Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Little Vent, A Little Rant, A Lot of Prayer

This is my blog, so here are my thoughts. Warning: this will be a raw and honest post.

It's been a long and busy day and I'm tired and my OB said there's nothing to be done about my tired because that's what happens when you're pregnant with a nine month old.

I took Alex to the lab to have his immunoglobulin levels tested. We got the results today (I know, super fast, right!?) and his IgG and IgA were low. We've got our referral to see the pediatric immunologist next month and are just in a waiting pattern until then.

As you may know Alex has been sick a lot in his short nine months, and not normal little illnesses. While we've had some colds and sniffles, we've also had Rotovirus, RSV/Bronchiolitis, HFMD, Giotti-Crossi (Don't know what that is? Neither did the doctor.), and most recently, Pneumonia. What I wouldn't give for a simple ear infection. It's common for babies to have lots of colds and mild viruses, the sniffles and ear aches. That's just part of being a baby, but this isn't normal.

I'm really pretty open about Alex's health. I don't claim to have all the answers and I am not a doctor. I'm open to the experience of other parents who have been there and trying whatever may help, but Lord help me the next time someone tells me about how essential oils stopped their baby's runny nose or how the chiropractor stopped colic. And don't even get me started on the multitudes that told me to cut gluten from his diet before he had even had a taste of the stuff!

I know this all comes from well meaning people who are just trying to help and I very much appreciate the support that is behind the suggestion.

If I thought it would work, I'd do it. I am all up for finding a Mexican grandma to pray over him with an egg. We can light some candles. We can all hold some healing crystals and say some celtic prayer. I'm game.

I'm doing all that I can, but I'm tired. I'm tired of my baby being sick. I'm tired of knowing the receptionist at the doctor's office by name (except you, Amber, you rock). I'm tired of knowing more about what syringes I have at home than the pharmacists. I'm tired.

In all of this though, I'm so blessed that he's here. I'm overjoyed when I see him trying to walk and taking those first tiny little steps. It makes my day when he wakes up smiling and giggling at me in the mornings and I wouldn't trade that for the world!

I am also reminded that I am so blessed that he's only this sick. I have friends whose babies are having major, intense surgeries and I have friends whose babies are not on this earth any longer and I thank God that Alex is only this sick.

So there's my vent and my rant. Here's my prayer: I pray that God will keep my little guy healthy and strong while we figure this all out. I pray He gives Philip and I strength and endurance. I pray that He grant clarity and wisdom to Alex's doctors. Above all, I pray that our family is able to bring Him glory and honor in this time.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10:
Three times I pleased with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Guest Post: Why All The Drama Momma?

My friend Laura was brave and honest enough to share her experience with the Mommy Wars with us. Laura has two precious little boys and writes her own blog, Not So Average Momma. She also writes for Fredericksburg Parent & Family. You can follow the goings on of her writings and wonderful little family on her Facebook page.

Here's what she had to say about her experience with the Mommy Wars:


You know that look you get from other moms when your two year old won’t cooperate and throws a tantrum, your three month old is crying because he wants to nurse, and all you want to do is get the heck out of the grocery store but you can’t because you’d like to have food to put on the table at dinner time?  You know the look that says “Wow, she doesn’t have it together.” 

I hate it when I get that look and the more I get that look the more I wonder if they are right, if I really don’t have it all together. 

When I first became a mother I didn’t plan on raising my son the way that my husband and I are doing it now.  I planned on raising my child the way that everyone else did- you know just going with the mainstream.  Once I had my son I realized that wasn’t the way I wanted to do things.  My husband and I did some research and found Attachment Parenting.  To us, it was the most natural way to parent and life was blissful. 

As I researched more and learned more I felt like I needed to share what I had learned.  I felt like we were doing all of the right things as parents. Why weren’t all mothers wearing their babies or breastfeeding them?  Why weren’t they practicing gentle parenting and allowing the children to play and get messy and have fun the way that I did?  I was becoming a “drama momma” and I probably gave some not-so-nice looks to those mothers with whom I disagreed.

