Speech Delays and Toddler Days

The love Jackson shows towards Josie is indescribable.

Jackson is a few months away from his third birthday. I’m not really sure where the time went! It seems just like yesterday J and I were sitting at Yumms joking that we were eating our last meal as just the 2 of us. Later that evening I went into labor and the rest is history. I would be lying if I said his newborn days were easier than these toddler days. He was a nap fighting, bottle throwing, SICK 24/7 baby. I’m so thankful we lived within walking distance to my parents house because there were plenty of times I would walk over with both of us in tears. There is probably enough postpartum fog to write an entire novel so I’ll save that for another day. 

This one is about the question I get asked the most. Is Jackson still not talking? That’s a good way to make me bite my tongue and hope that nice words form. Yes, he is talking. Is it what society considers talking? No. We communicate in multiple ways with Jackson. He “talks” all the time, we just aren’t able to understand his words. We have used context clues to decipher  words and phrases that he commonly uses. And just recently he has started repeating our words! I absolutely love hearing his tiny voice copy me. It’s also extremely interesting to see Jackson and Josie interact. They communicate in their own ways and it’s fascinating. As I’m sitting on the couch writing this I watched Jackson walk over to Josie, bend down, and in a soft baby voice babble something that sounded like “come here, come on” and Josie followed him to his room. Maybe babies really do have their own language. Jackson also is learning sign language along with speaking. Thankfully my family learned sign language years ago to communicate with my autistic cousin. It came in handy (no pun intended) with Jackson! From a very early age we started signing while we talked to him so by 9-10ish months he knew how to sign “more”. Now he knows close to 15-20 signs for his day to day tasks and things he wants/uses. We have been working with an ECI speech therapist and Early Childhood Interventionist for almost a full year. When he was evaluated he was at a 16 month level for speech and I can’t remember what he was for gross motor (he was 24 months at the time). The first speech report I got literally broke me. I think I cried each day for a full week. In the report the speech therapist has described Jackson’s behavior and interactions with his peers and teachers. She had stated that his tantrums were frequent, that he was inconsolable and he was a shoe kicker (not how she worded it). Having worked with older toddlers I knew exactly what she was describing. That’s why my heart broke so much. My child, who is unable to talk, was so frustrated that it was causing him to explode. He couldn’t tell his teachers what was bothering him, he couldn’t tell his friends he needed a minute, and he couldn’t tell us what he needed. Thankfully his other ECI therapist called me and assured me Jackson was okay. She assured me that they were going to help him, and us, figure this out. I reached out on social media and I had a few moms reach out. One in particular calmed my worries. She and a son who was also speech delayed so she knew exactly what to say without coming off as judgmental. She sent me videos and reports from their own journey and also sent me questions to ask Jackson’s therapist. Jackson’s teachers have been amazing through this process too. They have learned signs that he knows and help him work through his big emotions. A couple  of the hardest things as a mom with a delayed child is the judgment from others and comparing. I’ve been guilty of this before I had kids so I know I’m not the only one. Imagine, you’re in the grocery store and you see a toddler shopping with their mom. All of a sudden the kid reaches for something and the mom stops, hands it to them, and they throw it to the ground screaming. Your first thought is probably something along the lines of “that kid needs to be disciplined” or “could he scream any louder”. What you don’t see is a mother trying to see what item the child was pointing to and clearly got it wrong. With Jackson it’s a lot of “wrong answers” and he tells us in his own way that usually includes some sort of shriek. Now that he’s older I ask for him to show me that way we can avoid offensive side-eyes from the public. It’s also interesting to see people’s reactions to his tantrums. You can tell the ones who have a “tough” kid or the ones who have never had kids by the looks you catch in public. When he’s having a fit I’ve learned being soft spoken and getting down on his level helps lessen the severity. In the past I said the typical “there is no reason to cry” or “you’re fine, now stop” and all that does is send him further into a fit. Some would scoff and tell me that back in their day their mom (or dad) would have given them a reason to cry or their parents would have spanked them and sent them to their room. I’ve swatted Jackson on the behind before and it did nothing but make me feel like shit and made him look at me with so much hurt. I’ve been doing lots of reading, researching, and talking with professionals on how to navigate toddler life with Jackson. With the help of his speech therapists we have learned ways to help us communicate with each other such as making picture cards at home for foods, toys, and other common things he might want. I verbally describe every action so he can listen to my thoughts. We watch lots of animal documentaries and TONS of Ms. Rachel. This journey has taught all of us a lot. I have learned to be (a little more) patient, empathy for other parents with tough kids, and comparison is the thief of joy. I have friends with kids Jackson’s age and seeing them run around talking up a storm is a stab to the gut. In the beginning I would be guilty about comparing Jackson’s journey to theirs and that’s just not fair to any of us. Not anymore, we are on our own journey and creating our own path. I am so excited for Jackson’s therapy to continue and see what great strides he can make. We have a transition meeting with his ECI therapist and the school district so at 3 he has a smooth transition. Everyone always tells me that once he starts talking he will never stop, and I’m okay with that. If I ever feel the urge to tell him to stop talking then I’ll come back and read this post. For now we will celebrate our “wins” of new words and continue to learn new ways to help our Baby Jack Jack express himself. 

P.S. if you haven’t seen Incredibles 2 then you probably won’t get the Jack Jack reference lol. But, our Jackson has the same fiery personality as that character.

“Where are you”

