Meal Time, Motherhood

3 Reasons Why I Ditched My Coffee Maker

Photo by Marina Sirazetdinova on Pexels.com

A morning for me isn’t complete unless I have something to wake my mind up a bit; enter coffee! I used to be one of those people who used a coffee maker who had it so much more simpler; or so I thought. I would plug in my coffee maker or Keurig depending on the mood and wait patiently for my morning cup of get up and go to brew. It was so easy but it wasn’t good for me; so I quit!
I made that choice to live with a little less in my life I kicked the coffee maker to the curb and tossed my Keurig along for the ride as it had gotten a little snobby for my liking. I was done with those devices but I still longed for that brewed morning cup of wake the heck up. I knew what I had to do. I now make a much more simpler cup of coffee that has many reasons and I thought I would share them with you then I will continue on with how I do things now.

Reason #3

In todays world everything in the United States at least and a lot of other countries have taken the easy route in how we do pretty much anything. There’s really no doing things like they were done hundreds of years ago not by a lot of people that is. Especially when it comes to making coffee. You used to have to brew it over an open flame, then we moved on to brewing it on the stove top. Those just weren’t fast enough for the pace that we humans were moving at and needed that caffeine kick quicker; enter the coffee maker which brewed coffee not only faster but better and it even came with a little more precision than the old ways. After the simple coffee maker there were some other devices mixed in there but ultimately next came the Keurig and boy was that a game changer especially for us folks at home! If you have the extra money to throw around and coffee is something you won’t live with out then by all means go out and buy one but they are expensive. My first reason in this little count down at reason number 5 to ditch the coffee maker/Keurig is because of price; and I don’t mean the price of just the machine there is the up keep of the machines as well. What if it breaks and you need a replacement part or need to clean it as they do get gunked up believe it or not. You don’t want to be drinking mold, right? On top of maintenance and machine upkeep you have to think about how much those little pre-packaged containers of coffee cost for your little coffee drinking experience. That Keurig will empty your bank account with out a sweat and it brews coffee!

Reason #2

Just think what you could do with more counter space! What if you had an extra spot on you counter that wasn’t taken up by a machine that really could be replaced with something of greater value and use? Think of the possibilities! One of the reasons that I ditched my coffee making machines was because I didn’t need to make room for something that wasn’t 100% necessary. I could use that precious space for something else, something better. Short, Sweet, and To The Point!

Reason #1

Suppose you were to lose power and you don’t happen to have a back up generator or if you do your surely not going to waste that precious power source to use a coffee maker instead you conveniently have an option that would work with or without the need for electricity. Relying on electricity fully is great and all but what happens when the lights go out? Using an alternative way to make coffee just saves you the heartache when it comes to a situation like that.


There they are my three reasons for ditching my coffee maker; but I know you are asking well how do you brew your coffee? Well it is really quite simple and my reasons are done listed above for why I do it this way. I simply boil some water in a tea kettle (that could also be boiled over a fire with out electricity) anyways boil the water in the tea kettle on the stove top then pour that boiling hot water directly over a metal mesh basket with a coffee filter that is filled with my favorite coffee of choice (Folgers). I can brew up as much as I want directly in my mug then I simply wash it all up and put away for easy storage.

How do you make your coffee?
Would you consider ditching your coffee maker?


