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.

Back to Blogging Day Five: Why Do I Blog?

It’s the final day of the SITS Girls’ Back to Blogging Challenge and today’s topic is: Why do you blog?

Why do I blog…. First and foremost, because I love to write. I love to write, but I don’t have the time nor the ideas to write a story. I never have. Ever since I was young I’ve loved putting words down, creating things. Yet, I have no creative or new ideas that could one day be formed into a story. I can remember in high school writing down scenerios in my spiral notebook. They weren’t stories, they were scenes that would jump into my head. I would be moved by them, to write them down before I forgot the details. They would literally be snippets of conversations, encounters, interactions with others. Most of them would fill less than two pages front to back of my notebook but I had to get them down.

I guess I’m a short-distance writer. I love blogging for the freedom it gives me. I don’t always have to worry about punctuation, grammar, or even making sense. What other platform of creativity can you legitimately use where it’s okay sometimes to write in all caps for the sake of the story, or use a run-on sentence because it reads funnier that way? I’ve become so in love with blogging that I think about it in my daily life. Things happen to me and I immediately think, “This will make an excellent blog post.” A coworker of mine told me a story about a hamster she had in college that chewed its’ own leg off and I actually said out loud to her, “That would make a great blog post if you blogged.” Sometimes, I have to stop what I’m doing and take down a note on my phone when I get an idea for a post because I won’t remember it later.

I love blogging for the friendships it has given me. You may not call them friendships as technically, I’ve never met these women but they are my friends. I will meet them, in San Diego next year and I will hopefully make new friends there as well.  Blogging is a community, social media the future. Bloggers help each other out. We cry together, we laugh together, and we share our lives and hearts for the world to read.

When I began blogging it was to work out my own feelings about my miscarriage. My blog was honest. It was raw. When my due date for Green Bean rolled around I got ridiculously drunk and I blogged about how angry I was. I think I used the F word a lot. When I decided to let my blog be known to my friends and family, women I knew wrote me and thanked me profusely for being so candid with my conception struggles and heartbreak because they, too, were struggling and felt very alone. I gave them hope. I was a success story. I reached someone and made a difference…

I love blogging for the creativity. I love blogging for the connections. I love blogging for the opportunities I’m presented. I love blogging for the voice that it gives me. Even if no one ever hears that voice, it is there ringing loudly and clearly through cyberspace. Even if sometimes I feel as though I’m writing just for myself, and no one is listening.. My words are still there and they are still mine.
I just love to blog. Period.

*******************************

This post was written in participation with The SITS Girls’ Back to Blogging Challenge. In participating, I am also submitting the posts to be entered into a sweepstakes to win a Turquoise Sky Electrolux washer & dryer set. The event is sponsored by Standards of Excellence, Westar, and Florida Builder Appliances

Back to Blogging Day 4: Inspirational Women

Today’s topic on the B2B Challenge is to write about a woman who inspires us.

This is a really difficult topic for me, because I have had a definite lack of inspirational women in my life. A lot of people will probably write about their mothers, which you will certainly not find me writing about. That’s a long story for another blog post entirely.

I have been sitting here wracking my brain, trying to come up with a woman who inspires me and everything I’m producing seems so hollow and false. Who the hell inspires me? WHAT inspires me?

A lot of women who blog inspire me. The Bloggess and her hilarious writing encourage me to be funny. She reminds me that it’s okay to swear on your blog and use run-on sentences as long as you have your reader in stitches. Every time I read a blog entry of hers, I shake my head and say aloud “I will NEVER be that funny.”

Kristine inspires me. Do you know Kristine? Her daughter, Cora, died in her arms at five days old when she was breastfeeding. Cora had a CHD that wasn’t detected. Since that nightmarish night in December, Kristine has been working her tail off to raise awareness for CHD by diving into social media, setting up a non-profit in Cora’s name and encouraging people to wear Pink for Cora on the 30th of each month. Kristine inspires me because if I had lost my daughter, I would be a gigantic ball of anger and jealousy.. But she is always kind, gracious, and honest. You can’t not like Kristine.. It’s pretty much physically impossible.

Another blogger who inspires me is Heather Spohr. If you’ve been blog reading for a while you probably know who Heather is. Her beautiful daughter, Maddie, died in 2009. Shortly after Maddie’s death Heather found out she was pregnant. She gave birth to Anabelle in January of 2010.. Anabelle is actually about 2 days younger than Nellie. Heather’s story is heartbreaking. Every time I read an entry about Maddie I end up in tears. She is honest, and her pain is raw and real. She inspires me as a mother because I honestly don’t know how she carried on after the death of Maddie. Her blog is sweet, and hilarious, and she’s a great writer.

Well, I guess that wasn’t quite as difficult as I was making it out to be… It just required a little bit of thought which I suppose is the whole root of this challenge. It wouldn’t be a blog challenge if it didn’t require a little effort, would it?

**************************

This post was written in participation with The SITS Girls’ Back to Blogging Challenge. In participating, I am also submitting the posts to be entered into a sweepstakes to win a Turquoise Sky Electrolux washer & dryer set. The event is sponsored by Standards of Excellence, Westar, and Florida Builder Appliances.