One Year

Wow. Life happened and I now realize it has been a hot minute since I have posted anything. We are officially ONE YEAR post accident. Life looks much different than it did before. There are times we catch ourselves talking about “old times” (pre-accident), during (the recovery process), and post accident. Our life will always be post accident. We have survived something that could have broken us. J survived an accident that, if we are being honest, he should have not survived. I am a believer that everything happens for a reason. I am still doing lots of soul searching as to why he had to endure such a traumatic accident. There are days that I find myself reminded of those early hospital days. The long drives to the hospital with a screaming newborn, pulling over at gas stations to nurse her back to sleep, and the gut-wrenching feeling of having to leave the hospital bed and go home. Now we have settled back into a routine of raising babies and trying to not lose our marbles when the toys get dumped right after cleaning. Jackson’s 3rd birthday will be here after summer and I am not ready to accept that. Josie is a romping stomping toddler and chases her brother everywhere. We watch Bluey on repeat and keep the freezer stocked with dinosaur nuggets. Did you know it was possible to taste the difference between a “dino nuggie” and a regular chicken nugget? Jackson can sniff out those differences and then the dogs conspire with him to get the rejects. In the Fall of 2022 I started working at a private day school. If you know me then you know how shocked I am as well. I NEVER would have pictured myself being in education, but here I am. Motherhood has changed me in more ways than one and it has opened my eyes that we need people who care in education. I started in the 3-4 year old classroom while their aide was out on maternity leave. I enjoyed being with those little ones. Each day was an adventure filled with laughter, exploring, so many questions, and watching their little brain grow. There were times of explosive emotions but thanks to my own little bottle rocket I was able to help them through their emotions. In January of this year I moved upstairs to the elementary grades and now I am the 5/6th math/science teacher’s assistant. I also am the lead teacher for the STEM program and see kindergarten through sixth grade throughout the week. STEM has been so fun and the kids love the activities I have picked throughout the year. One of the perks of seeing all the grades is getting to know all the students. I never knew it was possible to learn so many names and actually remember them! Hearing them yell “Mrs. Fritz” from the playground as I walk in each morning makes my day 100x better, especially on those rough drop off mornings. I am also working on getting my alternative certification to become a teacher. I found a program in Texas that allows those with bachelors degrees to take the certification test, turn in observation hours, and get the final sign off from administration and BOOM, you are a teacher! I am so excited for this journey and already have a whole Pinterest board for how my classroom will look. J’s recovery journey is not over yet but he is finally out of the “danger zone”. He underwent 10 surgeries, multiple admissions into the hospital, and endured months of painful physical therapy appointments. His determination and tenacity are what got him through everything. I had the opportunity to go to every PT appointment and watch him go from wheelchair bound to driving away from his final appointment was the most inspiring journey. He too had also had a career change. I think one of the hardest decisions he had to make during this journey was to leave EMS. The pain and soreness is constant and we both know that you have to be at your 100% while on duty. As a rough, gruff, and tough dad I think that was a hard hit. But, as a wife I now know he is home safe and sound. He has been helping our friends (who are also our neighbors) with property management for their multi-cabin bed and breakfast. The best thing in my opinion is he is home every day and gets to be dad. He is there to open the gate when the kids and I get home from school, he rolls up his sleeves and tackles the evening routine with two toddlers, and holds my hand when our youngest is attempting to have a contest of who can stay awake the longest. He was also able to join (along with my dad) a group called Irreverent Warriors. It’s a group for active and retired military members who hike to raise awareness for suicide. I’ve seen so many great things come from this organization and the friends that have been made. I still don’t understand why the accident happened and we may never know the “why”. Our lives will never go back to the way it was before but, I’m okay with that. This new life that we have built is solid. We stayed true to our vows of “for better, for worse… in sickness and in health”. We love harder, forgive faster, and cherish the life we have built together. I went back and read my “One Month” update before writing this and I wish I could go back in time and tell myself, everything will be okay. Those trenches were deep and lonely. If it wasn’t for our family and close friends I’m not sure how I would have managed. My sister flew down multiple times and rolled up her sleeves and helped with the kids and managing the house. My gym family asked daily how J was doing and how the kids were. They helped me find the humor in the “mom trenches” and hearing their stories helped me feel less alone. My parents were (and still are) a constant throughout the entire journey and we are so thankful. From cooking, cleaning, watching the kids, all the way to bringing their own dirt over to help with water diversion. I always joke that I’m going to have to set them up with a bougie retirement home after all they’ve done for us. Remember to kiss your spouse, tell your kids you love them, prune your dead leaves, and know that you WILL get through your hardest days.

Madhouse Mornings

I hate weekday mornings. Even on the days that I go in late they suck. I wake up about an hour before the kids. The dogs get let out first and then I fix my cup of coffee, do my makeup, and get dressed. My goal is to do all of this BEFORE the kids are up. Mornings are hard for the hubby. His muscles and bones hurt and they take time to warm up before he can stand without being in excruciating discomfort. When he hears Jackson’s door open he turns on one of the morning movies or Bluey. Jackson drinks his morning bottle and soaks up the dad snuggles. Josie is usually already in the bed since her early morning nurse is around 4. By now my cup of coffee is half gone and cold. I’ll go top it off with some fresh coffee and join the bed crew. I will sit and enjoy the coffee and snuggles for a little bit before my feet hit the floor again. This is where time hits hyper speed. I’m not sure where these minutes go but I’m convinced I’m walking through knee high mud. We tag team getting the kids dressed and now the race is on. I start the car and load Josie first. I pop her pacifier in and kiss her forehead. When I walk in the door I cross my fingers that Jackson hasn’t left me a morning diaper surprise and chase him around the island before catching him. I get him loaded up and give him his morning snack and his juice (watered down propel) and turn on Noodle Loaf. Side note – Noodle Load is an adorable podcast for little ones. Now I go back inside and grab all the stuff I forgot with my 3 trips to the car. I kiss the hubby and out the door I go again. I never take into the opening and shutting of the gate so 90% of the time I’m pulling out of the driveway like Cruella Deville in 101 Dalmatians. I set my cruise because no one has time to get pulled over when we are already running behind. I drop Bubbies off at school, kid his forehead, and dash for the door before I can hear his cries. Then sister and I race to the gym to coach. Jackson’s new school is a bit further away and there are several schools between there and the gym. I have yet to find a route that isn’t packed with school traffic. My ONLY saving Grace each coaching morning is class has an unofficial start time at 8:05 so all the mamas have time to drop the kiddos off and drive reasonably to the gym. Every morning I am disappointed in myself. I replay the rat race within the last 20 minutes of the morning and think to myself… I yelled too much, I got mad at the dogs for being under my feet, my husband is staring at me like I’m insane, and my coffee is still sitting in the microwave. Each day I try to do it differently. I’ve laid clothes out, I’ve packed the car the night before, and countless other tricks. Nothing works to get us out the door early and barely on time. I have flashbacks from my childhood and just feel so bad for my mom. I was a brat in the morning (some might say that hasn’t changed). I can only think to myself that this is the universe giving me what I gave her.  If you see a person with kids in their car in the morning please be kind. You don’t know how many times they had to change their clothes, cut toast squares, or how many battles were lost before getting in the car. Smile and nod and just know that if they seem frazzled they probably are but it has nothing to do with you. 

