I am a SAHM.  I should get used to it.

I am a working mom—yet find myself home nearly every day with my kids.  And it’s glorious but not glamorous.

I had a lot of fun one day documenting segments of my day with my kids.

Here is my glorious but definitely not glamorous life.

Get popcorn!

Xob

What you do for your children’s critters!

Is Cami finally happy 😉 ?  Nah.

Two kittens found their way into our basement.  The kids were thrilled!

Seriously—my bald baby has no idea how disgustingly dirty our basement floor actually is.  Gag!

If I wasn’t already the overly tired nearly 40 yr old mother of toddlers—I would have more energy for this 😉

Yes…to reiterate—I am wearing clothes.  Just meant I couldn’t head outside because was too chilly for my basketball shorts, tank top, and flip flops 😉

I actually filmed so many more but they refused to download.  Perhaps it was an electronic rebellion,eh?!

God bless—and kiss those crazy babies.  Glamorous or glorious—all moments are treasures.

Xo b

Don’t travel with toddlers. Ever.

Perhaps it’s because I’m a new mother.  Or perhaps it’s because I never travel—especially long distances.  But I learned my lesson.  And I learned it good.

It’s 2am and I am up.  And my toddler is up.  And I don’t foresee sleep in either of our futures.  At least sleep at night.

This is why I write this warning.

Don’t travel with toddlers.  Ever!

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***

Now, on the facetious side of it all—

I am not a new mother.  I have 3 kids, and my oldest (now 9 years of age) was lugged on an airplane crossing state lines at 3 weeks and crossing an entire continent and ocean and half another continent at 6 weeks.  She has since then been on 4 continents (which is 1 more than I have been to as her 39-year-old mother).

My middle—the current toddler that is wide eyed and not so cute at 2am (smile and wink) has been in 4 countries in his 3 years and 2 months of life.  3 of those countries he has traveled to via plane.  Only one via car—and that was to be whisked to an emergency room in Germany.

My youngest—my baby—she’s traveled a couple cross-Atlantic flights with me since 5 months of age.

And my recommendation stands:  Don’t travel with toddlers.  Ever.

Seriously.

Sleeping solutions used to pour down his throat?

Nope.  No good.

Keeping the devil (I mean angel) up all day so he’ll sleep all night?

Fail.

Bribery?

Threatening?

TV?

Nothing puts the kid to sleep.

Not even mommy’s weeping and gnashing of teeth.

And so I lug on—sleepless.  Wild-eyed.  Crying.

Worse than the toddler.

Leaving my husband to pick up all pieces of the house—and the three kids.  And the three dogs.  And the water turtle.  And the chameleon.

And the dishes.  And the laundry.  And the mess the little toddler tornados make every other second.

Wait.

Perhaps this isn’t so bad after all—for me?

A little late night TV to myself.  A little late-night snacking.  A little mid-morning nap.  A little no-cleaning????

And a hubby that runs ragged after everything appreciating me more and more with each passing moment.

I was wrong.  I take it back.

Travel with toddlers.

And then use them as your excuse to stay up late.  Sleep in.  And do nothing!

It’s like living the Mother’s Day Every Day dream, my friends!

Bon voyage!  And don’t forget the baby!

Babies Don’t Keep. It’s so true. So sit down and rock your sleeping one.

babies don't keep

After my daughter’s end-of-the-year ceremony at school, I held my youngest as she slept.  I initially felt HORRIBLE sitting and holding her.  I had a mountain of dishes and laundry to do.  When you have two toddlers at home, every precious moment they sleep is a small miracle that needs to be used and abused by doing what you CAN’T === absolutely CAN’T do when they are awake.  Because, if you have lived with toddlers, you know that when they are awake they take over the world.  Serious world dominion takes place.  Especially when they are only a year apart, can’t breathe without the other, have no boundaries on climbing walls, and LOVE to take everything out of the trash.  And the mystery of it all is that they seem to do it all in one breath!

But I sat anyway.  And within moments, I felt so completely at peace with my decision that I held my daughter for an entire hour while she slept.  I literally did nothing but hold her and enjoy the peace of her being.  Her breathing.  Her cherub face.  Her small fingers.  Her chubby legs.

And I took in the warm breaths against my chest and I savored the feeling of completeness that my children bring me.

I loved it.

And I am so glad that I don’t look back at that moment with regret.  Regret about not using my time to do the dishes.  Regret about the time to do the laundry.  Regret about the time I had to sip a coffee and have a few mommy-alone moments (because right now I don’t even get those in the bathroom.  haha!).

Most of us have probably heard the story of the nurse from Australia that worked with hospice patients at the end of their lives—and the one thing she learned from them was that their lives were full of only 1 regret:  Not spending enough time with their families.

Therefore, I sat.  I smelled.  I held.  I cherished.  Through my baby’s sleep, I lived.  And through my quiet moments with her, I learned.   I learned that time spent with my children is the most valuable time I will ever spend.

I encourage you today—choose your children because Babies Don’t Keep.