Back to Blogging Day Three: A Post Title I’m Proud Of

Welcome to day three of the Back to Blogging challenge! To catch up, here is Day One and Day Two. Today’s post is to re-post an old entry that I’ve written that has a title that I’m particularly proud of. I scrolled through my old posts and found the perfect one. It’s not cute, or heartwarming, or particularly poignant but it is funny, and I’m pretty sure you can figure out the content of the post just from the title. Without further ado, I give you a post that I wrote on October 27th, 2009 titled…

The Curious Case of My Vanishing VaJayJay
10/27/2009

So…… This may be a little much, but honestly when I became pregnant, after all the TTC lingo I exchanged with ladies via message boards, TMI doesn’t really exist for me anymore so here it goes.

I can no longer see my crotch.

It’s true. I don’t remember what inspired me even thinking to look, but after much glancing, twisting and turning and other various methods of contortion that are usually best left to small acrobatic circus performers, I confirmed that I can no longer see my crotch. It’s gone. Vanished. Out of my sight.

I tried to pull my belly out of the way, except the thing is – my belly won’t, like, move anymore. It just… Is there. All the time. I tried bending over. That just made my vagina disappear further from my view. I lifted my leg and propped it up on the toilet, almost toppling over like a Weeble in the process. I peeked, peered, and gazed. My husband caught me doing this; looking like I was attempting some strange and potentially dangerous new Yoga pose and asked me what the hell I was doing. I gave him a look like, “duh” and told him I was trying to see my crotch, to which he responded by howling in laughter and walking away.

The only way I can see my ladybits anymore is to look with a mirror. Even that is difficult, but look with a mirror I did – if only to reassure myself that my vagina is, in fact, still there and fully in tact. I ended up getting a glimpse of it. Yep, there’s my vagina. Still there, still looking the same as it ever did (albeit slightly more… Um… Puffy? WTF, PREGNANCY?). Pregnancy is such a curious thing. Never in a million years did I think that something as simple as being able to see my own vagina would be something that was impossible without being an Olympic gymnast. Something that I’ve seen every single day of my life is now gone; hidden by the growing mound that is my stomach.

I think that the book Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy had mentioned something about her vagina getting blue and engorged, and when I read it in my first trimester I laughed heartily and thought to myself that was a bunch of bullshit. Apparently it is NOT bullshit, and vaginas do in fact get engorged during gestation. Though mine isn’t blue. It’s still a normal color.

Now that you know entirely too much about my crotch region, carry on and have a very pleasant Tuesday. And never take the fact that you can see your vagina for granted.

***********************

Classy? Maybe not. Funny? I think so. I thought the title was terribly clever. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button had come out recently, and everyone loves the word vajayjay so I thought myself awfully hilarious. Any woman who has ever been big, fat, and pregnant will relate to this post because when you’re that pregnant you really CAN NOT see your kitty without the aid of a mirror.

This post was written in participation with The SITS Girls’ Back to Blogging Challenge. In participating, I am also submitting the posts to be entered into a sweepstakes to win a Turquoise Sky Electrolux washer & dryer set. The event is sponsored by Standards of Excellence, Westar, and Florida Builder Appliances.

Back to Blogging Day Two: A Missed Post

Miss my Back to Blogging Day One Post? Check it out here: Back to Blogging Day One

For day two of the B2B challenge at The SITS Girls, the topic is to re-visit an old post that you wish more people had read, and why it’s important to you.
This post is from October 17th, 2008. At this point in my life we had miscarried our first baby nearly ten months earlier. I had lost 20 pounds, and we were on our 5th or 6th cycle of trying to conceive again.

*********************

10/17/2008

What if it’s not “meant to be”?

What if I’m not meant to be someone’s mommy? What if I’m destined to forever be “Aunt Natalie” to my family’s babies, my friends’ babies? That I’m meant to watch my girlfriends become mothers, watch the love light up their eyes while they hold their newborn babies, while I am standing aside, wanting for nothing more but to be in their shoes? What if I’m not meant to feel baby kicks, baby moves; what if my belly isn’t destined to swell and grow as my little one does?

What if I’m destined to forever wander through the aisles of baby clothes, gazing longingly, wishing and hoping for a day that will never come? What if I am meant for nothing more than staring at a pregnant woman’s belly, and feeling empty inside?

What if this love I feel inside of me, love that’s meant for my baby, is meant to go unheard; unfelt?

What if I miscarry, one baby after another, until I am so broken inside that I simply cannot do it any more?

What if it’s just not in the cards for me?

I just don’t know what I’d do.

You can say, “it’s meant to be”, but in the end, no one knows that. No one.
You can say “just give it to God”, but for one, I’m not religious and for two, I don’t want to. That doesn’t help me. I don’t like not having control over the things that I want, that I need in my life.

Does every woman who struggles to conceive feel this way?

