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“I can’t keep plants alive”

I’ve heard that “argument” for not having kids a few times.

I have to ask, is that a true worry or is that one of the random “excuses” people feel they are forced to come up with when they don’t want kids (by the way, the only valid excuse should be “because I don’t want to have kids.” I’m sorry, but people should never be pressured or told they are selfish if they don’t want to have kids.

This question is coming from someone who has managed to keep 2 kids alive- for 8 years almost now (8 years next month for one and 3 years for number 2) but still managed to kill cacti and other “impossible to kill” plants. It’s so much easier to keep children and pets alive than it is to keep a plant alive, at least in my book.

With kids you just have to provide food, shelter, water/milk, teach safety and make sure they aren’t in dangerous situations.

With pets, it’s the same.

With plants- make sure the soil is perfect, the temperature and lighting is perfect and give them water- but not too much. That’s not enough… no! that’s too much… you just killed it.

Inside plants are the worst when you have cats. You can’t put something by the window, if you do, the cat will perch. With the cat perching, they will likely destroy the plant, make a mess and destroy the blinds.

Outside plants are a bit easier, until it rains and you end up with mud soup. You go outside in the morning after a hard rain and watch your flowers floating around your garden. Or you see huge bite marks in your sunflowers. Or your tomatoes are ate up.

I’ve had successful gardens a few times but more than once I’ve had unwanted visitors eating my plants and over watered succulents. Every year I’ll keep trying to keep plants alive, but I will always say- it’s much easier to keep kids alive than plants.

 

 

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Not sure if this is a fail or success

My girls and I decided to attempt bath bombs this afternoon. They had fun mixing and making a mess, they loved using one in the bath but they turned out nothing like they were supposed to. They crumble in my hand and I’m having to keep them in the mold until used. I think I know what I did wrong and we still have stuff for more, but would it be a success since they had fun or a fail since it didnt work right?

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Rules of my home

No matter how old you are or who you are, nobody is to lick the cat

There will be no throwing of chairs or any other objects at the cat

The cat is to be pet on demand and fed every time someone goes into the kitchen. The cat food is FOR the cat, it is not meant for human consumption.

No licking windows

No licking walls

No licking anything

These are the rules for all whom enter my home, no exceptions- even the tiny people who live here.

I never thought I would have those rules until I had kids… I never even thought I would have to say “dont lick the cat.”

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A few things 30 year old me wishes 22 year old newly pregnant me had known.

I have had a total of three pregnancies- my first ended at 28 weeks with a partial abruption and severe pre-eclampisa. She was only 1lb 11.5ozs and 13 inches long and spent a total of 8 1/2 months in NICU. She’s now a small but healthy 7 year old. My second was relatively uncomplicated but we lost her. She was born at 36 weeks due to me going into a painless labor and I wasn’t allowed by the doctors to go into labor. She died of a condition called Anencephaly (absence of the skull) and lived for 3 hours after birth.

My third was totally complication free and she was born at 37 weeks (once again, due to the complications of my oldest) and was 7lbs11ozs and 21 inches long- they told us she would have been a 9-10lb baby if she was born term.

I had each baby at 23, 25 and 27 years, I’m 30 now so I have spent almost my full adult life being called “mommy.”

I read all the books, blogs and joined all the support forums I could find. What to Expect was my bible through my first pregnancy and through her early years but nothing could prepare me for the almost 9 months of hell I was in for after having my baby.

When I was 22 and newly married, I found out I was pregnant. I was young, naive and even though I knew it was a huge sacrifice, I had a glorified image of pregnancy and motherhood. I knew it wouldn’t be a walk in the park and that I wouldn’t have near the freedom I had before but I still imagined taking the baby to baby and me classes, taking her out in cute little outfits with friends (since most of mine, at that time were also pregnant or new mommies) and late night cuddles. I thought of play dates and hanging out with friends would simply end up taking place at kid friendly places instead of bars. I had no idea what the dark side of pregnancy involved. I had heard of conditions like Pre-Eclampsia but the thought never crossed my mind that it could happen to me.

I was asked the question “What would 30 year old me go back and tell newly pregnant 22 year old me?” so here are a few pieces of advice I wish I had listened to or received when I was pregnant, especially when I was pregnant with my two older.

