Friday, December 30, 2011

Tattooed Mommas Rock.

About six months ago, I was longing for friendship with other tattooed, hippie mommas and decided to take matters into my own hands by starting a group on Who would have guessed that these women would become incredible lights in my own life when it seemed so dark?

This week there were two play dates hosted by other moms, and both were attended by only myself and two other girls, making for excellent conversation over coffee while the kids played. This morning sitting down with Brittany and Rachel, it was like I had known them forever. We are all so comfortable with each other and our kids have started to ask to play together. Their friendship warms my heart.

So to all my Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas, much love and appreciation. You have made my life so much better and my heart so much more full.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bad joke

I wonder if anyone would report me if I started referring to my children as The Asshole and The Cryer. Ha!

Seriously, my kid is running around the house screaming instead of eating dinner. Later, he will complain his belly hurts, he's hungry, and this will last until 10:30. Ahh, the 3s. Terrible twos, fucking fours.. what's the term for threes? Aggressive, mouthy, independent and loud? Ha again.

Star Girl must have another tooth coming in because she's turned into The Cryer. It's hard to believe she'll be one in just a few short days. Poor girl's getting gipped on her birthday being so close to Christmas. I'm sure she'll hate us later in life.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bad Mom Syndrome II

It can't be normal to go through your daily life with the constant thought of hating yourself, can it? Tell me no other mothers wake up and dread the day with their beautiful, funny, smart children in the prime years of their life, because there can't be many more worse feelings than that.

Laundry, dishes and daily chores are starting to haunt me as they pile up.. the higher the stack, the more daunting the job, therefore more difficult to know where to start in the first place. And how is one person supposed to get this done in a miniscule 8 hours between "I'm hungry," "Help me go pee," pee accidents, changing diapers, and making sure the one who can't communicate as well is happy and not crying? How does one person maintain their sanity? How do other mothers do it?! Because I feel like I am drowning.

It doesn't help matters that walking around harboring pain, combined with self-loathing and self-doubt, has me in my head constantly. Every time I look at my children's faces I wonder if they deserve better, if they would be happier with a different mother. I want to raise my babies with positivity and love, but when unable to feel those things, the overwhelming feelings turn to frustration and suddenly I'm out of control, shouting for silence and "stop whining" and "what do you need now," which makes the cycle begin all over.

Since I'm unable and unwilling to give my children another mother, I have to change the one they have, and that means some soul-searching on my part. Possibly giving up control to antidepressants and admitting that I need them, that I'm a better mother when I'm on them because they provide a mood stabilizer and that's what they need. Especially when my son has started asking me if I'm sad, if I'm happy, if I'm mad... He should only need to know I'm love and support and I'm unwavering for him and his sister.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cloth Diapering for Dummies

When my son was born in October 2008, I joined an online forum for other expectant October 2008 moms. Among our discussions, cloth diapering has been my expertise because we chose to cloth diaper The Boy. Since then, many of us have gone on to have their second (or third) babies, and are asking for my advice on the subject.

So, here it is. Cloth Diapering for Dummies... or beginners ;)
  1. Cloth diapering requires washing your diapers. A lot. If your washer and dryer is too new or too nice or not good enough, you won't be able to do this.
  2. Invest in a diaper sprayer that attaches to your toilet unless you want to spray out breastmilk dipes in the sink disposal. It's an unfortunate discovery when the next load of clothes is stained with yellow.
  3. Try different kinds of dipes. We started with bum genius AIOs (all in ones) and g diapers, some swaddlebees (fitteds) and found that prefolds from with Bummis or Thirsties covers fit the best and are the most inexpensive.
  4.  Learn the lingo. Basics are AIOs, AI2s (all in twos), prefolds, covers, fitteds... after you know what is being talked about, it's easier to understand.
  5. Snaps last longer than aplix (velcro) because aplix sticks together in the washer. I don't care what people or manufacturers say, snaps all the way!
  6. Get a wet bag for your diaper bag so you have something earth-friendly to put wet dipes in if you're out of the house
  7. Some dipes leak more than others. cloth on a whole requires more changes than disposables.
  8. Don't let the fancy high price diapers fool you; in our case we found cheapest and simplest was best.
  9. There are throw-away liners that go inside cloth covers, basically a pantyliner-looking thing.A few moms I know use these but it doesn't make much sense to me. Either go big or go home! ;)
We cloth diaper to save money and the environment. When both babes were in diapers, I washed at least 3-4 times a week. Prefolds that have been peed in go into a DRY bucket in the laundry room and covers that don't have poo on them can be reused. I just lay them out to dry. (I suggest at least 4-6 covers and 12-24 prefolds to start with.) Poo, if solid, is dumped into the toilet. Anything not solid gets rinsed out first, then thrown into the diaper bucket to wait until next wash.

