One Braid. One Pigtail. One Happy Girl.

When I asked Sarah yesterday whether she wanted a pony tail, braids, or pig tails for school I wasn’t expecting to have a moment that would alter my parenting.  With a gleam in her big brown eyes, my daughter excited replied: “One pigtail.  One braid.”

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Today I am being featured on Mommy Blog Expert.  I’m super stoked about this post and hope you enjoy it.  Click here to read the full post.

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Ways to Grieve and Honor a Lost Child

“Grief is the price we pay for loving someone—and that the price is worth it.” -Steven Eastmond

Four years ago, I underwent a gut wrenching event that changed me and my marriage.  We lost a child.  Miscarriage is not uncommon but that knowledge really doesn’t give any comfort to those who have experienced one.  A few months back I wrote about my own experience with miscarriage.  It was cathartic and healing.

Today I am sharing ways to remember and grieve the loss of a child, as gleaned from personal experiences, interviews and more.  The full post is being featured on  whatsupfagans.com.

Stressed young woman sitting in bathtub

Some ways to grieve and remember the loss of a child as discussed in the article are:

  1. Join a support group
  2. Hold a ceremony
  3. Keep a journal
  4. Share with others
  5. Serve
  6. Pray
  7. Momentos….and more

Be sure to head over to whatsupfagans.com and read my contributor post this month!  And please share with someone who may be in need.

3 Is The New 6

“Now, I see we didn’t do x-rays last time?  Remind me why that is again?” a short, latino hygienist asks thru her round spectacles.

I quickly reply “Because I was pregnant” while bracing myself for a series of questions I know are to come.  Questions that I am annoyingly asked on the regular.  By complete strangers, I may add.  The same questions that invoke feelings of frustration, ironic humor and a tint of “none of your damn business”…I mean… a sense of privy.

“Oh, really?  How many kids do you have? ”

And so it begins.

I politely answer, “Three.”

“Oh, wow.  How old?”

Yup, saw that one coming.

“Four, two, and four months.”  

And what will it be next?  Will it be “So this is your last, right?”  “Are you done?” “Are you going to have another one?” or is the lucky winner going to be plain yet loud “I don’t know how you have more than one;  and all so little.”

“Are you going to have another one?”  Winner…winner…chicken dinner.

And the answer….I don’t know. Having three kids now a days is hard!

I am the last of six.  I’m the oops baby.  The “I’m pregnant?  I thought I was going through menopause baby?”  I’m the envied sibling, because by the time I came mom and dad had money to spend.  My husband has three other siblings.  And to top it off, I’m Mormon.  We’re programmed to have like eight kids, right?!  So why is it that I am so unwilling to think about having more kids right now?

Could it be the fact that I just had a kid?  Possibly.

Could it be that my baby is the easiest of my three kids?  Probably.  No, really.  The other two are kicking my butt.  I mean, how funny is that the one child who depends solely on me to meet his every need is the easiest?  That’s irony for you.

Or is it that in today’s world 3 is the new 6?

Forget, the exorbitant cost of vacationing with a large family or simply going out to eat. Let’s briefly reflect on the required things, like feeding all 6 mouths.  I’ve gone grocery shopping with three kids and by the end look like I just crossed the plains by handcart; that or am secretly plotting my own kidnapping so I can have a five minute break without kids.

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I don’t know how women like my mother had six kids.  Six unique, different personalities interacting on a daily basis without the blessings of iPhones, tablets and Disney Jr.  Did they ever leave the house?  How did they go out to eat?  Or grocery shop for that matter?  Better yet, how did they keep madness from ensuing, stopping sibling tussles from turning into bitter rivalries and blood baths equivalent to the Hatfields and McCoys, the Jets vs Sharks, Bloods vs Crips (What? I’m from California.  Can I not make mention of that?)  Ok..ok.. how about Lindsey Lohan vs sobriety?  You get the point.

To those men and woman who choose to have large families, I salute you.  And to those who in this day and age are going for a handful or more, I don’t know how you do it but BRAVO.  I swear Heavenly Father is sending down some of his most stubborn strongest spirits to endure such a world.

My daughter has a mind of her own.  Good luck telling her to do or think something she doesn’t want.  You almost never win.  She is that set in her ways.  This is why my husband and I are so determined to raise our children not just in the church, but ridiculously active followers of Christ.  I’m convinced that Sarah is just like her father.  The only thing that is going to change her mind is the Holy Ghost.  I know that if she gains a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, she will not falter.  And if you try to get her to think anything contrary….well, good luck to you.  It ain’t happening.

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My daughter isn’t a unicorn.  Rather, I am finding many other parents who share similar battle stories.  We wear our scars (i.e. spit-up riddled clothing, unkept messy hair, and memories of that horrible grocery trip) as badges of honor.  We are all in the same fox hole, afraid to lift our heads up for fear of it being blown off.  And like me, they too, are baffled by these little mustangs coming down to earth.  Were children always like this or is it truly a “gift” they have inherited in the pre-existence to survive the negative ideas and stereotypes of today’s world?

I tend to lean to the former.

“Are you pregnant?”  The technician asks as she places a ridiculously heavy lead vest on me while prepping to take x-rays.

My response: “I better not be.”

After all 3 is the new 6.

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