Thursday, August 3, 2017

Lullabies and Love

So I wanted to write about something special tonight, lullabyes. I am sure as Mothers and Fathers, you had certain lullabyes that you sing to or sang to your kids from birth. My kids each have two. Each one for special reasons. I wanted to share them and why I chose them.                   First up is the most special and closest to my heart. This is one I sang to River from the time she was first conceived. It is "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes", from Cinderella. I know that it is a Disney song and not at all about miscarriage or infertility but if you really read the lyrics from the perspective of being a loss mom dreaming of her Rainbow Baby, the lyrics will make you cry.                                              
"A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep
In dreams you will loose your heartache
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling through
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
The dream that you wish will come true"                  
My Rainbow came smiling through and that's why that song makes my heart sing. Her second lullaby is less special but is just a beautiful song that I really love that happens to be called The River Lullaby. It's from the movie Prince of Egypt.                      
"Hush now, my baby; be still love, don't cry
Sleep as you're rocked by the stream
Sleep and remember, my last lullaby
So I'll be with you when you dream
River, oh river, flow gently for me
Such precious cargo you bear
Do you know somewhere he can be free?
River, deliver him there
Safe from all harm
Holding you
I'm smiling, too
Hush now, my baby, be still love, don't cry
Sleep like you're rocked by the stream
Sleep and remember this river lullaby
And I'll be with you when you dream
Here in my arms
Safe from all harm
Holding you
I'm smiling, too"

Bug's main lullaby was a more traditional lullaby but it was for a sad reason. Both I and my best friend (his godmother) would sing "You Are My Sunshine" to him when he was a baby because he was literally the light of our lives, but also because I suffered from bad Postpartum Anxiety and was convinced he would die of SIDS. When he was 15 months old he was misdiagnosed with Lymphoma after months of trying to figure out what was wrong with him. When he was 6 he was hospitalized with double pneumonia for a week. So this has always been my prayer: please don't take my sunshine away.                                                                                                                               "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away"                                                                                             Bug's last lullaby was one I sang to him while he was in the womb and almost every day when he was very little. It has always been one of my favorite songs off my favorite album from my favorite band. "Good Night" by the Beatles. It is in my opinion the ultimate and most haunting lullaby.  

"Now it's time to say good night
Good night, sleep tight
Now the sun turns out his light
Good night, sleep tight
Dream sweet dreams for me (Dream sweet)
Dream sweet dreams for you
Close your eyes and I'll close mine
Good night, sleep tight
Now the moon begins to shine
Good night, sleep tight
Dream sweet dreams for me (Dream sweet)
Dream sweet dreams for you
Close your eyes and I'll close mine
Good night, sleep tight
Now the moon begins to shine
Good night, sleep tight
Dream sweet dreams for me (Dream sweet)
Dream sweet dreams for you
Now it's time to say good night
Good night, sleep tight
Now the sun turns out his light
Good night, sleep tight
Dream sweet dreams for me (Dream sweet)
Dream sweet dreams for you
Good night, good night, everybody
Everybody everywhere
Good night"                                                                                                                                            So I am curious, what songs do you sing to your kids? Why? I really would love to hear from my readers.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Journey to Home Ownership