Some of my favorite sites: - i order all my stuff from here; they have starter packages and the basic FAQs - have heard good things but never bought from this site - the craigslist of dipes; perfect to get a few different types to try


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Moms With Tattoos

As a tattooed momma to two young babes, I often get stares and questions when we're in public. And since I'm a former journalist who digs research, I found this wonderful site, HelloGiggles, and started reading.

And now that I’m a Mom, I’ve gotten so many more questions from my friends, family and even complete strangers about my tattoos. What will you do if Henry wants to get one at a young age? Do other Moms judge you? What happens if your son is embarrassed of them?
It’s funny because these are all things I’ve thought about myself. My husband and I have laughed about the fact that Henry will either think we’re super cool or super lame. And that’s okay.  I couldn’t imagine having a Mom that had her arms, chest, legs, etc. tattooed but this is all Henry will know. And because he’s surrounded by our tattooed friends and family most of the time, seeing beautiful colors and pictures on peoples’ skin is completely normal and probably more commonplace to him than seeing skin without it.
And because of this, I do wonder how it will affect our son. I hope if my tattoos do affect him at all, they teach him to be accepting of different kinds of people and to never base his opinion on someone’s looks alone.  I wish more kids had that lesson growing up – we’d have a lot less adults who are quick to judge solely based on appearance and stereotypes.

Read the rest of this here.

"Hey ma'am, I'll watch your daughter.."

The family and I took a trip to the grocery store on a rainy Sunday afternoon to pick up baking supplies. It was the perfect day to bake. As we exited the store with our bags and both kids in hand, The Mister offered to take The Boy to the car and pick us up under the awning so we wouldn't have to get wet. Star Girl and I were playing peekaboo with her blanket when I heard a woman's voice say, "Ma'am, I can watch your baby while you go get your car." Um...... no thanks? In this day and age, what crazy person would leave their 11-month-old daughter with a stranger?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Replacement Therapy

Today I read a blog about replacing negative thoughts and reactions with positive ones to create new habits. This is something I'm excited to try with my son.

Since his tongue-tie surgery, his speech has not improved at all. If anything, it's gotten worse because he's developed a floppy tongue, so his enunciation is so unclear most times that I'm unable to understand him. This causes a chain reaction, where I frustratingly say, "I don't understand you. Please speak more clearly," when I know he can't. Instead of saying negative things that cause him to shut down, I'm going to try new tactics. (I need to research some lessons to do at home.)

I've put in three calls to see how to get speech therapy started, because as soon as he's able to use his new tongue, he'll have an easier time communicating, which will make our daily lives so much easier.
I am not expecting miracles; from what I've read, his speech may never improve. But since he's only 3, I think odds are in his favor, with some articulation lessons, that he'll catch up. In the meantime I'm having a difficult time wrapping my brain around knowing how hard it must be for him. My poor baby boy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Scary Monsters at Bedtime

My son, who was a great sleeper up until about a year ago, has suddenly started talking about being scared of "monsters" and doesn't want to go to bed. So I did what every mom does when she's stuck: I Googled. Here's what I found.

Q. My 3-year-old is terrified of the "monsters" under his bed  -- it's gotten to the point where he wakes up screaming a couple nights a week. It's exhausting for everyone in the house, and I feel terrible for my child. What can I do to help him get over this fear? Does he need to see a child psychologist?

The short answer, moms, is: Your kid is alright. My Moon Boy is at the age where his imagination has started to develop and everything can be scary... cartoons, shadows on the wall, loud noises, too much excitement.  In public restrooms, he is afraid of automatic flushing toilets and often runs screaming. (Even though it's an extremely funny sight, I never let him see me smiling.) Even with an obsessive amount of night lights, he still claims to be scared at night, so I'm trying new tactics tonight.

