Saturday, April 27, 2013

My Dreams

Hiya Snappers! It has been awhile! I have been super crazy busy! Even busier than before when I ignored you! Forgive me?  Will you still love me? Promise? Wink!

I have been my charitable, loving, giving self, and been helping several individuals make some really big things happen in their lives, been busy cleaning three houses, had some awesome play dates, library time, more play dates, and EVEN MORE play dates, kid, grown up, grandmother, family and otherwise! Pschew! I need a vacation! Or to sit down for an hour straight! Hah! Not!

So today I am inspired by a fellow blogger, dreams, and my dream of crazy abstractness from last night! I was trolling through FB last night before bed, after the family was asleep.  I came upon a bloggy buddies most recent post!  So, after reading, I soon fell asleep.  Which is I am assuming what prompted my crazy a$% dream. So this one is for you Miss Sarah! Go check her out at The Sadder But Wiser Girl .

So in the dream, I was living in a big house, a la The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.   My family slept upstairs in the attic.  There was another family living in the attic with us.  You  know how in dreams, there is a familiar place, with familiar aspects, but everything is different somehow Surreal?  Well the attic was ginormous! But our families king size beds were only three feet away from each other.  The dream was in a clear but hazy arrested state of reality.  A subconscious nod to Flowers In the Attic, from my Junior High days? Maybe The Diary of Anne Frank? Who knows! First of all, I have never lived in a house where the attic was habitable, and second, I have never co-habituated  with another full family of 4.  Odd. The day progressed with all of us fully dressed in old fashioned, white, church clothes, just hanging out in the attic.  Then there was the sad part.  For some odd reason, the other family was leaving the house,  moving out.  It seemed like we were oddly happy all living together, but then suddenly they had to leave.  They did not take their things, but their leaving had a feel of permanence to it.

The strangest part is that it was a blogging buddy that I have gotten to know, but never met.  She and her family were the other family in the dream.  No one spoke in the dream either.  Not one single word was uttered.  There was no noise whatsoever.  I feel a deep sadness as I watch them get into an old 1940's car and drive off.  Her family didn't really have discernible faces, but I knew who they were. I watched out the window as they drove away, and remember feeling such a deep sadness.

So what do I take from this weird random abstract dream? That I haven't written in a while, my creativity has been stifled, and that because I haven't written in awhile, that I will lose all of my lil 'Snappers, including friends.  Maybe? Maybe it because of the recent loss of close but not so close family members? Maybe it's from helping a dear friend move recently, after a life changing event. Who knows.  I will take a random abstract dream any day, over one of those dreams that comes true.

 Anyone else have those but me, the dreams that come true? The dreams that are in such vivid detail, that you could swear  that they were real?  Then six months later, after the dream is long forgotten, the events play out exactly like in your dream and you are left with an uneasy sense of deja' vu.  Then it hits you, you dreamed that this exact scenario was going to happen, only you dreamed it six months to a year, or several years ago? Yeah, I have those dreams.  They can really weird you out! Not very often anymore, but yeah I have them. Wait...Everybody doesn't have those? I stopped having them so frequently when I started paying excruciating detail to them.  Just like that they stopped. Maybe your subconscious cannot be too self aware of self fulfilling or self prophesizing dreams? Who knows!

Then there are the dreams about those closest to you dying.  The ones that leave you crying, and in such physical pain that they wake you.  You are sobbing so hard that it has woken you from a deep sleep, to find that your pillow is soaking wet, and your face is covered in tears.  These are the kind of dreams that allow you to remember every single detail. Mine two worst ones were of losing my mother and my grandmother. I have been through losing my mother, and it was every bit as bad as I dreamed and worse.  I cannot remember if I dreamed the exact scenario years in advance or not, I was too caught up in the grief of the moment and the things that had to be done, to even contemplate.  As I am writing this, I do wonder though. Did all those many recurring nightmares I had of losing my mother, actually  foreshadow her death? I don't know. I have had several of losing my Nana as well.  Again such pain and sorrow, I woke up sobbing my eyes out.  Is this just life's little way of reminding us that the inevitable will one day happen, not to get to comfortable? To appreciate every second of every day we have with our loved ones? I know I called my loved ones after those dreams.  And I did hold them closer, and I did cherish every single second. Well played my psyche, well played.

I also remember having this one recurring dream for years.  I cannot quite grasp the details of it now, but I remember that I couldn't quite reach something.  It was always the same.  I went through the exact motions of the last dream, and I am always chasing someone or something.  I always end up not quite being able to reach the person or thing that I am chasing.  This dream too seems all too real when I am in it.  Sometimes I wake up remembering exactly what happened, but most times, it all becomes a little fuzzy upon waking.  I tried to remember, and the harder I tried, the faster it slips away.

There are the random dreams that make no sense, and then there is the one dream I keep trying to re-create.  The most awesome dream I have ever had.  I will not go into too many details, as it is private, but I just have to tell you about the dream that blew my mind!  I did not even know that this kind of dream could happen to females! What happened in this dream between me and my husband was all too real.  I was awoken by the power of my orgasm from this dream! I had a wet dream! Let me tell you, I totally identified with teenage boys on this one.  I woke up shaking, and immediately looked over at my husband, to see if he was being ornery in my sleep, and he was snoring! I was still as a mouse while I processed what had just happened to me. It was so erotic and I felt incredibly sexy. As in the I'm Too Sexy song! I wondered if I could do it again!!! When he woke up, I told him about what had happened.  He thought it was awesome! I was totally impressed with my bad a$% self, and was stoked for my body and mind to do this again! Wowza! Alas I am still waiting! I guess the stars and my libido had aligned at exactly the right moment in the universe, and POW! I socked it to myself, and how!  Favorite. Dream. Ever!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tattler Thursday #16

Hi guys and gals! It's Tattler Thursday here at W3G again! Welcome back! M issed ya'll last week!Hope you all enjoyed my guest blogger series! I know I sure did! Thanks again to all my fabulous bloggers who participated! Love you ladies! So,got your funny kid stories ready for me? Awesome! But today we are also sharing funny kid photos and the stories behind them! Today is the day where parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, babysitters, friends, cousins, or anyone with an awesome kid story can let down their hair and share! ...I love kids and I love kid stories and pictures! I created this event so that we could all take a minute out of our busy days and share a story or picture, and giggle at a few others! There is no purpose other than to have fun sharing war stories  and pictures from in the trenches parenthood! Life is too rough and crappy some days, that we just all need a little place to go and read something to make us smile, or see a cute baby picture to make us giggle! This is my attempt to brighten your day and mine! Anything goes, gross, gooey, sticky, funny, scary, crazy, pull your hair out wild kid stories! Pull out those busted kid pictures! The ones you are saving for when they are 16, to show their first date! Even funny stories and photos from when YOU! Time to tattle tell! Happy tattling! I cannot wait to read all of your hilarious stories, and see all of the funny photos you guys come up with! Okay, ready , set, GO!
 If you are interested in hosting my all new Tattler Thursday inspired Hop, which I hope to get up and running in the next couple of weeks ,please email me at  There is no cost associated! 

