Parenting

To the Lady pathetically forcing her kid to clean up blocks at the library:

Just stop. Seriously.

Your half hearted “we are going to go potty then clean up the blocks” to your not even 3 year old was pointless.

What value is there TO HIM in cleaning up the blocks?

So now he went potty and YOU are cleaning the blocks.

Every so often you chase him down, tell him sternly “we are cleaning the blocks” – to which he laughs- then you go back to cleaning the blocks yourself… in silence… and he goes back to running around in pure joy.

My 14-month-old is watching, taking it all in, that’s what bothers me the most. He doesn’t understand this angry Mom, silent to her little one that just wants to play.

I really try to not judge–

Maybe you are exhausted- I’ve been there.

Maybe he has some extra challenges none of mine have.

Please just calm down. He is suppose to resist, suppose to run around instead of cleaning, he’s so little.

If he doesn’t clean this one time I promise he won’t go his entire life unwilling/unable to clean up after himself.

If there is a mess when you walk out the door, more kids will come and play and the mess will get bigger.

The world will not come crashing down.

BUT- if you need the mess cleaned you have to work harder. You have to talk with him the entire time, YOU have to calm down, YOU have to engage with him.

So pick one.

Stick with it.

And have a better day.

 

 

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To All The Haters…

I got a lot of crap before Tag was born for my “crazy ways” and “silly ideas”. Let’s remember, I have 5 other kids (and way more that came in and out during my fostering days) yet some people just knew I was making huge mistakes. No swings? No crib? No bouncer? Clearly I am insane! You cloth diaper? Well I’m bringing you disposable anyway, “just in case”.

Hi.

Hello.

I’ve done this before.

It’s rude. It’s not “being helpful” or thoughtful. If I say no and you don’t choose to hear my words, it’s disrespectful.

So to all those that did not believe I knew what I was doing, Tag has survived to nearly 7 months old…

Without a bouncer, swing, walker, jumper, bassinet, stroller, or even a disposable diaper!

I have held him, worn him, or set him down on a nice soft spot when needed. I’ve washed his diapers, by hand even, and never needed to use any throw away ones.  He has survived!

He is a happy healthy little man, even a little advanced if I do say so myself. (and I do, because I’m his mother)

You raise your baby your way, I’ll raise mine my way.

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What Happened To My Sleeper?

Tag has not been napping lately, or at least that’s how I have been feeling… Yesterday I decided to write things down (because trying to remember anything is hopeless) and find out exactly how much my reformed crazy sleeper was ACTUALLY sleeping…

Tag went to bed at 8pm and woke up at 8 am- Win.

Nap:  9:30-10

Nap:11:10-11:45

Nap: 1:20-2

Nap: 3:50-4:40

Nap: 6:30-7

Bed: 9pm-6am

Ummm.. Excuse me? A total of 3 hours of napping over the entire day? Here’s the deal, that 3 hours is not even productive time for me. By the time I got him to sleep and escaped with my boob I had only a small about of time to get anything done before he woke up again. Yeah, totally not working for this Momma.

When Tag awoke this morning (at 6am, not ok) I decided to do a little experiment. Despite being totally exhausted and wanting to just go back to sleep, I got us both ready and headed to the mountain. We started hiking at 7:15 (he was awake until we got there) and within 2 minutes he was asleep. And Tag decided to nap for the entire 2 hours of our hike! .

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Must be nice to be so lazy…

So what did I learn? Apparently running/hiking my entire pregnancy does not create a baby who sleeps while laying still… My little coach is going to do whatever it takes to get me on the mountain no matter how many excuses I make… If you’re feeling unmotivated I will happily send him to your house the next time he wakes up at 6 am!

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Did I mention it was 99 degrees when we finished?! That’s sweat… gross

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Pretty sure the evil dictator is planning how he will torture me tomorrow…

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Stop Praising Dads for Parenting.

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Screw the Village

I get the “it takes a village” mentality, but leave my kid alone!

I am very clear with my children that they do not have to feel obligated to talk to or listen to adults if they are uncomfortable. I am also very clear that they need to do things on their own when it comes to climbing, jumping, swinging. If you get yourself into a situation you better be able to get yourself out.

