My husband and I have ridiculously competing schedules. I'm up at 6 o'clock AM to wake up with the baby, feed him and get out the door for work. To make this a successful task, I am in bed and sleeping by 9P, maybe 10:30P if I'm requiring a Seinfeld episode. My husband on the other hand, leaves for work at 2 o'clock PM and doesn't return until 2 o'clock AM, and sometimes even later!? We are ships crossing in the night. While I'm sleeping, he's awake. While I'm awake, he's left to sleep in broad daylight. Or so we thought. A true turning point came when we discovered the Total Sleep Mask System by Dandelion Dreams Inc. This dual mask system is the best eye mask on the planet because it covers both the eyes and ears to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. It's 100% virtual blackout. Booyah! Hubs gets his beauty rest so Mama can take care of business... until it's lights out and she slips on a Total Sleep Mask of her own.

The Total Sleep Mask when You're Ships Passing in the Night

My husband and I have ridiculously competing schedules. I'm up at 6 o'clock AM to wake up with the baby, feed him and get out the door for work. To make this a successful task, I am in bed and sleeping by 9P, maybe 10:30P if I'm requiring a Seinfeld episode. My husband on the other hand, leaves for work at 2 o'clock PM and doesn't return until 2 o'clock AM, and sometimes even later!? We are ships crossing in the night. While I'm sleeping, he's awake. While I'm awake, he's left to sleep in broad daylight. Or so we thought. A true turning point came when we discovered the Total Sleep Mask System by Dandelion Dreams Inc. This dual mask system is the best eye mask on the planet because it covers both the eyes and ears to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. It's 100% virtual blackout. Booyah! Hubs gets his beauty rest so Mama can take care of business... until it's lights out and she slips on a Total Sleep Mask of her own.

Warrior Mom Wednesday

Happy Warrior Wednesday to Jess Zaino!! Chances are, Jess Zaino has influenced you in some way. As a digital content creator at the start of the Internet, a blogger for Glamour Magazine and a much sought-after Stylist and TV Host on the Style Network, Jess has gone on to produce The Chewon ABC, Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel, Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie on the red carpet for the Golden Globes, and the Grammys. She currently produces brand partnerships for all of the Saturday morning programming across NBC, CBS, ABC and The CW. Additionally, she is the star of New Mom Diaries on TLC.com and will open kidwork, a shared member workspace in Los Angeles with on-site kid care in Fall 2017 with her partner, Kendra Cole Hand. We love her energy!!! #momprenuer

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Putting It Out There by Ali Pomerantz Moyer

I got pissed on tonight.
Literally and figuratively, I suppose.
Holding my naked child I was soaked with urine that traveled from under my breast, down to my pants, into my underwear, and ended in a puddle on the floor that I had to mop with responsible nontoxic cleaner.

This was the first time my 11 month old daughter has pissed on me en route to the bath or “baaaah” as she calls it. It was like a metaphor for my world right now and I lost it. Completely lost it and sobbed my eyes out. Like, for a long time. Cried so hard I could barely breathe while Willa was splashing away having the time of her life. I never cry in front of her so I’m surprised she wasn’t terrified of this mommy monster making guttural sounds reminiscent of a humpback whale’s mating call.

Kind of dramatic, you say? Yes, kind of, but I think considering the surrounding details of my day/life it’s called for.

Today is May 8, Mother’s Day. My first Mother’s Day. My friends with children are winding down from a groovy day with their hubbies and kiddies right now. Having a yummy din-din, putting the little ones to bed, then watching “their show” together.

I put my little one to bed, poured a glass of wine, (a small one as I’m still breastfeeding,) and I am alone like I am every night. And the day started like it does every day, with Willa crying for me at 5am, me getting her up with no help, and bringing her into my large and lonely California King bed for some snuggles and breakfast which I LOVE because she is perfection to me and I actually miss her when she’s sleeping. I appreciate the break, don’t get me wrong, but I do start to miss the lil squirt. I digress. The only difference about tonight is that my 16 pound baby dispensed a liter of pee-pee on me, and now (after a shower, of course,) I am sitting in front of this computer, spilling my guts, feeling vulnerable, and starting this blog. The only blog I’ve ever attempted. Let’s hope it’s decent…Wink emoji.
Sidenote: I know my problems are small in comparison to some. VERY small. But they’re still my problems.

Back to the story.
Why is my California King bed so lonely, you ask?
When Willa was 6 months old, my husband decided he didn’t want to be married to me anymore. Every time I tell this to someone their next question is ALWAYS, “How long were you together?” I’ll now answer that question because I’m sure it’s what you’re wondering too:

Five years.
I guess that matters for some reason.
Why did he leave me, you ask?
I’m still not really sure.
Could I not shed the baby weight and that’s why? I didn’t feel sexy and wouldn’t let him touch me?
No, I lost all of my baby weight plus 4 more pounds thanks to the way I took care of myself during pregnancy (prenatal yoga and weight training, I am a personal trainer after all,) and breastfeeding really helped me to melt away those el-bees. He was welcome to touch me all he wanted… He didn’t, but he could’ve if he wanted to.
Hmmm, was I a crazy, neurotic, lunatic, first time mom?
Considering how everyone told me how super mellow and under control I was, that’s probably not it.
Was he cheating?
Probably, but I’ll never know.
It’s stupid to analyze why it happened. I’m not sure, and this story is about me, not him, so I will move on from that topic.
I am a single mom.
Never-never-ever-ever did I think I would be a single mom. Not because I thought anything was wrong with it; my best friend’s mom is a single mom and she’s the bomb dot com. She’s always lived a great life and I’ve never felt sorry for her or anything of that nature. It’s just that my parents have been married for almost half a century! And I LOVE being a wife! Love it! Love taking care of my dude, and everything that comes with being “wifely.” So that being said, it’s been really hard for me. Even though I know he’s not the guy for me (the guy for me will want to be married to me, for starters,) it’s still really effing hard.
It’s hard when new mommy friends in Willa’s classes ask me what my husband does. It’s hard on Sunday mornings. It’s hard to accept the dissolution. Hard when I miss him. It’s just hard period!
Luckily I have a family that’s so wonderful it’s beyond explanation. I’m incredibly close with my parents. They planned a wonderful day for me today and I couldn’t raise my baby without them in general. They love Willa and I so much they would literally drop anything to help us. And they do, often. My sister is one of my best friends and comes over after work every Friday, buys us dinner, and stays the night. It’s one of the highlights of my week. I also have a huge support system, between my dear old friends and my new mommy friends who I’ve quickly become very close with. I suppose going to Mommy and Me class and sharing stories of my crumbling marriage can bring me close to strangers fairly fast. Anyway, my friends and family kick ass. I know I’m hashtag blessed for sure.
HERE IS WHY I AM DOING THIS.

