Tag Archives: MOPS International Convention

Faith on an Escalator….. (Now I have that Aerosmith song going through my head. And so do you. You’re welcome.)

“After you.” 

I said that, in all it’s various forms-including: “No, go ahead.” and “No, Really. You first.” Approximately 6.3 million times during MOPS International Convention.  It wasn’t because I am nice. (I’m not. But, I try. Sometimes. And, it certainly wasn’t at the doors before general sessions. (I have been around long enough to know to duck and cover when those doors swing wide. Imagine a stampede of 2000 moms unencumbered by strollers or diaper bags… they. can. run. You over. No need to let them by- they pass you by. Those mommas are on a mission.)

Nope- mostly it was at the top and bottom of escalators, at the convention center.

My neck brace caused an inability to see both my feet and the escalator’s steps at the same time unless I leaned foreword  far enough for gravity to take over my body like an alien and propel me headfirst towards the escalator’s always moving, metallic, maw of death. Which sounds even less terrorizing than it was.

One.

Two.

Three (or more) steps would roll by. Shining and toothy as a shark’s teeth, as I tried to time my step. Just. Right.

One.

Two.

Three moms would go past, as I tried to play off my fear as politeness, maybe even humility. “You first.”

Which really meant:”I’m totally gonna try and to follow you so I don’t fall and  lose digits or end up with a shark-like escalator chomp out of my face. So go ahead… you first. I’m right behind you- possibly holding onto your tote bag”

Which was kind of a workable plan-except, it was still hard to go ahead and take that step. The one from the stable platform to the moving escalator. Even when I was following right behind a totally confident and capable escalator operator. (AKA: a mom- but “escalator operator” sounded considerably more official and sesame street like- so I’m leaving it’s irrelevant self right there.) Side note: Women don’t like you grabbing their tote bags and dragging them backwards on an escalator cause you’re rooted in fear…probably. I mean, I’m assuming.

The thing is- I could SEE where I was going- the top or bottom of the escalator was in my line of view, even with the neck brace of doom. I also knew I was right there on the edge- in the right place heading the right direction. I just couldn’t be sure I was taking the right step at the right time.

It paralyzed me.

I didn’t miss anything due to elevator angst. The paralysis only felt like it lasted forever. It actually just lasted until I’d built up a nice cushion of moms both before and aft- that I imagined would catch me if I fell, and lift me up over their heads to invent some cool new escalator crowd surfing thing that could either: A) Kill me or B) Make me internet famous. (Which would also probably kill me.  The internet has trolls, they  are killers and do not stay under bridges. You’ve been warned.)

What’s the point? (Other than I’m experiencing post- MOPS Convention exhaustion that could be affecting my writing today? (Shh I know what you’re thinking… what was last weeks excuse? Or next weeks? No worries, I’m working on a list …)

The point is- sometimes you have to take the next step. Even if you can’t see your feet and fear being eaten by an escalator. (Please note: the longer you entertain fear- the bigger it’s nightmare like story gets… we’ve moved from few of losing digits to internet trolls to being digested by machinery….)

Or, not.

You could stand there on the edge, watching the steps go by. Watching others pass, while you look very polite, but never get anywhere.

I vote you give it a try. Even in my broken, messed up  and neck braced condition- I managed to make it to my sessions- and meetings. Most of them even on time.

I’m pretty sure that as long as you’re going in the right direction and keep yourself surrounded by others moving in the right direction…….you’ll get where you’re headed. Either way- if you do take a tumble, you’ll  be caught by those who surround you. (The terms “Caught” and “land on,”  are pretty much synonymous here.)

But, I’ll warn you- it probably won’t be quite as cool as crowd surfing. Trust me. As a leader, wife, woman  and a mom, I’ve taken plenty of falls while heading in the right direction….the key is the cushion….and the fact that elevators have a tendency to keep moving even if you fall down on one. Once you land- you still be moving in the right direction.

Which I kind of think works the same in faith and life journeys…..God’s sovereignty keeps moving us forward even when we crash.

Psalm 37 (read the whole thing, it pretty much rocks- even if you don’t have anyone persecuting you.)

