Transitioning Mom: Where is my Epidural Now?

They warn you about the pain of childbirth. They even express all the different means for managing said pain and in such depth that there are literally tons of books written on the topic! Ways to manage the pain often include Lamaze, water therapy, epidural, hypnosis, etc. I opted for hypnosis when this little lady graced us with her presence.

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She was overdue. I was eventually induced. Thanks to Pitocin (the drug they give you to start labor) the contractions were intense but the hypnosis worked like a charm. I literally went to my “Happy Place” in my brain and managed to take up residence there for 5 hours. Then I was distracted & the door abruptly shut on my “Happy Place”. The pain hit me like a title wave, so excruciating, intense, take your breath away, and utterly unbearable, I would come to find out in a few short minutes that I was transitioning. But at the time the nurse assumed I was just beginning “real” active labor so she offered an epidural. When you feel like you are drowning in pain you welcome any floatation device! Then the pain entirely consumed my body as the epidural was placed I suddenly felt the urge to push. Once the epidural was in I pushed and on the second push we had a beautiful baby girl! (It was a huge surprise to me because I could have sworn I was carrying a boy…we didn’t find out the sex, it is one of the last & most magnificent surprise this world has left to offer). I didn’t realize it or know it at that time, but I had just given birth to our last child. I must admit, I would have probably commemorated the occasion even more so if I would have known…I might have slowed down, really savored & soaked up all the experience of delivery, possibly even had someone in the room to capture my expression when they told me it was a girl, that would have been such a treasure. I am however thankful for the epidural, while it did absolutely nothing but add to the actual pain of labor after delivery I felt renewed, I felt nothing, at least not like I just delivered a baby. I was ready for visitors an hour after she was born. I was on cloud nine. No pain!


Fast-forward a few years later and I have experienced so many magnificent and emotional moments throughout her life, a lot of firsts, first steps, first solid food, first word, so many firsts for her and yet lasts for me, as a mom. All of her firsts would be my lasts. It is heartbreaking. (I detest the expression ‘kills my soul’ but if ever I was to use it now would be that time…this is the closest I have ever gotten to an experience that kills my soul). It is in those moments that I channel what I learned through hypnosis for birthing and I go to my “Happy Place” in my mind. It helps mend the immediate pain, just as it did for labor, except for today, today the door abruptly shut!! Suddenly I was in transition and no one was offering me an epidural, no floatation device among this sea of heartache & pain.

Today was the last first day of preschool for both of us. Today was the last day I would accompany my child for the first day of preschool. The last time I would play at the water table, with the play dough, play in the kitchen, and get excited for the preschool school year ahead. The last time I would paint hands with one of my babies on their first day of preschool (something I secretly look so forward to).

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As I sat their painting her sweet little hand I recalled six years ago when I was painting her older sister’s hand and then her brother’s and how quickly the time has passed and how big their hands are now, practically the same size as mine. The time flies so quickly, I barely have time to catch my breath. It seems like just yesterday I was nursing my baby and singing her a sweet lullaby, her tiny little fingers wrapped around mine. And today she had her last first day of preschool.

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Today I had my last first day of preschool. They never warned me about the pain. The pain is real! The pain hit me like a title wave, so excruciating, intense, take your breath away, and utterly unbearable kind of pain, I would come to find out that I was transitioning.

I am transitioning from a mom with babies & toddlers (which I am so familiar with, comfortable with, and truth be told, totally love! And given the opportunity would gladly do the whole baby and toddler thing a million times over) to a mom with children PreK and up. The pain is real! I want my epidural! Where is my epidural now?



What I Bought myself for Mother’s Day, 2 Apps every Super Mom MUST Have, and a Special Shout Out to YOU!