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Motherhood

4 Tips To Help Deal with Stress

Sometimes you just have to take a step back and take that deep breath because parenting isn’t going to go as planned most of the time. I get pushed to my breaking point quite frequently raising rambunctious little boys. Screaming, yelling, & chaos is our normal. Always loud. Someone is always doing something involving noise; I often feel relief I have all boys because how on earth would a little lady fit into all of the boy! I guess I always pictured a quiet and shy little girl if I ever did have a girl.
Lately I feel as if I am on my last nerve. My boys mostly my oldest have been testing my patience and just seeing how far they can push their luck. Mom feels like the bad guy most of the time as dad can get away with being the bad guy no problem for them but when I am the bad guy that is just the end of their little worlds. He yells at them and they do what is expected; they give him respect. My question is; where is mine? You got me I feel a tad bit jealous.
Isn’t that okay though? To feel jealous at times when I as their mom can’t seem to get down to their level. Dad can just swoop in and get them to follow what he says no fights and if there is yelling, its cool. I want that, that respect. I have to yell and scream and just lose my mind completely to get their attention; unless I let them just run wild that is. That won’t be good for anyone.
I love my wild little guys and I love that they have chaos and that they are noisy but some days I want it to be easy…well easier. I guess I am dreaming as it is never ever easy for anyone. It’s meant to be difficult; but wouldn’t it be nice? I know that I am not alone in that mind set, I just can’t be!
Right now when I am writing this it is almost 10 PM and those little bodies are still wound for sound. I have been arguing back and forth since 7 PM three hours ago that it was time for bed. I have implemented no TV tonight due to bad behavior earlier this evening; safe to say it didn’t go over very well! I know I am the mom but sometimes I feel lost. Sure there isn’t any schooling for us tomorrow since today is Friday but even if there was this would still be a battle. I feel sort of bad to be writing this at the moment glancing over to check on the baby keeping him in my reach and then to make sure the other two are safe patiently waiting for dad to return from work. I have just had it this week, this month really. At this point when nothing is working I have decided to just sit back and take that deep breath. I mean a real deep breath! After all mom needs to be taken care of too!
Sometimes you need to close out all the chaos and noise. You need to relax a little bit. Those times when I feel like hiding from my children or letting go of the reigns even if for a minute or two. That is what I am feeling tonight and that is okay! If anyone else out there feels this way I would enjoy hearing that I am not the only one who feels this way. Anyone?

So there you have it my thoughts for the evening! If I could share any tips with you about what I do when I feel this way these would be the ones. Here are 4 tips I have learned to use to deal with stress:

  1. First when I feel like I am at my breaking point; I take that break, I take that moment, & darn right I take that extremely long deep breath! Nothing helps me more to relax quicker than to stop and get out of that moment I was in and take a breather.
  2. Second if that breather still didn’t do it for me, next I would take a walk. Walk away if I can. If my husband was home with me; I would escape for a while. Of course if he’s not here like now that wouldn’t be an option. I would then try to find some other way to get some sort of exercise. Cleaning or walking around the house. Seems like getting my blood pumping in a positive way other than yelling helps out quite a bit.
  3. The third thing I would try would be turning on some tunes. Listening to some music is a great way to relieve some stress. Kind of like a deep breath for your brain. My kids think it is for them; they stop there target practice on me and join in for some relaxation. I turn it up and it just helps calm everyone down.
  4. This next way may not be your cup of tea but it sure is mine. Maybe I need to do some screaming at this point if all the other ways are working. Scream, yell, break something release some built up stress. My kids do this all the time so why can’t I do it too? Exactly! You could try one of those stress balls if you really wanted to, but where is the fun in that. I often picture in my mind how my kids would react if I just started acting like them. Giving them a big tantrum and flailing around the way that they do when they are out of control. Wishful thinking that they might finally be on my level but I know they would more than likely join in with me; wouldn’t that be a mess.

Thanks for taking the time to read through my post. If you are ever feeling this way; maybe it’s not about kids but something else that is really stressing you out. I think that it is worth trying some of the above tips to try to bring that stress level down. I mean it sure is worth trying. Do you have any tips? Feel free to comment them down below.