The flip side to all of this. I love weekend mornings! Jackson is in a cinnamon roll phase so I start a fresh batch when I wake up and start my coffee. We all 7 (4 humans and 3 puppers) all pile up in bed and watch movies. About 10ish Jackson has had enough and we migrate to the living room or outside until lunch time. It’s chicken nugget time!! Then nap for the Bubs and then we pile up in bed again until he gets up. We usually spend the afternoons outside and then I start on dinner. Then we do it all again on Sunday ♥️

The Loneliest Hood

Motherhood is the loneliest hood I’ve ever been through (so far). When you first announce your pregnancy every one is so excited and the energy is overflowing. You are showered with gifts and your friends are so excited to be an Aunt to your child. Gender reveals, baby showers, and sprinkle parties mean you’re surrounded by people and the buzz of excitement. When you post pictures of your little bundle of joy your phone can’t keep up with the messages and notifications. The first few weeks of being home are filled with visitors and casseroles and then the newness fades. Life doesn’t stop just because a new baby is born. Family and friends go on with their lives. This is when it starts to get lonely. My husband went back to work when our youngest was 10 days old. 10 days postpartum and I was now responsible for our toddler AND a newborn. What the actual F?! My husband is an EMT so he is at the station for 2 days (48 hours gone from the house) and home for 4 days. Jackson had just started walking right before Josie was born so that made things considerably easier. But, a nursing newborn meant that there were times when I was tied to the couch or rocker. We are extremely lucky that my parents live across the street. When J was on shift my mom would come over and help with the evening routine and often bring dinner ready to go. She would hold the baby and keep Jackson occupied while I scarfed dinner down or took PTB shower. Even with our daily visits I couldn’t help but feel the loneliness creep in. How is that even possible!? I’m literally surrounded by people 24/7 and somehow I just feel lonely. Watching my friends through social media posts still getting together, having play dates with their kiddos or even having a girls night dinner hits the gut each time. Would I be able to go if they had invited me? Maybe not, but not being invited at all is what stings the most. I am sure they know that leaving the house is a challenge for me. With 2 kiddos 2 and under and a husband who sustained life altering injuries it can be hard to leave the house alone. But by golly I sure would have tried! Sometimes I just need some girl time or a glass of wine with friends. I have many “hats” I wear throughout the day. I have my mom hat, my wife hat, coaching, employee, nurse, chauffeur, and cook. I am sure I am missing some but those are the ones that I can think of off the top of my head. As a mom my world revolves around nap times, nursing, and bedtimes. The company I work for is cell-phone based so I take work with me everywhere which has been the biggest help so I can go with the hubby to his appointments and be there at the house to help. Our lives are busy, from sun up to sun down it is carting the kids to and from school, working in between, and then once we get home it is outside time, dinner, bath, then bedtime. Even with all these things jam packed into the daylight hours I never imagined motherhood to feel so secluded. I pictured fun park play dates, weekends filled with us best friends sharing some mom beverages while the kids played in the sprinklers, and day trips to the winery. The hubby can only take so much girl gossip before he starts trying to give advice when I just want to vent (LOL). I have to tell him to let me just vent and cry. I try venting to my mom but she is going to do the mom thing where she remembers how hurt I was and never lets that go even when I was just venting and the other party doesn’t even know I was upset. Everywhere you look you see moms on social media talking about “their tribe”. The tribe I thought had faded. With all of our life events my daily routine can be summed up into dropping Jackson off, going to work, picking Jackson up from daycare, and then going home. On the weekends we stay home since it takes an hour to pack both kids up and leave the house. I know this is my own doing but it is exhausting and sometimes even just the thought of leaving the house exhausts me. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t suck it up and give the kids some fruit snacks for the drive. As a mom I just want to be included.. I miss my friends, I miss laughing, and at times I miss the days where I could leave the house in 15 minutes. And here it comes, the mom shaming. Yes, I love my kids. I would willingly throw myself in front of moving traffic just to save them but that doesn’t mean I am allowed to miss the life I had before. No one tells you when you are handed the bundle of joy in the hospital that life will NEVER “go back to the way it was”. Your Facebook memories will pop up each day and remind you of the life you once had. I look back each day and just chuckle. We just thought we were busy back then. Let’s all laugh together! If you made it this far in the post I hope you know that this is a personal blog for a reason. These are my personal feelings and emotions but I hope that it lets you know that you are not alone if you feel this way. If you know me personally and want to hang out PLEASE reach out! I would love the opportunity to be there for my fellow moms that are in the trenches. Life with young kids is tough and once you graduate to the next level of motherhood you sometimes forget how draining these days are. We were not made to navigate these trials and tribulations alone. Humans are pack animals by nature so when we feel excluded and alone of course we are going to wallow in sadness (and I lather that shit all over). We feel like a burden when reaching out so slowly yet surely we stop texting and messaging until we slowly just fade out of the circle completely. My challenge to you is to swallow the pride and reach out. Be the one to set the date and then GO! Show up and tell your friends you miss them. If they truly love you then it will be like no time passed at all. If you find yourself being the only one then take that as your exit strategy and find a new tribe. There are moms all over that need to find their people and they are waiting for YOU! I love all of you and hope that you all find people that make you smile from the inside out.

One Month.

