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Poop & Circumstance

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” – Mary Poppins

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There’s a reason her name wasn’t Mary Poopins, y’all, and clearly, she never had to deal with one of Jane or Michael’s poop diapers. Sometimes there simply isn’t a big enough spoonful of sugar to make those BM explosions go away.

You’ll find a common theme in my posts among the rest of my Disney references that involve Miss Poppins. Girl had it going on, y’all, and I’d kill for that bag (in an updated fabric, of course). But, as is characteristic of opinions, I have to disagree with one of my favorite fictional characters on her “element of fun” mantra. I just can’t see myself gettin’ jiggy with a poop disaster. Sorry, lady — “A” for effort!

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I’m not necessarily complaining about diaper changes, guys. It comes with the territory, after all, and truth be told I’d rather deal with having to hose my kid down than having a little one with constipation issues. On that note, however, a spoonful of sugar ain’t gonna help that issue, either.

Being a mom of three, I feel like I can confidently say I’ve seen my fair share of different tummy and booty-cover nightmares. All three of my guys have had varied tummy issues, all of which have been a chore to sort out. Gabe was lactose intolerant until pre-k and, thankfully, we figured that out relatively quickly. He took to almond milk products really well and still likes them even now. Connor was my easiest to figure out as far as gastrointestinal fun goes, but even now his tummy can’t hold much of anything which leaves him as a “grazer”; no lie, it takes him an hour to eat dinner — or anything, for that matter — and even then he becomes full quickly. Mason has occasional bouts of constipation, which can be normal for his age, but Lord when he is experiencing constipation it’s a doozy. He has been harder to figure out as far as formula goes because he also deals with moderate acid reflux from time-to-time.

When he hit six months he was able to begin eating small amounts of whole milk yogurt. I bought a brand that I’d been eyeing since he was a newborn and was so excited to give it a go. I was a little nervous giving it to him as sometimes yogurt can be a little sour, but I was determined to try it anyway and hopeful that it would grow on him eventually. As luck would have it, he loved it and, bonus!, his tummy loves it, as well. The probiotics in HappyFamilyOrganics have done wonders with helping regulate his digestive system and the taste is absolutely on point. They aren’t limited to just yogurt for babies though, guys! Their products begin with mommas (breastfeeding bars!), and move on to babies, toddlers, and kiddos!

Listen, I’m in no way getting paid or otherwise reimbursed for my opinions. This may be a no-no in the blogosphere, but I just really felt like other moms and dads out there might need a recharge for baby tummies. I sure did! You all should also note that this product is being used in addition to small amounts of gripe water (when needed!). I try really hard not to give in to gas drops and gripe water unless absolutely necessary, although neither hurt him (gripe water is 100% natural! — here is the brand we use for drops and GW).

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I’ll be so glad once we are all finally past the baby tummy ache stage — I hate it when they hurt! But I am relieved to know that there are products out there that help keep everything moving as they should. What are some remedies or products you use or have used? Hit me up! Like this post? Sharing is caring!

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If Moms Put in Resumes

I’ve been a stay at home mom for going on three years now. Let me tell you — it isn’t as easy as it’s cracked up to be. In fact, just being completely honest, it’s flipping hard. I went into my current “gig” thinking it would be a cinch; that I would be able to get SO MUCH DONE with all that FREE TIME I’D HAVE. Pftttttt. What is free time?! And y’all, I’m getting next to nothing done these days. Do you want to know when I’ve actually been able to achieve any of my housework/me-time goals? It was the three-month span between Connor starting pre-k in August and Mason’s birth in December of 2017.

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I got SO MUCH DONE. No, seriously. My house was clean. The baby’s room had (relatively) effortlessly come together. My laundry was largely kept up with. I SHOWERED DAILY. Hell, I even made it to the gym almost every day in those three months. It was amazing. And it all ended as quickly as it began. I don’t know what sparked my post-partum baby blues faster: the fact that my productivity levels would abruptly stop or the crashing hormones. In truth? Probably knowing that my house would, once again, be on permanent upheaval.

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I’m going to be real with you guys right now: I’m not a Mary Poppins, spoonful-of-sugar kind of mom. Nope. I’m definitely a weird mixture of Roseanne and Debra from Everybody Loves Raymond (minus the awful in-laws. I legitimately love my in-laws). My kids can attest to the fact that I put the “bear” in “momma bear”. With that said, three years in and I’m still not adjusted to this SAHM lifestyle. It’s just not something my personality type knows how to handle. And you know what? I’ve come to realize that’s okay.

