Every Mommy Needs A Survival Kit

In doing one of my endless midnight Pintrest/Google searches, that seem like being sucked into a black hole, I found this great idea for my best friend who is expecting her first child. She already got everything that she needed for the baby, so I was excited to have fun with the gift that I gave her. So I made….

Drum roll Please….

A new mommy survival kit!!!

new mommy kit

While making her gift I realized that I needed this kit myself and I’m sure many moms would appreciate this survival kit. In the Survival Kit are several objects that remind you of something important, here is what I put in her bag which I believe are the 7 most essential items.

(Disclaimer: these items are meant to be kept as reminders, like to put on an altar or sacred space away from the children, someone in the house where you will see it everyday, or in a sandwich baggie to carry in your bag. But some of these items may serve dual purposes and come in handy, especially if you carry it around with you!)

  1. Rubber band- to remind you that flexibility is key and to stretch to new limits. Motherhood requires flexibility because our lives with our little boogers can be unpredictable. It can also double as a hair tie for you or the kids hair when you are out and about you need to get your hair out of your face.
  1. Toothpicks- to remind you to pick out the good moments in every day. It can also be useful when you have something in your teeth.
  2. Eraser- to remind you that every mom makes mistakes. Also, comes in handy when helping with homework and your child lost all the other erasers.
  3. Tissue- to wipe away you and the baby’s/child’s tears. Having a pack of tissue on hand is always a great idea because someone nose is always running, something is always being spilt, and faces and hands always get dirty and needs to be wiped and sometimes you either forget the baby wipes or you run out and you need a backup.
  4. Puzzle Piece- to remind you that you are an important piece in your child’s life and journey. Also, could be used as a way to keep the little one busy by letting them trace it, pretend that it’s a horse or other animal, or when all else fails use it as a chew toy…lol…(just kidding about the last one unless it’s a chewable/edible puzzle piece!)
  5. Lifesavers- for one of those days when you just had enough, you forgot to brush your teeth, you forgot to eat and need a quick snack, and/or the kids are winning so you give them one so you can have some silence. (notice how I intentionally typed and/or because all these things can happen simultaneously…smdh)
  6. Bath Salts- to remind you that you are important too and self-care in vital, so go take a hot bath and rub this salts all over your achy body and you will feel refreshed afterwards.

Other items that could be included:

  1. Aromatherapy Candle or Oil- to go along with the bath salts and that nice bath you are about in indulge in. Lavender is the perfect scent for a relaxing bath. If you need a pick me up then use citrus or lemongrass. If you have a headache then peppermint will be your best friend. 
  2. Lotion- to help soften the rough patches
  3. Hershey Kisses- for you and the baby, you both deserve them
  4. Paper Clip- to hold things together when they seem disorganized
  5. Bandage- to help fix hurt feelings
  6. Match- to light your fire when you feel burnt out
  7. Earplugs- to help when you can’t hear
  8. Gum- to remind you to stick with and you can accomplish anything!
  9. Marbles- to replace the ones you will lose!
  10. Battery- to keep you going and going and going and going and going and going…
  11. String- to tie things together when everything is falling apart
  12. A shot glass- after a long day and the kiddies are sleeping and all else fails and you have and need a quick relief
  13. Washcloths- to help you wash your problems away! Only if it was that simple, I would hoard washcloths…but then that would make me a washcloth hoarder, which is a problem within itself…then my family will leave me in the house with my washcloths because there is no room for them to sleep…then I will lose the cat that I never had who somehow mysteriously got into my house and got buried under all those damn washcloths…then I will be on TLC extreme hoarding…then all my business will be aired for the whole world to see…then I will be kinda famous…wait wait wait this just got out of hand…lol….hoarding washcloths to wash away my problems seems counterproductive!!! I will just keep one washcloth on my altar and one in my sandwich baggie survival travel kit. 

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March to end Premature Birth

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Right now, babies need all the help they can get. Premature birth affects about 380,000 babies here in the United States.

Why I walk

I’m walking because we had 2 premature babies and thanks to the advancement of technology and the TLC of the George Washington University Hospital NICU we have 2 healthy babies. Our 2nd born son was extremely premature, he was born 22 weeks and 6 days gestation, weighing only 465 grams, just barely a pound and he had to stay in the NICU for 4 months. Our baby girl was born at 33 weeks and 3 days gestation and she had to stay in the NICU for a week! Both times were trying times for us! We had 2 success stories and we are truly blessed! She we walk to support the cause and because we are so thankful!

