Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Coulda, shoulda, woulda

It is 3:17 am.  I am sitting in a rocking chair cradling a child who is rapidly outgrowing my lap.  My knees are freezing and my arm tingles under the weight of a finally sleeping head.  I breath deeply and walk back to the warmth of our bed...again.  Maybe this time we will sleep, I think.

This is the fourth time tonight that I have replayed this scene.  Something is bothering my child and I haven't the the foggiest idea what it could be.  He is not feverish or sick.  He does not need to use the bathroom or have a drink of water.  He doesn't want to play, he is simply wakeful.  I am not.

I am exhausted.  The kind of exhausted that aches deep in your bones.  I want to cry, to yell, to beg, but mostly I just want to sleep.  It has been a long week and this it the third night in a row with an unsettled boy and no sleep for his mother.  My patience is wearing thin as I rock back and forth in the cold wooden chair.  I want to tell him that it's not fair.  I don't care if he wants to be awake, I want to be asleep!  I just want him to close his damn eyes and relax.  Why won't he just relax?  Why is he awake again!?  Why is he doing this to me?  I feel my own body tense.

I take a slow, deep breath.  My mind wanders.  I should have stopped rocking him to sleep months ago.  I should have told him no, I won't rock you, just to go back to sleep.  I should brush his teeth more thoroughly.  I should wash his hair more often.  I should prepare better meals.  I should use a different cloth to wipe his face than I used to wipe the table.  I should tell him that I love him more frequently.

I should have taught him how to sleep independently a long time ago.  I should have made him figure it out.  I shouldn't cater to his nighttime demands.  I should make more time for myself.  I should shave my legs.  I should file my rough heels.  I should be more patient, more kind.  I should remember to give him his vitamins.  I should clean the bathroom more often.  I should drink less coffee.  I should vacuum my car.  I should, I should...

I stop myself, I need to stop.  I look down to see big eyes fluttering, fighting to stay open.  "Close your eyes baby, relax."  His arm stretches up to touch my face.  "Hi mommy."  "Hi son."  "I'm having a hard time."  My heart sinks like a stone.  Of course he isn't doing this "to me."  "I know you are buddy.  It's okay, we all have a hard time sleeping sometimes.  Mommy will hold you while you fall asleep.  Close your eyes, baby."  "Okay."  Tears well up in my tired, burning eyes and fall to my cheeks as I continue to rock in the dark.

It is 3:17 am and I am sitting in a rocking chair.  I many not want to bu, but right now I need to be in this chair.  Right now my freezing knees and perceived inadequacies can wait.  Right now my child needs me.  I breathe.

I should this and I should that, but you know what, he doesn't care.  Being the definition of perfection won't change the way he feels about me.  He doesn't want the mommy who always uses a clean cloth to rock him at night.  He doesn't want to perfect tooth brushing, always freshly showered mommy to calm his wakeful mind.  He just wants me, me.  All my imperfections and my hairy legs.  My impatience, my boring dinners and my rough heels.  Me.

And whether it be 7:00 am, 3:00 pm or exactly 3:17 am, that is exactly what he is going to get.  Because I know that he will sleep independently some day, he will learn to settle himself without me.  He will brush is own teeth and wash his own hair.  He will pour is own glass of water and take himself to the bathroom.  He will read a book or think quietly by himself when he cannot sleep.  Someday he won't need me to sleep, someday he won't need me at all, but not today.  Today we rock.  We rock in the cold wooden rocking chair with freezing knees and the warmest of hearts.

Monday, November 18, 2013


I wrote this around 7 weeks pregnant when I was so tired that my brain completely shut off to store enough energy to breathe...Still waiting for it to turn back on, but that's a whole other story.

You guys, I haven't vacuumed in 5 days.  There is a small dog made from my dogs fallen hair in the corner.  You could eat a meal off of my kitchen floor and NOT in a good way.  If you stepped out of the shower you would develop a little furry boot of long brown hair stuck to your damp foot.  And to make matters worse, I don't even care.  The thought of vacuuming right now seems an impossible feet.  The vacuum alone must weight fifty pounds and my body feels as if it weighs a thousand.  Even just standing up from the ground after playing with Cache is exhausting.  You like the ring of dog hair on my ass?  Yeah, me too.

I have been so tired with this pregnancy that it is almost laughable.  By noon I find myself looking up and being like, really??  This isn't a joke?? I'm already THIS tired??  What am I creating, some kind of superhuman??  By 6:00pm I am keeping my eyelids open with toothpicks, and by 8/8:30, depending on when I get Caches down, I am crawling to bed.  And I'm not just in there to relax, I'm fucking sleeping!  My bed has never in my whole life felt so amazing.  Even when Caches was waking up every single 30 minutes all night long I wasn't this tired.

