What Does Fatherhood Look Like?

It is 2017. This question can mean ANYTHING now. There are many experiences out there and many opinions on Fatherhood. But one thing is for sure is that Fatherhood can look like this. How do you have this? I can share more about that in another post. Here is a little peek into what Fatherhood looks like in no particular order…

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You can see many sleeping pictures. Fatherhood is very tiring when you are the one getting up very early, commuting, and working/ being out of the house for more than 8 hours.

You can’t see a dad who never hung out with babies prior to Fatherhood, but it shows it comes naturally.

You can see a Father’s love.

You can see happiness.

What you do not see is the hard work to keep the family safe and fed, the calm during moments mommy is not, and the moments where Dad keeps an eye on the little guy while mommy sleeps.

What you don’t see or hear about very often is that daddy feel hopeless and sad when baby prefers mommy. Or feels upset when he can’t make baby feel better when they’re teething. 

Fatherhood is seen as silly, negative, lazy, or deadbeat in many people’s lenses. I want to show you the positives and the reality of what Fatherhood can be.

Uplift Fatherhood!

Ben, I love you very much! Thank you for all you have done and are doing for Liam and I. Parenthood brings out positives and negatives within ourselves, however having a person by your side that is here for the long run makes all the growing and learning easier. Parenthood is hard work! I am blessed and extremely grateful for you! We have been through so much and Liam has been a great blessing to both of us.

-Kristina

 

 

Reflections While Nursing a Toddler

Breastfeeding is an amazing journey full of cuddles, giggles, baby hair sniffing, pain, exhaustion, sacrifice, and pride. As I start to lean towards the weaning process it makes me both happy and sad.
I want my body back yet I enjoy the closeness we share. I want my space back yet I love the look he gives me. I want my time again yet I love how I can always make him feel better. I want my sleep yet I love his hand grasping my shirt.
This experience has taught me many things. Many things that I need to either work on or things that are out of my control. Breastfeeding is something you must give into completely. It is something that is a complete sacrifice. And I believe it is worth every tear, every wake up, and every pound they gain.

Breastfeeding is the prime example of a love/hate relationship. You learn that it becomes your whole life. You learn people will have advice or opinions that they will share regardless of your standpoint. You learn you second guess yourself even though your gut is always right.

You learn your not the person you once were. You were selfish and you could do things on your own time. You are now a mother. You know must let go of just thinking of yourself. Breastfeeding is your life. But it does not consume it if you learn to embrace it as a part of you not all of you.

As I go into toddlerhood, I have many thoughts of when I want to end the breastfeeding relationship. Today you have so many options or advice on what you should or should not do. There are many factors that can come into play as to why someone wants to wean their child of breastfeeding. There is no set timeframe and honestly, there should be no pressure to stop. I am now okay with slowly weaning and once again going with the flow. That has seem to work well with most things this past year. When I start to stress out about it or try to push it, tension or stress happens with Liam and it does not goes as well. Patience is key to anything. Just like having patience with mealtime, I am having patience with the weaning process. The glorious virtue that I need to work on the most is testing me daily.

Breastfeeding a toddler makes you feel like a pro however can also make you feel like you are controlled by it. But as the days go by the nursing is less and less. And I am going to enjoy every moment because someday I will miss the bonding with just Liam and me. I am going to miss the one thing I can have with him. I will also enjoy having my space. It is bittersweet.

When did you stop nursing and why?

Dear Baby Boy: You’re Not Growing Up

As I look down at your light, dirty blonde/copper hair, you’re nursing. I feel your whole 20 pounds of love on me and the warmth of your skin on my arms. I smell your sweet baby scent, the one that is slowly fading away. Your hand is grasping my hand as you nurse and occasionally stop and smile at me with those big blue eyes that resemble your father’s. You need me and I need you. I sit here, thinking to myself, where has time gone? How did we get to this time where you know your name, crawling all around, or standing in your crib? Where is my little baby that came home last August?

