Archive for the ‘ mommyness ’ Category


I have a love-hate relationship with The Twitterz. I love the ability to connect with people who share my ideals, my situation. I love getting updates on Vital Remains concerts and yelling about my stomach aches. I do not love my proximity to overzealous lactivists.

Let me state first and foremost: Breastfeeding is natural, beautiful and the best thing for Mama and Baby alike. Usually. That said, I don’t like it when people start fighting over someone else’s decision to not breastfeed. You, as some random chick on the internet, do not know someone’s personal reasons to bottlefeed. There are plenty of perfectly valid reasons to not breastfeed. Maybe the new mama has to take a medication that could pass through her milk and harm the baby. Maybe Mama has an eating disorder and doesn’t trust herself enough to provide adequate nutrition for Baby. Maybe Mama’s like me, and for six exhausting weeks she tried relentlessly to breastfeed but she just couldn’t produce enough milk. Maybe she pumped for hours to procure, maybe, an ounce. Maybe she tortured herself with thoughts of inadequacy. Maybe she thought she must be destined to be a horrible mother, because her body couldn’t complete this most basic of tasks. Maybe she cried and cried and blamed herself. Maybe it hurt like 1000 knives in her heart as she bought that first tub of formula.

I sure hurt. That deep kind of hurt that comes from feeling like you Failed Your Child. But then my daughter grew. She thrived. She smiled. She learned. I carried that girl in her baby sling and cooed at her and held her as close as I did before the bottle.

It didn’t matter that she drank formula from a bottle instead of milk from my breast, because the heart was there, the love was there. She’s healthy. She didn’t fall apart without breastmilk. She’s fine. She’s better than fine.

One day I will have another baby. One day I will again try to breastfeed. But if again, it doesn’t work out, I won’t torture myself over it. Switching to formula was the best thing I could do for *my* family. Everyone deserves the right to choose what they believe to be right for their families and their situations. If those decisions don’t match your own, that doesn’t mean you should sit behind your computer screen and call them ignorant. Raising children is about love and compassion, not unsolicited judgments and name-calling.
It's about love.

Playground as High School

Anybody who’s been bored enough to read through my (limited) archives has probably noticed one of the several times I’ve mentioned my age. I’m 22. Young, yes. You probably noticed my daughter’s age as being 2 years and if you do some math that means I was 20 when she was born. (Yeah…I didn’t say difficult math). I became pregnant when I was 19, and Eders was born a few months after my 20th birthday.

My age has never been a factor in any of my decisions. I know that I am physically a young person, but I also know that mentally, I’m a whole lot older. I’ve never gotten along very well with people my age and probably never will. While that never used to bother me, I’m noticing more and more that I feel…sort of lonely. Most of my high school/college friends stopped calling when I got pregnant, and that stung a lot more than I’d expected it to. It bothered me that people only wanted to be my friend when that meant concerts, myspace-style photo shoots, and shopping sprees and not hanging out at the house with me while I breastfeed a newborn and change diapers. I get that my lifestyle has changed. I’m a homebody, and I’d prefer to stay at home with my baby then go out and get drunk, but I’ve always been that way, you know? What’s changed, other than I have a child now? I’m not a different person, I’m the same Amber I’ve always been, I just get to add “mommy” to the list of names I respond to.

Bummed out that I’d lost 87% of my social circle, I thought I’d try to make some “mommy friends”. How well did THAT work out…let’s see…I have none, so badly. I can’t seem to relate to any of the parents I’ve met. And they can’t really relate to me either. And why should they? I’m frickin’ weird, and I know that. I get told fairly often that I’m intimidating, which I think is crazy. Who’s going to be intimidated by me? I’m a little 5’2’’ elf of a person. Sure I’ve got tattoos and am probably wearing big ol’ ass-kicking boots, but if you’ve ever heard me speak, you know I’m as bubbly as any high school cheerleader ever was. And then I figured it out. To the average parent I see around town, I’m young. I’m TOO young. My lifestyle is too old for my old friends, and too young for my potential new ones. I have no intention of changing who I freaking AM just to make friends, though. The Interwebs will find my particular brand of quirk interesting, right?!