The Lord makes firm the steps 
    of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall, 
    for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

So….what’s your next step? A spot in leadership that needs you to step in? A phone call you need to make? A question to ask?  A project to finish? A dream to follow?

Not sure?

What direction are you heading in? Is your phase of mothering changing? Are you starting to think it might be necessary to step into the workplace to make ends meet, fulfill a call, or meet some goals? Do you want to walk closer to/with God?

You don’t have to be like me standing at the top of the escalator paralyzed with fear of taking the wrong step…. the truth is…steps will keep rolling up and moving on…. God knows that we (I) often need time to catch (or hold) our breath before we can make the next move. I think He gives us plenty of opportunities. He’s awesome like that.

A Foot in The Door- Literally. MOPS International Convention

If I had a body part that wasn’t hurting or exhausted it must be one that I’ve never heard of- even on House M.D.  My neck arms and shoulders hurt from craning my neck to make eye contact during meetings…my feet were a blistered mess (because I don’t have enough sense to pack only shoes I know to be reliably comfortable- for Convention. (After 20 Years- you’d think I’d have a clue…but I’m slow. Actually, I suffer from SVD Shoe Vanity Disorder- Whatever. My legs hurt from running through the airport dragging an over-weight suitcase, laptop and purse. My hair hurt from the humidity. Even my smile was exhausted. All I could think was: Room. Bed. Now. As I pushed the elevator button. (Approximately 13,000 times because- repeated pushing of the button always makes the elevator arrive faster. (Hint: it doesn’t. Elevators are card carrying passive aggressives- you push that button after the light is on?  You’re gonna be searching for stairs. Just saying.)

When the doors finally  opened I dragged myself and my always-too -full -of -stuff -because- I -may- need -it -but never do- bag onto the elevator. Turning to face forward, took what was left of my energy. I was relieved to be in the elevator- alone. Sometimes you use need a minute to be, and maybe to- breathe.. know what I mean? I claimed the elevator space in the name of Tracey- with a huge sigh, then I pushed the button for my floor and mentally willed the doors to close.

Which is when I noticed Continue reading

Surviving the Mom-bie Apocalypse (much more dangerous than Zombies, trust me.)

Everyday I hear about people preparing for the Zombie apocalypse. They hoard food. They hoard gold. They hoard weapons and write books about Zombie apocalypse preparedness. These people are intense in either a fear of, or love for, zombies. (At least that’s what I read on the internet….)

I think the fear is misplaced. They are preparing for the wrong apocalypse.  I doubt the dead will rise and suddenly decide that human brains are a delicacy. (Although people DO eat sushi and sweetbreads…so- it could happen…)  But, still. We ought to be more concerned about the Mom-bie apocalypse.

I know this because they already walk among us.

I’ve met one.

I’m not sure what did it. Maybe it was the pallor of her skin, or her disheveled hair (that really needed a washing and a trim) that gave her away. But once I took in the full picture- complete with  suspiciously stained clothes, bloodshot eyes and a gait that was one part shuffle one part limp- arms holding a bundle so close to it’s chest that they appeared to be unable to move from that position- I knew it was true.

I was face to face with a Mom-bie. Continue reading

Stress fracture? Derangement of the Knee and Mind?—a confession I’m not a doctor & a contest

“So…. can I run?” I asked hopefully.

“Well, you seem to be having trouble walking..” Replied the orthopedic specialist.

“But, I need to exercise.  I’m trying to lose weight. I just got into a good habit.. I don’t want to have to start all over.” I argued .

“There are other exercises you could do. Biking and swimming don’t result in  running injuries.” He countered. “You can do what you can tolerate. We’ll schedule an MRI, and go from there. It could be a stress fracture, internal knee derangement, tendonitis or pes bursitis. Wear the immobilizer or don’t, whatever feels better. Do you want a prescription for pain meds?” He offered.

“No, I should be fine. “ I replied. I was convinced the pain would be gone, soon.  I’ve had sprains and tendonitis before.  I can handle it.  I thought.

I was wrong. Very wrong. almost 2 weeks and an MRI later, the pain is no better.  I walk like zombie. I lurch and heave and swing and wobble.  Every step increases the pain.

