How to help a loved one going through a miscarriage.

I think this is appropriate to share again today. Today is Miscarriage, Still Birth, and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. You or someone you know may be experiencing loss. Someone might not be ready to talk about their loss, others may be looking for someone to talk to. Let’s break the stigma. Let’s “replace silence with storytelling” (@ihadamiscarriage) Always remember, they are yours and you are theirs. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about our two Angel Babies, Harper and Ava. I am so thankful for the love and support of our family and friends over the last three years, but I am still grieving and I probably always will be…having the conversations though, that is helping me heal.

I heard many things from many people after experiencing my miscarriages. “At least you know you can get pregnant.” “You already have one.” “You can try again.” “Maybe there is something wrong with you.” “God has a plan.” “Everything happens for a reason.” All of these things were said to be helpful. I truly appreciated all of the love and support and I know the people who said these things were trying to help.

I also found that many people were more sympathetic rather than empathetic. A friend who also experienced a miscarriage and I had a deep discussion about this and she sent me this video. Empathy vs Sympathy

From my own experience, I have found that just lending an ear was helpful. I had friends that told me how I was feeling was ok. I was angry and sad. I was confused. But I felt so much love and compassion from those around me.

Allow your friend or family member to grieve. They lost their baby. Bring them food and just be with them. Be their shoulder. Give them hugs.

Matt and I knew we wanted to do something special for our babies. We wanted to plant a tree for each baby but we were renting a townhouse at the time of both we decided to donate to a local conservatory and our babies names (yes we named our babies) are on The Tree of Life and they will be there forever. We have pictures with the tree as well as our friends who came with us for the dedications and who have gone back to visit our babies. We also adopted Remy after the second miscarriage. I needed a distraction. He needed a family.

Every person will grieve in their own way; and that is ok. The mother will not be the only one grieving. The partner, the grandparents, as well as others who are apart of that babies life will also be grieving. Just be there for them. They just lost a baby.

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Parenting Styles/Trends: How do you feel about them?

img_3921I sat in a class recently and we discussed the “new” parenting trends. We broke into groups and really dug into a few of them. Some of the ones discussed were: Lawn Mower Parenting, Helicopter Parenting, Attachment Parenting, Tiger Parenting, and Free Range Parenting.

I sat there and just wondered…why do we have to label how we parent? Are we just opening ourselves up to be judged and shamed? While researching some of these parenting styles, I learned that one came from someones memoir, not anything that was meant to be a parenting book.

I know as a mother today, dads too I am sure, I always hear about mom shaming and I know none of us want to be judged or shamed, but we are. For example, Free Range parenting can land you in trouble with the law in many areas.

So back to my title: How do you feel about them? What do these trends say about us? Do we need to label ourselves? Do we have to fit ourselves in one little box? As I looked over the list, honestly I could see myself grabbing at pieces from each “trend”. I don’t fit into a box. Truly, once I hit 30 I stopped caring about what people thought about me…as long as my family is happy and we are doing the best we can, I’m good.

What do you want your parenting to say about you? How do you want to feel at the end of the day? Do you want to parent just like your parent(s) did or do you want to go the opposite direction? My parents always told us that they raised all 4 of us the same way and we are all so different. Each child is going to be their own person, different from you, your partner, or anyone else for that matter. You might have to change up your parenting regularly…and that’s ok! As long as you are taking care of you family the best that you can, that’s all that really matters isn’t it?

I took a few moments to think about how I want to describe my parenting:

  • supportive and involved but not overbearing
  • an advocate but not super aggressive
  • patient but not lackadaisical
  • respectful but not a pushover

I am NOT saying I am all of these things all of the time but I work towards those. My parenting has changed since the beginning but I am evolving as a person as are my children.

There is no such thing as a perfect parent, just be a real one. If you need help, ask for help. Find your tribe, and if you need help I am always here. Let’s work together and not put labels on ourselves. Let’s just love our children and raise them to be good human beings.

How is it Monday night?!

There some days that really just seem to get away from me. We had a nice weekend, it wasn’t overly filled and hectic. I’m still weeding through lots of boxes and things that are either in the attic or downstairs.

This past weekend we made sure to take a break, all four of us, and go to a park together. This is something that we haven’t done all together in a while.

It was nice to sit back and watch the three of them play together and hear the giggles while the boys ran up head.