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Good Afternoon Whipper Snappers! I am tickled pink to announce that I have been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, by Comfytown Chronicles . So happy that you think I am very inspiring! This is a first for me, and CC, I am so very glad it was you! Wink!  I have been nominated for other awards as well, and I am currently playing catch up on getting those out! They will be coming soon!

So there are only two rules to this award;
1- you must tell & things about yourself
2-you must nominate other bloggers
So here goes with my 7 random facts!
1- My mother died 16 months ago.  She was my best friend.  I did her makeup at the funeral home, before her services, like I promised her I would.  One of my bff's came along for moral support, and two other friends showed up, and we turned it into a laughing, crying, morbidly hilarious makeup slumber party with my mom, just like we used to have when we were all younger.  The other two girls were like her daughters, so I am sure my momma was looking down from heaven laughing with us!
2- I have a beach fetish.  I went to Myrtle Beach every summer of my life when I was younger, on family vacations.  I have been to Cancun, Mexico twice, Cozumel, Mexico twice, the Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island, Bahamas, twice.  I have been to Clearwater Beach, FL, Daytona Beach, FL, OBX 4x, Virginia Beach, and that is all I can remember at the moment.
3-I used to follow WWF, WCCW, ECW, and all other major wrestling associations/federations.  My grandmother got my entire family hooked, when we went with her.  I used to, during and after college, go around and chase the wrestlers for autographs for my little brother.  I was once, invited back to the hotel room of one Mr. Arn Anderson, in Charleston, WV at Joey's, for those of you who may remember that landmark! I was definitely honored! ( I did not go of course!) (and for the record, I haven't followed wrestling in a very long time!) Tommy Rich and Buzz Sawyer baby! Old school!
4. I went to Marshall University, in Huntington, WV.  It is the school that the movie, We Are Marshall, is about.  I was an extra in the stands for the movie, at the annual spring Green and White game.
5. I have 3 tattoos, each with a bestie.  I want three more, one with Hubbie the dearest, a kid based tat, and a memorial tattoo to my momma.
6. I write three blogs.   This one, another one that chronicles my journey in grief after losing my mother, and a super secret bitchy blog, that my family does not have access to! Hah! A girl has to get it all out somehow, somewhere, right?
7. I have the biggest heart.  I cry at sad commercials.  I cried at the contestant story on The Voice last week, where his momma had two months to live, after being diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. I love everybody!
And now for my nominees!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Love

Today is Day 7 of my guest blogger series! As we wrap up a week filled with phenomenal bloggers and posts, I have saved my good friend for last.  Miss Cristyl from CHill Thoughts We have known each other since we were 12!  We grew up together, shared some of the same friends, went to school together for years, and even had the bad 1980's hair pic of us, and three of our friends, where we had one hand on our hips, toes pointed, and all of our other hands in the air, in some weird, pseudo-ballet pose! Bahahaha! I will spare you all the visual!(Think very late 80's clothes...acid washed jeans, sweaters, tshirts, jean mini skirts,and BIG hair! I think we all had big bangs! We are talking at least 3 inches of bangs going on!..okay okay I will stop now!)
  So we lost touch along the way, as friends often do, and we reconnected over FB.  Imagine that! Then one day there was a comment on my blog post of the day, so I clicked on the profile to investigate, and lo and behold, it was Miss Cristyl!  She had a blog, but no posts! So I wrote her an email asking why not? And the rest as they say is history, reconnected-check, rekindled friendship-check, CHill Thoughts posts-check, and her blog is fantabulous! She is an awesome blogger, well written, and an IT guru(so jealous!) She also just started a blog hop two weeks ago, which she graciously let me co-host! She was my first ever guest blogger, and now, she has agreed to do it again! She is crafty, witty, hilarious, makes baby food, has 3 kids, cloth diapers, has chickens and a rooster named Quasimoto! So of course I love her to death, and you will too! Happy Reading!

My name is Cristyl and I write over at Chill Thoughts.  I write about my life and pretty much anything that comes to mind; I’m currently participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge so each day in April, excluding Sundays, are dedicated to a specific letter of the alphabet! I’m excited to be chosen as a guest blogger to celebrate W3G’s 5,000th page view! I’ve known Ginger since we were just wee 12-year-olds; I enjoy reading about her adult life, her family, their adventures and I thoroughly appreciate her sense of humor!  W3G is one of my favorite blogs and I regularly lament that I am halfway across the country from Ginger.  I’ll surely make it back to West-by-God-Virginia some day soon and I’ll be treating Miss Ginger to a margarita for sure!  Until then, we meet up on the interwebs…

is for Love!

I spend a lot of time talking about my take on things, Little Man, my critters and myself; but I rarely talk about DH – today that changes!  DH (aka my Dear, Darling Hubby) has stood by my side for longer than nearly anyone I know.  He’s been my main squeeze for 14 1/2 years!  His ability to not only tolerate me, but help me find myself and encourage me to chase my dreams is unsurpassed!  This is our (somewhat abbreviated) story…

During the summer of 1998 I lived in Columbia, South Carolina and was a single mom to Baby Girl and Monkey Man working as a waitress at a local bar during the evening/night and staying home with my kids during the day.  It wasn’t easy, but it was certainly easier than being in the marriage that I had left a year and a half earlier.  I had moved to South Carolina the previous summer and my parents missed the kids during the school year, so the kids went to visit my parents for a few weeks.

I was young and free for a one of the few times in my life.  I worked in a bar and most of my friends either worked there or frequented the bar.  On one of my nights off I visited another local bar and chatted with the bartender, a friend of a friend, and DH (who I didn’t know until then).  The conversation was one where I was declaring that I was mighty and strong and “I want the fairytale.”  I convincingly pretended that I had my act together.  That night I was strong and going to conquer the world!  DH fell for it…

The funny thing is, I still didn’t really know who DH was!  One night he came into the bar while I was working and he was really friendly…I was a b**ch and made it clear that his cute flirty-friendliness could just move on down the road.  I was such a fool!

A few months later I was attending a party with all my bar co-workers and friends and one of my friends suggested I sit with their roommate and share a meal because he and I were both thin and didn’t eat much! Ha ha ha!  We sat together, we talked, we drank, we talked more…and by the end of the night we were making out in front of friends!  (And I don’t do PDA!)  I gave him a ride home and my phone number and was certain he’d never call again.

He called!  We talked more.  And talked, and talked, and talked…over the next few weeks DH and I spent tons of time talking on the telephone and getting to know each other.  We talked about anything and everything, it seemed.  He invited me for a dinner date and I joked that I didn’t know if I could eat a meal that didn’t come with a toy at the end.  He took me out to dinner and just as the server was taking away our dishes, he pulled a Pez dispenser out of his pocket – my “toy” at the end of the meal!


After that we were nearly inseparable.  In 2000 we bought a house in Florida and moved away from everyone and everything we knew!  We were happy together.  I think we were both certain that this was for keeps, but we didn’t marry because we’d both had horrible first marriages.  He did propose eventually and I accepted, though I’m not sure if we ever actually thought we would really get married.


