I am really excited to write this post, because we have hit an incredible amount of milestones the last 6 months or so!
A couple months ago, we had sought out an Early Intervention Service to get an evaluation done on Cheekies. For those of you out of the US or those who may not know what EIS is, the early intervention services help diagnose learning/development delays, autism, etc and provide therapy. Everything had been looking good for cheeks before the initial evaluation, but the services were free to us so we figured why not?
Our evaluation came back great, and there is no sign of autism or severe delay. We accepted the offer of speech therapy as well as occupational therapy because there were a couple delays in his speech (nothing crazy at all) and we are seeing slight issue with sensory in eating, sleeping, and excitement. Because of his diagnosis with KS, these services are covered by the state of Nevada and decided to take advantage of the opportunity.
(look how happy he looks here lol)
When we initially went in for the evaluation – we sensed that cheeks was a bit delayed with his words. He was saying a pretty good amount, but only on his time. He also wasn’t really putting two word sentences together. By the time we had our first speech therapy appointment, he has already progressed so much. Our therapist sees that once he goes over two words, he starts to mumble everything together. To me, I think his brain is still learning to think as fast as he talks. We have been working with him to express his words a lot more, and his therapist has been impressed with the amount of attention we have been giving him and his speech. In the past couple of months, he has progressed immensely and is starting to really say sentences and appropriately combining the words and the feeling. It has been amazing to see the progression.
Before we started with his therapist, we had taught Cheeks a couple sign language words to help him express his wants. After further discussion with the therapist, and especially after hearing and researching more information about the tip of the tongue phenomenon we have decided to really encourage more signs and Cheeks is really starting to progress in that as well! Super exciting and extremely proud of him 😀
(Helping mom cook pancakes)
With any two year old, eating is a struggle, a chore, and a frustration. I believe that a lot of what Cheeks is going through here is normal for his age. The problems we WERE facing – were that he didn’t want to eat anything really. We struggled to get him to eat anything but cereal bars. After really eliminating the bottle (yes that took longer than I wanted and he is still not completely weaned), we saw a big difference in his food intake, however we are still struggling to get him to eat more of a variety. We saw a nutritionist and she didn’t think that we had anything to worry about, so thats good!
I began to notice that we eats the most at lunch time at school, so I have been loading him up with everything in his lunch. As much food as I can get him to eat. Adding extra peanut butter to his sandwiches to get some more fat and protein in him, and really just making sure there is a good selection of nutrients of him.
We tried to get him to drink some meal replacement type protein packet things, but he wants digging the vanilla flavor. My worry right now is that he may not be getting enough protein. BUT, baby steps is all we can do. Our OT suggested that we don’t put a lot on his plate, and for dinner instead of putting everything on at once, bringing out each at a time. So we are trying a bunch of different stuff. One day he will just eat all 3 meals without a problem 😀
I think this is one of our bigger issues right now is Cheekies sleeping at night. We go through bouts of him waking up in the middle of the night screaming and then wanting to go downstairs to sleep on the couch.. and of course – mom has to sleep there too ha.
At first – and I’m still not taking it out of question, I thought that he was having night terrors. Our OT suggested limiting the nighttime TV and substituting with something else to see if that works. So we have a couple options there. I am also kind of noticing a pattern with his eating and his sleep. The last couple of nights he has woken up at about midnight/1am and I have noticed it was on a day where he didn’t eat much dinner. So I’m going to track that down and see what we can do. He may be waking up hungry? I don’t know. Lots of tracking when it comes to his sleeping issues.
Huge progress at daycare and at home with his pretend play. I have been waiting for this moment for a long time for personal satisfaction and I love that it has finally arrived! Cheeks LOVES to play with dinosaurs, cars, monsters (his personal fav), and really tries to bring you into his little play world. I love it!
Overall guys and gals, we couldn’t be happier with the way everything has been going with his development. I truly believe that love and support of the parents is what truly helps development happen and progress in kids. Get ahead of anything that may pop up, and continue to grow with your child 😀
And even after some of the negative that we have experienced with all of this the last year, I couldn’t be prouder of my son for all his milestones, and couldn’t be more prouder of B and I as parents.
