A bloody good cuppa.

I’m not British, but I was raised by a woman who just so happens to be from across the pond. I spent most of my childhood trying to work on my faux accent, while sipping on excellent, imported tea from the UK.

As far as I can remember, whenever I’m upset, tired, happy, cold, confused, excited, or any other kind of state of mind you can think of… I always have a cup of tea.

Failed that midterm? Time for tea. Just got engaged?! Time for tea. Woke up with a tummy ache? TEA!

TEA CURES ALL.

 

I remember the night I met my stepmom. She wasn’t my stepmom at that moment, but she was a stranger. She had a funny accent. She was dating my dad. MY DAD. No one was allowed to date my dad. My parents had been divorced for .5 seconds. I had a home with my mom. I had a home with my dad. There was no room for anyone else. I’ve always been a Daddy’s girl. The night I met this foreigner was a night like many other nights. My Aunt Berta ( My Berta Boo, and now my kids GGB), my Grandpa and my GG were all sitting around after a long day. My dad wanted to introduce this strange, new person to us all together. Her name was Clare. She was from England. My dad was head over heels. I was not. I was not prepared to share my father with anyone else. It was he and I against the world, or at least that’s what my memories are.

I can’t remember what we talked about that night. I can’t remember when he and Clare left, but I do remember what happened immediately after. My Berta Boo poured me a cup of tea. I was seven. She filled it with milk and enough sugar to make my teeth fall out, but it tasted like comfort. It tasted like everything was going to be fine. Even as an adult, when I spend time with my Berta Boo, there’s always a cup of tea involved.

There’s much to be said about the comfort of a good cuppa.

 

I spent countless nights at my Grandpa and GG’s house after that night. I loved being there. After my Grandpa would go to bed, my GG and I would drink tea while watching reruns of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda on TV Land. Sometimes, we’d drink peach champagne… but that’s another story for another day.

Some kids have a blanket or a soft companion that calms them. When I was a kid, I had tea. Even now, as an adult, I have tea.

 

As my ice cold heart melted, (with the help of tea, I’m quite sure of it…), a good cuppa became something that my stepmom and I bonded over. Her family in England would send over the best that Tetley had to offer, and we would start every Sunday morning with a family breakfast and tea. Tea became the glue that bound Clare and I together. I can’t remember where we were, or why it was said, but I remember Clare saying to me, ” I’ll be super, you be glue. We’ll stick together and get through this.”

IMG_2593*Nanny & Maevie*

I should write an advertisement for Tetley… ” Tetley tea, bringing together families all over the world.”

Another fond memory I have of tea is connected to another one of my parents, my stepdad. His name is Dave and I spent most of my teenage years making his life, as well as my other parents life, a living hell. I yelled. I screamed. I ran away. I threw house parties. I dated bad boys. I drank his vodka and tried to fill it back up with water, because I figured he wouldn’t notice.

 

He noticed.

 

My stepdad and mom are a bit like gypsies. They move a lot. They thrive on change and the challenge of turning a house into a home. It used to bug the shit out of me, but now I think I kind of get it. I’m thirty-one and I’m still searching for a place that I can call home.

 

One of these homes that Dave and my mom decided to take on, was a bed and breakfast. I was almost fourteen and I was excited for the adventure of living in an extremely old house with secret attics, weird hallways, and a dark basement full of ghosts (again, another story for another time, but we had ghosts… STOP ROLLING YOUR EYES. WE HAD GHOSTS, OK!??!). My stepdad loved to cook, so it wasn’t a huge step for him to take on the role of Chef at this historic B&B in the middle of Connecticut. My sister and I moved to the third floor of the house, our own private suite. On the second floor of the house there was a little pantry for guests. There was a mini fridge with soda and water. There was a microwave for popcorn, where almost EVERY SINGLE GUEST almost burnt down the house. Apparently, making microwavable popcorn is as challenging as trying to figure out rocket science. There was also a water cooler thing that would make cold or hot water. My stepdad stocked the pantry with various teas for guests if they wanted a cup or two of tea. English breakfast, Earl Grey, Camomile, Jasmine, and green tea were available twenty-four hours a day, alongside sugar and cream. I spent a significant amount of time screaming at my stepdad, which led to a significant amount of time being grounded. I would hide in my room, watch MTV, and plot my revenge. Sometimes, while plotting, I would sneak down the stairs from the third floor and walk up to the guests pantry area. I would make myself a cup of English breakfast and would take it back to my room. I’d sip on it as I watched ” Making the Video” and ” Behind the Music”. I don’t think he ever realized, even to this day, that having that tea so close was a lifeline for me. A good cup of tea was my anti-anxiety medication. A good cup of tea had the capability to turn a bad day around. He restocked the tea all the time, and I have no idea if he even realized it was me, drinking it all. Over a decade later, when I visit my parents in New York, he somehow always has my favorite ready to be steeped and poured.