31 days. 744 hours. 44,640 minutes. May 16, 2022 somewhere around 1400ish I got the phone call. The call that would change our lives forever. Oddly enough, this is the second phone call I’ve received that would be so surreal that I almost felt like I was having a nightmare. If I could take that morning back I would. I was rushing around that morning. I woke up late and was taking my stress out on J and the kids. I remember kissing J on the forehead then stormed out of the house. That was our last encounter. My day went on as usual, dropped Jackson off at school, went to coach, and then started diving into that day’s worth of bids and phone calls. I worked out at lunch and then went for a walk with little Josie aftweards. I remember seeing a black cat and rushing past it so it would not cross my path. I always joke that I’m not superstitious but just a little stitious. I had just settled back into work and then I saw my dad’s name pop up. My stomach hit the floor and I immediately knew. I answered and he told me that J had been in an accident and that he would send me the address to the hospital so I could come up there. I asked all the necessary questions and learned that he was conscious but it was serious. The worst part of getting the phone call was I couldn’t leave right away. I had to feed Josie and go get Jackson from school. Once we were finally on the road I realized how slow time could be. The 2 hour drive seemed like it took an eternity. Once arriving at the hospital I was met by both my mom and dad. Apparently my dad had called my mom to come too (thank goodness). They wrestled our tiny little human in the waiting room while I was taken back to see J. My dad warned me that his legs were broken and they were going to look “weird”. Having been in EMS I had seen my fair share of traumas. Seeing my husband as the patient was something I never thought I’d have to do, or want to do. My dad was right. J’s legs looked extremely “weird”. I was so relieved to walk around that corner and see him propped up and talking. I didn’t even care what the leg situation was at the time. As long as I knew he was awake and talking I was relieved beyond measure. I was greeted by a whole staff of nurses and doctors and started learning about all of the injuries he had sustained. He had bilateral tibia and fibula fractures, a broken wrist, and a brain bleed. He also had some abbraisions to his torso that were caused by the friction from his jacket during his sliding. The left leg also had compartment syndrome so that was a pressing issue. I sat there by his side while he was in the ER sick to my stomach. So many thoughts racing through my head. How am I going to be there for my husband and be there for our kids? No one ever tells you that there might be a day where you are faced with a choice of caring for your kids or caring for your spouse. And I hope you are never in that situation. When you say your wedding vows and you get to the part of “in sickness and in health” you imagine the flu, the man cold, or maybe your mind wanders to the C word. Never in a million years would I have imagined that this would be our sickness or in health. The nurses worked on stabilizing his legs and got him prepped to go to a room. We knew he would be having surgery but we did not have any details. I went back to the waiting room and updated my parents and we decided that they would take Jackson home and I would stay with J until we got some more answers. I followed J up to the 6th floor with little Miss Joise asleep in my carrier. I asked the nurses if Josie was going to be an issue and they reassured me that she would not be a bother. We learned that he was scheduled for surgery the next day at 0630. I listened to all that was going on and let the staff do their job. He was in the IMC department so they could monitor his brain bleed and monitor the legs. They got him cleaned up and started to address his pain. I started to get packed up so I could go home and get Jackson set up for the next few days. The next morning I took Jackson to school and then started heading back to the hospital. J was already in recovery by the time I got to the hospital. His family was there in the waiting room, I was not fully prepared to see J in that state. They put external braces on his legs so there were rods and pins everywhere. They also had to do a fasciotomy on his left leg to relieve the compartment syndrome. There was a wound vac on the fasciotomy to help pull out the fluid trapped in his leg. The doctor advised me that this was the first of many surgeries that we should expect to go through. Holy smokes. My mind just went to mush. The thought that he was going to have to go under multiple times made my anxiety shoot through the roof. I went out to the waiting room and traded off with one of his family members. He was only allowed 2 people in the room so we would trade off. That day I was made aware that day that Josie was not allowed past the waiting room on the 6th floor due to it being an ICU floor. I broke down in the middle of the hallway crying like a fool because I was then faced with yet again another choice. Because I chose to nurse our daughter I wasn’t able to leave her for long. I do not have a freezer stash and she hasn’t taken a bottle since a week old. I begged them to try and make an exception. I explained that we lived 2 hours away and that she was nursing and my family was back home caring for our oldest son. They made some phone calls but sadly due to hospital policies there was no budging. I started having to spend more time in Brenham since all I was allowed to do was sit in the waiting room. I cannot put into words the feelings I was feeling (and still do) that my husband was laying in a hospital bed alone and there was nothing I could do about it. Unless I switched our daughter to formula. But thanks to the current country’s situation there was a formula shortage. I tried pumping milk to build up a stash but I don’t know if it was stress or just my body not being used to it I couldn’t get much. Not to mention, adding one more task to my plate would just be insane. I scheduled trips up to see J when I had someone available to tag along to sit in the waiting room with Josie. One of J’s shift captains met me there and sat with her, my dad came for a day, my mom went, and his dad even watched her after one of his surgeries. He was in the hospital for 18 days. 18 long days. J came home and we got him settled.He is wheelchair bound and had to keep the left leg elevated due to having a skin graft where the fasciotomy was performed. I jumped right into getting his medication schedule written out and getting things organized to help get him around the house. Thanks to my dad and Uncle D for tirelessly working on the wheelchair ramp getting J in and out of the house was flawless. Inside the house was a bit more challenging. The bed was too high, the doors too small, and those are just the things I can remember. My dad came over and built a platform with a ramp to make it easier to transition from the bed to the wheelchair. We took each task and analyzed it to see if there were things that could be done to make this new life easier. I was doing J’s bandage changes for the skin graft site. We had to Amazon 1-day ship everything and even had to reach out to family for some supplies since the hospital only sent us home with supplies for 1 day. I changed gloves so many times so I could keep the wound clean. We settled into a routine but on Sunday J started to become feverish and started to show signs of sepsis. We called EMS who came out to evaluate him. They confirmed our suspicions and I helped get him on the stretcher and watched them load him in the back. He spent 4 days in the hospital while they tried to get control on the infection. Within this time Jackson had been diagnosed with post streptococcal pneumonia. With the help of my mom we kept him home so we could monitor his wheezing. I felt so bad for Jackson. We had just gotten over having the stomach virus mixed with E. coli AND strep. When J was discharged my sister and I loaded up and headed to Round Rock. We got him in the car, got him some Torchy’s Tacos, and headed home. We settled back into our little routine. We worked hard over the weekend to find ways where he could move around throughout the house alone while I was at work during the week. Monday I went back to work and it was a relatively normal day. My dad went over and had lunch with J and then a few hours later I came home to start the evening routine. After the kids were down I checked on J and he became feverish again. I immediately began messaging my aunt who is an RN for a local hospital and after I told her everything that was going on we decided it was best for him to be evaluated again. Gigi came over to be here with Jackson and J and I started making our way to Bellville. Due to them having Covid patients Josie and I waited in the waiting room while they took J back. The nurse came out and told me that he was still septic and they were going to keep him and transfer him back to Round Rock as soon as possible. I made it back home around midnight and tossed and turned all night. The next day I went to work, got all my stuff done as soon as possible and then headed to Bellville to see him before he got transferred out. Josie and I visited with him for a couple hours and then back to Brenham I went to get Bubs from school. He’s been at St. David’s in Round Rock since Tuesday night and they have been phenomenal. He had another surgery (4th) to go in the left leg and clean out the infectious fluid. He’s been there resting and recovering. We miss him more than I’ll ever be able to put into words. I know that this is only the beginning of a long road to recovery for him. One thing I know is that I will be there by his side through all of this. Whether that’s being at the hospital or here at home taking care of the house and kids. Everyone keeps saying how strong I am, how resilient, how amazing. But I feel like none of those things. The only way one could truly know how we are feeling is if you’ve been through this or are down here in the trenches with us. And if one more person tells me “it could have been worse” I might just combust. Of course it could have been worse. We 100% have recognized that. But, this is our for better or worse. This is the worst traumatic event we have been through in our life. Telling me to be thankful for it not being worse does not lessen what we are going through. It honestly just irritates the piss out of me. My husband, the father of my children, and my best friend is going through the hardest accident and recovery without anyone by his side at the hospital. If only I could clone myself so I could be in 2 places at one time. We FaceTime throughout the day and he calls to blow kisses to Jackson and Josie before bed. I am so thankful for the Bellville Medical Center staff and St. David’s staff for taking such great care of him. I am so thankful for my parents and sister for being here day in and day out to help with the kids and Josie. I am thankful for the family and friends who have turned into family that have stepped up. I am beyond thankful for J’s work family who have come over and checked on us and for checking in on J when they know he’s not at home. We are so thankful for all that have donated to the GoFundMe or given grocery cards. I am thankful for the family and friends who have brought meals. We will never be able to fully thank everyone and I know that there will be so many more reasons to thank everyone as the journey continues.

