Nesting, Eye-gouging, and getting ready for Clark

Today is my official first day of maternity leave, and I do not hate it even a little bit. With Darcy, I was put on modified bed rest at 33 weeks because I had issues with pre-term labor. She’s always been very patient, you see 🙄. This pregnancy, despite the drama, constant contractions, and general inability to breathe, I was able to work right up until Clark gets here! My last day was Friday, and the precious teachers and staff at my little school threw me the sweetest baby shower. It was perfect and brought some of the cutest dump-truck onesies into my life. I have been so blessed by this job y’all. School nursing is the very best ever, and I love it with all of my heart.

I am absolutely not kidding when I say that this whole nesting thing has been insanity for me. I don’t remember getting it with Darcy that much, but that may have been because my activity was so restricted. This go-round I have been in full-blown psycho-pregnant-lady mode. God bless Ben, because he cannot seem to understand the urgency of the past month and a half-ish. I NEED the kitchen cabinets cleaned out now. The utility closet organized NOW. I need that crap to be put in the attic as. we. speak. He fusses at me saying, “I’ll help you in a minute.” In a minute? WE DON’T HAVE MINUTES! I NEEDED IT DONE FIVE YEARS AGO! I CAN ONLY COMPROMISE IF IT IS DONE AS I AM FREAKING OUT THIS VERY INSTANT! I am not even exaggerating. Every weekend I have been completing projects all day long. As a result, the house is organized-ish, hospital bags have been packed and repacked, the house is decorated, Christmas presents are bought and wrapped, postpartum stuff is ready, baby Clark stuff is ready, freezer meals are prepared, groceries have been bought, the house is stocked on householdy things for the foreseeable future, laundry is done, and everyone is sleeping on clean sheets. And I’ve only been off work since Friday. So, there. I am #goals because of that nesting hormone. I am so sad to see it go because I’ve honestly never been so productive in my entire life.

This weekend was our last weekend as a family of 3 (4 if you include Libby), and we soaked it up! Darcy is at such a fun and exhausting age. She wakes up singing in her room, and she is SO excited to see mama and dada and read books and watch baby bums and pet Libby and turn on the Christmas tree and eat waffles and everything else all within 10 seconds of us coming to get her from her room. She has added about 50 words to her vocabulary over the last month. I swear she remembers everything and I have to be careful dropping those *special* four-letter words that are so appropriate for 80% of my misfortunes. Darcy loves to pull up my shirt and poke my belly button because she thinks it’s hilarious. She calls it a “buh-buh,” and laughs like it’s the most hysterical thing on the planet. She now pets my belly and says “baybay,” but she also pets my boobs and says “baybay,” so I’m not ready to call her a genius quite yet. She gives the best hugs and kisses, but she will also look you in the eye after a kiss, slap the hell out of you and laugh. Kids are inherently evil, people. Not going to lie, I’m a little worried about poor baby Clark. Darcy loves to point out body parts, and Ben and I both consider ourselves lucky that we still have our vision from Darcy enthusiastically gouging ahem, pointing out our eyes. We may need baby safety goggles for little brother.

Certain injuries aside, I am so excited to watch them grow up together. Anyone who knows me, knows about my big brother. I love him to death and he’s one of my favorite people on the planet. Doesn’t mean that he didn’t send me to pediatric plastic surgeon at age 5 after a particular plastic sword incident 😒, or that I didn’t hate him and plan his death at least 15 hours out of the day while we were growing up. But, thankfully, he is still here (alive), and he is my biggest fan and probably the only person who is my equal in hilariousness. Fact: I nearly wet my pants from laughing anytime we are together. Cabub, I love you so big. I hope that Darcy and Clark share the same bond minus the plastic surgery incident.