Well I am sure you have noticed the lack of entries this year. There is a very simple reason for that. On December 26th 2016 we received a phone call from the people who were buying our house from our current landlord, the house we called home for 10 years. They informed us that they were nuying the house, would be renovating it and making it nice again, raising the rent considerably and that it would be better for everyone if we moved out when our lease was up.
So needless to say we were a bit worried, shocked, and confused. Our lease as it were was up May 1st 2017. As of that day we would have lived there for 10 full years. We had already for 2 years prior been working with the USDA to get a mortgage approval so we knew renting a new house was not an option, we were going to have to buy and soon. So we immediately the next day began searching for a house and contacted USDA to explain the situation. We had 5 months to buy a house.
After a lot of back and forth and a LOT of paperwork, finally on March 29th (exactly 4 months ago yesterday) we were approved for a home loan through USDA, which meant no down payment and low interest, but a lot more hoops to jump through. We immediately went to put in an offer on the one house we had loved, only to find out it had just closed and we had to start from scratch. 
So we got ourselves a realtor, and started looking at houses. I mean really looking... at a lot of houses. We live in the country so there aren't even that many houses to look at, but I think we looked at all of them. After about 2 weeks of looking at houses, we finally decided to check out one last one. It was not the town I wanted to live in, or anywhere near where I thought we should live, but we went.
That was April 9th.
This was the house. It was twice as big as any house we had looked at and half the price, half the taxes too, simply because it was in a smaller town. It was gorgeous! It was perfect! It was ours! I knew right then, this was our house. On April 12th we signed our purchase offer on the house and waited. We gave them 5 days to answer us. It only took 2. However those 48 hrs were the longest I had ever felt up to that point. If only I knew then, that we had a long road ahead. 
Our closing date was scheduled for June 12th, with an assurance that we most likely would close by the end of May. It was April 14th... we figured, a month an a half is such a huge long time... we will definitely be closed by then. We began to pack. We packed up just about everything non essential and lived like hermits. We celebrated Easter among boxes. We even did the least Green Mommyish thing you can do, packed our dishes and ate off disposables.
Very soon after the purchase agreement came back though we hit hurdle after hurdle, the end of April came, quickly too came our lease ending. Luckily our new landlords were very kind and let us stay at the same price, but reminded us we needed to be out soon. We only had until the beginning of July at best, but we were so sure there was no way we would not be closed by June 12th. 
Then before we knew it we were headed to the end of May, no closing in sight, more hurdles, more repairs, more estimates, more everything. We had no idea buying a house was this hard. Owning one, sure, but buying one?
Then we  found out that us even buying the house was based on the appraisal. We had bought the house for a set price yes but now their were 10 k in repairs we had to add into the purchase price and 5k in closing costs. We had to either pray it appraised for 15000 over purchase price, or walk. So here we were, had to be out of our house by July 1st, no closing in sight, and now we might have to walk on our dream house. 
Then it was June... our closing date of June 12th now seemed like a silly day dream. We knew there was no way we would be closed by then. Like a girl who takes 5 years to graduate college and has to watch all her friends walk on time, I felt ashamed and depressed the closer it got to June 12th.
June 12th came..... still nothing. No appraisal numbers, no closing, nothing. Bug was finishing up 2nd Grade and we were still packing and still living like hobos.
June 13th, the day after our closing, we finally got good news. Our appraisal numbers came back. The house appraised for 17k over our purchase price. We were saved! We could buy our house! Now we just had to close right? We were given a new closing date our approximately June 30th. One June 25th we called to check in and were told the most devastating news. There was a lien on the house, and unless the people holding the lien could agree with what the owners could offer, the OWNERS WOULD HAVE TO WALK!!! We were in shock. We had to be out of our apartment in a few days and we were probably losing our house, and we had nowhere to go!
That night my cousin called me to tell me that her mother, my beloved Great Aunt, who had passed a few months ago, her house was sitting vacant and furnished. If we wanted to we could live there until we closed on the house and store our things in the huge garage. I sobbed like a baby and the enormous generosity and kindness of this offer. My kids would have a home until we could figure out the next step. 
July 1st we moved. The whole process took 4 full days. We vastly underestimated how much stuff we had after 10 years in one house. My Aunt's house was adorable. Tiny but gorgeous. It was the perfect getaway from it all place. The kids each had their own rooms, and they loved them. 
 We had a perfect view from our gorgeous little table each morning, and the town we were living in is literally the nicest place I have ever lived. I am not joking when I say that people here are the sweetest most amazingly friendly people ever.
A few days after we moved in, we got a call from our lawyer. The lein had been settled, we were moving forward with the sale and our new closing date was to be scheduled no later than August 14th. So here we are. It's July 30th, 2 full months from our first closing date, and we are still waiting. We did have a final piece of good news though. On July 25th, one month exactly from the day we were told about the lien, Hubby drove by the house and saw that they had put up the SOLD sign.
So there is that at least. Tomorrow is Monday July 31st, and Saturday is August 5th, our 11th Wedding Anniversary. So we are really hoping that at some point between those two dates we finally find out we are officially closing and soon. 
So what did we learn from this process? That it has taken almost 8 months to get here, that home ownership takes forever, that nothing in my life has or ever will be this stressful or crazy, but most of all that it is worth it. At the end of this long long road is our own house. Not just our own house but THAT house. Our dream house. The home we will live in and love for our whole lives, raise our children in and spend 50 years give or take together in. It has definitely been worth it!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Our Journey Has Come To An End

