Happy Birthday & Remembering Green Bean


Today is my husband’s 30th birthday! Woot woot! He never sees his birthday as a big deal, but I always see birthdays as a big deal. I’m a big fat failer and didn’t plan anything, though.. He is working all weekend however, so I guess that makes it a little more excusable. I’m so honored, so delighted, and so effing lucky to have this man as my husband and the father of my child. He’s the funniest, sweetest, dearest, sexiest man alive and I feel blessed every day to be his wife.

Today is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. October 15th has been bittersweet for me since losing Green Bean and it’s a very fine line to walk. On one hand, I want to celebrate my husband’s life and his birthday but on the other I feel the need to spread the word of the other significance of today; honoring and remembering babies that were lost to us.

Today I honor our Green Bean, who I miscarried around 7 weeks. For 20 days I was mama to my little bean but he has been in my heart ever since. I still think about that first babe and still miss him. I never saw his face, held his hands, fed him or rocked him to sleep as I do my living daughter but that doesn’t make Green Bean any less my baby. He always has been and always will be my babe.

Today is for the lost ones, for the babies who weren’t meant for this world. I wrote this post a year ago today while pregnant with Nellie, and quoted lyrics from the song that I deemed to be Green Bean’s. I post the lyrics again, today, in his honor.

When You Come Back Down
Nickel Creek

You got to leave me now, you got to go alone
You got to chase a dream, one that’s all your own
Before it slips away
When you’re flyin’ high, take my heart along
I’ll be the harmony to every lonely song
That you learn to play
When you’re soarin’ through the air I’ll be your solid ground
Take every chance you dare I’ll still be there
When you come back down
When you come back down
I’ll keep lookin’ up, awaitin’ your return
My greatest fear will be that you will crash and burn
And I won’t feel your fire
I’ll be the other hand that always holds the line
Connectin’ in between your sweet heart and mine
I’m strung out on that wire
And I’ll be on the other end,
To hear you when you call
Angel, you were born to fly,
If you get too high I’ll catch you when you fall
I’ll catch you when you fall
Your memory’s the sunshine every new day brings
I know the sky is calling
Angel, let me help you with your wings
When you’re soarin’ through the air I’ll be your solid ground
Take every chance you dare I’ll still be there
When you come back down
Take every chance you dare, I’ll still be there
When you come back down
When you come back down

Night Night, Nellie

This isn’t the first time I’ve blogged about sleep. I’ve been blogging about Nellie’s sleep patterns on and off since she was born. Most recently, I guest blogged somewhere else about sleep.

I’ve learned to never, under any circumstance, announce that my baby is finally sleeping through the night. Through experience, I have gained the knowledge that as soon as I open my mouth to announce that Nellie is consistently sleeping 9 hours at a time, her habits will change and she will be awake and screaming every 4 hours. Instead, I have begun calling Nellie’s sleep patterns “sleep phases”. As in, “Nellie’s going through a really wonderful ‘sleep phase’ right now”.

Nellie is almost 9 months old and about a month ago, I had to make a decision. My mother in law keeps Nellie a few days during the week when my husband works, and he keeps her the other half of the week when he’s off. Daytime sleep hasn’t really ever been an issue when Josh watches her but when my MIL would watch her, she would get – if we were all lucky – two hours of daytime sleep.
Which is, obviously, not nearly enough.
The problem was that Nellie had begun getting used to being rocked to sleep. Which there’s nothing wrong with, of course, but it began to be an issue when my MIL would lay her down in her crib.. She would instantly wake up and begin screaming bloody murder. Of course, this made my MIL distraught and she would have such a hard time calming her down she would just give in and hold her while Nellie slept.. For up to 2 hours at a time on some occasions. Nellie wasn’t getting enough sleep, my mother in law couldn’t get anything done, so I realized that it was time to change Nellie’s habits. It was time to teach her to put herself to sleep.

I began by changing our bedtime routine first. Nellie has always gone down easier at night than she does at naps. So we had our dinner, had our bath, changed to jammies and instead of me and Josh camping out on the couch and feeding her while we watched Weeds, holding her until she fell asleep and then sneaking her into her crib, I took her immediately into her nursery after her bath with her bedtime bottle and fed her in the dark. It was quiet, the fan was running, and we’d rock. Once she finished her bottle I gave her the pacifier and her stuffed fox, cuddled with her and sang her a song. I kissed her, turned on her Sleep Sheep and laid her down. She immediately started fussing and crying a little. I told her goodnight, I loved her..