We hiked to Seven Falls in Tucson yesterday. The hike was uneventful and all around easy, nothing much to say about that. When we got to the falls the older ones got to playing and I sat with the baby paying little attention to what they were doing. Frogs were caught, rocks were climbed, people got wet. The usual.

Now Tenny is strong and a fairly talented gymnast. She loves boulder and got herself on this rock-

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And got down many times.

But at one point she was up there alone and two older gentlemen took notice of her trying to get down and offered help.

“No thank you” Said Tennyson

She sat back on top of the rock waiting. When I say I pay “little” attention to what is going on that’s not completely true, I knew exactly what was going on but did not intervene.

Tenny continued to sit  on the rock looking at the men out of the corner of her eye for a couple more minutes then went to go down again.

At this point one of the men jumped up offering her help again.

“No Im ok” she said. She climbed back to the top again and sat uncomfortable for another few minutes before hightailing it down and over to me.

“hey honey, did that bother you?”

“Yes. They didn’t listen to me.”

Now you see, the “helpfulness” was really not listening to my daughters words. Yes she is only 6, but she said she was fine and the men, adults, wouldn’t hear her. How scary is that when you are little? She went back up the rock multiple times not because she wanted to, but in hopes that these men would leave her alone so she could get down. I understand wanting to help children if they look like they are in trouble but she was not.  Maybe she could have fallen, but so what?

Tenny and I talked about the way she felt. We talked about how adults should listen to children’s words and if they don’t that’s scary. We also talked about how these men may have just been trying to help but we also don’t know and some people use “helping” as a way to trick children.

PLEASE hear my children. If you aren’t trusting a child’s judgment DO NOT push. Give a simple “can I go get your Mom/Dad for you” but do not invade their space or comfort zone. Adults need to respect a child’s words. Maybe you aren’t the “bad guy” but what happens when my daughter takes help from that person because she doesn’t want to upset the person offering help?  Children should not feel an obligation to accept help from an adult AND if they have already said no thank you, essentially telling the adult to back off, and the adult does not listen they should be wary of that person.

Tenny did what she was suppose to do and though I am sad she lost out on some fun playtime while she sat figuring out how to handle the situation, I’m glad I got to see her use her internal safety button and make the choice she thought was best. Strong looks good on Little Ladies…

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I smell…

I was sitting writing another blog post and Tru was getting our weights together, it was obviously time for a lifting session…

Tru “Mommy what’s this”- Showing me his hand

Me “That’s blood buddy”

Now see, in the process of moving a 25lb kettle bell he had knocked it over on his hand. Not dropped it, just knocked it on its side, which split his nail.

At this time Tag was naked and sleeping on me so I set him down to help Tru (in reality I set him down to go pee, but figured I could help a bleeding 4-year-old as well). It wasn’t until I laid him down that I realized-

I had been pooped on. And I didn’t even notice when it happened.

That’s where my life is at… so the interaction between Tea and I this morning made even more sense….

Tea “Hey Mommy can you guys come into school today” (because showing off your infant brother is the coolest thing to do EVER!)

Me “Sure hunny…”

Tea “Ok, but can you change your shirt first….?”

(inner dialogue “Oh My goodness what is wrong with my daughter?!?! I am the COOLEST mom ever! Why would she be embarrassed of me?!? I mean, I’m wearing running clothes, but thats because I’m a runner, which is cool! What is wrong with her?? UGH! I’m so angry!”)

Me “why?” (asked with all the Motherly kindness and love I could muster)

Tea “Well… you have a boob leak stain…”

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Yup, that awesome circle of boob milk leakage-target was about to leave the house…

And that my friends is when I realized I had hit rock bottom…

Well, until this most recent poop incident… Guys, I am so smelly and gross that I really don’t notice anything anymore… Maybe I should go shower…

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Adorable baby don’t care.

(for the record I did not change my shirt, I just put a long sleeve on over it 🙂 )

 

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No One Gets Me!