While I didn’t just walk up to random people on the street, I did think that (according to my standard) these parents were not parenting correctly. I wanted to help them see the light and enhance their lives by doing things the way that I thought was best.  At the time, I honestly thought that what I was doing was helping. Wow, really?  What I was doing was actually just the opposite. Even though I didn’t say anything to the mothers that I encountered, the looks I am sure I gave them were nothing but harmful. 
Unbeknownst to me, I had become a “drama momma.”

Around the time of my son’s first birthday, God really helped me to see how judgmental I had become. I had never considered myself to be a mean person just an “informed” parent.   I, like many other “drama mommas,” thought that because I had the facts I should be free to critique other mother’s decisions.  There truly is not one right way to be a parent.  I now recognize and appreciate that we are all different and that we all are doing what we think is best for our children.

In June of 2012 I wrote a post titled Tough Business about how moms allow our differences to divide us.  I think that rather than believing every woman is doing what they think is best for their child/ren we feel the need to interject and make her question her choices. 

I try to remember to give a friendly smile or wave when I see other mothers struggling to just get through their day.  Maybe there is a mom chasing her five-year-old through the park, or a mom who has stopped to feed her baby in the middle of the grocery store.  That small smile can give her the validation she needs that she is doing a great job as a mom. I know that the kindness of other mothers has helped me to get through my errands with two crazy kids in tow and I want to continue to pass on the positivity. 

What about you?  Are you guilty of being a “drama momma?”  Have you experienced judgment from other mothers?  I’d love to hear some of your experiences! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Treaty of The Nursery

Today, I would like to invite you to sign The Treaty of The Nursery with me. There's a war being waged in our homes, on our computers, in our malls, and at our parks. It has infiltrated our schools, our churches, and our book clubs, and it is high time we put a stop to it.

Today, I invite you to put down the boxing gloves, raise the white flag, and end the Mommy Wars.

Image courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Everyone seems to have said something about the Mommy Wars, but it seems like no one offers an explanation. Let me take a second to offer what I think the root of the problem really is: insecurity. Before you even pee on a stick, a new mom is bombarded with "experts" giving their advice on the best way to raise a child. Heaven forbid you disagree and you're slammed with all sorts of labels from "uneducated" all the way to "cruel" and "abusive". This is where it all starts. This is where the Mommy Wars seed is planted.

Here you are a new mom, filled with hormones and fears, and you have people telling you that you're a bad mom for the choices you've made, simply because you disagree with them. Now, you doubt yourself. Maybe I shouldn't breastfeed in public... Maybe formula really is toxic... Maybe we shouldn't have had him circumcised .. Maybe the vaccines really are a bad idea... I should babywear more... I need to buy all organic diapers and get rid of these ones... I shouldn't go back to work... I need to work more...

It's a crazy spiral of self-doubt and it starts with the first dirty look from a stranger or a friend telling you that they would "never do that to their children" and it's all downhill from there.

But wait! How does that lead to the Mommy Wars? It's simple. Poor, defeated, hormone-and-fear-filled, sleep-deprived momma has to find some way to justify her actions so that she can keep going. So she jumps on the internet or goes to the library and does all sorts of reading. Now she's armed with the 'facts' about how her way is right and everyone else is so very wrong. Now, she gets to go an educate the next mom about how she's doing things wrong.

Here is the crux of the Mommy Wars: One hormone-and-fear-filled momma who is broken down and beat up starts to beat up on the next sleep-deprived momma so that Momma #1 feels a little bit better about her choices. Momma #2 now goes through the same spiral and takes the place of Momma #1 the next time around.

We have created a mom-culture that is built upon tearing each other down so that we can feel a little bit more confident that we know what we're doing and it's time we stop this nonsense.