In 2007, we decided it was time to make it official and marry.  We tied the knot on April 28, 2007!  In 2008 we purchased our house in Colorado and though it took several months to tie up all the loose ends in Florida, by the end of 2009 we were both living in Colorado full time.  In 2011 we became parents together when Little Man was born.


Over the years we did everything together:  raised kids, got pets, lost pets, bought homes, sold our home, travelled together, watched children grow and graduate from school, watched Baby Girl join the Marines and leave, watched Baby Girl marry, watched the kids go to college, laughed, cried, lived and loved.


And here we are, nearly 15 years later.  DH may be the only person on the face of the earth with enough patience to tolerate me and my mood swings.  He’s seen me at my worst and not only did he still love me, he carried me through it.  He supports me like no one in my life ever has.  He laughs with me and at me.  He sees my potential and points it out to me.  I’m sure he sees my weaknesses, but he overlooks them and keeps on loving me.

And that’s truly what love is about.  Being together through it all:  good, bad, ugly, and everything in between.  Growing old together.  And I plan to point my rocking chair toward the west and be grateful everyday that DH is the one rockin’ beside me!

Hope you enjoyed Miss Cristyl! She had me in tears!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Embracing The Unique Self

Hiya Snappers! Today is Day 6 in my guest blogging series! Today we have Miss Ginnie from Degree of Difficulty  guest posting!  I fell in love with this little lady not too long ago, and she is superb!  When I first read her blog, she took me on her journey with her.  She is one of those rare writers that sucks you in, makes you feel, and cry with her! She touched my heart from the first post! She is a relatively new blogger, but man let me tell ya, she is awesome! I adore her! So after you read her post, go check out her page and give her some lovin'! Tell her I sent cha! Wink!


I've been thinking a lot lately, but that's okay. I'm good at it and I like it.
If I weren't on a crusade against self-deprecation, I'd say I over-think damn near everything, but the reality of it is that thinking is what I do best, and there's a distinct shortage of qualified thinkers out there these days, so I'm going to stop seeing that as a handicap, and use it for the asset it is.
I've got a funky brain, a crackling electrical firestorm that consumes information at a lightning pace, and processes and synthesizes commonalities and extrapolates from the data, ******€€€€€€€€€€**** until all that input is just too much, and the whole damn thing short-circuits.
That's the thing about electrical fires, they tend to leave behind a melted, twisted, smoldering pile of gunk, and that's a rather unpleasant experience to have occurring in one's brain. It makes me wonder if anyone's ever had a literal stroke of genius....

By now you may be thinking "someone sure thinks highly of herself", and that's actually the point I want to make!
It's been bothering me lately, seeing some of the most amazing women I know being their own harshest critics.... Seeing what's still undone at the end of the day instead of what they've accomplished, comparing themselves unfavorably to others when anyone else struggling with their unique life circumstances would probably buckle from the others the benefit of the doubt but never themselves.... Allowing their internal critic Way Too Much authority!
I know men who do this as well, and I'm not trying to leave them out- it's only because this issue seems epidemic among the women I know, and more sporadic in men, and because societal expectations of women play a stronger role than most of us consciously realize that I'm tailoring my observations by gender.

Women are trained from birth, all around the world, not to let their light shine too brightly, lest we make others feel bad, not to think too highly of ourselves, because modesty is a virtue... And virtue is a woman's true measure.
That is bad to be stupid, but also "too smart". That we should be attractive to others, but not "too" attractive.
(I adore how Ani DiFranco puts it, "god help you if you are an ugly girl, of course too pretty is also your doom/ everyone harbors a secret hatred for the prettiest girl in the room").

That subjugating our own needs to those of others is the most noble thing we can do with our lives, but patting ourselves on the back essentially negates every sacrifice we've made....
For crying out loud, we are trained from birth that sacrifice, self-abnegation, and caring for others is the ultimate virtue, and when we happen to notice the price we pay for all of that, the answer is usually along the lines of "women who love too much", and a reminder that it's okay to take care of yourself, *because if you don't you won't be able to keep taking care of everyone else*!

Every single woman I know holds herself to a standard that is just exhausting to live up to, and blames herself when she doesn't pull it off. Then the recurring crushing feeling of being defeated is our fault for expecting "too" much from ourselves.... Or life, or the people around us.
The details of our stories vary, but the upshot always seems to be that no matter what obstacles you face, or have faced and overcome, you don't get to feel special, or take pride in either your accomplishments or the unique gifts you bring to the table. You don't get a cheerleader, your job is to be the cheerleader.
Deny your beauty, your brilliance, your radiance, and your needs as well, or you will be judged as conceited, self-absorbed, selfish, unworthy. Be "perfect" or be nothing. And if you happen to notice what a raw deal that is, well, that's your fault too. YOU need to change, improve, be more accepting, or less accepting. Be stronger, be softer, more organized, more dedicated.... Be more giving, unless you're too giving. Be there for others, all of them- your kids, your spouse, your family and friends, your neighbors, your community... And yeah, yourself too, but only when you're getting too depleted to be any good to the rest of us. And don't complain about any of it (unless you do it in a funny way, that subtly puts yourself down) because that would make you an ungrateful bitch. If you aren't satisfied, successful, and wildly fulfilled by your life as it is, it's your fault. You did something wrong, or didn't do something right. YOU need to change.

I call bullshit.

I think most of us are doing the best we can, all day, every day, and we don't deserve the judgments or the constant revision of what's expected of us. I think it's most tragic, most demoralizing, when we do it to ourselves!
I think for most of us, our inner voice is a critic, not a cheerleader, and that sucks. It saps our energy, energy we need to keep fighting this losing battle day after day....

In my own case, I've noticed that regardless of what I've accomplished in any given day, what I see is what's still undone, and that's what I judge myself on. I can spend hours caring for my toddler, making sure he has my undivided attention and his needs are met first, spend his naptime cleaning my chaotic home and working on the business I'm trying to launch, use some of my time and energy to be a positive supportive friend/neighbor/spouse, provide for my family, etc... But at the end of the day what I see is an unswept floor, dishes in the sink, dogs that didn't get walked, and a pile of laundry that only keeps growing.
And I internalize that as a failure on my part. Occasionally I blame Hubby, but I know that isn't fair, because he works hard too... So I go back to blaming myself. What's wrong with me, that I can be so defeated by ordinary motherhood, and everyday life?
Do I blame my ADD, or PTSD, or something in my past, or upbringing, or character, or belief system, or work ethic? What is it about ME that is causing such failure? Where am I dropping the ball? Why can't I manage everyday life in the seamless, effortless way I imagine everybody else does?

That's where I:
1) call bullshit on the expectations themselves. I'm doing the best I can with what I've got to work with, and it's enough.
2) refer back to the title of this blog: Degree of Difficulty.
Think about Olympic divers- when they're trying to pull off something a little more complicated than the average double-whatever with a twist, the judges factor in the Degree of Difficulty before calculating a score....
That's what I propose for all of us, to help silence that inner critic who only grades on what's undone, imperfect, or in some way not measuring up to that standard we hold ourselves too.

