Eleven Weeks Pregnant

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I have been a total bloggy-slacker the last few weeks. I have like six drafts saved that I’ve been working on, but honestly, this is the first time I’ve touched my computer since last Wednesday. This whole morning all day sickness thing is very new for me, and some days it takes every ounce of my energy to function at a bare minimum level, let alone do extra.

Hopefully I start feeling halfway human again in the next few weeks as Aiden heads back to school, and we get back into our usual routine.

How far along? Eleven weeks

Are you showing? Yes, and it’s getting more difficult to hide it. Still debatable to others whether I’m pregnant or just getting chubby.

Gender: We’ll find out the first week of October! Drew and Aiden want a girl, I would like a girl since we obviously already have a boy, but I’ll be happy either way!

Total weight gain: Still down from where I started.

Maternity clothes: Wore my maternity shorts the past few days. My normal shorts still fit, they’re just uncomfortable and squish my belly. 

Stretch marks: Just the pre-existing ones.

Sleeping: Not so well. But tired alllllll the time. 

Food Cravings: Lemonade, Sunny D, and Micasita. (Just the best Mexican restaurant in the world…or at least in NC. Haven’t found one in Raleigh yet that compares.)

Anything making you sick or queasy? Just oxygen. Husband thinks I seem to be getting better. Wife thinks Husband is nuts 😉

Miss Anything? Energy, Wine, and Sushi. 

Movement: I could’ve sworn I felt flutters the other night! But it’s so early that I think I imagined it. 

Labor signs: Nope!

Symptoms: Light stretching/cramps, pure exhaustion, morning (read: all dang day) sickness, soooooo emotional, and the acne of a teenager.

Belly Button in or out: Still in!

Wedding rings on or off: On

Happy or moody: Happy for the most part! But very easily brought to tears by absolutely nothing. Miss my Mommy a lot. (Typing that just made me tear up- I rest my case.)

Best moments this week: Spending the WHOLE day with Hubs on Saturday. We rarely get to do that anymore. 

Looking forward to: Morning sickness easing up, and feeling some non-imagined flutters!

Here’s a belly shot! Some of it may still be bloat, but I’m going to pretend it’s baby. Or at least uterus. preg

Superhero Cupcakes.

Aiden’s class celebrated his summer birthday today, and he of course wanted superhero cupcakes. I attempted to make these for his birthday last year, and failed. (They were brown.)

How to make them without making them turn brown? Start by finding my go-to recipe for cupcakes here. Once you have your batter, split it into four bowls. Add your food coloring. You will need A LOT (especially the red) to get vibrant, bright, bold colors. I’m not exaggerating. Unless you want pink, then have it your way!

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Add a dollop of each color to each wrapper. DO NOT TRY TO MIX OR FLATTEN THEM. This is how you end up with brown poopcakes. They will settle while baking and will NOT be lumpy.

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See?

Now add your icing and sprinkles!

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Then top with two-stickers-stuck-together-on-a-toothpick-Superhero toppers. (These were a hit, and super easy! Made them while the cupcakes baked.)

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They were also delicious!

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Happy (almost) Birthday to Aiden!

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Oh, did I mention that NJATM is now officially http://www.notjustanotherteenmom.COM?! So stoked. Thanks for being such great followers!

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Coming soon to NJATM, my personal review of doTerra essential oils!

Have a product you want me to review and write about? Email me at NATMBlog@gmail.com!

A Letter to My Little Boy.

April 14, 2014

Dear Aiden,

You’re only three. You can neither read nor understand this letter at this point, but one day you will.

The night that I learned you would be coming into my life was the single most amazing, yet terrifying night of my life. I would be lying to you if I said it has been easy since then. But every moment has been 100% worth it.

The minute I first saw you growing inside my belly, and saw your heart beating, I fell head over heels in love. I loved you more than anyone or anything else in this entire world, and I hadn’t even looked into your eyes yet. You were my son, and I was your Mommy.