“Babies Don’t Keep”
Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Author Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

This is my life…

well, i just always want to write, but my mind is one huge blank sheet of paper.  so tired.  and pretty much filled with only toddlers.

yes, i would love to say that they are inspirational writing prompts—but, really, they are simply just inspirational life suckers 😉

take last night—we finally arrive home after an entire afternoon celebrating children’s day in kalisz (a couple hours from our home) when i throw them in the bathtub thinking that they’ll love to play.  before long, the bathtub stinks and the water is colored.

sure enough.  josephine soiled our tub.

so i pull out two wet babies and take them to the shower now—draining the tub.  then they play for an hour in the shower.

as i pull them out, wrap towels around them and bring them to the living room to diaper them and put them in pjs for bed, josephine promptly went number one on the carpet.

then max—unpottytrained max—decided that peeing on the carpet looked like fun, so he said, now i go pee pee here (and proceeded to pretend pee on the carpet).

yes.  my mind is blank.

but happy.

and my children are poopy messes.

but happy.

and this is all i can write—because my brain functions not.

oh—and our dogs are locked up all day during our home renovations and the minute they got out they broke the neighbor dogs leg by jumping all over it (yes, the dog is fine and the vet fixed the leg and we paid for the leg and the dog is still happy—so PHEW there :)).

yes…i wonder why i can’t write?

no, i pretty much know why 🙂

hope you enjoy our photos anyway.  haha!

xoxo from here to there,

b

(messy josephine after a good day of playing in the dirt and eating oreos…and the new life center—see bread of life ministries on Facebook—and max butt naked but phased out.  yes.  this is my life and i THANK GOD for it.  truly.)

jojobaby

newlifecentercrew (1)

America you are still getting it wrong about breastfeeding.

nursing at christmas with the entire family around

So the other day I stumbled upon an article that was scrolling on Yahoo (I believe). It mentioned something along the lines of breastfeeding at church.

I answered that I most certainly did. Such is life when you are teaching Sunday school and have a newborn baby.

Another article that was on the same thread, however, said that in Brazil someone can get fined for heckling a breastfeeding mother—and the woman that wrote implied that maybe it’s a good idea.

I responded that while I am not for fining people, we need to teach our children that breastfeeding is natural. My son finds breastfeeding so natural that he asks if he can also nurse GoGo Baby (my daughter).

The commenter following me was most visibly upset with my answer—she haughtily stated, (I’ll paraphrase) “I AM NOT OPPOSED TO BREASTFEEDING…” (oh really????) “BUT I DO NOT WANT MY SON TO BE ABLE TO DESCRIBE YOUR SHAPE AND COLOR OF YOUR BREAST IN DETAIL!”

Eye roll and GAG, please!

America…You are still getting it SOOO wrong and THIS is why it is this ridiculous issue.

Did you know there was a time that the ankle, shoulder or bare leg was considered taboo? Oooo-la-la too sexy?!

Tell me, do you wear shorts or flip flops? Do you wear tank tops?

I am fairly certain at some point in your day or wardrobe you are exposing such sexiness—you beast!

In my very STRONG opinion…If YOU stop making such a big deal about the breast of a nursing mother—especially in FRONT of your son—then when he asks, he will understand that you are feeding your baby and move right along and play.

But, NO, woman responder of mine. YOU are the reason that breastfeeding remains a taboo in America even though you VEHEMENTLY cry that it is not.

***

Above photo was me nursing at Christmas in Norway—no blanket—surrounded by family-my husband snapped while I was enjoying my moment.  I chose not to put other nursing pictures on for fear of a cyber lynching 😉  

In my opinion, however, they are some of my most favorite photos of moments in time with my babies.

The Return of GoGo Baby and her Momma…

Last year I shared a photo when my husband returned after a month of travels to Africa. It was of my daughter and son—and my son simply laid his head on my husband’s lap, in awe of his daddy and his closeness and presence.

Sometimes as the mom, since we are typically the “No” parent, we wonder how our presence is felt when we are not there or what our homecoming would be like.

After all, Daddy is always “So Much Fun!” and the “Tickle Fight King!” And the list goes on…

Me, as Mommy—Well, I am the do your homework, clean your room, brush your teeth—EXCUSE ME?! lady.

Yet. Just yet…They must have missed me quite a bit these past two weeks when I went to America to help my mommy out (she broke her shoulder and had emergency surgery) because I got a glorious homecoming from the one that made me a momma and the other that fought with his entire being to live (and live he did thanks to the Grace of God and your prayers around the world)…

And Daddy got his baby back. His final baby. She was tired and in shock. And just as cuddly as could be. She is her daddy’s girl—although in the photo, you may wonder 😉 Chalk it up to jet travels. The two days we have been home since, she has trailed after him in the home continually shouting, “Dadda! Dadda! Dadda!” and then just stares and smiles at him until he responds.

All in all, my journey finally brought me home to my babies and my Richie…And Josephine and I couldn’t be happier. Because together, as 5, we are complete.