Perhaps because I was in a heightened state of arousal from the screaming, who knows, all I know is that I don't even feel like I have the physical energy to speak at the end of the day.  Actually, scratch that, make it all day.  Ryan asks me about my day and he might as well have asked me to recite Shakespeare.  I look at him and want to cry.  I can't talk, my mouth wants to sleep, shhhhh.  It is seriously ridiculous and I wouldn't even believe it if it wasn't happening to me.  I have actually considered slapping my own face just to wake up!!

Again, why couldn't I have had this symptom when I didn't also have a two year old who is always ready to party?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Why not...

When I was pregnant with Caches I decided to document with pictures starting at 18 weeks and then every two weeks until I delivered.  I hummed and hawed about doing it again but decided to go ahead and let it all hang out, kind of.

I feel way bigger this time, but after comparing pictures I am actually about the same size as last time.  I think I feel bigger because my stomach is way, and I mean WAY softer and squishier this time around.

Anyway, today marks 18 weeks.

Groan, moan, whine...

I wrote this around 9/10 weeks at the height of my feeling grossness and added the last few bits just now.

My pregnancy with Caches couldn't have been easier.  I suffered from none of the typical pregnancy related complaints.  No morning sickness, no nausea, no food aversions, no constipation, no aches and pains, no acid reflux, no exhaustion, no swelling, no nothing!  Other than a stuffy nose and gaining 30 pounds I pretty much didn't even notice I was pregnant.  Even nearly a week past my due date I was relatively comfortable, physically that is, mentally I was a fucking nightmare.

This pregnancy on the other hand, I surrender, I give up, I'm a mess.  It all started out okay, but it went downhill fast around week 7.  I started out feeling just a little bit off, not really able to eat anything past 5pm and feeling extra tired, and morphed into a miserable, grumpy lump on the sofa whining because not even ice cream sounded good.  I wanted to vomit all day but never actually had the urge to do it.  I woke up every single morning feeling like I had binged on Jagermeister and jello shots the night before.  My hips and back began to ache around week 8 and have only gotten more uncomfortable since.  

My boobs are so sore that even looking at them the wrong way can cause me to wince in pain let alone a gymnastic toddler trying to nurse.  My brain might as well not even exist with how forgetful I am, my joints already feel stiff and achy, my face is a connect the dot poster of pimples, my stomach and nipples have decided to sprout random black hairs overnight, and I haven't taken a decent shit in weeks!  I have never in my entire life been constipated until now and it is seriously the lamest thing ever.  An evil waiting game that likes to fuck with you and waste a lot of your time.  

In short, the first part of this pregnancy sucked.  And I think my uncertainty about everything turning out okay and constant worry about another miscarriage only added fuel to the fire.  I am happy to report that I am mostly feeling back to myself again at 18 weeks along.  That is if myself includes the circulation being cut off by my jeans and envying Caches' bowel movements.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Because one cat, two dogs, two adults and a toddler don't quite fill the up the king size bed...

We thought it a good idea to add one more baby to the mix.

Now, if you are reading this and thinking, "What the hell, Anne?  You couldn't even call or tell me in person!?  I had to find out on the internet that you are pregnant?!"  You are not alone.  The only people who knew were my parents, Ryan's parents and our siblings.  Oh, and one friend that caught me in a lie.  See, it's true, I really can not lie so luckily nobody asked.

If you are offended or sad that I didn't call you personally, I am sincerely sorry.  I am not a good phone person and chances are good that even if we are close friends I haven't spoken to you on the phone in months.  Talking to people on the phone with a toddler in the room is one of the most annoying experiences in the world for the person on the other end of the line.  "Are you talking to me now or Caches?"  Caches! I would not ask a grown woman if she needs to pee or if she is just holding her penis!  Plus if Cache sees me on the phone he suddenly needs water poured, elaborate meals prepared, and help going poop.  Plus, we all know that kids wake up from a nap the second mom makes a phone call.  No fun for anyone.

Add to this the fact that I have been extremely guarded with my emotions and experiencing a lot of anxiety about a repeat miscarriage and you get a situation where 50 plus phone calls was just not going to happen.  I have been doing a little bit of writing about the pregnancy thus far and will post them with little notes as to how far along I was when I wrote them, but so far I have been very quiet about this pregnancy.

I am still feeling a little bit uncertain and having a hard time letting myself get too excited or attached, but I think as the weeks pass I will feel more and more confident and the realness will sink in.  For now I'm just anticipating the transition from looking chubby to actually looking pregnant.

If you are the type that likes a countdown, I am 4.5 months along and due mid April.  Oh, and we are going to find out the gender right after Thanksgiving!

Thanks for understanding and I hope you are ready for some super duper pooper fun around here, I know I am.  Or maybe I'm just trying to convince myself that I am.

Okay, I'm totally not!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Someone alert PETA

I am no longer a vegetarian

Go ahead and gasp, tell me I am a hypocrite, be excited, or shake your head in shame.  All done?  Good, then let's carry on.  First, a little back story.  I first tried out vegetarianism at around 14 years of age.  I don't honestly remember the exact time, so let's just say 14, shall we.  I didn't really do any research, I kind of remember just deciding that meat was gross and that I wasn't going to eat dead animals.