Sunday Morning Snuggles

If you knew me 5 years ago you are probably just as shocked as I am that I’ve had 2 little ones. When people would ask about kids I would just laugh and tell them that I’ll be the fun Aunt Jessica forever. I never thought I was mother material. I love kids but I also loved spoiling them and sending them home to their parents. In my past life I tried for a couple years to conceive but always saw the words “not pregnant” on the tests. I let this consume me and it pulled me down into a low spot in life. On the outside I’d just tell everyone that I was okay being the aunt to all my friend’s kids but on the inside I was sad. I so wanted to see two pink lines and have my own bundle of minions to herd around. I finally accepted the fact that my pets would be my kids. Of course it wasn’t medically confirmed that I wasn’t able to bare children but what else could it be? Fast forward to when J and I reconnected. He has 2 kiddos so it was the perfect way to get to have a shot at being a (bonus) mama. I told him my past struggles of trying to conceive and we were both content with the current situation. Well, a few months later and a missed period I FINALLY saw the words “pregnant” on that little test. I took them all because there was just no way. How?! I almost passed out. I immediately texted my best friend because I was in shock. J was down south hunting and I really wanted to see his reaction in person. I had to wait a whole 24 hours with this secret before he came home. As soon as he walked through the door I told him I had a surprise for him. My mom had made her famous green sauce that he loves so I brought a quart home for him. He jokingly said, “what, are you pregnant?” That shocked me that he went straight to that so I started laughing and couldn’t hold it in any longer. I showed him the test and I legit saw the man’s legs wobble. That was one of the few times in life that I’ve felt so much happiness that I cried literal tears. I never thought I’d get this chance. It took all of our strength to keep this tiny little nugget a secret until we got to the doctor’s office to see that little heart flicker. My parents didn’t believe us. My husband jokes 99% of the time so it took lots of reassuring that it was in fact for real. Good thing we brought the ultrasound picture for proof. Of course they were shocked but after the shock wore off they were so happy. They immediately went into grandparent mode and started spoiling our newest family addition before he was even here. I write this as our oldest son is laying across my stomach and our daughter is snuggled up against me. This morning was the dreaded time change so today is all about loose schedules and staying in jammies. I looked down at this as I was drinking my second cup of coffee and just smiled. How on earth did I get so lucky to be their mama. Their safe place in this crazy world. They have no idea how loved they are. That their dad works so hard so they can have the best. That we do all that we do for them. Out of all of the things I’ve been called in life, Mama has got to be my favorite. Seeing little man reach up for me or seeing baby girl smile as soon as her little eyes open beings so much joy to my heart. I have no clue what I’m doing. I’m learning daily what it means to be mom. I am so thankful to have J by my side to help raise these little humans. It’s a tough job but lucky for these kids, we are tougher.

The Realist Registry

I’ve had a lot of time to think about things that are helpful to moms with newborns. I’ve only been through it twice so I’m by no means an expert but I’d like to say I’m considered a veteran mom at this point. Both my kiddos were born during Covid times so baby showers were iffy. For my first baby I had 2 showers, one from my best friends and one from family. I got on Pinterest and added everything but the kitchen sink to my registry. I mean I got all the “baby essentials” that were highly recommended by mom bloggers. I took great pride in my registry and used Babylist so it was all in one spot for all to see. I ended up getting a lot of stuff from it which was awesome! The only thing was.. I didn’t use half the stuff. The fancy cream applicators, the pacifier holders, and even some of the developmental toys were short lived. With my first one everyone said not to buy too many newborn items because of how fast they grow. They truly grow like weeds BUT if your doctor is anticipating them being small then DO buy the newborn diapers and onesies. Jackson was in newborn clothes and diapers for a few months so that was unexpected. Thank goodness for Amazon 2-day shipping! For my second I made sure to have newborn diapers and clothes at the house this time. 

