Listen to your children when they talk about their bodies…

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“Adelyne, what is your greatest fear right now,” I asked my 11-year-old over a private Italian dinner we were eating, just the two of us, following the EEG she just had in Poznan, Poland.

“My biggest fear,” she repeated the question.

“Yes, with all that has been going on in your life, what is your current greatest fear,” I wanted to hear the heart of my daughter, and I had her alone, no little brothers or sisters to distract her.  Just Ada and Momma.  Together.

“The fear of being afraid,” she replied.

It makes tears come into my eyes right now.

If there is one thing we want to do as parents, it is to protect our children.  To be their stalwarts.  To be their walls.  To be their protections.  To be their everything.

And then you realize you can’t.

Unless you lock your child in a bubble, never letting them escape the house, you will quickly come to realize that you cannot be your child’s everything.

With the very act of living, they will experience many different joys and pains.

And sometimes, in that living, they experience very scary moments.

A little over a month ago, my daughter experienced at school what she describes as a heart attack.  She then spent the next three days in a foreign hospital, hooked up to heart monitors and enduring multiple blood draws and tests to see what is going on with her body.

Then, not even 3 weeks after that, she experienced what is described as seizure-like behaviors before slipping in and out of semi-consciousness.  Once again, at school.

This daughter of mine.  It’s not that she is completely fearless—but, out of EVERYONE I know in the world, she is the bravest kid that I know.  She has traveled the world. She has surfed.  She has crossed borders.  She has been surrounded by machine guns on territory where we literally have NO voice.  And she hasn’t even batted an eye.

So for her to say that her biggest fear is fear itself, makes me, as her mom, sad.  The freedom for her to live a life of great adventure is the greatest gift I wish to give her.  And now she is wondering if she will be okay to ride her bike.  Or swim.  Or paddle board.

Will she surf again?

Can she jump off a mountain like she plans in February?

Can she jump out of an airplane, like she tells us she’ll do at 18?

Afraid of being afraid.

It’s a life-changer, for sure.

And I hold her hand and tell her that we are doing everything we can to eliminate a bunch of scary stuff in hopes that we find out she is perfectly healthy and just had some bad stuff happen to her for reasons unknown.

But that doesn’t erase what happened.  And it doesn’t change the fact that now she may not live quite as carefree.

And I need to listen to her.  I need to listen to her body.  I need to listen when she speaks.  Because she is the one living inside of her body, and she knows how it feels and needs to be able to communicate that to me.

A childhood friend of mine recently watched her son go through his third concussion.  And, with that concussion, his entire life changed.  Now, together, they are realizing that life has a different journey than the one he was walking.  And it is something he must do to remain healthy and able.

She listened to her son.  Now together they are fighting for his best life.

Here is his recent news interview, telling his story:  http://www.azfamily.com/story/36611797/chandler-hs-senior-quits-football-due-to-concussion

Here is a second story on concussions and high school sports:  http://www.azfamily.com/story/36162154/concussion-study-reveals-most-valley-parents-will-let-kids-play-football

Here is another childhood friend, Dr. Javier Cardenas, speaking of concussions and how to identify one in your child, as well as an App that can be used to teach children about concussions:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHm4RPFgwEM

In the end, all we can do is live and teach our children to do so, as well.  But, in living, we also need to stop and listen.  What is our body telling us?  What is our children’s bodies telling them?

Growing up, we learn that if you ever catch on fire, you are to do three things:  Stop; Drop; Roll.

I find myself in this same position with my daughter:

Stop.  How are you feeling?

Drop.  Let’s stop everything to figure out why you feel the way you do.

And Roll.  Let’s put out this “fire” in your life, so you can go on to live your best life possible.

It may be with a little more hesitation than before.  But it’s still living.

And, in the end, that’s what counts the most!

 

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Does this look like vacation?

I am fairly sure I don’t even need to write a lot.  

We are on vacation.  

But really???

Hashtag: life; reality; parenting; humor

No rest for the wicked…

Oh, wait.  I mean the mommies (smile and wink).

Greetings from La Jolla sunny California!

Dzien Matki — Mother’s Day in Poland

I am pretty sure I just ate candy my son gave me from his grubby fingers—and I am not sure the last time he washed his hands.  Or went to the bathroom and forgot to wash his hands.  I am actually gagging a little bit right now.  Really.  My stomach is not feeling so well.  Hashtag “truemom”.  EATING NASTY GERMS FROM GRUBBY DIRTY FINGERS.  Sigh.

Therefore, let’s just say that I am VERY VERY VERY happy to be celebrating the upcoming day about ME in Poland.  Dzien Matki.  May 26th.  Mother’s Day.

In Poland, Mother’s Day is the same day year after year after year.  Kind-of like Women’s Day, Wigilia, your birthday, your anniversary, New Year’s … MOTHER’S DAY!  It is set in stone and NEVER GOES AWAY!

