies in a store. I feel rushed if I try to stop and price car seats, or look at a swing or bouncer. Nobody else really cares. I get the impression, though, as if the somber “meh” mood that everyone else has should somehow filter it’s way into me. NO! I CARE. Just because this isn’t the first baby, or the first boy, or the first grandchild does not mean that he is somehow less deserving than my other children!

Its been three weeks now that we’ve been car-less. Three weeks since the accident in Philadelphia. I have friends that live less than a mile from here, that are ON my Facebook page, that follow me on Twitter, that had NO IDEA we didn’t have a car. They didn’t realize that we’ve been walking everywhere for the last three weeks. I have family and other relatives that are more than well equipped financially to have helped us rent a car, or at least offered to chip in and buy us a month’s bus pass. Nobody really cares. Nobody cares that I’m walking everywhere that a bus can’t take me, or that its been in the high 90’s with heat indexes in the 100’s. Nobody cares that after a few blocks I’m having Braxton-Hicks that are strong enough to take my breath away and force me to sit. Nobody cares that by the time we get home from one of these trips my legs are swollen beyond belief and my back aches so badly it hurts to sit. Nobody cares that I can’t seem to keep weight on with this pregnancy, and that between stress and the miles of walking I’m exactly * two * pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight at 28 weeks. Nobody has even bothered to ask if there was something they could do, or something to help with.

All these things hurt my heart. There are other stresses in my life, of course, and things that need to be worked on. What is tearing me up is that fact that I’m seemingly alone in all this. I’ve always believed that anything can be faced and overcome with support and the love of friends and family. But now I finally get it.

Nobody really cares.

I know, I’ve been away!

     You’ll have to forgive me, things at the house have been busy.  Why?  Well, after three weeks of public school ( and my 1st and 3rd grader having two HOURS of homework every night) we decided to pull them out of school and attempt that thing known as homeschooling.

     Its going wonderfully (so far!)  We’re kind of easing into it, giving the kids a chance to “switch gears” so to speak.  My parents are 100% supportive.  The in-laws?  Not so much.  Huge surprise there, right?

     I’m loving the homeschooling so far.  We’re trying to make it fun and hands on for the kids.  As an example, the other day we watched a documentary on the Civil War.  Afterwards, we discussed what the war was about, and took a “field trip” to Lynchburg’s Old City cemetary.  There is a Confederate section in the middle with 2200 soldiers buried.  We walked around all the tiny gravestones, talked about how young most of these boys were ( families have started placing actual markers now, as opposed to the original markers that only had initials, division  and state) and gave them a better idea of the human loss of wars.  I think they got it, and as a bonus we got to be outside on a beautiful fall day.

     We’ll get more “serious” about schooling soon, but we’re trying the unit study approach.  I think we’ll do Thanksgiving soon, and tie in the Pilgrims, and Columbus, and then Pocahontas and Sacagawea.  After that, maybe move into Lewis and Clark?  We’ll see where the kids want to go with it.

     Hope you’re all doing well!


     What a beautiful, painful, terrifying and vast responsibility being a mother is.  The universe hands you a child, a blank slate, raw clay.  Says to you “Mold her.  Shape him.  Give them the best of you, and pass on none of the bad.”

     I find myself explaining concepts that I never knew I could.  Why is “hate” a bad word?  Why don’t we throw rocks at birds?  Why do we brush our teeth?  And why, especially, do we NOT feed our dinner to the dogs?  It’s why?  Why?  Why?

     I find myself pushed to be better — MORE patient, MORE thoughtful, MORE creative.  I don’t want my progeny to be the “typical” child.  They will be thoughtful, polite, creative, independent thinkers.  They will stand up for what they believe in (even if it isn’t popular.)  They will think green. They will fight injustice on the playgrounds of life.  They will do the right thing because it is the right thing.

     I had thought for a time that becoming this person called “mother” meant that I could no longer be “me”  I know now that the word insists that I become MORE me.  Every experience I have ever had, good or bad, I now use to draw on to mold these little people.  It doesn’t matter if I’m tired, or sore, content or not in my daily life, I push for more and for better for THEM.