Okay, so I fell in love with this mug the moment I walked into Caribou the other day, I just had to have it. So, I did what any Super mom would do, I bought it for myself because if past experience has taught me anything it is that you sometimes need to purchase your own Mother’s Day gift. Please, don’t get me wrong, my eyes fill with tear the moment my children hand me those delicate imprints of their hands and I read those heart wrenching poems that coincide. You know the ones; the ones that make you want to come up with some secret potion to keep them small forever. Why must they grow, and why so fast?? And of course my hubby, God bless his soul, he does try to makes an effort to give me a Mother’s Day gift from the heart, kind of.  But if I have to fake a smile for one more gosh darn last-minute, convenience purchased, cheap, carcinogen based candle I might lose it! Seriously, I am not sure if he is aware of this or not but he has given me the same candle 3 years in a row, I have the proof.


So, long story short, instead of doing a woe is me pity party later, after the Mother’s day festivities I decided to purchase the mug for myself. This way I am guaranteed a smile Mother’s Day as I sip on my coffee from my new mug.  Despite what gifts and appreciation may, or may not be expressed on Mother’s Day I am already guaranteed a great day because my mug says I am a SUPER MOM!!

The mug got me thinking though, what does every SUPER MOM need in order to be, well, SUPER? Faith, patience, kindness, a sense of humor, love, tolerance, integrity, faith, a positive disposition, a sense of humor, fortitude, a sense of humor!! If you can’t tell, I think faith and a sense of humor need to be emphasized; you can’t take life or raising children too seriously and sometimes you will have those days when you only get by on a prayer. SUPER MOMs also need super support networks. A supportive family, friends, neighbors, etc. are a must otherwise you lose your mind and the SUPER. Then I started thinking about some of the more modern-day gizmos like technology, iPads, iPhones, etc. and the ways they support and encouraged the SUPER status. There are two must have apps that instantly came to mind.


Gube, it is wonderful, a true life saver in desperate moments.  You know those days when you are at your wit’s end and you feel like throwing in the towel but you still have 2 more errands on your list?  Well, Gube is the answer. Gube is an app that provides kid safe videos. Parent’s there is no need to worry about your toddler or preschooler stumbling across a provocative video on their search for Elmo or Yo gabba gabba. Gube provides parents with a catalog of pre-screened, moderated, and safe, yet fun, YouTube videos. Designed and developed by parents of toddlers for parents with young children. Paired with the BubCap ( home button cover, it turns your iPhone or iPad into a great learning and entertainment device!

Best part, as a special Happy Mother’s Day Gube is $0.99!! It is normally $3.99 but starting Friday May 11th– Sunday May 13th  it is $0.99, so be sure to get your app Friday! Moms this is a great gift to give yourself for mother’s day, trust me, you will thank yourself the next time you are waiting in the Doctor’s office, waiting in line at the grocery store,  going on vacation, or stuck in road construction (construction season is just around the corner).


The second app that is a must for a SUPER MOM is Rescuehood.  As many of you know I experienced a Scary Mommy Moment this spring while enjoying what was supposed to be a fun-filled memorable day at the zoo with my children and friends, but quickly became a nightmare.  As I express in Scary Mommy Moment: You can’t Find your Child!, there is panic and pure adrenaline that takes over your body when you can’t locate your child. It is a feeling that no mom, parent, or guardian should have to feel or experience. But if they do have the misfortune of experiencing this scenario Rescuehood is the ally you want on your side!

Rescuehood would instantly alert everyone in the area that a child is at risk, so a mass of people can mobilize into action and rescue the child fast. Rescuehood is an emergency broadcast social network however in order for it to work the technology needs to be on EVERY mobile phone in the world to help save children from harm. The founders are building awareness parent by parent, community by community.

Rescuehood is a must for every SUPER MOM and for that SUPER MOM’s support network. This app is FREE; please share with all you come in contact with today.

Now it is your turn to share, what helps you be the SUPER MOM you are? Do you have a support network, technological allies, or some other means for getting through parenthood, please share?

Lastly, I would like to take a second to give a special shout out to all the amazing Mom bloggers, followers, and friends, you rock!! You are all a part of my social support system, it is nice to read other moms banters and blessings, to know that I am not alone, that there are others who have experienced the same is comforting. To all the SUPER MOMS out there I hope you have a Happy Mother’s Day and God blesses all your efforts.

