The Boy Who Cried Poop

On Sundays, Stormy goes to Nursery at church. He's gotten to the point where he is okay being there…once they pull out the snacks. But it's no secret that some days he just doesn't want to be there.

This past Sunday, he was clingy at first so I stayed in there and did a puzzle with him, but when they brought out snacks I was able to leave and my presence was not missed. An hour later, one of the nursery leaders brought him to Chewy and I and informed us that Stormy had said he had a poopy diaper (i.e. He said "poop" and tried to remove his clothes – since we are preparing for potty training it's good he is learning these things – I just prefer he didn't do it on public). However, he didn't have a poop, he figured out that when a kid has a stinky diaper they take that kid to their parents. So he used it to get out. Smart kid.

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‘Tis the Season

….of high school graduations. This year has stood out to me a bit more than any other year since my own high school graduation. Apparently there are a lot of 17/18 year olds who mean a lot to me. Oh and I’m a sappy mom now (when did that happen?) 
So I’ve been thinking about these graduates, excited for them and desperately sad for their parents. These kids are getting ready to head out to college or the work force. Some have already left (I’m looking at my nephew), some leave in a few weeks and others will at least live up the summer at home. I remember when I first moved out to Utah, two weeks after high school graduation. I couldn’t wait to leave, I’ve always been independent and was excited at the idea of “adulthood”. What I didn’t realize as I loaded up my 1993 Hyundai Excel, was that we never return, not the same at least. It’s like that saying, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” I first heard that when I was young and relatively unchanged so it hadn’t hit with the same impact as it does today – looking back.

Life changes you, for better or worse and when you come home it just doesn’t feel the same anymore. A college student is in a strange transitional period, kind of floating, not fully belonging anywhere. Growing up, we were always in a hurry.  Can’t wait until I’m a teenager, until I can drive, until I graduate high school, until college is finally over and I can be done with school forever. I’ve spent most of my life waiting for the next big milestone or accomplishment and not always enjoying the moment. I wish I had been more involved in high school and college, I wish I had taken advantage of more opportunities, rather than waiting for these times in my life to end. 

I thought about writing a post with advice to my recent graduates but first off, none of them read this blog. Secondly, advice is almost always wasted because until we understand why it was given we don’t appreciate it and by then we’ve already found our own way. (Kind of like when people warn you about credit cards at 18 and you realize all of it was right…as you still pay off your debt at 25 – and for the next decade). Not that any of this stops me from giving advice. It’s like I see that the generation before me was right and maybe, just maybe the next generation will listen. 

Bu instead, I’m going to be selfish. It’s only a short 16 years until my first baby will be graduating high school and I don’t want to find myself back here, wishing I had more fully enjoyed those 16 years. 

Dear Future Me,
Enjoy the sleep deprivation, that’s not sarcastic by the way.  I already miss the early morning hours with Stormy, just the two of us, both crying and nodding off to sleep. Keep that in mind as you jump out of bed at 2 am to a screaming Gertie. They won’t always want or allow you to cuddle them in the wee hours (and especially not the daylight hours).  And holding the baby may bring you close to complete muscle failure, but they’ll never be this small again or want to be near you quite this much. 

Don’t give up. You can tell them, ask them, show them, a million times to do something and sometimes it feels like a waste of time-but one day they’re going to do it and that makes it all worth it. Like the first time Stormy folded his arms for a prayer or when he finally started saying the words I’d been repeating for a year. 

Enjoy the mess! You’ll forget how tired you were each night as you picked up Matchbox cars and crayons or find Cheerios…in every place imaginable. One day your house will be immaculate…but it will also be empty. 

Don’t stop having fun! Right now you’re Stormy’s best friend.  You have dance parties together, wrestling matches, you let him help you in the kitchen.  Things are going to change as the kids get older, but don’t forget to still have fun with them. 

And lastly, it’s okay to be sad when they turn 18 and head out into the real world, because they’ve been your world. Aaaaaand it’s also okay to hope they cry too when they leave. 

Postpartum Body

Something I was not oblivious to with this pregnancy was the fact that your body doesn’t just spring back to the way it was before you got pregnant. I wasn’t necessarily oblivious last pregnancy either but I did think the weight would “melt away”…probably because people TOLD ME IT WOULD. 