Here are some ideas if you have a friend or family member having a shower soon. These are all things that are helpful to the new mama and her growing family. Some of these gifts might seem a bit odd so if you’re not comfortable then definitely stick to the registry. Or get one thing from the mom’s list AND one of these ideas. She might look at you kind of crazy but I promise when she uses the item she will think of you and smile. Gift cards are always nice so they can pick things out or order online. In the first few weeks no mama wants to have to go to the grocery store for 1 item that she ran out of because she accidentally ran out. Loading up the baby and going to the store for toilet paper will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back when you’re exhausted in those newly postpartum days. Laundry detergent (baby friendly detergent or regular) for sure. You don’t realize how many loads of laundry you’ll be doing just because a tiny 8 pound human is added to the mix. Between the spit ups, blowouts, and normal daily clothes you’ll be doing laundry 24/7. Good ol’ Dawn dish soap for washing bottles or soaking pump parts. If it’s gentle enough for baby ducks then it’s definitely good enough for the babes. WIPES. ALL THE WIPES. You will use them for everything (literally). I have a package or box of wipes in almost every room of the house and in the truck. I use them for diaper changes, make up remover, cleaning up spills, the dogs. You name it, a wipe can clean it! I’m partial to the Huggies Natural Care but honestly any wipe can clean up the messes. Puppy pads. This one might seem a bit weird but necessary for those newborn days. That amazing changing pad you got with those cute covers will become a mess as that cute little newborn sprays you with pee (or worse) right after you get done cleaning them. Lay down a puppy pad and BOOM 💥 that changing pad is still nice and clean underneath. You can also use them for crib liners, public changing table covers (stick a few in the diaper bag), even in the bouncer or swing if you’ve got a spitter-upper like me. Cloth diapers make great burp rags! These are going to be a diaper bag must have for sure. Any of the Earth Mama products (for baby or mom). I have the baby soap, diaper balm, and nipple cream. Side note: the nipple cream makes great lip balm. The Windi (by Fridababy) is another highly recommended gift. It helps pass those stubborn gas bubbles that happen at 3am when everyone is exhausted. It’s a little awkward at first but I promise she will be thanking you when she sees the relief on the little one’s face. Another Fridababy product that’s super helpful is the NoseFrida. While the old school booger suckers are good, the NoseFrida is GREAT. If the thought of sucking the boogers out yourself is a little gross you can use your pump instead (YouTube it!). Speaking of Frida products.. the Labor and Delivery + Postpartum Recovery Kit is a MUST for any type of birth. There are so many helpful things and their products are amazing. Definitely take what you can from the hospital but once those run out be sure to have this box ready to go. A small diaper caddy that you can move around the house with you will become your new purse. I have one for each kiddo with all of their diaper changing needs. I have them stocked with diapers, creams, wipes, nail clippers, and a change of clothes for the blowouts. I usually keep them in whatever room we are hanging out in that day or in the living room for easy access. Speaking of easy access. Something I found super helpful (for anyone really) is getting the behind the seat vehicle organizers. I have one for each kiddo stocked with stuff you need for changing, toys, snacks, shoes, change of clothes, and whatever else is helpful for your babe. You could add a clean bottle/sippy cup, formula holder, diaper trash bags, and of course extra wipes. I use this to help reduce what I have to carry in my diaper bag. Now that I have 2 munchkins to pack for that diaper bag weighs as much as my toddler. Footed ZIPPER pajamas are what mine live/lived in for basically the first year no matter what season. Do not get anything with snaps. I repeat, NO SNAPS. No parent wants to try to match snaps at midnight or in the middle of a Target bathroom. Sure they are cute but that outfit will be short lived. The one stuffed animal/noise maker I’ve bought multiple of is the Fischer Price Calming Vibes Hedgehog. My sister bought it for Jackson as a random gift and it’s become a part of our daily life. We have 5 (I think) between my house and their Gigi’s house. The hedgehog is so popular that Target only lets you buy 2 at a time online. Now little Josie has one of her own too. They are fantastic for those colicky nights that never end. Of course all these things are what are/were helpful for me and my hubby. Each parent is different and someone else might have better ideas but I’d like to think that these might be helpful suggestions if you’re wondering what to get (or what to ask for) for a new bundle of joy.

Oh, and another thing. Don’t forget about that mama. Yes babies are super cute and super fun to spoil but that mama needs spoiling too. Her whole world is about to be changed and she will need extra love and grace as she enters this new journey. You can add in gift cards so they can order the next necessary item they think about during that 3am feed. Some ideas would be Target, Amazon, Walmart/H-E-B, nail salons (for some relaxing mom time) and definitely STARBUCKS! Fuzzy non-slip socks, chapsticks, dry shampoo, hand cream (so much hand washing), FAST drying nail polish. Think about things that would be easy to do in a timely manner but also be a little pampering for the mom. Bath salts are great but let’s be honest, Mom won’t have time for a full soak for YEARS. Another idea would be a subscription box of any type. There are so many options for mom & baby and they are always super fun to receive and go through. A cute personalized drink container will be used often and cherished forever. I literally have a water bottle in each room of the house in different states of fullness. Not last and definitely not least, FOOD. Grab something from the freezer section that anyone can pop into the oven or microwave for a quick/easy meal. Whether you make it homemade for them to freeze or if you grab a bag of dino chicken nuggets for the big kiddos it will be much appreciated. Frozen juices will also come in handy and are easy to store. Snacks foods will help tie mama over in the middle of the night when the breastfeeding hunger kicks in. If you’ve made it this far thank you for reading! This has been in my head for months and I sure hope it helps if you’ve got a shower to go to or a mama/baby to buy for.

2020 – The Year that Just Kept “Giving”