The bond that they are forming is so special. They 100% argue and fight but they have these super sweet moments too…whether it’s sharing and playing with legos together or singing songs.

The other day I put them both in the bedroom together because the arguing (yes even at 1.5 and 4) wasn’t stopping. Within a few moments they were laughing and playing together.

I cherish their relationship and will do whatever I can to nurture their bond as brother and buddies.

The Whale has Arrived!

I always love when UPS arrives! I hear the squeaky brakes, the dogs go crazy (ok, I don’t like that part)…today we were awaiting the super cute whale potty from Wildkin!

I went to the door and H exclaimed, “PIZZA”. Unfortunately for him it wasn’t pizza but our potty! He helped me open the box and he was so excited!

Clearly we need to work on how to sit on the potty!

Potty Training 😱

With H just about 2 he’s starting to show signs he’s getting ready to learn how to use the Big Boy Potty. (I swore I’d never use the word “potty” and I catch myself using it in convos now.)

He’s hiding now, so we know he’s becoming aware of what’s going on when he needs to go.

He wants a front row seat when anyone heads into the bathroom which is super fun.

Honestly, I forget all about potty training! I don’t remember how we started with L. I need tips and tricks!

Thankfully we have a super cute potty on the way thanks to Wildkin!

Send Lysol, Clorox, and wine!

A D.C. Recap!

What a whirlwind of a few days! I missed the boys terribly but really was so thankful for the time away to reset and refresh.

I arrived Wednesday and once Matt was done with his conference for the day we made our way to OZ, in Arlington, VA. We had a delicious meal, a good start to the time away!

Thursday is was super gross and rainy, so my morning was pretty lazy. Matt scheduled a massage for me in Georgetown so I headed that way. I had the strangest Uber driver, Rohan, he gave me his number before I got out of the car… yea I wasn’t going to call him to show me around.

I explored Georgetown a little after my massage and after that Matt and I went to visit a friend from high school! It was so nice to visit and catch up! We ended Thursday night with pizza and pjs in bed. The perfect ending to a long day!

Friday, Matt got up and went to the last day of his conference. As soon as he was done we hopped on the metro and went to The Smithsonian Castle and the Museum of Natural History. We kept saying how much our boys would love the museum when they are a little older! We sent pictures of the dinosaurs and butterflies and anything we knew they would love to see!

After that, we walked the National Mall and ended up at the White House. Then we got back on the metro and rested once we were back at our hotel!

We finally decided on where to go to dinner around 8 pm (seriously past my bedtime!). We went to the Red Hen and we waited about an hour and a half to be seated…but it was worth it! We had a wonderful meal and drinks! We crashed as soon as our heads hit our pillows that night!

Saturday morning we woke up and couldn’t wait for Fran and Karch to come and hang out for the day!

We watched the Temple game at Buffalo Wild Wings and then decided to go check out the National Portrait Gallery, all I can say is WOW! This was an amazing museum. The photos, the paintings, the art. Just incredible. We probably could have spend all day there.

After we freshened up we went to Farmers, Fishers, and Bakers for dinner. Thank you Allison for the recommendation! We had all intentions of going out after dinner but we were so full we were rolled out of the restaurant. Everything we had was delicious!

Sunday, we went to brunch at a small place in Alexandria, VA, The Evening Star Cafe…this was the perfect way to start our day! Fran and Karch dropped us off at the hotel and they headed back to Philly.

We are so lucky to have friends who are really our family in our lives!

Matt and I had almost the whole day to spend in D.C. before heading to the airport. We rested and packed up and then went to The Holocaust Memorial Museum. I was there one other time when I was in High School, but something about going as an adult had a whole different impact on me.

We then made our way to the airport, we found out our flight was delayed and we had lots of time to just be still. I lucked out with a Main Cabin Extra seat on American. (More leg room and free alcohol!) Matt was supposed to be way in the back, but I worked some magic and he was able to sit next to me! I worked some magic a bit this week, the seat for Matt, late checkout for us, and our room upgrade to the suite! I call that a win!

Overall, we had a nice time and were able to spend one on one time together which rarely happens. We know it won’t happen anytime soon, but we look forward to the next time we are able to spend some time together to reconnect as a couple, and be Katie and Matt. ♥️

Back to Reality

It’s so good to be back home with the boys and dogs! It’s so good to sleep in our own bed. But it was back to reality bright and early, the boys were ready to play at 6 am!