Oh Clark-man, we get to meet you this week. I am as nervous as a long-tailed cat in room full of rocking chairs. I’m scared of meeting you at the same time that I’m really excited to meet you. You are so loved already and your mama has been nuts over getting things ready for you. You are getting here a little earlier than anticipated, but that’s wonderful too. You’ll be here in time for all the Chrismukkah festivities, and we are happy we get to hold you sooner. I pray that you’ll be healthy and avoid the NICU. I pray that you will be strong for whatever days lay ahead. I pray that you’ll be forgiving of the eye-poking big sister you are blessed with. And mostly, I pray for grace as Ben and I enter this new phase of having child(ren) in our lives. We will update once baby Clark gets here. Love to all.

The last 4 years: Thoughts on my life with my Jew(ish) husband

*Let me just preface this one by telling you that I am not up for a religious debate. You can go do that rant somewhere private, like your facebook status or your own crappy blog*

So many people want to tell you the exact criteria required for the * perfect* marriage partner. “Educated, handsome, hardworking, but ‘most of all, Christian.’” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard slight variations of that list, but no self-respecting, “good,” Southern girl would ever deviate from choosing a Christian partner. Now, did he need to truly love Christ and live a life reflective of one serving the Lord? Not particularly. He just needed to belong to a church, pray once in awhile, and agree to get married in a church. Now, I realize this is not everybody…I’m truly not that cynical 😉 . I know some people truly sought out real-deal Christian spouses and take great offense to my generalization.

I, however,  am a Christian who did NOT marry a Christian, and I can honestly tell you that I’ve heard it all. I’ve heard what a crap marriage we would have. That our children would be doomed because, “How would they know truth” when we believe differently. That I must not be a Christian if I would even consider marrying a “non-believer.” Oh and let’s not forget the out of context 2 Corinthians 6:14 verse, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers…” which is actually referring to business partnerships by the way. People ask all kinds of intrusive questions that are none of their business, and have even made really gross Anti-Semitic comments. I most often get asked, “So what are you raising your children as?” It’s a question I’ve gotten since before we even got engaged. First off, are we close friends? No? Then back up, you don’t belong in that conversation. The more bold have made statements like, “How does it feel to know he isn’t saved?” among other meant-to-sound-caring-but-are-actually-mean comments. I could totally point out that their father’s multiple affairs, or their own shady business practices aren’t Jesus-friendly, but I don’t. I just wish that they would remember that my husband and his family happen to be Jewish and I love them so very much, so the generalized comments made about “Jews” are being directed toward some of the most precious people in my life. Most topics I’m pretty game to discuss, but my husband’s perceived salvation and plans for our family are off limits to the vast majority.

My husband’s being Jewish is not why I married him, anyway. The quality my husband possesses that has made the difference in my life, our marriage, our child (soon to be children), and my overall happiness: his kindness.
To any and all unmarrieds–marry someone kind. Bottomline. If he’s not kind, then he’s not for you. Kind people are not selfish. They are thoughtful, sensitive, and precious. They don’t hate children or animals. Kind people are not abusive, violent, and will not  make you question their intentions. If you don’t like my explanation, look at the Merriam-Webster definition of kindness. It says, “Showing tenderness or goodness; disposed to do good and confer happiness; averse to hurting or paining; benevolent; benignant; gracious.”

Does that sound appealing? Then stop wasting time with the guy who only texts you at 10pm or later to “hang out.” The one who ignores his mother, kicks dogs (or cats), and acts like an ass to waiters in restaurants. It really is that simple. Kick the jerk out of your life, and make way for something exponentially better.

Kindness in action is when your husband brings your coffee to you in the mornings just the way you like it. It’s planning the perfect first anniversary date complete with Wicked tickets. It’s unexpected flowers and offers to do the dishes when you don’t have a dishwasher and haven’t done them in a week. It’s when he holds you after you lose your baby at 12 weeks, and then carries your drugged, wounded body out of the hospital to the pre-warmed car in -18° weather after your D&C. It’s when he cuts a “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” sign out of construction paper and hand makes cards complete with stick-figure illustrations. It’s when he tells your crazy-one-week-postpartum-self that it’s okay that you don’t like your newborn daughter because all she does is scream, anyway 😂  Kindness is when he lets his arms fall asleep so hard that they might actually fall off because he does not want to risk waking and hurting your baby daughter after her neurosurgery. It’s when he races home in between classes to make sure Libby gets an outside break, even if he only has 10 minutes. It’s when he helps you to the bathroom for that ghastly first postpartum trip. And lately, it’s when we both lay VERY still in the bed, pretending to not hear when Darcy wakes up crying. It’s like a game of uncle and we are actively–with our mind powers–WILLING the other person to break and get up. Ben always gets up with her and lets me sleep. I never said this kindness post was about me ha! He’s a gem, I tell you.

