Category Archives: Life Lessons

Trying to be better.

I can be a really crappy friend. Never intentionally, but it happens. I’ll be wrapping up a lunch date with a friend and end it with, “call ya tomorrow.” Then kids, a job, a husband…you know life, gets in the way and before I know it, it’s been almost a week since I’ve talked to her.

This happens more than I care to admit and while my friend{s} probably understand, it doesn’t make it ok.

To be honest, this happens with more than just my friends. I let it happen with my family too. I know of some women that speak to their mom every single day. While that’s never been the kind of relationship my mother and I have had, we go a while before talking sometimes. Same goes with my dad. And my brother. And my aunts and uncles.

Are you seeing a pattern here?

I get so wrapped up in my day to day life that I forget to take the time {aka: make the time} to maintain/strengthen/nourish the relationships that are so very important to me. And now here I am trying to rebuild those relationships to what they used to be and/or what I would like them to be.

Does this happen to anyone else? I really hope it’s not just me.

Even if it is just me, my point is this…it’s been something on my mind a lot lately and I’m trying to be better about it. I want my loved ones to know that just because I may not to speak to or see them them very often, I’m thinking about them. My life runs off of a continual checklist of wash bottles – pack pump parts – make dinner – bath time – etc – etc -etc. I’ve come up with a list of actual things I can do in order to be successful instead of just saying “yea I’m going to be better about that”, then never following through. The list may seem simple and also completely obvious, but thought I’d share anyway.

Five Tips for Rebuilding Relationships

Call to Check In– While this is potentially the easiest one, this is a big one for me…I can go weeks without talking to a loved one before I even start to wonder when the last time I talked to them was. Sad, I know. So what I’ve started doing is setting a day of the week to call a different loved one. Most of the time it’s on my drive from work to pick up the girls from school, but that doesn’t always work. For example, my dad has a hard time understanding me when I talk to him on my hands free headset, not to mention quite often, he’s not even available during that time of day, so I set myself a reminder to call him later in the evenings after I’ve put Reese down for bed.

Send a note in the mail– Who doesn’t love to get mail in their mailbox…like their real mailbox. Something that’s not a bill. I know I love it, so I’m going to make a better effort to drop a note in the mail every other week or so to various loved ones…particularly the ones I don’t speak with or see very often.

Be Thoughtful– My best friend’s family is all from Minnesota and she’s pretty close to them. She grew up spending a lot of time back there in the summers and even still visits quite often. You could say she holds minnesota close to her heart. So when I saw that Shannon from GlassCast was having a sale on metal stamped states with a heart on the city of your choosing necklaces, I immediately texted my best friend’s mom to find out what city her family was from, then emailed shannon my order. Then I surprised my friend with the necklace the next time I saw her. No, she didn’t have a birthday coming up, there was no holiday. I did something  just because. But it doesn’t always have to cost money…the other night I was able to catch Reese clapping on video and sent it to my sisters via text. Both loved it, it made them smile. Mission accomplished.

Make Standing Date– In my little family, we’ve got our Taco Tuesday tradition…it’s easily our favorite night of the week. There’s never any question, it just happens. I wanted to try and carry this outside of my family unit. My best friend & I have been doing lunch dates for years now. When they happen they’re a highlight of my week. There’s time we go weeks without having one. Naturally over the course of the last couple of months, we’ve been really good about doing them every Thursday. I love it and I’m hellbent on maintaining that. From there, I’m also making a standing rule that at least once every other week I will invite a family member over for dinner.  What can I say? I’m a sucker for routine.

Start a Thing– There’s lots of things my friends & I talk about doing, but we never follow through. The other night I was putting Reese to bed and checked my email to find that my sister shared a pin from pinterest with me about some sort of squat challenge. I was kinda confused and quickly forgot about it. The next morning my best friend tagged me in something on facebook about it and saying that my cousin was in on it too. I figured I better figure out what the heck they were signing me up for! Ha. So, my sister, my best friend, my cousin and I are now doing a month long “squat challenge”. Whether through text or facebook, we’re checking in with each other and encouraging one another on a daily basis. Now we’re no longer just talking about it, but following through and getting better butts in the process.

I realize it’s sad that this no longer comes naturally for me and that I have to make a conscious effort to do something as simple as being a friend, but at this point it is what it is and I’m doing what I can to be the friend/daughter/sister I used to be.

So that’s where I’m starting. What do you think…is there anything else I forgot? Am I biting off more than I can chew? Has anyone else noticed their relationships sliding since having kids?

