Parenting

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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Things I Don’t do with Babies

Yesterday I was watching a Vlogger I sometimes enjoy. A family with a 2-year-old and a newborn. I don’t always agree with what they do, but sometimes it inspires me to make a new video that day which is cool. As I watched the Mom’s “Things I love and don’t love for this baby” I became more and more annoyed. I may have only watched 5 minutes before I turned it off and huffed away to clean something with grumpiness. Look, EVERYONE doesn’t have to do things “my way” but I feel like if your life is out there for all to see you do have some social responsibility.

So why was I so mad?

EVERYTHING within the first 5 minutes were products meant for you to not touch/pay attention to your baby. WHAT?!?! This mom does baby wear but doesn’t do everything the way I do, which is fine. It just seemed insane to me that she was promoting so many products on how to lay your baby here so it will sleep on it’s on, watch it on this monitor while it sleeps alone, strap in in here so it sleeps alone. I just can’t agree or listen to it.

So here friends, a list of what I do NOT do with babies-

  • I do not put them down.

While this may sound crazy, I really don’t. I baby wear all day. Maybe they are set down for a minute here and there, but always put back on. To me this feels right. They grow so fast and don’t want to be worn as soon as they can get around on their own, so why not soak up every minute I can being as close as possible?

  • I do not strap my babies into anything

Except to me or a carseat. No swings, no bouncy chairs, no Bumbo, just no. I refuse. At no point have I seen a need or will I.

  • I do not have them sleep alone

I co-sleep and can not be convinced there is anything wrong with it. Yeah don’t be stupid, if you have a sleep disorder, have been drinking, or smoke, DO NOT co-sleep. But if you are healthy babies can absolutely be safe and comfortable in bed with Momma. Again, they grow up so fast and I will happily have them close to me as long as possible.

  • I do not use disposable diapers.

I cloth diaper. Not only is it actually easy (another load of laundry isn’t really a big deal) they are so darn cute! The only time I use disposable is on a trip, because when you are living outside washing diapers does not found fun. But otherwise, there is no reason to NOT use cloth (and it’s actually a ton cheaper in the long run).

Now I’m sure there is a lot more I “do not” do, but those are the big ones I couldn’t stop reeling over after listening to unnamed Vlogger. In no way am I saying everything I do fits everyone, but keep in mind between my own children, fostering, and nannying I have probably cared for over 15 babies/toddlers. At one point I cared for 8 children 8 & under, and it really wasn’t as crazy as it sounds! Foster children did not co-sleep for the most part and that was rough on me. Getting up in the middle of the night, making bottles and putting a baby back in their bed is so much more difficult then rolling over and pulling out a boob… and falling back asleep before putting it away…

So do what you please, but if you Vlog about it know I will not watch it all, but I guess I’m still giving you views…

 

 

 

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28 weeks- Truth

It’s an interesting world to live in. One where you share your life publicly but feel like there are some things that should be kept private. Whether it be to keep it from family, try and pretend it isn’t happening, or to save someone else from ridicule. Maybe thats an honorable thing? To keep inside what you know will hurt someone else and what they do? But in turn if that hurts you, by lying to the world, is that ok? Who in the end is more important? Those that can learn from your story and benefit in their own lives? Those that harm you but you want to save? Or yourself?

I am 28 weeks pregnant and doing this all alone. Well, my kids are here and I have some really awesome friends that support me, but otherwise without a partner. It’s hard to even say, but though this wasn’t completely unplanned (the words “we should have a baby” weren’t spoken by me) it has still ended up here. At some point between lies and broken promises I asked for space and it turned into any pregnant woman’s natural disaster. I found myself loosing weight and vomiting constantly from the stress that was being put on me. When someone lashes out its always hard, when you are pregnant, it’s unbearable.

When I was pregnant with Tajh (my oldest) I should have been stressed out. Before I became pregnant with him I was not with his father. We were both living our own lives (after being together for over a year) but still spending time together (i.e. obviously sleeping together). I also had a pretty large drug problem. Prescription pills were redly available and I took full advantage of that. One night at a party I was the epitome of a “stupid girl” and did way too many drugs and made some terrible choices. I could use the word “rape”, that awesome trigger word that would get me out of all responsibility for my actions, but in the end I took too many drugs and passed out. I can not blame anyone except myself for that. While the boys (we were 18.. cause and effect just isn’t there yet so not “men”) should not have taken advantage of the situation, I should not have been so incapacitated I couldn’t protect myself. I am not minimizing rape, just speaking about my specific situation.