What journey is that? Well my breastfeeding journey.
Bug nursing 2009
When Bug was born, he and I took to breastfeeding like breathing air. It was so ridiculously natural. We just knew what to do and everything went amazingly. I really can not express just hot beautiful that time was with my son. I do not say this to brag about how "great I am at breastfeeding", but to explain a bit more about the rest of my journey. When Bug weaned at 9 months I felt I was cheated. i was still lactating but he wanted nothing to do with me. He had decided our journey was over. I was depressed, I cried, I felt I failed my son, and at being a breastfeeding Mom. I never felt ready to be done, even thought about trying re latching. Hubby was not on board though because he said "it's one thing to nurse a toddler, it's another to start nursing a toddler after they weaned as a baby." I suppose he was right. Still I knew that was not the end of my journey as a breastfeeding Mom.

Monkey nursing 2014
4 years later Monkey was born. I was so enamored with her. She was perfect, so tiny and pink and grumpy faced. She was my perfect little Monkey. I couldn't wait to feed her, for my milk to come in and for us to start our wonderful amazing journey, like I did with her brother.
Then I fed her for the first time....
Maybe it's just going to take awhile I thought, we will work at this. It can't keep hurting forever...can it? After about 6 months we finally had gotten our breastfeeding to work enough so I wasn't in constant pain. I was so proud we made it to 6 months and so proud that we were finally starting to be a team that worked.
Then she got teeth! She began biting me around 6 months and over time the biting, bad latching (we would latch fine at first but she would start to twist and stick my nipple in her molars), she began pinching my other nipple constantly, scratching and slicing it with her sharp nails.