Kind of like our kids, eh????!!!! (smile and wink)

Anyhow, this upcoming Mother’s Day I think that I am going to set expectations for my kids:

  1.  I am going to expect for them to make me frustrated.
  2. I am going to expect for them to make a mess.
  3. I am going to expect for them to NOT leave me in peace when I have to pee OR merely pick up the phone—EVEN THOUGH, moments before, they had forgotten about the very existence of me.
  4. I am going to expect for them to cry over their hair styles or crust.  YES—the crust on their bread.
  5. I am going to expect for them to have a small accident in their underpants—just enough so that they will not want to wear the same pair and not enough to make a mess on the floor.  The in between stage of wet.  Enough, however, where they will then declare that they must STRIP NAKED and be.  For the rest of the day.
  6. I am going to expect for my toddler to wake me at 3am.  Or 5am.  Or 6am.  And not at all appreciate that they day is about ME!
  7. I am going to expect for the pre-teen (nastolatek) to give me grief.  I don’t know about what.  About the volume of my voice or the fact that SHE CANNOT WEAR MY SHOES.
  8. I am going to expect for them to fight and argue about the 1 block.  On the floor.  When there are 1 million and 12 other blocks right next to the 1 block.  And there are 500,000 of those 1 million and 12 blocks that are exactly the same as the 1 block that they are rowing over.
  9. I am going to expect them to stub their toes, blacken their eyes, break their teeth, or scrape their knees.  I know this because it will happen.  My three year old currently has a black eye and a huge forehead mark from tripping onto the training wheel bike tire and also falling on the side of the trampoline.  All in a day’s work.  So I am going to expect a trip to the hospital, a broken bone, or a bandaged knee.  It will happen.
  10. And, lastly, I am going to expect a gazillion times over for them to tell me that they “Love me the most!”  And fight over it.  And cuddle me.  And then fight over cuddling me.  And then fight once again about who loves Momma the most.  Because it will happen.  I expect it.

And number 10 makes up for 1-9.

As I expect it should.

So, you see, Mother’s Day in Poland is really no different than Mother’s Day anywhere else in the world.  If you come from a dirt floor or a mansion that touches the sky, being MOM is full of a million and one expectations that always start with DISASTER…But that one moment (#10) will make up for all of the tornadoes that will come in and hijack your day.

In the end, however, you don’t mind.  Because it’s a nice feeling.  Being mom.

But NOT eating the grubby food from their fingers.  Leave that behind on Dzien Matki.  I am pretty sure that is not a nice feeling.

Not at all.

Happy Mother’s Day from Poland to YOU!

Happy Mother’s Day for the woman that is not the mother…

strong women

Today may be a day that is your least favorite day of the year.  Mother’s Day.

Maybe you even feel a little guilty for not liking the day because you had an amazing mom.

Perhaps you have siblings, friends, or cousins that are AMAZING moms but you are not a mom.

Perhaps you are not a mom because a baby was just never given to you.

And you feel.

Well, you may not know how to feel but you know that you feel.  Deeply.

Perhaps you are not a mom by choice.

Yet your eyes wander the world on this day and see other women celebrated.  And this makes you feel.

You don’t know how it makes you feel.  But it does.

Perhaps you were a mom and then your babies or children were taken from you.  Too soon.  And now you, the mom, are a mom forever and always but you don’t have your baby to say on this day, “YOU ARE MY MOM!”

And this makes you feel.

On this day, ladies, all I can say is that every beautiful trait of YOU is wrapped into a beautiful box and displayed with the grandeur of the perfect woman.

You are that woman.

That beautiful treasure that is perfect just the way she is.

Strong.

Resilient.

A fighter.

A lover.

A giver.

A friend.

A woman.

A woman who makes our world a more beautiful place.

You make this world a place where I can travel with my daughters and say, “Look!  You are perfect for who you are!”

You, dear woman, are the reason that my daughter will walk tall and strong and proud.  Because who knows what her one day will hold.

Maybe it will hold children.  Maybe it will not.  Maybe it will hold a husband.  Maybe it will not.  Maybe it will hold loss.  Maybe it will not.

But when she looks about this world, she needs to see YOU.

She needs to see that one day — SHE IS ENOUGH as the woman that she is.  Because she is fearfully and wonderfully made!

So, today, on Mother’s Day, Ladies, I would like to say “Thank you” to you.  Because of you, I can point to my daughters and say “Look at this woman and see what she has done!  The world is stronger and more creative, beautiful, and kind because of her.  Be like her!”

And my daughters will go to bed remembering all that you are…

The woman that makes our world a better place.

 

Becoming Diaper Free…Finally??? A potty blog for parents!

josephine favorite

Okay—I have an 11-year old.  She is diaper free.

Max is nearly 5.  He is diaper free.

Josephine is approaching 3 and 1/2.   As of last night, she is officially diaper free!