I’ve been icing so much, I worry I’m turning into a popsicle. Or, maybe a blood-slushie.  I seriously feared for my life, when I went to see Eclipse.  (If any real vampires were there..a blood-slushie would have been nearly irresistible in this heat, I’m sure.) Apparently, the only vampires present were on-screen. I made it home safely.

I have purchased and tried every type of wrap/ brace I can find.  Nothing is helping.

If I sit just the right way, (which  involves pillows and elevation and just the right degree of bending…it’s a new yoga pose: The IfIdothisitdoesnthurtlikeabear pose. ) and don’t move… it is more comfortable. After a bit in this new pose,  I start to think: “Hmmm, maybe it’s getting better!” Then, I move and the pain crashes back in like a tsunami.

*Sigh.*

I am having trouble concentrating on writing projects. I’m having trouble doing the basic mom-stuff. This weekend was my son’s graduation party.. it was rough and painful and wonderful.  I am VERY thankful I had lots of help. I could NOT have pulled it off without it.  I’m having trouble keeping my sanity.

I’ve been obsessively researching the potential diagnosis.’  I’ve been obsessively reviewing my MRI. (I have it on CD and downloaded a viewer- yup- that really IS my leg in the pic.) Did you know you can see your fat on an MRI?  Gross.  My brain seems to be convinced that if I knew what was wrong, I could fix it.

My brain is confused. I’m not a doctor. Every time I read another article, I am convinced it’s something different. Every time I compare the MRI pics to those I find online… I change my mind, yet again. (Funny how radiologists and doctors go to school for years to learn to read those things.. But, I think a few hours of online research will equip me to diagnose myself…Am I the only one who does that?)

I’ve been wondering if I’m a hypochondriac. Between hurting my back, and the lame liver stuff I had last month and  this, I’m feeling like a wimpy-whiner.

I want my life back.

Once in a while, I pray.

I’m a little (maybe a lot) frustrated right now. To be honest, it’s a toss up who I’m angrier at- myself or God. Myself, because I have a bad feeling this is a nasty stress fracture and it’s my own fault for over doing the running thing… and God.. because, well.. because I believe he could heal me and isn’t.  It’s entirely possible he’s allowing this to teach me to listen to my body and not over-do.  It’s possible I’m hard headed.

Or- it’s possible there is no huge lesson in this.. and it’s simply something I just need to limp through.

One step at a time.

When I started writing “A Mile in Her Shoes” I hadn’t considered having to limp through some of those miles….But that’s for a chapter in the book, I suppose;)

Dear Lord– I don’t know what’s wrong with this stupid leg.  I do know that it’s hurting and making me crazy.  Please give the doctor wisdom  to treat it. I hate drugs Lord- you know that- so if he could put me in a splint that would relieve the pressure..and allow me to at least walk.. that would rock!  I’m worried about being able to function at MOPS Convention, and I’m worried that if I keep walking on it this bone will eventually snap right through. I’m impatient, Lord, and need to get ready for vacation this weekend. Please either heal me or help me wait… let me lean on you during this time of limping… I love you Lord– even if I’m frustrated with you right now- amen

* for the record-I am convinced I see a fracture in this MRI. and also for the record: I will be sickly thrilled if I HAVE diagnosed myself. I’m like that.

**** And now- just for fun. And because I have an essay in it… how bout we have a contest?  Who ever diagnoses my boo-boo, most accurately, including whatever the doc recommends for a treatment plan wins a copy of “Momology“.. we’ll call this a scientific application of the book….. ;P

options:

Group A (choose 1)

Stress Fracture

Pes Bursitis

Internal Derangement of the Knee

Tendonitis

Hypochondria

Some combination of the above.

Group B (choose 1)

cast

surgery

brace/splint

Physical therapy

suck it up you whiner- call a shrink.

leave your answer in the comments. I have my follow up Ortho appt Friday morning.  I’ll announce the winner then;)

Haiti Has Another Name : Fedna

Fedna, the child we sponsored for yrs with @compassion . Port... on Twitpic We met years ago, at an unlikely place  by either chance, or divine intervention. (That depends on your perspective.)