D547EB6C-236D-469F-B3D9-BF9A410EB480*Grampie & Maevie*

 

 

Once again, TEA. THE ULTIMATE HEALER OF ALL WOUNDS OLD AND NEW. (I should make a billboard.)

My children drink tea. Can you believe it? I let a two year old and a four year old drink tea. Sometimes, the tea has caffeine in it. SCANDAL! INSANITY! TERRIBLE PARENTING!

…but you know what? It has that same calming affect on them too.

A few weeks ago, my oldest woke up with a tummy ache and growing pains. I carried her down to the living room, sat her on the couch, and the first thing I asked her was, ” Want a cup of tea? It’ll help.” Her reply was, ” Yes.” She felt better half an hour later.

 

We have tea parties almost everyday. Sometimes we have tea parties with lemonade, but for the most part, we have tea parties with tea. We laugh. We talk. We pretend we’re eating fancy British tea sandwiches and cookies. We create memories that I will cherish forever.

 

Tea. It’s just some leaves placed in a bag that you dip in hot water, right?

 

No.

 

It’s more than that to me. Tea has brought me together with two individuals that I am proud to call my parents, even though I already had a mom and a dad. Tea isn’t going to solve world hunger or impeach Donald Trump (damnit, I wish it could.), but it may comfort you in the moments where you just need to stop. Stop and breathe. Stop and breathe and fill your belly with warmth.

She said what?!?!

So, I”m really digging this whole blog-life thing I’ve got going on right now. It’s been wonderfully therapeutic for my postpartum shit and just general life shit.

I used the word shit twice in one sentence. 

It’s been hard out here for a sarcastic bitch like myself, to find my way out of the dark, fucking hole that postpartum depression and anxiety threw me in.

Uh oh…I said bitch and fucking in one sentence.

But damnit, I’m a survivor. I’m a woman. I’m a really great cook, which is surprising. I recovered from a decade long eating disorder. I’m a mother. I’m a singer. I’m a very bad dancer. I’m fucking Wonder Woman in the flesh, my friends.

I said it again. DAMNIT! Fuck.

 

I love and respect my family, very, very much. I usually stretch myself in every single direction trying to make all four of my parents (yes, I have four.) and siblings happy. I want to be there for every major life event, even though I live like 800 miles away. Actually, I think it’s closer to 880 miles. I’m extremely lucky to have the family I have. They are supportive. They are loving. They are generous. They are kind.

 

But they hate it when I swear. Hate it. 

 

I remember being twelve and in a ballet class with a few girls who were older than me. They knew I went to a very conservative, Christian school, and I had never dropped the F bomb. These prima ballerinas pushed me in a corner and made me say, ” FUCK!” as loud as I could. It came out as a whisper. I thought God was going to smite me from Heaven right then and there. But, the seed had been planted. I enjoyed having a few new words in my vocabulary.

In order to be my authentic self ( Pretty sure that’s an Oprah phrase…), I swear on this blog. I swear a lot. I say shit, bitch, fuck, damnit… I could go on and on. There’s a few words I won’t say, but generally I swear a lot. I also do this in front of my kids.

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? This mother says FUCK on a regular basis in front of her children! BLASPHEMY! What kind of fucking mother says those kind of fucking words in front of her kids?