There is no level playing field in this world, but somehow when we talk about our challenges we look at them as excuses rather than reasons for doing what we do. But most of us have variations in our brains/bodies/lives that make certain things easy, and others more difficult.
I'm learning more about mine every day. My life, my gifts, my challenges, my expectations, they make a lot more sense when I stop comparing myself to this imaginary perfect version of myself who gets everything done the way it 'should' be, and just accept and value the real me who does her best with what she's got!
That brilliant high-speed brain that produces such stunning insights-- it's a bitch and a half to get it to focus on laundry and dishes. I have to sneak those things in to get them done. And forgive myself when I don't! Quickly, before the guilt and self-recrimination suck the energy out of me, and make it even harder....
Degree of Difficulty means I get to pat myself on the back for what I DID accomplish instead of judging myself for what I didn't. It reminds me to value myself for who I am right now, not who I think I should be, or could be if I was a little better at this one thing, or that one, or not so easily distracted, or managed my time better, or was just somehow better at life.

It means I don't put myself down for being who I am. I don't hide my gifts to make others feel comfortable, and I don't use my challenges as excuses-- I value all the elements of who I am for the unique person they combine to create.
I don't use my labels as excuses, or ignore them altogether-- I understand that they describe variations in me from what's considered "the norm", and I use them to better understand why some things come naturally to me and others take more work to master.
Degree of Difficulty means acknowledging that you and others go through life with something that adds additional weight or challenge to things that most people take for granted. It's not an excuse, it's a reason. Whether you succeed in your goals of not, you deserve credit for getting up every day and trying again.  Life is a littler harder when you're an anomaly, an outlier from the norm, whether they call you below or above average is irrelevant, whether you were born with it or it happened to you, whether it's a physical or psychological trait, or something that's very difficult to describe or quantify.... 

The difference in our differences isn't so relevant as this: We judge ourselves silently, by what our culture dictates is appropriate. We've been accused of making excuses, when we are actually explaining reasons. Life is harder when you're bipolar, or depressed, or grieving, or a recovering addict, or you have a different brain structure in any way from the basic norm. It means you drop the ball sometimes, and the longer you blame yourself for it, the longer it will take you to pick it back up.  It also means you just might deserve a little extra credit for the stuff the norm takes for granted. 
Having a happy marriage when you're an abuse survivor, or working through PTSD or trauma issues... Extra credit. 
Getting out of bed when you're freshly grieving... Extra credit. 
Loving again when you've been devastated by loss... Extra credit. 
Being a good example for your children when you never had one yourself... Extra credit. 
Having a sense of humor in the midst of your deepest pain... Extra credit. 
Making friends when you have Asperger's syndrome, or social anxiety, or get transplanted outside your culture... Extra credit. 
Finishing college when you're paying your own way, or struggling with life events most people don't have to face at that age, or have an executive function disorder... Extra credit. 
Hugging your friend when you're touch-averse... Extra credit. 
Survive growing up gay in a homophobic environment... Extra credit. 
Raising happy, healthy, responsible kids while working two jobs, or fighting an illness that saps your energy, or saving the world, or really truly having no idea what the hell you're doing... Extra credit.  
Not wallowing in the hand you've been dealt, even if it really is a pretty shitty hand... Sometimes even realizing you need to wallow in self-pity for a day or two, or 15 minutes, then shaking it off and getting on with your life...Extra credit. 
Learning to cope with your "new normal" after an unthinkable tragedy...every single thing you do for the rest of your life qualifies as extra credit, in my opinion. Gravity is stronger on the planet you inhabit now, and the air is a little thicker, heavier in the lungs. Very few people know, from the visceral perspective, how hard daily life in this world can be when you feel gutshot, disemboweled, eviscerated, and none of it physically visible.... People who know you can see it in your eyes, but you rarely meet their eyes, because once the wall of calm reserve cracks, it shatters, and that's so rarely appropriate. Every single thing you do for the rest of your life deserves a trophy as far as I'm concerned!
It's about realizing something most people take for granted is harder for you, for a reason you may not even fully understand, but you're not going to let that stop you. Whether society labels your difference a gift or a handicap, or doesn't acknowledge your difference at all, at some point you've likely been persecuted for it. Or had a harder time connecting with your peers. Either you've wondered what's wrong with you, or someone's told you what's wrong with you, or you've spent some time feeling alone with pain, or confusion It's about not judging yourself, or others, for stumbling under a burden. Cheering yourself on to and through even the smallest victories. Being honest with yourself about the challenges you face, whether anyone else validates them or not. And really, truly celebrating every single thing you accomplish, or embody, while you continue to strive, thrive, or simply survive. Your unique challenges in this lifetime, and how you face them and rise above them (even if you don't always succeed).

My point is the world judges us enough, and we judge each other enough, and we judge ourselves enough. Pat yourself on the back for trying, and give yourself a moment to celebrate when you succeed. Do the same for your friends, family, community. Have compassion for the struggles of others, AND your own. Our challenges don't stop us, and that's worthy of celebrating.  We are unique, in numerous ways, and it is a waste of time, energy, and individuality to force ourselves into a predefined mold. People aren't perfect. They can't be.  Test scores can be perfect, copies can be perfect, but nothing unique is- and if I am nothing else, I am unique (except for my daughter the clone, but that's another story!
Go visit Degree of Difficulty and show her some lovin'!

Degree of Difficulty

                                                                                   Hope you enjoyed!