Anyway, I’ve said all that to get to this: I’m very much looking for a job. Any job. I don’t care if it’s Hobby Lobby’s day-shift, I’ve got to have some Sarah-time, adult interaction before I blow a fuse. Unfortunately, my search has turned up a whole lot of nothing. I had an interview a few weeks ago for a school secretarial position, but the job was given to someone else with prior experience in that particular “field”, which — I get it. Really, I do. Total bummer and hit on the ego, but I understand why the decision had been made.

But that got me to thinking about maybe fixing up my resume, which got me to thinking, “What if moms put in resumes? What might that look like?”

This inquiry resulted in a surprisingly difficult-to-answer response. What makes moms tick? What makes us special? What makes us the so-called “glue” of the family? I don’t know about y’all, but I have a super hard time coming up with adjectives for myself — even those that are somewhat obvious. I also have a hard time giving myself credit where it is due. I’m the poster-child for being one’s worst critic. What I came up with was slightly humorous (not guffaw-worthy, obviously) and a little cliche. Okay, a lot cliche. But this little accidental exercise also helped me realize and remember some of my pre-mom self-worth. I was definitely given pause towards the end of my quick-ish presentation.

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Long story short: it’s hard being any kind of mom. At least, it’s hard if the mom in question is actually doing the “momming”. For me, personally, it’s hard because most of my mom friends work, live out of town, or have conflicting schedules. Sure, I have a tribe — but it’s a busy one. I can’t expect them to slow down to keep up with my pace. It’s also because my husband is gone Monday through Friday practically every week; the boys take that so hard and I really believe a lot of our week-to-week issues are because they just miss their dad. It’s because I went from being an independent, 3-job-working, college student to being a full-fledged mom. Obviously, this wasn’t an overnight occurrence, but y’all know how time flies. Gabe will be nine in August, and Connor five. I still vividly remember the days they were born. To further frost that cake, Mason will have his first birthday in December. My caboose baby is definitely not tee-tiny anymore and that hurts. It’s because I have literally craved peer-interaction since I was a toddler; it’s a weakness, I know — but that’s just part of my personality. Finally, I need to feel productive and worthwhile. I need to feel like I’m contributing to the cause and like I’m not just a glorified butt-wiper and toilet cleaner.

Is being a momma important? Absolutely. I love my boys; they are my heart. I’ve long-fought this, shall we say “demon”, of mine for a long time. Being a mom is part of who I am, now. And I love that. But this feeling that maybe I can find part of my old self in the chaotic toy-bin that is my head these days? That gives me some hope.

What would your mom resume look like?

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Stuff Southern Mommas Say

As a kid growing up in the South, I learned the difference between sarcasm and sincerity real fast.  I learned that tone only makes up about 40% of each individual way of speaking; the other 60% is all in the body language.  And y’all — ain’t nobody got that tone and body language down-pat quite like we southern mommas.

Before I had kids, I only thought I’d inherited the gift prematurely.  Psh!  I was a timid little dormouse until I had kids.  These days I speak sarcasm so fluently, most people think I’m the nicest, most sincere person they’ve ever laid eyes on.  My kids are little smart-asses, too, but they don’t got nothin’ on their momma.  Y’all call it being passive-aggressive; we call it issuing a dare.

Oh, sure; we mean what we say.  But the true brilliance of SM language is the ability to almost speak in code with the eyes.  You may HEAR, “Go right on ahead and touch that fence”.  But if you’re paying real close attention to the shifting of our gaze and the clenching of our fists, then you know what we really mean is, “Go ahead and touch the fence, smart ass.  But we’re not going to the hospital and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna listen to your bitchin’.”  So this brings me to the topic at hand: stuff southern mommas say.

  1. Excuse me?!
    Y’all, when you hear this you better hit the ground runnin’ and hope to God we can’t get our flip flops off in time to chuck it at the back of your head.  I have said, “Excuse me?!” so many times to my kids that the last time I sneezed, the boys both cleaned the entire house and offered to cook dinner.  Poor babies hadn’t even done anything — that time.  But momma don’t play.  And if momma ain’t playin, ain’t nobody playin’.
  2. Go ahead and touch (insert object here) after I said not to.
    This is the ultimate “don’t even think about it”.  Most of the time I don’t even have to come through with a punishment because whatever it is my kid(s) has (have) touched is punishment enough.  Case in point: I told Connor not to touch my straightener the other day.  Now, I’m not above baby-proofing and there’s no way in hell I’d have that thing low enough for Mason to get to it.  But Con is old enough to know (and I’ve reiterated enough) that the damn straightener is HOT, and just like the oven, we don’t touch it.  So what’s he do?  Well, the little smart-alec went in and just barely touched the plate.  I mean just barely; it didn’t even leave a mark.  It scared him more than it hurt.  But he knew to “suck it up, buttercup” because I’d already told him, “Uh, don’t touch that”.  However, sometimes the kids slip up and still come running after doing something less than intelligent.  In those cases, we hit ’em with…

