Friday, March 18, 2011

Where to Find me Now

I wanted to let anyone on here who may still check know that I have moved! Well, moved to a new blog space. We are planning on embarking on the journey through a domestic infant adoption very soon, and I wanted a fresh start with a new blog I could pour my fears and excitements into. Finding a new local for this blog just felt right, since this blog served as a place to update everyone on my pregnancy with Josiah.

I would love for you to please visit, read, comment and pray with us!

It's located at:

That looks weird, but its a short link for Mommy Ponders at Wordpress. The title of the blog is "Love Makes a Family". I look forward to seeing you all again, hopefully. Thank you so much for your support and love.

God bless,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Well, it's official. I'm going through a break-up. With Facebook, that is. You didn't get worried about me and Travis, did you?

I'm learning that whether the break-up is with a boyfriend, a friend, or a stupid social networking website that takes forever to upload my photos and frequently shares my email address with evil spam minions, breaking up is STILL hard to do! How is that possible?? How is it that I had a tiny moment of panic when I decided that I was actually going to sign-off...for good? It just goes to show that I had an unnatural, ridiculous dependency on Facebook!

It's been a thought in my head for a while now, that people are relying on the Internet and these social networking sites to relay their prized information to family and friends rather than writing them letters or calling them with news. I got my feelings hurt earlier in the year when someone I thought was a good friend announced huge life-changing news on Facebook and never sent me so much as a text message. It was then that I decided if I was going to go around preaching that Facebook is a friendship-eating machine, I needed to walk the walk.

But I didn't have the courage to take the first step until last night.

I was afraid to fall off the grid! I feel silly just typing such a thing, but it's true. All just another sign that I needed to get off the site.

I had a break through yesterday evening when I realized that creepily peering into my "friends" lives through Facebook was NOT the same as calling them up and asking them about their lives, or even writing them a personal email to check in. Instead of connecting us, Facebook allows us to become anonymous voyeurs into the lives of others. When I thought of it that way, I felt like a creeper. And I knew I needed to stop. Also, for the sake of myself, I needed to get offline and quit wallowing every time my feelings were hurt from finding out someone was engaged or expecting a baby online.

So, here we are. I plan on keeping this blog updated much more regularly now, just to keep friends and family living far away up and current on the basic goings-on of our lives. But for the personal stuff, the big stuff, the exciting and sad stuff, I'd like to practice actually REACHING OUT to my friends and family and connecting to them one on one again. I don't want to dump huge personal news out into the superhighway anymore for anyone to read. It hurt my feelings when I became just a reader on Facebook and was no longer a real friend who got an actual call. So I don't want to do that to anyone else out there.

I'm don't judge anyone who still uses Facebook or Myspace or Twitter or whatever else is out there. This is a personal decision I've made in my own life, so please don't take offense at it. I look forward to reconnecting with you all, one at a time.

God bless,

Monday, August 24, 2009

More than what you say I am

Taking a moment from my newly established routine (one that I'm desperately trying to cultivate to controlling perfection) to check email and thought I'd throw a blog into the blogosphere while Josiah plays on the floor. He's on his back under this hanging contraption of monkeys and what is that? a zebra? Monkeys and something striped (?), slowly rotating 360 degrees on his back. I lay him down facing one direction and slowly but surely he turns himself completely around and back again. It's so funny looking down after only two or three minutes to see him in a completely new location.

I got heated this morning. Not a hormonal hot flash, but a hot-under-the-collar kind of heat. Watching the "Today Show," they were praising the new generation of women having babies in their fifties due to personal preference and career goals. They touted facts about men having babies well into their seventies (something I recently heard actually does increase the chance of birth defects and mental delays in the babies), and they had a new "feministic" (a Kathleen-coined word) attitude about it being so wonderful that these pioneers feel free to start families whenever they want. But how sad for their children! The mother they interviewed has a four year old daughter and is approaching 56 years of age. She said she waited because she wanted to pursue her career to the fullest extent before having children. Once she felt "financially satisfied" she decided to have a baby. Now her little girl has to endure the cold hard facts that mommy may not be there for graduations, wedding, and the birth of her own children. This woman sits on top of a pile of earned income feeling fully confident in her decision, but how very sad for her to potentially rob her daughter of time with her. Enduring life hurdles without a mother is so sad.

I read a book once that talked about the importance of daughters having a mother in their life for the milestone years, and a Disney producer was interviewed. He said the reason Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Jasmine, Belle, Mulan, etc. don't have mothers is because they are all princesses who are strong in spirit and mind but in order for the story to work (for them to need some kind of rescue, be it by a fairy, a spell, a wish or a prince), they have to have a very tragic limitation in their story. What is the saddest limiting factor of all? They don't have mothers. Not a single one of them.