We are walking in March for Babies to get the message out about this terrible problem and you can help. Please make a secure donation to help me reach my goal. Together we can help the March of Dimes fight prematurity so more babies can get the strongest start possible.
#teambridgersbunch 

If you want to walk with us or donate to the cause please click here: Babies Rock

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Imperfect Mommy (Doubts about being a parent & my parenting)

imageI finally have come to the realization that I will not ever be the perfect parent. I am officially accepting myself as the imperfectly open, vulnerable, authentic , loving, compassionate, empathetic and understanding parent who has flaws! This section of the website is about my confessions as a mom, so there are things on here that I have thought but probably never shared but I want to share my imperfections and confessions with the world so that we can heal and grow together! 

So here we go…

I contemplated having an abortion with each of my pregnancies. Ahhhh…it feels so good to say that, to get it off my chest… Who else can identify? I am pro-choice, but I never thought in my life I would get, let alone think about having, an abortion. Just to clarify, I never got an abortion, just contemplated, which I still feel guilty about, but I feel like it is a conversation that no one wants to talk about but for some it may be healing. I experienced mixed emotions when I became pregnant. I knew I always wanted to be a mother but every time we conceived I felt we weren’t ready–we were too young, we weren’t getting along, we both still have a lot of healing and growing up to do. Thank goodness my desire to want to be a mom overrode my emotional turmoil and I have 3 healthy children. But, why don’t we women talk about this? Why is this topic so taboo? So many women struggle with these feelings and thoughts and feel so ashamed and alone. I wish that we were more open as a society and not so judgmental. I believe the world would be a better place if people were more open, vulnerable, authentic , loving, compassionate, empathetic and understanding. Too many of us live our entire lives in behind a façade–will we truly be who we are? What will it take?

I am freeing myself from the paralysis of fear and removing my façade. I choose to be open, vulnerable, authentic, loving, compassionate, empathetic and understanding! Yes, I contemplated abortion and because I had that experience I understand why many women contemplate it and actually follow through. Everyone has their own reasoning. Who am I to judge the next person? I have no idea what they are experiencing in their lives and even if they do reveal to me their situation and reasoning, it is their life and they decide what path they want to take. Everyone is the expert in their own lives! I still have many doubts about my parenting: Am I a good enough mother? Why did I spank/ scream at them? How can I spend more time with them? I should have prevented him/her from falling? How can I heal all their woes and fix all their problems? What do people think of me and my parenting? Am I raising them the right way? Am I teaching them the right values? What do I value?

I say all of this to say, that it is normal to have doubts but don’t allow those doubts to run your life. Once you open up to other people you will also see that you are not alone in the struggle. It is so liberating to know that I can share with others, not be judged and sometimes find humor in my crazy but normal thoughts, emotions and actions. We have to let down our guards and start sharing more, someone needs to hear your story and you need to hear someone else’s, it is very beneficial to the healing process and it is so liberating. So, for everyone out there who has the question: Will I ever be a good parent? The answer is–whatever seed you plant it will manifest and come into fruition! If you have the desire to be a good parent, and are intentional, you will! No one will ever be the “perfect” parent, imperfection is inevitable because we are human, but you can be the best parent you can be if you want to. If you believe it you can achieve it!

If you are contemplating abortion or unsure about what to do, here are some great resources:

http://www.justmommies.com/forums/f100-unplanned-pregnancy/2574993-contemplating-abortion.html

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/pregnancy/pregnant-now-what/thinking-about-abortion

http://pregnancy-helpline.net/pregnancy-options/considering-abortion/

If you know someone who may be considering abortion, here is a resource to help you help them:

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/12/6-ways-to-support-a-friend-who-is-considering-an-abortion/

https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/how-to-communicate-with-a-friend-considering-abortion

Also, a great book to read about being an imperfect parent and accepting and loving yourself, check out my favorite writer: Brené Brown http://brenebrown.com/ and her book “The Gifts of Imperfections” http://www.amazon.com/The-Gifts-Imperfection-Supposed-Embrace/dp/159285849X