Nurturing Your Pregnant Mind and Body

Hiya Snappers! Today is Day 5 of my guest blogging series! Today we have Miss Lisa from ! We are relatively new blogging buddies, but let me tell ya people, I am in awe of this adorable lil gal! She owns her own business, and makes her own baby clothes! My hubs bought me a sewing machine once, and I have yet to read the directions, or figure out how to put the thread on spools or spindles yet! Wait is a spindle that thing in Sleeping Beauty? Hah! You get my point! She makes her own wool and bamboo baby clothing! SO in my book, she is phee-nom-e-nal! Plus she writes an awesome blog! Check her out and show her some lovin'! Happy reading! ********************************************************************************* lisanphotocolorHere, in my part of the internet, I blog - I dye - I sew - and I sell - and not necessarily in that order. I care about the strength of the American family - so you will see me blogging about relationship strengthening ideas, family togetherness activities, eco-friendly tips, Squishable Baby softness, homeschooling, Natural parenting stuff, faith, and a whole lot about more kids. I love to talk about how to keep kids safe and in school doing the right thing! When I'm not blogging, I'm dyeing. When I'm not dyeing, I'm sewing. Yep. I hand dye and sew Merino wool and bamboo pants for babies. They are fun, soft and squishy pants that they can rough and tumble play in - or go out at night and be fancy in! The fibers are certainly sustainable - and durable! They are perfect for environmentally cautious busy body squishes. You can find me various places. My fav hangouts go from top to bottom. The Lovin Twitter Google+ Facebook  
Mom and dad with Gray - brand
The birth of a child is a life changing event. Birth is beautiful Birth is amazing Birth is natural Birth! I'm sure we have all heard some horrendous birth stories of agonizing pain, botched surgeries, incompetent doctors/nurses/midwives, etc. I don' think we need to rehash them now...or ever. I want to change your view on birth. I want you to see that birth is the most beautiful event that happens in a woman's life. Birth is a life altering experience - as it should be. Life as you have known it will change , grow and get better in each passing day. Just like Motherhood, birth is an event that everyone should be ever present for - make good and informed decisions about - and celebrate! It's not gory, it's not painful, it's not a sickness. Pregnancy is not something that needs to be treated but rather revered. Certainly, the way in which you choose to bring your baby into this world has a great impact on your babies health and well being - and as a result, should be considered carefully. I, myself, have had 3 very beautiful and successful home births. I have some baby/body nurturing tips to share with you. I will always remain in a positive space. Just a note. I'm all about prevention. If you prevent something from happening - then it takes the dangers out of the equation. All of my nurturing tips are about prevention - not treatment. Once treatment is necessary, you need to listen to the advice of your doctor. How about this? Let us not get to that point.   Tip one - Put Yourself in a Positive Place I think of birth as I think of life. Things in life don't always go how you want them to. Same goes with birth. You prepare for the best. You plan for the best. You keep your mind open and positive. You shun all the negativity (including stories). It's mind over matter. Your thoughts have just as much to do with anything as your physical condition. Surround yourself with positive people. If your doctor is at all negative, kick him/her to the curb! If you do these things, you will put yourself in the best possible position for a positive outcome. The one thing that is absolutely necessary is for you to get in touch with your woman wisdom. Once you trust your own wisdom, you will know what to do for your baby and for your body. Positivity breeds great results.     Tip two - The Annoying One - Drink Tons and Tons of Water When you learn that you are pregnant, start drinking lots and lots of water. I drank 18 glasses a day. It's really important to stay hydrated. I would aim for 12 glasses for a average size mama, and 15-18 glasses per day for a plus size Mama. Hydration is very important, especially in the latter stages of pregnancy. Later in pregnancy, lower amniotic fluid (at least on the sonogram) is blamed for unnecessary intervention. If you are constantly drinking water (from week four on) it helps greatly. Adequate hydration keeps the water levels up. I would start drinking the water early so your body gets used to it. You don't want to start the water when you are in the "constantly going to the bathroom" stage. That would just be annoying. Do it early and do it often.   Tip two - Calcium is Good for the Bones and Good for the Preggo Body Take 1000 mg of calcium a day (preferably in liquid form as it's easily absorbed). High blood pressure runs very strongly in my family - so I had to be extra vigilant on this. It has been shown that calcium supplementation reduces the risk of Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH), Pre-Eclampsia, and Eclampsia. Evid Based Med 2011;16:40-41 doi:10.1136/ebm1145 . I went on and found a liquid calcium supplement that was affordable. I took 2 Tbsp every night. If you have a good diet with calcium rich foods, than the supplement would not be necessary. What are examples of calcium rich foods?
Yogurt (Greek is great for protein)
Dark leafy greens
Fortified cereals
Fortified OJ
Soy Milk
Oatmeal - but I would do steel cut oats (more protein)
Dried Figs
  Tip 3 - Protein...Protein...and More - Lean Protein Every pregnant woman needs 100g of protein a day. The high protein intake lessens the incident of Pre-Eclampsia. Protein is needed for the development of the baby. Protein is needed for the functions of your body. I mentioned Pre-Eclampsia above. Pre-Eclampsia is a very dangerous condition of pregnancy, and should be avoided at all costs (aka like the plague). Pre-Eclampsia is bad for Mama's and bad for babies. Don't go there. Let us try to prevent this very dangerous condition. So eat that protein (lean protein, that is). Examples of protein rich foods
Greek yogurt
Steel cut oats
  Tip 4 - Get that Uterus In Shape Start your pregnancy tea, or taking your red raspberry leaf caplets, at 18 weeks. Red raspberry tones your uterus to make contractions more efficient and effective. Red Raspberry Leaf DOES NOT induce labor. A toned uterus will produce more efficient contractions - and after that baby comes out, produce more effective contraction - lessening the chance of post natal hemorrhage. Click here to see what others say.   Tip 5 - Dip into Those Vitamins Ward off the IV antibiotics and start the GBS vitamin regimen at 36 weeks. The regimen boosts your immune system. Your baby's immune system is your immune system. The regimen will reduce your chances for testing positive for GBS. Even if you do, it will also lower the likelihood that you will pass GBS onto your baby. Your baby nor your body needs those high doses of antibiotics. Let's make breastfeeding successful. We don't want to have to deal with thrush. Go here to see what others have to say.   Tip 6 - Get your body, and Keep your Body Moving Exercise...exercise...exercise. Labor is not a passive activity. You need to be in shape for it. it can be 6 hours or 36 hours - we don't know. Your body must be able to withstand the rigors of labor - plain and simple. Can you run a marathon without training? Of course not. Same goes with a natural labor. If you are healthy, there should be absolutely no reason for you not to get up, get out, and move! Laziness doesn't count. Laziness is not a medical condition.   These are just a few tips, your OB might not tell you. Here is one more. The risks and side effects of all the modern interventions are not talked about. They are not discussed. Just make sure you are well informed with whatever decision you make. It's so important. If you have any other questions I am here to help. If I can't help, I will put you in contact with the person who can. So, tell me. Do you think you can put some of these tips to work in your own life? Which of these nurturing tips are new to you?

The Squishable Baby

                                                                 Hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Rockstar Experience

Morning Snappers! Today is Day 4 of my guest blogging series! I am dragging this morning! Please forgive me for forgetting to attach Miss Morgan's intro! I did it from my phone, in the bed, while squinting with one eye open! Then I dragged myself outta bed and to the computer to give her the proper intro she deserves!!!
 I came across Miss Morgan at The Inklings of Life, while I still lived in Kentucky! My half-brother's wife, who I started to attempt to get to know on FB(because they lived cross country on a military base), kept posting things on her FB wall from this little chickadee!  I fell in instant blogger love! I became her biggest stalker! No , seriously!  I was in awe of her awesome writing ability, and a few months ago her awesome-ness level shot through the roof for me!  She started a photo challenge! Which I have participated in every single month since January! (for those of you who don't follow along regularly, I have always done photography on the side, it is my passion!) And we have become bloggy friends! I adore her, she is a doll! Equal parts mom, tattoo artist, military wife, Miss Creativity, who just opened her own ETSY store, gorgeous pinup SAHM, and sarcasta-momma galore! I hope you love her as much as I do ! So get to reading! Now! Then go and show her some lovin'!


My Rockstar Experience

When you make the decision to become a stay-at-home-mom, one of the first things you think about is money. Will your significant other make enough to support the whole family? Will you feel like a functioning part of society if you aren't actually bringing home any money? Money, money, money.

Not how amazing your child will be now that you are staying home with them. Not how you have to worry about the child and the house and don't have to go to a job that you probably hate, in an outfit that you probably hate, having to answer to a boss that you probably hate. Not that you are fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with your little one. These things don't cross your mind.