But apparently we live in a culture that encourages this kind of "brave pursuit of having-it-all". Or so they said on "Today". Completely ignoring the obvious- the fact that eventually time will catch up with them and either drain them of energy when their children need them the most, or death will claim them- they went on to applaud these liberated women who seek to prove that you CAN have it all. But in truth, you can't. You can have only what God blesses you with, and when we take our lives into our own control and try to squeeze in all the earthly goals we'd like to accomplish before we die, we miss God's will for our lives. Something is compromised, whether we realize it or not. You cannot be the most amazing CEO your company has ever seen AND be the most loving, giving, and available mother your child could possibly have. One or the other must suffer. And God designed it that way.

In Max Lucado's book Cure for the Common Life, he says that when we teach our kids that they can do anything and be everything, we're lying to them. They can do whatever God allows them to do, but they can't do everything with our full hearts, minds, and bodies unless it's what God has willed for us to do. Sure, you can force yourself to be a chef, and you may be a good chef... but what if all along God was calling you to be a teacher? If you'd answered that calling and fulfilled God's will for your life by picking up the natural tools your Creator stitched into you from birth, you might have been absolutely amazing.

But we as people want what we want, so we'll settle for "good," "average," or "ok" when we could be stunning.

Another (shorter) rant that set me off this morning was the fact that inevitably whenever they spotlight one of these trailblazers seeking to completely redefine feminism (I used to think it was simply a movement that would allow women to do whatever they wanted- whether that meant be at home with their children or on top of a skyscraper welding steel), they don't use facts or statistical data to support their stance, they just tear down other people groups - other women- to justify their choices.

This morning they didn't say "Having children in your fifties is a new trend which statistically raises more confident and intelligent children and increases family values by allowing more time spent together due to retirement". Instead they ignored the hard-core data about Down Syndrome risks, IUGR babies, chromosomal abnormalities, and the toll age takes on a woman. To support their push, they threw out "facts" like "A woman in her fifties is more likely to be a better mother because she has already completed most of her career goals, so she won't be resentful of her child like a woman in her twenties or thirties. She's less selfish than her twenty-something counterpart as well. And more mature." Those aren't facts! Those are just opinions that completely alienate mothers ages 20-39! My career goals are to be a good mother right now. I've said it before, all I ever really wanted was to be a parent. My career goals may change in the future, but because Josiah exists, he is my job. Period. And I think God created it that way. I don't think I'm selfish or distracted or resentful. And I'm one of those "immature" 20-somethings they spoke about.

I'm not opposed to them presenting women who choose a different path from mine, but I wish that when magazines and talk shows turned the spotlight on working moms, older moms, single-by-choice moms, or gay moms, they wouldn't use hurtful opinions about stay-at-home moms, married moms, straight moms or young moms to support their lifestyle choices. I love what I do and how I do it and who I am because I feel it's what's best for me, Travis and Josiah, and I feel like this is what God is calling me to do. Not because it's better than some other woman. If you have to tear down someone else (like 20-somethings or SAHM's) to justify your choices, perhaps there's guilt or the lack of a better reason behind it that you need to investigate within yourself.

Do what you want, but leave us out of it.

End daily rant!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Guilt and Motherhood

Guilt and motherhood go together like Pampers and a Diaper Genie. I don't understand why upon giving birth to my son I also was born into this stressful lifestyle of guilt, regret, doubt and resentment, but here I am. And I know I'm not alone.

The expectations are set so high for motherhood these days, one can hardly keep up. Despite the fact that I am still nursing my son at five months, and despite the fact that I stay at home with him all day, and I sing to him daily and read to him nightly, and offer up loads of cuddles and infant massages, I still feel constantly bombarded by guilt and that tingling desire to compare myself to other mothers.

Among my daily list of guilt that weighs on my chest is the guilt that I am not nursing enough. I tell myself other women exclusively nurse, not allowing a drop of formula to touch their child's lips... I know he's getting the benefits of it, even from one single ounce, but somehow I still worry over it constantly. Yes, I supplement with formula when it's convenient, when my personal supply is low, or when I'm just too exhausted to function. I cringe when I have to do it. What's crazy is, I don't remotely look down on mothers who only use formula. I feel guilty because I set out to do something -breastfeed- and now I'm riding the fence between the two. Does that make me a failure?

Daily guilt #2: I'm not stimulating him enough.

