So, let’s talk about postpartum feelings

Some of you have read this post before. If you’re in my circle of family and close friends, you’ve already seen this. I’m sharing it again in this medium because I think I think all moms and moms-to-be benefit when other moms share their real after-birth feelings.

I wrote this a few months back when my kiddo was 3 weeks old, because my DH (dear husband) said it might be cathartic to do so. He was right.

While I’m feeling 110 percent better, maybe my thoughts will help some of you.

I’m quite sure LO (little one) did some growing this week along with other cute things, but I was stuck in some weird emotional state that left me crying one moment and worrying about the dumbest thing the next.

So, let’s talk about postpartum feelings.

Namely, how much they suck. I can cry anytime, anywhere. Don’t believe me? Try me. Go ahead, call me up and try me. One moment I’m happy as a clam and loving on my sweet LO. The next moment I’m weepy and wondering what the heck I’ve gotten myself into. I can cry while changing a diaper. I can cry while looking at my LO. I can cry while looking out the window.

I’ve done all three. Separately and simultaneously.

I remember the births of my girlfriends’ children and how everything was sunshine, lollipops and teddy bears. I heard about how much they loved their child. How wonderful mommyhood was. How they could hardly wait to think about having more children.

No one talked about feeling overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time. About the uncertainty of what to do with a newborn. Of the boredom that ensues. Of the bloodcurdling screams and the inability to get any soothing mechanisms to work. Of the lack of control.

That’s what I miss the most. Being in control. No one controls a newborn. You can read every baby book under the sun and gain all sorts of examples of how to care for your kiddo, but the author never shows up to take your child off of your hands for an hour, allowing you to go back to bed or do something non-child related.

While speaking—sometimes in tears—with my girlfriends recently, I’ve learned their entry days and weeks into mommyhood weren’t as sunshine-filled as I had previously thought. They, too, shed tears, shared doubts, felt overwhelmed and were certain they’d never again gain control. In sum, raising a newborn was the hardest thing they’d ever done.

The hardest and most worthwhile. It’s just sometimes hard to see the worthwhile part while riding a rollercoaster of emotions on the way down from a hormone high. Stupid hormones.

Oh, how I miss feeling normal.

Their advice? Go create a new “normal.” Get out of the house! Go for a walk! Meet a friend! Join a mommy group! Just go! Do something! Do anything!

Most importantly, talk about how you’re feeling. Because admitting you feel off is the first step toward feeling right again. And, you know, what? They’re right.

While I miss being in control and sometimes find myself in tears wondering what exactly is it I’m crying about, I know that I’ve been blessed with a beautiful LO. And LO is continually teaching me that I don’t need to be in control of all things all day long. It’s OK to have a messy living room (ugh!) and a pile or two of dirty laundry (egads!). It’s OK to not straighten the bed every day. Didn’t wash my hair? Not a problem. And—a big one—couldn’t get to the gym? That’s OK, too.

Really, it is OK.

Because tomorrow is a new day with new adventures. The hormones aren’t for forever. But the love I have for my LO is. And knowing how much I love LO (and LO’s daddy) and look forward to watching LO grow makes it all worthwhile.

Every last annoying tear.

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I heart rice krispie treats

I love rice krispie treats. I love the rice. I love the krispie. I love the treats.

What I do not love is that they’re about as nutritional as eating sugar cubes.

Enter Laura of Heavenly Homemakers. She has a recipe for Healthy(er) Rice Crispy Treats. The ingredient list? Peanut butter, honey, vanilla extract and crispy rice cereal.

That’s about as basic and non-sugar-filled as you can get.

I whipped up a batch today and substituted an off-brand of whole-wheat Chex cereal for the crispy rice cereal. Why not have my treat and fiber, too?

The result? Delish!

Want more delicious recipes? Check out Laura’s site.

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Being unashamedly unapologetic

On January 23, 1996, Rev. Joe Wright delivered the following prayer at the opening session of the Kansas senate.

This is what is called “being unashamedly unapologetic.”

Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and seek your direction and guidance. We know your Word says, “Woe to those who call evil good,” but that’s exactly what we’ve done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values.