Baby boy, you’re never growing up.
It has only been a few short weeks ago that you learned to fully crawl. You know how to get to one place to another quicker than I expected. You’re a little more independent and proud of yourself. You crawl to places you have never been and places mommy has to move you from so very often. You crawl to our bed and you crawl to your crib. You soon will be walking and….
Baby boy, you’re never growing up.
You can stand all by yourself now. As long as there is something to hold to. But you’re standing. You get this adorable, proud grin on your face when you pull yourself up in your crib and stand. You giggle as I applaud you for your accomplishment but still a little weak and may fall. You always get back up because you’re learning. Soon you won’t need help standing and …..
Baby boy, you’re never growing up.
You smile and laugh at the diaper song I made, you smile and laugh when I sing “When You’re Happy and You Know It”, and you giggle at the “Baby Shark” song. You love to dance to music or while you stand. You like to be near. Someday you will want your space and “too big” for kid songs, someday….
But baby boy, you’re never growing up. 
You babble and giggle. You cuddle and you play. You listen as I whisper in your ear and giggle the more I stay. You are in awe with the littlest things and distracted by the sounds all around. You explore and you learn. You need me by your side through all of this. But one day you won’t…
Baby boy, you’re never growing up.
Yesterday I was cleaning your closet, putting away the small clothes you no longer fit. You’re in 9 months now and growing like a weed. You’re growing out of things and growing into things. You’re growing out of the baby bath tub we share so many memories with. You’re growing out of the car seat we took you home in for the first time. You’re growing but…
Baby boy, you’re not growing up.
I sit here and know that you may be growing. But mommy will never grow out of your love, grow out of your touch, your smiles, your cuddles, or your needs. Mommy will always be here. You may be growing out of the cute clothes you wore but mommy isn’t growing out of your time or your memories. We never grow out of our love. 
Baby boy, as you grow older, I will hold tight to every moment and every milestone. You’re the most amazing and scariest experience. And I will never grow out of that. 
In my eyes, you will always be my little baby boy.

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First Night Without Liam

Christopher, Ben, Tammy, and I decided that we wanted to go out for dinner. They asked me if it was okay if my parents would watch him so all four of us could go out by ourselves without kids before Aria comes.

Great idea.
Except….it was a nerve wracking thought! I was not prepared for that! All I could think of was that Liam would need me or need to nurse. I breastfeed. However, after talking with my mom, I was okay with it. I left them some baby food just in case and went on our way.
We were only planning on be out for only a couple hours so it would be just enough time before he needed to nurse. 
I did great! I barley thought of him and did not worry. I did miss him. My mom even check up on me and sent a picture of Liam sleeping on my dad.  Liam basically took a nap the whole time and did amazingly!
He was so happy to see me when we got home. Our dinner was really good Italian food. Ben and I also shared Ice cream.
Our first outing without Liam was a success!

Fussy Baby Mental Development

For the past week Liam has been very cranky and fussy. He has his usual happy moments but are less than normal. It can be very hard to deal with that because he demands attention and sometimes we don’t know how to cheer him up. And we were use to such a happy baby!

I have this amazing app called The Wonder Weeks. It talks about leaps babies go through. It has helped me know that it is just a phase and it will pass. It explains what things he could be learning and the fussy days he will have give it take a week. So far it has been spot on. We currently have a few more days on this leap and he should be back to his old self. Below I’ll have pictures of the app to give you an idea. This app is based on a book. I want to get it sometime.

 

The fussy times get worse during each leap according to this and I completely agree! Liam is fussier than he ever has been. I know teeth may be also a culprit but he isn’t hurting.
Anyone else have this app or book? Does it help you and is it accurate?
-Kristina

Facebook Ruins Lives

  Well, I guess the title is a bit dramatic. I do feel that Facebook does to a point ruin lives. Why? I think if you really know yourself then you know why it can ruin your life. Here’s why:

Facebook started in the early two thousands. It was meant for college students to keep in contact with people. It was a much different environment and society also was different. Now all Facebook is, is advertisements and drama. It doesn’t have to be that way, but most people I know make it that way. It’s either politics or a disagreement of some sort that sheds negative lights. It’s just a showcase of your life and not the reality of life.
It’s so simple to take a perfect snapshot of your day but behind closed doors it’s not that way at all. I don’t think this is with every photo or with everyone, but Facebook is not real life.
The main issue I have with Facebook and how it ruins lives is that it’s so easy to get caught up in other peoples lives that you don’t pay attention to what’s right front of you. Facebook is too much of a distraction.
Again you may get caught up in other peoples lives and realize you’re not where you want to be and Facebook can become depressing. If that is the case take some time off.
I would catch myself staring at my phone for minutes only to look down at my son smiling at me. Facebook takes away moments that you can never get back. I’ll catch myself looking down at my phone on a date with my husband. I’ll be on the phone while watching a movie. We are so memorized by this thing that is takes away the life we are living now. Why must we feel the need to be on Facebook all the time?! 
What happened to handwritten letters or emails? Phones calls? Facebook has taken away any other communication with people. All you have to do is visit a profile just to keep updated with your friends and family without them even knowing your there. 
Sadly our society is teaching younger generations that virtual relationships are easier, polished, and quicker. There is no room for developing relationships on a more deeper level. Now it’s just easy to say hey or go on someone’s wall and say happy birthday rather than seeing them in person. Do our words even have any meaning anymore? Do we even have friends? What is the friend? A friend used to be someone who would pick up the phone and call you to see how you’re doing. Or your show up at your front door to hang out. Or ask if you need anything and actually did something about it. Facebook takes away the real relationships we used to have.
Facebook doesn’t make you try harder at maintaining relationships. It doesn’t teach you how to communicate to others but to only talk about yourself or hide behind a computer and say whatever’s on your mind.
Facebook is a showcase of what you’re doing, what you’re eating, how you did this, what you bought for someone, another selfie of the day, or where you’re going. Facebook is all about you.
Facebook can easily ruin relationships. Because Facebook is more about yourself so if you do not agree with someone it’s just easy to delete them from your life. Our relationships are virtual instead personal.
Facebook controls every aspect of your life. There’s no more effort. Facebook tells you your friends and families birthdays, tells you upcoming events, tells you who’s going where, and tells you where you should shop. Facebook is your brain.
Facebook is also a web of lies. People create their own reality known as articles and they get shared and shared and shared. If you’re not careful you will believe things that aren’t true and it’s hard to find the truth. 
Facebook is your influence. 
The media is heavily involved with Facebook and that is how they distract us from the very important things in life. We need to educate ourselves again and not rely on Facebook.
I think as a society we need to boycott Facebook. Our whole lives are revolved around this very big moneymaker called Facebook. There’s so many ways Facebook takes money from you. Apps, donations, advertisements that you click on and shop, and so many other ways.
Do you want meaningful relationships? Do you want a fulfilled life? Do you want friends? 
If Facebook is consuming your life, deactivated it. 
And that’s what I did. One day down and I am withdrawling. And that’s how I knew Facebook was a problem because I couldn’t imagine going a day without it.
I am free!

Week 37: My Birth Story


This week was interesting! And it led up to the birth of our son, William Evan Stone II, aka Liam.

Notes from week 37 that were my personal symptoms that I was to go into labor on Sunday night:

  • 3 days before water broke-
    • insomnia
    • dreams about going into labor
    • braxton-hick contractions
    • leg cramps
    • numbness/tingling
    • restless leg syndrome
    • saliva excessive
    • sciatica
    • stretch marks
    • tingling hands
      • moods
        • anxious
  • Two days before water broke-
    • “feeling a lot of pressure down there. I feel him, not sure what, near my bladder and sometimes if I am sitting up I am squishing him? It’s an odd feeling I cannot describe. It doesn’t hurt much, but very uncomfortable. Also back aches a lot!”
      • Moods
        • stressed
        • motivated
  • Symptoms-
    • left pelvic pain
    • joint pain
    • backache
    • frequent urination
    • leg cramps
    • pelvic discomfort and pressure
    • sciatica
    • white discharge
This picture was taken Sunday 7:53pm. My water broke 9:40pm. The funny thing is, I shared this picture on a pregnancy app stating : Alrighty baby, we are ready for you lol. Okay I’ll wait till you’re done cooking but I feel so heavy.
And then he decided to listen to me.
My Birth Story:
Sunday August 23, 2015
 9:40pm: I was sitting in my bed on my phone when all of a sudden I felt a “pop” and water starting gushing out of me. Like literally reminded me of the movies. Just like that.
First thing that popped into my head was WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?
I do not think I understood what was happening for about 10 seconds, but then I got up and ran to the bathroom because my body was leaking. I called Ben and told him my water broke. He comes into our place and the face he had was priceless. He looked so excited! Meanwhile I am freaking out.
I call the hospital because I just knew Liam was still breech and we were suppose to go to our next appointment the next day to see if he was. The hospital told us to come in so they can make sure.
Ben starts to pack the rest of what we wanted as I tried figuring how to deal with this leaking issue. We get our stuff together, tell our family and will call them if we are needing to stay at the hospital if he is breech.
The drive there was so crazy for me. I did not have any contractions that I could feel. That was nice. I wasn’t even sure if I would have any, any time soon. There was so many emotions and thoughts going through my head. Ben was excited and we talked the whole way there. It took about 45 mins to get to our hospital.
Taken while waiting in ER to be seen
So many emotions!
11:00pm: We get to the ER and got signed in and the wait begins. Finally we got seen and go into a room. I laid down and I started feeling some contractions. They were not too bad. But felt like period cramps. They checked and he was breech. I was so sad. I had to get a c-section. I was so scared and nervous. Ben was such a great support and made me feel better. Because I ate dinner previously, I unfortunately had to wait eight hours to get the c section. I had to go through labor for eight hours. I chose to not use any medication. I felt like a crazy person denying drugs, but I was determined. I wanted a vaginal, unmedicated birth and since I could not have that, I wanted to still have the labor experience. Unfortunately, my blood pressure got a bit high and I had to be hooked up to manage that which meant I could not use the coping positions I wanted to try to get through the very difficult contractions. So nothing was going the way I wanted. But I was blessed.
The eight hours surprisenly went by fast. Labor was intense. When it first started, I felt like this was something I could totally get through. I had some moments where I was VERY tempted to give into the drugs and by the end of it, I wanted to scream. When the contractions would let down for a bit I would prep talk myself and Ben was so supportive. I felt so bad because when I had a really bad one, I would breath faster and sometimes cry out and he would wake up and stand next to me and let me hold his hand or he would rub on me(I sometimes would shake my head no because I didn’t want to be touched). He was what kept me from taking the drugs. He was my birth coach. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
FINALLY, eight o clock came and I kept looking at the clock and I would tell myself through each very hard contraction that it will only last a few seconds, it will be over soon. I would breath through them and shake my head no for some reason. Sometimes verbally say no or say ouch! Ben would calm me down a little to help me get back to my breathing, which honestly does help distract you.
My family came in and walked in on a bad contraction. Then a nurse came to help me walk to the surgery room. I was so mad I had to walk and did not get a wheel chair, especially since I started having a real bad contraction on the way there.
We get in the room and I burst into tears. I was so scared. That room was intimidating! Ben had to wait until they prepped me to come in so my support was gone. The surgery crew was nice but I felt so alone for a bit.
They put the needle in my back and my bottom half instantly when numb. I felt great! I started to calm down a bit. They had to move to onto my back and they started to get me ready for surgery. The curtain went up and a few minutes later, Ben was there. Once Ben was there, I felt so at ease. And Ben took a video of the birth. Liam was taken out within 4 mins of surgery! The waiting for the first cry was like time stood still. And that little cry had me in tears. I look to my left and they take him to the cleaning table and I could not keep my eyes off of him as they sew me up.
I finally get to see him and they put him on my chest for a little bit. That was the best moment of my life.
Ben and him had to leave and I was sewed up. They wheeled me to our room and I finally get to see my baby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Evan Stone II
And that is how our little, adorable bundle of joy came into our lives.
How are the parents?
We are overjoyed and extremely happy! I am sore but healing very well. I will do an update on baby Liam when he hits one week.
P.S. Sorry if it looked like we didn’t tell anyone that I was in labor. It was literally 12 at night and I had to have a c section. We didn’t want visitors the first day since I was recovering and wanted our time with Liam. The second day my aunt Memo and cousin Lacey and Keira visited. We really appreciated the company. 🙂
-Kristina