Disconnected {Some Thoughts on Life}

I feel so detached from my life lately. I’ve gone through most of my adult life like this, forgetting to stop and soak up the moment and really realize what is going on, but since I became a mother, it has worsened. I am on auto-pilot most days, just going through the motions, never giving my undivided attention to any moment. I only realize this when my husband talks about something we did together last week or when I try to recall a memory he believes I should have involving our son. I really need to work on slowing down and being able to be in the moment and really soak it all up. I am missing out on so much. My son does new things every day and I can barely recall the details of some of the most important moments in his life to date, like when he first walked. I just can’t remember the details, only that he got up and walked! Thankfully my husband has a good memory, but I don’t want to keep living on auto-pilot.

Do you ever feel disconnected from life?

What do you do to bring yourself back?

 

5 Cloth Diapering Must-haves

Cloth diapering my son is one of my favorite decisions I have ever made. I don’t think it’s hard at all because I have been doing it for so long that I don’t remember what it was like to do disposables! I don’t mind doing laundry every day, because I would be doing it every day anyway since I don’t like for clothes to just sit around waiting to be washed. And I don’t mind getting poop on my hands every now and then because, well, I’m a mom, and that just comes with the territory. I know cloth diapering is not for everyone, and everyone who cloth diapers has a different way of doing things. I just want to share a few things that work for me, or that have made cloth diapering easier.

1. bumGenius Diaper Sprayer

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This is one of those items that you either love or hate. I happen to love it! I did just fine the first 10 months of cloth diapering without one, but then I saw this thing at a yard sale and she practically gave it to me, so I decided to give it a try and I can’t imagine not having one now. Now, you really need to be able to control your squeeze when operating this sprayer. So, normally men don’t do well with this thing. My husband tried it once and poop flew everywhere. It was pretty bad. Just remember that the first time you use one.

2. GroVia Wetbag

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We take weekend trips to Phoenix to see the in-laws and I normally either do disposables for the weekend or I do the biodegradable inserts and the gDiapers, but now that I have these wet bags I just cloth diaper the whole weekend! Seriously, not one whiff of stink escapes from the top of this thing. I am able to keep my diapers in the bag until we get home where I can toss everything in the washer! I love these bags.

3. Hemp Doublers {Inserts}

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I almost gave up on cloth diapering. Milo was about 5 months old and he was soaking his diapers every night. I was so frustrated. I tried to double up with some newborn inserts that I had, but that didn’t help, so I did some research and decided to buy 3 hemp inserts. Haven’t had a leak since! Don’t let these skinny, little inserts fool you! They can absorb a sink full of water. Well, maybe not that much, but you get the point. I just stick one of these inserts in with his regular one for his nighttime diaper and he’s good to go for the next 8 hours or so. If you’re new to cloth diapering and are having problems with leaks, get yourself some of these things!

4. Ecos Free & Clear Detergent

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Most of us cloth diapering mommas have learned the hard way that we can’t use our favorite smell-good detergent on our cloth diapers. It seems to work (somehow) for some people, but for most of us, we have had to consult this wonderful chart  that rates how safe detergents are for cloth diapers. Ecos Free & Clear just happens to be available at my local grocery for a reasonable price, so this is the one I have used for a long time. I did use Rockin’ Green, but the bags are so small and last about a month while this thing is the same price and will last me about 5 months. If you’re thinking about cloth diapering, check this chart out beforehand. CD’s do require a little extra care, which includes using the right detergent.

5. gDiapers Disposable Inserts

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I know I said I use my wetbags when I travel, and I do for short, weekend trips. For the longer trips, {like the one we are taking to England in October!!} I like to use my little gPants along with these biodegradable inserts. It’s just easier to tote around a few diaper shells than it is to tote around a days worth of dirty cloth diapers. I can just throw the gPants in with our normal laundry and toss the insert in the garbage. I think they do say the are flushable, but I believe I have tried flushing one before and it didn’t go down so well. Anyway, it’s worth a try if you’re still using disposables when you travel. At least these are biodegradable and you can keep reusing the shell until it gets soiled, if it ever does. I’ve also used Honest diapers while traveling, and they held up pretty well. Plus they are super adorable with all the different designs.