Enough on that, but basically Tajh’s Dad really had no reason to assume Tajh was his, and for the most part he didn’t. We both moved down to Tucson for school (living separately) and lived our own lives. I had a hard time being alone and moved back home after my first semester. Though he wasn’t totally involved I was thankful he spoke to me, came with me to appointments at times, and wasn’t as mean as he probably could have been. He could have used the “its not mine” and run away, but he didn’t have that in him. I will not give him full credit (who wants to give their ex credit), but in the end he chose to error on the side that the baby may be his and he should be minimally supportive. I don’t think I realized it at the time, but even though I was strong and confident in my decision to have Tajh no matter what, having him not run away was so important for me.

Today I am here. The father of this baby doesn’t answer my phone calls. While living his own life he has decided to completely avoid responsibility. Money might cover “things” but the baby doesn’t know that. The baby also does not know his voice, he has never felt the baby move, and never met my midwife. I would love to just be angry about all this, to have hatred for how terrible I have been treated, but really it’s just sad… I know what he is missing out on, I’ve done this before, but there is no way to explain that to someone who is on the run. When someone has hit “fight or flight” you can’t stop them. There is a large part of me that wants to hold all their “friends” who are supporting this flight accountable. How can you support him missing out on being a part of things? How can you support him not taking responsibility like an adult? But then again, real friends call you out on your bullshit… So I guess we see where they stand.

Look, I get it, life is hard. Im 28 weeks pregnant, running 30 miles a week, taking care of my 5 Littles 2 cats and a dog, trying to eat when Im stressed about all this, trying to be excited about this baby alone, creating my birth plan, thinking about how sad it will be to give birth alone (well with the kids there), but I’m doing it… Because I have to… Because I can’t run away. I have to show my children that running and anger gets you no where in life. You must always push through and do the best you can no matter what. Strong is beautiful and confidence should be the priority.

I really did struggle with posting this. I haven’t blogged recently because I was afraid of “letting it out” in some way, but I had to. If you read my blog and have been following me for a while you deserve to know what is really going on in my world, otherwise why should I have a blog at all? My desire to empower Mothers to be strong in their parenting outdoor wildly amazing children means I must tell the entire story. My kids and I are still adventuring strong. This week Little Tru (4) has 11 miles on his legs, which means I spent 11 miles next to him listening to his little stories and playing in the mountains! (ok 3 of those miles were during a Thanksgiving Day road race)  A pregnant Mom can still take her 5 Littles outside to play in the mountains! Men not needed 🙂

 

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Filling the Table

I always had the feeling that I was missing someone. I would count my kids and still feel like I had it wrong. From the moment Tajh started walking I remember having that panic moment. It continued no matter how many I had. Even at 8 kids I felt like someone was missing on a regular basis. Weird to say, but I never felt “done”…

Until about 8 months ago. I looked around and told myself I had everyone… no more were coming… I began looking up how I wanted to handle being “done” I don’t do hormonal birth control and I just “knew’ no more were coming, so research began…  I’ve had the question of whether or not this on was an “accident”, as rude as a question that is, I will say it wasn’t completely unplanned or planned.

Even with that being said, and knowing a baby was a possibility I hadn’t had that “feeling” of not being done. I still felt finished, my table felt full, my arms felt busy… And even these first 21 weeks I haven’t felt like there was another one joining us. I really don’t know how to explain it, but my family has just felt complete…

Some nights are busy with activities, drop offs, pick ups, and trying to get everyone fed and in bed (without leaving a giant mess) is a lot. I don’t always sit at the table during dinner, sometimes dishes need to be done, now, so I can function in the morning… Tonight as they ate, talking about their day while listening to some Cat Stevens I looked over..

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And suddenly my table did not feel so full….

I had that same feeling that someone is missing.. someone will be joining us soon.

To be exact, this someone-IMG_5707

 

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Don’t I Have Enough Already?!?

If you don’t follow my youtube channel (what the hell is wrong with you?!?)

Yes, I “needed” more!

 

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I found out I was pregnant the day before I left for my summer adventure with the kids.  The idea of living outside with 5 children and a dog while growing a human inside me sounded daunting, but I was all in. I made the choice to tell only my bestie Lala because I knew the worry that would come. I knew people would be uncomfortable with the choices I was making. Even without my Dad knowing, when he found out I would sleep in the middle of nowhere in my car when I didn’t have the kids he tried offering me money for a hotel. People, my family, anyone not living in this world of silly outdoor adventuring would not understand and I didn’t want to deal with the judgement.