Fedna stood alone, before a plain industrial wall, in a blue uniform dress gingham check blouse and tennis shoes.  She wore matching blue butterfly barrettes, and had piercing, dark chocolate brown eyes, just the color of my oldest son’s.

I stood, in a beautiful convention center. I was dressed in my classic suburbanista style.  I wore uncomfortable (but cute)shoes, dress pants I couldn’t breathe in, and a blouse I had trouble keeping closed. (I HATE boob-gap-age, just sayin!) I stood a in a ballroom full of Mothers of Preschoolers.  We’d gathered to encourage and support each other and make a difference in the world.

Sound like two different worlds?  Wondering if this is an episode of Twilight Zone or a sci-fi movie  involving parallel universes? No.  It’s not, hang with me….this really is where we met.

MOPS International has partnered with Compassion International for years.  We offer moms an opportunity to sponsor a child, asimple and tangible way for her to help make the world a better place. I was passing out Compassion International Child Sponsorship Profiles to moms who were interested in sponsoring.  When I finished,  Fedna’s profile, was left in my hand.  I couldn’t just stick her in a pile to (hopefully) be sponsored at some later date. I took her home with me, on paper and in my heart.

Soon, I started receiving amazing letters written in her childish script and translated to english by a caring helper. She told me she was praying for my family, asked questions about what kinds of things we liked and told us how glad she was to be sponsored.

I could never reply.

I didn’t know what to say. What do you say to a child struggling to eat when you spend more on your hobbies or coffee in a month, than her family makes in a year?

I hate that I didn’t write. I wish I would have.  I wonder if my letters would have meant as much to her as hers did to me?   If nothing else, she would have known that someone cared.

We did. We still do. Click to read more Continue reading

She Did What She Could, Target Style.

I stood in the grocey aisle at Target, contemplating cereal options, when I heard THAT SOUND.  The tiny in volume (but so loud to a mom’s ears) *choke, cough, cough, gurgle.spew.” 

I turned to look. (it’s a mom thing, I can’t help it.) There, between milk and eggs, was a red cart loaded with diapers, juice and necessities.  In the front rode a tiny, pink cheeked diva, complete with leopard print coat. 

She was smiling.  Her mom was not.  Her mom’s ponytailed head darted from side to side- while her grimace and out-stretched, cupped hands said it all.  The baby had spit up and she’d caught it.  Literally.

Unfortunately- also like most moms, she then had no idea what to do with “it”.  I grabbed the paper towel roll out of my cart and ran over, ripping it open as I went. (I paid for it when I left:P)

Relief washed over her face.  I smiled.  “Been there, caught that.”  The baby smiled.  She cooed. Mommy cleaned herself up and we laughed that “we’re in this together” kind of laugh. I held my hands out to take the papertowels. (of course- again: I couldn’t help it!) She said she had it.  

“Are you ok?  You need anything else?” I asked.  

“No- Thanks.. All I could think was, that I had to get the cart all the way to the bathroom.. holding that!”  We laughed again. I told her she’ll make it.  I’ve caught my share too, and that it ends… my 19 year old rarely spits up anymore.

Then, we both finished our shopping.

Was it earth shattering?  Did I rescue her from impending doom?  Nope. But, I did what I could.

We can do no great things, only small things with great love.
Mother Teresa

Dear Lord- I pray that you’d bless that mom and her little cutie pie-.I pray that she’d know that the reason I was compelled to help- was partly beause of a mother’s instinct- but also- because YOU’VE helped me so much, that I long to help others.  I love you Lord- amen.

Plug your nose and jump- I finally have.

In July- when I originally posted the article below, I had no idea that was God preparing me for what Erwin McManus would be sharing at MOPS Convention. Saturday morning… He spoke from his new book “Wide Awake” The story he shared was so parallel to my own experience that I have to respond. I was shaking when I left that session, tears flooded my face (Mental note- always wear waterproof mascara- to general session I forgot mine- I was a mess) — I can no longer pretend to ignore the dream that haunts, delights and compels me. I can’t keep running up to the edge and stopping just short of jumping to my dream. I have to trust that God will catch me. I have to try. I pray that as I share this re-post- that it will resonate with you the way Erwin’s story resonated with me…. Thank You MOPS International and Mr McManus- for giving me the kick in the butt- that I desperately needed to finally jump.