A month after Stormy was born, my sweet, young nephew saw my belly and asked, “are you having another baby?”  …you can imagine how that made me feel. 

Sometimes I think it’s a miracle not EVERY woman suffers postpartum depression – the body change alone is enough to send me spiraling into depression, add to that honest children (oh and sleep derivation and adjusting hormones). But I digress. 

This time around, I gained less weight, but I still gained. Last Sunday my niece (who is about eye level with my gut) came into the room, stared at my stomach with wide, excited eyes and then suddenly her face fell a little and she said, “oh, I forgot that’s left over tummy”.  To which I said, “yes it is and I’ll be sure to point yours out to you when you have a kid.”  She’s five…and I have the maturity of a five year old. 

Double Trouble

I never thought anything would top Poocalypse but I was wrong. 

About two weeks ago I was giving Stormy a bath.  He was pretty docile which isn’t like him. Then I heard Chewy from the kitchen, “oh gosh!” Which usually means a child has made some sort of mess, mostly produced from their body. I asked what was wrong and he said Gertie had spit up on him. A few minutes later he came into the bathroom saying he was wrong, the wetness he had felt on his arm wasn’t spit up-rather it was a diaper blowout. Which I had kind of guessed from the large brown stain on the back of her pajamas. I took Gertie, Chewy got Stormy and I plunked Gertie in the bathtub. I washed her down then got her out of the tub and wrapped into a towel. As I was coming out of the bathroom, Stormy ran up to me crying…he had vomit on his hand. Before I could react he started projectile vomiting not once but twice. I wrapped up Gertie tighter in the towel, put her in a bouncy seat and took Stormy back into the bathroom for a second bath while Chewy cleaned up the mess in the living room. While all that was happening, Gertie started crying. I picked her up just to have her hang out with Stormy and I when I realized that the towel was wetter than it should be. I opened it up to find that she had pooped. I cleaned her up, put on a diaper and pjs, put her in her bouncy seat and went back to Stormy. Got him out of the tub and in new pjs, brushed his teeth and gave him water to drink. By this time it was thirty minutes past his bedtime. We had family prayer and put him down. I came into our bedroom where Chewy had Gertie and she filled another diaper. 

To recap:

Gave Stormy a bath

Gertie had a blow out

Gave Gertie a bath

Stormy vomited all over himself and the living room

Gave Stormy a second bath

Gertie pooped in a towel

Cleaned Gertie

Put Stormy to bed

Gertie filled another diaper

Change that diaper

Mom and dad pass out in bed…

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

So I’m adjusting to life with two kiddos.  Today I thought we’d venture out with daddy to the grocery store. I got Stormy ready and then went to get myself ready. I grabbed a dress and pair of leggings from on top of a basket of clean laundry. I put the leggings on, which felt cold and then prepared to put on the dress. That’s when I got a whiff of it…cat urine. I feel like there’s a distinct “cat urine” smell, it’s kind of like chewing gum with pineapple flavoring…not the taste, I’ve never tasted it because I don’t like gum and because it smells like cat urine to me. Anywho, I threw the dress into the dirty laundry and then realized the awful truth about the leggings, they weren’t cold, they were wet. As I had just added both items to the top of clean laundry (yeah, yeah, I’m behind on putting it away) I know the urination happened during the night. A night where the baby kept me up for hours and the cat consistently tried to smother me in my sleep. 

I peeled off the leggings and washed my legs. Then I had to find something else comfortable enough to wear. I finally got dressed and then grabbed Gertie to put her in her car seat. Right before I put her in the seat she spit up, lots of it, all over both of us. So back to the bedroom we went. I changed her and then changed myself (after finding something else I’d feel comfortable in – the postpartum belly is worse than anything).  Oh yeah, during all of this I’m trying to keep the cat in the office because he is officially banned from the rest of the house but Chewy was in there for something and so he kept escaping. It was a mad house here.  But we made it – for the grocery shopping done and the laundry but my goodness, I guess this is just a taste of what’s to come. 

D-Day

So – Baby Girl is here!

And for those who care – here is the birth story in a nutshell.

We scheduled an induction on her due date because I’m selfish and was tired to being pregnant…I started my day at 4:30 Thursday morning, after hitting the snooze button several times and also after several aniexty dreams – one which involved going to check on my son at grandma’s house to discover that she woke him up two hours after he fell asleep because she practices the Susan B Anthony method. Don’t research that, it’s not real.  But in dreamland we both knew what it meant and I got upset and raised my voice at her, telling her that the Susan B. Anthony method was outdated and she needed to get with the times. Apparently my son’s sleep is very important to me and I would even snap at my mother-in-law to protect it.