On November 23, Ben and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary together. We’ve packed a lot of living into those years. Ben isn’t the same guy I married. He’s made new career choices, taken up new hobbies, learned stupid nursery rhymes, and has a little patch of gray hairs growing on his chin (he attributes that to engineering school). But one thing has remained, and that’s his gentle spirit. And I’m telling you that throughout the ups and downs, moves, career changes, job changes, major surgery, complicated pregnancies, and *just* life in general–his tender heart has loved me well. May you all choose well and be as fortunate. Love to all.❤️

 

Pregnancy woes, nursery wins, and a tiny savage witnessing it all

So, last week we had our regular OB appointment on Tuesday followed by the fetal echo on Wednesday. The OB appointment went well, the fetal echo was kinda crappy. First off, I just hate ultrasounds at this point. They are uncomfortable, frustrating, and generally open more questions than provide answers. Wednesday’s appointment was no different. They looked over the heart and determined that the pulmonary artery WAS in fact bifurcated and that the rest of the heart structures looked “normal,” BUT that the pulmonary artery was slightly dilated before the bifurcation, there was mild to moderate leakage from the artery, and the ductus arteriosus “appeared torturous.”

So what does this mean?

“We will follow up to see if it resolves.” “Yeah, but what if it doesn’t?” “We will follow up after birth.” “And then? Are we looking at surgery?” “Unlikely.” “Sooo, what will we be doing, then?” “Continuing to monitor. It may be idiopathic and fine.” “But if it isn’t?” “We will monitor for signs of any issues.” Okay at this point I nearly punched the woman. Answer the question and quit being vague. If you’re a big enough physician to say ‘There’s a potential problem,’ then you damn well better be ready to explain. Finally, I said, “WHAT WOULD CAUSE THIS THAT HAS YOU SO WORRIED?” “It is probably idiopathic and will resolve on it’s own.” At this point I give her a death glare and use my scary voice, “What. Could. Be. Causing. This??” “Um. It could be a sign of a connective tissue disorder. But that’s rare. See you in 4 weeks.” Yeah, I pretty much loathed that cardiologist because she ignored me the entire scan, then provided a craptastic explanation of what she saw and what it meant. Basically, she provided zero concrete information, yet she flooded us with new worries. I will not be following up with her in four weeks. Or ever because I hate the air she breathes.

To say I hate appointments and pregnancy is like the understatement of my life. It is miserable. I have been officially diagnosed with polyhydramnios. My fluid levels are now straddling the line between mild and moderate poly. I cannot breathe even a little bit unless I sit straight up. I no longer sleep and eating or drinking anything makes it even more difficult to breathe. Imagine cutting the amount of lung space you generally have in half. Now, for funsies, half it again.  That’s what I’m dealing with, and it totally blows. It also causes a lot of pain. Not normal late pregnancy pain. Like major ascites kind of visceral pain. I ended up in the hospital this past weekend because I could not breathe and could not walk. I literally hobbled out of work on Thursday because I was contracting so badly. This too is due to the excess fluid. My body is all “WTF man, I can’t handle this fluid.” I got admitted to L&D, and got the full pre-term workup: hydration, pain meds, magnesium drip (satan’s infusion), and labs. Now I’m fine, Clark’s fine, but I won’t say that it’s been such an awesome ride, because it’s actually been total shit.

Moving on to lighter and brighter!