That’s old.  You may state.

That’s okay.  Another may add.

To both and each their own.

My little 3 year old is hilarious.  She has been advanced in walking and talking and eating and singing and bravery and living…

And not in pooping.  On the potty.

So much so that she would go for up and past 10 days, sometimes, without plopping a single drop.

One time, her constipation actually made her sick.  The doctor said—she just needs to poop.  Are you giving her anything to help her poop?

We were.  We had tried everything.  Foods, drinks, medicines…Bribery.  Tears.  Pulling out our hair.  And she still refused to poop.

Finally we had to goose the girl with a very uncomfortable czopek before she produced the results we needed — and her body immediately began to recover and heal.

Well—finally we were diaper free for pee and since she only pooped every 3-11 days, she would just tell us when she had to go.  Easy peasy pudding and pie…

Then our last pull-up disappeared one evening and we were too lazy to run to the store for more.

Josephine cried.

We cried.  (Ours, however, tears of ka-ching in our pockets—NO MORE DIAPER MONEY NEEDED)

And we refused to run and buy her a diaper.  Even when she had to potty.

Which, in our lives, was actually a really freaky thing.  We didn’t want her to be constipated.  We did not want her in pain.  We did not want to have to take her to the doctor or give her another czopek (glycerin tablet up the pupa).  We just wanted our little gal to be free.

Several days have passed since her last poopy—nerves were beginning in my mommy heart when last night—around 1am, I heard her cry out.

“Mommy, I need to pee!”

I ran into her room, raced her into the bathroom, and there she did.  HER FIRST EVER POOPY on the potty.

We immediately woke up daddy.  I am not sure he was as thrilled due to the insanely late hour of night—AND TODAY SHE RECEIVED A KINDER EGG!

A surprise for her surprise.

My friends.  If your children are a lot like my Josephine and have severe trouble pooping on the potty, please know that you are not alone.

It is a VERY hard road to walk down.

To some, it may seem like just a poop.  But to those of us in the situation, it is more that just a poop.  It is the health and well-being of our child…as well as sanity of our souls.

Give yourself a break.  Give your child a break.  And endure with great patience/pain and pray for the poop.

It’s okay to pray for the poop…

Just like it’s okay to cry when diapers are no longer in the budget 😉

Eyebrows Make A Man…

the crazy naked littles

Okay, we have had a lot of laughs on this particular blog site about eyebrows.  I, alone, am a living, walking, talking, breathing eyebrow failure of a woman.  BUT TODAY…today it was all about a lesson my son was teaching my youngest daughter.  And, I am willing to bet, it’s a lesson that YOU, AS WELL, didn’t even know 😉

Maxwell (age 4), sitting at our lovely farmhouse renovated table, messy hair, and slightly hoarse morning voice, eating the “talking” cereal with his little sister, GoGo Bean (aka Josephine Diane), looked excitedly at her and proclaimed, “JOSEPHINE!!!!!  You’re growing EYEBROWS!  Soon you’re going to turn into a MAN!”

And as excited as he was for Josephine to turn into a man, this newfound knowledge did not sit as well with his 3-year-old sister who then proceed to cry, “I DON’T WANT EYEBROWS!”

Entertainment abounds, my friends…

Even in the art of eyebrows!

Does anyone else out there have that husband problem????

Okay, seriously…Like I may be 41—but in my mind I am still some smoking hot babe…41 in wisdom, 25 in beauty and 18 in youth!

And then I go to my mirror…and I’m like 41???  51????  WHO IS THIS WOMAN?!

Reality registers.  Oh, yes.  It’s me.  Brooke Heidi.  I know me.  I have been me for a whole lotta years now.

Then I go into the other room and fresh out of the shower comes some man.  He has a lot of wisdom in his hair—which, in my wife-y opinion, makes him even WAY WAY WAY hotter!

And then he is dressed to the 9.  LIKE HIS STYLE IS SO AWESOME.  And he is just like, “Who me?  Oh, I just got out of the shower.  No big deal.”

It’s like a magazine cover walked into my home and here I sit—FEELING 18, THINKING 25 Hot Babe, and LOOKING like the extinct dinosaur.

How is it, Women?

Does anyone else out there have that husband problem—or is it just me?

problem with the hubs

Now some of you may say, “But, Brooke, you haven’t changed at all.”

STOP RIGHT THERE!

I’m not sure I take that as a compliment anymore.

Have I always been this frumpy?  This messy?  This wildly out of control?

Has this always been me?

Have I been blind sighted by my own wild imagination?

HAS MY MIRROR BEEN LYING TO ME ALL OF THESE YEARS???

So with those words, I shrug them off and say…

It’s all my husband’s fault.

Isn’t that the mantra of marriage anyway????

(Smile, smile…wink, wink!)

***

With that humor, I’ll sign off and say HAVE A GREAT DAY!

xoxo always,

The true half of crazy (B)