Added Bonus: The Ten Super Powers of Moms

Hybrid Time: Guilt Free Mothering

Do you feel like you are constantly being pulled in different directions?  Do you feel torn when you have to partake in household chores instead of spending time with your children?  Does the mommy guilt begin to pile on?  Do you start questioning your priorities?

We have all been there, we feel so guilty for taking time to do things like laundry and dishes instead of spending quality time with the children.  Granted these are tasks that need to be completed; maybe there is a way to do both? This is what I like to call Hybrid time.

Hybrid Time is time during the day that you complete household chores while still participating in fun games and activities with your children. This way you can remove the mommy guilt and feel great about getting the necessary chores accomplished. Below are a few of the activities that my children and I participate in during Hybrid time.


Treasure Hunt: So you need a few minutes to switch around the laundry and start dinner?  This is a great choice that is sure to give you some time to complete your chores and your child is guaranteed to have fun.

Appropriate for Age:  preschoolers and up. 

Time: Should give mom 10-15 minutes to complete her task  

What you will need: Paper, Pen, & Treasure The treasure could be their snack (still in package) or their favorite toy, any treasure will do, it is more about the hunt.

How to make: Take the paper and pen and draw out five locations on the map. It is important that the map is age appropriate for your child. If your child can read you can write out hints and clues along the way but if they are younger pictures will need to be provided. The last location should be where you place the treasure. Time to play: Hand over the map and watch as the fun unfolds. 

Added fun: If you have walkie-talkies you can feed them hints and clues along their travels throughout the house. You can be in the basement doing laundry while talking to them or, in the next room, wherever.


Healthy Option vs. Unhealthy option

Appropriate for Age: 2 and up

Time: this fluctuates, you decide how many rounds your want to play. This is a favorite game for the children to play while I prepare meals. They often sit at the table eagerly awaiting my next question.

How to play: While prepare a meal have your children sit around or within ear shot and you name three foods. You can either name two healthy options and one unhealthy (they would name the unhealthy), or you name two unhealthy and one healthy (they would name the healthy).

For example: Name the unhealthy option- Apple, Peach, or French Fries? The answer is French fries.  Name the healthy option- Carrot cake, oatmeal cookies, or celery?  The answer is celery. You could also add to the fun and use visual aids if you have them available in your kitchen. You can make this age appropriate as well, say you would like to teach your elementary child healthy food options. You could have them name the complex carbohydrate or perhaps the food with protein, etc. Then give your child a chance to ask you the questions, this really helps them understand nutrition. Hopefully one day they will stump you. I think that whenever you have the opportunity to engage in an educational activity with your child why not make it fun!



Appropriate for Age: 2 and up

Time: usually 10 minutes but could fluctuate

How to play: Take 5 of the same objects, maybe five plastic stacking cups, linking rings, Barbie dolls, legos, five of anything that is similar.  Hide those five objects in your home. Place them in age/height appropriate locations then have your child locate them. This is a fun activity because you do not have to hide, mommy can continue on with the household chores while the kiddo searches the house for the objects.


Pots-N-Pan Jam

Appropriate for Age: All time Favorite with the babies and toddlers

How to play: Get out a pot, pan, spatula, and wooden spoon and give them to the baby. You tap on the pot and pan with the spoon then the baby will, and so on and so forth. This is an oldie but a goody.


What Animal am I?

Appropriate for Age: 2 and up

How to Play: You pick an animal in you mind, say a cow.  Your child then guesses what animal you are, basically 20 questions but with animals. Then it is their turn to pick an animal.  If you can get some pictures of animals prior to playing and then pull those out for your children to review during the game it makes it easier for them to pick their animimal and answer your questions.

Now you can kiss that mommy guilt goodbye, get the household tasks accomplished and still have fun with your children. Life is good!

Sometimes God opens a window and door!