Fast forward a few years and my world expanded causing me to do a lot and I mean A LOT of research.  I delved into the horror of factory farms, animal abuse, and all of the horrible things that eating a diet rich in mainstream animal products does to your body.  I love animals and could not imagine them suffering their entire lives just so I could eat some meat that I didn't "need" anyway!  I was so convinced that I became a strict vegan cutting out all animal products and even many things made from animals products.

I was vegan for a number of years and out of pure laziness, really, I went back to being vegetarian.  I'd switch it up and become vegan for a while and then back to vegetarian, but there was absolutely no meat passing these lips.

I stopped doing extra research years ago, already convicted of my strong feelings toward the industry, and went about life as a vegetarian.  When I fell pregnant, I even decided to raise my child vegetarian long before he was born, and have been doing so for the past two years.  I considered raising him vegan, but it was clear that the very young, developing brain needed more than what a vegan diet could supply.  Of course I am not saying that if your kid is vegan that you are depriving them, it just takes a whole hell of a lot of work to make sure they are getting all the nutrients they need from a vegan diet and I didn't want to do it, see laziness comment above...

Anyway, I decided that once solids were introduced, we would include whole, raw milk diary and pastured eggs.  Well, as you know I don't like to leave well enough alone so I began to do more and more research about the brain of a child and how food is directly related to its formation and function.  Holy shit is there a lot of information about this.  I was completely in awe of how much I didn't know about the human body, the brain, and its connection with food.

I decided to put both Caches and myself on a few supplements that would help us stay healthy while remaining vegetarian, though one of them was fish oil.  I decided it was worth it and we began taking fish oil and an essential amino acid that helps vegetarians metabolize vitamins A and D.  Then we started taking extra vitamin D and glycine, another amino acid that is not present with a vegetarian diet.  I felt good about how we were eating and the supplements we were taking...until I didn't

When I was pregnant with the baby that we lost, I began to crave meat.  Something that hadn't happened before.  I was seriously craving it so intensely that I would fantasize about stealing it from other peoples plates at restaurants.  Iron I thought, I just need some iron.  So one more supplement down the hatch.  At the time I was talking nearly 10 different supplements every single day and it wasn't until Ryan questioned my need for them that I stopped and really looked at what my diet had become.

I wasn't healthy, a healthy person doesn't need 10 some odd supplements, and I wasn't listening to my body either, I was forcing perceived health upon myself and possibly even upon my child.  This new line of questioning hit me hard, but I wasn't ready to do anything drastic until I learned more.

I wandered around my brain for a long time as I often do when I am questioning myself, and I kept coming back to the horrible images from factory farms and the disgusting additives in mainstream meat.  I thought about all the people over the past decade who reminded me that humans were designed to eat meat.  I thought about the standard american diet and how drastically it has changed over the past few decades.  I imagined hunter gatherer tribes and the design of the human body.  I thought about the diet of traditional cultures, all which include animal products and robust health.  I thought long and hard until my wandering finally led to sleep.

It was a lot to think about, I was questioning the way I had been living for more than half of my life.  There had to be a better way, I thought.  There had to be an in between where a person can eat a traditional, real food diet that includes nutrient dense meat while not contributing to factory farms.  A place where I didn't need to down 20 supplements to be "healthy."  A balance.  Well, turns out there is, and it is kind of amazing.

It is the often forgotten world of real/traditional food.  Or as our ancestors called it, food!  In this world there are no factory farms, no crowded wire cages, no GMO feed, or antibiotics.  There is not flagrant animal abuse, waste or disrespect.  There are just animals being animals until they are humanely slaughtered for food.  My feelings about factory farmed meat and dairy have not changed, not even a little bit, what has happened is that I finally realized I can have it all.

I can give my son a hot dog that is made from pastured cows rather than an array of soy products constructed in some kind of lab.  I can cook his rice in nutrient dense, gut healing bone broth that I make myself, using the whole animal that gave it's life so we could eat.  I feel way better about him eating french fries cooked in pastured beef tallow than I ever did about man made vegetable oil.  I have found that many of my struggles to eliminate heavily processed food have disappeared because I am no longer looking for a substitute.  

Now I know that passionate vegetarians and vegans are not agreeing with me and believe that killing any animal for any reason is completely unnecessary and cruel.  That's okay.  I also know that those who do eat factory farmed meat and dairy as a main source of their diet are feeling like I'm being judgmental, and that's okay too.  Because if I have learned anything over the past 31 years it is this, you will never, ever make everyone happy, EVER!  So might as well worry about me and let everyone else figure out what makes them happy for themselves.

**I chose not to go into detail about why I have the feelings I do about factory farmed meat and diary because I figure if you want to know you will research it yourself and if you don't want to know then you probably don't want to hear it from me.  I do encourage you to do some research though.  Our food supply is becoming pretty scary if you ask me.  But you didn't.  Thanks for reading