1The moment you were born, I held my own breath as I waited to hear your first. You let out that cry, and I cried with you. Tears of joy because you were mine.

Fast forward a few months, and you were growing into this beautiful little human being. I still couldn’t believe that you came from me. You were already so handsome, and so incredibly smart. I loved you with my whole heart.

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When you were almost six months old, my life was turned upside down when your father and I separated, he moved out, and it became just you and me. I was twenty years old and scared to death that I would never be able to provide everything you needed. I wanted to give you the world, but could barely afford your diapers. How we made it to this point, I’ll never know. I believe that everything that happens, happens for a reason, and I make sure to tell you this all the time.

Fast forward a few more years. Now you’re three years old. Almost four. I thank God every single day for giving you to me. You make my heart so happy. You are still so incredibly brilliant. You are so independent too, which secretly breaks my heart because you never want my help with anything. You’re stubborn and rock-headed and getting you to listen is often the most frustrating part of my day.

But I wouldn’t trade a second of it.

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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the things I hope to teach you.

1) Life can be unfair. There will be bullies that will tease you because you are different from them. People will be mean and sometimes they will hurt your feelings. There’s not much you can about it other than just ignore them. Choose your friends wisely, and if you choose the right ones, they will stand beside you through anything. Cherish those friends, stand up for them, and love them. Things will rarely go the way you plan and there will be days when you will question what the heck God is doing. Instead of letting these things break you, push through it. Accept that disappointment happens sometimes, and still chase after your dreams despite what “might” happen.

2) Love life anyway. You have one life, and just because it doesn’t go the way YOU plan, doesn’t mean it’s not going the way HE planned. Don’t hide from life because you’re scared something will go wrong. LIVE. Be open to new things, fall in love once or ten times. Get your heart broken and then fall in love again. Get married if you want to. Have children of your own if you want to. Do whatever you want to do with your life. 

3) Love Jesus. This one isn’t always easy. It’s easy to love Jesus in private, but not so much in public. You don’t have to strap on an “I love Jesus” flashing button, but just show it in your actions. This is something I’m still working on teaching you now, as well as learning myself. I don’t think either of us will ever stop learning how to do this.

4) Just LOVE. If you have to live by one word, make it “love.” Love your family. Love your friends. Love your future spouse. Love your future children. Love your neighbors. Give every person you meet a smile, you never know how it could change their day. Love people even when they don’t deserve it. Love your enemies because usually it’s they who need it most. Aiden, just LOVE. That’s the best advice I can ever give you. 

Aiden, I want you to always be the best YOU that you can be. Always be proud of yourself. Even if you’re different. You were created with a purpose that requires you to be unique. Be confident, but not arrogant, and be okay with failure. Failure is where you’ll learn some of the greatest lessons in life. Admit when you’re wrong, and be humble when you’re right. Be compassionate, be forgiving, be faithful, and always believe there is something so much bigger than yourself and a purpose for everything that happens. Be courageous and strong, because life is hard work but worth the effort. Be thankful for the blessings in your life, and be content with what you have. Be honest and loyal, and stand firm in your faith. Be what God intended you to be.

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I am so proud of the amazing little boy you are, and cannot wait to see the wonderful man that you become. I will be here beside you, supporting you and holding your hand. I will always be your biggest fan. Know that I love you SO MUCH, and I always will. You are my sunshine, and I love you to the moon and back.

Love always,

Mommy

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Getting to Know Me.

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Since I’ve recently gained so many followers (YAY!), I figured it was time for a “getting to know you” type of post. Here are some things you may or may not know about me:

1) I believe in God. I have a great relationship with Him, but didn’t really establish that relationship until after Aiden was born. I don’t, however, attend a church regularly. I wouldn’t be opposed to it if I found the right fit.

2) Aiden saved my life. I was partying hard and making stupid choices when I learned I was pregnant. I stopped doing everything that I shouldn’t have been doing the moment that pee-stick said “positive” and never looked back.