We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of your Word and called it moral pluralism. We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism. We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building esteem. We have abused power and called it political savvy. We have coveted our neighbors’ possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our fore-fathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of Kansas, and who have been ordained by you, to govern this great state. Grant them your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of your will. I ask it in the name of your son, the living savior, Jesus Christ.


And that was back in 1996. How much more prolific has relativism become today?

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It’s a toy’s world

Similar view in your playroom?

In 1950, a 5 year old owned, on average, five toys. In 2000, a 5 year old owned, on average, 250 toys.*

It’s 2012, and I have no idea how many toys a 5 year old owns these days, but I have a feeling it’s more than 250.

What the heck does a 5 year old do with 250 toys or more anyway? Star on Hoarders: Toddler Edition?

I’ve been participating in a weekly Bible study on parenting, and today’s lesson was “Guarding a Child’s Mind: A godly mother chooses her child’s environment wisely.”

What does this mean? As Christian parents, it’s our responsibility to instil in our children God’s Word and its absolute truths. After all, we are in a spiritual battle for our children’s hearts and minds. God’s way and the world’s ways are two different ways, and we are to help our children “grow” their faith in Christ so that they will one day stand on their own convictions and choose right from wrong on their own.

One of the aspects we touched on is materialism and how we view our belongings and, in turn, teach our children to view their belongings.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 reads, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.” Hebrews 13:5 reads, “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I forsake you.’”

Living in Canada, my kiddo has been born into “wealth.” Anyone with some dollars in the bank and his wallet and spare change in a cup on the counter is in the top 8 per cent of wealthiest people in the world.*

But what are we teaching our children about this wealth? Are we teaching them that ALL we have comes from God? Do our children have attitudes of gratitude and thankful hearts for His provision? We are called to be content and grateful. Are we as parents showing contentment and gratefulness for our belongings to our children?

God provides for His children. He always has, and He always will. We need to teach our children to be thankful and grateful for all they have and to focus on what they can give and share with others.

Most importantly, we need to teach them to “set their minds on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2).

No small task, but a rewarding one indeed.

Who needs 250 toys anyway?

* Taken from Entrusted with a Child’s Heart: A Biblical Study in Parenting by Betsy Corning

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Riding in a car with a kid

Travelling takes on a new meaning when you have a kid.

Before kids, people say, “When I have a kid, the kid will go wherever I go, whenever I go and having said kid won’t change my lifestyle.”

Some of that musing is true. Like, yes, “the kid will go wherever you go, whenever you go” because leaving said kid home alone is frowned upon. But, the whole lifestyle-not-changing thing?

Ha! Haha. Hahahahahahahaha!

That’s a good joke.

An 11-day trip (6 hours away) that once required a suitcase and handbag has become two giant Rubbermaid tubs, a stroller, a Pack ’n Play, a suitcase, a handbag, a laptop bag (to Skype with Daddy) a diaper bag and a spare bag filled with anything else you could possibly imagine an infant needing while outside the house.

Also there’s a car seat complete with kiddo who may or may not be sleeping.

THAT’S the trickiest part of travelling: determining if your kiddo will or will not be sleeping.

Sleeping? Fabulous. Pedal to metal! No stopping for anything. Not sleeping? Ugh. Be prepared for possible silence, jabbering, squealing and/or ear-piercing screaming. Any of which may or may not be accompanied by tears.

Thankfully, on her first road trip, my kiddo fell into the “sleeping” category. Meaning, while in her car seat she mostly slept from Point A to Point B. Sleepy McGee slept for 4 hours, ate, slept for 3.5 hours, ate and slept for another 2 hours.

Wow. Did. That. Trip. Rock. Seriously.

And the trip home? Just as fabulous. Minus the “Hey, Momma! I’m choking back here!,” the police officer pulling Momma over because she was speeding while determining if the kiddo was still spitting up and the jerk who almost side-swiped our vehicle while looking at his cell phone. Awesome.

Perhaps installing a “Baby On Board” sign would ward off the idiot drivers?