#imperfectmommy #doubtsandparenthood #abortion #support #letstalk #wearemorealikethandifferent #letsshare #giftsofimperfections #itsok #weallhavedoubts #thereisnoperfectparent #taboo 

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Beating the Odds

Our family has definitely been blessed on many occasions, especially when it comes to our children.  I have been pregnant 3 times and each has been at-risk. I am so grateful to be able to tell our story and have 2 healthy children and being on our journey to have another healthy baby! #Proudmommy

me and my handsome boys

me and my handsome boys

Our first born, Marley, was only surviving in utero on a 2 vessel umbilical cord when normal babies have a 3 vessel cord. I had to be induced a week before my due date to prevent any complications. With the intentions of having an all natural vaginal birth, Marley started to go into distress (his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck) and I had to be rushed to have an emergency cesarean section.  I was in a panic and all I can think about is “There goes my all natural birth plan and sculpted stomach!” He was born a healthy 6lbs 11oz. No major complications for him and we were able to go home in 3 days. Now, he is a healthy vibrant 4 year old who is very smart and athletic and an awesome big brother! #ourhandsomemarleyman

Marley 2 days old

Marley 2 days old

 

Marley 4 years old

Marley 4 years old

 

On Wednesday, March 27 2013 @ 4:07pm our 2nd born, Garvey, was born I was only 22 weeks and 6 days, he was 465 grams (which is 1.02lbs-he was about the size of a water bottle), his eyes were still fused shut, his skin was paper thin and he had to stay in the NICU for 130 days (numbers I will never forget). Now, he is a vibrant healthy busy 21 month old who is the pickiest eater I know and has a charming smile (he is truly a ladies man)!  #garveyoursouljah

Garvey Gratitude

Garvey 24 hours old (2010)

Garvey 23 months

Garvey 23 months (2015)

Now, I’m 33 weeks pregnant with our 3rd baby, Zora, and I’m on bed rest in the hospital because I have an incompetent cervix. I have been 2cm dilated since I was 24 weeks and I have been on bed rest for a total of 9 weeks-the first 2 weeks spent at home and the last 7 weeks (and counting) spent at the hospital.  As I lay in the hospital bed awaiting the arrival of princess Zora, despite being in this situation I am so grateful and I am reminded of how powerful the higher powers that be are and that everything is going to be ok. So, I’m calm and relaxed and thankful! #PrincessZora 

Zora inutero 24 weeks

Zora inutero 24 weeks

pregnant with zora 32 weeks
pregnant with zora 32 weeks

 

Terrible 2′s my derriere

Dear Toddler Behavioral Specialists,

I need help!!!!

Who coined the term terrible 2′s anyway? They were wrong! The terribleness as they describe it comes way before 2 (usually starts around 12-15 months) and lasts way past 2 (it may never end…lol)!

Here is my toddler trouble story:

So, my lovely 3 1/2 year old son, let it be known today that the terribleness that they talk about when it comes to 2 year olds has nothing on the what’s to come in the coming years. Lately, his father has been concerned about his behavior and I brushed it off as just growing pains and having a new sibling. Since, he has been doing extremely well at school (I only get good comments about him from his teacher) his behavior was not a major concern for me. Not until today…lol! He threw the biggest tantrum ever and then had the nerve to pee on himself on the bathroom floor, with his pants down while standing next to the toilet (shaking my head and pulling my hair out while screaming). And his reasoning for peeing on himself was because he did not want to wear the sweater I picked out for him. Are you serious?

I almost had a mental breakdown this morning. Everything was going great. I woke up early before the kids and was able to sneak out the room without them waking up (usually I can’t get out of bed without them waking up). My plan was to do some morning yoga, but I decided to have some quiet time and pray instead. After my thankful prayer and mirror affirmations, I was feeling awesome and ready to conquer the world. I cut up an apple for my oldest and boiled some carrots to puree for my youngest. I woke my oldest up so that he could eat his breakfast and started breastfeeding my youngest. Then, I asked my oldest to put on his clothes, he complied up until he had to put on a sweater that he didn’t want to wear (I didn’t know 3 1/2 year olds had fashion sense or cared about clothes…I was gonna learn today (in my Kevin Hart daddy voice…lol)).

