Letter to My Fatherless Son-The Truth May Hurt. A Lot.

Snugglebug,

You are only 4 right now, and it will be a long time before I sit you down and tell you the truth about your dad.  I dread that day because I want to keep you in the oblivious bubble of your little world that I keep such a tight seal on.  Mommy never wants to see you hurt.  This is one truth that will hurt, but I hope one day will give you closure and understanding surrounding the mystery of “him.”

When I met your dad mommy was not in a very good place.  I had just graduated from a great private college.  I got a degree in Psychology because mommy always was interested in how people worked.  Mommy got a really stressful job working with abused kids.  I wanted to save them all, I couldn’t save a single one.  I drank a lot.  So did your dad.  So we would drink together. Your dad had good qualities.  He was funny, the life of the party. It was too late before mommy realized he was the life of the party because the party was inside him fueled by things that are not good for your body.   In the beginning he made mommy feel special.  You dad had a lot of problems, but that was part of what drew me to him.  He had a really rough life, and I think I thought he needed someone to love him and he would become a better person.  Snugglebug if there is another lesson I want you to really understand that you can’t change ANYBODY.  When I found out I was pregnant with you, mommy was super scared.  Your dad wasn’t the “daddy” type and I was worried early on that he wouldn’t do the “daddy” stuff a dad should do. I was unfortunately right.

After I got over being scared, I got really excited.  I knew I would be a great mom and love you and protect you and teach you all kinds of amazing things about this world.

Mommy had a high risk pregnancy.  I had a blood factor that caused me to be at risk of losing you at anytime.  Mommy was worried about you all the time.  I would drive two hours a week to the special hospital where they monitored me.  Your dad never came to an appointment.  Wait, actually he did come to the appointment when I found out if you were going to be a boy or a girl.  He was happy you were a boy, and emailed and facebooked every person he knew, before I had a chance to even tell our family.  I was lying on the ultrasound table and he left the room to share the news.  When mommy was getting ready to have you, I took birthing classes.  Your Nana came with me because daddy thought that was “stupid.”

The day you were born was the best day of my life, but also a day that I felt so sad for you. Mommy was in labor for 48-hours. I think you thought my belly was comfy and didn’t want to come out.  My epidural came out (you will understand all of this one day), and your dad came to the hospital 15 minutes before they took me in for a c-section.  Your Nana and Papa never left my side.

Your dad saw you for 20 minutes after you were born.  Then he left.  He wanted to go out and celebrate with his friends.  I remember sitting there holding you looking into the most beautiful face I had ever laid eyes on, my heart ready to burst with all the love I had for you.  After all, I loved you before you were even born.  I didn’t even know you could love someone so much.  The next day all of our family and friends came to see you.  Your dad didn’t show up.  He was still out celebrating.  That night I held you and cried because I felt so sad for you when I looked at your precious face.  How could anyone even set you down, let alone not see you for your first two days of life?  From that day and to this day I have worried about you not feeling wanted.  I worry that you will feel there wasn’t something good enough about you for your dad to want to stay, to get healthy, and be a part of your beautiful life. I knew at that moment your dad and i would never be together, and knew the chances of him being around to be a dad to you were slim to none.

When we got home from the hospital I tried so hard to breastfeed you.  It was much easier in the hospital with the nurses getting me all set up.  Your dad was screaming at me telling me you had to eat.  He went to the store and bought bottles.  Then he left.  Your dad was never home.  He went out every single night drinking and doing drugs.  If he came home before morning, he would go into the bedroom (I was sleeping on the couch with you next to me because it was easier after surgery for me to get up), turn the fan on as loud as it would go, shut the door and pass out.  I know he did this because when you woke up every two hours he didn’t want to hear you cry.

I want you to know you were the easiest baby.  You only cried when you were hungry or needed your diaper changed.  You never, ever frustrated me when you were an infant.  When you would wake up crying ready to eat, I would happily change your diaper in my sleep stupor and gaze into your eyes as you sucked down that bottle.  I was fascinated by you.  I would sit and hold you and stare at you and cry, not because I was sad but because I couldn’t believe that this beautiful boy was mine.

