This little photo popped up in my Facebook news feed today and it resonates with me.
My grandmother’s lap was always my safe haven. Her arms were peaceful, loving, comforting. She was my solace when my young eyes had seen more than they should.
I’d climb up on the arm of her chair with a book and she’d read to me for however long I wanted. I’d trace my fingers over her freckles and ask almost daily about her mother’s ring with all the pretty stones. She’d tell me about each one and whose stone was whose.
In hot summer months I’d sit at her knees while she french ‘platted’ my hair. She’d tell me how her mother used to do the same for her. When the summer thunderstorms started kicking up, she would turn off all the power reminding us that her house wasn’t grounded. She’d make my sister and I sit in the middle of the living room away from the windows. We’d sit on opposite ends of the room and push a car or roll a ball back and forth. While we waited for the storm to pass, she’d tell us the same ghost stories her parents had told her. My favorite was about her daddy walking home one rainy night. He’d hear horse hooves and light a match to see and just before the wind and rain would snuff them out, he’d see ghostly horses that weren’t really there. My grandma could tell a story like no one else, she always had me captivated. She’d end each ghost story by saying, “Now that’s the truth,” and she was serious. We’d beg for this stories time and time again and as the years passed and she was no longer able to tell them, my heart ached and longed for them once more.
When the summer heat got the best of us, she’s freeze cherry koolaid in pop bottles and we’d suck and slurp them all day long. Whether it was while helping her string and snap beans, or just playing around her house, those frozen cherry koolaids are to this day the taste of summertime for me. There will never be a better summer time treat.
My grandmother taught me the importance of housework and motherhood. She taught me there was value in taking care of what you have and putting work before play. She also taught me the importance of an afternoon treat after all that work. I still remember her ever-present Diet Riet Cola and there was always an abundance of snack cakes. I admittedly still go into their kitchen hoping there’s a raisin cream cake to bring back a taste of childhood.
My grandmother could be stern, but she was also gentle and loving. She loved to call her church friends in the afternoons and talk the hours away. She especially enjoyed it when company would stop by and she could have a nice long chat.
Caring for others was what she did for as long as I can remember, and becoming a stay at home mother taught me what hard work that truly is. She never made us feel as though we wore her down, although I’m sure we often tried her patience. Her house was always open, as were her arms.
I am deeply saddened that I will never again be able to climb up on her lap and have her tell me a story. But I am ever grateful that the babies I, and other family members, have lost will now have Granny’s lap to climb onto. I know she’ll love them in all the ways we physically cannot. And one day, I will finally get to see her holding them as I wish she could’ve on this earth.
I don’t often talk about the struggles of being a parent to a special needs child/ren. I feel guilty because my children are for the most part healthy. They don’t need fancy medical equipment, but they have very real disorders that need a lot of my time. Apraxia of speech, oral sensory issues related to apraxia, fine/gross motor difficulties, a phonological speech disorder, congenital trigger thumb, and possible hip dysplasia in my infant. It takes its toll. So here’s a brief glimpse into the mind of a special needs mama.
I feel myself buckling a lot lately, thinking I can’t, but then somehow I always do.
I am lucky. For the most part, my kids are healthy. But I am so, so very tired of specialists and therapies. No, my kids do not have any life threatening conditions. You really wouldn’t know that HOURS of our weeks are spent running speech drills, working on coordination, me researching how to best help them. Am I thankful that our life has not been a revolving door of doctors? Yes. But I’m still tired.
There are still days when I angrily ask God, why??? Why can’t we have ‘normal’. We don’t want to be special today we want to be plain ol’ normal, no speech, no upcoming surgery, no doctors calling to ask if we’ve taken our child for this screening or that screening yet.
Please don’t ask me how I do it. The answer is raw and dirty. I cry. Behind closed bathroom doors. In my van in the front seat before I dry my eyes so they can’t see. In bed silently while everyone else is asleep. I tell myself to suck it the hell up because there was a time when there were no babies. When my womb was empty or healing yet again from another loss. I get so mad at God all over again because shouldn’t I get to have it easy after it was SO HARD to become a parent to begin with.
In brief moments, He answers. He gently laughs and reminds me, this is it. This is what I was preparing you for. You worked for it. And now you work FOR THEM. Cry, let it out, then remember the strength you built through all the waiting and the loss. You get to be the mother of special children, and one day, no one will know the struggle until you tell them.
