Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Diapers, Onesies, Stretch Marks- Oh My!

I have a confession to make. 

I have been cheating on you.

For the past six months, some of my very best posts haven't been posted here on my blog. They went straight into the document of the mistress- "Diapers, Onesies, Stretch Marks- Oh My!" an ebook I have been compiling on new motherhood.
At first I started this project as a way to raise money to pay for professional editing on my novel, but as I wrote it, it became so much more.

I wrote about the magic of a sleeping child:

Whatever they were thinking while they slept so beautifully, something strange washed over me.

Tension disappeared, my memory clouded the details of their disobedience and the entire day seemed much less horrible. A smile tipped the corners of my mouth and love that never truly left swelled to maximum capacity.

I wrote about "saying no":
Those blue eyes stayed focused on me as though we were playing a game of “NO” chicken. I could see his stubborn spirit at work here, playing me like a fiddle in the hands of that Jewish guy on the roof.

I wrote about running errands with toddlers:
My fingers were going completely numb one by one as I unloaded the big cart full of groceries because I forgot my gloves in the car. I felt the cold I had been fighting descend upon me. Pneumonia tapped me on the shoulder and whispered my name. Frostbite tickled my nose. I could feel the cold pin me down and count to three. The children were still screaming with anger in their seats. Time to climb onto that heated seat, turn on some soothing music, and let the warm car start the recovery process as we headed home.

I wrote about the perfect baby:
No one said this would be easy. It never is, no matter what your motherhood role looks like. And yet buried deep into hardship can be peace and joy and the growth of contentment. Because embracing perceived imperfections can create a new level of maturity intertwined tightly with that ever so highly coveted happiness. For me, letting go of the carefully constructed ideals of perfection is when the crashing waves of seeming imperfection washed over me with a hypnotic beauty all their own.

I wrote about sick kids:
It’s really tough to see my little babies get sick. Physical discomfort and pain for myself seems like nothing at all when I’m preoccupied with the health of the little people who depend on me to dispense their antibiotics while making airplane motions and saying AHHHHH with the enthusiasm of a clown on a high. 

I wrote about having that next baby:
Baby fever hit me unexpectedly. Immediately after delivering my first, I declared, “I AM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN.” And then out of the blue, I saw a newborn photo session posted online and something about those itty-bitty arms clasped together and the little bunny hat ending at the point the peacefully sleeping eyes began made my uterus stand up and take notice. When I leaned in closer and saw those pooched lips, deliciously red and plump perhaps in a mid-sigh when the photographer snapped this shot of magic, I immediately started producing eggs.

I wrote about Mommy Wars:
As I stared at my sister kneeling in the grass, I wasn’t thinking of my jealousness of her breastfeeding prowess. As she reached a shaking hand forward, I wasn’t comparing our mothering techniques in our usual competitive fashion. As her hand gently landed palm down on the tiny white coffin, all of the issues that had been weighing me down in guilt over my petty mothering woes were nonexistent.

I wrote about comparing:
I laugh where I can. I push myself to be better where I see points of potential not being met. I strive to be a more awesome version of myself by learning new things and working to perfect the skills that I do have.

But I don’t try to be someone else or let myself compare myself as a mother to other women that have strengths where I don’t. They’re doing their best. I’m doing my best. To our children, we are all superheros.

I wrote about the good moments:
These moments always catch me by surprise. Sometimes I get so caught up in the cycle of feed-change-load into car-haul them around-load back up in car-feed-change-bathe that I forget to look at my children- really truly look at them and see what their eyes are trying so desperately to tell me. And when I stop the hustle and bustle for just a minute, lower myself to the floor and look at them eye to eye, I see the person hidden behind the façade of toddlerness.

I wrote about being a special mom:
Will there be moments when it’s hard? Yes, yes there will. But the truth is- I have moments like that with my son as well as my daughter. Having special needs doesn’t hold the claim on hard. It’s simply a part of life, which means it is subject to all the components of it- good and bad.

I wrote about not being a perfect mom:
I have a feeling that someday I’m going to truly miss this phase of life because honestly it does have some fabulous things about it. So I soak up the good, laugh at the hard, bear through the bad- knowing that this is my life. A wonderful, wonderful life where I get to build other people- one day at a time.

...and lots of other things too- like the mystery of my white couch, being a NICU mom, and what laundry and cleaning really mean to me...

I apologize that I have been pretty quiet around here lately as I worked diligently to tie up loose ends and get this ready for you. (Why is it SO FUN to write but such a nightmare to take it through that final editing stage?)

I am beyond thankful to the many, many friends who helped me read, edit, and read some more. I am beyond thankful for my fabulous friend who spend an entire morning wrangling two uncooperative models for a cover picture and another morning of editing. I am beyond thankful to all of you who helped me vote on which cover to use! I am beyond thankful to my husband who graciously helped me read and edit and put up with all my crazies the past few months as I finished this project. I could not have done this without all of your wonderful help.

I am beyond thankful to all of you who have been so supportive here on the blog for a long time now. And to thank you in advance for being supportive of this project that I have poured my heart and soul into, EANFE is doing a giveaway for everyone who reads and shares my new ebook Diapers, Onesies, Stretch Marks- Oh My! 

You get an entry if you
1. Buy the ebook
2. Share the ebook (Separate entries for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest)

You get four entries if you
1. Write a book review on your blog
2. Write a review for Amazon

What is the prize of the giveaway? There are three prizes for three randomly drawn winners: a $100 gift card to Amazon, a $50 gift card to Target, and a $25 Visa gift card. This giveaway will be open until the end of April. (To make sure that you are part of the giveaway, please log your entries in the Rafflecopter below.)

Please read. Please share. I will love you forever if you do. And so will these two:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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