I told your dad he had to move out.  Dads are supposed to feed their babies, change their diapers and bathe them.  But those weren’t even the important things.  They are supposed to hold you, tickle you, ooh and ahh over every face, noise and fart you make.  Mommy sure did.  Do you know that I have over 14,000 photos of you?  You were growing so fast, I think I took so many pictures because I wanted to preserve every minute of you growing up that I could.  Your dad started sleeping in the dirty unfinished basement.  Liquor bottles were everywhere down there.  He didn’t come up unless it was to leave.  Mommy was tired, I would go to Nana and Papa’s house and they would hold you and rock you and cuddle you while mommy would sleep.  They were there through everything.

Papa and I gave you your first bath.  We called Papa the “baby hog.”  Nana would have to tell him when people were coming over that he needed to “share” you because he wanted to hold you all day long.  He was so proud of you.  He immediately started calling you “my boy.”  He was just like a daddy to you.  He adored you and jumped at the chance to change you, feed you, rock you, and snuggle you.

When you were 7-weeks-old something really scary happened.  You started running a fever.  Mommy called the doctor and he told us to meet him on the pediatric unit at the hospital.  You dad was furious with me.  See he had these fear of hospitals and thought I was being dramatic by calling the doctor.  When we got there (and your dad did ride with), there were no other kids on the unit.  Mommy still wasn’t worried I figured your doctor was on call and needed to see you there.  He came into see us and his face had a look that terrified me.  He said we need to do a spinal tap on him immediately.  I told that doctor absolutely not.  I wasn’t going to let them hurt you.  He told me that at your age having a fever can be very serious.  There was a baby with meningitis in the week before and he was worried you could have that too.  I asked him if he had a son what he would do.  He said I would do the spinal tap immediately.  He said you could die in 24 hours.  I told him to do it.  I called Nana and Papa and they came immediately.  Did the doctor just say you could die?  I just met the love of my life and he was telling me you could be gone.  They wouldn’t let mommy go in the room with you for the procedure.  I learned later Papa had convinced them to let him go in.  I heard the most blood curdling scream coming from you.   I had never heard you cry like that.  When they brought you back to me your face was covered with broken blood vessels from crying so hard.  Mommy was a wreck.  Your dad was a wreck of sorts too but his questions to the doctor were “Could I get the meningitis too?” Then he asked the nurse for a POPSICLE and left.  They put you in a crib that looked like a mini jail cell.  Tubes and wires and you looked so fragile.  I slept in the chair next to your bed.  The next day they said that there was something in your fluid but they didn’t think it was meningitis.  They wanted to keep you on the antibiotics for 5 days and make sure nothing developed.  That day I learned I could sleep in the crib with you.  I never left your side those first four days.  I had Nana stop at the house and bring up your Sami the seahorse that played music that you slept with every night.  Also your heartbeat bear.  We were a team, just like we had been from the beginning.  By the fourth day mommy started getting sick.  You see I wasn’t getting much sleep because the nurses would come to check on you every hour, and you would wake up every two hours for your bottle.  Papa told me to go home and get some sleep.  I refused to leave you until he told me that if I got sick I wouldn’t be able to take care of you.  I knew he was right.  If there was anyone to stay with you, Papa was the closest thing to your mommy.  I cried when I left you that night, but I knew you were safe with Papa.  I woke up early the next morning and when I walked in the room I knew Papa had taken GREAT care of you.  We joked that you boys had had a “party” because there were bottles all over the room, the bed, the floor.  There were paci’s everywhere too.  I wish I could tell you that your dad stayed up there those six days watching over you like we did.  He was there for 2 hours total while you were there.  He blamed it on his fear of hospitals.  When you have your own child one day you will realize that you would DIE for your child, and never let ANY kind of fear keep you from them.

Papa finally told your dad he HAD to move out.  He told him that mommy didn’t love him anymore and he had to find a new place in 2 days.  Papa told him to go to rehab for his drinking problem.  He said he would and he moved out.  Your dad was scared of your Papa because he knew that your Papa was more of a dad to you then he had ever been.

When he moved out our house turned into our sanctuary.  There was no more tension, him yelling at me, or talking down to me.  Your dad was not very nice to me.  He said a lot of really, really nasty things to me.  I brushed them off because i had YOU.  I no longer walked on eggshells and we began the real journey of me and you.

