Two Years Later; My Writing Anniversary

I can now say the last two years have been worth it all.  I get to share Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster with literally thousands of parents; Parents that just need a good laugh and a big hug after a long day.

For a parent whose memory has gone to mush, I really heart the Facebook Memories feature.  Most of the time I can’t believe things happened so long ago.

Seriously?! That concert was eight years ago!

It’s been that long since I’ve been to Europe?!

Wait.  What.  I used to go out on Thursday nights.

But then again, sometimes we are glad to no longer be in that season of life that we were reminded of.  The reality is that it may not have been our best season.

On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% … and that’s pretty good. – unknown

Let that sink in.

***

Reflection can be difficult, but it can also be empowering.  Anniversaries are the perfect time to think about where you’ve been and where you’re going.

A few days ago this photo popped up on facebook and it reminded me it had been two years since I wrote Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster.

BM

Adorable right?!  But those days of adjusting to motherhood were tough.  Here is the post where I shared my own reflections from the last two years:

“This huge smile takes me back to a really tough time in my life. It was taken shortly after I wrote the first draft of what became the loving children’s book: Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster.

I can picture myself sitting in the car, two months postpartum, tears in my eyes. I was trying to figure out the new roller-coaster I had stepped on to. I constantly flowed back and forth between immense love (Did you see that smile?) and silly frustrations (feeling like I was failing at everything).

Reflecting on the last two years, I am so grateful that this Beautiful Monster broke me.

Our highs are insanely high.
We like to get it all out there by silly dancing in the kitchen to Eminem and the Beatles.

Our lows are embarrassingly low. I tell her to go watch Elmo so no one loses their shi….. , even though I hate when she sits there like a zombie.

All in all, we get to practice a lot of love and laughter in our house.

Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster”

I can now say the last two years have been worth it all.  I get to share Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster with literally thousands of parents; Parents that just need a good laugh and a big hug after a long day.

 

The book is a chance  to snuggle up to your Beautiful little Monster and relax knowing that you are doing this parenting thing just fine.  Your track record is 100%.

love_you_to_pieces_B_Cover_for_Kindle
Read it Here

 

 

 

 

 

My Mom is Crazy (About Me)

I hope no one confuses my moments of frustration with my true feelings about my children and motherhood

My baby will be twelve weeks old tomorrow.

Some days are better than others.  Realistically some minutes are better than others.

Parenthood is a roller coaster ride.  I found that out the hard way when my first little love was born.

One minute I find myself ogling at every little thing my baby does, talking baby talk with the best of them, and the next minute I am incredibly frustrated because my kids are screaming while I brush my teeth for the first time that day (at 2pm – hello coffee breath).  I swear, I often feel like I am the emotional little monster in the house.

But I hope no one confuses my moments of frustration with my true feelings about my children and motherhood, and the joy I get from those precious moments of total sweetness in between the chaos.  My babies absolutely know I’m crazy;  they also know I am absolutely crazy about them.

Have you been on that roller coaster today?

If so, below is one recent example you’ll relate to, compliments of social media.

Don’t forget to follow both so you don’t miss the fun: Facebook (@StoriesbyJKCoy) and Instagram (@FinishtheBook):

Part 1part 2part 3

“Then all of a sudden you stop.  You look in my eyes and grin from ear to ear.

And it’s my turn to tear up.

I freakn’ love you to pieces, Beautiful Monster.”  – Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster

I know as a parent you get it.

Get Your Own Copy Here
Get Your Own Copy Here

Parents Talking Dirty

There comes a time in every parent’s life where bowel movements are as common a conversation topic as discussing the weather. 

After almost ten years of marriage and two young kids, think you can guess the hottest topic is in our household?

If you guessed POOP, you are correct!   And if you are disgusted that I would even type that word, you clearly do not have a young child.

Honestly, I don’t know when the turning point came.  The point where I lost all modesty on the subject.

Was it…

  • When the midwife was wiping my *ss during the birth of our beautiful daughter?
  • During the newborn stage when we were sleep deprived and changing 10+ diapers a day?
  • When our first daughter went through a phase where she would reach into her diaper and smear poop on her sheets?
  • When we potty trained our twenty month old and lost all dignity by referring to ourselves as “Poop Coaches” and offering “Poop Treats?”  FYI Candy canes and popsicles are our aresinel of choice.
  • The first time we sent a text message that included a picture of our child’s “achievement”?  I’m embarrassed to add that these texts have gone to family and friends at times.
  • At a recent dinner party where we conspired with friends to hide Miralax in our children’s sippy cups?