“I don’t want to wear that sweater mommy. I want to wear the black and white jacket I had on yesterday”, whined my son. “You can’t wear the black and white jacket today because you wore it yesterday but you can wear it tomorrow”, I replied. I thought that was the perfect negotiation, but oh no, not for Mr. Three and a half year old!

After, telling him numerous times to put the sweater on and him ignoring me, my patience was growing thin. I told him that if he didn’t put the sweater on he was going to get a spanking. I counted to 3 at least three times and still no response or movement from him. He was in strike mode and unwilling to negotiate. So, I did something I hate doing I disciplined him by spanking him. (Side note: I feel really bad about spanking, I tried other ways like talking and time out and it does not seem to work for him, I am especially against spanking since that is what my parents did to discipline me, and its connection to slavery but more on that in the post “To spank or not to Spank…”, but I felt like I had no other option. After spanking him, I left him in the bathroom for a minute to let him calm down and I went to soothe my youngest son. When I came back to check on him, he had pulled his pants down and peed right on the bathroom floor (OMG…are you serious, this is not my life)!!! My first reaction was to laugh. I tried to laugh to prevent me from getting so upset that I would spank him, but to no avail I was so angry and I spanked him again. (Side note: I especially hate spanking when I’m mad.) After, that spanking I called my fiancé (baby daddy), he didn’t answer, so I called my mother. She advised me to tell him to clean the mess up and keep him home to discipline him.

Then, I did what every respectable and intelligent parent does–I googled “3 year old peeing when angry on purpose”. And to my surprise and temporary relief, there were  so many parents dealing with the same issue. I read a couple of responses and got some reassurance that other parents are in the same boat as me. Then, I got overwhelmed, because there was no real responses from professionals that gave answers to why this phenomenon was happening. With my psychology and social work background, I then thought to look up play therapy. But now my question is: Should I conduct play therapy with my son myself or get professional help? Stay tuned, I will keep you posted on what I decided to do and my results!

Sincerely,

Desperate and Overwhelmed momma in need of respite

I suck pacifiers…

So, I love those LUVS commercials juxtaposing how a mother handles situations differently with her 1st and 2nd child (the video is below if you are unfamiliar or if you want a quick laugh). With your first child hand sanitizer is your best friend, you sterilize everything, and you wash new clothes. With your second child you are more lax because you realize that motherhood is not that serious and doing all that extra stuff for the first child was exhausting. But, this article I found about the best way to clean pacifiers blew my mind! I was doing a search on schools for my 3 year old son and I came across this article about the benefits of cleaning your child’s pacifier with your saliva. My eyes got so big and I was like “WHHHHAAATTT”! I was always the mother who rinsed off pacifiers with water if it dropped on the floor (with my 1st son I actually did the sterilization and throwing away pacifiers if they fell, not so much with the 2nd one).

 

So, I decided to do more research to see what other people are saying and I found out that this parental pacifier sucking/saliva cleaning is legit. Studies show that parents who use their saliva to clean their kids pacifiers are protecting their child from asthma, allergies and eczema. This saliva cleaning practice exposes babies to bacteria early on that can strengthen their immune system. YES!!! What a relief, now I can finally get off my fiance’s back about sucking our son’s pacifiers to clean it (this is one pet peeve I am glad to get rid of). In fact, I found myself engaging in saliva cleaning for pacifiers and bottles…lol! Isn’t such a relief for us moms and dads who go to the extremes to protect their children from germs. And for the moms and dads who have been sucking all along, give yourself a big pat on the back, you are the best immune boosters around!

 

So the moral of the story: Don’t immunize, just suck it!!! Just kidding, if you still want to immunize that is up to your discretion and that is a topic that I will write about in another post.

 

Now, of course there are exceptions: you should not clean your babies’ pacifier with your saliva if you have an illness, STD, or halitosis (there is no research that directly says that parents with halitosis are banned from sucking their kids’ pacifiers, but I think it should be…lol…who wants to taste bad breath…yuck).

 

For more information, here are some links:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/06/whhy-dirty-pacifiers-may-be-your-childs-friend/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 (summarized version of the research for those parents in the “having young children” struggle and don’t have time to do anything outside of parenting…lol)

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/04/30/peds.2012-3345.abstract (extensive version for those parents who may have older children and have time, for which this article may not even matter…lol)