It was actually less work for me when your dad moved out.  He had never fed you, bathed you, rocked you, held you or played with you.  He had never been alone with you because I didn’t trust him that he wouldn’t pass out or put you in the car if he had been drinking.  I was used to doing everything for you so nothing changed.  I loved every minute I had with you.

I want you to know I tried to let your dad be a part of your life.  I really did.  I would let him come over to visit you, but he didn’t show up much.  When he came to see you I would try to get the laundry done, the bottles cleaned, because when I was with you I spent all my time WITH you.  His visits consisted of him putting you in your bouncer and getting on the computer saying he was looking for jobs.  He never got one.  It pissed me off so much because how could he not be jumping to hold you when he hardly saw you.  Your dad was sporadic with his visits.  Sometimes it would be months between visits.  He missed your first Christmas, Easter, and Fourth of July.  Your first birthday came and went and he was drinking a lot so I didn’t invite him to your party.  He never even dropped a present off for you. Ever.  Nana and Papa and mommy were always there for those.

You won’t remember when you are older but mommy makes a BIG deal about your birthdays.  I make your cake, 1st birthday was a big dump truck full of “dirt” cake, your 2nd a dinosaur, your 3rd a robot, your 4th a Lightning McQueen race track.  I make all of your invitations.  Don’t worry about remembering I have LOTS of pictures.  I do this for your parties because I want you to know how special you were and are.  You deserve the world, and mommy is trying to give it to you.

When you were about 14 months old your dad hadn’t seen you in awhile and I let him stop by for a visit after verifying he was sober.  He tried to pick you up and you ran and clung to me.  He started screaming at me “that I was turning you against him.”  You didn’t KNOW him.  I know and you know that I have never said a bad thing about your father to you in your life.  I hope I have been doing things right.

A week later your dad was supposed to come see you.  I told you “daddy is coming” you stood by the front door saying “daddy?” for an hour.  He never showed, and that is when I closed the door on your father’s relationship with you.

You see Snugglebug, I think it would be much worse to have a “sort of dad” than to not have one at all.  You deserved and still do deserve a full-time dad.  Not someone who might keep a promise, might show up, might follow through, might but never did come help me when you were sick.  Having no dad was not what I wanted for you, but it was the best way to keep you safe, physically and emotionally.  You had your Papa who treated you like his own, and you had a mommy who was willing to make up and do whatever I could to make up for your dad not being around.  Double love, double snuggles, double everything. I know it doesn’t really make up for it.  After all I am a mommy not a daddy but I really, really try my best.

I told your dad he had to go to rehab if he wanted to see you anymore.  I was serious about it.  After watching you stand at the door I couldn’t ever let that happen to you again.  You quickly forgot about that incident and that stranger faded from your mind once again.  You were at your aunts the day I was going to take your dad to rehab, he drank as much alcohol as he could consume and drove to your Nana’s house to meet me.  I got him in the car and we started driving to the hospital.  I gave him a really clear talk on the ramifications of him not following through on this.  He jumped out of the car at a stop sign.  Said he couldn’t do it, but then he got back in.  I want you to know sweet boy how hard I tried to help your dad so he could have a relationship with you.  When we walked in the hospital I had pictures I had just taken of you in my purse.  I thought if I gave them to him while he was in rehab it would help motivate him to get better.  While he was checking in, he started shaking bad.  He turned to me and said “I can’t do this, I don’t want to do this.” I looked at him calmly and said “you know what this means, you can’t see him.” “I know” he said.

I walked out of the hospital and started crying in the parking lot. I looked at the pictures I had brought for him and cried some more.  The pictures of you in the overalls playing in Nana and Papa’s back yard.  I wanted him to want to get better so bad.  The problem was Snugglebug I wanted it more than he did.  Like I said earlier, you can’t make people change no matter how hard you try.  I never looked back.

A year passed and I stuck to my word.  I wouldn’t let him see you.  He would call, email me, text me, saying he was going to change.  I didn’t want to hear about what he was GOING to do, I needed to see results.  It was the only way he would ever be a part of your life.  Eventually I had to block him from my phone, my email, and facebook.  I thought he knew I was serious.