There have been so many defining poop moments, I really can’t say.

baby poop monster kids book
“In the middle of the night you woke me, to let me know you pooped your pants.  I love you to pieces, Beautiful Monster.”  Get your own copy of this honest children’s book!

But the point is, there comes a time in every parent’s life where bowel movements are as common a conversation topic as discussing the weather.

And unfortunately the talk isn’t limited to the four walls of our house anymore.  It’s at daycare, work parties, over a nice glass of wine…not to mention living forever on this blog.

And even for me, someone that lost all discretion awhile ago, a new low was recently achieved.  Yesterday an acquaintance at church casually asked how I was doing.

Without thinking I responded, “Pretty good, but my daughter just had an explosive diaper on my lap.”

I sent that sentence out like it was a  casual text update.  After the words left my mouth, I was instantly remorseful.  I crossed the line.  I dumped my poop talk on someone that was not in the same life stage.  That is how normal poop conversations have become.  I can no longer see the social line until I’ve crossed it.

Forgive me for having limited social graces these days, but parenting young kids has a way of making you feel like a human Kleenex.  I had a shower yesterday morning, but two hours later it felt like it had been a week.  In just a few hours I had been spit up on multiple times, wiped boogers with my sleeve, cleaned out our toddler potty five times, changed a few diapers and a blowout onsie, cleaned up all the dog poop in the yard, and had my two year old’s naked butt sitting on me while I tried to get a home workout in.  None of which was out of the norm.  It was all a typical Sunday.

parenthood is messy

 

I don’t know if there is a point to all this, other than I felt like sharing what was on my mind.  And these days, my mind has gone to mush.  Brown, stinky mush.

Gross.

*********************

Anyone else in that marital stage where you talk as much potty talk as we do?!

Lady Logic: Wasted Money or Amazing Deal?

So there I was, saving money for my family, and then the Lady Logic creeps in.

You know the rationale you use to validate your crazy?

Well, that’s your Lady Logic.

Let me use myself as an example.

Today I left the house to run errands.

I had showered, and left the house by noon with a newborn.  Just for that,  I was pretty proud of myself.

Gold star!

Eventually I stopped by Old Navy to make returns. We had some extra outfits that we didn’t end up using for family photos this past weekend.  So there I was getting $29.00 in returns done, saving money for my family.

Gold star!

And then the Lady Logic creeps in.

On the way home I stop by a children’s resale boutique, just for a peek.

The kids don’t really need anything…but then again, maybe they do?

And apparently they did.

Browse all the cute kids Toms Here.  One of each please!

There were the mint condition kids Toms,  because I’ll regret passing up a deal like that…

A long sleeve baby sleeper, because it’s been colder than normal here in SoCal…

The black and white Nicole Miller outfit, because everything looks cute on a toddler…

And the toddler Roxy lounge wear, because…

Just because.

My Mom is the Worst Book Cover
My Mom is the Worst available on Amazon Here

The final damage came to $32.00.  And you know what? I left feeling pretty happy.  I made those $29.00 in returns earlier, so it’s like I only spent $3.00 and got all these adorable “essentials.”

Gold star!

And that my friend, is Lady Logic.

***

Wasted money, or an awesome deal?  You decide.

 

Eight Minute Birth; Baby Delivered Faster Than Pizza Hut

Yup, eight minutes after arriving at the nurses station my baby was delivered.  

The scene opens on a seedy nail salon in a strip-mall in Orange County, CA.  It’s the type of nail place you go when you’ve already spent too much money on personal grooming that month, and you need a deal.  Adequate, but so dated that it’s far from a relaxing and luxurious experience.  There is a woman painting my toes and massaging my feet, as I quietly try to breath through contractions without causing a scene.

At this point I am ten days “past due” (my thoughts on that here), and I went to bed the night prior with some minor back pain.  In the morning it was still mild so I spent a few hours working on a children’s book marketing project, making no bake coconut bites, taking a two mile walk, washing and vacuuming the car, and buying a new house plant, before finally heading to the nail salon at 2:30 pm.  By then I had convinced myself that I was likely in labor, but I figured I had plenty of time since the pain was manageable and hadn’t come around to the front of my belly yet – it was still all in my back.

img_2267

So, back at the nail salon…another woman started doing my gel manicure.  I’m pretty sure it must have been her first gel because it took her over an hour.  She kept applying the paint, then wiping it off and starting over.

Mind you, this entire time the back contractions are continuing to intensify.  I was shooting the woman daggers with my eyes, praying she would get it together so I could go home and be miserable in peace.  I finally asked her if she was almost done because I had to go, this baby was coming tonight.  Every ten minutes I was having a thirty second contraction that I had to close my eyes and breath through.