And then I left the room.

Her crying escalated to crying harder, and then screaming. I’m not a CIO’er, but I knew that she had to learn to go to sleep when she was put down. I waited exactly 5 minutes. I returned to her room and soothed her without picking her up. I rubbed her back, spoke to her softly, and told her I loved her. Once she had calmed down I turned around, and left the room again.
She began crying again and I waited another 5 minutes. Most “interval soothing” methods involve going in at 5, 10, 15 minute intervals but I couldn’t make it 10 minutes. After the 2nd 5 minutes were up I went back and repeated what I had done the first time; soothing and comforting without picking up. I left the room and she cried again. We repeated this for about an hour before she finally went to sleep.

It was really hard to hear her cry like that but I never stayed away for more than 5 minutes. The first night was the worst and from then on, she protested less and less. She still fights and has crying fits sometimes, but it’s mostly for naps and the crying is worse when she’s overtired. More often than not if we get her in her crib before she starts rubbing her eyes, she will roll around for a bit and then go to sleep with no problems. Bedtime is way easier; she almost never puts up a fight during bedtime anymore. Last night, we had our routine and once she was done with her bottle I handed her Fox. She wrapped her arm around him, buried her face into his fur and turned toward me for our few minutes of rocking and cuddling. I put her down in her crib after a few minutes, she rolled around until she got comfortable and didn’t make a peep.

She will occasionally still wake in the middle of the night and need to be held/snuggled/be given a little bit of bottle but it’s probably twice a week or so that it happens.

I realize that my method isn’t for everyone, and that there’s no guarantee that it will work. It worked for us and it was what I was comfortable with. I didn’t feel like I was “abandoning her” or anything like that. To me, the key was consistency. I had to stick to my guns and be consistent with her. I know that children thrive on routines (to an extent) and while we have a very loose nap and bedtime schedule, we try and stick to our bedtime routine of dinner, bath, jammies, bottle. It seems to help her know what to expect, and we are all getting pretty good sleep around here!

Baby’s First Nemesis

So, Nellie encountered her nemesis.

My dad and stepmom came in to town to visit. We’ve been having a fantastic time with them. We all went on a lunch cruise aboard a riverboat here in town and had a lovely afternoon. In the evening, we decided to go out to Mellow Mushroom for some pizza. I love Mellow Mushroom so much.

We got to the restaurant and luckily, it was not crowded. We had dressed Nellie in her Madonna onesie, pink pants and a cute black and white polka-dotted headband. Our waiter came over and greeted us. He was a thin fellow and looked to be about in his early twenties. He had shaggy hair, and a slight beard and was friendly. One would definitely classify him as the “hippie” sort, which is the majority of the employees at Mellow Mushroom. He complimented Nellie on her taste of clothing and went off to get drinks.

All was well for a while. Nellie was squealing and being adorable, eating puffs and sampling tastes of water and (yes, we’re terrible parents) sips of daddy’s Coke. We put her in the high chair at one point and set cereal puffs down on the table for her to eat at her leisure. The four adults were chatting when I noticed someone out of my peripheral, standing and looking at Nellie. I turned to see our waiter, who was bent over and engaged in a staring contest with Nellie.

Now, Nellie is an incredibly social baby. She smiles at everyone and will pretty much let anyone hold her. She doesn’t hesitate to lean in to be snuggled by someone she just met, so what happened next was very out of character.

Waiter was leaned over, looking at her when  all of a sudden she poked out her lower lip, scrunched up her face, turned to look at me and started to wail.
I’m not talking a little “wah-wah”ing, I am talking full-on (double rainbow), broken heart, scared shitless sobbing. Of course we all went “awwwwww!!!’ and I leaned over to grab her from her seat. As soon as I pulled her to me, she buried her face into my neck and was just sobbing! I was rubbing her back and consoling her when she lifted her head, looked to see he was still there, looked up at me and her face crumbled again. She began crying all over me and buried her face in my neck once more. It was the saddest, cutest, funniest thing I’ve ever seen! I felt so bad for my poor little Nellie Bean. She was so upset by this waiter! Waiter looked completely shocked, and was totally flustered. He walked off and we comforted Nellie, hugging on her and giving her the paci. She calmed down and we eventually decided to put her back in the high chair.