I’m not even sure where to start this or where we will end with this one. The past 2 years have been some of the most trying times I’ve ever gone through. Just last night hubby and I were saying how marriages normally don’t survive what we’ve been through. I won’t start at the very beginning because that’s for another post for sure. When we found out our first little bundle of joy, Jackson, was on his way we had to make a few decisions about where we were going to live. Hubby’s job had him traveling for majority of the year so we knew we wanted to stay close to home so I could have family help with the baby. We were currently living in an RV that his parents (my in-laws) lent to us and when he would go out of town I’d go stay with parents on my days off shift. In January of 2020 we decided look into mobile homes since we couldn’t decide on a slab house location. We found one that was perfect and started signing paperwork that same day. Of course these things take time to process so now began the game of “send me every document all the way to your birth certificate”. While the paperwork was starting to be processed there were rumors of a pretty severe sickness starting to spread. I worked EMS so of course I just blew it off and didn’t think much would happen to us here in the US. Things were still truckin’ along with the paperwork and things seemed to be going smoothly. Then BAM. The rug was ripped out from under us. Things started to happen all at once and it’s been a whirlwind ever since. Covid-19 started sweeping through the US and companies of all industries started to shut down. Our call volume started to sky rocket and hospitals were putting beds in hallways. Slowly hubby’s jobs started to get postponed and then before we knew it he was in the office just waiting for work. Then it happened. The first week in April 2020 he was laid off. This was the first sucker punch. Literally 5 days later I had a very minor accident on shift and was terminated (that’s a whole different discussion). Here we were, both unemployed (I was 4 months pregnant) and searching for the next option. The job market was trash due to the shutdown/lockdown of 2020. This was probably our lowest of all lows. We lost the financing approval for our house (obviously) since we no longer could support the mortgage we were JUST approved for. Luckily we were able to get the down payment back. Hubby immediately started looking and found a job within a week. He worked his tail off doing whatever he could find so we could make ends meet. I tried every avenue you could think of but no one wanted to hire a person who was 4 months pregnant during a global pandemic. I was still able to get a few hours for the gym I coach at helping with the back office admin work but they were also shut down due to covid so it wasn’t much. We accepted the fact that the RV was no longer short-term but more than likely a long-term living situation. Luckily we had moved it to my parent’s property and set up a more permanent residence in March 2020. We started prepping the RV to be more kid/baby friendly. Luckily hubby’s parents were okay with us making small changes so we could have a bit more space. We took out the driver/passenger seats to give us more room for storage and so I could bring a glider chair in to rock little man. In the bedroom we took out the closet and built in shelves. Those were on my side of the bed so that’s where we put a full size dresser and Jackson’s bassinet. There were other small renovations and projects that we did to make it feel more homey. I would decorate for every holiday. My parents let us basically go back and forth between the RV and their house as needed. We used their kitchen and washer/dryer almost daily. When Jackson was born he and I spent most of our days over there so my mom could help while Joseph went to work (praise little baby Jesus he found a stable industry). I also started working about a month after Jackson was born. My boss had acquired another company so I was “hired” to help manage the office side of things while he and the crews ran the daily activities. It seemed like things were starting to look up for us. Having a newborn in the RV wasn’t totally terrible but it was definitely not easy. As a first time mom I was naive to think he’d actually use the bassinet (let’s all laugh together). We (all) co-slept on our queen size bed for almost 6 months before transitioning him to sleep in a pack and play. We got a mattress topper for it so it was more comfortable for him. He was still in our room so he would wake constantly. I didn’t think it was possible to get a full nights sleep again. I forget when we started the house process again. I actually think it was around January 2021 when we went to a place out of town and fell in love with a house. We paid our earnest money that day and started the process all over again. Things were not moving in a very fast pace so we randomly went and looked at houses at a local company’s lot. This is when we hit yet again another road block. One that we thought would crush us for real. The local company knew of some country regulations that the other company did not warn us about. Hubby and I started making phone calls to beg and plead to let us go through with the plan. Luckily after some more research and lots of emails later we found out we were grandfathered in with the old country rules so it was game on. And not soon enough because we found out Baby #2 was due January 2022! Holy shit. 2 under 2 in a camper along with 2 bonus kids (and 3 dogs) was just enough to make my head spin. The pressure was on to get the house process finished ASAP now. I called the finance company almost daily to see if they needed anything and what else I could do to speed up the process. Of course this went about as fast as a turtle walking through peanut butter. Luckily the ladies we were working with knew the urgency we were feeling and helped us every step of the way. The timeline gets a little blurry but I think we were FINALLY cleared for closing October 2021. Right during the rainy yucky season for where we live. It was fingers crossed at this point if we would be in the house before Little Josie made her debut. The house was delivered mid-November 2021 and the land improvements were going on. We had a few weather delays and had to wait for the property to dry out a bit. This whole time each day off the hubby had from his shifts he was out there sun up to sun down working on clearing the property and replacing the perimeter fence. He knows my life long dream of having a few goats so we picked to install field fence so the goats, dogs, and kids wouldn’t get out. I helped as much as I could but being 7 months pregnant I couldn’t do much. I would take water and snacks and offer my unnecessary advice a little too often (haha). It was mid-December and everything was hooked up, drilled, and installed. It was literally a livable house that we had to drive past daily as we went back home to the RV. We were just waiting on paperwork to be finalized and sent off. Then came the Christmas holidays and the paperwork still wasn’t done. Luckily it didn’t seem like I was going to have the baby early so I just kept asking the universe to just give us a break for once. And then FINALLY!! We got the keys on December 28, 2021! Watching Jackson be able to run (toddler run of course) up and down the hallway warmed my mama heart so much that I thought it was going to melt. The dogs got their big backyard and the kids (and us) finally were not all on top of each other. The big kids have their own rooms for when they come over and Jackson has claimed almost every square inch of the house as his. After getting the keys it was a mad dash to get everything packed up and moved over (luckily it was a short distance) and unpacked. The main focus was our master bedroom and the kid’s rooms. I figured everything else would just take time to find its home in our new home. Move in day was almost perfect timing because little sister made her grand entrance a week later. We’ve been in for less than a month still but my goodness it’s the best feeling ever. Our relationship has less tension and stress, the kids have space to play and hide out, and my parents can be empty nesters again. I will forever be thankful for them and all that they did/helped us with while we were waiting on the house process to go through. Opening their home/kitchen/laundry room to us without ever expecting anything in return. On the days the hubby was at work the kid, pups, and I would usually be found at their house where I would work from their dining room table while my kid tormented everyone (in the cutest way possible). We had family dinner almost every night which meant mom or I would be cooking for 4 (sometimes 6) instead of 2 like we were used to. The poor washer and dryer never got a break. We often made jokes that dad should install a quarter slot for replacement parts that might be necessary from the constant washing of tiny toddler clothes and sheets. Speaking of which, how does such a tiny human produce so much dirty laundry?! The move has also helped reduce the stepping on toes of all the adults. When you put 4 adults in the same “household” there is tension and everyone knows everything more than the next. We were all battling for control which ended up in some mini explosions at times. Luckily my family forces communication so after some door slams and huffs and puffs we had to “talk it out” so that it didn’t make for an awkward dinner later (😬). As hubby and I sit down at night we sometimes reminisce on the RV days and all the sand we had to trudge through to get where we are today. The house may not be fully decorated and there are still boxes to unpack but we don’t care. We are finally home. A home where we make messes and get to clean them. I get to bake cookies after we put the kids down because we can’t sleep and who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies?! A home where the kids can run around the yard and then splash in the bathtub afterwards. A home where hubby gets to come home from a long shift and nap while the kids and I play (without waking him). Words will never explain the relief and happiness this move has given us. The RV will always be our first home. Where we had our first round of holidays together. Where we brought home our first bundle of joy. I’ll definitely miss how fast I could clean it but won’t miss how fast we outgrew it. Our “theme song” used to be Little Houses by Doug Stone and now we get to write our own. I can’t wait to see all the things that this new chapter has to offer us (and all the goats I get to bring home).

Before removing the captain chairs.
The after 😁
Before “remodeling” the master bedroom area.
After ♥️
Home Sweet Home
Literally working in the rain on the last run of fence before going on shift.
Our new neighbors are kind of nosey.

Fine. Nothing. Fine.