I think the time away was great for us all, the only thing I’ll have to remember for next time is to rest and relax a little more!

I will write a post later today about the fun adventures in DC!

Apple Picking 2018

I found a few orchards/farms within a 30 minute drive from us. We narrowed it down to two, since we found out that there were some that you can buy their apples, but not pick..and we are all about the picking experience.

We started our trek to Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake, MN. The drive was nice and the area was cute. We went inside the shop to ask about U-pick and they said they don’t do that there. (Not clearly listed on their website) So we bought some cookies, basically to bribe the boys to get back in the car. (#parentingwin? #parentingfail?)

We drove about 20 more minutes to a farm called Aamodt’s Apple Farm, and I think we found a little slice of heaven!

Notice one of the apples walking away.

This farm was awesome and we plan on going back this year…when it’s slightly cooler! We walked toward the barn and my husband had to go to the bathroom..(always) and he wanted me to note here that they were the cleanest port-a-potties he’s ever been in. 😂

Outside of the barn there was corn hole and a bunch of tables for people to sit back and enjoy the drinks, food, and atmosphere…yes DRINKS!

This farm had their own hard cider. They had 3 but ran out of their dry. So we tasted their ginger fizz and semi-sweet. We left with three bottles and they opened one for us to enjoy while we explored the farm and picked apples. There is also a vineyard across the street so they had their wine there too, and even wine slushees (which are my fav!)

They had two size options for apple. The smaller bag was $10 and could hold about 4 lbs of apples and the other was $25 and could hold between 10-12 lbs of apples.

We bought our bag and went into the orchard. The apples smelled so good. The boys were so excited! It was so nice to see them working together to get the apples, and L making sure H didn’t eat the fallen ones. We ate some apples, while we (the adults) drank some apples, and were so merry.

It may have been over 90 degrees out, but I’ll never forget this experience. Seeing L and H partaking in this fun activity together, laughing, exploring, just having an amazing time, made my heart so full. https://thequeenofthebrotherhood.com/img_3027-mp4/

https://www.aamodtsapplefarm.com

Sometimes it’s all about where you end up.

Another adventure today! The park we wanted to go to ended up being really crowded so we went to another park nearby that was flooded the last time we tried to go explore.

We had all intentions of “hiking” and looking for creatures but we ended up literally in the Mississippi River this time. This was Revvie’s first time in the Mississippi River and I think she had just as much fun as the boys!

I was SOOO unprepared! No towels, no toys, nothing! But it didn’t matter! We went with the flow. (This is huge for me 😂)

We were all sandy and gross but it was a lot of fun exploring a new park. The boys had no intentions of leaving and wanted to swim!

I guess next time we go anywhere I’ll try to be more prepared and have towels packed! Super thankful for my emergency car blanket today that doubled as a towel!

I’m not ready for the summer weather to change into fall but we will welcome fall and the adventures she brings with open arms.

Minnesota, you are a fun place to explore.

It’s ok to ask for help.

Maybe it’s me getting older. Maybe it’s motherhood. I am finally understanding that it’s ok to ask for help.

I have always been a very independent person (strong willed) and as the oldest child in my family (Type A for sure) I have always wanted to do things by myself. I also, now thinking back, felt like there were and are things that I should be doing for myself and by myself.

I don’t know why it’s always been so hard for me to ask for help. Maybe it’s feeling like a failure or seeming like a failure to others. Maybe it’s a pride issue and maybe it’s a little Mom Guilt now that I have two littles.

At 31, I’m finally realizing it’s ok to ask for help…in any aspect of life. Asking for help is still very hard for me but I’m working on it.

In a few weeks I will be going to Washington DC with my husband and leaving the boys to hang out with my in-laws for a few days. The boys are super excited for their time with their grandparents and I know they will have a wonderful time but asking for help or asking for someone to watch my children really was very hard for me, I truly felt like, for a while, if I do this am I failing as a mother?

After really thinking about this short trip, I know that I need this so I can have some time away and to reset. This trip will be great for my husband and I to have some time together to reconnect and just enjoy each other’s company.

I know I have a long way to go. I know I need to practice what I’m preaching here…but it is ok to ask for help. It’s ok to ask for help for your (my) mental, physical, emotional (etc…) health.

Does anyone else have difficulties with this? If so how have you overcome the issue of asking others for help when you need it?