Hard Things

I sit here with a full mind and a blank screen. So much I want to say, though no words will come out. The things I’ve had floating around in my head waiting to come out are still there, but pushed to the back because now they seem trivial.

Why must bad things happen?

How do you explain hard things to little ones? Attacks? Natural disasters? Death of a loved one or even a family pet?

Sometimes I just hope they hold on to their innocence just a little longer, so I keep the TV off and turn the radio dial when the news comes on. They don’t really need to know something bad happened, do they?

Maybe all this will be easier when they’re a little older and more capable of understanding? Or maybe that will just make things harder?

When bad things happen it’s hard not to hold their hands a little tighter in a parking lot or watch them a little more closely. Snuggle just a little bit longer.

They say ignorance is bliss. I want my girls to be blissful and happy and carefree. But I don’t want them to be ignorant and sheltered from the world.

I have to hold on to the faith that there is good that will come of every situation. There are still good people in this world.

We choose to focus on the good.

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Lets talk about milk sharing

Milk-sharing was something I never in a million years thought I would do. But here I am, with an abundant milk supply and an over-flowing freezer getting ready to donate my freezer stash of breast milk for the fourth time.

Back before I made my first donation, I went back and forth on whether or not to do it. If I saved it all up, I could stop nursing Reese early and she could just use what’s in the freezer until her tummy could handle regular milk. But then I thought about it some more and realized I didn’t want to be done nursing Reese, even if I was projecting my thoughts and feelings on the matter months into the future. Not to mention, I just still wasn’t…sure. I may be a bit granola, but was I that granola?

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Quite a while back {like, years before I was pregnant with Reese, but after I was done nursing Rylee}, a friend from high school/facebook friend had mentioned something about Eats on Feets, a milk-sharing something or other. I liked their facebook page, then went about my business. Once I realized I had too much extra milk in my freezer, i started looking at their page. I figured I’d be a pretty good candidate for milk sharing…I don’t smoke. I rarely drink, and when I do it’s after I’m done feeding/pumping for the day. I’m dairy limited, due to the fact that Reese’s sensitive tummy can’t handle it when I drink milk. The page creeping continued For a couple of weeks. I’d read posts from moms requesting help for their little ones, but I was never “called” to reach out or make a connection.

Then one day I saw a post from a dad requesting milk for his son that was just a few weeks old. I took a closer look and realized that I knew the baby’s mom. That was apparently the push I needed. I sent her a message through Facebook.

Since then, I’ve donated to her twice, and getting ready for a third. When I traveled to SanFran a couple of months ago, I connected with a local mama via the Eats on Feets NoCal chapter and left my milk at the hotel’s front desk for her to pick up. And in just a few weeks I’m headed to Arizona and will be sending all my milk home with Brandy to help build a freezer stash for little Ollie.

Mamas utilize milk sharing for various reasons. Sometimes a mama may be going through a medical procedure and her milk supply is low. Sometimes a mama just can’t produce enough and needs to supplement in order to feed her baby. Sometimes a mama had her baby prematurely and she’s struggling to produce milk for her baby. Sometimes a mama just isn’t able to produce milk at all, tries to give her baby formula and the baby has trouble digesting the formula.

You might think its totally weird. Or gross. If I’m being totally honest, if I think about it too much, I still kind of get weirded out by it. But something changed inside me along the way and the health and well being of babies is more important to me.

If you’re interested in learning more about milk sharing, I encourage you to check out Eats on Feets. There are chapters all over the world connecting moms with an abundance of milk to babies that need it.

Milk sharing isn’t for everyone. And that’s fine with me. To be honest, I don’t care what (formula vs. your own breastmilk vs. “borrowed” breastmilk) and/or how (bottle vs. breast vs. a combo) you feed your baby as long as you’re doing what’s right for you and your family and that sweet baby of yours is getting fed. Period.

Life Lesson #472

Girls,

Look, there’s things in life that school and books won’t teach you. And common sense just really isn’t all that common anymore. Lucky for you? I’ve lived through a lot of those “things” and I’m here to share my wisdom with you. What can I say? I’m a giver.

{Plus, I carried you in my uterus for 9+ months and grew your from nothing, let weird/nasty things happen to my body in the name of procreation, then solely provided the nutrition that sustained your life for umpteen months after that, so the least you can do is humor me here. Deal?}

And yes. The answer to your question is yes, I just randomly chose 472 out of my butt the air. Starting out with 1 just doesn’t sound cool.
Hopefully this life lesson will save some of your favorite clothing items, and your car interior. Oh who am I kidding, I’m really hoping it saves MY car interior.
xoxo,
Mama