Now living in a tent in bear country with morning sickness sucks. Where normally you can have crackers by the bed and try to curb the nauseousness upon waking up, I had to wait until children where awake, help get little people dressed, hike up a hill to the car, and start breakfast for a bunch of hungry heathens. By the time food was ready I was usually beyond the point of being able to eat and the drive to our next adventure would usually involve some stops for breathing breaks while I tried to contain the vomit. To make matters worse, when you have 5 kids and spend 10 hours a day hiking it’s hard to care for yourself. Often I would realize I ate one cliff bar all day… Not such an awesome idea…

My kids were great though. While they didn’t know they are very observant and kind and I found the older ones especially checking on how much I was eating. They figured I was saving all the snacks for them and would offer me theirs, and I would try to not dry heave in front of them. Carrying a 35lb toddler on your back up a mountain while doing your best to not vomit on yourself really keeps the day interesting. In case you missed it, here are a couple adventures we went on while in my first trimester-

So the kids would leave for a week and I would find myself recovering. Orange juice and apple juice became my crutch for a while. I would wake up and immediately drive to the store. Some mornings I could function ok after chugging some juice, others I found myself just trying to recover from the week prior. At some point juice just didn’t cut it and I moved on to root beer, yup, healthy. Root beer and a cliff bar was my diet some days, and I will not apologize for this! There is no good vegan food in the mountains of colorado! I was dying! All I wanted was something delicious, but I had no idea what that was. I really found myself longing for a bed, terrible television, and delicious food. Oh the dreams I had! Mind you, when I didn’t have my kids and actually had myself together enough to be around people that wasn’t easy either. I now found myself lying and coming up with excuses as to why I wasn’t drinking. Nothing makes you feel like an alcoholic more then people being dumbfounded that you aren’t drinking… *sigh*

So, We Survived! And now we are back to the normal grind of school busyness. Second Trimester and trying to run in the heat is pretty miserable, but I’m hoping to push through. We have some exciting adventures planned for the future!

Even with this giant mass growing...

Even with this giant mass growing…

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The emptiness of a clean house

I’ve spent a lot of time as a Mom cleaning. I may preach “the mess will be gone before you know it, they grow up too fast”, but really my OCD takes over and I clean. I hate walking into a house with toys everywhere. My kids play and make a mess and I follow behind them cleaning it up… not always, but much of my “Mom career” was spent being the cleaning lady.

Nowadays my kids leave 50% of the time. I could easily keep a super clean house while they are gone, but now a clean house is sad. A toy not on the rug means no one will be coming back to it in a couple of minutes. Clothes on the floor means no one is there for me to yell at to put them away. Is this something all single Mom’s feel? The loneliness of a clean home? When they are here I clean too much. I still follow them around picking up after them. Try and have them keep their messes contained. But when alone, the stuffed animal stays in its haphazard home… the dirty sock doesn’t find its way to the laundry basket, the straw hat used to play farmer sits in my chair without a head to don. Am I really the only one?

I’ve learned to clean sections. The joy I feel of over cleaning accomplishment can be had, but I always see my kids still here. Today it’s the kitchen and living room, everything is in place and the smell of way too all natural cleaning products is in the air. Their room is untouched. Beds aren’t made, they were too busy playing before they left to make them themselves. Clothes are on the floor, shoes out-of-place, they will be back. It’s comforting in a way, but still sad. They are still missing… Does this feeling ever go away?

Sometimes I find myself pretending it’s nice to have a “break”, and maybe some days it is. Yes, a day off every once in a while is helpful, maybe every couple of months. Sometimes I get the feeling Moms who have their kids all the time are jealous of my freedom. Sometimes they express it, just a little, and I can’t respond. I want to scream. I want to tell them I never became a Mom to have all this down time. I want them to see the days I’m without my kids and “free” and how lonely it is. Maybe it’s silly, maybe it’s that “grass is always greener” feeling…. Whatever it is I’ve had it both ways. I would always take being a full-time Mom with no breaks over being a part-time Mom.

So now I’ll go back to scrubbing things that have already been scrubbed and leave the bunny in the middle of my floor until it’s friend returns.

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