I do not have gestational diabetes! Woo! That is one positive thing. Another is that Clark’s nursery has taken off as of late and is looking more and more perfect.  I despise themes, and his nursery is basically a smorgasbord of boy like Darcy’s was a smorgasbord of girl. The walls are a really light blue yet still neutral-ish. His crib skirt is navy/cream mattress ticking, and there’s a big cowhide rug on the floor. I also really like mammoths and moose, so he has big stuffed versions of both on his bookshelf.

We moved all of the nursery furniture out of Darcy’s nursery and into Clark’s with the exception of the crib. We are going to transition her in the next couple of weeks to her big girl bed! It’s pretty precious and is already in her room. She thinks it’s a trampoline and will likely knock her teeth out jumping on it. She’s unconcerned and unreasonable though, so I’m not wasting too much worry over it.  She has had this recent language explosion. Her most recent additions to her vocabulary include, “It my!” (It’s mine), “Buh-bay” (baby), “Peese” (Please), “Heyyyy” (self-explanatory), and “Key” so that she can set off the panic alarms on our cars from the kitchen while playing with said key. She also becomes a total savage when we “force” her to leave any activity she wants to continue. A real-life screaming, hitting, BITING, savage. Since I can’t really pick her up much right now (seriously, it’s sad), Ben has been on the receiving end and it’s comical. We obviously don’t laugh about it in front of her, and out in the public it’s pretty embarrassing, but come on. She’s 18 months old, and is basically still an animal with animal instincts. She’ll outgrow it. I just hope she does before I’m the one manhandling her.

Ben and I are trucking along. School is hard for both of us, and I am less motivated than most at this juncture. Just trying to stick it out for another month and a half. Ben is getting ready to go to out of the country this weekend, so I’m a little concerned about dealing with Darcy by myself: just the general lifting and chasing because of contractions and inability to breathe and all that. We’ll manage fine though, that little tyrant and I. She’s my girl and gives me many kisses–and tells her daddy “No!” almost every time he asks haha! She’s a funny one, that girl. I haven’t ordered a Halloween costume for the Darce-bird either. I don’t know that I will. It seems like too much effort, and I need to focus my energies on breathing, so I don’t die to death while attempting to sleep.

Anywho, I hope this look into my life hasn’t seemed too dismal. I’m 30 weeks pregnant, so not much longer until I meet my sweet little Clark. That is the good stuff. Pregnancy may totally suck, but my new baby will be worth it all. I cannot wait to meet him and kiss his little face. Maybe Darcy will be more forthcoming with kisses for Clark than she is for kisses with daddy. Then again, Clark probably won’t be sporting the facial hair her daddy does. I’m rambling. Carry on good people. God is good in all circumstances. Love to all.

 

 

“It’s not supposed to be this way…right??”

What does it mean to you when your world gets rocked? How do you react? Are you angry? Devastated? Maybe just numb? You could even be like me and experience all of those big feelings in a predictable, repetitive, and exhausting movie reel. Up until recently, I’ve had three such occasions where the floor has lurched beneath my feet, and I’ve fallen on my face. You know, the situation or moment where the image of life as you had planned it is irrevocably blown into ash. Whether or not I directly influenced these world-rocking experiences, I thought I was as low as I could possibly go each time they occurred. And yet, each experience has brought me lower still.

When I was young, I was very much in love with a boy until I wasn’t. Telling him I didn’t love him anymore, and I couldn’t marry him was the hardest thing I had done in my life at that point. Like any decision you make in life, it causes ripples and the effects were felt for months. Cold shoulders, hurtful gossip, and some really awkward encounters in my small town were a few of the mainstays for the months to come. During that period, I felt lonely and abandoned by friends and family alike. It was the most alone I had felt in my life. I thought I would rather disappear than keep going, and I naively thought that it was probably the worst thing that would happen to me. Yeah, I was 21 and knew nothing.