No woman on this planet really knows what she's doing when it comes to raising her children. We are all just making our best guess and trying to make it through the day. No one on Earth can tell you how to raise your children, because they just guessed their way through it themselves. Whether you're on your first baby or your fiftieth, there's always something new to learn, some new way to do things, and here's the real secret: It's okay.

It's okay to raise your children differently than Mrs. Jones raises hers. In fact, you should do things differently. You are the perfect mother for your children, just because you are their mother! You will make mistakes. You will screw up. You will have moments when you just want to cry and moments when you feel like you are the World's Best Mom. But in the end, you are just what your family needs.

So here is The Treaty of The Nursery: 

I promise that I will be the best mom I can to my children. I promise that I will be there for you and help you and support you so that you can be the best mom you can as well. I don't promise to agree with you, but I promise that I will still love and support you as a fellow mom even if you do things very differently than I do. I promise to cheer you on when it's been a rough day. I promise to let you cry and eat all of my ice cream when you get overwhelmed. I also promise to laugh with you at the silly things your toddler says. I will watch with bated breath as you show me video of their first steps and will sit in the parking lot with you and cry as they go off to Kindergarten.

We are Moms and we deserve the love and support of our sisters as we journey on this most excellent adventure together. Will you join me in pursuit of peace and leave the Mommy Wars behind you?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Sponsors and Affiliate Links

You may have noticed that there's a new little tab up top called "Sponsors." I want to take just a brief moment and explain the reasoning and purpose behind this new development in the world of Our Little Clan.

I write this blog because I love to write. If I had my way, I would make a living writing. That's why we now have sponsors.

The blog has always had ads and in the past few months I've added some affiliate links (see the Sponsors tab). This month I hope to also ad some sponsors who will pay specifically to advertise on this blog.

I think my readers are pretty awesome and I'd love to provide you with resources for great products and services that you and your family could use. I also think there are some pretty awesome businesses out there that could use a little more exposure. And to be frank, I could use a little more jingle in my pocket. ;)

It really is that simple. I want to be able to make a living writing and while that won't be happening anytime soon, this is a step in that direction. I also want to connect my readers with great businesses and great business with my readers. If I make a little cash in the process, that's just icing on the cake.

I plan to incorporate our sponsors in such a way as to showcase their great products and services but not bog down the blog. I really hope this will be a win-win for all involved and will bring a new and exciting element to the blog!

Thanks so much for your support, and feel free to click a link or two. ;)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Alex Update- Almost Nine Months!

My little boy will be nine months on Sunday! He's gotten so big (23 1/2 pounds!) and is still quite the handful. Since my post in May, there's been a lot going on in his little life. Alex went to his first wedding! It was an outdoor wedding in Ranger and it was HOT but he did so well and he really loved the mariachi band!

Here he is at the wedding, very unhappy about the heat.
We only got to stay for about an hour of the reception,
but we had a lovely time.

Alex's GERD is still there. He's had some flare ups, but we've been able to keep on top of most of it. About two weeks ago, I took him in to see the doctor as he had had a terrible reflux weekend and was already maxed out on his meds. Turns out he had a virus that had caused him to start wheezing again. Doc put him on prednisone and sent us on our way. Well, fast forward to the following Thursday night and Alex starts clicking in his sleep. Totally weird, right? We call the doc and he confirms, it's totally weird. The doc could hear the click over the phone but had no idea what it could have been. So we go back to the doc the next day. Guess what? Pneumonia!

What in the what? Yeah, he got pneumonia in the middle of summer without ever acting sick. Sigh. When they do his bloodwork at his one year check, the doc plans to also look for possible causes of him always being sick with such big things. Oh how I'd love for Alex to just have the sniffles.

Like I said, Alex is still as happy as can be. He apparently didn't get the email saying you should act sick when something's wrong. Since my last post though, we've had two exciting, happy developments!

Alex is going to be a big brother!
Number Two is due 2/3/2014

And he's crawling now!