After reading here- I hope you’ll pop over to the MOPS International Convention Blog to read how Lynne Spears (yes- Lynne- the mother of Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears she spoke during one of our general sessions ) visit to MOPS Convention has impacted me and other moms- It was incredible.

When standing on the edge of… oh, ….ANYTHING. I get that stomach flip flopping, hands sweating, heart thumping- kind of feeling. Not the “Ohhhhh, I’m in love” feeling- it was the other one- FEAR. It could be a bridge, a cliff, or the top of a steep set of stairs. Not quite panic— but fear. The fear is manageable… but I don’t like it. It makes me feel  just a little too human and frail.

Recently I stood on the very edge of my fear. I was on vacation. We were camping and went to the biggest falls in Mighigan. It was a crystal clear Norman Rockwell type waterfall/swimming hole, complete with waterbugs of all ages, jumping into the rapids, heads bobbing up through the foaming water with grins from ear to ear. I carefully walked out to the edge of the falls- to take a pic.  I had not intention of jumping.  But as I watched… my heart yearned to get past the fear. I was missing out on half the experience. I sawthe beauty of the rushing water-but I couldn’t FEEL it.

Was I afraid of the waterfall?

No. Not a bit- In fact, I was so enraptured by it- that I totally forgot how short my legs are when I bent down to snap a pic— let’s just say I ended up a “soggy bottom mom”. It wasn’t the waterfall that had me afraid- it was the JUMPING , that worried me.  What if I got hurt? What if I looked like the pudgey mom of three I know I am- and people watched me? What if I never came back up from the river bottom?

I watched as child after child jumped and swam… I watched as adult after adult proved the safety of the jump, by bobbing back to the surface. I watched as my own friends and family rose out of the rapids- aglow with joy.  A tiny bit of courage started to well up in my soul. I wanted to do it.  I wanted to jump.

I took my camera to the rivers edge and asked my college boy to hold it- and told him NOT to miss getting my pic.  I warned him it could be the last.  He knows his mother- he was shocked I was going out there. I carefully edged out toward the middle. I looked down into the swirling water….I walked back to shore. I handed my camera/security blanket to my oldest, and told him I was going to jump. His jaw fell open and nearly hit the shore. I told him to make sure and get the shot- there would only (probably) be one take.

I made my way to the centerpoint, my feet slipping on algae covered rocks. I stepped aside as 2 9-10 year old girls jumped into the deep. (Ok so maybe it was 4 1/2 feet) I plugged my nose… I unplugged it. I stepped back- I stepped forward.  I finally went to the edge–my heart racing… then I stepped down just one rock lower (No need to make it scarier than it already was!) ….I plugged my nose. I made eye contact one last time with family and friends (just in case) .. and then? I jumped.

The water seemed to jump up to catch me. It was not at all like the tearing, torrent that I’d imagined. It was cool, refreshing. Embracing. I sank to the bottom, and my feet found a foot hold on the riverbed.  My legs, automatically sprang me back to the top. . My head broke the surface-I screamed-” I did it!”  I was grinning like a mascara streaked, madwoman. And I did not care what anyone thought. I DID IT! I JUMPED!

I climbed back up the rocks, and then? I did it again, and again.  What had been so fear filled- had become joyfilled. On the way back to camp-  I started to wonder. How many times have I stood on the edge of fun- and  joy filled experience, paralyzed by a fear? There have been hundreds.

I’ve missed a lot more than waterfall jumping adventures.  I’ve felt the same adrenaline rush as I stood at the top of faith leaps- watching others leap- while I stayed on the rivers edge- in fear.

I’ve been afraid to try, for risk of failure. I’ve been afraid to trust at risk of trust broken. I’ve been afraid to jump- at risk of falling… but all I’ve lost- was the joy of being caught- by much stronger arms than the arms of a river.

The waterfalls in faith leaps aren’t always as tame as the Ocqueoc Falls, that I jumped into on vacation. (and honestly- they are TINY— but it’s the biggest we have here in Michigan:P) . They can be truly dangerous. For some reason- God allows them to be. There is risk in trusting God. There are few guarantees.