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Motherhood

Suddenly Homeschooling

And just like that overnight I became a teacher on top of my other motherly talents. Like most of the suddenly homeschooling parents out there I am kind of nervous on how this year is going to go but also excited. I am eager to set up our new little classroom and eager for our new curriculum to arrive in the mail. It will definitely be an adjustment for everyone but I am not worried. I gave birth to them after all and being a teacher is basically what I have done all of their lives and continue to do everyday. I just hope that I can make it as much fun as possible.
I have a mental checklist that I am running through I feel like most days I seem to forget something but I am working diligently to get it all together on top of everything else I do daily. We fortunately already have a area that will be our learning room it is normally a play room but it will work perfectly for a learning space in the mornings or whenever the learning takes place. We originally ordered our school supplies through the school my kids would have attended if it weren’t for COVID so just gotta get them when they arrive. I ordered some nifty containers from Lakeshore Learning for holding their books and they will work great for storing them out of the way after school has ended each day. It is just a special space that is unique for each boy in a color that is his own. I want to make things fun and make it unique for each of them. We opted out of backpack’s this year because we aren’t going anywhere so other options for that seemed like the way to go!

Our set up so far is a long white folding table set up in the corner of our play/learning room with some folding chairs that can be tucked away when we are not using them. The room has a closet that will double as a pantry/school supply room as well. This will keep little people out of important things. We are currently trying to accomplish a whole bunch of tasks in our house and homeschooling just happens to be one of the many. We are expanding our pantry area from the kitchen to the closet I mentioned a minute ago and the basement for longer term food storage. There are quite a few things happening in our household at the moment and at times it just seems impossible to accomplish but we are doing our best. If I had any advice for other people in the same situation as myself I would say that you just need to do what is best for you and your family. The opinions of everyone else can easily cloud your judgement but in the end you need to do you! Don’t worry about having the perfect set up for a homeschooling environment if this is what you want to do just do it. Simply sitting at the kitchen table will do just fine. Our learning area is far from perfect, it is just me doing what works for our family.


Today I was asked why we chose to go the home school route and just completely take our kids out of school instead of opting for the remote learning through our local school. My answer is complicated because our decision wasn’t just made up over one simple thing. Instead there were quite a lot of factors. 1.) Remote learning for our school was something you could apply for but it was not guaranteed for your family to get it. 2.) If we were to get chosen I would wonder who did not get chosen because we did and those people may not even have the option to do full on homeschooling as a back up. 3.) If we weren’t chosen then it might be too far into the school thing to back out and just do homeschooling because in our state there are cut off dates for certain learning options. 4.) If we were chosen for remote learning we would also be at the mercy of the school in the fact that what if they decided to cancel remote learning because it wasn’t working for them; therefore we would have to attend in person school in the end. 5.) At the tail end of last school year when schools closed down due to the beginning of COVID-19 both my husband & I felt that the system in play for sending work home was super unorganized; so I question how organized would it be this year only a few months later. 6.) Would the curriculum be at your pace or would my 1st grader fall behind if we weren’t quite ready to go to the next assignment. 7.) They only offered remote learning for Kindergarten and upwards so my preschooler would not be apart of the school year and we would still have to find something for him to do through the year.
For all of these various reasons we decided that the remote learning option at our local school wasn’t going to work for us. We will miss our school but I know it is for the best; I also have a feeling that this is only the beginning for us and that just maybe we will not be returning back to an actual school anytime soon! If you too are having mixed feelings about taking that plunge just know that in the end you need to do what is best for your family. Weigh out the pros and cons if you really don’t know the right path to take. We are lucky enough to be able to do this but we sort of felt like we didn’t really have a choice and it really was a no brainer. We didn’t like the feeling of playing with our kids lives taking this big chance. With cases going up dramatically in our area and school hasn’t been in session for months now, nobody knows what is going to happen when school starts on August 26th 2020. I feel like it is not going to work for a lot of schools I think that it is a big mistake to start school this Fall and that this needs to be planned out further than just a few months; when the schools close as I do believe that they will close I don’t want out family to get caught up in the whirlwind of chaos that will come along with it.