  1. Take folic acid- lots of it. I didn’t realize how important it really was. I did make sure my pre-natals had it, but that was it. After dealing with Pre-E and losing another baby to Anencephaly, I joined a support group for people who lost babies to the disorder and that was when I read about folic acid and how vital it is to healthy pregnancies. I also learned about the MTHFR and after asking for a simple blood test, I found out I had a more severe form of the lesser mutation- which means my body only processes about 7% of the folic acid I eat.
  2. Swelling all over to the point where you do not look human IS NOT NORMAL. Don’t call Labor and delivery, go in to the ER to get checked- especially if swelling in the hands and face comes with headache and lightheadedness or any other sign of high blood pressure. Pre-Eclampsia is serious, but can be managed if it’s caught early on.
  3. Lay off the baby books- especially if you have a preemie- seriously, cut it out. If your baby doesn’t develop by the books (either advanced or behind) they will stress you out more than help- it’s nice to know what “normal” development is, but if you start playing comparisons, it will make you lose your mind.
  4. Go ahead and complain about the morning sickness, crampy feelings, bloated feeling, headaches, mood swings, exhaustion and everything else- being pregnant sucks and it’s ok to not enjoy the symptoms- it’s the end result we all want.
  5. Do not freak out after being given the epidural. It doesn’t make all feeling go away- just the pain.
  6. Enjoy the last little bit of freedom- the sleepless nights do not last long (be a few months, they WILL sleep through the night) but that small window of time in between feels like an eternity- and there will be times you will wake up freaked out in the middle of the night because your baby sighed and you thought they were choking- that is normal.

As of right now, those first three pieces of advice are the most important things I wish I had known. I know I could never know, but I feel that if I had known to start taking folic acid before we started trying, our middle daughter would be here with us- about to turn 5.

After my kids were born, there are things I wish I had known.

1. My social life would die. I always had an active social life from college on out- but between location differences between my friends, weeding out the bad influences and age differences between our kids, I have lost touch with most of my old friends. Lack of time tends to get in the way of meeting new people in similar situations (although, working moms with working husbands and busy schedules may not be the types I’d want to meet when it comes to play dates and getting kids together). It’s not bad losing social life- If your old friends were bad influences (into drinking/drugs/etc) but it does rub off on your kids as they get older and have a lower interest in being around other kids.

2. Don’t let your kid sleep in your bed with you. Even just one night. Our 7 year old fell out of her big girl bed two times in one night when she was 3. We allowed her to sleep with us that night. She’s now 7 and we still can’t get her out of our bed (we could, but she actually panics at the thought of sleeping alone). We know she’s spoiled, but fear and anxiety is real and is a real problem when part of a child’s special needs is that they have trouble communicating with others.

3. Having special needs kids changes how you interact with all areas of your life. I’d love to take her to parties and to movies- and sometimes she does great. Other times, we will spend the full night in the bathroom with me trying to calm her down. We do not know how she will react to any given social interaction and sensory overload is a real problem. It has taken me 30 years to know and handle my own issues (loud noises- mainly, loud crowds, she has the same)

I recently read about one business starting a sensory sensitive day and I’m going to have to try taking her. I want to get her around more “normal” developing children, but other special needs kids tend to get on well with her- either way, she’s starting to take interest in socializing so we need to nurture it.

 

I may create a continuation of this post when I think of more. I know there are probably a lot of things that have slipped my mind. What are some things you wish you had known when you were newly pregnant?

 

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Well, we have the diagnosis for our 2 year old- lactose intolerant

She said we are doing all the right things and told us about the lactose chart and that lactaid milk does still have a lactose content.

I just wish she reacted like I do so we wouldn’t have to worry so much but she also told us the hard part was already done. Now, we just have to get past this picky eating phase and get her to do more than pick at her food then start playing.

I love the toddler phase… so much fun but so annoying as well. Why can’t we have one child who loves all food? On the bright side, we have 2 who love chicken and fish and they both eat salad, love fruit and moderate themselves with sweets. On the bad side- they both pick at their food more than eat and leave more unate food most of the time.

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We took my 2 year old to the ER a few weeks ago. 

We were told to keep her away from dairy and her diarrhea (reason we took her) was likely caused by a virus. Well, we took her off dairy and her diarrhea cleared up. We reintroduced it many times and the very last time my mom attempted to give her cows milk, she spit it out and didn’t want to drink it. Each time it has given her diarrhea. It’s lasted way more than 10 days (did test positive for a virus- this specific one lasts 10 days and it’s been well over that and she still gets diarrhea when she eats yogurt, most cheese, ice cream or milk. She’s also developing a taste for my gluten free snacks instead of normal. I have read picky eating can be a sign of a food intolerance. We are pretty sure lactose intolerance (I am) because the diarrhea has been a recurrent issue her whole life. We have an order to have her tested for Celiac due to my medical issues, her sisters gene and her symptoms. 

If she isn’t able to to back to cows milk, it’ll be all three of us women in the house who don’t drink it. Her older sister could easily live without dairy and I’m lactose intolerant myself. 

This is a whole lot of fun going through the tests, dealing with the diaper and trying to figure all this stuff out. Even with the medical help, it is still too long a process. 