A mother who is actively teaching her children that when Mama says a word that’s an adult word, it can only be used by an adult. I’d rather teach my daughters how to swear in the proper context than teach them how to use words like hate, idiot, or loser. That’s not to say that they haven’t repeated an adult word. Fiona dropped the F bomb and Maeve said, ” Oh, shit!” once. Pretty priceless, but both were used in an appropriate situation. See? My little shit heads pay attention. ( Ok, I never actually call them shit heads to their face, that’s only behind their backs when they’ve taken a sharpie to my kitchen walls or decided to wake me up at 4 am on a Tuesday, because they REALLY can’t sleep and REALLY want to watch Trolls for the 90,000th time.)

 

Take it or leave it baby, but this is a blog written by a tattoo’d, swearing, wine loving, tea drinking, mother of three fierce daughters. I’m not changing who I am in order to avoid offending anyone.

 

My next blog post will discuss how my gluten free life style has made rainbows shoot out of my ass and cured my hypothyroidism. 

 

Just kidding. That would be some stupid fucking bullshit right there.

 

Life’s no fun without a good scare.

It’s finally October.

FINALLY.

I love autumn so very much, and I feel like we’ve all been waiting weeks for cool weather and crisp foliage. I’m personally grateful for temperatures below 70 degrees and the return of  warm apple cider. Yum, yum, yum.

I grew up in Connecticut and no one does October quite like Connecticut. The hills are filled with brilliant yellows, oranges and deep reds. It even smells like October in Connecticut. Everyone starts burning wood in their fireplaces and visiting pumpkin patches with long hay rides.

It’s pretty cool. I keep hoping that Michigan will also give me that warm, fuzzy feeling about the fall season too, but unfortunately it’s still 80 fucking degrees here. IT’S OCTOBER.  I can’t deal.

Anyway…

When I was a kid, my dad and stepmom lived on Meadow Street in Litchfield. Good ‘ol Meadow street. It was a legendary destination for a young trick or treater in the upper west corner of the constitution state. The street was always filled with hundreds of kids and their parents knocking on every door. Meadow Street was the place to be. My dad would dress up as a scarecrow and scare the bejesus out of poor, unsuspecting adolescents. BOO!

My mom on the other hand, went through this weird phase where she and my stepdad felt that Halloween was an evil holiday. The Devil’s night. She made me spend a halloween in a church basement bobbing for apples. I remember seeing other peoples spit floating in the water. It was gross, SO GROSS. Luckily, they moved past the ” Halloween = Devil Worship” phase pretty quickly.

 

In college, I used Halloween as an excuse to dress up like an absolute idiot. Tight, sparkly, dumb costumes that showed off my greatest asset.

73846_659646716017_641514_n*you can practically see my vagina with these shorts*

1909653_537747028967_6937_n*ok, this one was LEGENDARY*

My ass.  (Side note: I’ll lock my children up until they’re forty years old if they ever try to pull that shit and leave the house looking the way I did.)

So, now that I have a few kids, I try to think of some really clever costumes.

That’s a lie. I tried once and I failed.

I thought it would be perfect for my daughter Fiona to be an apple. Unfortunately, no one got it. She looked like a tomato. Honestly, I was pretty shocked that NO ONE EVEN KNEW WHO FIONA APPLE WAS. How can you not know who Fiona Apple was? A LIVING LEGEND PEOPLE, A LIVING LEGEND.

1460241_10100952383877357_199712072964343860_n*Fiona Apple*

 

Last year, I let Fiona decide what she wanted to be. She immediately told me that she was going to be Elsa (DUH.), Maeve would be Ana, Daddy would be Kristof, Wrigley (our super annoying, and yet extremely lovable dog) would be Sven and I would be Olaf.

Lucky me. I had a big ‘ol preggo belly, so Olaf wasn’t that much of a stretch. Although, I did ask if I was appointed to be Olaf as a fat joke.

14937464_10101737495078217_3810649289040867636_n*Good times people, good times*

 

So, now that this haunting season is upon us, my children have taken a very strong liking to ” The Nightmare Before Christmas” and ” The Corpse Bride”. They are obsessed with all things scary. I let them watch ” Coraline” today, and I’m pretty sure I was more horrified than the both of them. Last year, Fiona found some googley eye balls at the store. She then proceeded to hide them all over the house with the hopes that we would stumble upon them and scream with fright. (I found eyeballs all over my house until Christmas. Seriously.)

maxresdefault*nothing creepy about this at all…*

 

This is all very puzzling to me, because I won’t even go in a damn haunted house. NOPE. NEVER. The last time I attempted to go inside one, I had to be removed by paramedics, because I had an asthma attack.