I realized as soon as I woke up how ridiculous that was. Anyway, Chewy and I got to the hospital at 5:45.  My doctor said he would break my water and things would progress “quickly” from there. I’m not sure what “quickly” actually means. To me it means there’s no time for anything else after that! Urgent, urgent, urgent! You know – like in TV shows where the woman all of a sudden says, “it’s time!” and they’re zipping through the streets trying to get to the hospital before the baby decides to enter the world.  That’s quick – in the real world I think those experiences are extremely rare (my sister has had one so I can’t completely eliminate them as probable).

Anywho – over here, let’s finish the story.  So I’m prepped and ready to go when the doctor gets there sometime between 7 and 8 to break the waters.  I won’t go in to detail but that was quite possibly more painful than delivery (I refer to Stormy’s delivery since my epidural had worn off).  The worst part, he wasn’t able to do it because my body hates me and likes to cause emotional damage as often as possible.  He decided to wait until I’d had my epidural.  But reassured me that once the water broke it would go quickly.

So they started me on pitocin and then we waited.  My contractions gradually grew but nothing I couldn’t handle.  It was only after Chewy fell asleep and my mom started to do stuff for work that they got worse.  I didn’t want to bother anyone so I just grit my teeth and squeezed the handle of the hospital bed.  A nurse came in and asked how I was doing and kind of answered for me – it was like, “how ya doing? Everything good?” and so I nodded my head in agreement.  I don’t think clearly sometimes.  Anyway, before the nurse returned the next time my mom had noticed, Chewy sat up and did his hand holding job and when the nurse came back we upgraded my pain level from a three to a five and I told her I wanted the epidural.  When she left to get that set up my mom said, “you say 5 but your face said 7″…as if I really understand these pain numbers anyway.

I got the epidural, which hurt but after it started to take effect everything and everyone was absolutely agreeable.  I noticed I could still kind of move after my epidural, which I couldn’t move at all the last time I had gotten one.  The doctor returned to break the water, I tensed at the memory of the first arrempt but this time I didn’t feel anything, he said I was dilated to an 8 and then said, “things should move quickly now” and I said, “you’re done?!” So like that – my water was broken. 

It was within an hour that I was ready to push, in fact I wasn’t too sure the baby would wait for me to push, I could actually feel the pressure of her getting ready. I got nervous about that because for some reason a baby slipping out on their own freaks me out and I never want to see or hear of that actually happening.

The doctor came back not a moment too soon, they got me ready to push and then I remembered the instructions from the first time I gave birth and tried to push.  I couldn’t feel a thing though so I wasn’t sure it was even working.  With Stormy it had hurt so much, but I could tell I was doing my part.  With Gertie (that’s her fetal name) I “pushed” and then looked at the doctor as if to ask, “did it work?” then he’d tell me to push again, once more…and wallah! I had a daughter.  I didn’t feel a thing, I pushed maybe three times in 7 minutes and there was a baby (Stormy was an hour of pushing). Born at 5:59 pm – which made my mom the winner of the bet that she, Chewy and I had over what time she’d be born.

Then the doctor lifted up this nasty little thing, covered in white something or other which came from inside of me…I just stared at it wondering what he wanted me to do about.  Did he expect me to touch it?  For reference – with Stormy, he was taken right away because he had already passed his first bowel movement so they had to check him and they went ahead and cleaned and weighed him before I had skin to skin time with him.  So this was new for me.  And it was gross.  The nurse grabbed Gertie and laid her on my chest and it was no longer gross.  …until that is, she peed on me…not once, not twice, but three times (at least I hope it was pee).

Gertie and I were able to stay skin to skin for quite some time as they finished everything with me (you know, stitching, pushing, poking, prodding).  We were taken to our room around 8:30-9 pm with our sticky baby and were told all about our paperwork as if we hadn’t been up since 4:30 in the morning and just gone through a physically exhausting experience.  They took Gertie away to clean her, then brought her back for some nursing.  It was almost midnight before they came to take her back to the nursery and I was finally able to get a few hours sleep.  With that long winded story (sorry, I know I promised a nutshell but I’m a wordy person) – here is the first picture of “Gertie” (they cleaned her face up while I held her). 