Until you deposit $92 into your bank account. Yep, that's all it takes. Hell, sometimes it's only $12 and I feel like a rockstar. Yes, I will explain.

I am a stay-at-home-mom whose kids are 11 and 8. No, I don't homeschool, so during the day while my kids are at school, those hours are my own. I spend that time writing, cleaning, doing laundry, getting dinner squared away, getting any shopping we need done, and crafting. I extreme coupon and consider that my contribution to the monthly income (when you get free toilet paper, ketchup and cake mix, then yes, I consider that a positive), but as far as an actual paycheck or consistent money we can count on, it really doesn't help to look in my direction. 

I decided to take some of the time I spend crafting and make things to sell online. Last week I opened my store with a whopping 18 items- that's it, just 18 items. I crossed my fingers, sacrificed a chicken in the name of the online sales gods and remained hopeful. 

I've made $92 so far, and let me tell you, when I transferred that $92 into our checking account, I felt like a millionaire. I started doing the "I'm Rich" dance, the kids stared at me like I was crazy, I marched right upstairs to where my Hubby was and said, "Guess who has two thumbs and just deposited $92 into our checking account? This girl," and cheesily pointed at myself. I stood and waited for him to praise me, to act like this $92 was the difference between life and death, that without it we would have been eating cracker crumbs and drinking water that we had just bathed the children in. 

"Good job, baby" he said with a laugh. That's it. 

That's fine, though. I know how important my $92 is. I may not have contributed to our income in almost a year now, but my $92 is special. Rockstar special. I'll get calls any minute now from Angelina Jolie wanting to have lunch and Ryan Gosling wondering if I'll leave Hubby to go run away with him. The IRS will definitely be keeping an eye out for my tax returns this year, making sure I'm claiming all of my newly made dough.

Or so, that's how it goes in my head. Apparently on the outside I just look strange sitting at a table all by myself having an in depth talk with Angelina about how Brad and her little ones are doing. (Sigh.)

Hope you enjoyed!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Lola's Mood Swings

Hiya Snappers! Today is day 3 of my guest blogging series! Today's featured blogger is Joy over at ComfyTown Chronicles! Joy is a relatively new up and coming blogger, but once I discovered her, I fell in instant adoration and obsession! She, like the rest of my line-up for this week of guest bloggers, I stalk on a regular basis.  Instead of opening up a news paper every morning, I troll Facebook for the latest from her! She also recently nominated me for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award, which I graciously accepted, and will be posting about next week! She is well written, hilarious, and equals parts snarky and sarcastic! Just up my ally! So I will quit gushing and let you get to reading! Happy reading!

Hi.  I'm Joy from ComfyTown Chronicles. Breaking Mom-ish. Weird kids, day drinking, cussing, binge eating and other things I won't go to meetings for. I'm bringing COMFY an uncomfy world.

Lola's Mood Swings

BOY Mom?
My teenage son, Tinny, will be 18 this summer. The BIG 1-8. (Yes, yes it
is freaking my sh|t out, thank you for asking.) He is on track to graduate
high school and will take courses at a fantastic community college.
Whether he goes on to a university, a promising career, gets married or ever
has children, and/or whatever else life can throw at him, I consider my job
as parent to this person to be a SUCCESS. He is alive, healthy, and despite
many obstacles along the way, a polite, considerate, interesting, funny,
creative, open-minded good person who is great to be around.

As a parent: I win. Where’s my medal?

What do you mean ‘What about my other kids?’

Oh yeah.


A few years ago, the success I had raising my son went to my head and I got
the crazy idea I should have MORE kids. When I was pregnant, I tried to do
that thing all pregnant people are supposed to do when asked if they want
girls or boys, I’d say, “Oh we don’t care, as long as he’s healthy.”
Not a type-O. I mean come ON, anyone who has spoken to me for more
than a minute knows I’m a tomboy from way back. I grew up with my
older and younger brother always around, my
because-that-makes-it-fall’ brothers, and
“Name ten beers and THEN I’ll stop punching you” brothers.

I know how boys think, I know what makes them tick. I already had a boy,
it was the hardest thing I ever had to do to raise him and keep him from
hurting himself (and others) and become a healthy, happy person. I loved
every painful minute of it. I’m a BOY Mom. I know all the Star Wars movies
by heart. The Universe would never be so cruel as to rely on ME to raise
girls. Psscht.

Yeah, you guessed it. I had a girl.

My first girl, Lola, just turned 3. She was a colicky baby, and so far is a
wonderful, whiny, overly emotional DRAMA QUEEN girl. Oh well, we
thought, she’s adorable let’s have another. We are old and I don’t see us
playing freeze tag ever so, yeah, what the heck? Let’s give her a playmate.
And what did we get?

Another GIRL.
(If there is a higher power, she has a wicked sense of humor.)

What’s the big deal, you might ask? Well you obviously have no idea WHO
we are talking about here.

Not only am I the raised-with-boys girl who actually understands what
1st and 10 means in football and the difference between the American
League and the National League in baseball, I also love Science
Fiction and I signed up for A+ and MCSE (Microsoft Certified Software Engineer)
certification classes, I aced them and debated Kirk vs. Picard as Star Trek
captains, making my computer teacher say “Ah, NOW I get why you are

Anyhoo, between growing up with my dad and brothers, and hanging out
with a lot of dude friends over the course of my life, being around all that
testosterone I never developed normal girl skills. Take for example, the
ability to feel feelings and deal with them before they build up and explode
all over the people around me like a volcano of insanity.

Like a Vulcan (Star Trek,) I have intense emotions, but I have learned to stifle
them and ignore them before they have a chance to get comfy, so it has
always been difficult for me to even admit when things bother me. This is
not a good thing. Things tend to build up and manifest themselves in a very
ugly way.

When guys, or girls, do this, they are usually not doing it on purpose.
Often they don’t even realize they are doing it, this is a product of their
environment. If you have a Significant Other who does this, stick with
them, some people are worth it. It is very hard to get over this conditioning.
It took years of therapy for me to even acknowledge my own feelings
INSIDE my own head, much less try to express them to someone else and
then work out a compromise about whatever it is that bugs the crap out of
me on a daily basis. Luckily, I found someone in my life who did the same
thing, and helped me work through some of this.

Now imagine someone like that having to raise an overly emotional girl.
Every little struggle, every little drip-drop of emotion, becomes a huge
raging waterfall. As a parent we never want to see our children sad or
crying, but as an infamous emotion-stifler, I feel like one of those guys in
high school who date the annoying girl they can’t stand, just because they
can’t bring themselves to break up with her.

It’s clear to me that my emotional development stopped somewhere in the
early teens, because my initial reaction to things? Is similar to a pre-teen.
I have to stop and remember all that therapy before say, keying someone’s
car, and then be able to handle a situation like an actual adult.

Lola’s emotional roller coaster used to render me almost immobile. A few
times, I literally would look to my husband and ask “What should I do
here?” I knew my initial reactions were wrong. I mean, how affective would
keying a Cozy Coupe be as a parenting method? I’m guessing not very.
Though she might think it was awesome and join right in.