One day when Nana went to pick you up from daycare and I was going to meet her at home to get you, your dad showed up.  I hadn’t seen him in a year and he just walked into Nana and Papa’s house.  He was so drunk he could barely walk.  Papa’s truck was parked outside and I couldn’t believe he had just come in like that.  He scared mommy really bad. I asked him what he thought he was doing.  He said that “he wanted to see you, he was your daddy, and that he was dying from cancer.”  Snugglebug I didn’t tell you this yet but your dad was a compulsive liar.  He couldn’t keep his lies straight.  Twice he told me had cancer and was dying, all lies.  You hadn’t seen him for a year, you were 2 1/2.  The psychological effects on you of him just showing up ready to stake his claim on you could have been devastating.  I had worked so hard to keep this bubble of safety around you and he planned to literally walk in and pop it.  Do you know what that could have emotionally done to you?   I was so thankful you weren’t there and I was furious with him.  He was getting really angry and mommy had to call the police.  They arrested your dad and mommy got an OP against him.  He can’t come near us for 2 years.

I want you to know that every moment I have with you is beautiful.  We are each other’s Snugglebugs.  You are my super pal and I am yours.  I have been here for all of your firsts. I fix your owies, and when you are naughty I put you in time out because I love you.  You are going to grow up to be a great daddy. You tell me that you will be a great daddy and  I know that.

You have done so much in such a short time, and I was there for it all.  First faces, first smiles, first crawls, first walks.  First new foods, you really liked your veggies when you were little.  Learning to count, your alphabet, writing your name, all the songs you know.  You recently went through a “call me maybe” song phase.  Don’t worry I have that on video for when you are older. Maybe your wedding day? Acorn and rock collections, learning to pump your legs and swing by yourself.  Finally learning to dress yourself, putting your dishes on the counter (we are still working on that).  Your beautiful drawings, you really have a talent.  You are so smart, when you were 3 you started talking about concepts like God and angels.  You can think in abstract ways that truly baffle and amaze me.   We are expert lego builders, and can recite the Lightning McQueen movies by heart together.  Your car collection is vast, and you have always been obsessed with wheels.  Before you could sit up you would lay on the floor with your cars, and organize them.  You would check each wheel methodically to ensure that they spun correctly.  You are a play-doh fanatic, you prefer to make animal prints and tracks then to build with them.  You love puzzles and board games.

You are a beautiful boy, and not just because I am your mom but because people tell me all the time.  But above all your soul is beautiful.  You are a mommas boy, and you always run to me for comfort. You are kind, lovey, snuggly, and cautious.  You ask so many questions mommy can’t keep them all straight. You are kind and love your family.  You adore your cousins and they adore you.  We have our routines.  Pancakes for breakfast, stories every night before bed.  You love the water.  You just finished your first year of t-ball, and just started swimming lessons.  You love to dance and have a sense of humor that is very infectious.  You can be a handful and mommy could be more patient, but we make a good team.   You are so incredibly smart, you score a year and a half above kids your age in school.  Your memory is shocking.  You will talk about things that happened over two years ago with such detail that you even remember the clothes we were wearing. But you don’t remember “him.”

I hope when you are older you remember me answering your questions the best I could.  I never spoke poorly of your dad because everything I have read, studied and researched says never to do so.  I try to simplify the situation for you as best I can.  I tell you that some people don’t just know how to be mommies and daddies.  That they have to learn how to be them.  That adults can make bad choices, and when they do this they have to learn to make good choices before they can be around their kids.  I tell you I hope he is working on things.  You ask me when you will see him again, and I answer you honestly that I don’t know.  But I do make it clear every time that I am so sorry that it is the way it is.  You deserve a real daddy and you deserve the world.  I hope when you grow up you understand why mommy made the choices I did.  I hope you see I tried to help your dad, and I hope that you never, ever blame yourself for any of this.  You were the best thing to ever happen to me, you made mommy want to be a better person.  Mommy is in school now getting her master’s so I can be an Occupational Therapist and help other kids.  All because of you.  As we say in bed..

Me: “I love you”

You: “I love you more”

Me: “I love you most”

You: “Yeah well mommy I love you all the way to pluto even though it isn’t even a real planet anymore!”

I love you more than you will ever understand.  Maybe when you have your own child you will understand.  I am so proud of you and I thank you from the deepest part of my soul for saving my life.