She was sitting there, minding her own business and munching on a puff when she looked to her left to see Waiter standing at another table. As soon as she laid eyes on him (he was nowhere near her) her face crumbled again and she started crying. I could not even believe it! We pulled her from her seat and comforted her again. From then on, any time she saw him or even heard his voice, she would start crying! I had never seen her act like that before. We figured that he must have done her a severe grievance in a past life and that now he was her nemesis. From that day forward, Waiter and Nellie were destined to be enemies.

Nellie needed comforting from us on that night, but give her a few years. Waiter better watch his back, because Nellie Rose will be ready for him next time.

BHB Guest Post #2: Allie

For my next BHB guest post, I give you Allie. Allie blogs over at The Baby Birthing Mama.

Anyway, I told Allie to give me her funniest pregnancy story, and she then wrote me a tale about her ass bleeding.

Enjoy!

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When I got pregnant with my first child I was a mere 17 years old. Pretty young for a parent to be. As a pregnant young woman I had no idea about ANYTHING related to pregnancy. I was clueless….And lets just say my doctor wasn’t forth coming on pregnancy related side effects.

Lets face it, everybody poops. And as a preggo constipation can be HORRENDOUS! I mean truly miserable. As I said before I had not clue of the side effects of pregnancy. One of the first ones I met was the oh so fabulous Hemorrhoids. Now hemorrhoids are a great thing if you love being in pain as you try to use the bathroom. But most people don’t.

This is where this story turns to the nitty gritty of hemorrhoid. The first time I ever had them they were terrible and made me cry like a baby. But I didn’t say a word.  Who talks about pooping to others? Certainly not this mother to be.

The second time it happened, again it hurt.(shocker) But this time I had the added bonus of busting one of those bad boys open. Of course I didn’t know until I was done using the rest room of the terrible event that just happened.

Now for a young mother to be, who was before 12 weeks, I was scared. I know you miscarry through you vagina and not you butt, but I have to say that was the first thing that came to mind. And then I remembered, you don’t birth through the booty so I was good there. After that first conclusion I had no clue what to think. All I could do was CRY and CRY and wonder what the hell was wrong with me. Was I dying??

Luckily I had an older sister, who had a child and I could ask what was up.  She could hear the tears in my voice and asked what was wrong. I said “When I poop it bleed and hurts and I don’t know what to do or what is wrong with me?!?!” Well my wise sister informed me of my other room mate that shared my body. The awesome and very generous expanded blood vessels in my ass.

Needless to say I felt like a complete idiot for crying over my butt. Although I was scared at first, I learned to eat my fiber! Its crazy that everyone always say to take your prenatal vitamins and watch out for that morning sickness, but nobody tells you you may bleed from your ass  and need LOTS of pads after birth! Preggos beware and eat you veggies!

Cover Girl

Last Thursday, the woman who photographed our wedding, Nancy Hellsten, came down to do a photoshoot with one Miss Nellie Rose. We debated on where to do the shoot, bouncing between a corn maze, a hotel that wanted to charge us $25 to shoot photos there, and my mother in law’s dining room. Nancy found a place in Cleveland, Tennessee and suggested it since we were going for a Halloween theme but was worried it might be too macabre for us. I assured her that no, it wasn’t too macabre and we set out on a beautiful Thursday morning to capture my daughter on film……

In front of a mausoleum with a bloody history.

Nancy put a few photos up on her blog yesterday, and I was taken aback at how amazing they turned out. See for yourself.

Send Out the Search Party

So I’m guilty of doing what a lot of other bloggers do: Obsessing over my blog’s traffic. I can’t help it. Once I installed Google Analytics, my life was pretty much over. I used to obsess over the slightest fall, and cheer over the teensiest rise in traffic.

One amazing thing about Analytics is the ability to tell where your traffic comes from, including terms people type into search engines. I’ve come across some really weird stuff that made me question the content I post here, and also, made me question my humanity a little.
I made that last part up, but whatever.

