About our blogger: rawisner

My name is Rachel, but more importantly I am mom to Sarah, James & Daniel and step-mom to William & Clayton. Lots of times they make me want to bang my head on my desk or run away from home, but most of the time they keep me smiling and certainly make my life interesting. Neely is my other half, my soul mate, the love of my life. He's a musician, audio engineer and all around good guy. He smokes, so he's not perfect, but I'm working on him. On my blog I post things about our blended family, lots and lots of pictures and a recipe from time to time. I hope you enjoy getting to know us!

Visit Rachel @ http://www.rachellikestoramble.com

Posts by rawisner:

March 4th, 2013

Yes, another post about breastfeeding

I know, I know.  It seems to be all I post about lately, but this is important y’all.  It’s important to me and it could help someone else who is struggling.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I weaned Daniel at 8 months.  I was going through a phase, which I now call my “touched out” phase.  I was so done with being touched.  I was angry, overwhelmed, resentful and just plain tired of constantly being needed, kneaded, bitten, having my hair pulled, my face pinched, you name it.  What I didn’t know then that my feelings were valid and that most importantly, that they would pass and I would enjoy my nursling again.  I’ve seen this same thing over and over again from other moms who have chosen to wean their babies earlier than their goal or earlier than one year and I want to tell them — no shout it out loud — “stick with it”  “just give it a day or two more”  “it’s a phase and it will pass”. I want to tell them that I’ve been there and I then lived with the regret, remorse, shame and self-anger for having weaned before my son was ready, before even I was ready.  Let’s talk about it.  Don’t sit alone and think your only option is to wean.  It will pass.  It will get easier again and you will be thankful that you’ve persevered and so will your babe.

I’ve done some reading and it seems to me that this phase usually happens a few times, around 6-8 months (when some moms typically see the return of their normal cycle, and the 6 month growth spurt), and around 14-16 months.  We’re at 18 months now with Keelan and I’ve had to kick my own butt twice now to keep on keeping on.  I don’t tell you that to make myself out to be a hero or a martyr or anything like that.  I tell you because I want you to know that I know.  That I have been there and I’m here to support you.


February 21st, 2013

Breastfeeding is not easier than formula feeding.

I hear it all the time.  One of the benefits of breastfeeding is that it’s easier than formula.  Definitely some aspects of breastfeeding are easier, but as a whole, the process is not easier.  Sure you don’t have to wash bottles, or cart around powder and water while you’re out and about with your little one.  Sure, you just whip out a boob in the middle of the night as opposed to getting up to mix up or heat up a bottle.  Breast milk is always the right temp and readily available.  And certainly the benefits your child gets from breastfeeding are reward enough, but if one more person tells me how easy their breastfeeding journey was, I think I’m going to scream.

I’ve been a formula feeding mom.  Sarah and James both thrived on formula and though I do regret not having the knowledge that I do now, then, I don’t kick myself over it.  I mean, come on.  It was 1988 and 1991.  There was no internet to get the support I now have.

My breastfeeding journey with Daniel and Keelan were anything but easy and problem free.  My first problems started minutes after Daniel was born and I didn’t know how to get him latch.  Add to that that he was born on a Saturday and there was no lactation consultant on duty (staffed Monday to Friday) and by the time one finally visited my room on Monday shortly before I was being discharged, I had already caved and given him formula.  When my milk came in I did purchase a pump and he was bottled fed breast milk.  I kept offering him the breast and at 3 or 4 weeks I was finally able to get him to latch and we were able to ditch the formula.  However, when he was 8 months old I was going through a touched out phase.  I didn’t know it was a phase at the time and that it would pass if I persevered, so I weaned him and he continued on formula till one.  Daniel has eczema and a peanut allergy and I have to wonder if I didn’t contribute to that with the formula he consumed.  Again, although I regret my decision, I don’t kick myself over it.

When you know better, you do better.  I knew better with Keelan and I was determined to Read the rest of this entry »

January 24th, 2013

Asiago & cheddar mac and cheese

1.5 lbs of elbow macaroni (or any pasta of your choosing)
1 cup of asiago cheese, shredded
1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons of cream cheese
½ stick of butter
3 tablespoons of flour
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste
3 cups of milk

Prepare pasta as directed Read the rest of this entry »

September 15th, 2012

I was thinking

I know. Scary thought, right?

Seriously though. I was thinking about my morning with Clayton. It sort of went like this:

Me: Y’all need to figure out who’s cup got left on the table that the cat knocked over and clean up the water on the floor.

*ten minutes later*

Me: Seriously, guys. This needs to be cleaned up.

Clayton: Well I never get big red cups of water. Plus, I remember putting mine in the sink last night.

Me: Clayton, you either never had a red cup or put yours in the sink.  Actually, I don’t care. Clean it up, please because I remember seeing Will put his in the sink last night.

Clayton: Wait, but …

Me: Please just clean it up. I don’t wasn’t to argue about it. Read the rest of this entry »


September 10th, 2012

What I learned at Back to School Night

Every year the elementary school that Daniel attends has a Back to School event.  It’s supposed to be a night where you can enjoy dinner (hot dogs, baked beans, chips and sweet tea) with your family, learn about the new things happening in the school this year and then finally, meet your child’s teacher and about what they expect from your student (you) during the school year.

I did learn some of that stuff, but mostly I learned the following:

My kid will spill his sweet tea.  Only my kid.

The baked beans aren’t really baked at all.  They open a can of beans and heat them up.  Blech.

Parents talk while the principal is talking.  Seriously, folks.  Try to set an example for your kids.  No one talks when the teacher or principal is talking.  You just don’t.  That’s like Kindergarten 101.

Educators like PowerPoint. A lot.

Educators also like to talk really quietly and because all those parents are talking, you can’t hear a bloody thing.

And finally, the most important thing I learned is that I do not like children.  Someone tell me again why I have so many?

Oh, cause they’re cute.

June 5th, 2012

Oh Time Magazine

Have you seen the Time Magazine cover for this week?

It surely has sparked a lot of controversy on the interwebs.  But this is OK: Read the rest of this entry »

January 25th, 2012

Keepin’ it real

It’s about to get really real, up in here.

Growing up, I encountered many families with varying backgrounds and sizes, but I can only think of one or two that were blended or where the parents were divorced. So my experience with this blended family thing has mostly been trial and error. Lots of error. I’m not going to beat myself up for the mistakes that I’ve made, that we’ve made, but I know that I want to learn from them and, Lord hep me, not repeat them. But it is so hard. So very very hard.

Raising my bigs, Sarah & James, I felt like I always had extra kids in the house. They had half-siblings on their dad’s side, who I adore, so sharing my time and love with someone else’s child was not new to me. But raising someone’s child? A whole new world. Part of the problem is that it’s near impossible to communicate with W&C’s mom and co-parent with her, so we end up making headway, and then they spend time with their mom and it’s all undone. I don’t blame W&C (well, sometimes I do, that’s the error part I was talking about), because I know that they are just kids who want to be loved, need to be loved, unconditionally. Try as I might, unconditional love just doesn’t come as easily as it does with your birth children. Like I said, I’m just keepin’ it real. I love W&C, yes, but I know – and I’m sure they know – it’s not the same way that I love my own children. I know that they don’t love me the same way they love their mom. I don’t believe they should, anyway. If it were just W&C here, I think it would be easier, but we have Daniel and Keelan, so I know they can see the difference. It’s not intentional, it just is. I don’t know how to change my heart, though. I want reach them in a way that is special, but I get met with resistance, which I can only assume is them feeling not loyal to their mom. I also feel like they can probably sense that I’m working at it – it should be natural. But it’s not.

We are about to be back in court with their mom. She has filed a petition to regain custody. Neely and I are optimistic that we will prevail, as is our attorney, but it’s an annoyance. A fight that we did not need or want. W&C know about it (from her, not us), and I know that it causes them stress. They don’t know if they are coming or going. Their mom has told them that it’s practically a done deal and just as soon as we go to court, they will be back with her. We have not discussed it with them at all, because we don’t want to add to their burden. We don’t want them to feel like they need to choose between their dad and their mom. We don’t want them to worry. Things here are status quo.

We’re fighting for them, because we know this is the best place for them. They need stability and consistency. And love. Only I’m not so sure that I demonstrate the latter to the best of my ability. I’m ashamed to say it, but it’s truth. It’s real.


January 4th, 2012

Dear Target:

Breastfeeding is not obscene. See?

Recently, in a Houston, Texas area Target, a breastfeeding mom was harassed and humiliated for breastfeeding, discretely, in the store. Yesterday, a nationwide Nurse-in was staged in more than 250 Target stores in 35 states across the country, and even in Canada. Here I am with one other mom, nursing our babes in our local Target.

Also? Have you seen NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne’s Twitter debacle after he encountered a nursing mom in a grocery store?

Kasey later apologized on his Facebook page, stating in part:
“My comments were not directed at the mother’s right to breastfeed. They were just a reaction to the location of that choice, and the fashion in which it was executed on that occasion.”

But clearly, based on the above, he still has no idea.

July 5th, 2011

My quiet house.

I usually love living in chaos.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like problems, but when there are lots of people around and constant chatter, it pleases me.  It’s one of the biggest reasons that I miss James.  He always had friends over, and they kept me entertained.

Having Will & Clayton come live with us was a huge adjustment.  We’re still adjusting even coming up on two years (wow!) now.  Although they have court ordered visitation with their mom, she doesn’t always exercise it to it’s full potential.  She usually only sees them once every 4-6 weeks for a weekend.  They are visiting with her this weekend.  We’ve actually just got home from dropping them off, and I’m sitting here in silence, thinking to myself, “I could get used to this.”  But the reality is, I really enjoy having them here, even if it’s not ever really quiet until bedtime.  I miss them when they are gone.  It’s a realization that I wasn’t expecting.  I have anticipated this weekend for about ten days, and now that it’s here, I don’t like it much.  Strange.
I’m certain I will appreciate it again tomorrow morning.  Will & Clayton are early risers, and Daniel likes his sleep, like me.

June 30th, 2011

Big update – alternatively titled I’m not dead.

I can’t believe I haven’t had the energy to post anything in 6 months.  Where do I start?

I’m 34 weeks, 5 days pregnant today.  4 or 5 more weeks (or less) and I’ll have a new baby boy.  Yes, boy!  We are very excited.  Neely and I are naming him Keelan (Gaelic, meaning small or slim) David (my brother’s middle name).  I expect him to arrive at the end of July, at the latest.  He’s giving me the run around right now.  We do not know if he’s head down or breech, but we should know within the next week, and we’ll make a decision on how to proceed.  The thought of a c-section is not something that I really want to consider, but I dislike the thought of a external version even more.
Gabby is now 6 and a half months old.  She’s crawling, sitting up on her own, and even starting to pull herself up to a standing position on her own.  She has one tooth on the bottom, and the second one is just starting to poke it’s way through.  She’s such a joy and is mostly a happy little thing.  Sarah is doing such a good job, and I really only have to nag at her once in a while.
James is good, too.  He recently moved to Kentucky to live with my parents and got a job as an HVAC apprentice.  He trained in HVAC in high school, so he’s got the skill, just no experience.  He’s liking it so far.  I’m missing him like crazy, but I really think this is a good move for him.  He was in an accident in April (alcohol related) and totaled his sister’s car, was flown to shock trauma, but miraculously only had a bump on his head.  Wish I could say the same for the telephone pole that he hit, but that stuff is replaceable.  I do think he learned a very valuable lesson, and I’m happy with the progress he’s made emotionally since the accident.
Will just finished 6th grade.  The last few weeks of school were difficult, to say the least.  He ended up in two fights, suspended twice, and kicked out of English class for insubordination.  He spent the last few weeks of the school year grounded.  We’re not sure why he was making such poor choices, but I think there were lots of contributing factors, not the least of which is relationship with his mom.  We are seeking out counseling services for him right now, because budget cuts have left the school without a counselor.  He has worked with this counselor for the last two years and was making really good progress with her.  I feel like this is a set back for him, but we’re going to do what we can to get him talking through his issues.  He’s a really good, smart kid, and I love him dearly. I just wish I knew how to help him better.
Clayton just finished 4th grade and is looking forward to 5th.  He has a girlfriend who lives around the corner and was in his class this year.  He told my dad that he had kissed her.  Of course, Dad teased him after that.  He’s a bundle of energy and always getting himself into trouble, because he can’t keep his hands from exploring everything, even things he knows he shouldn’t be touching.  He recently broke my netbook by twisting the top in the wrong direction, this just days after breaking the blinds on the back (deck) door.  It’s impossible to figure him out, because if you ask him if he knew he shouldn’t touch something he knows that he shouldn’t have, but he just can’t control his impulses.  All in all, he’s fun to have around though.
I’m feeling pretty frustrated with step-parenting right now.  I feel like I never get a chance to enjoy them because I am constantly on their case about their behavior.  I know a lot of it is not their fault, because they had so many bad habits before they moved here.  I know they don’t purposely do things that annoy me, but it’s still hard because lots of their behaviors baffle me.  I know this is something that I need to work on on a personal level though.
Daniel is super silly.  He’s about to turn 6 and will hopefully start 1st grade this year.  He’s a little behind on reading, and there was some concern that he wasn’t ready for first grade.  He was the second youngest child in the school this year, his birthday just 4 days before the cut off to be able to start school.  We had several meetings with his teacher and the principal about whether or not to have him repeat K or go ahead and move him up and just work with him closely this summer and over the next year to get him up to speed.  As is stands right now, we are not making a decision till after he attends a 3 week summer program in July.
So that’s my update.  I’m sure I left some stuff out, but I’ll be back to posting as usual.  Pinkie swear.