A big week in a small dose

(This post was originally about 2,500 words… I did the best I could to edit down)

How does a 9 month old change the lives of people he doesn’t even know? How does a 9 month old make people, who have never been to Church pray? How does a baby make people who haven’t spoken in years talk to each other? I’ll tell you how. By teaching adults to get over the bullshit because at the end of the day there is nothing worse than suffering from a health related issue. My son just went through what has got to be the hardest thing a baby and a parent could ever go through.

Hospital stay, tests, surgery, and the dreaded Cancer diagnosis. Yes, cancer. Neuroblastoma. After a scare with bloody stool, an x-ray, sonogram and MRI, a tumor the size of his little heart was to blame for our visit to the hospital. Sitting in the room with a group of 5 other doctors telling me that the way to attack this would be surgery to remove the tumor, was the hardest 20 minutes of my life. Holding the tears that whole time was like I was dying. As soon as I left the room the river started to flow as I couldn’t stop crying until the next day. Not only did my son got diagnosed with the second most common type of cancer, but the surgery was brutal. He had a microscopic camera inside his body, the incision in the removal site, a decompressing chest tube (to avoid swelling of the lungs), an IV on his foot, a central IV line at his neck, an artery line in case of blood loss, a breathing apparatus down his throat, and electrodes to monitor his heart. Yet, with all of this going on, this child proceeded to stand up after anesthesia wore off. He stood up in his little hospital crib like nothing was going on. His recovery was so good that he didn’t need to go to the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit). He was in recovery a total of 3 hours and next day he was his happy self. We left the hospital Friday and this kid still amazes me. He is trying to walk, and laughing his merry self. He hasn’t even complaint about pain even though his scar is about 5 inches long. This baby and what he has been through has made family members communicate with each other. It has made people pray for him and his recovery. So much that I have a list of hundreds of people who sent their prayers for him, some of whom are not even religious yet found it in their heart to give us a prayer! I never thought I would be strong enough to type this and not cry. I think I have more faith than I thought I had a week ago. Seeing how my little baby has been through so much and still manages to enjoy his little life, shows me that no matter what’s going on, he’s strong and he will get through it.

It’s crazy how things happen and it bothers me that this happened to my sweet child but I also think everything happens for a reason and I am not the one to play God. He will not let us go through something we cannot handle. It reminded me of the Serenity prayer, which reads “God grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can; 
and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; 
Enjoying one moment at a time; 
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
 as it is, not as I would have it; 
Trusting that He will make all things right 
if I surrender to His Will;
 That I may be reasonably happy in this life 
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
 Amen” (Reinhold Niebuhr).

Our battle is only beginning. We will not know anything until the tumor biology come back and the next three test are done, but I just know that today we are happy. Today my baby played, laughed, walked, and enjoyed himself in every possible way and that is the only thing that matters for him and that is the only thing that I need to be strong for him and get over this.

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November 30, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Babies, cancer, friendships, Parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Good Mommy Debate

Is it bad to give your kid french fries? Is it good to only buy organic stuff? Who determines if you are a good or bad mom? I think your kids are the ones. You won’t know the real answer until later on in life, if ever at all. The reason I wanted to write about this is because yesterday I went to a birthday party and realized that Gavin hadn’t socialized with his little friends for a while. I told my husband that I felt he could be socially awkward because of this but he reassured me that Gavin was fine. He continued to tell me how I go a lot of places with him and he sees a lot of people daily, and he asked me not to compare him to the other kids. Mind you I was not comparing the kids to Gavin, I was more comparing myself to the other moms, who seem to have everything figured out. They have regular play dates, go to the playground regularly, do Gymboree or other activities, only feed their kids healthy stuff, mostly taking snacks with them everywhere they go. I wasn’t hating on these moms, I was questioning if I should be doing the same thing. And then on our way to therapy I had the discussion with my husband and he again let me know that I was a good mom. He said I love them and that is the most important thing.