     I don’t know what I would do without my children.  They are as much a part of me now as my hand, or foot, or eye.  Ask the sighted what they would do if suddenly and terribly struck blind.  That is me without my littles.

     I find myself so often listening to instinct and somehow being strong enough to ignore the criticisms and advice.  Never did I think when I first saw those two pink lines so many years ago that I would be a co-sleeping, baby wearing, nursing on demand, cloth diapering mama.  Never did I imagine going on to relatives and friends about the benefits of extended breastfeeding and baby led weaning.  Me?  Pfft.  Instinct led me down the right paths.  I’m strong enough now to believe that I know what is best and right for me and mine.

     And yet, as much as motherhood has changed and mellowed me, in so many other ways it hasn’t.  We’ve eaten cold pizza and ice cream for breakfast for fun.  I’ve woken my kids and taken them to an all night diner for milkshakes in their footie pajamas.  They’ve watched beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and seen the full moon in the middle of July.  I don’t talk to my children like they are idiots, I speak as if they are small adults.  They are free to try to explore and taste anything in the world that I know won’t kill or maim them.  Our summers are filled with late nights and long days at celtic festivals and Scottish Highland Games.  We’ve explored Renaissance Faires and small county carnivals.  They know the vendors at the Farmers Market by name.  They understand that cows and chickens are tasty (not just cartoon animals), and know where their food comes from.  I bleach their hair and dye it funky colors.  They wear plaid and stripes together.  All of these things are pieces of the “old” me, the pre-mommy free spirit I used to be.

     I want them to see the good in the world.  I want them to believe that the wrong, the bad, the evil are such small small parts of the big picture.  I hate that they cry when they see the destruction of the oil spill on the television.  I want to shelter them from these things, but understand at the same time that they HAVE to know, to understand.  They will change the world.  They will heal the injustice.  The things they see and learn and touch now will affect them when they are adults.  I want to hold them close and shelter them at the same time that I’m showing them what’s wrong with the world.

     My children are beautiful.  And I am their mother.

Its not ME, its not YOU … its our families fault!

I’ve been married nearly ten years. We have a pretty solid foundation by this point on how we want our children to be raised, and the kind of people we hope that they’ll grow up to be. On occasion, though, we fight like cats and dogs have a civil disagreement. I’ve recently come to the realization that it isn’t MY fault, it isn’t HIS fault, its our FAMILIES fault…it’s just how we were raised!

The husband thinks that my family is a little cool and lacking in affection. They do things that he cannot comprehend (like knock on people’s door before entering, or calling someone before dropping in.) I think his family is a little creepy close and they do things that I can’t comprehend (like dropping by unannounced. A lot.) My parents call to check in about every ten days. If we don’t call his parents every two days we get a call on day three. His father thinks global warming is a crock…mine is much more eco-friendly. My parents supported us moving 800 miles away (even though they weren’t thrilled) His mother hung up on him when he told her we were moving to Virginia. Total. Polar. Opposites.

This has caused us some friction over the years. Here’s what got me thinking about it:

My husbands parents (my in-laws) will be arriving in about five weeks to spend some time with the kids. They are staying with us for this visit. I don’t have an issue with them staying here PER SE … the issue I have is that there was no “courtesy ask” involved in them staying with us. There never is. In my husband’s family its assumed that if you’re going to be in the same general area as someone, you’ll be staying with them. No need to ask if its ok. I’d prefer it if they called and said “We’ll be coming from such a date to such a date. Is it ok with you two if we stay in the spare room?” Of course we’d say yes. (Probably).

Husband cannot even wrap his mind around the fact that I’d prefer that they ask first. His brain can’t even process it. If his parents are coming, of course they’re staying here. I told him, “If we were going to visit Maine, I would ask. I’d say ‘We’re going to be in the area. Is it ok if we stay with you/pitch a tent in the backyard/sleep on the floor?’ ” In his family, it would be perfectly acceptable to just call and say “hey, we’re coming. And we’re staying with you!” Once in a while…especially on the longer trips…I’d really prefer they spent half the time in a hotel.