Love,

Your Snugglebug

I shot a compound bow, and I am pretty sure I am going to take up archery

ImageSo for awhile now I have had it in my head that I want to shoot a bow and arrow.  Dream fulfilled yesterday.  I march into our local bait and tackle shop with my friend who is awesome enough to let me use his compound bow.  Mind you he is 6 3′ and I am 5 6′ I am wearing a dress because it is freaking hot and I don’t really know what you wear to shoot a bow and arrow aside from camouflage, and my closet was fresh out of that kind of clothing.

So I waltz in like a giddy kid and these people just look at me like “this could be a huge disaster.”  I started to wonder if it could be a huge disaster.  I asked a lot of questions to my friend about if this was a “closed” range, because I am highly uncoordinated, and do not even allow myself to play darts at the bar because my aim could maim or blind someone across the room.  Yes it is that bad.  Terrifying in fact.  So in the “tunnel” which I am happy to say was inclosed completely, they have fluorescent lights on the ceiling.  I have visions of me blowing out these lightbulbs creating a scene.

I also realize you don’t just pay for the “tunnel” but you pay for the arrows, the tips all that stuff.  I mean sheesh I could fashion a bow and arrow myself for cheaper than that. Like I said I am crafty.  As we are looking through the aisles they have deer urine (disgusting) and the most disturbing hollow point tips that frankly are terrifying.  They explode in their target and look very scary.  I am way over my head here.

Did I mention that he got this compound bow when he was 12?  We are now 30.  So there I am so excited to “do this.” I go to pull back the string and I can’t even freaking do it.  It is made for a 12 year old!  Huge fail.  So each time I go to shoot he has to help me pull it back.  I’m like” jesus christ how many pounds is this to pull back?” I jokingly said it’s probably like 30 lbs.  He looks and says it’s actually 31.  Mortified.  My kid weighs 42lbs and I can carry him in one arm.  It was actually 50 but I obviously need to get some serious fitness on.  Anyways he would help me pull it back and I got to shoot it and not going to lie I am pretty damn good! I kept it on the paper target except for once, and now I am obsessed.  I only shot about 15 arrows before my arm was starting to shake just from holding the bow up.  Made for a 12-year-old my ass.  I want to go everyday.

I highly encourage people to try this out.  If hunting is your thing that is fine, but I most certainly have no intentions of ever aiming at anything live.   I want to continue to target shoot, and need to get a compound bow that I can actually handle myself.  Without getting manhandled, which I can’t say I actually minded 🙂

Off to do some bicep curls.  Have a great night everyone.

A Beautiful Moment with My Boy

Tonight we were leaving my parent’s after having dinner and the sky was really pretty.  I spotted this and pointed it out to Noah.  He was in complete awe.  I took a picture of his first rainbow sighting when he was probably 2.  Tonight he kept saying “that is sooo pretty, that is sooo beautiful.”  I pulled the car over got him out of his car seat and we stood in some random persons yard mesmerized watching this rainbow.  I love when I share beautiful moments like this with him. Image

Kids out there: Don’t Mess With Mine

So I have this issue.  At least I think it is an issue.  I am super protective of Noah.  Ever since he was up toddling around I thought “it will be the worst thing to see him get his feelings hurt.”  I remember when he was not even two and we were at Greek Fest.  I watched as he danced with a group of kids his big brown eyes, blond curls, chunky cheeks and a toothy little smile.  He was having such a good time.  I watched him as the lights twinkled around him with a feeling of pure honest to goodness joy in my heart.  It was beautiful.  Then in an instant the other kids were gone.  The music played on and my sweet little boy stood there with a look of confusion.  No,  He hadn’t known those kids, no one “left” him, and no his feelings weren’t hurt…yet.   For momma bear it was my first glimpse into the reality that one day some kid is REALLY going to hurt his feelings, and the thought made me sick.

Why are some of us so scared to see our children hurt?  For me I think part of it is that childhood should be about innocence, goodness, and not having a care in the world.  When kids learn that other children can be mean, and that they can too, it really opens up a whole new dimension in their world.

I have always stuck up for people.  From a young age if someone was being a bully I would call them on it right away.  That isn’t to say I was never the bully, but for the most part I was the anti-bully.  I wasn’t scared of the bullies turning on me, I was protective of the quiet, the different, the kids in my school who had special needs.  Mess with them and  I will make you feel like a total shit head for being such a jerk.