Reacting to (or NOT reacting sometimes) this very emotional little girl took
some MAJOR getting used to. I trained myself to wait, just let her get the
worst of it out, then comfort her first and deal with whatever it is AFTER
acknowledging her feelings. That is mostly what she needs, attention and
my comfort. Then she can move on.

Sometimes I am in awe at the ease of which my Lola allows herself to
feel her feelings, and openly express them. Sometimes at MAXIMUM
VOLUME. The good thing about that? Is when she does get what she needs
from us, she is quickly over it, whatever it is at that time. She vents her
rage, her frustration, her fear, her EVERYTHING, and she is quickly able
to move on to the next emotion. Which is usually a happier one. Sometimes
it’s scary how quickly she can change her mood. I am hoping this is just a
toddler thing.

During one of her episodes, when she wasn’t ready to be comforted yet, I
took my waiting time to make this. It was very effective for me.

The speed at which her negative emotion is replaced by something positive
makes me think: Maybe she is onto something here.

Perhaps if we allow ourselves to actually explore what we are feeling,
then express it (like adults, for us adults) then we will be able to move
past whatever it is and let GO of our anger, frustration, all the negative
emotions, and make room for the positive ones. Mayhap we should ALL
just give in to our emotions, feel them, express them and allow the next
feeling in. It sure beats waiting for the crazy.

So I am taking my journey with girls like a 1970’s TV show: One day at a
time. Though, deep down I weep for my girls’ teen years, when I won’t be
able to help them pick out flattering outfits, which shoes go with what skirt,
or how to get a boy to notice you, because I never gave a hot sh|t about any
of those things.

And also? Thinking about that, and girls who think about that kind of
crap, makes me want to violently barf. The only thing that keeps me from
freaking totally out about this, is we have a huge family. I have 2 girly
sisters and 3 girly nieces and my Diane-in-law is pretty great. Diane is my
father-in-law’s girlfriend, and I always think it’s quicker to just call her my
Diane-in-law, but then I have to explain it so did I really save myself any
time? No, no I never do.

Comfytown Chronicles>
Hope you all enjoyed!

Monday, April 8, 2013

The ADD Housewife of Rural Iowa

Hiya Whipper Snappers! Today we have my blogging buddy Miss Sarah at The Sadder But Wiser Girl , featured as my guest blogger of the day! She keeps me in stitches on a regular basis, and her post today will have you cracking up! Luvya Miss Sarah!

Awhile back I was DESPERATE!  Desperate for some time away from blogging while I wrapped up a long term substitute teaching job.  Ginger came rushing to my aid and wrote me a great post that made a lot of people a little nostalgic for their high school prom.  Now I'm repaying the favor by writing a guest post for her.  I hope you enjoy it!

The ADD Housewife of Rural Iowa

He even has a Superman t-shirt.  He might as well wear it every day to work…
My husband, aka Evil Genius, works 4000 hours a week saving  the day pretty much every day.  He is an engineer for an agricultural company in Iowa, and apparently that's what they do.   Since he’s been on a couple of major projects at work, he gets up in the wee hours of the morning, drives an hour to and from work, and sleeps occasionally.  It makes sense that he’s a wee bit tired/grumpy/off his rocker these days. 
Meanwhile I’ve been a SAHM for a while other than a brief subbing job that I just finished.  Just because I stay at home does not mean 1) I have tons of time on my hands and 2) My house is neat and tidy.  This is because I am a horrible manager of my time.  I’m not a big fan of housework either, but I know when I just have to do it.  Time gets away from me and the next thing I know it’s after five and it’s time to get supper going.  Things get left undone and I feel horrible about this.
Yet I think that Evil Genius wonders what I really do all day while he’s gone, especially when he comes home to me not having done the things I SHOULD do.  I certainly don’t play video games like he does to pass the time.  He knows this.  But I wonder what HE thinks I do all day while he’s gone.  So naturally I wrote about, because that’s what I do.
(Keep in mind that no actual husbands were consulted for this post.  It’s all based upon a very scientific system that I use to surmise just what he’s thinking, called guessing.)

Wheeee!  Look at me!  This is what I do ALL DAY LONG…
*My day as I think Evil Genius probably sees it
I get The Professor up for school, then go back to sleep for the rest of the time he’s getting ready.
The Princess practices world domination while I doze on the couch.
The Professor heads off to school, I fall back to sleep.
I eat a well balanced breakfast of bon bons.
I play on the computer for 9 hours, telling everyone near and far about personal stuff I shouldn’t share.
I eat a snack-more bon bons.
I miss seventeen phone calls because I forgot to turn the ringer on my phone.
I laugh maniacally at the dishes piling up in the sink.
Lunch is whole grain pasta with cheese (no one eats bon bons for EVERY meal).
Whoah, I’m eating again-even more bon bons.
I play My Little Ponies and Hello Kitty legos with The Princess until the **cows come home.
I go diving in the mountain of laundry now residing in the living room.
I allow The Princess to run around like a wolverine all day, hair unbrushed, wearing only her underwear.
When The Professor arrives home, I give both kids large quantities of food so they won’t eat supper.
I plot the easiest and least exciting dinner ever, five minutes before Evil Genius arrives home.

Iron Maiden?  There are some strange things going on in my house…
How my day really goes
In the early, early, early morning I Iisten to Evil Genius's alarm go off 57 times.  I have dreams about smashing the alarm clock.
The Princess gets up at 6 am.  I tell her to go back to bed.  She comes in every five minutes wanting to know if it’s time to get up. I finally give in.
At 7 am I wake The Professor up for school.
I play a rousing game of “Please hurry up and eat” with The Professor.  He eats even slower.
I shove The Professor out the door and tell him to run so he won’t miss the bus.
I work on my blog, check social media, and look for a job.
I try to keep my eyes open as the same episode of Abby’s Flying Fairy School that has aired 5613 times   comes on.  AGAIN.
I put laundry in the washer, see the dishes in the sink and make a mental note to wash them later.
Macaroni and cheese is requested for lunch AGAIN.  Ok.
I conclude that Caillou really would be better off dead.
I work on my blog for a few minutes and check all my social media.
Once again I kick myself for not going to bed on time the night before, fall onto the couch and doze off. 
I make a foolish attempt to drag The Princess out for a walk. I remind her that when she’s five there will be no more stroller.  She's not buying it at all.
The Professor arrives home-healthy snacks are distributed.  This is when I realize that I never put the clothes in the dryer.
I work on all online stuff a little more.
I make a mad attempt at folding clothes.  They may or may not be put away.
I realize how close it is to suppertime and I finally start on the dishes.  I also try to figure out what we want/have ingredients on hand for supper. 
Evil Genius arrives home and I greet him with a smile and ask him how his day was.  There is incoherent grumbling and then he almost falls asleep in the chair with his laptop.  And here I thought love was dead…
So that’s what REALLY happens… Do you ever feel like you never get anything accomplished during the day?  Do you think your husband thinks you lay around all day eating bon bons?  Do you even know what a bon bon is?
*Remember my highly scientific system… guessing.
** Cows don’t actually come to your house in Iowa.  That only happens in Missouri.