There are music classes and swimming classes and baby yoga and infant art classes and baby book clubs and infant sign language courses and literally dozens of resources at the library telling me everything in the world NOT to do with my child (don't watch tv, don't introduce to technology, don't watch movies, etc.), and I can't keep up! I've already broken him! We watched "Winnie the Pooh" just the other day. And this morning, as we were passing through the bedroom, Barney magically drew in his full attention with a rousing rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star". Before I could throw myself sacrificially in front of our tiny 12inch tv, Josiah was stuck like glue on the purple dinosaur, smiling and giggling at the music and bright colors.

We don't do yoga during the day. I've never taken him to a baby music class. He's been in the pool only once, and I don't think he liked it very much. According to some, I'm dooming him to a life of mediocrity!

I feel guilty because despite the fact that I'm here with him all day everyday, I don't feel like I hold him enough. When I put him down for an hour or more to get some things done around the house (or even just to take a shower), I feel like I'm ruining our bond. I pale in comparison to mothers who constantly wear their children in slings. I read about the deep bond that creates, and I feel guilty. What if we don't have a bond? According to some extremists, I'm downright neglectful to leave him in his swing while I do the dishes and a load of laundry for one whole hour.

So, what's a mother to do? I don't want his brain to turn to rot from the occasional Pooh Bear, Big Bird or Barney exposure, but on the same token, these are the joys of childhood I grew up with, and I want to share them with him. I don't want to fail him intellectually, but I don't desire to try teaching him yoga or his state capitals this week either! I want him to receive all the nutritional benefits of breast milk, but sometimes I have to allow Travis to give him formula.

I opened up this month's issue of my favorite baby magazine and found an article written by a mother experiencing the same nursing woes as me. She supplemented with her eldest, and eventually weaned him at the early age of three months. The first half of the article made me feel great. I thought I wasn't alone! I'd found a great mother who not only felt the same way I did, but justified her actions and explained that you can still be a wonderful mother even if you aren't on the extreme end of the pendulum... Until the fourth paragraph. I was betrayed!

She said her son had chronic ear infections and more than one tubal implant in his ear canal, the results of all those bottles as an infant! She went on to talk about how with her next three children, she vowed to nurse until they were two, never supplementing with formula or sugar water along the way. Her big, excited conclusion was a declaration of her success, and how the latter three children never suffered from ear infections, and never struggled with the adolescent weight gain which some sources suggest can be a result of ingesting formula as an infant. My article-writing confidant went off the deep end. She lost me. She went from real woman, real mom doing what she needed to do to make her situation with her son work (even if it meant cutting corners here and there) to succumbing to those guilty feelings and entering the world of the rarely attainable.

Well, unfortunately for me, the reader, I won't have the opportunity to have a baseball team's worth of future children to "make right" on. This is the only -biological- one I get. So what am I to do?

If I can't make up for missed cuddles and missed nursing opportunities with this one, how do I assuage my guilt? I think the best solution for me is to remind myself daily that he's happy, he's healthy, and when he starts to get fussy in his swing, and I put down the dishes to go to him, he kicks and gets more excited and gives me smiles bigger than any episode of Barney could ever bring about. He loves me. And I love him. And I'll continue to show him that love in anyway I can, with or without infant music classes or baby yoga. I may always feel slightly guilty when I give him formula, but I will cherish the opportunities to cuddle and to play with his chubby star shaped hands while he nurses, realizing some women never get to experience such a moment at all.

We need to just stop being so hard on each other, start encouraging each other more, and always remember that motherhood is the absolute hardest job on earth. Hopefully if there are any mothers out there reading this, you'll feel a little easier carrying that guilt that all mothers carry. You aren't alone, Big Bird isn't out to steal your child's brain, formula won't rot his insides, and it's ok for her to play by herself for an hour while you take a shower. So sayeth me.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Autumn, Here We Come

Travis and I are about to embark on another school year. I HATE MARCHING SEASON. Did I say that loud enough? I hate it hate it hate it. My husband disappears from August to December. He is never available on the weekends for anything, and comes home late late late at night on Friday nights, which makes me worry because I am a worrier naturally and because all I can think about is drunk high school kids driving home from football games.

I rationally know that all the world is not actually a Valerie Bertinelli made-for-tv movie, but somehow my imagination takes over, and when he's more than fifteen minutes late returning home from an out of town game, a scene from a Lifetime Original flashes through my brain, and I panic.

We're slowly making our rounds to family members announcing our plans to home school Josiah. Unfortunately, the only materials I can find are from freakishly religious zealots out to convert the world. In reading their books, I'm not sure if they're trying to convert me to Christianity or homeschooling. Personally, I'd rather be left alone. Just give me the facts, Max.