I went to a grade school with a special education program.  Seeing someone in a wheelchair, or someone who had severe developmental difficulties was nothing to me.  I didn’t look twice, make comments or gawk, and it was because it had always been a part of my life.  Come junior high when they integrated the grade schools together it was very apparent that my peers hadn’t been exposed or educated by anyone on others who were different from them..  Just like in grade school I called assholes out on it again in junior high.

One day Noah says to me, “Brady* always stares at me, he stares at me for a long time and I don’t like it.” I asked “well what do you do when he stares at you.”  He replied “I stick my tongue out at him.” I had to stifle a laugh, but gave him a brief talk about ignoring people who are trying to make you mad he seemed to grasp it.

The next day I am walking my sweet little boy into preschool and these two little fellas are sitting at a table.  I hear one of them say “Ughh it’s Noah!” as he turned snickering to his little accomplice.  I felt a rage inside me. My response: I gave those two 3-year-olds the a look that could have knocked them off their kiddie sized chairs.  I might have even hissed something at them like “maybe you stare to much.”  As I walked Noah to hang up his backpack I felt good, I felt MEAN, I felt like a victory had been won against these little shits trying to start my sons day off bad.  When I got in my car I felt like a 3-year-old, and realized I had acted just like one.

My cousin and I have discussed my “protective” nature towards Noah.  She brings up some excellent points like “I don’t think you can always jump in because how will he learn to stick up for himself if you are always there.” or “what is he going to do when he is in a situation and turns to look for you to step in and he can’t find you?”  She really got me thinking.  In my overeagerness to protect Noah from “meanies” I was likely making him an easier target for those type of kids in the future.  I have really tried to back off and let him deal with his own issues since.  Like today at the pool when this kid intentionally flung water in  his face.  He stood up leaned in and yelled “stop that! I don’t like that!”  Here I was watching my son smiling for sticking up for himself. I should throw in the disclaimer that Noah can also be the bully, which I immediately call him out on.

So now when I see a conflict rising between Noah and other kids, I pause and do my best to stand back and let the little minds and little voices work it out together.

What I REALLY, REALLY want is for Noah to grow up to be like me.  I want him to be the anti-bully. I want Noah to not only stand up for himself, but to stand up for the other kids who can’t or won’t stand up for themselves.

BUT I will still yell at the BIG kids playing rough on the little kids playground, and if you are cursing around my son I will tell you to watch your mouth because there are “kids present.”  I mean…right?  For now I will stay in the shadows restraining myself unless necessary.

Asian Chicken Salad

I can’t claim credit for this salad.  I can claim credit that I made it and it tastes DELICIOUS.  A few notes before you click on the link to the recipe.  I got the recipe from Julia who has a website called paleomg.com  I freaking LOVE her.  I also LOVE LOVE her food.  Couple things, I don’t have a “submersion blender” I had to google that quick because around here I am rocking basics like spatulas.  The most impressive piece of cookware or appliance I own is the Ninja blender.  That was a hand-me-down from the parents.  They upgraded to a Vitamix or something.  The Ninja works just fine for me and is way better than the piece of crap blender I was using before.

Anyways about the recipe.  I bought the cabbage in a mixed bag. I’m lazy like that.  I don’t frankly have time to buy a ball of cabbage and then cut it up.  Nor do I have time to julienne carrots.  The bag had it all.  Simplify.

I was a little freaked out by the raw egg.  According to her site if the egg is free range it should be fine.  I went ahead and went with it. I haven’t gotten sick so I will assume she was right.  I blended it all up in the Ninja.  I cooked the chicken mixed it together with the dressing, cabbage mix, and put it in a metal bowl to cool off in the fridge.  Then I ate two bowls of it. Yum.   Here is a link to the recipe:  PaleOMG – Paleo Recipes – Asian Chicken Salad.

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Super simple healthy bowl of goodness

Okay so it doesn’t get any easier than this.  You might think this looks incredibly boring.  It does.  But it tastes amazing.

Half an avocado cut into chunks

Cherry Tomatoes

Some high quality cheese.  Make sure it is full fat.