But- today, as I look back at my vacation pictures… I wonder- how many guarantees do we really need- beyond this one:

Matthew 17:20 (New International Version)
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Are you standing at the edge of a waterfall of faith? Is fear keeping you there? Are you watching as others leap into the deep and are lifted up as God catches them, jump after jump? Stop standing there.  Stop going tot he edge and chickening out. Plug your nose if you have to… but do it-  JUMP!

The risk is worth the taking:)

PS- yes- the terribly unflattering jumper in the pic? that’s really me…on my second jump-caught by my college boy :)

The Sound of Grace. MOPS International Convention 2008

The coffee had not kicked in.  My eyes were drooping and  my stomach growled.  But, when the music started, those things didn’t matter. Together- nearly 5,000 Moms started singing.  An incredible sound.  We sang imperfectly.. in pitch and in something entirely DIFFERENT from pitch. (that would be ME) Some knew the words- others needed the screens to help us sing.  Some had hands raised, some swayed, some danced, some quietly standing- but each but each one entering into a place of worship.  Together.   All colors all backgrounds, all different experiences that led us here-  We focused on God… not the kids.. not our chaotic lives or the pain we live with.  Our voices lifted up and pulled our eyes to a new perspective,  a focus on God.

Just when I thought my heart was full…the band started playing the quiet and comforting song:  Amazing Grace.  That’s when something happened. It was no longer, just “singing”.  I listened.  I heard the voices and hearts of nearly 5,000 imperfect and messy and complicated mom’s that were being filled with the grace that God was pouring out.  It was no longer SINGING about grace- it was HEARING grace, in action.

A simple definition of Grace- is when we receive the opposite of what we deserve- I for sure- do not deserve a special experience with God- but he gave me one.  And I believe he offered one to each mom in that room. And offers one to each of us no matter where we are. he longs to have us experience his grace.

What a way to start my day.  Here are a few of the faces of MOPS- in worship:

093

081

I hope you’ll check out the flickr group pics... so you can see what convention is like… from the inside out…and maybe- next year- you’ll join us for MOPS International Convention.. and share in the experience that God is already planning.

Make sure and check the MOPS Convention Blog- to read Mom’s stories of their experiences at this years Convention- Live blogging- from Dallas Texas! Also make sure and check out the flickr group- you can see all the crazy and wonderful things happening in Dallas RIGHT now! Make sure and click the videos too- for a taste of the event!

Mothering.. the adventure that follows where ever you go…

My hands trembled just a bit as I buttoned the pink silk blouse.  I felt like a busty- rebel.  For a nursing mom- DRY-CLEAN ONLY was not just risky– it was downright DANGEROUS.  (Just how dangerous I was about to find out. The Hard way.) This day was special. I was going to a MOPS event, just over the state line. (A regional event in Toledo- Ohio) I was looking forward to entire day devoted to building up MOM’S. That’s ME!  It was within driving distance and more importantly, within the range of security for a nursing mom.  (Just over an hour from home.)  A Mom’s day out- a Mom’s day of refreshment..  The first since my second child had been born.. I needed it– BAD. I’d been planning and pumping extra milk for days.  But, now?  I was nearly ready.

I stepped back to take a look at the over-all effect.  “Not too bad”  I said to myself.  Black dress pants.. pumps… pink silk blouse, full make-up AND hair  both washed and styled on the same day (*gasp* amazing…I know!). I grinned at myself in the mirror.  I double checked that breast-pads were in place and well secured and hidden in my NON-NURSING BRA.  (… a bra without flaps– this was truly a big day out..) I made sure I had an extra set in my purse.

I checked my watch, “Just enough time, for one more nursing before I leave.”  I grinned at my preparedness.  For a nursing mom- “empty before leaving the house” is just as important as for a mom getting a potty-training toddler into the car for a long ride..

I tiptoed into the baby’s room sat down in “our” chair and we both enjoyed one more for the road….quiet early morning nursings were some of my favorite times.   When we were done- I took him in to a sleepy daddy, I kissed them both.. then went to the kitchen to go over my list one more time.

1) Pumped Milk in freezer- check.

2) Formula and bottles on the counter in case of emergency- check.