We had a perfect ultrasound at 8 weeks. The doctor told Ben and me that the baby looked amazing, and that we should tell our family and friends the great news. “After seeing a healthy heartbeat on ultrasound, the chance of miscarriage is only 1-3%.” We told our families. And then, four weeks later after our next appointment, we had to un-tell them because during that ultrasound my doctor said, “I’m so sorry, dear. I just don’t see a heartbeat. There is no heartbeat.” For unknown reasons, our baby died, and my body hadn’t realized it yet. I was still sick and throwing up because my body was supporting a baby that had died 2 weeks earlier. It could be another month before my body caught up with what we already knew; our baby was long gone. I remember being aware of a strange high-pitched noise. It took me a solid minute before I realized that it was me. I was the thing making the painful noise, because I was in inexplicable pain. We scheduled the procedure for the following morning, and I took a week off of work. The worst of the aftershocks came in the immediate weeks to follow although now and again, I feel the emptiness of that loss almost as acutely as I did that day.

“Her forehead is very prominent, and I feel the ridge you mentioned. We need a stat CT scan.” And there went my “peaceful” introduction to parenthood. Darcy was 5 weeks old, and at her first real well-baby check-up when our pediatrician made the aforementioned statement. She was diagnosed with craniosynostosis less than 2 hours later, and we left the “well-baby” appointment with a new appointment with a neurosurgeon in 2 days time. My beautiful baby girl was going to have her scalp peeled back, skull removed, bones cut into pieces, and then jigsaw-puzzled back together with plates and screws. It was devastating. I, like any new parent, felt like my daughter was beautiful and perfect, and yet I was hearing that her forehead was too prominent, head too narrow, and it was all caused by an eventually brain-damaging birth defect. Unless, that is, she got her skull cut into pieces and put back together in a better, less brain-damaging way.

This isn’t some cutesy post to tell you how much “God grew me through each scenario” and “How grateful I am.” Now, I AM grateful for these experiences, I did experience growth, but if there had been another way, I would have taken it. I would taken that other, easier, gentler way in a heartbeat. I have experienced deep and real and life-changing hurt in my life. Hurting or being hurt by others, experiencing great loss, or being given more than you can possibly handle isn’t some right of passage to get awarded a “Hey! You made it!” medal. I don’t really think God works like that. I do believe that God makes good out of bad. I know God makes good out of bad. I just don’t think he causes the bad. God didn’t turn everyone against me or abandon me. God didn’t take my baby. He didn’t “give” my daughter craniosynostosis, either. But He did bring beauty out of our suffering. He met me in my suffering, and when I felt like my world collapsed around me, He was unchanged. He was still good.

Romans 5:3-5 states, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Now, I straight-up struggle with the “rejoice” part. Maybe when Jesus comes back and I’m all sanctified, I’ll rejoice at my past sufferings. But, I won’t be fully sanctified until Jesus comes back, so for this life-time, I’ll probably just have to be content to struggle with that. Anyway, throughout my life and my “big experiences,” I have grown in perseverance, and character, and hope. I’ve been blessed by such incredible people who have crawled down to my low, crumpled state and just loved me and stayed with me, especially when I felt utterly unlovable and unworthy. I have had the opportunity to offer comfort to other mamas who have experienced loss through miscarriage. I’ve been able to reach out to mamas of craniosynostosis babies and tell them that there is light and life on the other side of that scary diagnosis. It’s a goal of mine to reach and help as many as I can. In fact, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 sums it up rather well, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

Because of my suffering, I can be a tool of God to help others who are suffering. I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful that I too can experience the comfort of those who have battled the “ugly” before I’ve had to. I’m thankful because I’m going to need their comfort in the weeks and months to come. Unfortunately, I’ve been given more than I can handle once again, and once again I’m scared and I’m angry and I’m numb. As you can see, I’m really not all that original in my feelings. One day, I wake up and I’m okayish and I think it will all be okayish. The next day, I’m a rollercoaster of all the big feelings. It’s actually annoying how regular my emotions are. Anyway, we’ve named our baby boy Clark Elliott Rayner. Baby Clark has some issues that have become apparent through our ultrasounds. While we don’t have all the answers yet, he has two ultrasound anomalies that make an underlying chromosomal abnormality more likely than not. Today, our new high-risk physician confirmed the findings; club foot and skull deformity. The skull deformity could be craniosynostosis, or maybe not. Our high risk doctor couldn’t say for sure. I won’t lie. It’s been very, very hard to hear that something is wrong…again. I am prayerful and hopeful that God will heal my baby. I know that He can. But I also know that He may not. He. May. Not. And that’s going to have to be okay. Ben and I have so many things to think about right now, and are learning as much as we can in an effort to anticipate Clark’s medical needs. I will update as I can. Until then, love to all. ❤️ 