Here are some of my personal favorite terms folks have used to find my blog.

  • “hope springs eternal blog” – This one is pretty basic and the term that has the highest rate of folks using it.  Pretty harmless, pretty obvious. My blog used to be called Hope Springs Eternal, so this one kind of explains itself.
  • “hope springs eternal blog twilight” – This is pretty specific. Once I blogged about how ridiculous I found Twilight to be. Maybe I offended someone and they repeatedly had to go back and read the post and feel angry, but they couldn’t find an easy way to get to it? *shrugs*
  • “origin vitamins” – I used these for maybe 2-3 cycles when we were TTC. They turned my urine an alarming shade of yellow.
  • “$450 human touch foot & calf massager giveaway” – ….. what? I’ve never given away anything that is retailed at that high of a value, nor have I ever given away a foot or calf massager. So.. I’m not real sure about this one.
  • “angry badger face” This one probably pulls up this post. I love the fact that someone can Google “angry badger face” and pull up my blog.

It’s all downhill from here, folks.

  • “bengin ass boots.com” – boy, I bet these people were disappointed. I guarantee my blog was not what they were searching for.
  • “can a kid poop a bullet out”– I think you have more pressing issues to attend to than searching for things on Google, my friend.
  • “eating my face off”– it’s nice to know that my blog is well received by the zombie community.
  • “isn’t motherhood supposed to be fun?” – That’s what they say. Sometimes, they lie.
  • “she farts” – It’s true.
  • “smell her boots” – Again, not real sure that my blog is the droid you’re looking for, Mr. Boot Fetish.

As you can see, it’s a pretty strange and random selection of terms used to find my blog. It never, ever fails to make me laugh. And cringe. And sometimes throw up in my mouth a little bit.

P.S. Like this post? Did it make you inhale your coffee/soda/beer through your nose? Show me some love by clicking on the button below to vote. Two clicks is all it takes. Muah!

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Go Mommy Boots.. It’s Your SITS Day!

We gonna party like it’s your SITS Day! We gonna drink Bacardi like it’s your SITS Day!

………

Sorry, I was having a little dance party. I’m so excited that it’s my SITS Day! Welcome to my blog!

This is me:

And this is my husband of 5 years:

And together, we made this awesome kid:

I’m from Chicago but we live in Tennessee, where it’s finally cooling down and not the temperature of the surface of the sun anymore.

Anyway, welcome to Mommy Boots! I’m so excited to have you all here. This blog wasn’t always called Mommy Boots. Once upon a time, it was called Hope Springs Eternal and the content was very different. In December of 2007, my husband and I found out we were pregnant with a baby we called Green Bean. 20 days later, we had to say goodbye to our Green Bean. We took a few months off trying to conceive (or TTC) while I lost 20 pounds. I blogged a lot about the heartbreak of losing a baby to miscarriage. I blogged my fears about my future as a mother. In June of 2008 we decided to try again, and that started our 10-cycle journey to conceiving. On May 9th, 2009 I found myself finally, joyfully, pregnant once more. We called this one Gummi Bear at first and on January 20th, 2010 Nellie Rose came into the world, screaming and fiesty.

I blog about a lot of things here. I blog about my daughter, and her angry badger-like behavior. I blog about random things I find amusing.  I swear on my blog. I do not censor myself.  I believe in equality and rights for everyone. I also sing women’s four-part a capella barbershop harmony. Around competition time, I look like this:

I quote movies a lot, I talk too much and too loudly, and I absolutely love my life. I love my kid more than words can say.

Welcome to Mommy Boots! I hope that you stay for a while.

Spoiled Rotten Designs Giveaway – WINNER!

Congratulations to Katie at Pickles and Paisleys. She is the winner of the custom diaper bag organizer from Spoiled Rotten Designs! Thank you to everyone who entered, and stay tuned for more fun giveaways!

Harry Potter Land or Bust: My Dream Vacation

Sponsored By
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When I began thinking about this post, which is about my ultimate dream vacation, I was trying to conjure up something elaborate and exotic. A trip to Rome, perhaps. Greece always looks lovely in movies. Maybe Paris, with the Eiffel Tower all a-sparkle at night.