Xo for now from here to there. My next cultural blog post will be…
Europe! It makes it easy for you to get fat.

So stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy our glorious reunion…

b

waitingwhen is momma going to come?

Waiting for Momma…

daddy's baby is back!gogo baby has arrived

But GoGo Baby came first!

mommy's home!

After I gathered all the luggage, I finally arrived.

And I was in heaven with my hugs and cuddles.

i get them both!complete!

Rich and I still have yet to take a photo.  It’s probably because we are now in survival mode with jet lag taking over the warped bodies and minds of Brooke and Josephine.  But we get to go to Kalisz on Thursday for the celebration dinner from our Christmas in the Square (raising money for children with cancer) event.  Perhaps then we’ll snap a childless shot together.  And, maybe-just maybe, I won’t fall asleep at the event.  We will have to wait and see.

Ciao for now (or Pa in Polish).

As always.  We love you…

B and R

I broke my bra. The saga of nursing in America!

About 200 eyes fixated on me. The tired and weary, haggard world traveler that had been toting my 11-month-old halfway across the world all day. We were two airplanes down, 2 continents nearly flown completely over. More time zones than I know. And one Atlantic Ocean safely crossed.

I was tired. Baby was tired. And we had time before our last flight. That’s when it hit me! My epiphany! Pure brilliance.

Problem. I was now in America and America makes it REALLY hard for me to be brilliant.

So this is how the story goes…

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I have 3 children.  THREE!  And I have raised most of them in Poland. Land of the free.  Free to nurse, that is.

I am not a hootie-hider, cover myself, hide in the bathroom stall, nursing momma.  I am a very European, baby needs to eat, nurse your child while you continue to have conversation and sip your latte, type of woman.

To be honest—I drive my lovely American girlfriends batty.  They all offer me hootie-hiding contraptions all of the time.

No.Thank.You, my lovely friends.

On my way to America, I nursed my baby on flight number one while seated next to a MBA student from Mexico.  No problem.  And then she slept.  The entire plane’s passengers, if they weren’t in such a hurry to hustle to their connecting flights, would probably have liked to thank me for it.

Plane number 2.  The big one.  The nearly 11-hour-flight one.  Swedish University Student to my left, Polish business couple to my right.  Me.  Smack in the middle.  Nursed my baby multiple times while carrying on conversations.  Bam!  Super happy baby.  All 11 hours.  Super happy passengers all around me.

Plane number 3.  Take off and landing on American soil.  Uh-oh!  I already could sense the trouble.  Americans LOVE organic.  Must pay super duper lots of money for healthy produce, healthy meat, healthy diet regimens, and healthy air filters, and healthy…Okay.  You get the idea.

But, heaven forbid, a woman nurse her child in public.  And then America is out for UNHEALTHY, UNSANITARY, UNCOMFORTABLE…No baby boobies in public, please!

But do you think that stops me?!  Well…As I glanced around at the 100 plus uncomfortable looking people, I thought to myself, I will be uber kind today and nurse before the airplane.  THAT WAY…That way, baby will be fed, happy, and sleep the entire flight from Colorado to Arizona.  Baby wins.  Uber sensitive American traveling passengers win.  All around, everyone wins.

But, you see…America has the problem with fixation and sensationalizing everything.

The minute that I sat down to discreetly nurse (not using a hootie hider but still able to usually nurse very politely), it seemed as if the news media brought out cameras and everyone—old, young, male, female…EVERYONE could only focus on me—the nursing mom.  My baby.  Oh heavens, you soon-to-be-travelers.  You woke the sleeping giant!

As all eyes were on me.  Literally.  Stopping.  Staring.  Focusing on my plight and struggle.  As all eyes were on me, my baby grew more and more agitated.  And the more I tried to politely nurse, the more and more people stopped, turned, and stared.

Not wanting to become the National Headliner that a lot of nursing moms become, I tried to be even more careful—by this time, baby is tired (in her time, it was nearly 3am), I have completely covered myself up, and now the entire room of waiting passengers can’t seem to do anything but stare at my chest, my screaming baby, and the fact that I am TRYING to discreetly nurse.  Seriously?  Doesn’t everyone have smart phones nowadays?  Can’t they get on them and find SOMETHING else to do?  Anything?  Nope?  Nothing???

And that’s when it happened.  Baby was tired of American etiquette and went all Hulk-like on momma!

Josephine, apparently, did not care if mommy was about to make national news by offending fellow travelers and nursing in public.  My 11-month-old was like, “Oh yeah, take that!”  And pop!  There you have it.  She broke my bra and finished nursing.

Yep.  My bra broke.  The saga of nursing in America.  And there is a moral to this story.

Here it is:

If you are uncomfortable when a mommy is trying to nurse her baby, perhaps turn a different direction and go about your own business.  Otherwise, baby will make sure you are SUPER uncomfortable later .

And like Kenny Rogers sings, “You’ve got to know when to hold em; know when to fold em; know when to walk away; know when to RUN…” because this nursing momma ain’t going nowhere!