My Mom was over tonight and she and Tajh went outside to take the trash and recycling bins out. Moments later she comes running in frantically-

“Tell your son no!”

Me- Deer in headlights

Mom “There is  lizard stuck in the old trash can and he wants to get it out!”

Me “Oh. Well Tajh, save it”

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That’s right, even my Mother who has watched me parent for 13 years got it all wrong.

Do I really parent that oddly? Maybe to “average” American standards, I’m not “average”.

This isn’t “normal”?

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This one time, in 5th grade, my teacher told us “to assume is to make an ass out of you and me. Yes, my teacher told a class of 10-year-olds this. Genius. Make no assumptions, ever.

I actually got asked the other day, “so do you just wear him (Tag) all the time?”

Yes, yes I do. If I’m not wearing him, I’m holding him. If I’m not holding him, I’m peeing, I will pick him up when I’m done. I treated Tajh exactly the same way and no, I do not have to wear him still today. He is by far the most self confident and genuinely happy person I know, adult or child.

Also no, babies can not be manipulative. Babies have needs, they cry when then “need”. I respect children (or at least try to) no matter how old they are. I actually have “A person’s a person no matter how small” (Dr. Seuss) tattooed on my body ( I have a quote obsession).  Just because they are littler then we are does not mean their wants and needs should be ignored.  If a baby is crying I will do whatever it takes to make them not cry. I will nurse all day, wear all day, pace while singing all day, whatever it takes. Again, I have done this with all my children and none of them still expect to be carried! They are all very capable and confident. I think 5 awesome kids says I’ve done something right.

Obligatory-random-adorable sleeping baby picture….

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But again, even my Mom after all these years misjudges how I will react. I suppose I can’t hold on to any hope that people will “get” me and maybe I’m happier with them not. I like being a little odd.

And don’t worry, our friends (turns out another one was hiding) were saved and ran off happily.

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Running after baby!

Well its been 6 weeks since little man made his exit and I am DYING to have a race schedule, but nothing is planned yet. Some days I get to run, some I just get to hike, totally depends on when I can corner my Mom and get her to wear Tag while I get my run on. So how is running going these days for me?

As if running while pregnant isn’t enough of an adventure you then roll into the world of everyone telling you to “take it easy” so your uterus doesn’t fall out. For the record my uterus is still inside my body.

Week 1-  7.5 miles

Lets start with the day he was born, I hiked 4 miles (I’m sure you all ready this so you already know that). 3 days later my car needed work and I had 6 children to get to the store with, so we walked… 3.5 painfully uncomfortable and slow miles.

Week 2- 4.1 miles

I was dying. LITERALLY DYING! I needed to get out! So I hiked 1.1 miles on the mountain (totally breaking the rules) and walked 3 with some awesome lady friends (still breaking the rules).

Week 3- 20.9 miles

On day 17 I went into my midwives wearing running clothes. They gave me the OK to start “slowly” running and off I run! Literally. 9 of the miles this week were running and I felt like I was flying. I did everything I could to take it easy, but with the belly gone and the ability to breathe running just felt way too awesome. Tag made his first summit of Squaw Peak this week, he slept through it.

Week 4- 24.2

My goal has been to keep my running at a “easy” pace and hiking with Tag as “up” as I can. This week I ran 14.1 miles and Climbed 2,200 feet while wearing him. Hiking was feeling easier and easier and running was fun again!

Week 5- 27.2 Miles

DUUUDE! 6,400 feet of climbing while wearing this guy! We did 3,000 feet on one day, man it feels nice to spend 3 1/2 hours on a mountain. I only ran 10.6 miles, some days it’s harder to get someone to watch a baby.. Life…

Week 6- 25.1

This week has been a little sad… I was really hoping to be over 30 miles and much more climbing but shit just didn’t work. I don’t have extra hands around and my Mom can only watch him so much, so some days I have to suck it up and not run… Not matter how much it kills me. Plus, I was lazy. I could have totally gotten more climbing in but I just didn’t. Only 4,750 feet. Sigh…

I had an easy pregnancy, easy birth, and have had an easy running “come-back”. Luck? Maybe. But maybe a little of having a clear plan and strategy about coming back and continuing to run my entire pregnancy. I’m really hoping to pick some races and see what my body can do at this point. Planning to stop and nurse a baby that doesn’t have a schedule (and no I will not put him on a schedule) makes things even more tricky… But believe you me, I’ll be out at a race soon. Watch me now!

