Posts Tagged With: Mom life

My Revenge Body

Apparently that’s a thing?

I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on how in shape I am lately. True to what we are taught as young girls I was struggling with taking the compliments. I would qualify it “yeah I mean, I could still lose some here”, but slowly and with practice I’ve started to simply say “thank you”.

This is by far the best running shape I have been in in years, and I am very happy with how my body is performing. But the other day the compliment was not one I was willing at accept…

“your revenge body looks great”

Umm… excuse me?

If this is a revenge body, doesn’t that imply I am trying to hurt some? I am trying to make someone jealous? That this transition I have made has everything to do with someone else, their actions, their feelings? Or my desire to control their feelings? I suppose it could mean I put in the work to look this awesome myself, but in order to be able to show it off for others…

But no. Excuse me, but fuck you.

I did all of this work on myself for me. Not for revenge, not to show off to others (except on instagram ūüėČ ), all for me and the things this body can do for me.

I started running after baby #2 and in training for my first half marathon with my Ex- Husband got pregnant with baby #3. I lied to my doctor at the time, informing her I had totally run before and that I would be fine continuing to train, and I was fine. I ran my first half at 21 weeks pregnant then laid off until after the birth.  My Ex and I continued to run here and there, nothing crazy and totally not serisouly. It was something we did together and I was slow! But we had fun.

Eventually we began dabbling in trail running and I met my bestie Lala. Her son and my #2 were in kindergarden together. I saw her wearing and ironman shirt and casual asked “so do you like, just run too?”

Her “Yeah, kinda…”

By that she meant “Yeah I run ultras. 100 milers. I tend to win stuff too”.. but true to ultra runner form she was humble.

Pretty quickly I jumped in to crewing her at her races. I loved it! Nothing like getting to take care of someone while they take on an epic adventure. I crewed my Ex too. I would take care of the kids while they and our other running friends all went on adventures together. I would cook for them, support them, and run a little here and there myself.

Then my kids started running. I supported them, hung with them while they trained, and ran a lot of their races with them. I ran on my own sometimes too, but my major focus was them meeting their goals.

And then there is #6’s Dad. I began not only supporting him at races he was running, but also helping him with his business. My running took a major back seat at this point, but I’m a mom and taking care of people is what I do… So I continued to take care of everyone else.

When I found myself super pregnant and alone, running was what I leaned on. I knew I needed an outlet so I turned things up a little. I was putting in pretty decent miles on the trails and with every run felt stronger and happier. I was genuinely hooked on this silly running thing like I had never been before.

The birth of #6, Tag, was the most spiritual experience of my life.  Not only did I feel more powerful then I ever have before, but my bond with nature was solidified.

((Almost giving birth on a mountain))

Naturally after having Tag I needed to get back to the mountains as fast as possible. Taking care of an infant alone is stressful, the only way to handle the loneliness and hormonal craziness was to get out there. I am proud to say my strava does not have even one zero week after I gave birth. I got out there slowly, walking, hiking, and eventually running. For the first time in my life I saw running as something that could be and should be a priority in my life. I begged people to watch my kids so I can run. I wear the Tag to hike up the steepest mountains I can. Sometimes my miles have to be hiking with all the kids or laps around the park while they play. I made the decision to do anything I had to to get my miles in and accomplish the goals I set.

To be 100%, I have no time for vengefulness. I have 6 busy kids, adventures to go on, and training to get done. Any and all free time I have is working toward my goals, and I no longer feel Mom guilt for getting shit done. It took me 14 years of parenting to decide that if I put myself first everyone wins. Better late then never?

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Categories: Parenting, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

When you make a promise…

My children are trying to marry me off…

Tea (11) “you promised me you were going to get married

Tajh (13) “We have a list”

And they proceeded to give me the list.

On it is a loud, foul mouthed “older” gentleman. My friend, a partner in crime, one of their favorite people. Not someone looking for a wife and 6 kids, someone looking to be free, and drunk. Another friend of a friend made the list. Not someone who is “stable” or to “normal”, but someone who is kind and the kids love. The rest of the list is either people who I don’t really know (including some of their teachers) and people already married…

“Umm.. he’s married”

Kids “That’s ok, we can break them up”

Oh goodness…

Wow…

So apparently I have to get married. I did promise after all…

Applications are being accepted via sevenwildandfree@gmail.com

The kids will look them over.

Oh my kids… these kids…

Categories: Single Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Alone Life

So I’m a single mom of 6 kids, who’s interested??

Yup, that’s the opening line to my stand up routine… hence why I don’t actually have a stand up routine…

But really, who sees a mom to 6 kids and thinks “hey, I want in on that mess”?

Six kids… That is a lot.

Five kids sounded like a lot….