Ha! Likely no (and no way would I ever install one of those).

Here’s to hoping/praying our kiddo continues to love travelling about in a car!

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Nice people DO exist

Of course, they do. But some days it feels like those nice people are few and far in between.

On Tuesday, I took my parents to the Canadian National Exhibition.* We strolled up, down and around the midway, taking in the sights and sounds of the “local fair.”

After five hours, my kneecaps were practically walked off, so we returned to the GO train station to catch a ride home. Once home, I started work on dinner, and Mom and Dad went for a coffee run.

It was while they were out that Mom realized she was missing her cell phone. Not entirely uncommon as the dear woman is notorious for leaving purses all over the place. She remembered having it on the train, but couldn’t remember having it beyond that.

Oh, boy.

I called GO Transit to report a missing phone and was told it could take up to 48 hours for items to make their way to the Lost & Found in Toronto. We prayed someone would find it and turn it in. In the meantime, I suspended Mom’s cell service, declaring her phone might be lost.

My parents left Wednesday morning with no word of a phone sighting. Around 5 p.m., I received a text message from my Aunt Angie asking me to have Mom call her ASAP. I had her phone Dad. I then received a call from Mom on Dad’s cell.

Apparently, Aunt Angie had received a text from a strange number asking if she had lost a cell phone. She replied that she hadn’t, but her sister had. Mom gave me the number, and I called.

The gentleman on the other end had found the phone one stop beyond ours, but it was dead. Concerned that someone needed it, he took it to a phone store and had it charged. He then sent a text to the first number on the list: Aunt Angie.

Thank you, Mr. Wonderfully Nice Man, for picking up the phone, charging it and tracking down its owner. And, thank you, Lord, for answered prayer. We are grateful!

Especially, Mom (who left her purse at her son’s house on Wednesday afternoon and only had to backtrack 20 miles to retrieve it).

*If you are a farmer, do not go to The Farm. You will be disappointed.

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Flash cards

You know how important it is to educate small children these days. I stumbled across these adorable flashcards from Wee Gallery.

Too cute and will probably look fabulous in frames (infants can’t really hold flashcards straight out of the womb, you know).

Not quite the flashcards of yesteryear, are they?

Perhaps Baby’s first words will be “ring-tailed lemur.”


PS. Uncle Justin, the baby really will know colour. One day.

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Some art for the nursery walls

For about four months now I’ve known exactly what I want to put on the walls of the baby’s quasi-room.

“Baby?” you ask. “What baby?!” Oh, you know. There’s a baby in the works.

Anyway, I say “quasi” because, while the baby will be stored in the room, it won’t really be his/her room because it’s already the office (sorry, kiddo). I’ve just had a wee issue finding what I want. In a price range I’m willing to pay.

Enter Etsy. Oh, Etsy, how I love thee. You’re so cool.

I came across happydeliveries and Lori’s collection of fabulous letterpress prints. She hooked me up with the exact look and phrase I was going for. For a steal.

I’m so pleased. Thanks, Lori!

Of course, I was also initially attracted to this “muscular” piece:

Maybe another time.

So, along with my newly scored art, the total small-child items currently owned includes a stroller, infant car seat, 12 washcloths, three bibs, 10 onesies, a pair of overalls, a bottle and two newborn-sized diapers.

We’re almost all set, right?

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I was born in May and I like food

I'm hard-pressed to think that I wouldn't like food regardless of the season in which I was born.

So, I spotted a story on Yahoo! News that struck my fancy: “Season of Birth May Affect the Rest of Your Life.”

Supposedly, the season in which you’re born “can affect everything from your eyesight to your eating habits and overall health later in life,” says some research.

Spring babies, for instance, are more likely to suffer from anorexia nervosa as adults (per Wellcome Trust Center for Human Genetics).

I must be one of the 92 out of every 100 people born between March and June who have NO interest in anorexia nervosa. I like me some food. It’s true.

I’d tell you about the rest of the findings in the article, but, after reading that statistic, I had to get up and find a snack.

You can read the full story here.

A short letter to traffic mergers

Dear, traffic mergers,