One year. I survived a whole year of being a new mom. Below are some of the more important things you might learn your first year of being a new parent..
1. Mom brain is no joke: I swear there are times where I just lay my head down in shame at some of the things I do, say, or not do. I have driven all the way to work with Cheeks still in the car, bypassing daycare all together. I have left my wallet and my keys in the diaper bag and left them at daycare. I have forgotten my bra. I have made up my own words. And I have most definitely forgotten to put my eyebrows on in the morning. From what I have heard, this only gets worse.. joy. And don’t think you are in the clear dads!.. Dad brain is just as strong! Sometimes I think Brandon is worse than I am!
2. Sometimes showering doesn’t happen: I don’t even think it’s solely because you don’t have time. For me, there were nights and days where showering just seemed to hard and laying in bed for an extra 10 min was the better option.
3. Baby poop is weird: I mean… I have seen poop crumble, stick, smell like death, and create the devil of all diaper rashes all in one day. There are times where I am impressed with what Cheeks was able accomplish in 2 minutes. I have also learned that watching a baby poop is one of the more funny things your baby will do.
4. There is nothing worse than the car seat: I don’t know if it is just me, but every time we get out of a store and head to the car.. the moment I see that damn car seat dramatic music plays and taunts me in my head (you know the music I’m talking about.. the one that plays in Step Brothers when he sees his drums have been touched). Seriously though… I literally cannot wait for the day that Cheeks can put his own damn self in his car seat. Brandon and I just look at each other in a dead stare and eye fight over who gets to put him in the car. I have never seen two adults fight to shotgun putting the groceries in the trunk. “Oh! I got groceries! You get Cheeks!” boom. win.
5. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be on time: I think this goes hand in hand with mom brain. I feel like I never have everything completely in order.. most of the time I don’t. I will get Cheeks into the car and realize I had forgotten to pack his lunch, or forgotten the diaper bag, or my phone, or he will just decide to shit before takeoff. It’s a never ending battle and I have come to the realization that I.. will probably never be on time again.
6. Nothing is cooler than seeing your child develop: Watching Cheeks become his own individual has seriously been one of the coolest things I think I will ever go through. They learn their surroundings and what it is to live as a human and that’s just too cool. Cheeks laughed at himself the other day.. he truly cracked himself up! Watching him discover humor.. I loved it.
7. You’ll always think, “I created you..” and then cry: This might just be me… but man. I have had these moments with him where I just look into his eyes as he is smiling at me.. and melt. I’ll think of the whole pregnancy and development process and end up crying my eyes out because of how cool this whole process is. Woman have one of the most amazing gifts we could have been given, and that is creating life. I created that little man in my belly who just laughed at himself for making weird noises… it’s an emotional thing.
8. You’ll make a ton of rookie moves: It’s going to happen folks. Don’t beat yourself up about it.. move forward and wait for the next rookie move.
9. Family will become more important: For me, I have always been a family oriented person, but at the same time I have been a very independent person. After having Cheeks, I have found myself wanting to surround myself with family more. Creating a family unit has also become extremely important to Brandon and me. We want to create traditions, do more family activities, etc.
10. You will become a better you: This was a huge one for me this last year. I have changed a lot subconsciously and for the better. I matured when I needed to most, created stronger and more heartfelt relationships, and most importantly I have been able to love myself more than I ever have.
When they say time goes much faster after you become a parent, they are not lying. Take it all in.. breathe… and to enjoy every moment, good or bad.
Sometimes I honestly feel like I have absolutely no idea what the hell I am doing when it comes to this whole parenting thing. I find myself reading too much about what and what not to do. Like right now for instant. I have no fucking clue what to be feeding my son. I just kind of go with the flow and give him what I think he may want and kind of… go from there I guess?
I gave Cheeks PB&J today. Is he a little young? I have no fucking Idea. So fuck it. Why not? And he totally dug it! He mowed through those PB&J squares like it was going out of style.