**************************************************

I debated for a long time on what post to include for this day. I decided to go with this one, because infertility and TTC struggles are something that often go unnoticed and overlooked. In the near-year it took Josh and I to conceive Nellie I met so many women who shared my pain, and as I’ve stepped more into the blogging world I’ve met many others whose hearts ache as mine did while we were trying month after month to conceive. When I “came out” to the people that I knew in real life about my blog, I had a few come forward and thank me for being candid about our conception struggles because they, too, were struggling. They had no idea there were others like them out there; it seemed to them that everyone they knew became pregnant so easily and when you’re struggling, it DOES seem that way. It feels as though everyone in the universe is pregnant but YOU. I wanted to share this post with the chance that there are still women out there who feel alone and let them know that they’re NOT. They aren’t alone in their struggle, and they aren’t alone in their pain. My journey led me into motherhood but I still remember very well the pain I felt.

****************************************************************

This post was written in participation with The SITS Girls’ Back to Blogging Challenge. In participating, I am also submitting the posts to be entered into a sweepstakes to win a Turquoise Sky Electrolux washer & dryer set. The event is sponsored by Standards of Excellence, Westar, and Florida Builder Appliances.

Back to Blogging Day One: My First Blog Entry

Have you heard of the SITS Girls? If you haven’t, you are missing out. I’ll give you a chance to scoot over there quickly to check them out if you promise to come right back.

Okay! Awesome, right? Anyway. This week, I’m embarking on a blogging adventure that’s called Back to Blogging. Each day, there is a new topic to blog about and today’s topic is to re-post your very first blog entry. I’ve been blogging for almost ten years. Not here, of course, but when I was 17 years old I started an online journal on LiveJournal.com. Yep.. 17 years old. It seems like only yesterday and a thousand years ago at the same time. I debated on which journal entry to choose: my first blog entry ever, or the first blog entry at Mommy Boots/Hope Springs Eternal? My first entry here was basically the story of my miscarriage.. Which you can read about on my About Me page… So I decided to take my 2nd entry here and re-post it. Be forewarned; it contains a few graphic words about my miscarriage so if you are sensitive to the topic, proceed with care.

**********************************

Originally posted 3/5/2008
I have confessions to make about my miscarriage.

When I got pregnant, the only regret that I had was that I wasn’t a healthier weight, and more in shape. I remember vocalizing this. And I confess that there is a part of me that wonders if someone heard my lament, and decided to give me that chance to lose weight by taking away my baby.

I confess that I wonder if I am too negative, and that I don’t treat others with enough positivity. I have wondered if that negativity came back around and was a cause for my miscarriage.

I confess that I feel guilty that my body couldn’t support my baby.

I confess that I wonder if my baby could feel the love that I had for him. I confess that I wonder if he felt pain when my body rejected him.

I confess that I feel immensely guilty for flushing my baby down the toilet when I miscarried him. Like a fish. I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t want to save the “products of conception” as people so eloquently put it, because I couldn’t bear the thought of keeping my baby in the refrigerator like a science project.

I confess that I wish I’d have been able to look at my baby when I miscarried him for longer. I couldn’t stand to look.

I confess that sometimes I feel like I hurt worse than anyone else that’s suffered this kind of loss. I know that I don’t, but sometimes I feel like I do.

I confess that I worry that I won’t be as excited the next time I get pregnant.

I confess that I get irritated with pregnant women who complain about how horrible being pregnant is. You think that throwing up, swollen feet, sleepless nights are bad? Try seeing your baby’s heartbeat, and then three days later, suffering horrible cramps, accompanied by huge clots of blood and tissue, and then wiping when you go to the bathroom only to find the embryo on your toilet paper. Nausea and weight gain doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?

I confess that I feel a twinge of jealousy every time I see a pregnant woman. Every. Single. Time.

I confess that I don’t want advice, words of wisdom, or any of that shit from my friends who are pregnant, have been pregnant without complications, or have new babies. I don’t want to hear any of that crap from women who have not been in my shoes before. If you have not ever lost a child, or had a miscarriage, then don’t tell me “Everything happens for a reason,” or “It will happen when it’s meant to happen,” or, “God doesn’t make mistakes”. I understand that your intentions are good, but honestly, just keep it to yourself.

I confess that I worry if I am physically able to carry a healthy baby to term, even though I’ve only suffered one miscarriage, and really have no reason to worry that.

I confess that I miss you every single day. Every day. You were only with me for a few weeks, but I loved you just as much as if you had been there the whole nine months.

**************************************************

It’s still hard, reading those words even though my miscarriage is almost three years in my past. I remember so clearly and vividly feeling all of those things, being so angry and jealous and bitter all the time. I remember how I would feel as if the pain of my loss was eating me from the inside out; like some wild and angry beast clawing its’ way from my chest. I have my baby now and I still miss my first, my Green Bean…

I guess you never really forget pain like that.

******************************

This post was written in participation with The SITS Girls’ Back to Blogging Challenge. In participating, I am also submitting the posts to be entered into a sweepstakes to win a Turquoise Sky Electrolux washer & dryer set. The event is sponsored by Standards of Excellence, Westar, and Florida Builder Appliances.