Anyway, those are my cloth diapering must-haves. I mean, I could definitely get by without them, heck, people were doing it for thousands of years before the 20th century, but these things make it a lot easier for me to keep going.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Honest Diapers are Non-Toxic, Eco-Friendly, and Fashionable. Learn More!

Tuesday’s Tune: You’re the Best Song…

I still rock and sing my 33lb, 19 month old baby boy to sleep every night. I love it. I love that time we have together. I love singing him old hymns that I grew up with in church, that he probably won’t hear in church. I have a list that I go through, but he’s normally asleep by the end of song #1. I think I normally start out with “Be Still My Soul”, then “His Eye is on the Sparrow”, then “Just a Closer Walk with Thee”, and sometimes I make it to “In the Garden”.

It is my favorite part of the day. I will miss it so much when he decides he’s too big to be rocked and sang to sleep.

I heard this song about a year ago, and knew I had to add it to my list of lullabies. The second and third verses always get me, and they will get you too if you’re a Christian parent.

You’re the Best Song I’ll Ever Write by Bethany Dillon

…and I’m kind of sad I couldn’t find a great video, but the only other one cut off the 3rd verse. The only lyric you miss at the beginning is “Good morning, you and the sun are up before I’m ready. Well, ready or not. You need me. So here I am.”

SAHM woes

Man, I am not looking forward to this week. I start my internship, which means I have to leave my baby at daycare for the first time in his 19 months. I went to bed last night with that terrible feeling in my stomach, the one that I imagine 50 year olds get the night before their first colonoscopy.

I’m scared.

What if he thinks I’ve abandoned him?

What if he doesn’t want to leave because they gave him processed, sugar-filled cookies and kool-aid?

I guess those are my only two main concerns. I’m not just putting him in daycare (for less than 8 hours a week, by the way!) because of my internship, although I will admit that if it weren’t for this opportunity, I would never enroll him in daycare, but he also needs some socialization and to learn to be without me. I have so enjoyed spending every day with my baby boy, but it’s time for him to realize that while I am the the provider of food, drink, and pixar movies, other people can do these things as well. I think I am really just worried that the daycare workers are completely incompetent and, while they successfully take are of other peoples children, they will have no idea how to care for MY child. There, I said it.

I have come across a few articles that are reassuring me, along with some words from a few friends who say that their kids cried and cried for the first week or two, but after that, they loved going to daycare:

Separation Anxiety: Helping the First Day of Daycare Go Smoothly

Toddlers in Daycare

Both of these articles suggest that we visit the daycare for an hour or so before the first day that I leave him. Looks like that is the plan for today!

Anyone else dealt with this around the age of 18 months?

New beginning for year 4

I’m coming up on the 3 year anniversary of The General Specific, and while I’m proud to still have this thing going, I really want more for my blog. I’ve decided to start something new for the month of August. I’ve purchased a planner, since I actually have things to write in it now like our bill schedule, my internship hours, dr.’s appointments, etc…I have written out topics for the whole month of August, and I plan on posting every weekday during this month, starting with today. If I am successful, I am going to treat myself by purchasing my own domain name! So that is my challenge for the month of August.

On Mondays, I’d like to start the week out with the topic of marriage & family. It might be a lesson in marriage or parenting I have been learning lately, or an awesome article pertaining to one of the two topics that I came across. I think this is a good topic for a lifestyle blog, plus I am on my way to becoming a marriage and family therapist, so why not talk about it?!

Tuesday will be all about music! It might be an old tune, or a new one that I’ve been loving lately, but there will be a music video every Tuesday.

Wednesday is all about food.  I love food. I cook every night. So food must be included here!

Thursday is my craft day. So I will share what I’ve been working on around the house or maybe something that Milo did since he’s getting to the stage where he can do crafty things!