Some points in the article stood out to me:
  • Don't dismiss his fears by saying "You're not scared" or "There's nothing to be scared of." Don't tell him "Big boys don't get scared." Instead, explain monsters are only on TV and aren't real.
  • Encourage him to draw or describe the 'monster' and try to find the trigger.
  • Don't chase the monster away by looking under the bed. It will only draw out his fear.
  • You shouldn't blame yourself for your child's fear  -- it's not your fault. Nor do his bad dreams reflect an underlying emotional or psychological problem.

You can read the article here:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Barbie Got Tattooed.

Barbie's been stirring it up again, but this time the controversy has nothing to do with her blonde ambition or bizarre body proportions.
Nope, this Barbie conjures more P!nk (the singer) than Paris (Hilton), with pink hair, leopard leggings, plenty of tattoos and a dog named "Bastardo".  Created in collaboration with the Japanese-inspired Italian designer tokidoki, it's similar to Barbies designed by Kate Spade and Bob Mackie as part of Mattel's collectors edition.
On its website, Mattel says the doll is "for the adult collector" and that it's sold out. But tokidoki Barbie's inked up skin still has people talking.
Some, like this commentor on a Christian Science Monitor story, are questioning whether the doll's tatts are appropriate for young kids.
Barbies are for children not adults [and] they should not be dressed like they are teenagers or adults.  Tattoos are tacky and should not be exposed to kids.
 Over on a Huffington Post story, a comment from Loretta Schrader says:
  Grrrrreeeeeeeat now kids in grade school and younger will be bugging their parents for tattoos and their parents will oblige .
Still, numerous others think the new Barbie is simply a sign of the times, and tattoo-sporting Moms are applauding that it's about time there's a Barbie that looks like them.
Nicolepierre, a poster on's The Stir, writes:
As a tattooed mom who got pierced and dyed her hair blue to celebrate the birth of my twins (albeit 14 years ago) I so totally want this doll!"
 And as poster, Cait, commented on
This Barbie is great, it shows not to judge and that regardless of what someone chooses to do with their skin, they are beautiful!! I am so tired of people without tattoos thinking they are better then someone who does have them. Get over yourself! All of my tattoos have a very deep and personal meaning and I will never regret them.
Adds commentor Sabrinambowen on
Sorry, but seeing how there are LOTS of children out there whose parents have tattoos, I'm not sure why Barbie (who is supposed to be an adult) having them is an issue... As a tattoed parent, I think it's awesome!
Parents, what's your take on tokidoki Barbie? And if you're a mom or dad with tattoos, how do you talk to your kids about tattoos in general?

Kavita Varma-White is a writer, editor and mom of two tweens. In between cheering at numerous soccer and baseball games, she's a contributing editor for TODAY Moms and

"Not a good fit."

Not surprisingly, after four short days at the exciting new job, I was deemed "not a good fit for us." It goes along quite well with my motto in life, haha. Always have liked to do my own thing. ;)

Tweet tweet

You can now view my twitter at!/TatpirateMomma

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Crazy How The World Goes Round

Last night was an emotional roller coaster, which makes sense following the week we had. At 8 p.m., my tattooed momma Skye texted that she was at the tattoo shop and needed to get inked RIGHT NOW. Just the day before, she lost her lifelong friend Hill to a fast-moving cancerous brain tumor that ravaged her body within a month of diagnosis. I cried when she sent the message that Hill had passed away in ICU surrounded by her friends cheering her on to the sounds of dubstep. Hill was only 19. So I spent a couple hours sitting by Skye's side listening to stories while a beautiful traditional rose was etched into her skin with the date of Hill's death: 10-26-11. At the same time, my husband was calling my phone, which was tucked in my jacket pocket on the floor, trying desperately to get in touch with me. His lifelong friend Brian had posted his goodbyes online, having hit rock bottom after losing his job, his girlfriend, and contact with his only son. So I rushed home so K could rescue his friend from ending his life. At 1 a.m. with no word, I finally fell asleep.