Last week our house was filled with excitement to see the Eric Carle’s Treasured Stories by the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia on Thursday.  Our eldest was going on a field trip with her class to see the presentation while our son and daughter would be going with me to see the performance thanks to tickets given to them by their loving Nana for Christmas (experiences truly make the best gifts).

So to prepare for the performance the kiddos got out all their Eric Carle books and stuffed animals affiliated with those books and read books in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

They also made their very own Little Hungry Caterpillars’ out of an egg container, pipe cleaners, and paint. Our daughter was so excited that she took her’s to school to show her teacher and friends. We also enjoyed edible Hungry Caterpillars.


So the day finally arrives and I had everything ready to go. We dropped off our eldest at school with her booster seat (parents drove but not me since I had the younger two, I was disappointed that I couldn’t chaperon but I understood the logic).  After dropping her off at school we headed to the performance.

It was originally supposed to be at Lourdes College but the venue changed to the Valentine Theatre which is gorgeous.  So we arrive at the parking lot across the street with plenty of time to spare (45 minutes to be exact).  The funny thing is at this moment, when I am pulling into the parking lot I am worried about how I am going to kill time until the performance, boy, if I only knew.

So, I roll down my window to retrieve the parking ticket from the attendant and then drive to a parking spot. Once in my spot I go to close the window and to my surprise it will not close.  So, like any other women would do I sit there and press the button a few times (because maybe by the tenth time it will just start working?), still nothing.  Then I look to see if there is an object stuck in the window jam. I see a small gum wrapper but I am not sure if it would be causing such an issue and besides, I couldn’t reach it.  So I called my hubby for help and moral support because by now my preschooler is getting impatient and my toddler was impatient before we left the house (HELLO, did I mention she is a toddler?).  But he didn’t answer his phone so; again like many women do I figured I would try to call him again, mind you I literally just hung up the phone on his voice mail.  After calling him three times in two minutes I came to the conclusion that he was not available. What to do? Call Dad. And I did. He answered! My hero! But he was not near by (he works near the theatre so I thought he could make everything better somehow?).  He did suggest putting something in the window but I had nothing.  I did not want to leave my window wide open in a parking lot in the middle of Downtown Toledo unattended (I am not saying that crime is really bad but when you leave a window wide open in the middle of January aren’t you just asking for trouble?). Not to mention, it was raining. So I told my kiddos the unfortunate news.  And my preschooler began to cry and I was a second away from crying myself, oh, and the Toddler had already been crying for a good ten minutes (I think she just became background noise after five minutes, don’t judge, I was a little preoccupied with trying to save the day). in-between sobs my preschool said “mommy, can we pray for the window to close, please?”  My heart melted. Sure, I told him and we did but nothing, the window still did not budge.

So I pulled up to the same attendant who greeted us a half hour ago and handed her our ticket and explained the situation.  Then she said something that totally caught me off guard, she said that she would simply move her car and I could park where her car was and she would watch my vehicle during the performance.  WOW! I thought in my head what an amazing woman, how kind of her.  I thanked her, pulled into her spot and got the kiddos out (as well as my registration info and any other info with my personal id numbers. Hey, I am trusting but I am not a fool).

We get inside with ten minutes to spare. As we were walking in we ran into a mom and her boys who attend the same preschool as our son, crazy, right? It wasn’t planned at all and we were both running a little behind so we quickly went to be seated and asked to sit together if possible.  Well, they did not have enough seats all together on the main level so they said they would escort us up to the box seats.  Once upstairs the view was breathtaking. The Valentine is gorgeous, there is a huge chandelier in the center of the ceiling, velvet and gold as far as the eye can see and exudes pure elegance. So there we sat, quickly scanning the room to locate my eldest and her class. We spotted her way up in the center balcony seating.  Part of me wanted to go get her and have her see the performance from our awesome view but I resisted.


Even the stairs are gorgeous, every view is amazing.


The performance was amazing. They did three of Eric Carle’s stories, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you See?, and Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me. The Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia present the stories as puppets with the creative use of black light it really captivates the audience (and by audience I mean 3-6 year olds and chaperons) attention.