You’ll use it to encourage others who are crying behind bathroom doors and in front seats of vans. You’ll use it to tell the mom whose child is struggling that one day this will only be a memory. And I move on. And do it. Just do it, do the work to help the child that you prayed for.
Because the child is here, alive, and well.
Long time no see/write?!? I’m still sailing along in this pregnancy with our BABY GIRL! I am seven and a half months pregnant today and I cannot believe how fast it is now going by.
Adding a baby girl to our mix means that I finally get to make bows, pants with ruffles, and all sorts of things I never had the chance to do with two boys. First on my list was a diaper bag I actually liked. I have had the same plain black Jeep diaper bag since my oldest was born four and a half years ago. While I don’t currently carry a diaper bag, I will need one when our sweet baby Rowyn Scarlett gets here.
I’ve had this pattern in my drawer for FAR longer than I should admit. I kept meaning to use it and just never got around to it. After finally making my nursing cover, I decided it might be fun to finally dive into this pattern. The pattern is very detailed and easy to follow, I love Fishsticks Designs patterns for this reason. I would NOT say this is a pattern for beginners. You need to be highly organized and label all your pieces because there are A LOT to keep up with. You also need to have a couple days or afternoons set aside to work on it. Between cutting out all the pieces and sewing, I spent about ten hours on this bag. I’m not really a fast or slow sewer, just kind of average I’d say. I can make a pair of baby/toddler pants or a diaper cover in half an hour. Or a pair of kid pants in half an hour to an hour depending on detail. The bag is MUCH more involved than those, but I do LOVE this bag and pattern.
All in all, I think this bag is going to be GREAT for cloth diapers. It is super roomy and I truly cannot wait to pack it in a few weeks after my baby shower. The fabrics I ended up choosing were gifted to me and they suit my personality and taste SO well! They also match the nursing cover I made which is just fun for me. The bag is super roomy, has TONS of pockets from standard to elasticized, even a zippered pocket. I’m definitely far more in love with this bag than I ever was with the Jeep one!
*Click on a picture to view it larger and read the description.
While I’d love to tell you guys that I’ve been busy sewing and have tons of new projects lined up for the blog, I sat down at my sewing machine for the first time in several weeks today. Instead of sewing or writing, I’ve soaked up this final pregnancy and have been basking in all the glory that is non-stop morning sickness for three months. Baby Boo is sixteen weeks old (gestational age) today and the morning sickness is improving ever so slowly. Which means that hopefully sewing will be back in full swing soon with new projects for you!
Today’s sewing adventure was a gift for my son’s speech pathologist. I haven’t talked about my son’s speech apraxia on the blog before, but he started speech therapy at the beginning of this year and we’ve seen him blossom and improve his speech SO much. He’ll get a new pathologist when he starts school in the fall, but we wanted to show our appreciation for all that our current pathologist has done for him.
My son loves superheroes and his teacher has been kind enough to include them in his therapy. He can say almost all their names clearly now which is huge! I of course included him in the gift for his pathologist and he went the superhero route! He picked out the super cool Avenger’s cup and we used my sewing machine to make a cozy (complete with superhero cape!) for the cup.
I hope you enjoy our fun little project, what gifts have you given your children’s teachers?
We are so excited to help Kelly’s Closet and DiaperShops.com celebrate 14 years of cloth diapering! KC has been my go to for modern cloth diapers and accessories since we started adding to our homemade stash a couple years ago. Through them we have discovered CJ’s BUTTer, our favorite Thirsties diapers, and a plethora of other brands and products.
Kelly’s Closet first opened its doors back in April 2001 well before bumGenius, Rumparooz, GroVia and Thirsties even existed. Kelly’s Closet is now home to almost 100 brands of cloth diapers, diapering accessories, and eco-friendly products for the entire family. They are truly more than just a shop. While located solely online, they give AMAZING customer service and product support that you won’t find in many store fronts. They reach through the computer screen and engage with customers every day, providing cloth diaper education and support to thousands daily.