 

 

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Why is my baby always in white!

So apparently people have taken notice, little baby Tag is always in a white long sleeve onesie, ALWAYS! Why? Well mostly because I am crazy… but I do have a reason for this crazy (though it is just crazy…)

All boys clothes are “boy” colored. If it’s not crazy organic crunchy hippie mom stuff it’s usually brightly colored with trucks, trains, or sports on it. The crazy organic stuff is better, but still seems to try and “make” him into something. Or maybe it isn’t trying, but peoples opinions (even my own) about him change when he is wearing different colors/designs.

Tag is himself. He can not tell me what he likes, who he is, how he feels. When I look at him, when others look at him, I want them to see Tag, not “that little boys in the cute outfit”, just Tag. His face, his super lips, just him. Now maybe I’m off here and an outfit doesn’t change your perception of a baby or gloss over who they are, but why risk it? Or, really, who cares? ( I mean, white is easy to hang in the sun to get out the poop stains so maybe that’s my reason?)

Is he always going to wear white? Nah… But for now I want to just see my baby and learn who he really is before I start playing dress up with him (which WILL happen!)

I will leave you with adoable pictures of my baby Tag just in white-

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Taggart James- The story of almost having a baby on a mountain.

Because I like to do everything myself.

Because I can fix a toilet while pregnant and taking care of 5 kids.

Because I decided being pregnant wasn’t going to stop me from getting out and running (or “running”)

Because running a half marathon at 37 1/2 weeks pregnant sounded like a fun idea. And it was.

During my pregnancy I ran a lot, mostly alone, tanned my giant belly, and made many people uncomfortable with my choices (slack lining well pregnant is an adventure!)

So basically I was setting myself up for a crazy birthing story. And boy did I deliver!

I was pretty sure the baby was coming out soon starting on Wednesday night. I ran on the canal with friends and really felt great. I hit 24 miles for the week that night and could not figure out why in the world I was feeling so awesome running. I felt like I could have run more that night, and I wasn’t feeling slow at all. Weird… and I ate a decent amount of food after, even weirder.

Thursday I decided to not run. My legs and unmentionable areas hurt (hello ligaments that loosen for birthing) and I just thought I would give myself a break. I did have moments of sadness wondering if I was squandering my last opportunity to run pregnant but I distracted myself with cleaning, shopping, and cake eating. None of those went well. I found myself beyond annoyed with people, I couldn’t really eat, but I guess the cleaning was OK (OCD much?). Thursday night I had fantasies of eating hoards of food but was too nauseous and just could not sleep. I was alone in the house awake, all night and could not figure out what was going on…

Until at 3am I rolled over “shit I peed myself..”. Up to the bathroom I would go, back to bed, another “shit I peed myself”, another bathroom visit… yes, super fun. In the back of my mind I knew my water was leaking but I also have a very hard time with the idea of being “the girl who cries labor”. I’ve always waited a long time to call my midwives and really thought I had a good handle on it this time. So I spent the night watching terrible television, trying to eat the cake and failing miserably, and lots of bathroom visits.

And lots of shorts changing… Because apparently putting a pad on was just not in my option bank at that point.

When it was finally a normal hour and the sun was up I decided to go for a hike. First I showered, because that makes total sense! In the shower I was having some contractions but nothing too terrible, I clearly have time here. New shorts, grabbed Piper and out the door I went.  I was too uncomfortable to run, but why not hike in the mountains alone while I’m having “mild and irregular” contractions? I would be fine of course, I had my phone. I talked with the older kids dad for a while as he was planning on bringing the kids by for the birth (which was so awesome of him) and he pointed out “well you are talking through the contractions so you have some time”.
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Yeah I did, I have time…. I texted people, made jokes, and figured I would hike 4 miles then head home and have plenty of time. Ouch…

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OUch…

Important note- I’ve vented about this before (https://sevenwildandfree.com/2016/01/28/hey-asshole-dog-owners/  ) But assholes with your dogs off leash!?! Two, yea TWO dogs ran at Piper and I while we were hiking. I’m pretty sure those owners would thank their lucky stars they survived after their dogs ran at a laboring woman and her giant dog. Ugh…

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FUCK…

“Am I peeing myself of just leaking?”