After the performance we headed to our vehicle.  I bucked the kiddos in, looked around and found that everything was exactly where I had left it, the stroller, car seats, booster seat, etc. and then opened the driver’s side and made myself nice and cozy in the puddle that had accumulated on seat.  A wet, cold butt was a small price to pay for the joy I had just experienced with my children.

Though, it was rather amusing trying to get out of the parking lot.  Every car I passed thought I wanted to say something. I mean, after all why else would my driver’s side window be down in the rain?  So I had a brief conversation with my daughter’s teacher and then kept the conversations with stranger short and simple by exclaiming “Great performance, huh?”. 

Thankfully I only had to drive around with my window down in the middle of January for one day.  The fresh air and rain was a great pick me up, I didn’t even require my usual afternoon caffeine thanks to the cold, wet rain against my face during afternoon pickup and dance drop off. My hubby had it fixed the next day. 

Granted there was nothing better than dropping the kiddos of the following day and being able to open and close my window, it felt like $350 (yes that is how much it cost to be able to open and close a window).  There is a price for everything these days but true happiness, now that is priceless.

The saying is, When God closes a door, he somewhere opens a window. Well, in this case God opened the door to opportunity and fun and left the window open too!

Special thanks to Nana for getting us the tickets to the performance, also to the kind parking attendant who watched our vehicle, and my hubby for getting the window to operate again.



We had a blast last night and I hope your families did as well.


We started off our party at the munchies table which the kiddos loved; they thought it was so cool seeing their toys transformed into serving dishes. Each family member made a plate then found a spot in the living room to eat.

Coco Krispies as “dirt”
A Castle with cascading Grapes
Gotta have pizza
Krabby Patties in the Restaurant
Egg Rolls
“Peeze”….more “dirt”….”peeze”
Thor visited briefly, made an appearance then exited.

After everyone finished their munchies it was time to get the party really started with some music. We danced to the Kid’s Looney Party Tunes which included the Birdie Song (chicken dance), See you Later Alligator, Lion sleeps Tonight, and much more. They had so much fun dancing around the living room.

Gotta Dance!
Looks like they are in the middle of a serious conversation

Then it was time for family traditions, writing New Year’s resolutions on balloons that would be popped at midnight (or 8pm) and Mommy reading The Velveteen Rabbit.  Both are traditions that I had growing up and I so enjoy sharing them with my family.

He said he would like to fly and I asked where he would like to go, thinking Hawaii or somewhere warm. He explained to me that he doesn’t care just as long as he has wings.
She already has a busy schedule but she would like to add swimming, dancing, and soccer.

After the story it was getting close to “midnight” so we had the kiddos get their shoes and coats on so they would be ready to greet the New Year with lots of noise.

Everyone was starting to get a little sleepy, time to welcome the New Year.
Make some noise!!!

They banged the pots and pans with spoons and screamed Happy New Year!!! Then it was time to pop our balloons. There were even a few brief moments of comedy. Our daughter asked if it would be okay if she sat on her balloon in order to pop it. We both proclaimed that it would be alright. Then she looked up with a very serious expression on her face and asked, “Will the balloon go up my butt?”  It was too funny, a great question, but hilarious.

Crazy Humans!

And yes, we made it to Midnight. Granted I brewed some coffee around 6pm which helped and we were able to toast the New Year together once the kiddos were in bed.

It was a fabulous New Year’s Eve Party, probably the best one I ever attended and the guest list was remarkable, each guest the love of my life.  Here’s to a remarkable year with family and friends, raise your glasses moms (coffee, tea, wine, whatever), Happy New Year!

Here is a toast to all my reader, Happy New Year!

So how was your New Years?

Tuesday’s Tribute to my Treasures

As a mom we are always telling our children to, share, respect one another, communicate “work it out”, in hopes of cementing that sibling bond that will last a lifetime.  I also think as mothers we pray that we have given our children the necessary social skills, morals, and values and beliefs, which will last the tests of time. So that one day when we are no longer on this planet they can look after each other.

