Do images of soldiers, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, Ironman, and Spiderman come to mind when you hear the word “Hero?” Would it surprise you to know “You’re my hero” are the words I try to say to my toddler on a regular basis.


Of course he hasn’t saved anyone’s life and doesn’t put his life in danger for our community. He is just a little boy. I know most people view heroic actions to be things involved in saving a person’s life; things the types of people mentioned above do on a daily basis for their jobs. However, I want my son to see how even small actions can be heroic and an average person can be a hero in their own way.

He loves super heroes and we have talked about how his father was recently a hero by performing CPR on our neighbor and saving her life, and how his Pop is a hero to many due to being a paramedic. These types of heroic actions take a special person, someone who doesn’t crumble during high stress situations. I know I’m not that type of person; I literally shut down, typically, can’t move, cry, and lose all knowledge of what needs to be done. I know many people that react in a similar way. My son is too young for me to know how he will react to this type of stress; he might shine like his father or crumble like me. This is why I think it is important to point out how small actions can be heroic.

The other day I had a stinkbug on my back, it was in a spot I could not reach and seemed determined to stay there. Well, my son is terrified to hold bugs (he loves looking at them but refuses to hold any bug and will cry if he thinks one is touching him), seeing my distress he showed me he could be brave and put my needs over his own. He grabbed a cloth wipe and picked the bug up, then quickly handed it to me. I called him “My hero” and he was so proud of himself. Another recent occurrence when he put another person first was when he took his father a toothbrush and they brushed their teeth together. I know this doesn’t seem heroic, but he HATES brushing his teeth due to some oral aversions developed while having to do tongue stretches after his tongue and lip tie revisions. He will kick and scream the entire time and we usually have to pin his arms down so he doesn’t hurt himself or us.  On this occasion, I asked if he had brushed his teeth and he responded, “No.” I then asked, “Did Daddy brush his teeth?” and he responded, “No.” I reminded him that we all have to brush our teeth before bed and Daddy really needed to brush his before he fell asleep, since he was already laying down. As I was getting my own toothbrush ready he asked me to give him his and his father’s toothbrushes. I obliged and he went to his daddy and made him brush his teeth while he showed him he could brush his own, in a way of trying to encourage and comfort his father (mimicking what we regularly try with him). I thought this was the sweetest thing. He has such a big heart and is constantly overcoming his own fears to help others. On that night he was his father’s little hero.

People don’t always have to overcome fears to be someone’s hero. You also never know when a kind word, show of love or gratitude can help bring a little happiness into someone’s dark world or even help someone stop intrusive suicidal thoughts.

I’ve had people be my hero just by believing in me and encouraging me to be the best version of myself. I’ve seen people be heroes by gifting others medicine, money, food, diapers, or items they can use to sale or repair their home or car. Little things can make a lot of difference, especially when given without payment or expectations. These types of actions deserve gratitude just as much as those who work in a hero based position do (we need to remember to show our gratitude to them, since we tend to forget to show our appreciation when we know the person is being paid.)

Has your child or someone else been your hero lately?

This is my littlest hero. my hero

The Not-So-Terrible Two’s!

two years old

Does every age become your favorite age as your child grows? It seems like your child can’t be any greater, you finally are in a groove with how to meet their needs at one age range, this age is your absolute favorite, then boom, you are two months into their next stage of development. New challenges arise with each stage and those challenges can be completely overwhelming but also bring new levels of joy.

My son, Archer, is now 2. This is the age I have been dreading. The “terrible two’s” were something I fully believed in and had experience with. Through my years working with children, it was the age I despised being in charge of. They were always so fast, agile, and curious but their communication skills were never to the standards we both needed. That lack of communication always made emotions high, because they truly wanted you to be able to understand their wants and needs. It seemed like every two year old I knew had tantrums, hit, and bit multiple times a day. So, you can see why I was dreading this stage as a stay at home mom.

Today, as I was nursing my little boy for his nap and he kept smiling at me, hugging me, and gently rubbing my face in the same way I was rubbing his, I was struck by how much I love him being 2. Yes, he does have extreme emotions, but I have been fortunate his sign language and oral communication have been a little advanced for his age; however, that also means when he doesn’t understand why we are preventing him from doing something or we can’t figure out which new word he is saying, he can have a total meltdown.  Along with these extreme levels of anger and sadness comes so much love and happiness. I have never seen a child who is so affectionate. He gives hugs and kisses like he needs them to stay alive. He also loves to be “funny,” as he calls it. He is constantly wrestling, tickling, and licking those he loves just to make us smile and laugh.

Another wonderful part of the not-so-terrible two’s, are how interests and desires to learn about the world really starts to develop. My son is now obsessed with tractors, trucks, cars, trains, and airplanes. He can now identify them in person, from images, and from their sounds (he even learned how to start the truck and tractor and operate most of the controls). He also has a fascination with cleaning and using tools. He wants to know just how they work and where to put everything away when tidying.

With each age there are obstacles, 100% dependence during infancy, high emotions due to communication issues during the toddler years, confusion while trying to understand the world and find independence during childhood, and dealing with extreme hormonal shifts and learning to become an adult during the teenage years; however, with each age blossoms a variety of  beautiful and amazing personality traits. We all need to take time each day to see the good in our child, focusing on how they bring joy and light into our lives. Parenting is hard enough; don’t make it harder by dwelling on the negative. I don’t believe the terrible two’s are so terrible.

The not so terrible two's.

What I Love About Breastfeeding

What I Love About BreastfeedingIt is World Breastfeeding Week!!! During this week women around the world will share brelfies (breastfeeding selfies), stories, and words of encouragement; through BigLatchOn.org, women will also meet on August 5 and August 6, 2016 to have a public group nursing session (or pumped milk), all in an effort to #NormalizeBreastfeeding and provide the education and community support nursing and pumping mothers need. Yes, #FedIsBest, and I will discuss formula use in another post (I have a love-hate relationship with formula and for several months it was needed to keep my son alive), but for now let’s focus on the miracle that is breastmilk.