3) I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Yeah, I know what I said. I’m almost 24 years old, and I still waver between two career options. Right now, my plans are to go back to school and get my CNA/Doula certifications, and then go back to work doing that once Aiden starts kindergarten a little over a year from now. I’ve also considered both teaching and writing.

4) I’m writing a book. But I’ve changed the subject three times, and will probably change it at least once more.

5) I’m extremely indecisive. Whether it’s a blog topic, career choices, or just what to eat for dinner, chances are that I changed my mind multiple times before making a decision.

6) Moving to Cary was the most difficult decision I’ve ever made. And despite things rarely going as I plan, I would make the same choice again if given the chance.

7) I am addicted to espresso. It’s hard not to be after working in a cafe for almost five years.

8) My heart lies with working close to special needs children/adults. Spending three summers volunteering at Camp Barnabas taught me so much about life, and things about my relationship with God that I can’t even find the right words for.

9) I desperately want to travel to Africa. I was going to go in Summer 2010 to intern at an orphanage in Uganda, but those plans changed when I learned I was pregnant.

10) I want to be a foster parent/adopt older children…eventually. It doesn’t matter their background, ethnicity, or age. It’s just something I’ve always felt led to do. But that’s wayyyyy in the future, at least in my plans.

11) Some of my favorites are…Color: Teal, Food: Popcorn, Book: Harry Potter Series, Movie: TOO MANY, TV Show: Grey’s Anatomy..since 2004, Holiday: Christmas.I have two color-coded calendars, one planner and one dry erase, and compulsively make lists for everything from spring cleaning to groceries. My closet is also (usually) arranged by color. No shame. 

So, there are some things about me! Any questions? Comment below!

Don’t forget to subscribe via email or follow NJATM on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/notjustanotherteenmom ).

For more frequent Aidenisms, follow me on Instagram @taydellac

DIY Melted Crayon Valentines

This year was my first attempt at making Valentines for Aiden’s class, something I’ve looked forward to since he started preschool!

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Not bad for my first try! 🙂

 

 

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This Little Line of Mine: What my Cesarean Taught Me.

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I have this little line that runs across my belly. It looks a little bit like a hockey stick, and kind of like a smile.

I resented this line for a long time. To me, it was a symbol of failure. A symbol that my body wasn’t strong enough or capable of doing what it was made to do.

It was a constant and painful reminder of one of the most vulnerable, terrifying moments in my life.

But I was wrong.

This little line saved Aiden’s life.

I had gestational diabetes, and after the first twenty-four hours of labor, my blood sugar began to spike and Aiden’s heart rate began to drop.

Cutting me open saved his life.

I had read all of the blogs and articles debating c-sections. I read opinions about how they are the WORST thing that could happen, and I read how they could be the best. I read stories from women who were traumatized and scared to ever even consider another pregnancy, and I read stories from women who were practically scheduling their next one when they were just two weeks postpartum.

I had read enough to know that I didn’t want one.

I had been pushing for what seemed like days. My OB came in to check how things were progressing and told me that Aiden’s head basically wasn’t descending the way it should be.

She said I could keep pushing, or they could go ahead and perform the emergency c-section.

27 hours into labor, and I was exhausted. I felt defeated, frustrated and I wanted nothing more than to hold my sweet boy in my arms.

I consented to the surgery and thirty minutes later, I was strapped to a gurney, scared to death something would go wrong, and anxiously awaiting that sound that every Mom wants to hear.

I could feel my OB pushing around on/in my stomach. I heard her say, “not long now!” And after an eternity of pressure, pulling, and prodding I heard those first few glorious screams from Aiden.

My OB held him over the curtain and he was the most beautiful, bloody, purple, squishy looking baby I had ever seen.

The nurses wrapped him up and brought him over to my head. My arms were still strapped, but I kissed him like crazy, tears streaming down my face.