OMG I have to sidebar really fast. I gave Cheeks real juice for the first time today without diluting it with water. Dear Lord it could have been the funniest thing I ever saw. He was acting as though he was drunk mixed with high on coke. His mind was blown.
Ok — back to clueless parenting – I have pretty much given up on listening and reading. So far, we have done things our way and it has worked for us. I feel like the best way to parent is to do what feels right for you and your family. Yes, you may get some backlash. No, it may not work. Yes, you will try something new. and Yes, your child will survive.
Thanks for reading my rant.
I am a creature of habit.. I have been for the longest time and it takes a minute for me to jump into a new routine… Add baby and I’m lost.
I have no memory… I stop mid sentence… I’m like mom brain to a T.
I’ll make this one short and simple and get to the point here..
I didn’t realize until recently that Cheeks was supposed to be eating solids 3 times a day.. Oh ya… rookie move Kayla… Rookie move. The days and months go by so fast and I just wasn’t thinking and with my busy life I missed the point where I am supposed to google when my son should eat solids and blah blah blah. It wasn’t until a convo with my best friend that I realized. “Oh when I was feeding Jamison breakfast..” ……….. Wait…. What? Breakfast? Fuck… Is Aiden supposed to be eating breakfast? Oh ya. He was. hahaha needless to say he went from one time a day to 3 the following day. He’s much happier now!
We all have our moments 😉
Written with my iPhone… Sometimes my fingers are drunk… Often my phone can’t translate.
I travel for work a couple of times out of the year. So far since Mr. Cheeks has been born, I have traveled about 4 or 5 times, this last time being the hardest.
I would have thought for sure that when he was smaller I would have been more upset while gone. But it seems as though as he grows older with more personality, it really makes traveling much more difficult.
I just recently got back from a short 2 day music conference in LA. I found myself more then ever trying to keep my mind busy so I would stop thinking about going home to be with my family. I missed playing and snuggling with my son…it was kind of sad. Sometimes I worry that I am going to miss something.. what if he magically starts crawling while I am away!? It is times like this where I truly wish I was A. Rich as shit, and B. capable of being a stay at home mom.
Yet another asshole moment by the one and only… I’m rubbing his back for a good 10 min and this is how he repays me… You might as well poured water all over me with how much drool is coming out of him… Sick. But look how cute he is? I can’t get mad at his assholeness… Sigh.
This is going to be a very personal post, and the reason I haven’t posted this yet is because I honestly didn’t know if I wanted to. BUT. My niche on here is to be honest and real, and what’s more real than sharing some of your most vulnerable times? It’s long I know.
The whole reason why I started this blog in the first place was because I believed I had Postpartum Anxiety. I needed an outlet to gather my thoughts, as I thought I was going legitimately crazy.
Postpartum depression/anxiety is easy to figure out. It generally has a lot to do with being a new mom and the care for your child and the feelings you get towards it (There are many articles on this – so if you want exact info just google it). The baby blues is also another easy one. This really just kind of stems from the lack of sleep you get… and with anyone who hasn’t been able to sleep in a full week… o two, you get cranky, irritable, and extremely emotional. Basically ladies.. your hormones are completely FUCKED – hang in there! Baby blues go away after a couple of weeks… but if you think you have postpartum depression or anxiety – please talk to your Dr. A simple medication will help ease those feelings and I promise you it will get better.
Ok – so what if your thoughts and feelings have absolutely nothing to do with your baby or the role of being a new mom? What do you do?
The first couple of weeks after having Mr. Cheeks I had typical baby blues… I was tired as all hell and just really irritable. Nothing too crazy there.. I was prepared for that. What I wasn’t prepared for was the wave of overbearing emotions that I would feel after giving birth. Some good, and some bad.
First, I was NOT ready to feel the overwhelming love. I had so much love for Mr. Cheeks, it literally scared the hell out of me. People will tell you time and time again when you are pregnant how that love is just indescribable and amazing. I was looking forward to feeling that. I was excited. But after I experienced it – it was not amazing…it was scary.