I actually stopped to pee… I’m not sure why, I wouldn’t have noticed the difference… Luckily I put on a lot of Body Glide before I left the house (it works for amniotic fluid leaking chaffing protection too! Where’s my sponsorship?!)

Ouch…

Dance party through contractions…

At some point I was stopping a lot. I could not go up hill while having a contraction so it was dancing or standing still. And yes, lots of cursing loudly. If you were near the Phoenix mountains between 9 and 11 on Friday morning you may have heard me!

I was texting my friend Liz who I have known for almost 11 years now (important note, we met on baby center when our oldest girls were 6 months. We met on the internet and decided to meet in person and neither of us were murderers!) At some point she said “I am thinking this baby is just going to fall out. Please go home!” And really, that was it. For some reason her saying it made me flip out just a little. Also, possibly that “pressure on my bottom” I was feeling added to my agreeing to head back.  So as I was about home I called my midwife…

10:44- “I can’t really time them, they may just be strong since I’m hiking…”

“Go home and drink something. Lay down for 20 minutes and time them, then call me back”

Home I came (after i finished my 4 miles!) and I tried to lay down. Piper begins barking and I have to go bring her inside… I lay down again-oh shit I need to make the bed-Oh shit contractions Oh shit I can’t lay down – Oh shit- Oh Shit- Call midwife 11:17

“hey so I can’t lay down…”

“because they hurt too much?”

“yeah…”

“I’ll be right there

Seth shows up with Tea and Tru. I am way too worked up to sit and have a conversation with the kids. I felt terrible but I just couldn’t talk through the contractions.

Seth “What? you don’t want to have a conversation with me” (comedic genius)

Me “Go fuck yourself!”

Seth “Well I’ll take these guys and feed them, let me know how things are going and I’ll bring them back”

Midwife gets here at 11:37

Checks me- 9 cm…

Text Seth “ok now…”

Mom shows up and all I can ask for is her to clean the bathroom so I can take a shower in a clean environment after. Priorities!

11:47- I start pushing, because I am NOT waiting on anyone. It’s important to note I am very disappointed with how terribly I took the pushing. I think there was added stress in the room and just in general I wasn’t in the head space I should have been in . Instead of working with my contractions and understand this little one just wanted out I was fighting everything and making it worse. I also should have eaten more, I mean, I was on the mountain for almost 2 hours… and maybe hydrated… I was exhausted… But, he came out!

12:08- Cord around his little neck was unwrapped and I brought him to my chest. For the first time I was the one that got to look and was so excited to see he was a boy! ( I really did not have a girl’s name I loved and with a tween girl I had decided I can handle boys better!) 8lbs 3oz – 21 1/4 inches. 1 week early.

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People showed up, things happened, I showered (me showering twice in one day?!?!) And the world was pretty sweet!

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Laboring alone was very odd for me. I was literally on my own and in the mountains until 9cm. I’ve always had people around as a labored but this time the mountains gave me my strength. Damn, that’s pretty beautiful! I spent 2 hours in the mountain laboring and just an hour at home before this little man came into my world. I am beyond thankful.

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His name! With nearly ever baby I’ve had I considered the name Taggart. It’s my Grandpa’s last name and he had 4 girls, seems only fair to add it to my list of T’s. In the end it just never felt right for any of my Littles… Until this little guy. I had always felt like he was a boy but never really admitted it to anyone.  Taggart just felt like his name, my baby Tag. His middle name is James. Lets get confusing- It’s my Dad’s name, my brother’s middle name, AND when Tru came to me it was his middle name, oh and my cousins middle name. Overused? Maybe! But Taggart James is a strong name for this strong Little Man!

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