I know. Laugh all you want, but that effing clown room ruined me for life.

RUINED.

This year Fiona decided that she and Maeve are going to be witches. My theory behind this is that they both want to learn some spells to cast upon me. They’re running out of ideas of how to torture me everyday. I’m not even kidding. I thought it might be kind of funny if we dressed Lucie up as Lucifer, but that didn’t go over very well.

Apparently, I’m the only one that thought dressing up my eight month old baby as the devil was a good idea. (Get it? Lucille as Lucifer? BRILLIANT!)

 

In the meantime, I’m going to scout out places in my house where I can hide every single Reese’s peanut butter cups that they get from my neighbors. Perhaps, I’ll set up some booby trap of my own with some googley eyes.

Trick or treat my friends, trick or treat.

 

070f443f628abab840ebab58306fff1b--halloween-movies-disney-halloween*t

 

 

 

Talkin’ bout my girl.

There’s this chick that I know. I’ve known her since she was five years old and I was a freshman in college. She comes from a really fantastic family, with a sister who’s pretty freaking awesome too. They took me in as their own whenever I had any struggles while I was in college, and as I tried to figure out life as an adult. I spent every single Friday night with this family and this little girl who has turned into a woman.

 

When I met Isabelle, she was having a playdate with my sister. I thought she was cute and I have always been a damn good babysitter. I told my mom to give her mom my number in case they ever needed a sitter.

 

About a month later, Isabelle’s mom, Kelly, called me and asked if I could come over and watch the girls. I said sure.

 

I literally spent twelve hours babysitting at their house. Twelve hours where I learned how passionate, smart, and stubborn Isabelle was (pretty sure she told me to fuck off at one point during that day, and I was rather impressed). I’d babysat tons of kids, but she was different.

She was five years old and she had the wisdom of someone who had lived a full and beautiful life. She sat on the swing at the playground and begged me to push her, just one more time. We’d sit on the seesaw and she squealed with delight as she bounced up and down. She and her sister both demanded root beer at a local Mexican restaurant after every single park day. I spent countless nights tucking Isabelle into her bed while singing her to sleep. She loved to hear my voice and sometimes we sang together. She has always a had a passion for music, and if I screwed up a lyric? She would correct me immediately. When I would pick her up from school, she’d charge down the stairs and run up to me with a giant hug.

We’d go back to her home, a few blocks away, and we would all play karaoke or just dance for hours on end. She and I would sing along to the songs and twirl around the room with abandon.

 

Sometimes, she’d be pissed at me. And let me tell you right now, Isabelle is not someone you want to be pissed at you. She has given me the silent treatment, the crying treatment, and the extremely sarcastic and mean treatment.

Just like any another kid. Just like myself when I was her age. One time, when she was a tween-ager, she got mad at me about something. I ignored her anger and went about my day. Later on, after she had gone to sleep, I noticed her iPad was open. It was open to a google search engine, and the search was… ” How to Tie up your babysitter in a closet…”

I admired her creativity skills for that one.

She’s too damn smart for her own good.

There came a time when I was driving her mom’s car to the movies. Her sister was in the backseat with her, and we were jamming to 103.5, Chicago’s pop radio station. I was driving down Diversey and out of nowhere, a bus tried to kill us.

 

Ok, that’s my version of the event, but clearly, it’s not true. The bus was picking people up. The bus had a sign that said, “DO NOT CUT ME OFF MOTHER FUCKER”, but I did. And in the process, I took out one of the side mirrors on the car. I made both of the kids swear that they wouldn’t say anything to their parents until I did.

 

Well, somehow the night ended and I hadn’t had a chance to tell her parents what had happened because it was late and I needed to get home. Honestly, I think I forgot at that point.

 

The next morning her mom texted me something like this, “So, Izzy filled me in on what happened to the car…”

I made that kid pinkie swear to me that she wouldn’t tell her. She broke our trust pact.