I have done some research recently just to see what other schools in the US are doing as far as COVID-19 procedures and day to day procedures. I also have looked into what other schools in other countries have done. To me it really looks more like an institutionalized prison really rather than a traditional school. School is supposed to have a fun feel to them where kids are free to be kids for the most part, but most of the classroom & school set ups on YouTube and the articles that I have read online just seem troubling to me and sort of impossible. As a mom I cannot see kids especially little kids having to wear masks and face shields all day long five days a week. It just doesn’t seem realistic. Then you add in the social distancing they are setting as basic rules for little kids to not do what little kids do just seems like a fantasy. It will not go the way they anticipate it to go is what I think will happen. I am glad we chose not to go that route. Things are already terrifying enough without that added unknown of what our kids would be exposed to on a daily basis. We have made our decision, the one that is best for us. I encourage anyone else to make the best decision for their family no matter what it is!

Thanks for reading this post! Drop a like below and follow this blog. Follow me on my social media & stay tuned in for more posts coming soon, they are not quite everyday but they are coming as I find the time for writing with everything else going on! I have some new DIY craft posts coming out soon as some of our homeschooling tools need to be made instead of bought so trying to make that as fun as possible!

Motherhood

DIY Toilet Paper Roll Binoculars

During the month of July & into August before school starts I will be sharing fun at home projects to do with your kids. Most will be inside because it has been super HOT where we live and my boys have just become super bored lately. They are about done with summer and want to go back to school. I will be sharing some fun at home crafts/activities me and my boys will be doing along with step by step instructions and pictures so you can do them as well!
Summer with my kids has been pretty wild they are always looking for some sort of adventure so what better than making a pair of DIY pair of binoculars. My little guys love pretending to do just about anything and with this fun little craft they can use their binoculars for all kinds of adventures through out each day.

DIY Toilet Paper Roll Binoculars


What You Need

  • (2) Empty TP Rolls or (1) Empty paper towel roll cut in half per pair of Binoculars
  • Roll of String or Yarn. (Optional)
  • Scissors (if you need to cut a paper towel roll in half & for cutting string)
  • Tape or Glue (Elmer’s White Glue)
  • Decorative Paper, Stickers, Or Markers for decorating. (could even use paint)(or do what we did)

Directions

1) First you take your tp tubes and decorate them however you wish to decorate them. (We ended up combining steps 1 & 2 together by turning our white Elmer’s Glue into paint by adding food coloring to it. Then we used old brushes & painted the tubes, then stuck them together and let them dry).

2) Next Glue the two tubes together like the picture below. You will need to clamp them together applying pressure until the glue dries enough to set down for further drying and so it doesn’t come apart when you do set it down.

3) This last step is optional especially if you have little kids and are worried about strings being around their necks. For this step poke two holes in each of the outer sides of the tubes and measure the string needed by tying one end to one side of the binoculars and see how far you would like it to hang down. Cut the string at the desired length and tie the other end to the other side of the binoculars.


Enjoy New Kinds of Adventures

Thanks for reading this post. Drop a like. Follow this blog & follow me on social media. Come back for the next Fun DIY project/activity; Baking Soda & Vinegar Volcano Experiment. In the mean time check out my last DIY project HERE.

Motherhood

Gardening 2020: What I Learned

I have had many gardens in the past all in the ground as using containers in the past have been total losses. This year I got a late start to things as it was being that I was at a hospital from late February to middle of April with my youngest son. I didn’t have the time or really equipment I needed to get the ground ready to plant directly in for all the things that I planted; but this year was a good way to learn. Even being away I was trying my best to prepare by ordering seeds & things I needed to plant a food supply for the summer. I ordered online due to covid-19 and because in the area I was in was a big city. It was highly advised to not go to the stores and at the very end of being up there at the hospital they wouldn’t let you into the NICU if you had been out and about, plus why would I put my child’s life in danger by going to stores. Anyways back to the ordering; online shopping hadn’t quite gotten backed up but little did I know it was about to. Everything I bought or wanted to buy was either very low stock when I bought it or the things that were out were well out! Everyone went nuts, people who weren’t even thinking about planting a garden was now planting a garden; way back I decided my family & I were going to have a garden this year but I didn’t want to get things too early in the year since at that time it was wintery outside. Never will I think like that again, ever. I think my new motto will be always be prepared; even if you don’t need it now.
In the middle of April my son & I returned home; I needed to get things planted but had to wait a week until they came in the mail. I started my heirloom seeds out in ice cube trays, egg cartons, & any small containers I could find. While they grew from seeds to seedlings I got a section of my yard plowed by hand coming to the conclusion that I need the grass to be killed or I need a machine because I had just given birth not too long before so everything was still a little sore. Plus I felt weak still because I had been on bed rest prior to birth for a few weeks. I was able to get a plot of ground tilled up by hand for my corn; but then decided to give container gardening a try just to get the food in the dirt and growing. I wanted to do a variety of food I settled with these: Romaine Lettuce, Baby Spinach, Beefsteak Tomatoes, Roma Tomatoes, Watermelon(not sure on variety), pumpkins(just to see if I could get them to grow), broccoli, bell peppers, garlic, sweet peas, green onions (from grocery store scraps), & sweet corn.