In our household when you don’t want to elaborate about your day you just say, “fine. nothing. fine.” And that’s code for, I’m fine, nothing happened, everything’s fine. We probably default to this too much and by we, I mean me. The truth is, I’m not fine. I’m barely even okay. I’m struggling daily and I feel like a loose cannon of emotions. Jackson just turned 1 and I can’t believe it! My little baby is turning into a toddler and there is nothing I can do to slow this down. Recently he had a stomach virus that lingered for 9 days. Yes, I said 9. Throughout those days he had vomit and diarrhea constantly and all of us were covered in lord knows what. I lost count on how many loads of laundry and how many outfit changes happened. We were in the doctor’s office multiple times and even went to the hospital after a bad evening of constant vomiting. Finally a pediatrician listened to me and didn’t blow it off as “a virus just running its course”. She asked questions and finally we decided to stop formula since he was at the “right time” to transition to regular milk. The tricky part was, she also suggested no dairy as the lactose was not settling in his stripped stomach. I started him on oatmilk and within ½ a day his symptoms had drastically diminished. We had no more vomiting and the diaper situation was slowing. Hallelujah! After a few days we started to introduce solids again and this is where my mom heart is just crushed. We started to notice that he would randomly gag himself into vomiting while eating. It didn’t matter the texture, the food, or even the size of the bites. He vomited with mashed potatoes, chicken nuggets (cut into pincher pieces), even applesauce. It’s not every time and it there is no stopping it. As soon as he starts gagging his empties his entire stomach. Then it’s straight to the bath and he refuses to eat again. I thought it was just some lingering side effects of the virus but it’s been too long. My main worry is his nutrition. He is no longer on formula so we need him to be eating foods to get the nutrients needed to grow big and strong. His pediatrician has recommended a speech therapist to help with the eating issue we are facing. This is all so new to all of us and it might seem minor to some but I’m lost. Meal times literally drive me insane. My anxiety is off the charts during mealtime. “Don’t feed him too much. Those bites are too big. That food makes him gag. He doesn’t like that texture.” These are constantly coming out of my mouth as his dad and grandparents try to help. I try so hard to not pressure him to eat but he NEEDS to eat something. The only thing we can really get him to eat are blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Each meal I hold my breath and just wait for the eruption. He comes home from daycare in different clothes than I sent so I know it’s happening there too. His teachers are always so kind when they have to tell me that my child puked again. I promise them it’s just “how he is” and that he’s not sick. Looking at him most would probably just shh me and tell me he looks like a healthy growing boy. But I can see that his wrist rolls aren’t as big and his chunky legs are starting to slender. Maybe it’s because he is moving around more or maybe it’s because his stomach gets emptied multiple times a day. And of course, he’s only 1 so he can’t tell me if something hurts or doesn’t feel right. No one prepares you for this. For the hard stuff. And even if they did I probably would have thought “that won’t be us”. Well, never think that. Since having Jackson we have been thrown many curve balls and this is another one. Time to start pushing for more answers and for people to start listening to my concerns. I knew something wasn’t right and I let doctors and others tell me everything was fine. Always trust your mom gut. I’m so thankful we picked a random pediatrician to be seen ASAP and that I finally feel heard. Although I still very emotional about all this new stuff I feel a bit better knowing we have referrals in for speech therapy and will be setting an evaluation soon. I hope little man starts to enjoy exploring new foods and maybe we can get some chunky little legs back ♥️

Sick Babies & Scared Mamas

Today broke me. I am not proud of the way I handled things at all. Bubs has Croup and I have the crud. We were in the ER last night because despite my medical knowledge and training I am a complete freak when Jackson is sick. I panic and jump to the worst possible scenario. I think the real reason is because life is fragile and I’ve witnessed that first hand. Sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve to have him and I’m petrified that something bad is going to happen. So when he is sick I lose all rational thinking and panic. Anyways, back to last night. He was a little congested at dinner but nothing too abnormal since he just got over an ear infection. He went to bed just fine but about an hour into sleeping he woke up with the worst cough I’ve ever heard. My heart sank and I just knew I had to get him checked out. A few hours later we were discharged and back on our way home. The doc said it was Croup and the awesome ER nurse staff took great care of us! We didn’t sleep much since he was coming off his steroid high and his coughing would wake us both up. This morning I woke up dog tired and sick. Like I just want to lay in bed all day sick. Hubby is on shift and the grandparents are out of town so it’s me, the kiddo, the pups, cats, and the horse. Taking care of a sick little one is not an easy task, adding your own sickness is just torture. It’s true, moms never get a sick day. We have to be “on” even when we feel like shit. I put on my best customer service voice for work and tried to make calls in between Jackson’s fits. Thanks to 2020 most customers understand a little more that working from home is the new thing to do. My breaking point today was trying to get Jackson to take a nap. The roids had him “all jacked up on Mountain Dew” and he had been awake from 7:30am – 3:00 with only one 20 minute nap after breakfast. He was exhausted. I tried every trick in the book and even put him in the carrier and walked the driveway holding an umbrella (it was obviously raining). Nothing was working. I went upstairs and turned on the TV and tried to get him to fall asleep drinking his bottle. No such luck. I picked him up and carefully carried him down the stairs (another irrational fear). I was on solid ground when my foot caught something and I tripped. Like in a movie tripped. I somehow regained my balance still holding Jackson who was completely oblivious to what just happened. That’s when I lose it. I sat there on the floor holding my baby and cried. Ugly cried. My face was black from mascara left over from the day before and my shirt was soaked with tears. I sat there for what felt like ever holding him and just thanking everyone and everything that he never left my arms. Jackson and the dogs probably thought I was insane. Ugh I could feel my heart stop and couldn’t feel myself breathing as I scrambled for my footing. That has got to be the worst feeling in my life. After I pulled myself together we laid in bed and I soaked up all the sick baby snuggles. He finally fell asleep in my lap and I stayed there for his whole nap. I was NOT moving and risking waking the tiny human. The rest of the evening went on like normal and then we settled in on the couch to watch “mommy’s show” (Heartland) while he drank his bottle. It took some convincing but he finally gave into the sleep time routine and drifted on to dreamland. Now I lay here thinking about the day and how disappointed I am in myself. I was so frustrated with him this morning for not napping and for fighting me on everything. Well of course he did! (Face palm myself). If he feels as bad as I do then I can’t blame him. I’m sure being sick and that small is weird. You have no idea why you feel bad but you just do. And these big humans are clueless and try and give you stuff when really all you want is to be held. I know there is no road map for this parenting gig but I do know that I failed today. I failed him and myself. But that’s okay because tomorrow is a new day and I will do better. I will do better at watching his cues and try to soothe and comfort him. I will bounce him, walk him, drive him around, or do whatever he needs me to do. Because that’s my job. I am mom. And moms do whatever they have to so the tiny humans are safe and healthy. As I drift off into my Benadryl assisted sleep I’ll remind myself to wake up with a little more grace and a lot more patience. Because just like Jackson, we are all just figuring this out day by day. It’s just a bad day, not a bad