 

HOW DARE SHE!?!?! 

I secretly think she enjoyed seeing me sweat.

 

At night she would make me sing Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”. If I started to sing and didn’t include the, “muh muh muh muh”, she would make me stop and start over.

 

Isabelle is an amazing person. She’s an amazing friend. She’s an amazing daughter. She’s an amazing student. She’s an amazing employee.

 

She excels at any task you ask of her.

 

 

She has changed my life. The first time I met her, I knew I would never be the same. She has taught me patience. She has taught me unconditional love. She has taught me the art of a good sarcastic joke. She has taught me to throw my insecurities out the window and to just dance. She has taught me that beauty comes in every form. She has taught me the lyrics to every song in the top 40.

Isabelle graduated high school and was accepted to Elmhurst College in Illinois. When she got her acceptance letter, she called me. I cried like a baby. She was ecstatic.

Image-1*First day of college!*

 

IMG_0845*Oh hey girl, hey.*

I’ve never been more proud of anyone in my life.

 

You see, Isabelle has Down syndrome. But, that doesn’t matter.

AT ALL.

img099*Could she be any more beautiful?*

She’s an excellent student and works her ass off to get good grades. Her parents and sister have given her the support and love that she needed to spread her wings and fly.

IMG_0846*PROM BABY!*

And she did. She did it.

 

We facetimed the other night from her dorm, and she showed me her room. We talked about school, her roommate, my kids, and more. My heart was bursting with pride.

IMG_0848

That’s my girl.

 

That’s my girl that you may have treated differently because you thought she might have had a disability. That’s my girl that you thought wouldn’t accomplish anything. That’s my girl that you thought was different from you.

 

She is an incredible human being. She is what we all should strive to be.

IMG_8931*My babies love Izzy*

 

 

Strong. Beautiful. Determined. Generous. Kind. Sarcastic. Smart. Amazing.

 

 

 

October is Down Syndrome awareness month. If you’re reading this and you thought someone with Down Syndrome was different, weak, or unable to attend college and create a life of their own… you were wrong.

 

This girl is changing the world. One day at a time.

 

IMG_0847

My girl.

 

 

The Art of Kindness and Motherhood.

Last Sunday, I started writing a blog about an experience I had at Aldi. I had typed out some stuff about it, but I never finished it. I was kind of pissed at myself because this blog has become my main outlet for creativity, and creativity is a huge part of my life. Most days, I hardly have time to brush my teeth, let alone sit down and write a blog. I keep forcing myself to do this because it’s my self-care. Self-care is so hard when you’re a mother, and yet sometimes it is what keeps you going. It keeps you alive. Every few days this past week, I kept thinking that I had to sit down and finish the damn blog.

 

But, for some reason, I didn’t. I couldn’t really figure out why, until today.

 

Last Sunday I took Maeve, my middle child, to Aldi to buy some random shit. I love Aldi. I love Aldi because I love the fact that you can be looking at a mango on one side of the aisle, and on the other side of that aisle you can check out some pillows, sippy cups, and perhaps, a new garden hose. Aldi is the random friend you invite out to dinner because you want to spice up the evening. You never know what Aldi is going to bring to the table.

 

I digress.

 

Anyway, I was at Aldi, throwing crap in my cart while trying to persuade Maeve to stop chewing on it. She likes to chew on carts. I have no logical answer for this. I’m glad I vaccinate her. She has probably been exposed to more things while chewing on that hard metal than I have in my thirty-one years of life.

 

We headed to the checkout line. I noticed the woman in front of me had two carts full of food, along with her three children. I saw her counting items as she placed them on the counter to be scanned. I could tell she had a budget. I could tell she needed to make sure that she stayed in that budget. At the same time, she was also desperately trying to get her three kids to calm down so she could get the hell out of there. Her youngest threw a pen in my direction. I picked it up and handed it back to him. She thanked me. I said, “I have three kids of my own, and I think you are doing an amazing job right now.” Her hair was in a messy bun. She was wearing yoga pants that she probably slept in. I could see she was sweating. She was worn out and exhausted. I said one kind sentence to her, and suddenly the color came back to her cheeks.

It doesn’t take much to turn someone’s day around.

