Peyton

My heart breaks a little each day from overwhelming sadness but is also overwhelmed by joy as I notice my daughter turning into this wonderful and beautiful girl and then my mind wonders what she will be like when she’s a young lady/ young woman. I hope she’s humble, kind, generous, loving, thoughtful, outgoing, fearless, a leader and so much more. She’s an amazing girl and it awes me how her mind works and how she comes up with all her reasonings for everything in this world. In a way she is like her father, completely and utterly a chatter box. She’s outgoing and fearless like him too. However the majority of her is made up of me. She’s headstrong, stubborn, intuitive, cautious, she sacrifices things she wants for others needs and most of all she’s loving. For example with her baby brother, Augie it’s through cuddling, kisses, hugs, and caring for his needs the best she knows how. With her other brother, Eli it’s through rough housing and comforting him when he is scared. He’s always been “Bubba” to her and she’d take on anyone or anything who ever tried to harm him. With a shy little girl on the playground at school it’s making sure she won’t leave her side so that a little girl isn’t left out no matter what my daughter is really wanting to go do. She also talks so much she earned the nickname “and a” because her stories never end. They are never boring and always entertaining. She can’t keep a secret to save her life. To Peyton, holding in a secret is like holding in a sneeze. Without a doubt one of the most amazing girl I know.

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All that being said… watching her grow and blossom with each year has me thinking back when I was younger. How I wish I could take back every hateful thing I ever said to my mother. I didn’t know what I said would hurt her and I didn’t know my actions would hurt her. Not physically no, but emotionally. A mother’s love is one amazing thing. You could be a complete and utter brat, yelling and screaming, stubborn and stupid, prideful and pitiful all at once but it wouldn’t phase her love for you. It wouldn’t phase her loving actions towards you. And once you came to the realization your mother is in fact right. she doesn’t hold it over your head when you come to apologize. In fact what happens is she holds you close, tells you how much she loves you and tells you how sorry she is for what you are going through. Nothing you could do would tarnish that love.

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Watching my daughter has me realizing there will be a day she wont want me too close. There will be a day that I wont get a random “I love you”, a random hug or a “can I sleep with you guys, I’m a little scared?” There will come a day where me ,her mom, will not understand her because I was never young and there isn’t anyway I’d understand what she is going through. Those statements I use to shout or think are now just so ridiculous. Who better to help you through tough times than your mother who turns out was young once and knows exactly what you are going through. It breaks my heart to know my daughter will have a first real crush and a first real heartbreak. How I wish she could skip the Heart ache that comes with growing up, yet it’s something that can’t be ignored. I can only hope she isn’t too prideful and stubborn to come to me with all her heartache. I hope she takes my advice to heart and really thinks about it before she decides anything. I hope she comes to me anytime she has questions about life like she does now. We live in a time now where you just google everything. Google is not your friend people, it’s just not.

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I will miss the “I’m just so itchy…Momma will you scratch my back”, “Momma can you please paint my nails and my toes”, “Momma we need to get away from these boys for a day”,and “can you braid my hair”. I wonder if my mom still longs for the days when I was younger. The days where I needed my back scratched, wanted to be rocked,or wanted my hair braided. Does she still look at me as if I’m little and fragile the way I do Peyton? Will I always see my daughter as a little girl? Right now we are a few weeks from her turning 7 and I still look at her as if she is 3 years old. Then when I take my “mom goggles” off I see her as this amazing girl who is reading books… actual books… not baby books. I hope she never loses that love for it. Reading wasn’t easy for me and I didn’t fall in love with it until I was an adult.

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One thing I do know is I’m doing my best and I pray I don’t screw this up.

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Breastfeeding Isn’t Always Easy and Glamorous