On April 1st, Kelly’s Closet kicked off 14 days of giveaways to celebrate. Each day new items have been added and today I’m proud to bring to you a set of two Pink Lemonade Minky Pads. These pads are fleece backed and are truly my favorite cloth pads! They’re comfortable, stain resistance, and absorbent. Not to mention, they’re super soft and pretty. An even bigger bonus for me is that they were created by a WAHM, and that always gets big props in my book.
Be sure to follow both Kelly’s Closet & Diaper Shops social media pages for more chances to win.
Facebook: Kelly’s Closet – DiaperShops – Cloth Diaper Support Group – The Cloth Diaper Whisperer
Twitter: @DiaperShops #kellyscloset #fluffiversary #clothdiapers
Instagram: @DiaperShops #kellyscloset #fluffiversary #clothdiapers
Each giveaway will end at midnight ET on April 14th.
Use the link below to get entered and good luck!
If you’re a follower of the blog, you noticed the sudden decrease in posts last month. And then hopefully you saw that I didn’t just go AWOL, I was being held captive by a little alien invader 🙂 . I’m happy to report that thanks to my doctor and lots of supportive family, I’m slowly returning to myself. Week nine and Diclegis have brought some relief that will hopefully have the blog back up and running full steam ahead.
My morning sickness had me sidelined for about a month. There were days that I barely moved from the couch and where caring for my two children truly felt like a struggle. My sewing room has been empty and there hasn’t been too much excitement going on in my house lately. But ya know what? It’s okay!!! I cut myself some slack to rest and feel yucky. I let my body and my mind cope with all the changes going on and guess what? Life went on! Nothing catastrophic happened. I learned that while life is much more fun when I’m participating fully, once in a while when there are more pressing concerns, you can take a break and things will turn out just fine.
Of course, there were times when I couldn’t just sit by and watch. I still had two children to cook for, play taxi too, and just generally care for. I still have a house on the market so there was still much cleaning and laundry to do be done. I shared a few tricks for handling diaper changes when you’re pregnant over at The Cloth Diaper Whisperer last month and many of those tips apply to just generally surviving morning sickness the first couple of months. Here are the some ways I’ve coped with morning sickness that will hopefully get you through too.
Five Ways To Handle Morning Sickness
- Extra sleep. I know, I know. I have two kids still under 5. I get that midday naps don’t often happen. But if you can go to bed a little early or catch some weekend naps, it will help. Being tired only exacerbates the nausea.
- Pleasing scents. We’re all different, if you can find a scent that calms your queasiness, use it. Citrus and mint are usually the most effective, but if watermelon or your favorite Bath and Body Works lotion brings you relief, rub, burn it, infuse it…just sniff it! An essential oil diluted with a carrier like coconut oil or scent free lotion can be a god-send smeared under your nose or dabbed on your wrist. You all know I loooveee some CJs BUTTer. The minis are great to grab and sniff.
- Juice, soda…whatever stays down. I gave up soda a year ago…don’t miss it. But during my first months of pregnancy, plain water doesn’t work. I gag, I throw up almost every single time. After finding myself dehydrated and constantly dizzy, I tried having a soda. And it stayed down. I found small sips of cold juice stayed down too. So I did what I had to do to stay hydrated. Getting myself back to functioning was more important than keeping up the anti-soda streak. Once my morning sickness eases, I’ll be back to drinking boat loads of water, but until then drinking it and vomiting isn’t worth it.
- Eating less…more often. If another person ever tells me to eat a cracker for morning sickness, I might get sick on them. Even thinking about a cracker turns my stomach. Crackers don’t work for me. But, I found that having about 6-8 small meals a day does work. Cereal, sandwiches, jello, fruit cups….whatever eases your stomach, try having something to eat every couple of hours. The minute my stomach gets empty, bam, nausea sets in and it is HARD to break. Sadly the first trimester is not a glowing picture of health food for me. But it’s okay. When your main concern is keeping anything down, you can cut yourself some slack and do the best you can.
- When all else fails…call the doctor. I spent almost four weeks a sick, shaky mess. My doctor put me Diclegis at a very small dosage and after just one week, I felt brand new. My blood pressure came back up, I had more energy, and I was not throwing up twelve times a day anymore. If medicine isn’t your route, it’s okay. But if you aren’t functioning, getting help from your doctor is an option. They see pregnant women every single day, they will likely have some tricks to help you. You don’t want to wait until you’re dehydrated as that isn’t good for you or baby.
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