And Friday will be a list of my 5 favorite things for the particular week. I am a list person, so I enjoy reading other people’s lists, and I just thought other people who like reading lists will like to read mine!

Saturday and Sunday will be my off-days. Off from my internship and my blog so I can enjoy the maximum amount of time with both of my boys.

I have high hopes for August and for my blog.

Today I will leave you with a simple poster I pinned on Pinterest the other day. I think many parents forget this truth, then scratch their heads when their kids do the very things they advised them not to do. I’m not quite there with Milo yet, but this is something that my husband and I need to remember every single day as we interact with Miles and interact with each other.

 

Don't know where this originally came from, but I found it on Pinterest!

Don’t know where this originally came from, but I found it on Pinterest!

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday’s Tune: Which Way Your Heart Will Go

This is one of those songs that never ceases to bring tears to my eyes when I listen to the chorus and think about my child and husband. It makes me appreciate all of the times God told me “no” when I hoped for a “yes”.

Mason Jennings – Which Way Your Heart Will Go

Have a happy Tuesday!

New Year thoughts

Welcome, 2013! It’s hard to believe that 2012 is over. I don’t remember the years passing this quickly when I was a little girl. I was telling my husband the other day that I now see the truth in the old adage, “The days are long, but the years fly by”.  So what’s been going on?

Well, first and foremost, my amazing little boy turns 1 year old this Friday.  As I watch him make the transition from infant-hood to toddlerhood each day, I find that I am overwhelmed by all the thoughts and feelings running through my mind. At least once a day I find myself awestruck by the simple fact that I have a child. I look his face over and see both mine and Sam’s features and I can’t believe that he’s here…that he exists. Everything he does amazes me, even the simple act of pointing to an object!  He’s healthy, smart, beautiful, and I can’t, for the life of me, figure out what I have done to deserve such an amazing little boy.

Another feeling that I struggle with daily is fear. Is the baby gate up? Was that piece of chicken too big? Is the monitor on the right channel? Did I buckle him into his carseat? How will he react to Sam when he comes home from his deployment? What if Sam doesn’t come home from his deployment? How do I raise him to love and respect everyone in such a hateful world? How do I keep from letting him down?  There are many things that I’m afraid of when it comes to Miles. I think the thing that scares me the most is the thought of losing him.  The thought of a world without him is inconceivable. But he’s so little and everything in the world is so dangerous and accidents happen all the time and I obviously know that I can’t ruminate over these thoughts my whole life, but the fear is still there.  It’s really always in the back of my mind. I know part of those thoughts and feelings are what keeps him safe. They remind me to put the cover on the doggie door, and shut the lid to the toilet.

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So I live in a constant state of anxiety and extreme happiness. I guess this is parenthood.

Back to Milo’s upcoming 1st birthday.  Do all the years pass this fast? It seems like just yesterday I was enjoying a week’s stay in the extravagant Lester Naval Hospital with my tiny baby who could barely fit into a newborn size diaper.  He was so tiny and quiet and had this serious look on his face all of the time.  Before I knew it, he was growling. That scared me. Why is my 3 month old growling like a dog? Then a few weeks later he was laughing. I remember crying the first time I heard him laugh. I thought it was the sweetest sound I had ever heard, and it’s still my favorite.  Soon after that he was sitting up, then dragging himself across the floor, then crawling, then babbling, then pointing, then a week or so ago, he tried (successfully) to walk! He is depending on real food now, and has stopped taking formula.

I just cannot believe how fast this first year has gone by.  It blows my mind.

Moving on to other current events…Sam and I have taken the first real step in our home buying process by getting preapproved for our first home loan! I am so excited about this part of our lives. We will finally have our very own place.  We will only be there for a few years, but it will be ours.  I got so excited the other day and decided to buy some adorable plates from Anthropologie for my future tea/book club meetings with all of my future awesome, interesting friends.

Photo from Anthropologie.com

Photo from Anthropologie.com

Aren’t they adorable? I’m very excited about this home buying thing! I can’t wait to decorate Milo’s room.