Picture from a
Photo Shoot in
2015 by
Still despite that all we made it to 12 months. I was so super proud! I did it. I nursed a baby to 12 months! So I began trying to wean. She refused. I thought, ok well she is so little I will keep going awhile longer, she needs this. That thought kept us going another 6 months. At 18 months I was very much done! I tried everything I could think of to wean her. For me our journey had become a chore. But she did not want to wean and I didn't want to force her. I knew when the time was right we would BOTH know. So her 2nd birthday came and went and we began cutting back. Only nursing at night, or nap time etc. Another 6 months went by. She was 2 and a half and still no end in sight. Her biting, scratching and bad latching were getting so I would cry and push her away when we nursed. I felt like even one more day would be too much. I started to hate breastfeeding. So I took a little time to rethink and had a few talks with River. If she didn't want our time breastfeeding to be completely over then we were setting up some rules. Only at night before bed and no biting or pinching or scratching. Things went ok for a while and for another almost 3 months it was ok. We were enjoying our time together again. For a few months breastfeeding was actually great again. Now I don't want you to think that I nursed a kid to 33 months in constant pain or that at no point was this good for me. There were many many nights where it was amazing and whole periods of time that nursing her was working great and we were a great team.  It's just that over the whole 33 months there were a lot of times I wanted to throw in the towel, and finally this week.... I did.
On Saturday night, the 4th after a particularly painful nursing session, I felt like my skin was crawling, I just couldn't take one more minute. I pulled her off and went to bed. She cried and cried but I knew in that moment we were done. The next morning, after having slept on my decision, I knew I had not changed my mind. I knew this was real. We were done.
So I began looking into ways you can celebrate the end of your breastfeeding journey and help your toddler wean. The recurring theme was to write down the Story of your Journey, which is what this is. Another was to get them a gift that symbolizes growing up. I decided to get her a toy that teaches her her colors. It is a toy we got recently in my classroom and the kids all really love it. I thought what better way to symbolize growing up then to get a preschool toy to learn from. We also read a book I found on Amazon, called "I'm a Weaned Kid Now." It is absolutely meant for exactly our situation, for a almost 3 yr old or older who is weaning. A child younger than that probably would not really relate to the book. Monkey really understood the book, even saying afterwards that "Daddy and Mommy are so proud of me!", which was a recurring theme. The girl in the book is named Chloe and she drinks "milkies". I greatly recommend if you read it to your child you use his or her name and the word you use for nursing. Monkey's is "Baboo". This however made Bug laugh because he ran in to ask "does it really say 'baboo'?'.
So after 3 full days, she is starting to be ok with our choice. She understands what weaning is and that she is a big girl and we still love her the same. I am so beyond proud of how far we did make it and of her finally being ready to wean. It has been a little sad for me because she is our last child so I will never breastfeed a baby again, but that is life. Eventually you have to stop or you will have a 10 yr old nursing or 20 kids. I made it 33 months with Monkey and 9 with Bug so I spent 42 months breastfeeding out of the last 8 years. 3 and a half years. I think I did well. Life is cycles, life is journeys. My journey as the mother of babies, of nursing, of changing diapers, and midnight feedings etc... is over. Now I am the mother of a very curious, sweet and silly preschooler and a smart, sassy, creative and kind almost Tween. Life moves one, and so do our children. Time can feel cruel but also with each year brings a new adventure, so with that in mind I release this adventure behind me and look forward to the new ones.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A New Year A New Cause

Well as many of you may have seen, in 2016 I did not write much and what I did write was simply to  announce I was coming back to write only to leave again. The why of this was .. life. The election was gong on, which I had thrown myself into fully. I was still in my first year of having my  own classroom and then as soon as I had begun to master that I was promoted to a bigger classroom with more students and more responsibilities. I had a 6 year old first grader who was having a very rough time in school and then a 7 year old second grader who was recovering from a very traumatic life experience that we are honestly still dealing with. I had a very crazy 1 1/2 -2 yr old who is a whole bundle of trouble. We had family members who were sick, some we lost... and some we had issues with and drama. Lastly we were trying to buy a house. It turned out to be a much more difficult and lengthy process than we could have ever imagined. We started getting serious about it in September of 2015. It is now January 2017 and we are FINALLY working on our official mortgage paperwork. We have a house we want and are praying it is going to be the one we can get.
So now you know why I was gone... so why am I back??
Well that should be easy. Look around. Everyday scientists are being issued gag orders. Research is being hidden. Environmental groups are losing their funding, being gagged, or being banned from saying anything against our new "President". Climate Change Denial is now the official White House policy and they have begun overturning all the clean air acts. In addition the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines have been pushed through. For more information on that please read this recent article from NPR. Even the National Parks Service was attacked and have now gone rogue to help fight.
So in other words our new Orange in Charge is the worst thing to happen to this planet and environmentalism since well human first evolved! So in answer to this I am going to do all I can to help. I am not entirely sure what yet but the first step is using this platform to get information out. I will be writing in this blog as well as posting articles to my Green Mommy Facebook page.
I first began this blog as a talking piece for cloth diapers and breastfeeding. Yet over the years it evolved. It has taken many forms. It has focused on teaching and preschool, education matters, doulas, natural birth, child loss, miscarriage and still birth, feminism, circumcision, gardening, green living, organic food, the list goes on. So now this blog is getting political! I will try to keep the focus more on the environmental and science based side of the issues but truly I will most likely be speaking out against anything this regime does that I feel is wrong. So hopefully I can help inspire change!

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