By 4 pm she finally wrapped it up.  I drove myself home and was in the tub by 4:15 pm.  My husband came in to the bathroom to check on me.  I told him what was going on, but figured the contractions needed to get closer together before heading to the hospital.  I was planning another natural birth (read the first birth story here) so the last thing I wanted to do was arrive at the hospital too early.

I reached out to my midwife just to let her know that I thought we would be heading in to the hospital later tonight.  I decided to track the contractions with an app on my phone.  Come to find out, I am a poor counter in pain.  The contractions that I thought were thirty seconds long, were really a minute, every eight to ten minutes apart.

I showered between contractions, while my husband made arrangements for our toddler, and then I decided to go lay in bed.  My poor husband tried to push on my back during a contraction because the counter-pressure during contractions had been really helpful with my first labor.  This time not so much.  Laying down and having someone push on my back was the exact opposite of helpful.  Contractions were lasting about a minute and a half every four to six minutes at that point.  I was almost in tears and snapped at him to stop asking me so many questions!

That was my first cue that we probably needed to head in to the hospital.  That, and the intensity of the contractions were getting to the point where I could no longer quietly breath through them.  I was moaning out in pain.  We headed out to the car for our four mile drive to the hospital.

During the ten minute drive I was alternating between texting my parents who had just arrived at LAX airport an hour away, giving updates to my midwife – contractions were now lasting for one minute – every three minutes, listening to my husband yell at every stop light, and me squeezing my cell phone like a stress ball as I moaned through contractions.  As we rounded the corner by the hospital a very intense contraction got me and I firmly pounded my fist on the car door a few times.  That got both our attention.  This labor had gotten REAL really fast.

Once at the hospital I jumped out of the car while my husband grabbed our bags.  I had to pause at a couch inside the hospital to moan through another contraction.  There was a man and his young son near by and I was trying my best not to be too loud and scare them.  By then my husband caught up with me and was trying to get me to take the elevator up to the birthing level.

“Nope,” I said.  I needed to keep moving.  I had one goal.  Make it to the nurse’s station before the next contraction.

“I’m taking the stairs.”

Thankfully I did, because I literally made it to the nurse’s station, saw my midwife behind the counter and smiled at her, then put my head down telling the triage nurse to talk to my husband for any details she needed.  I started moaning through another contraction, except this time it was different.  I could feel my body start to involuntarily push the baby down.  It was like my body knew I had made it.  I was in the hospital.  My midwife was there.  I was safe.  The time was 6:08 pm.

As soon as my midwife heard the types of sounds I was making, she took over the situation.  She told the nurses to get me a room NOW.  They offered me a chair to wheel me to a room.

“Nope,” I said.  I wanted to walk since I had a break between contractions.

We made it to a room and they had me take off my pants (the comfy Le Tote ones I borrowed), and offered me a hospital gown.

“Nope,” I said.  I didn’t want to feel like a patient.

The nurses told me I could climb up on the bed.

“Nope.”

I was a woman on a mission at that point;  my one and only job was to birth this baby, NOW.

“Hand me those pillows,” I said to the nurse.

That was the last rationale thing I said until my baby arrived.  I proceeded to stand next to the bed, lean over, and bury my face in the pillows while I screamed through each contraction as my body pushed the baby down and out.  I knew I was supposed to be trying to keep my voice low and relaxed, but all I could do was shrill and hang on for the ride.

Some how my husband was able to get the video camera set-up during all this (in case you’re wondering, it’s not a flattering angle).  He then asked the midwife how much time we had before the baby arrived.  She confidently responded, “About two more pushes.”

She was right.  Two pushes later, she and my husband were catching a perfect baby girl.  I laid over the bed panting as if I had just finished a marathon in record time.  They offered to pass the baby through my legs so I could hold her and get up on the bed.  Official time of birth –  6:16 pm.

Yup, eight minutes after arriving at the nurses station.  

after birth love other

I’m not sure if that was a hospital record, but my IRONMAN husband is looking in to it.   He laughs because on the video he says it’s like I have a race high.  I am really excited and can’t stop jabbering with the nurses about what just happened.  In my defense there were a lot of endorphins and hormones rushing through my body at that point.

after birth love

An hour and a half later, the medical staff was finally done prodding my lower half, checking on the baby, and making me answer hospital in-take questions – since we bypassed that last bit on the way in.  As they walked out, my parents arrived from LAX.

mommy and baby meet

After a short visit with my parents, we sent them out to get Pizza Hut, the holy grail of post partum.  The restaurant was located just a mile away, and they were supposed to deliver the pizza to my parents, downstairs at the main entrance of the hospital.  Some how it took over an hour and they ended up delivering the wrong pizza!  I thought about calling to complain, but it was 10 pm and I hadn’t eaten since 1 pm…so obviously I just grumbled about it as I ate three pieces.  The good news was that it bought us a proper moment to meet our baby girl, and finally agree on a name.