While at therapy this conversation came up. The therapist proceeded to ask me if I thought I was a good mom. Without thinking about it I answered yes. Then she asked me again, “are you sure?” Again I replied yes, then she said “you’re not sure because these little things and other moms ways wouldn’t make you question yourself.” I have to say I was a bit…a lot hurt. How could I possibly let other people deter what I think about myself? How did I get to the point where I am unsure. I kept thinking about my conversation with the husband and with the therapist, and realized that I am a good mom. I try my hardest to spend as much of my time with them. I actually spoil them with time!!! I take them wherever I go, we go to VA/MD once a month, we go to museums, zoo, they went to Puerto Rico and Disney World and they interact with people every day. So what if we don’t go to Gymboree every week, or go to the playground every afternoon. I try and that is the best I can do. They have been incredibly privileged to be able to experience other places that are not NYC, they have so much stuff, and guess what, Gavin may not have regular play dates but he does have a permanent play date. It’s incredible the amount of interaction between him and his brother. So why would I let what other people do affect me. The reason I gave Gavin french fries was because during a storm we got caught in the car, so we did the drive thru. I will stop feeling guilty about it. It’s very hypocritical to me, to say that I will never do something when you really can’t control the future. What if in the future all they have is fast food!? Could you imagine all the moms who would flip out at the thought of their kid entering a McDonalds? I have always believed extremes kill people. People who eat to much fast food every day are unhealthy but people who never eat something other than vegetables are also unhealthy. Kids need to try everything and I rather them try it with me and not in the school cafeteria or in a day care, or from another friend. So what if the AAP says that Gavin should’ve had watch tv before 2?? Is not like I sat him in the high chair and plotted him in front of the TV everyday! Listen, I started My Baby can Read at 4 months and he started recognizing things. It was amazing, and Mickey Mouse is my man! He’s my go to guy, because I still have to find ways to cook, clean, do my homework, wash the laundry and eat! And I hate to use the TV so that I could get those things done but the truth is that there is no other way! Sorry mamas sometimes you just have to give in! Is not like I have him watching Real Housewives of Atlanta or Sponge Bob Square Pants! It’s amazing how much he can learn if we discuss the show together! Anyway, what I want to say is that not everyone has the same life. My husband is not home every night, he has shift work, our time is very different than the average person, so our family has different tendencies and ways to do things. And so what? I LOVE MY CHILDREN. I give them everything that I possibly can so that they are comfortable, I try to teach them, the best you can a 2 yr old and a 8 month old to share and be nice, and I also feed them and bathe them and talk to them. And honestly whatever organic, fast food, TV, no-TV lifestyle I choose is what works for us. I will not let people’s judgment make me doubt my parenting! I am a good mom! Hell I’ve been breastfeeding for the last 2 years! I am a good mom and the only opinion that matters is that of my husband and my kids. And seeing the way they kiss me and hug me and seeing the way the smiles is all the reassurance I need! I hope!

November 9, 2012. Babies, friendships, Parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Friends