His bio-dad was able to hold him and left me alone to take him to our families and the nursery.

As she stitched me up, I became overwhelmed with emotion. I cried and cried, and just wanted to hold my baby. I felt like a complete failure because I didn’t get to hold him instantly, I didn’t get to try and nurse him right away, and I didn’t get that instant bond that I so desperately wanted throughout those nine ten months.

I remember lying in the recovery room bed, exhausted, angry, and anxious to hold Aiden. “Get some rest,” they said. Yeah. Okay. I just have a giant hole in my stomach and haven’t seen my child since he was born, but sure. I’ll just take a quick little cat-nap.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, they rolled me to the room I would stay in for the rest of the week.

The nurse brought Aiden to me and I was overwhelmed with love for this tiny little human. I held him to my chest, he relaxed against my skin, and let out this little sigh. That bond I so desperately coveted was instant. All of the anger was gone. All of the frustration was gone. And all of my feelings of being a failure disappeared. I was a Mommy.

This little line IS a symbol, not of my failure, but of my courage.

This little line is a reminder of the sacrifice that I made and the bravery that I had that night.

This little line is there to help me remember all of the emotions that I felt as I looked into my sweet boy’s eyes for the first time.

This little line is there because I created an entire human being within my body.

This little line is there to remind me of the unconditional love I have for that little human being, who is now a brilliant, independent, and beautiful little boy.

This little line is so much more than just a scar.

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11 Things Moms Should NEVER Say.

I have a million things going through my head this week and feel like I may EXPLODE if I don’t do some blog-venting.

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In the three and a half short (long) years that I have been known as “Mommy,” my role has changed about five times.

First, I was a teen mom. (Not to be confused with one of those girls on MTV.)

Second, I was a kinda-sorta-stay-at-home-mom-full-time-student. (Yeah, it was as exhausting as it sounds.)

Third, I became a single-working-full-time-student-Mom. (Also exhausting.)

Fourth, I became a non-single-almost-married-full-time-working-mom. (Still exhausting, but what part of parenting isn’t? It’s all worth it.)

Now, I’m a stay-at-home-Mom-and-wife. (And I am soooo thankful that I’m able to do so.)

I’ve been pretty much every type of mom there is at least once, so maybe that’s why I really, REALLY hate the so-called “Mommy-Wars” that exist between all of the “sides.”

There shouldn’t even be “sides.” Just Moms.

The SAHMs think the working moms choose to be away from their kids, the working moms think the SAHMs are lazy and sit around eating bonbons and watching shows on Netflix all day.

The crunchy moms think the silky moms are killing their children slowly with cow’s milk and crying it out, and the silky moms think the crunchy moms are just a bunch of hippies who walk around with their amber necklaces and milk-filled breasts preaching about knowing better and doing better.

Moms with more than one child think that moms with only one have it so easy, and moms with one think the moms with many are being overly dramatic because it can’t possibly be that hard, right? The Duggar’s have 19. They survived.

Me? I float around somewhere in the middle of each of these. I cannot stand to see a mom put another mom down because she is choosing to parent a different way.

Here are eleven Mommy-War comments that I’ve personally heard a mom say to another mom, and sometimes to me!

1) You’re not breastfeeding? You know how bad formula is, right? (Breast is best, sure. But it’s not always the BEST option for every mom.)

2) He sleeps in your bed? How do you and your Husband/Partner ever have sex?! (None of your damn business, that’s how.)

3) You circumcised him? How could you mutilate your perfect little boy like that? (Again, it’s not your business, so don’t ask.)

4) You DIDN’T circumcise him? Imagine how he’s going to feel in that locker room in fifteen years! (See number 3.)

5) You let her cry it out? Do you know how emotionally abusive that is to your baby? How will she know you love her? (CIO, when done the right way, helps some moms/babies establish a normal sleeping pattern. It’s not for everyone, and it’s not your business.)