 

I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I couldn’t figure it out at first, but then I realized a few hours later, I am her. I am the mom with the three screaming kids. I am the mom who has one pair of yoga pants that I sleep and shop in. I am the mom who is just trying to get through the day without crying. I am the mom who thinks all stores should blast air conditioning all day every day because shopping with my kids makes me sweat like I’m running the Chicago marathon.

 

I felt lucky that morning. I only had one kid with me. I normally have all three, and sometimes I also have the damn dog.

 

There have been so many times in the checkout aisle, where I pull my sunglasses down off my head and over my eyes so that no one can tell that I’m about to cry. I have spent hours in the grocery store trying to plan meals, trying to make sure my children get enough vegetables, trying to make sure I’m picking out the wine that’s on sale… it ain’t easy.

When I’m in the moment, I feel awful. I feel fat. I feel horrible. I feel like I’m a failure. I’m not the mom in the wedge sandals, blow out, and pink lipstick checking out at Whole Foods. I’m the mom who looks like she’s near death at Kroger, pulling coupons out of my ass and trying to bag my own groceries at Aldi while my children try to kill each other.

I still couldn’t stop thinking about the Wonder Woman mom that I saw at Aldi. I spent this entire past week wondering how she was. I hope that the small encouragement I gave to her helped pull her through the week. I’m not sharing this because I think I’m this amazing person who changed someone’s life by saying one sentence to her…I just had to share it with her. I saw so much of myself in her, I wished in that moment, that someone would say that to me.

 

Fast forward to today.

 

I decided to take my seven month old and my two year old to Aldi on a Sunday at two pm. Just so you know, that’s the absolute WORST time to go to Aldi. I speak from experience. I have no idea why we still went, but we did. I’m sure everyone in the store heard me scream at Maeve twenty different times. I’m sure everyone also heard my tell my seven month old to stop trying to escape the Ergo I was wearing her in.

 

We walked up to the checkout aisle.

 

Once again, there was a mom in front of me. A mom with one kid. I hadn’t even put one item on the counter yet, and she stopped what she was doing, turned around, looked at me and said, “You are a rockstar. Look at you! Wearing one baby and helping the other. You are doing an amazing job. I am in awe.”

 

I almost started sobbing. I was so unbelievably grateful for her kind words. It took me about a minute to realize that what happened last Sunday was now happening to me.

It takes such great courage and strength to be a mother. It also takes great kindness to lift up others, especially mothers. Everything happens for a reason. I’ve always believed in that, but this experience has really made me smile.

 

There are so many mommy wars, right? Everyone has an opinion, and you’re a horrible mom if your opinion isn’t the same as the next. It’s so rare that we raise each other up in such a way that changes our view of our own self worth.

 

This was a stressful week. A lot of shit went down, but all I can remember is the joy I felt telling a mother that she was a mother f*cking rockstar, and having someone else say the same thing to me.

 

This motherhood thing is tricky. Moments like this make it so very clear and wonderful.

 

Raise each other up mamas. Raise each other up.

 

 

Identity.

I remember turning twenty-five years old and calling my grandmother, GG. I was sitting in our two bedroom condo in Chicago, as I watched the red line go past several times. I was engaged to my boyfriend of seven years, but I still felt like a child. I had no idea where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do with my life. I loved performing, I loved theater, and I was working on my masters in education. Even with all of that, something just didn’t feel right. I called her as I had done so many times before in my life and I said, “GG, I’m having a quarter life crisis. When I was a kid, I thought that by twenty-five I would have my life figured out. Did you feel that way too?” I can’t remember her exact words, but she said something along the lines of that everyday, every single day, we are all trying to figure our lives out. I’m pretty sure shortly after that she told me a dirty joke, and I went on to have an absolutely fabulous twenty-fifth birthday. I didn’t know that that would be the last birthday phone call I would ever receive from her.

A few months later, while I was still planning my wedding, my beloved, amazing, wonderful GG died. She was surrounded by her children and grandchildren, all holding hands, singing her favorite songs, guiding her into my Grandpas arms in heaven. It was, without a doubt, one of the most profound moments of my life. I had spent hours and hours talking to her on the phone about life, her life, and how she became the incredible woman that she was. But I no longer had her on the other end of the line. I felt lost without her. Utterly lost.