 

 

Stop It

A few recent events have got me thinking about how we treat each other, most especially the strangers we come near to, but don’t interact with and the internet we use to show our ugly side.

Last week my sister was in her car, at a stop light, when she looked over to find the passenger of the other car taking a picture of her with their phone. The passenger quickly retreated back in the seat when they made eye contact with my sister. This upset her. Why had that person taken a picture of a stranger? What would they do with it? You have to wonder that nowadays, will that picture now be a meme, meant as funny and possibly could be but at the expense of someone else? Or could it have been innocent enough – the individual taking the picture liked my sister’s haircut and wanted to do the same with their hair? Who knows – we never will.

The other incident was a post on Facebook. A friend had recorded, what I presumed was a stranger, dancing at a church event he was attending. If you know me, you know I appreciate those who can dance as though no one is watching, even though they are in the middle of a crowded room. I commented on the post to show my appreciation. The comments that followed however did not seem to be as positive, but not mean. Then a particularly mean spirited comment was posted, one that went on to attack the boy dancing, despite him being a stranger to the person who posted. The comment after that was from a friend of the boy dancing, who then tagged him in the video.  I noticed not long afterwards that the mean spirited comment had been deleted and more of the boy’s friends were positively commenting on the video. I checked back before posting this entry and there are so many positive comments and my friend explained that he had shown the video to the guy before posting it, and that they got along really well.  But the thing I am focused on is that one ugly, deleted comment.  

Because my point here folks, is that who we are and how we treat each other is, “never checked at the door” as Elder Holland would say.  I’m not here to preach how perfect I am and how imperfect the rest of the world is – I am just as guilty. I’ve been to thepeopleofwalmart.com; laughed at awkwardfamilyphotos; I make judgments on people who don’t follow the rules of common decency and walk on the correct side of the aisle at the store; I’ve poked fun at the pictures or videos of strangers doing strange things. But that’s beside the point, I shouldn’t do those things, none of us should. And with the internet it seems all too easy to put someone down.

Before the boy was tagged in the video it was easy for someone to post mean things, even though it was not anonymous like most websites where people troll. But the moment the boy received an identity, those commenting with identities (and profiles to display much more about them than just their names) retreated. Why is it that when we or the person we are commenting on lacks an identity we find it so much easier to be cruel?

We should strive to be kind always, otherwise how can we consider ourselves kind? I’m not saying we don’t slip, we lose patience from time to time, someone hurts us and our instinct is to fight back, with things like that we strive to be better after each failure (or at least we should), we apologize as best we can to the person we were ugly to. But what about what we post on social media? What we say about that stranger on YouTube who posted a video or had a video posted about them?  It’s almost worse online because we type our means thoughts. We type them and then we have one more chance to take them back, to erase them from ever being written but many times we hit SEND without a second thought. We hide behind a computer or phone screen and make snap judgments on a person we know nothing about.

I work with the youth at church, so this isn’t something new I’m thinking about – it’s just that recently I’ve seen (maybe realized) adults act the same as teenagers with cyber bullying.  One quote shared with the youth more than once in the past few years is from President Dieter F. Uchdorft from a conference talk a few years ago:

This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:

Stop it!

It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters. I don’t know exactly how to articulate this point of not judging others with sufficient eloquence, passion, and persuasion to make it stick. I can quote scripture, I can try to expound doctrine, and I will even quote a bumper sticker I recently saw. It was attached to the back of a car whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson. It read, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”

Might I suggest that we can change “sin” on that bumper sticker to anything: dance, dress, speak, look, think, etc.

I know I want to be better about how I treat people, those I know and love (and those I know and don’t love so much) but especially strangers.  I think we can learn a lot about ourselves by the way we treat those we do not know and do not have to look in the face while or after we have said things about them.  Be kind when you’re out and about (and if you see my sister, don’t take a picture.  She really didn’t like that), be kind when you’re on Facebook, snapchat, and other social media, be kind at home, work, school, even Wal-Mart.  And strive to be the kind of person people can trust when their back is turned to you.

And because I love Elder Holland so much and feel that one quote in a blog post isn’t enough – here’s one more.

HOLLAND

Googleimages – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/66498531971387763/