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  3. Don’t come runnin’ to me.  I don’t want to hear it.
    Here’s the phrase that often gets us southern mommas in a fair amount of hot water, but we don’t care.  Listen, a kid’s gotta learn at some point in his or her life how not to do stupid things.  We like to call this “experience”.  If you haven’t experienced something, you’ll never know the rewards or pitfalls that whatever-it-is can bring you.  It’s kind of like riding a bike: once you learn, you never forget.  So in the bicycle ride of life, you gotta bust your ass a few times before you’re riding a Tour de France.  Also, on a less logical basis, this really means, “I TOLD YOU SO.”
  4. Bless your heart.
    This one has been done to death, but there are so many possible meanings to this phrase.  Sure, we may mean we’ll pray for your momma and them — but probably not.  Generally speaking, we’re telling you in the nicest way possible to get over yourself.  Hey, sometimes we all need to hear it.

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  5. Oh, honey.
    “Oh, honey” is simply a less condescending way of saying, “Bless your heart”.  Sometimes we even mean, “Oh, honey”.  However, the sincerity is limited to the death of a loved one, a bad hairdo, or getting into Ole Miss but not LSU.  If you’ve been “oh, honey-ed” recently but haven’t experienced any of the above scenarios, then someone out there thinks you’re a few bricks short of a house.
  6. Lemme say it one more time.
    For the love of God and all that is holy, don’t make that woman repeat herself.  Unless, of course, you enjoy frostbite.  Then go for it.

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  7. God don’t like ugly.
    Stop runnin’ your head about your cousin’s sister’s fiancé.
  8. Did I ask who put it there.
    No, I didn’t mean to insert a question mark.  This is a STATEMENT, y’all.  Not a question.  And if you value your hide at all, you’ll pick up whatever it is that’s on the ground, table, or couch FAST.
  9. I know you did not!
    Gabe’s teacher reminded me of this one yesterday and I laughed out loud.  I’m constantly saying this to my boys.  The look on my boys’ faces when they hear this — Lawd.  I can’t even put it into words.  It’s definitely a “deer-in-headlights meets aliens are coming” kind of face.  For those of you who are lucky enough to have never heard ya momma say, “I know you did NOT!”, let me fill you in on the meaning: your ass is grass.  You will soon to meet your Maker.  Hit the deck, Bud, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.  In short: you’ve really screwed yourself and there’s no gettin’ out of it.
  10. You’re killin’ me, smalls.
    Okay, so this one may not be limited to us southern moms.  But I know for certain we say this A LOT.  And, really, it speaks for itself.  Say the kids aren’t really being bad, just… “plentiful”.  Coming in and out, in and out, in and out… letting out the “bought air”.  Or runnin’ wild in the heat of the day, all up in your house?  You don’t really want to jerk a knot in anyone because your own momma taught you to pick your battles.  So the next best thing to clotheslining your own spawn is to simply let out an exasperated, “YA KILLIN’ ME, SMALLS!”  The kids get the message, count their blessings that there is still breath within their lungs, and for a solid two minutes there is peace.  It’s only fair — about ten minutes into more rough-housing, one of the aforementioned statements is going to come rushin’ out of your mouth faster than a Nascar at Daytona.

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  11. Lastly, You are my sunshine.
    I don’t want anyone leaving this post thinking that us Scarlett O’Haras, Blanche Devereauxs, or Ousier Boudreauxs do anything less than love our kids.  They are the lights of our lives.  Our reasons for loving anyone from the mud to the moon.  And, yeah — sometimes they are our emergency trips to Target for a big-ass bottle of Tylenol and a box of wine.  But they teach us as we teach them.  They love us as we love them.  And one day they’ll leave the nest and have children of their own.  Until that day comes, we’ll be back porch sittin’, summer day spendin’, and on the couch cuddlin’ with our littles.

    Until they piss us off.  Then they better run.