Handful of olives.  I freaking love olives

Throw it all in a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt.  Eat it up.Image

Fruit Smoothie-with hidden ingredients including avocado

What You Need: See ingredient sidebar for photos and WHY I use the ingredients I do

1-1/2 cups Fage Total Fat plain yogurt

1/2 Banana

5 Frozen Strawberries

Handfull of Frozen Blueberries

Quarter of an avocado

Coconut Milk Unsweetened-around a cup (I honestly just guestimate this.  If you want it thinner use more, thicker use less)

Throw it all in the blender, I use a Ninja blender, and a ninja it is.  It sounds like a straight team of ninjas coming through my kitchen, but it does make a damn good smoothie 🙂

*I use frozen fruit to make it icy

*I give him a straw because it is easier to drink and avoids a hot mess of a spill

* I Also sneak in 4 capsules of fish oil made for kids (has some citrus flavor)

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Paleo Pancake Recipe! He WILL eat these and LOVES them

To see these products, learn where to get them and more importantly to learn WHY I use them see sidebar titled INGREDIENTSImage

2 eggs

1/4 cup coconut milk unsweetened 

1 Heaping Tablespoon of Coconut flour

Cinnamon-just shake a little in there 🙂

Coconut Oil

Truvia-to sprinkle over pancakes

In mixing bowl mix: eggs, coconut milk, coconut flour, and cinnamon.

Heat pan to medium and use a pan safe brush to lightly coat pan with coconut oil.  Pour batter into pan and you will see the edges start to firm up.  Gently lift the edges to check underneath like you would a regular pancake, flip once.

To eliminate high loads of sugar instead of using syrup, or even organic maple syrup I sprinkle truvia and cinnamon on top of the pancakes.  He ALWAYS asks for seconds

Note: These pancakes don’t get dark brown like regular pancakes, they stay a lighter color.

Disclaimer about this blog and myself

This blog isn’t going to be sugary and sweet and me claiming to have it all together.  Rather, completely the opposite.  I am not supermom and don’t claim to be. In fact if you are a supermom or know one, send her my way to help me get all my shit together.  I won’t be posting a daily craft (although I do love some crafts),  I don’t make my son’s Halloween costumes, I forget to brush his teeth, and sometimes he is late for daycare.  He just missed a field trip because I completely forgot about it.  His daycare was going bowling, and he missed it because of me.  The icing on the cake is that he has never been bowling which I assume most kids his age have at least tried. I added that experience to my collection of “mother of the year awards” I have earned (head down in shame). Until recently, Noah has slept in my bed with me since he was a newborn.  As a single mom it was easier, at least that felt and sounded like a great excuse.  At 3 1/2 I finally got him in his own bed, with the condition that I would lay with him and he could hold my hand and rub my pinky (something he has done since he was born), until he fell asleep.  A week ago I decided to reclaim my hand and sanity.  He needed to find his own pacification system which didn’t involved me being present while my mental laundry list went nuts while I was laying there.  Pickup the house, finish the laundry, load the dishwasher, do some writing, clean, clean, clean.  Or god forbid if I actually watched a TV show or something like that.  Due to the withdrawls of “pinky” the past 5 nights have been pretty stressfull.  He cries, he pleads, he begs.  He yells “momma I don’t got this.”  Which is actually hilarious because when he is hesitant about something I tell him “you got this!”  I do still allow him to crawl in bed with me if he wakes up in the middle of the night.  Admittedly I love my snuggle time with him.  We call each other “snugglebug” for christ’s sake!!  I yell too much, am often impatient, and am very guilty of doing things “for” him because me helping him with his shoes is 10x faster when I am trying to get out of the fucking door.  Therefore this blog will include cursing, me being inappropriate and often obnoxious. After all my son does all of the above minus the cursing, and this blog is “me” time.  Any of the suggestions I offer on here are merely suggestions.  What works for me may not work for you, and I am by no means an “expert” or parenting, nutrition or anything else I discuss on here, as clearly defined by my shortcomings above.  I am a mom who is constantly striving to be the best I person, role model, and nurturer to my son.  My main concern is for Noah to grown up healthy,  and to have a strong sense of empathy for others.  Yep that really is it.  I don’t need an all-star sports player, or a son who is accepted to Harvard.  I want a healthy happy and NICE kid.  That can’t be too hard right? As I say to him “I got this!”