I’ve had it together for these past couple of months since Tag’s birth. I think where most mer mortals would have folded, collapsed at the exhaustion and stress, I excelled. I’ve always taken a challenge well and doing this “single mom to an infant plus five other kids half the time” thing was my biggest challenge to date. I’ve felt in control of my emotions and very “put together”, but not these last couple of weeks. Somehow I have turned into an¬†emotional¬†wreck every time a love song comes on. I cry, in public sometimes- Sabrina does not cry!

So what is it?  I have zero desire to date and zero time.

I am happy being single- While my friends are telling me “you just had a baby, you’ll be interested in dating later”, in my head I’m daydreaming about all the running adventures I will go on in this “later” they speak of.

I have no one to answer to, it’s pretty sweet. My kids roll with all my crazy antics: breakfast for dinner, last minute adventures, impromptu dance parties, and we have no one to judge us. No one to question why we spent money on unnecessary things. No one to check in with. No one to judge my kid messy car. No one to kibosh any stupid (yet fun!) ideas we have. We like it.

If I did have any free time a man is not what I would want to spend it on. I would rather spend more time with my kids, read more, run, go on adventures, write, maybe make that “money” thing everyone speaks of. So much to do, dating is not even close to the table…

So why the sadness as of late? I think I’ll chalk it up to my hormones being a mess post birth. Maybe¬†exhaustion has finally built up enough and I can no longer ignore it. Or maybe it’s just normal? Maybe it’s normal to be sad you don’t have something everyone else (ok not everyone) has but not really want it in the end? Nah, it’s just hormones, I’ll take an extra placenta pill and call it a day.

There was an old woman who lived in a running shoe… I’m pretty sure that’s how it goes.

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All the man I need! (well… Tag and the 3 others I suppose)

Categories: Single Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

You Should Never Hike The Grand Canyon with a Baby

but I did….

(but I’m not telling you to)

Despite growing up in AZ I had never actually hiked into the Canyon. After having Tag and feeling great post birth (and in the best shape I have been in in a long time) I decided I would put everything I could on my “to-do” list and make adventures happen. Having limited time away from him at least half my training for my races has included hiking as steep an incline as I can find while wearing him. He has been quite the trooper and really taken to napping while we hike (which can be a bummer on a day I’m not feeling like hiking!).

I¬†have hiked a lot while baby wearing, 13 years of baby wearing for me at this point. The biggest question I get is “aren’t you afraid of falling”. Well, yes I am. I used to live in a 3 story town house when I had only 2 little ones and I would constantly be scared of falling down the stairs with them. Curbs scare me when I’m holding little ones. Basically my fears come from the “normal” things in life. The things you aren’t normally thinking about, that is when accidents happen. When I am hiking I am very aware of every step and overly cautious. No, I am not going to stand on the very edge of the Canyon and stare over the side, but as long as I am conscious of what I am doing and paying attention, the likelihood of tripping is less then normal day to day activities. Plus when you are wearing (as oppose to holding) you have 2 hands free to catch yourself!

So the plan was set to do a Rim-River-Rim with baby Tag. Despite everything online telling you to not try to do it in a day, 18 miles seemed doable for me while baby wearing (totally not for everyone). I didn’t have many reservations but as the day grew closer and rain was in the forecast, I became a little concerned. I HATE being cold, and I really couldn’t worry about myself as much. I had to be sure Tag was comfortable. All this meant was some online shopping for the perfect baby gear.

Waking up the day of our hike I was reminded how difficult it is to get yourself AND a newborn ready for a big adventure. Waking up a baby to get him ready, having to pee, it being cold outside, trying to plan when I could nurse before we started, how I could not make everyone else late (we started at the same time as some other friends) and trying to make sure I didn’t forget anything… Exhausting! But it worked out and Tag (such a trooper) allowed me to get us both ready, nurse him, and he slept the entire way to the South Kaibab Trail head.

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We totally weren’t scared!

Honestly, it was a pretty uneventful hike (that’s a good thing!). My sister joined us on minimal training and we took our time into the Canyon. Down to Phantom Ranch took almost 4 hours with no stopping just slow walking. Tag nursed a little on the way down but mostly slept comfortably. There was a drizzle of rain but nothing too crazy. At Phantom we took a 45 minute break where Tag was awake and playing. He hung out, made friends, and had a diaper change in the fresh rainy air. Putting him back on to head out, he fussed some but went directly back to sleep.

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Pretty sure I was explaining that he was in fact a real live baby he just sleeps and makes me do all the hard work!

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Lemonade!

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Phantom Ranch chillin

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The smallest person at the bottom of the Canyon that day!

 

Heading up Bright Angel the rain picked up some but Tag was unconcerned. As long as I kept the boob out, he had no worries in the world. I did not enjoy the cold boob or rain drops in my cleavage, but baby always wins. If you saw me in the canyon that day there is a good chance you saw my nipple, sorry about that! There were plenty of nice men I played leapfrog with on the way up (I would power up then wait for my sister. I was “that” annoying hiker but Tag needed me to move!). ¬†I got a lot of questions about how Tag was doing (what about mmmmeeee??) and my answer was almost always “sleeping”. At one point Tag was screaming and a couple of runners (dirtbag runners I believe) came by, “Are you ok?”… Me “Oh yes he just lost the boob”.. Silence…. I must have not thought about my audience for that one!