 

Baby, Birth, Humor, Mom blog, Motherhood, Parenting, Post-partum, Uncategorized, Women's health

CSI: Underpants

I’m going to go ahead and give y’all fair warning: there is TMI ahead.  Most of you reading are mommas, so there may or may not be such a thing as “TMI” for you.  Been there, done that, had spit-up down the t-shirt sort of thing.  But on the real, we’re about to venture into what some of you might classify as gross or unsavory.  Don’t say you weren’t warned.

I had our caboose baby in December of 2017.  We decided that we were done and did not wish to continue trying for a girl because: our luck.  I mean, hell — I’m wildly outnumbered as it is and am not a super firm believer in “what’s one more”.  Birth control is not an option for me; the side-effects pretty much destroy my already whack hormones.  Hubs didn’t want to venture towards the vasectomy route, and really, who could blame him?  We decided that it just made sense for me to have a tubal since I was already having a c-section anyway and you know… easy access.  So immediately following Mason’s sweet arrival, all exits were shut down.  I made damn sure that my OB sealed everything up so well that even Chuck Norris couldn’t break down that barrier.

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Now, look.  All of my boys have been section babies.  Gabe’s section was not by choice, for those of you who were wondering, it was by necessity.  The following sections were for safety precautions, as well.  Luckily for me, the maternal genes really kicked in and I can see through walls with my back turned.  But I digress.  Like I said, all of the boys were section babies.  I was up and walking around not even a day later after Gabe and Connor were born.  This was not the case with Mason.  I don’t know if it was due to my age or if it was because of the tubal, but it took me a solid two days to move around without everything hurting.  And hurting is an understatement; I felt like everything in me was going to hit the floor.  EVERYTHING.  And all my poor husband could do was listen to me bitch and hold my hand.  Looking back, he was really a trooper.  I got used to the pain and I could finally feel my legs in the way God intended.  But nothing and no one prepared me for the horror that was going on “downstairs” after having my tubes tied.

I’m writing this to prepare those of you who are considering a tubal after delivery — not to shock and awe.  Y’all need to be prepared for the freaking crime scene that you’re going to witness.  And not just immediately post-partum either, guys.  No, no.  Mason is 4.5 months old and I’m here to tell you that this mess seems like it is here to stay.  And man, oh, man is it getting old fast.

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I’m sure some of you are shaking your heads, “Nah.  It can’t be that bad.  Someone’s being a drama queen.”  Go ahead and take several seats, because no.  It’s awful.  Thinking about grabbing a box of tampons a month post delivery?  Think again, Nancy.  Go ahead and buy all the maxi pads from all the Targets within a hundred mile radius and you might have enough to get through the first month.  Don’t even think about wearing cute underwear unless you’re okay with them looking like they survived a zombie apocalypse.  “Oh, but I’ll buy the super plus tamp–” NO YOU WON’T.  Oh, honey, no.  Mother Nature beats the hell out of those things.  So just get used to the idea of wearing a diaper for at least the first six months if not longer.

There was a time in my life (about a year ago, actually) that my heaviest period lasted three days.  I never even thought about buying anything other than regular strength tampons.  In fact, I vividly remember gawking at the S+ boxes and wondering who on earth could possibly survive a period that crazy.  Y’ALL.  I AM NOW THAT WOMAN.  So go ahead and stock up on granny panties (they’re comfy as hell, guys) and a truckload of the biggest maxi pads you can find.  Also, Midol isn’t going to touch the cramps you’re going to battle.  Go to your local pharmacist, slip him a $20, and ask him on the DL to take the strongest stuff they’ve got and add about 100MG to it.  You’ll thank me later.

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What you’re going to experience, believe it or not, is normal.  You’re not bleeding out, you’re not going to die, and if your kids are like my kids, your offspring will learn to sense when you’re at that time of the month (sorry, boys!).  No kidding, my kids volunteered to unload the dishwasher, fold laundry, and bathe the baby for this last visit from my heavy-handed Aunt Flo.  And. it. was. INCREDIBLE.  Sure, I had to go back and relocate a few dishes and refold a few towels.  But beggars can’t be choosers, and I think it’s safe to say that my boys’ wives will one day be very happy, indeed.

Side note, the hospital you use will give you a ton of those massive pads if you ask for them upon leaving.  My nurse gave me six unopened packs, y’all.  Talk about not all heroes wear capes!  She officially made my Christmas card list.  So be sure to ask for those as well as the mesh undies.  They’re definitely not attractive and they do nothing for your backside, but they won’t irritate your incision and, believe me, you’ll be glad to have them.

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They Call Him The Whineoceros

As you all know, I am a momma to three wonderful boys.  What you all might not know, is that I am a momma to at least two boys (the third is out for debate, still) who are wonderfully whiny on occasion.  And by “on occasion”, I mean here lately — they’ve been ON A ROLL, SON.