This is a current picture of my garden today. My corn went through an apparent wind storm or what I have concluded that some animal jumped off of my fence down into the stalks luckily not damaging them too badly. I used an old shirt cut in strips and some stakes to tie them up until they get strong enough on their own again to stand freely. As of this morning they have put on silk and ears of corn are starting to grow.
Now for the rest of the garden its a rather sad site. I have decided I planted too many plants in my containers in some. I recently moved three tomato plants out of the bucket in hopes to save them put them in the ground. The ground where the buckets are setting on has a tarp under neath to keep the grass & weeds down as well as to make a plot ready for next year. I am going to be readying a new plot area for next years garden here in the future and will write about how I do that. When I planted the tomatoes into the ground all I had to do was easily dig because under the tarp the grass & weeds were non-existent. Now I know I have too much planted in other buckets as well; I am at a junction where I could transplant them to the ground but I just am so dissapointed in how my garden has turned out I don’t really think I care at this point. I just want to do what I can do this year then restart next year. I am also worried that the plants if transplanted will die rather than root in the ground. Seeing how it has been death heat outside lately it is near impossible to in turn do any kind of outside manual labor anyways with out heat stroke. I will say this the tomato plants I have planted in the ground have started to fruit versus the ones in the buckets which have not. I read/learned that if you prune off the lower leafs of your tomato plants that will help them grow better so I have done that the best I can.

For everything else I am just trying to wait & see what happens. I have a couple of watermelons starting to grow; I learned that as long as you have a plan to support the weight of the melons you can grow them in containers. My plan is a work in progress… My lettuce & spinach died the first week of planting. The broccoli is a failure, you see in my area we have those stupid Japanese beetles that eat everything and I am afraid after finding them in my garden recently they have gotten my broccoli for sure. Also my broccoli has started to flower which is not great if any of you have ever grown broccoli; when the broccoli plant starts to flower from what I have read and experienced the vegetable will almost never grow. It started to grow then in garden terms it bolted and has done so because of the extreme heat recently. I am hoping it can be saved and I am going to be reading and researching what can be done with the plant even if it has bolted.

If anyone has any suggestions for everything else please help me out. I think I will be planting the peppers in the ground directly as they seem to be thriving and I feel they are less likely to die during the transplant like a lot of other plants. In my conclusion for my growing season which is not yet over for some of my plants unlike others it is. I will be doing my in the ground planting next year and will be able to be more prepared. My plan is to placing tarps or heavy mats over the ground areas through the winter into spring so that the grass & weeds do not grow. And then I will be able to work the ground a little easier since I do not have a tiller of my own. I will be changing the location of the garden as well; it just isn’t a big enough space for a full sized garden and it isn’t very easily accessible. I kind of just threw this years together quickly as I didn’t plan on being put on bed rest as no one really ever does. That unexpected event changed my plans for sure then on top of that along came covid-19.
My advice for other people having similar issues with gardening is to plan it out. Make a set plan; plan ahead because everyone is going to want to grow their own food now and some may still continue to do it next year as well. Make a list of what you are going to do, what supplies you will need, and when/where everything is going to go. Gather supplies that go on clearance at the end of this season at your local stores to plan for next year. If you get seeds make sure you store them in an air tight water proof container out of the sun so they will last until next year. If you plan on taking seeds from this years harvests you will need to do that properly here is a video link that takes you through that process, via Roots and Refuge Farm. In the video she explains the process as well as some helpful tips on making sure your fruit/vegetables are pure when they put fruit on.