I should have buckled up, because my life was about to turn into a HUGE rollercoaster. Four months after she was gone, I got married. Three months after that, I was pregnant with our first child. Five months after that we packed up our entire lives into boxes, left our beloved city of Chicago, and moved to Michigan. It was a complete whirlwind.

 

I still had no idea who I was.

I kind of felt like I was standing in the ocean as a big wave was coming towards me. As it got closer and closer, I gave into the wave and floated with the water, riding high until I crashed into the sand.

I crashed into the sand on May 23, 2013, when my daughter, Fiona, was born. The second I saw her I knew exactly who I was. I was her mother. This was what I had waited for. Just like the ocean pulling back from the shore, revealing the wet sand and shells it left behind, I felt like I had left behind my youth and my desire to have it all figured out. I was a mother. I had given up my body as my own to grow this tiny human inside of me for nine months. It didn’t stop once she was outside of my womb. My breasts, which had previously enjoyed low cut shirts and push up bras, became her source of nutrition. It wasn’t easy. I cried. I screamed. I dealt with postpartum depression and anxiety, but I knew who I was. I was a mother who would sacrifice anything to be the best mom I could be for this tiny creature.

This was the outline of my life, which repeated itself over and over for five years. I was a mother. I was a strong mother. I was a mother fucking woman, my body was amazing, I was a warrior. I was breastfeeding ’round the clock. I celebrated national breastfeeding week, which always fell right around my birthday. I wore my babies, because it was easier to breastfeed them this way. I did every single thing that I possibly could to ensure that I was doing what I thought was best for my children.

Somewhere in that mix, I lost myself without realizing it. I became a selfless woman for these kids. If the kids couldn’t sleep at night? No way was I going to let them cry! I was their mother. I would hold them, cherish them, love them. No one slept, but I figured it was ok, because I was giving it my all.

Sure, I hadn’t showered in ten days, but damnit! I was becoming the best version of myself for these kids!

 

Fast forward to a month ago. Lucie (my third baby), at six months, decided to wean herself from breastfeeding. I breastfed Fiona until she was almost two. I breastfed Maeve for nine months, when she self weaned, but I blamed it on my unexpected pregnancy with Lucie.

 

I was devastated. It had been a hard summer. I broke my shoulder and partially tore my rotator cuff. I wasn’t able to wear her as much as I wanted and we did a lot of traveling. Lucille just decided she wanted to do her own thing. She wanted bottles, and she wanted them now. I could have pumped, but that would have taken time away from my other kids. It all felt really complicated to me. I would post stuff on Facebook about how “fed is best” and all that shit, but deep down, I felt like a failure. My identity as this breastfeeding superhero mother was gone. My child no longer wanted my milk. I thought maybe I wasn’t making enough, maybe my body had failed her.

All of a sudden I had no idea who I was again.

 

I’m part of a bunch of breastfeeding groups on Facebook. I have friends that are lactation consultants. I have a lot of friends who are still breastfeeding.

I absolutely loved breastfeeding all three of my children, and I spoke over and over again about how much easier it became with each kid.

I no longer have that.

 

So, who the hell am I?

 

I’m still a mother, and yet I feel like less of a mother.

 

I think I feel this way because of every single message that has been sent to me over the past five years about how breast is best. Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt! Breastfeeding past one year is amazing! Your kid will be smarter if you breastfeed longer! You can pump! Don’t give up!

 

Ok yeah, but what if your kid is like, “Nah, I want to hold my bottle of formula and go on my merry way.”

 

She’s a happy baby. She’s fed. She’s beautiful. She’s smart. She’s thriving.

 

So, why do I still feel so awful? I had been thrown into motherhood so fast, and so unexpectedly. I held onto my identity as a dairy queen mother, breastfeeding everyone in this household as infants, and I’m having a very hard time accepting myself after this.

 

I’m a logical person. I know formula is a fucking BLESSING. I am also very lucky that my mother-in-law, who’s a nurse, is able to provide us with as much formula as we need. She has made this whole transition a hell of a lot easier, without worrying about the cost of formula.