Here is what I love about breastfeeding:

  • There are a variety of ways to make sure your baby is receiving “liquid gold”: exclusively breastfeeding, tandem nursing, pumping and giving breastmilk in a bottle, syringe, abdominal feeding tube, or SNS, and with donor milk.
  • There really is a bond created from nursing. Yes, you can have a bond while feeding your child from a bottle, I’ve been there and done that. However, there is something deeper and more fulfilling knowing their nourishment is coming from your breast (the reason we have them) and having their soft, warm body and fuzzy hair pressed against your bare skin helps keep you in the moment, staring into their eyes and watching their delicate movements.
  • Community support! There is a large community of breastfeeding mothers and breastfeeding advocates and educators. I have met many wonderful women through online support groups and breastfeeding community events.
  • Nursing Gymnastic!?! Usually after they start crawling, and definitely after they are walking, baby starts moving around the breast more and getting in the weirdest positions. Now at 20 months old, my son likes to nurse with his legs next to my head, while lying on his back, somehow nursing upside down; he also likes to nurse doing Downward-Facing Dog Pose, with his butt in the air, occasionally with one leg in the air. My son’s nursing gymnastics makes me laugh and puts a smile on my face. Sometimes, it makes him laugh too, since he loves being silly.
  • For us, I am his comfort. My son doesn’t have a favorite toy or like pacifiers. When he gets hurt, is upset, or needs reassurance a quick hug or comfort nurse (typically just a few seconds) is all he needs to sooth himself. I don’t have to worry about making sure we have extra pacifiers or that his teddy bear is with us. When my low supply was requiring us to supplement, comfort nursing was a wonderful self-esteem booster, since I was having a lot of body-hate at the time.
  • No waiting! As long as you aren’t pumping, and breast milk comes straight from the source, it is instantaneous, on demand. It was a pain making sure we had homemade goat’s milk formula prepared and waiting when our son had to supplement. When he was hungry and I was hooked to a pump, it made it even more difficult. When that stage of our nursing journey was over I was ecstatic. He now can nurse whenever he desires.
  • It’s free! Well, it’s free as long as you are exclusively breastfeeding, not pumping, or having to take galactagogues (supplements to increase milk supply).
  • Breastmilk provides baby with energy in the morning and helps relax them for sleep at night.
  • Breastmilk has multiple uses. Not only have I and many mothers I know used breastmilk to nourish our children, we have used it to help heal scratches, eye-colds, sinus issues, ear aches, and skin issues.
  • Baby’s source of nutrition and hydration cannot be lost, 100% emptied, or forgotten. If we are outside playing and he gets thirsty, it’s easy enough to nurse him and continue on with our business. I don’t have to worry about packing extras bottles or water for quick trips. My breasts are always with me! I also don’t have to worry about if plastic water bottles have been left in the heat of a car (all plastic leaches) or if we can find clean water to refill our glass/metal bottles.
  • Nursing, typically, makes mom happy and relaxed. Prolactin, the love hormone, and Oxytocin, the hormone that makes you happy, relaxed, and sometimes sleepy, are released with letdown.
  • Antibodies!!! Our breastmilk creates antibodies, helping little ones fight off illness and/or get well quicker. My son didn’t have his first cold until he was 19 months and it only lasted 2 days, despite hubby and I having been ill 2 or 3 other times. Tips: If you exclusively pump, wipe the inside of your baby’s mouth a few times a day and rub their saliva on your nipples before pumping, to help your body develop the antibodies your baby needs. Even when I was only producing 4oz per day, I knew that little bit of milk my son was getting from me was keeping his immune system strong.
  • Breastfeeding decreases Momma’s breast cancer risk! Studies show the longer you nurse, the greater you decrease your chances of developing breast cancer, and if you are genetically predisposed the average age of breast cancer is increased to later in life. Decreased estrogen production and a healthier lifestyle are thought to contribute to breastfeeding’s benefits.
  • Unlike formula, breastmilk is constantly changing for our child’s needs. The nutrition levels for a newborn are different than that of a 20 month old. Even the water content can be different depending on the child’s need. This has been a wonderful comfort while my 20 month old has had a decrease appetite due to teething and Texas’s heat. At least I know he is still getting calories and nutrition from me. (I have seen pictures of breastmilk from mothers who tandem nurse a newborn and a toddler, each having one specific breast, and the pumped milk will look different due to the gold hue of the colostrum created for the newborn.)
  • Nursing can prolong the return of your menstrual cycle. Yes, some women get their’s back within 3 months postpartum; I was lucky to not see mine return until 20 months postpartum; while I have heard of a few women who didn’t get their cycles back until a few months after they stopped breastfeeding. No matter what, time without worrying about cramping or remembering to be prepared for accidents, is a time we can all be grateful for.
  • Finally, I absolutely love when my son looks up at me and smiles while nursing. It melts my heart.

What do you love about breastfeeding?


Bonita, K. (2016, July 20). Increasing Low Milk Supply • KellyMom.com. Retrieved August 04, 2016, from http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/low-supply/

Breastfeeding Longer Seems to Help Protect Against Breast Cancer. (2014, September 4). Retrieved August 04, 2016, from http://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/20130904-4

Cerini, C. (2013, August 11). Breast Milk: Proactive Immunomodulation and Mucosal Protection Against Viruses and Other Pathogens. Retrieved August 04, 2016, from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/814970_2

Lothian, J. A. (2005, Winter). The Birth of a Breastfeeding Baby and Mother. Retrieved August 04, 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1595228/