Things may have not gone the way I had planned but I will still make due with what I have been given for this years harvest to come. I still have some plants that will give a good bounty. I will take the knowledge I learned from this years planting/growing season and use it next year to hopefully have a better season with even more next time I plant. If you have had similar experiences with gardening don’t give up, its a learning experience that will help you get better at gardening for years to come. You just have to stick with it and keep on trying until you get it!

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Adventure

When Kids Feel Sick: Feel better in 5 Steps

After tending to a sick baby for most of the day and not getting the best sleep in the world I am just a little on the worn down side today. That is parenthood for you! Enjoy that freedom when your young and kid free, because once you cross that boundary your life will have officially changed. Your in new territory from then on out. And I wouldn’t trade it for nothing in the world. How my heart aches when I have a sick baby; even when they are not babies anymore. There is nothing like it; you just do the best that you can to make them feel the best they can. All of those extra snuggles sure are the best, for someday they won’t need you anymore. I wish I could trade places with them when they are feeling icky; but by doing some of these simple steps I always seem to make them feel just a little bit better!

  • After getting a quick temp check; (this varies by age of the child) I decide whether they will need Tylenol or other fever reducing over the counter medicines. Sometimes they don’t have a fever and if they do it depends on what that temp is to consider going to the doctors. Luckily my little one today didn’t have a real high one as he had just gotten regular immunization shots yesterday so this is expected. I will continue to check the temp through out the day.
  • Next depending on the age; I will wet the hair of my older boys down with warm water so it does not shock their little bodies by using cold. The water being warm helps keep them from getting chills as well. Wetting the hair helps cool the rest of the body down without having to give them full body showers. If you have ever had a sick kid in a shower or bath and are running a temp they will not want to be in there no matter how warm it is. I have found that a good middle ground is just wetting the hair thoroughly. This method will cool them down but if they have a real high temp it will dry out quick so keep an eye on it. On days where the doctors offices are closed or its a weekend I will do this alongside medicine on my older boys to try and maintain a cooler temperature hoping to avoid the ER. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but most of the time it does!
  • Keeping them wrapped up is the next thing I do with everyone; I bundle those little guys up with a nice warm blanket and just hold them if they will let me. Usually they will because who doesn’t enjoy snuggling with their mom. I keep a very close eye on every one of my boys when they are sick; so no worries on if they are getting too hot. I wouldn’t try to break a fever in the baby just so we are on the same page if his gets too much for comfort away we will go to the doctors or ER. With my older boys I will try to break the fever.
  • Everyone in my household knows that water, Gatorade (or an equivalent), & soup are what you get when you are sick. The sickness special; to keep you hydrated through the day and to keep your tummy happy. Overdoing it on the heavy food or drinks are a huge no, no! We tend to stay away from dairy products even if its a cold due to all of that mucous that builds up. Kids don’t seem to be able to clear their heads the best either so clear broths are the way to go! Occasionally icy pops are good to have too especially if your throat is on the sore side and if ice-cream is all too tempting. We want to stray from the dairy as much as possible.
  • Relaxing is one of the best ways to help combat that sickness. Giving your body the rest it needs will do the most healing. When you sleep you regain energy and helps you get better even if you still feel sickly and weak. Seeing my boys at this low point is heart breaking; they should be playing and laughing. Instead are sick and lying around. It’s not fun for anyone but being able to give them the rest they need will help them get better quicker.