Love and Hairdye

Okay, I get it–I don’t look like this
Yeah, not at all like that.
I look like this
Yeah, that's more like it.
But my daughter…she looks like this.
Cute. Pretty much Adorable.
Happy. Healthy. Beautiful. Smart. Strong. Well-adjusted. LOVED. I don’t have to be June Cleaver to be a good mother. I might not be perfect, but who is? Sure, sometimes I get frustrated, sometimes I forget to pack just enough things in the diaper bag. I’m only human-I’m not SuperMom. But I do love my child, and I do my absolute best. Everyday Eden is told how much she is loved, how happy I am to be her mama. She’s kissed and cuddled, tucked in to bed with lullabies and her favorite blankie. I teach her all that I know and love her with all that I am. She’s my Miracle baby and I love nothing more than being a mom.
People who pass us in the grocery store can make their judgements. I’ve heard them all. Too young! Single! Why is her hair purple?! Yuck, tattoos! I bet she’s ANGRY! I bet she’s on drugs! I bet she dropped out of high school! Judge all you want, because we know the truth. My daughter has already learned a valuable lesson you’ve apparently missed- Never judge a book by its cover.

Or a mommy by her hair color.
Save your judgement.

The List of 100 Dreams

At the suggestion of a recent issue of Whole Living magazine, I made my List of 100 Dreams. In doing so, it really helped put things in perspective. Made me see what is REALLY important to me.

1) Master knitting
2) Garden more, grow my own veggies
3) Learn to can said veggies
4) Pay off my credit cards and never get another
5) Learn Italian
6) Give up soda
7) Exercise daily
8 ) Do daily “gratefuls”
9) Go vegetarian
10) Embrace an earlier bedtime
11) Get my BSN
12) Take Eden camping
13) Run a half marathon
14) Read all the books in my library
15) Learn to sew
16) Achieve a healthy body weight
17) Volunteer at an animal shelter
18) Be a foster parent
19) Climb a mountain
20) Ride RAGBRAI
21) Own a small business
22) Open an Etsy shop
23) Tour the mediterranean
24) Get married
25) Have another baby
26) Go to the Smithsonian
27) Be an extra in a movie
28) Write a book
29) Restore an old house
30) Plant a tree
31) Lay in a hammock and drink an umbrella drink
32) Go on a cruise
33) Learn to speak Polish
34) Become an ARNP and work in oncology or hemotology
35) Learn to play the cello
36) Teach Eden to play the piano
37) Coach cheerleading
38) Go to a tattoo convention
39) Take a class in criminal psychology
40) Go to every state in the USA
41) Learn to surf
42) Go blonde
43) Be in a commercial
44) Go to a spa for a weekend
45) Go ghost hunting
46) Stay in a bed and breakfast
47) Plant a sunflower garden
48) Get a henna tattoo
49) Eat Belgian waffles in Belgium
50) Restore a classic car
51) Read Proust
52) Go backpacking
53) Make homemade candles
54) Try sushi
55) See Niagara Falls
56) Go skiing in Sweden
57) Learn to tattoo
58) Go to all the zoos in the midwest
59) Work at St. Jude’s
60) Start an advocacy group for suicide prevention and self-injury awareness
61) Take the exam to join mensa
62) Learn to decorate cakes
63) Tour castles in Ireland
64) Ride a horse on a mountain trail
65) Get a mohawk
66) Climb a tree
67) See Dracula’s castle
68) Illustrate a graphic novel
69) Campaign for a politician
70) Learn to crochet
71) Go snowboarding
72) Go to an IMAX movie
73) Be a contestant on a game show
74) Kiss a celebrity
75) Go rock climbing
76) Donate a gallon of blood
77) Do a voice-over for a cartoon
78) Write a song
79) Break a world record
80) Make and bury a time capsule
81) Do yoga in front of a waterfall
82) Help my parents open an orchard
83) Be in a musical
84) Be a girl scout troop leader
85) Learn to skateboard
86) Rescue a shelter animal
87) Go to Disneyland
88) Go bungee jumping
89) Speak at a conference
90) Be in an art exhibit
91) Be tattooed by Kat Von D
92) Go white water rafting
93) Invent something
94) Make a quilt
95) Visit the Crayola factory
96) Home brew
97) Inspire someone
98) Learn sign language
99) Walk my daughter down the aisle
100) Be happy

Eden Neutron?