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I introduced the EDS, This is about my life with OCD

As far back as I can remember, I struggled with everything needing to be perfect. My first memory related, was when I was in early elementary school. I had to have my work perfect. By perfect, I mean it had to look absolutely perfect- if I looped a “B,” I had to erase but if I left an eraser mark, it didn’t count and I would have to copy everything onto a new paper until there were no marks and no messy letters. To this day, people complement my handwriting. The ones I’m friends with, I’ll joke about why my handwriting is so neat, other times I’ll just thank them and move on.

Another strong memory I have from when I was in elementary school is being afraid of thinking anything profane on Sunday, after church while I still smelled like the church building. I was afraid if I let any impure thought slip, I would get struck by lightning. Needless to say, I slipped once and nothing happened. When nothing happened, I started to realize it was unfounded so that obsession slowly faded.

I also had a strong fear that if I slept with my feet uncovered, I would get drug into a Hell like dimension by a demon.I read a while back, that is actually a common fear.

When I was in later elementary school, the people I associated with outside of school were middle aged, most of whom had weight problems and were trying to lose weight. What started as me getting hooked on Diet Coke and diet specialty foods, walking and reading weight loss tips in women’s magazines turned into an obsession. Pretty soon, I had a set workout routine I HAD to follow or else, in my mind, I would gain 20lbs over night. It went from a short 5 minute workout to taking over an hour to do. It also grew from having to walk a few times a day to having to walk 12 miles, BUT the 12 miles had to be by myself, if I walked with anyone else, the calories were not burned and my count had to freeze. It also didn’t count without music, so if my walkman died in the middle of a lap, I had to redo the lap. It went from me getting anxious to punishing myself if I failed a day. I would restrict my calories as much as possible until I started having near fainting spells in 9th grade. I found out I had low blood sugar and have been dealing with that ever since. In college, I realized I had a problem by the time my obsession morphed into binging then puking. The disordered relationship I had with food (diagnosed as ED-NOS and later told sounded like OCD instead of an actual eating disorder) only ended when I had my first daughter. I made myself quit and deal with the anxiety because I didn’t want my daughter to grow up seeing her mom starve herself.

When I was little, I was told to not touch the stove- it would be hot. Needless to say, I burnt my hand but another time, I touched it and it was cold. I started testing to see whether it would be hot or cold each time I passed and before long, it was a compulsion. That compulsion/impulse happened every time I walked past an oven from the time I was around 7 or 8 until recently. Even when I was walking through an oven display at a place like Lowes (that’s always fun- tapping every stove I walk past in Lowes)

All those, along with having to bite my nails down until they are perfect, having to delete the whole sentence if I notice a typo and getting a headache when I read the misuse of “they’re, there and their,” were things I always considered quirks. That is, until it got really bad. I started getting obsessive thoughts- intrusive thoughts I could not get out of my mind. My oldest was born 3 months early, 1lb 11.5ozs and 13 inches long. She was very sick, long NICU stay and came home on oxygen. When she was 15 months, I got pregnant with her little sister. This baby didn’t live (she had a condition called Anencephaly) and that was when the OCD symptoms got bad. I got to the point I was afraid of carrying my daughter around because I’d get the image of her oxygen mask (cannula) falling off or dropping her down the stairs.

I started grief counseling through a program we had for my older daughter, mentioned the stories from when I was growing up and she told me I had OCD.

I started studying OCD and it fit perfect- it was like the puzzle pieces fell into place and it gave me such relief. She gave me a piece of advice I still use- to sit back when I have thoughts and ask myself “is this how a normal person would react?”

It has helped me through a lot, but I have had to go to normal people from time to time because, let’s be real, when you have a disorder like OCD- you do not know what normal is.

I have been reading a lot about the condition and I have been doing my best to ignore compulsions, ride out the anxiety and see that nothing horrible is happening. It gets annoying when OCD becomes my focus of obsession and when ignoring compulsions becomes a compulsion itself, but I am getting better with it.

I’ll post more on other types of OCD I have personally dealt with later, but since my diagnosis and starting to learn how to handle it, I have been trying to spread awareness of the real condition- not what everyone likes to joke about.

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Random thought 

When my oldest was little, she was easy to take care of. She was cautious, well behaved in public to the point where we got complemented on her behaviour. I stayed home for 4 years with her and hardly had to clean up messes from her. She also listened to “no” and quit the first time we asked. 

We decided to add a second thinking it would be the same story. The hurricane is now 2 and the complete opposite (not horrible behaved in public but she does enjoy screaming, yelling and talking to everyone. ) 

I’m worn out by noon typically with her. I love them, wouldn’t trade either and wouldn’t change either personality but I never knew 2 sisters could be so different and look so much alike.