We've decided to "wear" our decision for a while, see how it feels, see how it works, and keep an open mind. We'll regroup at the end of every year with a pow-wow to analyse whether it's still working for Josiah first and foremost, and for me as well. I like homeschooling for a million different reasons, and basically none of them are religious. Gasp. Oh I hope I hope the ladies in the homeschooling circle will accept me despite my radicalism.

Plain and simple, I think he could learn more, at his own pace, in a more creative and conducive environment if I took direct charge of his education from the home.


I have no weird agenda against the public school system. My husband and I are both products of it, and my husband is a teacher in a public school for crying out loud. And I'm not out to teach my son that the world is full of evil and therefore we must be separate from it. I just like the flexibility that teaching and learning outside of the classroom can provide. I'm a huge believer in hands-on learning, and a huge supporter of year-round schools. The summer drain takes a lot out of a kid, and so much has to be retaught come August. I think kids would be less wiped out if school went year-round with more frequent breaks in between. I think the schedule as is fills up their minds to the absolute breaking point, gives them an all-too-long break, and then brings them back only to cram them as full as possible again, punctuated with another far-too-long break. The cycle continues. And somehow classes are not linked together. It never occurred to me in high school that my 10th grade English class was preparing me for my 11th grade English class. I thought it was preparing me for a huge state mandated test at the end of the year and then a bucket full of summer fun! I realize now that 10th grade English was supposed to be a stepping stone into 11th grade English. Huh. Go figure!

I think public school teachers are some of the most amazing, selfless people in the world. I just don't think they can possibly divide themselves 25 different ways. I love the idea of being able to teach him about science by going out and doing and seeing and living the experiments, rather than reading about them in a text book or getting paired up with kid who drinks the blue stuff in the beaker.

It gets me excited thinking about it, so I'm trying to do all the research about different curriculum and approaches as I possibly can, but it's hard to find a non-religious home schooler. Of course faith will be played out in our daily lessons, just as it plays out in our daily lives, but I don't plan on censoring American literature (as one author suggested) because it talks about the death of a beloved pet! The very thought of censoring John Steinbeck made my hair fray! Can't I get some information from someone who chose home schooling as an option for a more flexible, more creative way of educating their child? Boo.

Anyway, It's midnight, and I know I should be in bed. With the new school year and with Josiah being a little older, I'd like to create some kind of daily routine...but that's hard when you're practicing the Attachment Method of parenting, and you lead a baby-led routine. I've been trying to figure out some kind of schedule that we could maybe begin to follow this fall just to make our lives a little more predictable, but feeding and napping on demand makes that difficult. But I'll never get into any kind of decent routine unless I get out of this summer sleep schedule, so good night!!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jojo on the Road

We're in San Marcos for state solo and ensemble competition. I'm not crazy about San Marcos, but I was very excited about this trip because it is Josiah's first vacation ever. He handled the drive just fine... he slept the entire way. That was all well and good for the road, but the rest of the night may be less than fun for us since he's completely rested!

Traveling when you're nursing is no easy feat. Thankfully they make pumps of all different kinds to aid in such situations, but still, it hasn't been easy.

I think our hotel room has mildew in the carpet. It's damp and stinky. Great. And I recently stepped in it.

Travis is changing Josiah's diaper behind me, and all I hear is him saying, "Whew, tinky-tinky!" Lol.

My friend Kris Ann and my mother-in-law's friend Shannon threw Josiah a beautiful shower a few weeks ago. It was so nice for people to finally meet him who hadn't yet had the opportunity. We also received some lovely and very generous gifts from family and friends. I'm looking forward to visiting the outlet malls here in San Marcos because they have an Oshkosh outlet and a Carter's outlet. I just LOVE baby clothes. I can't have enough, and I love dressing him in cute little overalls and baby blue jeans. I have such a perfectly adorable palate to start with anyway, the rest is just icing.

I guess I'd better go. I don't know what we're doing for dinner, but wherever we go, I need to not look so gross.

New pictures soon to come.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

March for Josiah

Travis and I are planning to walk for March of Dimes at Mackenzie Park on Saturday the 25th. I was inspired to do so given the rocky road we had in getting Josiah here healthy. The organization funds hospitals and doctors in research for prevention of premature birth, fetal death, and low birth-weight babies. Obviously Josiah was a low birth-weight baby, and I received excellent care which I think contributed greatly to his safe arrival. If you're interested in walking with us, or sponsoring us in our walk, we've set a very modest goal of $200 for the organization, and we would love for all of you to help us reach our goal in whatever way you can. If you'd like to join us in walking on Saturday, please let me know and I'll be thrilled to add you to our tiny team. The link above will send you to the march of dimes website for more information, or will allow you to sponsor us and help contribute to our fundraising goal.

Thank you so much!
God bless,