Baby Liv Claire Coy entered our world (2.2.18) fast and furious.  A crazy, yet perfect labor and delivery.  Definitely, the most exciting Friday night these parents have had in a long time.

perfect baby girl

I’ve heard second labors are typically about half as long as your first.
In your experience, was your second labor much shorter than your first?

 

Growing Up Made Me Ashamed to Relax

We’ve got responsibilities.  We’ve got bills.  We’ve got goals.  We’re adults now.  But really, we’re also just horrible at pausing and seizing the day. 

For most of us there is always a to-do list.  We are always thinking about what’s next.

But some times life hands you a 90 degree day in January and you just can’t ignore that kind of gift.

Except we do.  All the time.  Because, life.

We’ve got responsibilities.  We’ve got bills.  We’ve got goals.  We’re adults now.  But really, we’re also just horrible at pausing and seizing the day.  I’m preaching to myself here, but honestly, probably you as well.  

Toward the end of both of my pregnancies I have been reminded of this.  I have a to-do list and I work feverishly to complete it because I know there is a huge productivity wasteland coming at me in the near future.  And then all the boxes get checked.

But each time I’ve reached forty weeks pregnant, neither of my babies have arrived.  So I have some unaccounted for time.  I am forced to remember what I used to do for pure pleasure before I was a grown-up.  Ummmmm?!  What?!  But then it starts to slowly come back to me…hang out with friends…do something creative, like drawing a picture…go to the beach!

Lifes a beach bag
This Beach Bag was given to me on the last day of my position at a corporate marketing company.  I think they assumed I would use my new “free time” at the beach.  Today was the first time it’s been used.

So that’s kind of what I’ve been up to this last week.

The productive adult in me is embarrassed to admit it.  I feel the need to mention the admirable, grown-up things I’ve done this week (attend a children’s book writing class, write query letters to agents, track stats and book sales) so you don’t think less of me.  But honestly, doing things just for fun has been super strange, and super fulfilling.  

I’ve gone to a chick flick at the theater (who knew movies were only $6 if you go at 11 am?!), I’ve done some pencil drawings in my sketch book, and another preggo mama and I spent three hours at a cozy little spot in Laguna Beach chatting with the sand between our toes on a  beautiful 90 degree day in January.

Mermaid chubby Baby twins

It’s like my Baby Girl is already forcing me to mentally slow down and be present and grateful for the moment in front of me, a skill that surely does not come naturally as an adult.

Watch out world, she already wants to be in charge.

pregnant laguna beach 1 (1)
Um, Do I look fat in this? 😉  41 wks. baked.

 

 

 

 

Open Letter from an Honest Parent; I’m Losing My Marbles

When will they sleep?  When will they grow out of this stage?  Where did they learn that?  When will they grow up?  Where did that attitude come from?

I am a parent.  I get tired.  I get frustrated.  I complain.  Daily.  The hours can feel so long.

I mean, I write children’s books about how crazy my child makes me and blog on a website called MyMomistheWorst.com, all of which I wholeheartedly stand behind.

I wanted to create a place for parents to say “I’m struggling every day.  Anyone with me?”  But I also want to remember –

I am a parent.  I love my child.  She cracks me up.  She brings me joy every day.

My husband and I attended a parenting conference this weekend.  He absolutely loves when I sign him up for this kind of thing.

But I know we both gained some valuable insight.  One of the analogies that has stuck with me this week is the idea of bringing home a jar full of marbles (936 to be exact) with your newborn.

jar of marbles

Every week, sometimes it feels like every hour, we run in to parenting situations that make us feel like we are literally losing our marbles.

When will they sleep?  When will they grow out of this stage?  Where did they learn that?  When will they grow up?  Where did that attitude come from?

But we are literally losing our marbles.  Each marble represents a week that we get with our child before they leave home at eighteen (give or take a few marbles).  With each week we lose one more opportunity to influence, to love, and to mold our children.

The analogy reminds me that the time with my child is not infinite.  Though, the hours can certainly feel that way.   It is human and honest to admit my child is driving me crazy.   I just don’t want to let myself forget to value the chaos and memories we have together now.

Like a wise children’s book once said…

“Everyday you make me crazy.  I love you to pieces. Beautiful Monster.”