How do you know who your real friends are? I have noticed recently that most of the people around me are simply acquaintances. I am lacking real friendships in my life and I think I know why. People lack integrity, and when I notice that, I just put a wall up and not let the friendship develop. I’m also afraid of being hurt. I feel I give people a lot of chances, because I’m uberemotional. I am let down or things just fall through.
I have a person in my life, who I consider my friend, and our friendship has been tested many times, yet I feel like that friend is a flaky one. If they had to pick, they would pick someone else, and why am I friends with someone who is not equally a friend to me? Is the idea of loving someone without being loved back! It hurts, with this person in particular because, this person keeps putting me aside for someone else. I have put my heart and so much energy into this relationship and I feel it has been wasted energy. There are also friends who I care for dearly and yet they didn’t even consider me to be part of their special day.
Even friends whom knew I was walking the Avon Walk and didn’t even make a small donation, not even words of encouragement!!!
I feel like in order to avoid this I have to become this bitch person who doesn’t give a crap and I just delete people from my life. Interestingly enough, the people who have proven to be real friends are people that years back we never thought we would be friends. The one card I received on my 30th birthday was not from my family or my husband. It was from a Coastie who I haven’t seen in person since 2007. It was so bittersweet to read the card. In a way i was excited she had taken the time to send me the card but it also put into perspective the friends that didn’t even wish me a Happy Birthday. I know this sounds like a complaining blog but I just feel like I am missing that element in my life. I love some of the mommy friends I have met in the last 2 years and I have a handful of core friends that are dear to my heart and will always be my friends, yet I wonder why I have 100 people on Facebook. What do these people bring into my life? what are they taking away from my page? I put everything on Facebook, so I am essentially sharing my life with them. Why have them at all? I am curious about how people determine who are their friends and who are acquaintances.
I think it’s time for a Facebook cleansing. Why? Because I should not need to edit what I put on there when I have family and friends who are eager to see the pictures of the boys and stuff. So, sorry to my acquaintances! Facebook will be family and friends only… And I do feel some sort of pressure because my life is constantly changing, due to kids, schedule, big family events, but that should never break real friendships. It’s like single people trying be friends with married people. And then having kids and trying to be friends with people with no kids and then having two kids and trying to be friends with the one kids and then trying to be friends with people who have different lifestyles. It’s freaking hard!!! So I do value what I have, which is why it hurts! Why is it that there are always major obstacles even when you seem to be in the same circumstance? Like the stay at home moms versus the working moms! Or the breastfeeding versus formula feeding moms? Why can we just get over all the bullshit? It’s also hard for me because my family is somewhat far and my husband doesn’t have a big family, so I want my boys to have a core group of friends who they can rely on later on in life and them likewise. I want my kids to create childhood friends!!! And I thought it would be easier to make that happen with the people who are already friends but apparently not! Gavin’s friends are amazing people I have met over the Internet since he was 6 months! Moms who have provided much needed friendship during a period of time that is hard and yet so much harder when your friends don’t understand.
I have to say that there is a group of few people who I have grown very fond off, why? Because they don’t care about the kids, about what we wear, nothing, we can go out with them and our two kids and well have grand time… Well talk about anything and everything and they have been incredibly supportive.
Anyways I think I’m done!!! Tomorrow is a new day and a new Facebook shall arise!!! To the ones who read, please let me know you do!!! Thanks!!!

November 4, 2012. Babies, friendships, Parenting, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Baby weakness!!!

I have to say I am very bad at keeping a calendar. Yet I can try for the most part to remember everything we need to do every day. But sometimes memory fails and I forget. I forget that my baby boy just turned 9 months yesterday. It’s incredible that he is only 9 months, considered still an infant, yet I feel he has been with us since the beginning of our journey. It’s hard to explain what one feels when he sees their children smile, or when they say silly things like “cuddle mami” or when the say “te amo” (“I love you” in Spanish). I was thinking about the relationship I have with my mom and my siblings lately and thought of something. I will be my mom… Eventually my kids are going to grow up and get married and have their own kids. So I am trying desperately to savor every single second they are mine! Not that I am this over bearing mother or something,  but I do spend more of my day just being amused by the beauty that are my children. By the smiles they give me, by the hugs, the kisses, the snores, the complaints, and the cries.

When our first was born we co-slept until he was 6 months because I was nursing, then he went in his crib and had no problem. When he was 17 months we transitioned him to a toddler bed so that the new baby could use the crib right away. The transition went smoothly, yet 4 months later after sleeping peacefully through the night, he started waking up in the middle of the night and coming into our bedroom. The first time it happened we were awake and we saw this little person walking, scratching his ears and saying mami… we both melted and let him get in the bed. Well it has been about 5 months and he’s still doing it. We have thought about ways to take him out of our bed… but then I had a revelation! This might be the last time in his lifetime or maybe in mine, where my son will want us, his mom and his dad, to sleep with him and embrace him and give him love… Not that as an adult he would hate us, but it will never be the same. So I told my husband, if you don’t mind, then I don’t mind… But we are getting a King size bed… not just king, a California king so when the second one wants to come and sleep with us then he too will have space.

I don’t really care what people might think of me when it comes to this. I know I have plenty of alone time with my husband, and I enjoy being alone in our bed, but the truth is, we’re kind of stuck together! Until death do us part. Gavin and Glenn will only be this age once.. and I don’t want to miss anything. I don’t want to change anything… I will take any heartache right now so that I can just see them smile. The joy those kids give me is unmeasurable and I know you might think I’m exaggerating, but no one except for my family really knows how bad I wanted to be a mom. To have a child in my arms and nurse him and cherish him and just enjoy that love that is like no other.

Gavin says te amo mami and I just melt. He can do whatever he wants and I’m weak… I can’t help it. Glenn just looks at me and smiles… When he says mama I will be done.

No one will be able to recognize me, I will be meting on the ground…

November 3, 2012. Babies, Parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.