After my daughter was born, I wanted to breastfeed her but I didn’t know one thing about breastfeeding.  I didn’t know it was challenging or that it doesn’t come naturally for something that was so natural for women to be able to provide their child. From the moment I found out I was pregnant with her it was drilled into my head “breast is best”. I couldn’t get her to latch at the hospital so my nurse told me I’d have to give her a bottle if she wouldn’t latch. I didn’t know if you give a baby a bottle you’d need to pump to make up for that feeding. As you could guess I quickly dried up. So when I failed at it after just 3 weeks I felt like a failure. Not because I thought formula was bad in anyway, but breastfeeding is what a mother is suppose to be able to do, right? I understand not every mother wants to breastfeed, but I did. I was determined to breastfeed my second child. I think instead of wanting to breastfeed for the health benefits of both the child and mother that comes from breastfeeding that I wanted to achieve this goal to prove to myself I can do this and I’m not a failure. What I found out instead was that it’s a beautiful and moving experience. The connection you build with your child cannot be compared to anything else.  I want to be able to help others through their struggles and help them overcome the trials of breastfeeding so they too can experience the most overwhelming love and connection with their own child. I hope one day I can become a Lactation Consultant and I hope this blog helps someone realize they aren’t a failure just because they cannot breastfeed. I know about low supply, over supply, cracked/bleeding nipples (yeah, that happens), thrush, clog ducts, near mastitis (like the closest you can come to it I think).

Eli, my second child, was born July 2011. My goal was to breastfeed him no matter how difficult it was. Right after he was born he latched perfectly, but somewhere between the first day and the 2nd week his latch became less than perfect. He developed thrush and I was at the start of mastitis. I started meeting with a Lactation Consultant and she immediately took me under her wing. She helped me with all the clogged ducts I had before it turned into mastitis. What I found to be very important is that many new mothers do not know about is Lecithin. Go buy that now it is basically lube for your milk ducts. You’ll thank me! Warm compresses, pumping and nursing around the clock, 3 Lecithin and 3-200mg Ibuprofen saved me from mastitis. After 24 hours, I felt like myself again and not like I was dying. She helped me with his latch and showed me different ways to insure a good latch. She helped me stay calm and collected when I would get frustrated with myself. She helped me understand thrush and how it transfers from the baby to me and from me to the baby. We battled thrush for 3 whole months, when all the medicines the doctors tried didn’t work, I turned to Gentian Violet 1%. That stuff works miracles! It stains everything, but it works, and in 4 days, we no longer had it!!!!!!! Seriously all you new mothers and by new mothers I mean anyone who just had a baby. no matter if its your 2nd or third baby and you are having issues go find a Lactation Consultant.

My goal of breastfeeding quickly changed to just to the next day… then, just to the end of the week… then, just to the end of 2 weeks… then, just a month longer…. and before I knew it after three long months of battling thrush and clog ducts, crying over the pain and frustration, and rejoicing when finally everything came together and we found our grove.  I realized breastfeeding was a beautiful experience.  Never in my life did I know you could feel so close to a child.  I no longer experienced anxiety when he was hungry.  I no longer had clog ducts.  I no longer had thrush and every horrible side effect that came with those.  I finally came to a point where I didn’t have a timeline of when I would stop breastfeeding.  It quickly changed to when he was ready.  Deep down I knew I just didn’t ever want to let this feeling go.  I was the only one who could feed him, to comfort him, and to be his main source of everything he needed.  Next thing I knew he was about to turn 2 years old and was ready to wean.  I cried when he was done.  I knew it was time and I was ok with that, but I was sad over losing the peaceful bonding time we had.  I cherished all the sweat and blood that went into achieving my goal and exceeding my expectations of what I thought breastfeeding was.

With my third baby, who was born October 2014, I felt more confident in what I was doing. I knew what to expect and what to do. He has been a breeze. I really couldn’t have asked for a more perfect easy breastfeeding experience.  After being faced with all three very different breastfeeding experiences, having overcome not just the physical trials, but also the mental trials they bring, I am proud to say I breastfed 2 of my 3 children.  I breastfed one child for 2 years and my second child 15 months so far.  It’s not something a woman should feel forced to do, but something she will absolutely love and cherish forever if she is successful.  There absolutely will be hard times and complications in the beginning, but as long as you has a place or a person to turn to for the help and the support you’ll need you can succeed. You can overcome any insecurity you may be facing when you cannot figure out on your own why it isn’t working. If the first Lactation Consultant isn’t right for you don’t give up! Find someone you click with and who can related to your struggles.