After going through these steps repeating them as needed throughout our day of being sick; they will start to come out of it. They will start laughing and playing; getting back to normal. Now sometimes we have to go to the doctors for that extra help if its real bad; but days like today where it wasn’t that bad just a low grade fever those days are welcomed. Those days are not that bad even if they are sick; days like today can be managed. I am thankful that today was a manageable sick day; it takes some of that stress off of a mama’s shoulders. I still worry, I still stress, & I will still keep that extra eye on him but it feels like a good day all in all. Now to just get back to sleeping all night; that may take some time! It will happen though, I just know it.

Thanks for taking the time to read. Drop a like below. I’ve got to get back to this parenting thing, but look for a new post soon!

Adventure

One. Two. Three!

1,2,3 push that is one of the last things I remember before my first son made his appearance into the world. He was my first preemie baby; one of three boys it was 2014, I was young-er. My husband and I had not met yet and I was now a single parent to a 4lb baby who would have to stay in the NICU for a whole month. A month is not a very long time in the NICU as I know others have had much longer stays and more medical issues than we ended up having. He was a quick birth after being induced for the first time due to my luck of having preeclampsia. Even though he was only 4 lbs 1 oz at birth he had no other huge medical problems just a slight bit of jaundice. It was a waiting game after that cleared up. He just needed to grow and learn how to eat without a feeding tube.

It was one of the scariest periods of my life because not only was I now in charge of another life that little life was so tiny! I felt like I was going to do something that was wrong. Of course I knew that he was mine-my son but at the same time all the nurses were constantly taking care of him in and out of his room round the clock just felt so overwhelming at times! Its like your on a different planet which makes the NICU a place that takes some getting used to. So yeah its ok to feel out of your element! Before I knew it I grabbed the bull by the horns and little by little I put that fear away. At 4 lbs he had IV’s sticking out of his tiny body with cords and tubes hanging off of him at every direction. When you have your first baby you don’t expect to have to push a call light just to hold that baby. It’s like asking for permission to hold your own kid. It makes you feel out of your element, to the point that it just changes you. Yeah normally when you have a child everything is different but this is something more it gives you a whole new perspective that some people never have to experience so they could only imagine what it feels like but never actually know.

After a month which felt like a whole lifetime we were able to go home I had still been living at home with my amazing parents who helped me through everything. I am very thankful for everything they did at that time in my life and all that they continue to do. Mason my first boy was now 5 lbs almost 6 lbs and ready to leave the hospital. This was a day that I looked forward to for so long but when it finally arrived I kind of didn’t want to leave. I thought to myself how could things get any scarier? It almost has to happen that way that feeling of the unknown as something to fear because how can you ever over come it if it doesn’t pose some kind of challenge to you whether it is fear or whatever else. There we were the new normal learning the in’s and out’s of our new mother son relationship getting to know each other bonding over that next year. If you were to ask me did it ever feel less scary? like did that fear ever go away? I would have to give you an honest answer; no it never goes away not then and not now! It’s not that it is constantly hanging over my head forcing me into a cowardly stance, it is more like I know its there. Knowing it is there allows me to be more cautious with everything, I am careful to not let that fearfulness overpower me. When fear overpowers you is when it wins, it gets a hold on you and won’t let you go. Time went on.
When he was almost two years of age our mother son duo changed adding in that missing piece to our puzzle; to someone looking into my life from the outside it would appear that I tend to do things a bit backwards but I think it’s just how I do things. Everyone is different. We got married some time later, then as you’d expect welcomed our next little guy into our lives.

Now two out of three of my births which in case you just had to know were all natural yeah i’m a real trooper. Anyways two of the three were babies born around the same gestational age of 34 weeks. My second was not one of them. I love all of my children the same but after going through my first being born early I was relieved that my next one didn’t want to make a real early arrival. Mr. Oliver came at about 38 weeks, my doctors must not have very high hopes for me having good sized babies because once again they were worried I was gonna have another large baby, because on top of the preeclampsia with my first born they were also worried I would give birth to a real chunky baby. Every part of me is thankful they were very wrong! He was 6 lbs and some change. No real trouble with him either just another perfect boy. I now was mother to two little boys, who would have each other for the rest of their lives. Instant best friends! Things were less scarier the second time around for me at least because I had experienced the thick of it and was just ready for any kind of storm. My husband however was not…I am just glad he didn’t pass out during all the bloody parts I guess keeping his eyes focused on filming the whole thing kept him distracted. And I still to this day have no idea what kind of person wants to film a birth especially since it wasn’t our camera. Maybe I should feel something about that but if it saved him from spending the birth passed out on the floor I think I can let that slide!