I have read about moms making their own formula. Should I be doing that? When would I do that? How could I fit that in?

 

Right now, I’m trying to figure out who I am as a woman who has shared her body with three other human beings for the past five years. I have given birth three times. I have breastfed three babies. I have gone to the darkest depths of postpartum depression and anxiety. I have wanted to die, because I have felt less than adequate for these kids. I survived that storm, but was unprepared for the aftermath that hit me like a ton of bricks.

 

I wish I could call my GG. I know she’d have something incredibly wise and funny to tell me. I think about her often as a mother. She was not only a mother to the children she birthed, but she was a foster parent to countless children and adopted two of them. I constantly think of what she taught me growing up. I think about the values I learned from her about family, love, and a good bottle of champagne.

 

This is a new chapter in my life. I have forgotten what it feels like to be in my body. My body is my own again. I have no idea how to process that, but someday I will.

 

And it will be great. I will be a better mother, because I can face this body. I will love and respect this body for what it has given me and what it has given my children.

 

I’ll always be searching for my identity, but aren’t we all?

 

If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.

It’s hot in here, but I’m definitely not taking off all of my clothes. (Sorry, Nelly.)

Yo. YO. YOOOO.

What the FUCK is going on with the world? It’s September 22, 2017. It’s the first day of fall, my absolute favorite season. Growing up in New England, I spent a lot of time walking around town while viewing all of the beautiful foliage. People travel from all over the world to see the leaves fall from the trees of Litchfield, Connecticut. If you aren’t familiar with Connecticut, sit down and watch an episode of Gilmore Girls. (But lets be real, you can’t watch just ONE episode of Gilmore Girls.  You have to watch the entire series, and then you have to watch the Netflix special that came out last year.)

I am a basic bitch. I like the leaves. I like wearing Uggs. I like thick wool sweaters from England. I like leggings. I like layers. I LOVE PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES. IMG_0297* GIVE ME THE PUMPKIN SPICE*

But, I can’t enjoy any of those things right now. Why?

 

BECAUSE, I’M SWEATING LIKE IT’S THE FOURTH OF JULY AND I’M RIDING A FIREWORK STRAIGHT INTO THE SUN.

My children turn into monsters in the heat. They’re thirsty. They’re hungry. They’re hot. They need me to hold them all at the same time. They just CAN’T walk anymore because their feet hurt. They need ice cream. They need popsicles. They need a ton of useless shit, but all I want is a cool breeze, a fuzzy blanket, and a pumpkin spice chai tea latte.

I’ve been doing some thinking, and I think the only way to get over the fact that it’s EIGHTY-NINE EFFING DEGREES IN MICHIGAN RIGHT NOW is to call up Mr. Trump.

Yes, I am going to call that asshole. I need someone to blame for my extreme uncomfortableness while I slowly sweat away into a puddle of nothing.

I would like to say, “Hey, dick head! IS GLOBAL WARMING REAL NOW? What do you think? Actually, you’re probably in luck. Because, if it’s nice and HOT outside all year round, you can start getting an ACTUAL tan instead of that orange spray tan shit that you seem to enjoy so much. Also-MOVE ASIDE. MOVE. ASIDE. Al Gore is on his way back to the White House with a little film for you to watch, An Inconvenient Truth. I’m pretty sure there’s also An Inconvenient Truth: 2. 

All I’m saying is, I want to put away my summer clothes. I want to put away all of my kids’ summer clothes. I’ve tried to like six different times. I hate having shorts and cozy fall leggings next to each other in the drawers. It gives me anxiety. And, I’m sick of fucking sunscreen. It gets everywhere. Underneath your nails, on your eyeball, sometimes in your mouth. IMG_7539*It’s the simple things in life…apple cider and donuts from Yates Cider Mill*

I’m going to bitch and moan about this heat wave until it starts snowing. When it starts snowing, I’ll probably write a blog about how much I love sunshine and warmth. The grass is always greener, unless you’re dealing with a draught right now, which is a very real threat. For now, I’m going to sit here with my AC running at max, a very cold can of Diet Coke in my hand, and my middle finger up. Fuck off global warming! I want FOLIAGE AND COFFEE.

That’s all.

 

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