We made it out of the Canyon with a totally time of about 11 hours which included resting at Phantom Ranch and 2 other diaper change stops. Could I have done fast? Yes. I promised myself (and my sister) that there would be no time goals and no plan. Just a long walk all day looking at a beautiful place. Even with the rain and fog (that settled in as we were almost of the canyon) the Canyon is¬†amazing. Don’t ask Tag about it though, he wasn’t very awed….

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Tan lines=Boob is out

 

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So let’s talk gear!

Sleeping- Camping with babies is always a pain. They move, sleeping bags move, they need to be warm! I bought Tag the Frosty Freeze Bunting by Columbia and was so flipping happy about it! We slept in the car and he slept on my chest. At one point as he woke up to nurse I reached in to feel his body temperature and he was on fire! I had to unzip him to cool him off some. Now with the fluffiness of it, if I didn’t co-sleep and have him touching me the entire evening, I may be slightly uncomfortable with him sleeping in it, but it worked perfectly for us.

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Wearing- I am huge into more “traditional” carriers. I use mei tais, ring slings, wraps, nothing with buckles. A while ago a friend suggested a Boba Air and I decided to have it as a “keep in the car” carrier. Not only is it awesome in how little space it takes up, but I can wear a baby on my front and my hydration pack (Ultimate direction Jenny Vest) on my back! With how minimal the Boba air is (unlike a ergo with padded straps) the pack fits like normal and I was not uncomfortable at all, over 11 hours of baby/pack wearing and I felt awesome. I did end up with a small side blister from the Boba which I found entertaining more than anything. At no point did I feel it happening and only noticed the next day when I went running shirtless!

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A rare moment of Tag awakeness in the Canyon! Boba + Jenny Vest for the win!

 

What Baby Wore- When I ordered the sleeping bunting I also ordered Columbia bugababy interchange bunting, oh my greatness! Tag was wearing a short sleeve onesie, a long sleeve footsie onesie, smart wool socks, and the bunting. He was dry and warm the entire time! I was actually jealous every time I put my hand in to feel how warm he was! My Northface shell is great but by the end I was cold and wet, not Tag! One thing I do regret is I bought 0-3 month and when I was wearing him I couldn’t pull the cuffs over his feet to keep them dry as well. I ended up wrapping a dollar store poncho around my waist to cover his feet which worked out just fine. I am so stocked with both my Columbia purchases and how well they worked for my little guy!

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Tag in his perfect rain attire with my Sis.

All and all it was a Grand adventure for the 3 of us! Do I recommend heading out the the Canyon right now for everyone? No. But with my experience and the time I took preparing both baby and myself, we were ready and had an amazing day together! Start with a small victory, a small mountain, a short trail, just get moving! Eventually your perception changes and anything is possible!

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We made it! (Tag still sleeping…)

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All warm and dry in the car!

 

Categories: Adventures with Littles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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…

 

 

 

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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.

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Shitty Night.

It’s been three weeks of living outside and I have yet to have a good nights sleep. Normally I’m ok sleeping in a tent, but it just isn’t going well this time… Well until last night….

In the tent I have one extra sleeping bag to throw over people if the night gets extra cold. Last night the temps weren’t too terrible and I got to use this sleeping bag as a pillow, GLORIOUS! I was out! Warm, comfy, dreaming amazing dreams…

“Mommy, can you help me get in my sleeping bag?” says Tru. “Of course Buddy” and I reach for him… Back story, for the past week Tru has had “sick poop”, which means pooping 100 times a day (maybe a little less) and it just being not “normal”.

As I reach I smell a smell “Hey Buddy, did you poop?” Tru “No”… Because asking a 4-year-old if he pooped in his sleepy state is going to get you a truthful answer…. Skip to me having an itch on my face and rubbing it HOLY SHIT! Yes there is SHIT everywhere and now SHIT on my FACE!

That wonderful night of sleep is now ruined…

Tru is stripped naked and wiped with his clean clothing. Tea wakes and gives me her extra long sleeve shirt (thank goodness for Tea) and Tajh offers me his reading light so I can take a better look at things (my kids rock, except of the shitty ones.. (ok they rock too when they haven’t pooped everywhere)).

My comfy pillow is not Tru’s new sleeping bag, he wears only Tea’s long sleeve shirt (and is sure to remind me he isn’t wearing pants). I find there is poop ALL over my sweater so that along with all Tru’s stuff is thrown outside the tent. The top of my sleeping bag is a mess so I roll it a bit and only use it for my feet… Who needs warmth?

I guess, no sleep for this Mother… Everything is now clean, the kids are headed back to Phoenix for a while with their Dad, and I need a nap… *Sigh*

The glamorous life of a Mommy…

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