The hard stuff is HARD, man. Life in 2017, so far

And why I’m making some changes so the rest of 2017 looks different.

So, the last few months have been HARD. In fact, I talked to one of my very best friends yesterday for 20 minutes, and so much of my bluster just falls away in the first few seconds talking to her because I can tell her anything. She is really a jewel, y’all. We haven’t caught up in a while, but it was refreshing to just say, “Life has sucked, Meg. I’m a mess,” and she’s all “Yeah, I’ve been worrying about you, and here’s my junk, too.” And I am so thankful for friends like that because they are the best. So, in the effort of being transparent without being a total over-sharer, here’s what my life has looked like recently, and why I have made the decisions that I have.

Ever since I started this grad school program, my life has been so rushed and unpleasant. I know that it’s the hard that makes the pay-off great, but I have felt miserable, overwhelmed, and even depressed more times than is healthy. My daughter didn’t even want me to hold her because I was such a stranger to her due to my insane work/study/adult schedule. See, I worked my required three-in-a-row, 12-hour shifts every other weekend, which meant I didn’t see Darcy at all for three solid days. The rest of the week and my weekend “off” I spent immersed in my pharmacology book to cover 16 weeks of material in a 7-week summer school class. Darcy would actually scream when I picked her up, tried to feed her, or god-forbid take her out of daddy’s immediate radius. Consistently she did this. Like for weeks. It was a combination of frustrating and heartbreaking, and it was MY fault. So on top of insane stress, I now could pile up buckets of resentment combined with a nasty dose of guilt.

A change was needed. Because on top of the crap scheduling of 12-hour shifts and working/giving up EVERY OTHER DAMN WEEKEND, working while short-staffed with hard assignments was exhausting. After one shift in particular, I came home and my husband said, “That’s it. You’re done. Apply now.” I did, and now I have my weekdays after 3:30pm, every weekend, every holiday, AND every summer. Thank the LORD! I will miss my awesome coworkers, but I cannot change the fact my husband is in engineering school, that I must work full-time to keep insurance and a paycheck coming in, that I have a busy 16 month old who needs her mama, that I am in grad school, and that I am pregnant. Those things that do add to my overall crazy can’t really change and I wouldn’t want them to (except the school). Lets make that clear. But my job could change and did.

At this point I want to say how THANKFUL I am for my husband. He is under a lot of stress with school, his internship, and being a daddy and husband. He has been a solid rock of amazingness the past few months while I’ve taken on what feels like the world (I’m dramatic, so sue me).

Ben really is amazing, though. He cooks, is an incredible hands-on dad, and he says really sexy things like, “Good morning, beautiful. I made coffee, and my mom is watching Darcy tonight, so we can go on a date,” or, “I didn’t cook tonight, but the pizza will be here in 20 minutes. Go take a bath.” Swoon. Just like that and once again I’m a goner for this man. To any un-marrieds reading this: marry someone kind. I can promise you that it is the most important quality in the entire world when choosing a spouse. I know that some would tell you that finding a man who is a Christian and loves Jesus is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER, but as I am married to a Jewish man, I can tell you from my experience that it is not true. Yep, controversial words for a Christian woman to say, but I grew up hearing that your marriage is “doomed” without Christ, and that you will suffer great despair if you are “unequally yoked.” I will further address this on a future blog, and I know it will be met with some pushback, but I can only write with complete honesty if I’m writing from my perspective and experiences. It’s not my intention to offend anyone, but I wish to offer authenticity and a worldview blog-readers can respect if not agree with. Love to all.