Sarah The Sadder But Wiser Girl lays around the house in her pajamas and eats bon bons all day. She also writes a blog, which severely cuts into her bon bon eating time.  Visit her blog at and maybe stage an intervention on the whole bon bon eating thing.  She’ll thank you later.

Oh, she’s also a pretty pretty princess…

Thanks a bunch Miss Sarah! Be sure to give her some love, and follow her at

The Sadder But Wiser Girl
<div align="center"><a href="" title="The Sadder But Wiser Girl"><img src="" alt="The Sadder But Wiser Girl" style="border:none;" /></a></div>


Saturday, April 6, 2013

My Love/Hate Relationship With Breastfeeding

Welcome to my celebration week of guest bloggers! I wanted to celebrate, and what better way to celebrate than to share some of my favorite voices with you! There are 7 ladies that will be writing for your reading enjoyment! There will be one lovely lady featured each day for the next week! I am so excited to share some of my favorite ladies with you! I hope you enjoy! These lovely ladies took a day away from their own awesome blogs to guest post for me here at W3G, so Please stop by their blogs and show them some lovin'!
Today we have Risa at Counting My Blessings, writing for you! She and I met when she nominated me for a Liebster Award! For those non-bloggers following along, a Liebster Award is a prestigious, peer recognition award that is awarded to up and coming bloggers! We have been bloggy buds ever since! Risa is married with two kids. She started a blog when she was on maternity leave with her baby who is now almost 5 months old. Along with blogging, working full time, and taking care of her two kids (ages 6 years old and 5 months old), Risa is also going to school to get her Master's degree in Clinical Counseling. Risa hopes that her blog will help other mothers, provide some topics for discussion, and entertain others with her writing.
She is a doll! Go check her out! NOW! GO! Well, after you read her post below! Wink! Happy reading! And don't forget to tune in tomorrow!

My love/hate relationship with breastfeeding.

I tried to breast feed my first child. It didn't work out so well. Not only did I have an overactive letdown, which if you've never experienced it is pure craziness, my daughter also seemed to have some kind of milk protein intolerance. She would cry non stop for at least 2 hours, every single night. I managed to breast feed her for about 2 months before I simply gave up. She was a happier baby for it.
When my son came along, I was ready to have the same troubles. After all, my daughter inherited her milk protein intolerance from her dad. I thought that my milk may come in the same way too. Alas, things have turned out much better this time around and I am breast feeding my son going on 5 months!
That being said, breastfeeding is great, but sometimes I HATE it! It's a love/hate relationship.

So why do I love breastfeeding?
-It's a way to bond with my child. I think I love that “skin-to-skin” as much as he does and it makes him so happy to see me after I've been gone all day!
-It saves a TON of money! It's great to not have to buy formula all the time!
-It's very convenient. Baby needs to eat, the food source is right there. I just have to find a comfortable, discreet place to feed him if I'm in public. I will breastfeed in public, I just try not to do it right in the middle of everything.
-It helped me lose weight and has helped me to keep it off. When I couldn't breastfeed my daughter, I gained back all the weight I lost from giving birth and then some! With my son, I lost 20 pounds just giving birth and another 15 since then.
-It's great for the baby! He was 5 pounds 13 ounces when he was born and he weighed 13 pounds by the time he was four months old. A lot of people who see him say they can tell he's breastfed because he's got those chubby cheeks! I love it!

Why do I hate breastfeeding?
-I'm the only source. I have to get up at all hours of the night and feed the baby, while my husband snores away in the bed. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to work, but I have to be to work at 7 am so sometimes it is really tough.
-I hate pumping. I feel like a cow. Some days, it's tolerable. Some days, I wish I could just skip it. But I know I have to do it to keep up my supply.
-Sometimes, I wonder if my baby only loves me so much because I have the food. Then I think about it for a minute...nah he'd love me either way!!

So, if you are a breastfeeding mom or you are a soon-to-be mom thinking about breastfeeding, remember this. There may be some things you absolutely hate about breastfeeding, but when I weigh the pros and the cons, the things I love versus the things I hate, the things I love definitely win out. Don't let the tough times discourage you. Power through and you'll see that the benefits far outweigh the inconveniences.
Hope you all enjoyed!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Hop Libs Blog Hop #2

Hiya! Welcome back Snappers! It's the 2nd Hop Libs Blog Hop! Fill out your form, copy and paste into a post or on your FB, and Link up with us so we can giggle with you! Happy Hoppin'!
(Because CHill Thoughts is participating in the A to Z Challenge , this week's HOP Libs will be themed on the letter F.)

To grab the button code, click once in the box above,
press ctrl+A (select all), then press ctrl+C (copy).

This HOP is intended to be FUN and EASY!  Based on the Mad Libs™ word games - each week I create a story, you provide key words for the story in the HOP Libs Generator and with one click of the button, through the magic of the internet and programming provided by Mad:)Takes, you are provided your personal HOP Lib!

I'll be including my HOP Lib at the very end of this post, below the link-up, so that the surprise isn't ruined for you.

This week's hostesses are:



The Wild and Wonderful World of Gingerssnaps

HOP Lib Generator:

HOP Libs Blog Hop

A Foolish Fox and Five Wishes









LINK Your Post HERE:

Check out my Hop Lib!

A Foolish Fox and Five Wishes Mad:)Take
A Fox named Colin is chasing a Opossum named Jack through a forest.
Suddenly, Colin Fox and Jack Opossum found an old ball and decided to rub it.
A genie pops up and says: I will grant you each of you wishes; three for you, Jack Opossum, and five for you, Colin Fox.
Jack Opossum was angry with the Genies offer of extra wishes to Colin Fox and decided to have the last laugh. Jack Opossum says to Fox: Colin, you go ahead and make 3 of your wishes first, while I decide what I will use my wishes for.
Colin Fox thinks that it is only natural for him to make his wishes first and begins: For my first wish, I wish all the foxes in the forest were female.
The Genie jumps his ear and *oh whipper snappers!* it is done.
Then Colin says: For my second wish, make me the most pretty fox in the world.
The Genie jumps his ear and *oh whipper snappers!* it is done.
Next, Colin Fox says: Third, give me all the hot buttered rolls in the world to swinging.
*oh whipper snappers!* It is done.
Then the Genie says: OK, Opossum, it is your turn to make your first wish.
Opossum says: I wish for a boot.
*oh whipper snappers!* it is done.
Colin Fox says: I wish all the foxes in this country were females.
*oh whipper snappers!* It is done.
Jack Opossum then says: I wish for a life time supply of carrots at the back of my house.
The Genie jumps his ear and *oh whipper snappers!* it is done.
Fox says: For my last wish, make all the other foxes in this entire world female.
*oh whipper snappers!* It is done.

Jack Opossum then says with a smile: I wish Colin Fox to be FEMALE!
*oh whipper snappers!* It is done.
And Jack Opossum drives away on the boot