I transformed into this animalistic protector. I remember one of our first outings we went to a craft fair thing and I was gripping the stroller with all of my might. Brandon took over to let me go taste some goodies and when I turned back they were out of my sight. Those feelings….. were unreal. Extreme fear. I was the most scared in that 2 seconds then I think I have ever been in my life. I think for 2 and a half months straight I lived in fear. Fear of death. Fear off love. Fear of my mind..
After 6 weeks, I finally returned to work. I felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I love working and it was easy for me to shut my brain off and was able to surround myself with my friends and laugh again.
Shortly after returning to work, I had a weekend where I wouldn’t stop bleeding and ended up in the ER. I received probably the worst pelvic exam I had ever had in my life by a male Dr. who had absolutely no business shoving any type of contraption into my vag. After those 5 minutes of uncomfortable shock… my world literally turned upside down.
My mind went into complete….meltdown….breakdown…..I cant event describe to you the month after. I started having playbacks in my mind of situations that I couldn’t ever remember…. people…places…..situations… it was like movies were playing in my mind and I couldn’t figure out what was happening. I tried to shut them off. I meditated and prayed.. I did everything I could to just stop these small.. horrific memory clips involving me…. “are they memories? No, they couldn’t be! That never happened to me… I don’t remember that!”.. . I was getting so angry and sinking deeper and deeper into a dark hole… it scared me. I just wanted to scream.. at everyone. I researched postpartum anxiety and depression… all the information was about the child and caring for him. I didn’t want to kill my child.. I loved him. If anything he calmed my episodes. I called my Dr. and she had given me Zoloft to help with everything. It wasn’t strong enough to stop my mind. At this point….my crazy level was at an extreme I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. Talking with Brandon now – he said he was scared by how I was acting..it got to a point where he feared I was going to kill myself (do not fear – I have never in my life ever thought about killing myself – this was just how off I was).
The moment I knew I needed to seek therapy was the day Brandon and I were running errands. Brandon was telling me about his day… nothing crazy… But my anger was boiling… to an extreme where I was trying to calm myself down. All I wanted to do was scream. Literally just scream at him to stop talking.. or as my mind said “SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!” I was raged.. not annoyed.. raged. I scared myself. I didn’t say one word to Brandon the rest of the night in fear that I was just going to snap. When we finally went to bed, I got online and looked for a therapist… and told Brandon, “I need to get some help. I cant describe to you what’s going on, but I’m not Ok.”
I was able to get into the therapist the following week, and I am so glad I did. I explained to him everything… the clips playing over and over in my head, the anger, the fear… how none of what I am feeling has anything to do with my child or parenting. And more importantly… how I felt like I was going crazy.
Well… it turns out my sudden turn is very common.. and very normal…… for those who have PTSD. ‘PTSD? AAAWhat? Noooooo. How could I have PTSD?’ As it turns out, my horrible cervical exam had triggered memories of a childhood trauma that I had blocked completely out of my memory. The clips were real…. the feelings were normal.. and I…was not going crazy. I had spent over 10 years perfecting the art of emotionally shutting off and shutting down…. My defense mechanism is quite easy – No feelings = no hurt.
Two things happened after Mr. Cheeks was born. 1. Emotionally blocking and shutting down my emotions caused a sudden flood of emotion when I first saw Mr. Cheeks. I describe it as this – There is a wall that I had built.. a strong wall…holding in water of emotions.. every now and again there is a leak that I patch up very quickly before anything can really leak out. I saw my child for the first time…. and the floodgates opened. And so I am left drowning in 20 years of emotions, feelings, and memories that I am now left to deal with all at once.
2. PTSD Trigger that made me go absolutely nuts.
Sometimes its not postpartum depression. Sometimes we can experience something totally different. I wanted to share this for the women who have or are going through the same thing as I am. Postpartum depression in itself is very hard for women to admit having, and when it comes to situations like mine I’m sure it’s even harder to admit. If you are reading this and have a similar story.. please please seek therapy. Don’t try and be the hero and think you can deal with it yourself. It was the best decision I have ever made. Not only did it help me overcome this very hard obstacle, but it has made me realize a lot of other things I need to work on. And quite frankly.. at this very moment I am the happiest I have ever been.