I Love My Mommy Body

I Love My Mommy Body

    Every year on the night of my daughter’s birthday, I write her a letter by hand in hopes of one day turning it into a book to give to her on her 21st birthday. I have been doing this every single year since she was born, and today I went through some of them. I thought I would share one of my letters with you. I wrote this to my darling daughter on the evening of her 3rd birthday: Before I became pregnant I was warned “don’t ever have a baby, babies ruin your body!” It has been three years since you made your way into this world; you used to be just a microscopic speck inside of me. Between then and now, I have gained and lost 26 kilograms … three whole years after your birth, my body still carries the proof of your existence. My hair has always been my pride and joy; today it is a force to be reckoned with. Besides being more brittle, it has a tendency to fall out due to all the crazy hormone changes – I am still trying to fix it. I have dark circles under my eyes (I really need more sleep) and my skin is as unpredictable as the Cape Town weather. My tummy, once smooth and toned, has become a valley. My hips are wider. I have lightening bolts on my sides and tummy, proving that I was once too small to contain all the love that filled me. These lines, my love letters, are all I have left to prove that we were once...
5 Reasons to Get a Pet for Your Highly Sensitive Child

5 Reasons to Get a Pet for Your Highly Sensitive Child

Highly Sensitive Children tend to be very, well, sensitive. They are very observant, perceptive, and empathic. They are usually creative and artistic. They feel things deeply and are concerned about others. And to even out all this awesomeness, they can also be very difficult. They complain about many sensory issues, including temperature, textures (of clothes, food, anything), get their feelings hurt a lot, and can be very anxious. My 5-year-old is a Highly Sensitive Child, and has always been plagued by a fear of dogs. She was terrified of dogs she would see outside or at other people’s houses, no matter how my husband and I tried to convince her that the dogs were nice and friendly. When she started going on drop-off playdates that were marred by her fear of pet dogs at her friends’ houses, I felt that it was time to work on her phobia so that she wasn’t limited socially by it. We went to the Humane Society and found an 8-year-old deaf dog who was small and friendly. The first time Natalia met her, she was terrified and hysterically crying because the dog jumped on her and licked her. But after an hour, she was already petting her and loving her. She loves having a dog and tells everyone about her new pet. Best of all, she’s not as scared of other dogs in the park or on the street. Aside from buying a dog as a way to help a dog-phobic child, I have realized that there are many positives of pet ownership for all kids, but especially Highly Sensitive ones: 1. Acceptance Your...
This Is What Being The Parent Of 3 Kids Looks Like

This Is What Being The Parent Of 3 Kids Looks Like

I have too many kids. There, I said it. Except in saying it, I don’t mean I would trade any of them in. (Unless, of course, it were for a private island and a gazillion diamonds. KIDDING, ohmygod, I jest.) I just mean … well … having three kids is sort of like playing at life while wearing two left shoes. I remember my aunt, who also has three kids, telling me if I was going to do three, I might as well go all out and spring for the fourth. I thought she was a lunatic at the time. I now know she is the sanest person alive. For starters, having three kids means my husband and I are outnumbered. I swear to God, they’re sitting in their rooms right now, plotting a coup, which shouldn’t be too hard to enact given we’re so frazzled and exhausted that they could parade a herd of circus animals through our living room and we’d just mumble something about not stomping around so loudly and making sure they play with the vicious tigers in the kitchen and not on the carpeting. You know, in case somebody bleeds or something. And then there’s the fact that someone is always the odd man out. Roller coasters, tandem bicycles, and square dancing are all off the table, which is too bad, really, because I’ve been itching to dust my checkered shirts off and do-si-do around a barn somewhere. Also? I’m always forgetting something or someone. Even if my kids were all old enough to remember their own crap, they wouldn’t, which means in my...
8 Things I Thought I Knew About Pregnancy

8 Things I Thought I Knew About Pregnancy

There are some perks to pregnancy. You don’t have to worry about counting calories, and … OK, fine. There is exactly one perk to pregnancy: you get to eat for two. Everything else pretty much sucks. You can’t drink. You can’t eat awesome things like soft cheese and sushi. You can’t ride on rides (or probably even fit in them). But what surprised me most about pregnancy was how wrong a lot of my expectations were. Here are eight things I thought I knew about pregnancy, until I actually started growing a tiny human inside me: 1. “I’ll be sensitive to some smells.” I wasn’t just sensitive. I had the smelling capacity of a bloodhound. I could smell someone’s body odor from two blocks away. Some smells were worse than others. But I was surprised at how many made me want to puke immediately. Just catching the slightest whiff of something like gasoline, hand sanitizer, energy drinks, cooking meat, or garlic was enough to make me dry-heave. 2. “I’ll get morning sickness.” Morning my ASS. I don’t know who came up with this term, but they were probably never pregnant. Because if they had been, it would be called “morning-is-just-the-beginning sickness.” Or “pretty-much-all-the-damn-time sickness.” Or, you know … “Pregnancy.” 3. “I’ll have mood swings.” I thought I knew what mood swings were before pregnancy. NOPE. Pregnancy mood swings are like PMS mood swings on steroids. One time a commercial about dog adoption made me sob uncontrollably. Then I laughed with my husband about how ridiculous it was. Then I cried again about the lack of control I had over...

Surviving the Hospital

If you’re like me, you turned to blogs, articles, books and friends for information about what it’s really like in the hospital after you deliver your precious bundle of joy. There were still a few things I was completely unprepared for, so I am sharing my wisdom with you so you’re not as blindsided as I was. You’re welcome. 1. Head to the bathroom BEFORE you think you need to go. It takes a ridiculous amount of time to actually get yourself sitting down ready to do your business. First, just getting out of that bed deserves applause. Then you slowly shuffle your way into the bathroom, only to realize that you have to fill up your lovely little squirt bottle first. Cue running water … if you wait too long, you’ll doing the potty dance while waiting for that tiny lifesaving bottle to fill up. Not fun, seeing as how you just pushed out a human. 2. Pregnancy cravings are STILL with you. I was in some sort of magical denial that when I gave birth my daily craving for ice cream would go away. Trust me, it didn’t. Come prepared with a little bit of whatever it was you HAD TO HAVE while preggers. Unless you want to quit your addiction cold turkey while your body and brain are also adjusting to expelling a human. Not a good idea. 3. You can bring your own pain relievers. The nice nurse who comes around every few hours asking if you’d like some ibuprofen to ease your pain is your angel, or so you think. Until you get the...