So, Eden had her 2 year checkup the other day and it went just as I’d expected it to.


She’s still small, but not worryingly so. Her height was in the 45th percentile, her weight was 50th. Her head circumference….OVER 100th percentile.
Full of brains, clearly.
Her big head is becoming a sort of running joke…every time a hat doesn’t fit, or I can’t get a shirt over her ears. Or when I bought her new bike helmet for this summer and had to get her the size meant for kids ages 5 and up. Like me, she’s doomed to never be able to wear hats that say “one size fits all” or find sunglasses that don’t cause headaches. In fact, MY giant head has also become a running joke…my mom telling the oh-so-hilarious story of my head always measuring a few weeks larger than the rest of me while I was still gestating and how the doctors thought I’d be born with a mental handicap. =/ OBVIOUSLY I wasn’t…..(or that’s what I’ll keep telling myself). On paper, I’m a smart girl. I eat standardized tests for breakfast. In real life, I’m sort of an idiot. I’m one of those people who’s “book smart” but not “street smart”. And it seems Eden may grow to be the same way. She’s already head-and-shoulders above kids her own age, especially when it comes to her vocabulary and memory. She’s AMAZING at remembering names…it’s almost suspicious. She knows several spanish words, and has figured out how the DVD player and the vacuum work. Teaching her is one of the most amazing parts of being a mother. I LOVE watching her figure things out, I can practically see the little gears in her head turning. Ever since she was born, I’ve been teaching her how things work, what things are. When she was a newborn, and I carried her around in the sling, I narrated my life to her. Told her about everything I was doing, how it worked, why I did it, and I think it actually stuck with her. I’m not a mom that forces flash cards on her kids, or never lets them watch TV or play games…I just let Eden learn about her world in her own way.
She explores, I explain. That’s how it’s always been.

Street smarts are overrated anyway…

2 Years and Counting

In two years, we’ve seen so much. I remember the tears I shed the night you were born, the torrent of emotion I felt when I heard your cries. I remember how my joy turned to fear when they told me you needed a chest xray and didn’t tell me why. The radiologist came in and kicked me out of your room and the tears came back again. I paced the hall at midnight, crying and fearful. Eventually morning came and with it came good news.
You were perfect.

Soon enough we went home. The setting changed a few times, along with the cast of characters. Through the swirling scenery, it’s always just you and me. I’ve cherished these last two years, and watching you learn about your world. I cherish the simple moments, the playdoh and the picnics. Everyday, I’m proud to be your mom; you’ve changed me. I’m a better person now, and that’s thanks to you.

So thank you, punkers. I’ll be there for you until I’m old and bedridden, and then for a little longer. It’s me and you ’til the wheels fall off.

Sultan of Scream

It’s 5:00 pm.

I’m sauteeing things, boiling things, dinner time is fast approaching. That can only mean one thing….Eden needs a hug. And by “Hug”, I mean “Cling to Mama’s torso like a koala and refuse to be set down”. Not liking to be told I can’t hold her and cook dinner at the same time — EdenMonster goes into berzerker mode! Screaming, kicking, pulling on my legs so hard she literally pulls my pants down (yeah…I know…it’s funny). Through it all, I finish dinner and I strap my nutty child into her booster seat and hand her a plate. For the next 15 minutes, she yells, cries, and, in an attempt for sympathy, invents booboos to be kissed (she’s clever all right…I can never say no to booboo kisses). Thankfully, she eventually calms down long enough to scarf down 1100 pierogies and a grape.

All is right in the world.

During this 30 minutes, I learned 3 things.
1) I should wear belts more often.
2) I must stop buying ceramic dishware.
3) EdenMonster will one day either A) Sing for the Metropolitan Opera, or B) Front a grindcore band.

Girl’s got pipes.