I voiced my thoughts to my husband who shook is head.
“Rome would be nice, but that’s kind of my dream vacation. You’re not into history like I am. You know what you should write about?”
“What?” I ask.
“Harry Potter Land. Or.. Whatever it’s called.”

And in that instant, I had my post. I began spazzing out just at the mention of the park.
My husband was of course, talking about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, which we both have unofficially dubbed “Harry Potter Land”. You can keep your fancy cruises and far-away places, my friends, because MY dream vacation can only be reached by finding Platform 9 3/4 and hopping aboard the Hogwarts Express!

I’ve been a huge Harry Potter fan since the first movie came out. In preparation to watch the first film in 2001, I ran out and grabbed a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone the morning that the movie released. I devoured the entire thing that day and practically ran to the theatre to see the first film on opening night. Since then, I’ve been hooked. Going to the WW of Harry Potter would be a dream come true for me.

While you’re at the WW of Harry Potter you can go to Honeyduke’s, the candy shop famously talked about in the books. You can visit Diagon Alley and pop into Ollivander’s wand shop for a chance to get a wand of your very own! Don’t even get me started on how amazing it would be to roam the halls of Hogwarts, the famous school I’ve read so much about and wished so many times were real so I could go there. You can go to the Three Broomsticks and have a Butterbeer! I’m getting all a-twitter just thinking about it!!

I’m reading the words that are coming from my fingers and feeling a little dorky, but I don’t really care. I’m usually not ashamed to let my Dork Flag fly high! On my dream vacation, I would most definitely take my husband Josh and daughter Nellie. I may want to wait a few years until Nellie was old enough to have read the books and watched the movies (she’s only 8 months old right now) so I could see the magic and excitement in her eyes, as well as feel it in my own heart.

My little dream vacation may be a bit unconventional, but it’s what I really want! One day, hopefully, my dream will come true and I’ll get the chance to see Hogwarts up close and in person!


Don’t forget to enter the “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, for a chance to win your own ultimate family vacation. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Fridays of Yore

I work in an office full of women. One of those women, T has a daughter, J who is 18. She works at a popular place to eat buffalo wings. You could say that those wings are wild.
Fine, she works at Buffalo Wild Wings. This particular BW3 is located downtown, which is a popular area to patronize on the weekends.

By the way, why the hell is it called BW3? The title of the restaurant only has two W’s. Can anyone shed some light on this?

While ya’ll research that for me I’m gonna go ahead with my post. So T asked her daughter J, who stopped by the office, when she had to go in to work. J replied, “5:00”. All of a sudden, I was swept back about 6 years to when I used to wait tables at Chili’s. I remembered how my job wouldn’t start ’till the early evening and how I would be there until 1-2 in the morning. I vividly remembered the dinner rushes, slinging the drinks, carrying trays of food to tables. And then I suddenly realized that it was Friday night and it hit me:

Friday nights don’t really exist in my world any more. I mean obviously, they do. Fridays didn’t just poof out of existence when I became a mom but in the sense that they used to be for me, they really did. Every other weekend, my husband works Friday-Sunday so our weekend evenings are usually spent at home. On his weekends off we will sometimes go out but it’s in a very different sense now. Everything we do is Nellie-centered. Will it be too loud? Too hot? Too cold? Will she be over-stimulated? Has she slept enough, or will she get cranky halfway through the activity and we’ll have to scurry home?

We used to go out every weekend. Every. Single. Weekend. Dinner, movie, drinks at my brother-in-law’s house. Sometimes, we would go out Friday night AND Saturday night. Don’t get me wrong, we still do go out and do things. It’s just that the Friday nights that I’ve known my entire adult life don’t exist in my world anymore. They’re new, they’re different, and my old Fridays feel like they were lived by a different person in a different life.

Sometimes I feel as though I’m on another planet; when I see teenagers laughing at the mall or a group of single women strutting confidently down the street and heading into a bar I feel so detached from these people it’s ridiculous. I feel as though I’m a scientist observing some wild and exotic species that’s a mystery to mankind.

I’m not saying that I am sad to lose my old Fridays.. It’s just that sometimes, I am still taken aback at the surreality of being a mom. How much these little people change every single aspect of your life.

Not bad. Just different.

P.S. Did anyone figure out why BW3 is called BW3? It’s gonna drive me insane now. Sigh.