With both my first and second I did epidurals which since they were both quick births and they were messed up during the epidural process I felt most of everything but still ended up numb in the end after it all. With my third baby I decided to go with out an epidural. You would think I was making this up but of course baby number three would be my longest birthing time ever and sure enough just when I thought that wasn’t enough the pain came and hit me way harder than my first two babies ever did! I know I had options, it was just after already having two births prior with epidurals I wanted to do one without all of that junk. It was odd as the first 5 hrs wasn’t too terribly bad. Then those contractions hit me and hard, I was about 7 cm dilated when suddenly it got ten times worse. That doctor swore to me I had another 20-30 minutes time before it would be time according to where I was dilated to. She’s then also said that if I wanted an epidural I could still do that. She sugar coated those words of deceit. I took the bait. In the next 5 or 10 minutes time my next boy made his way into this world. The pain switched from fender bender real quick to train wreck. I went from 7 to the whole 10 in like 5 minutes time! Into the world my last little boy made his way and then the pain subsided he was at 34 weeks gestational age, another planned induction due to the impending doom of preeclampsia. He wasn’t near as tiny as his oldest brother weighing in at 5 lbs 6 oz I believe but he would have to stay in the hospital for a month and a half due to Leo being born with more medical issues. He had difficulty figuring out how to breath so he had to be reminded by being hooked up to CPAP for about 2 weeks, it forces air into the lungs. Then he was on an IV for a couple weeks as well and then his bilirubin levels were off which is what causes jaundice he spent a few weeks under the UV light inside his incubator until those levels got to a comfortable range. A lot of these things are normal for premature babies I just had not had the experience with them being a NICU mom in the past. He had a feeding tube from just after birth up until a couple weeks before being allowed to go home. That was one of the scariest things that I experienced with both of my NICU babies because if it gets pulled out especially while its dispensing food in their tummies it can cause aspiration and then they have a real bad time over it when that happens. Leo didn’t pull his out but maybe once compared to his brother who was a pro. Still it is terrifying.

Leo has had a lot of re-flux issues since his birth, so he has to stay at an incline when laying down, but other than that it hasn’t been too bad. The older he gets the better his re-flux spells of spitting up choking and holding his breath then trying to recover from it all get less and less terrifying. He still spits up from time to time though, especially now that he is on formula completely. Leo stayed in the NICU for a month and a half after his birth and before that I had been hospitalized on bed rest due to high blood pressure for a month.

He will not remember our stay but I sure will; it was during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the nation and the world. It was one of the most terrifying times of being in a hospital. Things went from happy to dreary really quickly that’s for sure. Then on top of things one of the main places that people with confirmed cases at the time were being sent to the facility across from where my son was in the hospital. Imagine having to willingly go into a hospital everyday when a pandemic is just lurking around the corner! I didn’t have access to any face coverings besides my shirt & no gloves. I opened doors with napkins or pressed the automatic button with my shoe then quickly wiped that shoe off like it had the plague; I used what little hand sanitizers I had sparingly and then used the hospitals when I was there to save my own for a later time since I sure wasn’t going to go to no store. I washed my hands to the point where they were so dried out and I could have used some hand lotion to help them heal. However it was highly advised not to go to the stores at all by the hospital. I rode that pandemic train through the thick of it; they put security check points at all entrances when things started picking up in cases. It finally got to a point where only employees and pediatric parents were allowed to enter the entire hospital. You talk about crazy! It was one VIP experience I would rather not attend in the future! After so long there it feels like it was a dream at times but now that we are home everyone is so thankful we are not still there!

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