Picky Eater Here

As a baby Noah would eat almost anything.  All the nasty mushy baby food sent him into a feeding frenzy and he could clear three containers of carrots and peas.  He would plow through a container of peas while I stood hiding in the corner still gagging and recovering from the smell of opening them.  That smell today makes me want to puke.  At Thanksgiving he ate turkey as I smiled happily at our first Thanksgiving (he was almost 2), he loved spaghetti, chicken, and steak.  He has always loved yogurt and peanut butter.  As he grew older and pickier peanut butter became the fall back food (and hey it was full of protein).  I once walked into my parent’s to see Noah sitting in his high chair with a piece of chicken smeared with peanut butter on it.  My mom said “but I thought it would help him to eat it.”  I went a little ballistic over that.  One thing was for sure I wasn’t going to feed my child something I would never eat, let alone smell.

In the past 2 years he had gone from being a food disposal system to putting up filters for everything except for peanut butter, waffles or pancakes, sweet potatoes (but I HAD to remove the skin), granola bars, and pretty much anything else carby, sweet, and crunchy.  I swear it was like he had an alarmed sensory system for healthy food.  And by “healthy” food I mean normal food.

I tried it all.  I would put out a meal and say “this is dinner.” Everyone says if kids get hungry enough they will eat.  I call bullshit on that.  Not this boy.  If he wouldn’t eat dinner one of two things was guaranteed to happen. I was always braced for both.

Scenario 1:  He would look at me and say “okay that’s fine, I don’t want dinner.”  I would plead with “there won’t be any snacks later” to which he would turn with this twisted little grin on his face and say “that’s fine I don’t want any snacks.”

Scenario 2: After I took his plate he would start crying, begging, pleading for something else to eat, bracing for a meltdown  I would cave and say “okay but only something healthy like yogurt or a banana.” I mean he had to eat something right??  So maybe the joke was on me because I wouldn’t let him starve it out.  Something about my kid being hungry just doesn’t sit right with me.

I read articles about 80% of brain development being done by age 2 or something like that.  I thought to myself this kid is fucked.  I’ve ruined him.  I gave him vitamins, I would bribe him with treats. “Eat these four pieces of chicken and you can have a granola bar.” Because at least that was something right?  Then I would wonder did the chocolate covered granola bar cancel out any benefit of those 4 pieces of chicken?

Then I moved on to being convinced he had texture issues.  As an occupational therapy student, I became convinced he had a sensory processing disorder that made him unable to “handle” certain textures.  He went from eating yogurt with chunks of fruit in it to gagging at anything that wasn’t smooth.  I would force him to try something like spaghetti and he would gag, his eyes would water and I literally thought “my god he’s gonna choke to death!”

It was time I called myself on MY bullshit.   I would reason with myself  “I never feed him fast food, Cheez-Itz aren’t chips, chocolate laced granola bars aren’t candy bars. He takes vitamins.  I didn’t buy junk food like chips, candy, cookies, pop, or other typical kid treats. See he doesn’t eat so bad! It could be worse he could eat fast food everyday!  But I was worried about him not getting the vitamins and nutrients he really needed for growing and brain development.

Noah’s typical day consisted of MULTIGRAIN waffles smothered in HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP FREE syrup.  Lunch would be ALMOND butter and jelly, lots of jelly, some WHOLE GRAIN goldfish with NO ARTIFICIAL COLORING, and fruit snacks made from FRUIT and VEGETABLE juice.  As you can see I emphasize all the “HEALTHY” qualities of these foods.  The only thing I know now is that there was ONE thing I was giving him that was healthy.  The almond butter.  That is it.

Now don’t go thinking I am judging ANY of you.  We all do what we have to do to feed our kids. People have different eating habits and just because someone does something one way has nothing to do with how much they care about their kids or their wellbeing.  I can already see you backing away, the raised eyebrows and the pursed lips. I see you.  “Oh hell no did she just say that fruit and juice flavored fruit snacks are bad?” Yes. I. Did. But by “bad” I mean bad in that they prevent me from reaching my goal for my son, and that is removing the sugar addiction and getting the good nutrients into my beautiful 4-year-old little boy.