My parents also come to visit (though not as often). I “try” to get them to stay with us. Inevitably, they politely decline and choose a hotel. I understand why. They don’t want to intrude on the house or our routine. They also understand that having company is great, but it’s also a little more enjoyable and less stressful when you don’t spend 24/7 with your guests — especially if they’re going to be around for more than a weekend. This is a HUGE bone of contention for us. I inevitably lose the battle, but it doesn’t mean I feel differently about it.

Meal times, and how we feed the kids has been another sudden “its our families fault!” moment. I was raised in a house where dessert was a pretty rare thing. Holidays. Dinner with Grammy. A new recipe my mom wanted to try, perhaps. Snacks and dessert just didn’t happen. You ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you were still hungry after dinner, well … you should have eaten more. I’d love to feed the kids that way. They’re still small-ish, and I get they need a snack on occasion. Fruit, frozen juice, maybe crackers and peanut butter are all acceptable snacks to me. Here’s the “aha”. Ready? DH’s family are feeders!!

He grew up expected to clean his plate, clean his plate again, and then eat dessert. Dessert after lunch. A snack before dinner. A huge, belly busting dinner. And then dessert. Possibly another snack before bed. Until very recently, he believed this was normal. For his family, I suppose it was. I began to point out that our seven-year old son was eating as much, and sometimes MORE at a meal than I was. He was constantly asking for snacks, dessert, second helpings of dinner. He was developing really crap eating habits. And it was our families fault. My husband was feeding him the same way he was fed. I used to have major anxiety when we’d visit the in-laws and I’d watch them feed my kids. Literally every twenty minutes someone was feeding them something. Half a sandwich. A popsicle. Ice cream. A handful of chips, a few cookies. Food = affection in that house. Unfortunately, affection ends up meaning obese kids that then become obese adults.

There are other, smaller, issues that we’ve had to deal with. Its taken me forever to convince my mother in law that I really don’t want her to come over to visit and wash my dishes, fold my laundry, or vacuum my rug. Really. I’ve begun to clean obsessively before she comes just so that there is nothing for her to pick up and do. It’s a way for her to “help” or show affection ( or so my husband describes it.) My mother would have had a small stroke if her mother, or mother in law, had EVER walked into our house and begun to wash her dishes! My parents house was always immaculate, and it would have insulted her greatly for a guest to come into her house and clean it! It’s another family difference. I don’t want her picking up my mail, washing my dishes, folding my laundry, or making appointment for me, the husband, or kids. At least, not unless I’ve asked her to.

There have been very few instances that have really driven me over the edge, but the birth of our second child sticks in my mind as one that still leaves me shaking my head. I was living in the same town as my parents while we were expecting my daughter. My mom was only ten minutes away, and we had decided that we would call her to watch our son when I went into labor. I had felt overwhelmed with the number of “visitors” I had while in labor with him, and had expressed that I wanted this one to be just the people who were there at the conception. Since the in-laws lived over an hour away, we planned to call them from the hospital to let them know that things had started, but I assumed that they wouldn’t come to see us until the baby had arrived and we called to let them know they had a granddaughter. I left for the hospital about 11:30 that night, in pretty advanced labor. We waited and called my mother in law just before two am when it was obvious that I was going to deliver in the wee hours, mostly as a heads up for visitation the next day. My beautiful girl was born at 2:33 am, and my mother in law arrived just before three a.m. She had called her oldest son at two in the morning ( he lived 45 minutes away) had him pick her up, and speed her to the hospital to “catch” the birth! I was even more irritated when I headed home from the hospital twelve hours later to find both my in-laws at the house already waiting for me. They were showing support in their way, and I just wanted time alone to bond with my child and recover from labor without needing to feel like my house wasn’t clean enough for company. Different families, different ways of showing affection. (For the record, my parents called when our daughter was three days old to ask if I felt up to having company or if we needed them to bring anything over.)

I’ve found over the years that most of the arguments we’ve had over the years have come down to a simple thing. We were raised differently. He and I have different expectations of what proper behavior entails. They think I’m cold and impersonal. I think they’re overly affectionate and hug too much. How do you handle it?

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