6) You’re going back to work? Do you WANT to miss all of her biggest milestones? (Thanks for the salt in the wound.)

7) You’re a stay-at-home Mom? So what do you do all day? (Let me stop doing what I do for a week and show you.)

8) You’re a single mom? Why did you even have kids of you weren’t going to stay married/together? (Yes, someone really asked me that. Because clearly I PLANNED on becoming a single mom at 20.)

9) You’re a silky mom? So you knowingly let your kid(s) have cow’s milk/fruit juice/produce from WAL-MART? (God forbid he have those Walmart-apples.)

10) You’re home schooling? So you know your kid is going to be an introvert/weirdo right? (Or possibly brilliant from the one-on-one.)

11) PUBLIC SCHOOL? Do you want him to SURVIVE until eighteen? (I mean, algebra is hard…but not lethal.)

WHY do we as moms feel the need to belittle other moms for doing things differently? WHY is our way the only way?

WHY can’t we just end these Mommy-Wars and get back to raising all of our happy and healthy children?

Elves Like Chocolate Too.

Buddy got into Aiden’s advent calendar and chocolate stash this morning!

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But he saved today’s piece just for Aiden!

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And another passive aggressive “list” reminder for Mommy.

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Aiden’s reaction the Buddy eating his chocolate, summed up in a photo:

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Mean Mommy.

I was a mean Mommy today.

I was lacking sleep after patrolling for the boogeyman for a few hours in the middle of the night, lacking caffeine thanks to having not gone grocery shopping yet, and most of all lacking patience from all of the above.

My sweet little baby boy is growing into this sassy, opinionated, little man who is capable of thinking for himself and I’m just not ready for it. Every other word out of his mouth is now, “Why?” Somewhere around the 72nd time that word left his lips before 10:00am, this particular time as he followed me into the bathroom, “Mommy, why can’t I have some cookies for breakfast right NOW!?!” I snapped.

“ARRRGHGHHGHHHHHH, just go to your room and let Mommy have five minutes of PEACE!”

Of course, it was much louder and angrier than my writing portrays it. And, of course, it shocked him enough to make him retreat to his room, and to make me feel like the worst mother in the entire world. Instead of following him, and smothering him with hugs, love, and kisses like I wanted to, I sat in the bathroom for a few moments and cried while praying for someone up there to hand me some more patience.

Being a mom is overwhelming.

I was forced into teenage motherhood after a few stupid decisions I made at nineteen. I chose to keep the baby instantly (BEST decision I’ve ever made), and the moment the word “pregnant” popped up on that test, I became a mom. I loved the little life growing within me, even though at that moment, he was only the size of a tadpole.

That was the EASIEST decision I have had to make since then. Cloth diaper or disposable? Breastmilk or formula? Circumcision or intactivism? Spanking or time-outs? Or both? What if neither work? Stay with my five month old’s biological father, even though we detest one another? Or end it, and become a single mom at twenty? Start dating? What if he dumps me and Aiden gets hurt? Should I let him meet Aiden? When? Will this guy be a good stepdad? How can I be sure?

And every decision I have made has been scrutinized that much more BECAUSE I’m so young.

So, at first I was terrified to even write this post, because I’m sure it will be criticized. But for any moms out there who snap from time-to-time:

YOU. ARE. NOT. ALONE. 

I took a deep breath and walked to Aiden’s room, prepared to smother him in kisses, apologies, and cookies to hopefully make up for what I was sure to be the hot, emotional mess I had created with my momentary lack of control. He ran up to me and hugged me tight as I had to fight back those stupid tears again.

“MOOOOOMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYY, I MISSED YOU!!!!!!!! Is your pee-pee empty now?” 

Clearly, he was traumatized.

I told him Mommy was so sorry that she got frustrated, that I loved him very, VERY much. His response?

“But Mommy, why are you ‘fusrated’?” Oh, the irony.

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