 

My dad

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Donald Ray Carmichael  “Sunny”

 

January 11, 2001 is the day my dad went to be with the Lord. That’s what I say and that’s what I believe but what I feel… Is that was the day I lost him forever. Not for all eternity no, but for all the rest of my days here on earth. That’s been 15 years ago and some say “time heals all wounds.” Or “It gets easier as the years go by.” I don’t find that to be true at all. For me every year is just more terrifying. My heart aches so much that I can’t even put it into words. I still have nightmares of the night we found him. It’s always so vivid and so real I wake in a panic covered in a cold sweat with a pool of tears down my face and soaking my pillow. Normally I’m not able to sleep for the next few nights. I keep all these emotions and dreams/nightmares to myself and maybe in some way that’s why I suffer from panic attacks and anxiety. I just don’t want to relieve them… My first panic attack started about 3 years ago. The same year I realized I had been without my dad the same amount of time he was with me here on earth. 12 years… I was only 12 when he died. I have now lived my life without him longer than I did with him. I didn’t have him for so many important moments in my life. My drivers test, graduation, my wedding, the births of my kids…I know without a doubt my little girl would be one of his favorite grandchild. She’s identical to me! Not that I was his favorite child, but I was his baby girl. And any parent knows they hold that child in a different Place. That’s your last baby, the last firsts, the last of any need for keeping around baby items, the last snuggles…

He use to always tell me I didn’t have to do yard work because I was his precious little princess. I remember still all the things he would say to me, but I have forgotten his voice and I have forgotten how he smelled. That’s terrifying to me that I can’t remember those things about him. When I was younger I use to go smell all sorts of men cologne/after shave to find his scent. The sales lady probably thought I was nuts. What teenage girl smells men’s cologne? I often look at pictures of him that I have here at my house but none of them do justice. Yes it’s what I remember but remembering his face when I’m awake and remembering him in my dreams are very different. In my dreams he is so real I just want to hold on to that image. He never talks in my dreams, though I assume it’s because I can’t remember his voice.image

There were many nights I would wake up around 3:00am and find him watching tv in his rocking chair. He always rocked me until I felt sleepy again then I’d walk back to my bed. There have been many night since he has been gone I wish he could just hold me and tell me it was ok. I have had struggles many don’t know about. Being who I am prevents me from feeling as though I can share my struggles openly. I often just put on a brave face and act like nothing is wrong.

Thinking about how hard this is on me seems so selfish when I think how hard this must be on my mom. She lost her husband…her love…her rock…her other half…her kids father. I couldn’t imagine the pain she felt and still feels. I couldn’t imagine how hard it is to lose the person you planned to grow old with. The person that is suppose to help raise your children. To go from working mom to working mom and dad. I know I didn’t make it easier on her like I should have. I wasn’t what you’d call the “angle child” that would be my lovely sister. After my father passed I didn’t handle it well. I took it out on my poor mother as if it was her fault. I knew it wasn’t but when you have all that anger and grief it has to land somewhere. I just thank God everyday for such a strong and loving Christian mother. image

Today I am hurting…deeply… Today I will hold my kids a little tighter and I will cherish every second with my family.

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Chinese Food Galore

I have been craving some Chinese food but being on a diet limits things a bit…. I did my research and came up with cauliflower “fried rice”. It’s pretty amazing and my family of 5 loved it!

I first cooked some Sesame Chicken and veggie stir fry  to go with it.

Buy a head of cauliflower or a bag of fresh (not frozen) chop it up some and place them in the blender and blend away to make it fine pieces…

heat 1tsp sesame oil sauté 1/4 Yellow Onion, 1 cup of carrots and 1 cup of peas ( you can always do 1/2 cups if you’d rather do that, but i like my veggies)

then add 1TBSP Minced Garlic, 1TBSP Minced Ginger and the cauliflower cook for about 5 more min. then make a hole in the cauliflower

add 3 scrambled eggs (optional, its great without eggs too)

add 1TBSP low sodium soy sauce

then once its all cooked you can fill a green container of it.

That my friends is a normal size plate! excuse my fine china 🙂

1Red, 2Green, 1/4 Yellow (the peas)

Cottage cheese… WHAT!?

So I decided for better or worst I would try cottage cheese. I know I know… WHY!? Turns out it’s not as bad as you would think. It’s actually pretty darn good! So here is what I did…

First get your red container and fill it with cottage cheese

next and this is all by taste sprinkle in some onion powder, minced garlic, parsley, a little sea salt and pepper…. if you have chives use that instead of the onion powder.

then spread it on a flat out… amazing wraps 1 is only 1 yellow!

 

Then fill your green container with thinly sliced cucumber and spinach then pile it on top and roll it like a burrito.

1red, 1yellow, and 1green 🙂