This morning, Brian was alive and awake, playing with my babies when I woke. And the thank you message from Skye let me know that part of her was able to heal with that rose on her arm, and I was able to be there to witness it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Best of Both Worlds

This morning I had a job interview. Going in, there were no expectations because it was my first interview in almost two years. I'd done my research, though, and it was apparent from the company's website that they were something I wanted to be a part of... and thankfully, they liked me, too! "We like weird people," Jill said. "I don't know if that's good or not." Well, Jill, that's good. :)

In going back to work, I already know the days spent here with my babies are going to be better than before. Having just three days a week, 8 hours a day, for a break from the monotony of laundry, diapers and time-outs will be an amazing opportunity for me to have the best of both worlds. My children will get the love they should receive, and my self-esteem will benefit from putting my mind into work I can be proud of. I'm nervous, but it's time... It's exciting.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Irreparable damage

My son is sleeping on the couch in my bedroom and I can hear him making a scared, whining sound like he is having a bad dream. He wakes almost nightly thee days with bad dreams about monsters or his monkey lovies attacking him. Thing is, I can't help but think that the reason for this is me.

As a mother, my behavior should be a model of what I hope he will grow up to be, but I think over the past six months some of my actions have caused irreparable psychological damage to my baby, my son, my firstborn. I hate myself just thinking about it so I take prescribed pills to numb my feelings to avoid the anger and out-of-control feelings. My beautiful, funny, silly amazing son is afraid of his mother. He's afraid of me. It is humiliating to think about.. even to type.

I could try to pinpoint the problem, say my anger started when Star Girl was about 3 months old and wouldn't stop crying no matter what I did. As she wailed uncontrollably, unconsolable, I shouted at him to be quiet because my brain couldn't handle all that noise. I slapped his hand and smacked his butt way more than I would ever like to remember. The look on my face must have been the most frightening thing for him to see... his mother, the one who's supposed to love and comfort him always, was screaming at him to shut up like she hated him. And at 3, he should never know that feeling. He doesn't know what hate is. Just that mommy's face looked mean. I could say it's because he's tongue-tied, which creates tremendous frustration in our daily communication, and we spend every waking moment together because I stay at home. He throws himself to the floor or throws toys when he isn't understood, and he learned that from me. He is learning my anger. But the "when" doesn't really matter.

There are times I think they would be better off without me there, that I hate myself so much I'd rather hurt myself than to ever hurt them. It am ashamed of how mean I am and how badly i treat them when I get angry. What if I were to hurt him so badly in a stupid blind rage that he is permanently injured? How could I live with myself? Thankfully whatever runs my depression has never pushed me that far. My husband does not know these feelings; he is not here to live them with us day to day when he is at work, and the last thing he needs to worry about is that his wife, the mother of his children, is going to hurt them or herself.

My son is my moon, and I am teaching him the wrong thing. I need to be better, be stronger, be more kind, more loving. I have learned to walk away if i feel angry, I am learning to breathe more. I am trying every day, every single moment, not to raise my voice, not to get angry, to be patient, to hold him more, to kiss his sweet face. I don't know how to reverse the damage that my behavior has caused on him the past eight months, but I am going to use love to try.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bad Mom Syndrome

There are some days I wonder of I am cut out to be a mom. Although I know in my heart that my two babies ARE my heart, there are too many moments in our daily life that make me question myself... And it turns into Bad Mom Syndrome, where my kids hate me and I hate myself for my behavior as a mother.

I keep telling myself it's the age, this is a phase, this too shall pass. And I know it will, but right now, almost-10-month-old Miss Attitude is attached to my side like a leech, sucking out my energy, and all of my stress ends up being taken out on my poor 3-year-old son, who doesn't deserve it. I yell more than I like, more than I ever thought I would.

I struggle with depression, stemming back to early high school, and my mind contradicts itself about the medication. When I am on my antidepressants, I'm numb and unable to feel the lows and highs of the emotions of special moments that occur daily. When I'm only on my anti-anxiety medication, the peaks and valleys are dangerous to my children.

I am ashamed of some of the ugly statements made to my son when he's being a normal rambunctious boy. I'm embarrassed by the way I have handled situations where something small sets me into a rage, where he is my target.

Every day, I hate myself for feeling out of control. To have your firstborn, who is supposed to be able to trust his mommy to calm him, cower at the sound of your voice when I move toward him brings me to tears. At times, it makes me believe suicide would be a better thing for them so that I don't cause major irreversible damage to them. However, I know that isn't the answer.

I'm still trying to figure that one out.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


It must be nap time in our house, because it's quiet. After three years, sometimes I forget how precious the sound of silence is.