My amazing siblings, our bond is strong. I hope I can do at least half as well as my mom did instilling the importance of family and faith.

Little did I know at the beginning of last week that I would have the opportunity to experience both the cemented sibling bond, as well as the overwhelming feeling that takes over a mother when they remember they are mortal?

Long story short…..

It all started three weeks ago when my daughter was diagnosed with strep throat. She took her meds and was back to herself in no time!  A week later my throat started to hurt, so like any mom I figured I would save some time and try over-the-counter meds first but nothing helped.  So I contacted my doctor last week and explained the situation.  She called in a script, I picked, it up, and I was looking forward to some relief. By Wednesday my throat was worse, the side of my neck was so swollen it looked like I had a goiter, I was practically choking on the uvula in the back of my throat, I could not open my mouth all the way, and I thought I was experiencing hot flashes between my fever and chills.  I knew this was not normal, I have had strep before, and it usually subsided within 5-8 days, and even faster once you take the meds. There was no relief and my body was slowing down which wasn’t good since mom is the machine that keeps this family running.   So the Doctor made an exception and got me by means of triple booking appointments for Wednesday.

My poor brother walked into my home in shambles, hurricane Toddler hit!

I went in to see her and she basically said what I was experiencing was “normal” for strep throat”.  My gut told me this wasn’t normal and I inquired if there was any other possible prognosis she could think of but, again, she reassured me this was normal.  So, I went home and figured I just needed to suck it up for a few more days.  My husband also reassured me that what I was experiencing sounded like normal strep throat symptoms. Well, come Friday I could not swallow, I was drooling, my voice sounded muffled (when I could talk), there was so much swelling in my mouth that my tongue started to ache, and it felt like my body was shutting down.  I could not do a thing Friday, the house was in shambles, my toddler had pulled things out of drawers, dumped toys everywhere, dirty clothes were piled up, and it was a sad picture.   That evening my mom called and as soon as she heard my muffled, underwater like voice she told me to get to the hospital. At that point I had endured so much, and even though I hate hospitals the visit sounded like relief.

Kind of short…….

This is when that cemented sibling bond that moms so desperate hope to instill in their children really comes in handy.  God bless my little brother.  On a Friday night he put his own personal plans to go out on a date and hang with friends’ aside, without a second thought, and came over to my messy home and watched all three of my children.  I gave him no instructions, no ideas what to do with the kiddos and he did not ask.  He said they would be fine and we left.


Once at the urgent care the nurse did a throat culture and I no longer had Strep. The doctor came in and within a minute explained that I had Peritonsillar abscess. Peritonsillar abscess is a complication of tonsillitis and is most often caused by a type of bacteria called group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus. She explained that this is serious and a medical emergency.  The abscess could rupture into my throat and block my airway and/or spread infection further. So she gave me a steroid shot, right then and there, and prescribed a heavy antibiotic and four more days of steroid pills.  I left that room with a huge smile on my face or at least a goofy sideways grin, relief was in my future!

I never took my eyes off of them

My Treasures…..

It wasn’t until the next day that the severity of the event truly hit me. It was during family movie night.  We watched Inspector Gadget and ate pizza.  I could not tell you one thing about that movie but I can describe each of my children’s expressions while they watched the movie.  I never took my eyes off of them; I realized how close to not being here I was.  The thoughts of who would take care of my babies, who would kiss their boo-boos, who would say their prayers at night, etc. consumed my mind.  I am the mommy.  I want to always be their mommy. I want to always be HERE for them.  I prayed long and hard that night.  I thanked God for entrusting those three little souls into my care, for giving me the opportunity to give life and for my life, I LOVE my life and I want to keep it. And most of all I thanked God for my treasures….the people…my husband, mother father, sister, brother, chidlren, in-laws, friends, etc. because when all is said and done it will be the memories we take with us.

They make my heart skip a beat….
The air I breathe....
My life....

One day I will be gone but I can sleep easier
knowing they have each other.