3) Diapers- clothes and necessary baby supplies phone numbers and instructions – out and visible so daddy could find them even if he were truly..blind.. check.

4) Cell phone charged and ready.. check.  (this was an old school cell phone- about the size and weight of my current laptop.. It’s been a while)

I was as ready as possible.

Time to go.  I felt a twinge of sadness as I pulled out of the driveway. I headed over to meet my girlfriends – and we drove on together.  Guilt and giddiness fought for control of my postpartum emotions as we crossed the state line. Giddiness won. I was out for petes sake!

We arrived on time.. (something rare for a groups of nursing moms) We took our seats- and enjoyed the entire day.  There were laughs… there were happy tears as I heard things that reminded me how much I love being a mom… and a few happy tears of relief as learned I wasn’t “the only one”.

The day offered up everything I’d hoped for, and needed.  Fun- encouragement-something to challenege me and make me think,  girlfriend time and mommy time.  I missed my guys- but was relieved that everything went so well.  My check-in calls (oh, probably enough of them billed one minute at a time..to fund the current economic crisis relief plan…) revealed that the frozen milk supply was holding out.. and the diapers were too. Added bonus- I didn’t hear crying in the background. (much).  SCORE.

When my girlfriend asked if I wanted to stop on the way home to eat… I should have known I was pressing my luck.  But- I was having sooo much fun….. and I had everything “covered” with my preparedness…and things were well at home…so I figured, “why not?”

There was one thing I hadn’t counted on.. A newborn baby crying at the restaurant.. and the power of milk-let-down on a pink silk blouse.  The baby’s cry sounded like “Danger, Danger Will Robinson!” But, it was too late. My milk let down like a bad levy.

HELLO.  DRY CLEAN ONLY?  More like GARBAGE ONLY.  There were not enough extra breast pads in North America to soak up that mess. When that tiny baby started to cry– my Mom-ness kicked into overdrive. In record time- I drenched the entire front of my blouse, which- promptly turned see through.  I was now busty- (a bonus to nursing)  and see through-    OOPSY.  Not the look I was going for.

I ran into the bathroom- “”GREAT.. no papertowel”  Save the trees, but soak the moms” I thought to myself..I  aimed the hand dryer down my blouse in an attempt to dry up the mess.. it didn’t exactly work.  I made powdered milk.  Yuk.I hadn’t planned for this.  I didn’t know what to do… My tears flowed just a little slower than the milk.

The moms I was with, found a sweater for me in someone’s bag.. and together- they brought it into the bathroom for me. (Friends, don’t let friends, drive soaked.) I slipped it on.  It wasn’t my sassy pink dry-clean only– but it was DRY.  That’s when the silly began.  The other moms had all been there- or somewhere like it in the land of Mom…They rolled out breast feeding horror stories that made us all laugh until breasts weren’t the only thing at risk of leaking….the bathroom turned into an impromptu MOPS Meeting...

It didn’t take long before I felt better.  Soggy- but better.

We drove home still laughing.. and talking and giggling… I wondered if my hubby would notice that I had changed my top.. (He didn’t,of course.) I arrived home to a hungry baby.. and plenty of milk to feed him. (apparently it doesn’t take THAT MUCH milk to soak the front of a silk blouse..)

At the end of the day– I wondered if it was worth the work..

preplanning- and milk pumping- 10 + hours

writing out instructions and worrying in advance- countless hours..

cost of a trashed clearanced pink silk blouse- $24.  (I just couldn’t figure out how to explain a breast milk stain the size of Texas)

A day of encouragement, refreshment and connection with other moms?
Priceless.

If you can make it to a MOPS event in your area– I can’t recommend it enough…it’s worth the time the expense and the preparation.. a hundred times over… – I also recommend wearing wash n wear.. and maybe a raincoat for a blouse if you’re nursing:)…. you won’t be the only one.. that’s for sure:)

PS- if YOU ARE at a MOPS event- or anywhere else for that matter- and see a busty woman in a soaked see-through top—don’t hate on her… offer your sweater or jacket to her– really- she’s probably not holding her own wet-t-shirt contest… she’s just a nursing mom at the end of a mom’s day out….:)