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rhino graphic courtesy sarah ward 

I’m not sure if it has anything to do with end-of-the-school-year restlessness or the fact that none of us are adjusted to the time change yet (yeah, none of us have any clue of time management), but I’m over it.  Done.  Finito.   The Give a Damn Train has left Whinytown Station.

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Granted, this year has brought some pretty big changes in not so necessarily big forms.  Mason was born in December, smack dab in the middle of Con’s first year of pre-k, which in addition to a baby bro was another HUGE change for the middle boy child.  Having another sibling wasn’t as big deal to Gabe — he’s been there and (literally) has the tee shirt.  But he started 3rd grade this year and that brought all kinds of changes for him.  Now instead of being in one class with one teacher all day, he’s in three classes with three different teachers.  Now for most, the shock would have dissipated a month or so into the year.  But since Gabe struggles with sensory issues as well as other minor “problems”, it takes him quite a bit longer to adjust.  Case in point: he’s just come around to keeping up with seven different notebooks for each of his subjects.  It’s April.  So, yeah; we’re pretty much done here.

Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been a bad year.  Connor is blossoming and is so eager to learn and for the most part, Gabe’s grades have been great and he loves his teachers.  But I’m still coming down off of pregnancy hormone highs and lows and I’m not getting much sleep these days.  Hormonal, sleep deprived momma = scattered patience and chaos E’RYWHERE.

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So it’s no wonder that I keep a bottle of wine or some margarita fixins in my fridge.  I’m a mom of three now (read: lightweight), so I have just enough for a nightcap on evenings that I feel I could climb the walls and contort my body Exorcist style.  Call me crazy, but I don’t think the hubs could deal with his wife pulling an Emily Rose twice a week.

I think this time of year brings out the crazy in all of us, though.  Over the years, I have found that in addition to spring cleaning my house, I also need to spring clean the old brain box.  It’s a lengthy process, particularly if you have the attention span of a gnat like your’s truly.  But it’s worthwhile.  Sometimes our brains get bogged down and cluttered with stuff that we need to let go of.  In the garage sale of thought processes, we wouldn’t put most of that junk on the front lawn — if you get my meaning.  So if you can’t unload on a friend or loved one (and choose wisely), then toss it in the bin.  Don’t put it where you can go dumpster diving later and put it back on the shelf.  Toss it.  Burn it.  Do what you have to do to let all the junk go.  And breathe a sigh of relief that you can start putting more crap on your now relatively empty shelves.

I’ll be taking my own advice over the weekend.  In the meantime, Wineocerous out.

 

 

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My Must Have Baby Items (with links!)

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It’s the day after Easter and boy am I spent.  We had a full, but great, weekend with family and I loved every minute of it.

Our boys are so blessed to have people in their lives who love them the way they do and I am so grateful!  I’m also grateful to live in an age where bringing up baby has become a bit easier thanks to helpful products — especially since we hosted one event at our home!

My boys are each four years apart from one another (the biggest gap is an eight-year difference) and I forget each time just how hard it can be to juggle little ones during any holiday season, particularly if you’re playing host(ess).  Today I am sharing with you my most favorite items for baby that have made my days run a bit more smoothly.  I hope these suggestions will come in handy for you!

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  1. Skip Hop Pronto Baby Changing Station & Diaper Clutch

  2. Munchkin Formula Dispenser
  3. BooginHead Pacifier Clip
  4. Johnson’s Take Along Travel Pack
  5. Munchkin Arm & Hammer Bag Dispenser
  6. Aden + Anais Burpy Bib

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  1. Nuk Simply Natural Bottles
  2. Beaba Food Storage Containers
  3. Munchkin Steam Guard Sterilizer
  4. Munchkin White Hot Safety Spoons
  5. Eddie Bauer 3-in-1 High Chair

 

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  1. Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper
  2. Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard
  3. Bright Starts Tummy Time Mat
  4. Evenflo ExerSaucer Fold + Go
  5. Eddie Bauer Alpine 4 LX Travel System

 

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  1. VTech® Camera – VM3251-2
  2. Aden + Anais Swaddles
  3. SwaddleMe Slumber Buddies Soother
  4. SwaddleDesigns® Cotton Muslin Sleeping Sack
  5. SwaddleMe® Original Swaddle 2pk

 

DISCLOSURE: I am not receiving any compensation from any of these brands.  The items on this list are things I, personally, have used and recommend.