I need to start dating again. I want to fall in love and have a healthy relationship because I know it’s possible for me.
The problem is that I detest dating. I get horribly nervous, filled with dread, fear, and a touch of nausea. Ask my old roommate, Anne. I made her go on a blind date with me. Really, I told the guy she was super depressed and needed to come to dinner with us and she did! That was my last blind date and it was probably 12 years ago.
I feel like if I can come home after a date and report back to my blog it makes it less serious. Like I’m just going out to get a good story to share.
I have a few more weeks left of breastfeeding so I’m trying to decide if I should start the dating process now, or wait till then. It could be awkward leaving a date because I have to pump my boobs. “Thanks for the drink. I’d love to hang more but my boobs will explode.” Or, “Would you like to hang out with me while I pump? My nipples are like 4 inches long while I do it, it’s super crazy.”

by Ali Pomerantz Moyer. She is the creator of the blog Wipes and Swipes which you can read more of here.

The Miracle of Birth by Katy Finn

It is truly an awesome thing getting to know my son. I did not carry my child for nine months. A baby was placed in my arms and for 48 hours I didn’t know if he was mine. The nurses treated us as if he was. They showed us how to feed him, change him, and burp him. At night we kissed him, and left him in the nursery while we went back to the hotel to sleep. We needed a break. Not from Rory, but from the reality of our situation.

Those 48 hours were some of the most trying days of my life. We lived in an in between. He was our son. He made perfect sense the moment we saw him. And yet he wasn’t our son. Not yet.

We were beyond blessed that Rory’s birth mom (I’ll call her “M” moving forward) wanted us to all be together for those two days. It was an absolute honor and privilege that she invited us to be with her as she got to know Rory, and also, as she prepared to say goodbye.

It did not ease our anxiety that M was so giving with her time. Every time we checked in with our lawyer she would say, “It’s not final until consent is signed”. This always stung a little, but I was grateful for the dose of reality, grateful for the important reminder that this was M’s time with Rory. She called the shots. The details of those days are still being processed. People often comment that those days must have been the hardest days of our lives. We’ll quickly answer in broad strokes, “Oh yes, they were simply awful.”

Oh what a disservice to us, to Rory, to M, to Rory’s birth father, and to my own mother who flew down the morning of Rory’s birth. There were so many gorgeous, hard, raw, funny, calm, chaotic moments that made up those two days. It was the most present I have ever been. Each moment was real and authentic. We were all together for those 48 hours with one purpose-to love and care for this tiny baby named Rory Gruner.

I did not experience the miracle of childbirth on March 15th, but what I did experience was miraculous. Rory’s birth father was there when we met Rory for the first time. I wonder what it was like for him to see us greet our child? His child? My hope is that he witnessed the instant love we felt for Rory and was able to see our hearts leaping through our chests with awe, joy, and gratitude. Seeing that baby with E and Rory’s birth father by my side was truly miraculous.

My mom spent quite a bit of time with M during those 48 hours. Seeing these two people who seemingly could not be more different bond over their mutual love for Rory was really something. Another little miracle. I wonder about their conversations. I hope my mom shares them with Rory one day.

My mom (who deserves her own post). My mom who sat patiently at hour 48 patiently out of site while E and I signed our paperwork at the nurses station and then stood. We stood and stood and stood. We stood and waited to get word from M’s hospital room if she had, or hadn’t signed consent. We shouldn’t have sped through our paperwork. But we did. We had been reading draft after draft for weeks. And then we waited.

All of the waiting we had done over the past year paled in comparison to what those 40 minutes were like. At one moment the doors to the maternity ward opened, and there was my mom, standing at attention, eyebrows raised, waiting for an answer. We didn’t have an answer yet. I couldn’t even look her in the eyes. First time ever. The doors closed and we all went back to waiting. The entire adoption process was relived as we waited for word. Every moment. And I’m not being dramatic. From the moment we decided to adopt, to our match phone call, to seeing Rory for the first time. It all happened again.

The nurses, who had become our friends over the past two days stood by offering silent support. It was almost too much too handle.

Almost.

Our faith in the adoption process gave us strength to wait just a little longer.

And then it was done. It was over.

A text from M saying we could come back to her hospital room. That was it. Papers were signed and we were given parental rights. Into M’s hospital room we went. The hug and quiet tearful words I whispered to M didn’t do justice to my deep feelings of love and gratitude I had for her in that moment. A love and gratitude that grows each and everyday.

Knowing Rory as I know him now and thinking back on his birth-it really is a miracle that M choose us to be Rory’s parents.

The specifics of those 48 hours and the days that followed are Rory’s story to tell. My lips are sealed on the rest.

A small miracle in and of itself.

by Katy Finn. Read more about her adoption journey here.