Mommy wars and how I’m basically Switzerland or whatever other country doesn’t care.

Before I get into the beef of this blog post i.e. “mommy wars,” I want to explain something that few people who are truly close to me understand. I AM extroverted and friendly, yet not. Yet, NOT. Like I love meeting people, but I don’t necessarily want to sit down for a long conversation about life and the meaning of it with them. Ever. I can go without talking to my best friends for months and see no issue with that. Nothing has changed, we’re still besties, I just don’t feel the need to hash out every detail of our lives on a daily (or monthly) basis. I have the best friends you could ever ask for. They get me. We pick up right where we left off, always. I really, really love them with all of my heart, and I. Don’t. Need. New. Friends.

So being an adult who doesn’t like to meet, fall in friend-love, and share a halved-heart “best friend” necklace with new people can actually be awkward when you become a mom. Suddenly everyone tells you that you now NEED mommy friends. So people will seek you out when they see you have created a tiny human to become “mom friends”. Yikes. When I drop my daughter off at daycare, other moms smile at me and brightly say, “Oh Darcy just looks so cute today!” I smile and keep walking. I don’t even know any of the other kids names. I mean, if I responded honestly it would sound like, “Hey um…uh…oh-Nolan’s mom. Nice to see you (kind of). We’re never going to get coffee or set up play-dates, but I’ll see you around when I drop Darcy off. Have a good one!”

Now that you know this about me, it will make sense when I tell you that I do NOT get involved or feel victimized by these mommy wars. What are mommy wars? It’s the crunchy moms versus the non-crunchy versus the super “educated” versus the laid-back hippies. The amount of articles detailing specific hot topics are endless. Don’t bore yourself with them.

I personally breastfed Darcy for 10 months. Then I got a sinus infection, and felt like total crap and took meds that dried up my supply, so I abruptly weaned her. ANDDD the formula I transitioned to was so expensive that I switched her over to a Walmart brand formula for her last month. She’s still alive, so whatever. Darcy went to her own crib in her own room at 2 weeks old. She was the noisiest baby EVER, and I needed sleep, and I kicked her out. As a result she sleeps 12 hours every night in her crib by herself. Sorry, not sorry, Darcy. I gave her peanut butter at 4 months old (the horror), never made her baby food, and I don’t think she’s ever had organic anything. I may be from Mississippi, but I don’t particularly care for smocked outfits. Sure, Darcy has a few, but you won’t see me on mommy facebook pages offering exorbitant sums in an attempt to outbid another mom searching for the “OMG—perfect zoo bubble!!” Same goes for that damn cookie-print blanket that I saw some facebook crazy trying to sell for $200. What in the actual hell? Is it actually made of gold? Seriously, I don’t understand. Someone feel free to enlighten me.

I am so far from perfect. I question myself as a mom all the time, but I NEVER question myself because of something another mom says or does. I think the pinterest-worthy birthday parties with the exquisite backdrop and perfect fondant cakes are beautiful! But Darcy won’t be getting one. It’s just not in me to get that together when she is happiest shredding wrapping paper and eating dog food. I love seeing pictures of such beautiful photo shoots chronicling the growth of baby whatshisname. Darcy on the other hand has had exactly one professional photography session. It happened when she was 10 days old, and it could very well be the only one she ever has because I am just not good at planning and orchestrating those kinds of things. I won’t even say “mom fail” because I don’t view it as a failure. I just don’t really care.

All I really want to say is that parents should parent confidently. If breastfeeding just isn’t for you, and you choose to formula-feed your baby, awesome. Go you! If you make your own organic baby food, cool. If you have a professional paparazzi follow your child around for life to capture every life moment you probably need therapy, but I bet you’ll get some awesome pictures. If you spend thousands of dollars on baby clothes I will side-eye you, but I also accept hand-me-downs. If you don’t vaccinate your child, I personally think you are an idiot. Whoops. That’s judgment. Won’t apologize for that one, though. Love to all you crazy mamas. Tell me how you parent!