Since I’m on winter break from school, I have been able to knock some books off of my “to-read” list on goodreads! I finished Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.  I think that book is a must-read for everyone.  I am on to The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients by Dr. Irvin D. Yalom.  I really like his take on therapy and his advice that a therapist should not rely on one theory alone, but contour the therapy approach based on the patient.  There are tons more tidbits of advice that he offers in this book and I have a feeling I will be referencing this book throughout my counseling career.

Anyway, dinner is almost ready and I must feed my monster-baby. Happy New Year to all!

Mothers: We all deserve respect

I’m sure most of  you have seen this sign floating around Pinterest or even on your Facebook news feed. I didn’t really care for it the first 10 times I saw it.  I just thought, “how arrogant and insensitive”, but now, after having seen it for the 37th time, I have arrived to the point where I feel the need to respond to this haughty sign.

My main question is: What the hell do you think I do all day? 

Do you imagine me gracefully getting out of bed at 9:30am, well rested, singing A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes while little mice and birdies dress me? Then I go downstairs, dressed and groomed, enjoy a nice cup of coffee while I read the newspaper and fix myself eggs benedict. Oh, and when I’m ready, fed and caffeinated, I go into my child’s room and, oh look!, he’s standing up in his crib, cute as ever, waiting for me to sweep him out of his crib (that he loves so much, he sleeps in it every night, uninterrupted).  I place him on his changing table and dress him in his Ralph Lauren outfit, since I am going shopping with 10 of my girlfriends later.  Then I take him downstairs and sit him in his highchair and I watch FoxNews and chat on Facebook with my friends while he eats breakfast all by himself. I then enjoy another cup of coffee.  After breakfast, I decide that I want to workout, so he plays peacefully with toy trains while I enjoy 1 hour of aerobics.  Then I take a nice, long, hot shower.  I think I might have one more cup of coffee since it’s only noon.  We enjoy a nice afternoon, shopping, spending all of my husband’s money.  At about 5pm, my son is ready for a bath, and then right after that, it’s bedtime.  I have the whole evening for me and my husband.  We slip into bed at around 9:30 and have sweet, uninterrupted sex, and then sweet, uninterrupted dreams.

Puh-leeze.

I don’t have to tell you that I haven’t slept past 6am in over 10 months.  I haven’t slept a full night in over 10 months.  I rarely get to dress and groom myself in the morning.  I normally wake up in a puddle of pee (cloth diaper problem) because my son decided his crib is actually a jail cell somewhere around 1:47am and woke up in a full panic!  I tripped over some jingling, squeaking elephant toy that he never plays with and made all 3 dogs start barking.  I wear my “pee clothes” until about noon, when I finally get to shower. It’s not a “nice, long, hot shower” because my son has learned that the water faucet knob moves and moving the faucet knob is the only thing that will keep him from throwing himself down on the floor in a fit of rage.  If I’m being honest, I get poop on my hand at least once a day.  My kid does go to sleep at about 7pm, but then he wakes up at 9pm…then 12am…then 2am…and so on.  And sex? Isn’t that what got me into all this in the first place? Besides that, my husband is deployed.

I think the thing that annoys me the most is that all mothers, whether you are a full-time, part-time, or stay-at-home mother, makes sacrifices.  We all know that it’s a tough job.  It’s a rewarding job, but it’s tough.  At the end of the day (which, for me, is right after dinner and right before bath time, when Miles is too tired to act like a normal human being, but not sleepy enough to go to sleep) I sometimes want to shoot myself.  Not literally, of course, but I get stressed from the day, too! My point with the above illustration is that it is not real for any mother.  If you have a full-time job then you wake up early, go to work, and come home to all that chaos.  If you stay home, you wake up early, go to work (since staying home with kids is definitely work), and you never leave that chaos.  Both situations involve sacrifice.  Why try to act like you’re superior to me just because you make a different sacrifice than I do.  You’re no better just because you have to, or chose to work. We are all doing the best we can for our children.  Why can’t that be enough? Why can’t we all get the same amount of recognition and respect?

Just though I’d get that off my chest.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend!