My Greatest Battle

Emotions…they totally can suck and throw you through a loop. This week has been a mixed bag of emotions. Being that I am a woman, this happens all the time. However, today is a hard day.

This all stems from going to a baby shower last night. I have mentioned before that going to a baby shower was impossible before my babies came along. I avoided them like the plaque and had a running list of excuses as to why I could not attend a friend’s shower. For gifts, I would always buy gift cards that were by the register so I would not have to go to the baby section. Also, I never bought a card because they were always sappy and not something I wanted to read. I have a baby shower routine and survival plan. However, things change and so did my plan.

My heart did not hurt as I prepared for the shower. I was so happy for my pregnant friend. She is a girl that I have known for years but just in the past few months our families have spent more time together. She has two little girls. Her youngest is a day younger than Turkey 1 and they have become such good friends. She is expecting a little boy. I had so much fun buying boy clothes and found the most adorable little shirts and pants. I let the Turkeys pick out a toy for the baby and the shopping had gone smoothly.

I arrived at a shower early and was very ready to be there. Conversation was good and the food was yummy. It was a nice shower. When it was time to open presents her two little girls proudly sat next to their momma and were so well behaved. The little girls sat and rubbed their momma’s belly and the oldest even gave her belly a kiss. This was hard to see. Very hard to see.

I started talking to someone next to me and allowed myself to get distracted. At the end of the party, I drove home happy. God had taken care of my heart. I did not hate this woman for being pregnant, I did not cry one time, I did not have to leave early, and I even had a great time. I listened to delivery stories and shared my brother’s delivery story. I have learned to use this story as a way of being able to join in on these conversations. It is a survival strategy that actually has worked.

Then today happened. I went to a playdate with my girls and I watched them play and be happy. I held Turkey 2’s hand as she went to sleep. Then it got quiet and I started to think…………

God has been so good to me. I live in a neighborhood that I love. I have started to make new friends that I really enjoy spending time with. These are women that love the Lord and serve him faithfully. We have found an amazing church and I have reconnected with old friends. My husband loves me. I have two amazing kids that are my world. Our extended family love us so much and are always there for us. I have a great life.

I thank Jesus for giving me two babies that I did not deserve. He trusted me to be their mommy. He has given me so much…yet my heart still aches. I feel guilty for my feelings. I have two adopted daughters that are amazing. What else do I need? I never want them to think that they were not enough. I need for this longing to be pregnant to go away!

A friend of mine who is in her 80’s told me that she never lost the desire to be pregnant and that she prayed so hard that Charles and I would get pregnant so we would not feel this way.

I do not know what to say…I do not know how to feel…I do not know why I do this…I do not want to cause pain for my girls…I need his hole in my heart to heal and go away…

Mean Girls Turn Into Mean Moms

Most high school kids get their first car and they are in awe at their independence. They fantasize about driving around on their own, going out with friends, and most importantly…not riding the school bus every day.

My first car was just that, a way to not be on the school bus. I hated the car from day one. It was ugly, very distinguishable, and did not have any frills. However, it meant independence and that was all that mattered. I was able to drive myself to practice, school, to Walmart, and to my boyfriend’s house. Yep, it was pretty awesome.

One day after school, I was standing by a building getting ready to walk to my car in the student parking lot when I noticed a group of girls standing near my car and laughing. They pointed at my car, at me, and were making fun of my car. These were “mean girls.” Yes, these girls did not like me from day one and loved to make fun of me. I was not their only victim. They loved to bully anyone who was not in their group of friends. Not only did they tease me about my car but they gave me looks as I passed them in the hallway, laughed in class when I had to speak in front of everyone, and were just all around horrible people.  I was their major target for years because one of them had a crush on my boyfriend at the same time that my boyfriend started crushing on me. This boyfriend of mine is now my husband.

I stood up to one of these girls one time at a car wash. As we were having it out, a popular jock was washing his car and saw what was happening. I went to school the next day and everyone heard what I had done. I was the “big girl on campus” and the bullying seemed to stop. I still despise these girls and for years now I ignore their friend requests on Facebook. Childish I know…but I just cannot help myself.

So, all of that was said to ask: Do mean girls just grow up to be mean moms? Not mean to their children, but do they continue to bully other women their age?

I think YES and here is why…

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Library Chaos

I love the library. It has always been one on my favorite places in the world. You walk in and the smell of books immediately hits your nose. Your eyes are filled with images of rows upon rows of books. There are comfy chairs, it is quiet, and no one is going to bother you. Aww…a happy place.

I could not wait to experience this with my children. I imagined them sitting in the isles with me, we are surrounded by books, and we are reading and enjoying new books together. It would look a little bit like a cheesy sitcom with us smiling, pointing and quietly giggling. Aww…the perfect outing…

I wish I could say that this is just what happened on our first trip to the library together. Continue reading

Super Mom? Maybe Not!

All, you have all the time in the world…said no mother ever!

Recently I feel like I have been drowning under all my responsibilities as a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). How is this possible? Where does my day go? Well let me tell you:

At approximately 6:30 my girls usually start to roll out of bed. We are busy and nonstop until 8:30 when it is bedtime.

Our day consists of laundry, cleaning, playing, eating, cleaning up meals, preparing dinner, changing diapers, searching for cups, fighting over toys, coloring and crafts, and play dough cleanup. In order to keep my sanity I created a cleaning schedule so I did not feel like I have to clean the whole house every day. Since we are mostly at home during the day the house never stays clean for long anyway. I drown in chores and cleaning up food off of the floor. Some days I feel like all I do is clean!

Monday I clean up from the weekend and get back into routine. Tuesdays we go to gymnastics. Wednesdays my husband gets home early.  My goal is to make this library day and lesson planning day. Meal planning for the next week happens on Thursdays. Friday is errand and grocery shopping day. Saturday mommy relaxes in the morning and gets to sleep in while daddy and the girls make breakfast. Then we do any other shopping that needs to be done and we do some type of family activity with the kids. We go to church on Sunday. Church requires dresses (because the girls want to wear them), ironing, separate diaper bags, bibles, and fixed hair.

Now, on top of my daily routine I have added a Bible Study, gymnastics, play dates, story times, training for a half marathon and homeschooling into the mix. The bible study requires daily bible reading and answering questions. Gymnastics class requires a shower, make-up, and dry hair. Play dates require preplanning, packing of snacks and trying to look half way presentable. Homeschooling requires preparation of lessons, getting materials ready, and more patience that I can muster in any given day. Story times requires princess dresses and leaving the house. Leaving the house is something I have to make myself do these days. It is not easy to get everything ready and be out the door at a certain time.  I “train” for my marathon after the kids go to bed. I go running in the dark around my neighborhood and usually get scared by local wildlife that jumps out in front of me.

My carpets need cleaned, my windows need cleaned, my couch needs shampooed, my flowers need to be weeded, and my closets need reorganized.

Also, there is this man that comes home every day and gives me a kiss on the cheek. I feed him dinner, wash his clothes, and pick up after him…what is his name again? How do I know him? I think maybe I am married to him.

Am I a crazy mess?

I will answer that question for you…yes! I have two toddlers and this unorganized, crazy mom is about to have a panic attack. If I have this much trouble when they are toddlers, how will I handle life when they get older? How do moms do it all?

This does not even count holidays, birthdays, having family come to visit, going to doctor’s visits, or caring for a sick child. Oh goodness, even getting ready for a vacation is an Olympic event. There is the planning, packing, laundry, car entrainment to plan, and driving with crying/unhappy kids.

No wonder everyone says that time flies when your kids are at home. Moms never stop! We definitely need more than one day a year to celebrate not going into a loony bin and being able to be to function when we have all of this stuff to do.   

But let’s be honest. We would not trade these days for anything in the world. The smiles, the hugs, the cuddles, the spontaneous “I love you,” the joy on their faces, and being loved in return is worth it all! I cherish these days and do not want to ever think of the day when things start to slow down!

Becoming a “Waiting Family”

I think that one of the biggest questions we asked ourselves while doing IVF was: When do we stop?

My husband and I are not one to throw in the towel and give up. We both have lived a life where we have strived to be the best we can be and to succeed. Success means something different to everyone. Some value their success on material possessions, how much money they make, and what kind of house they live in. This would be my father-in-law. As long as he looks wealthy and happy on the outside his real life (his home life) can fall apart and he would still consider himself successful. However, I view success as something entirely different. For me success is loving those around me and being loved, being happy, having a family, and being able to take care of those around me. My biggest success in life will hopefully be raising children who love the Lord and serve him faithfully. So, this is what I strive for. Family was and is very important to me. So, stopping IVF was a hard and scary decision. Stopping IVF however, did not mean that we would stop trying to have a family.

My husband was ready to adopt before I was. He would have started the process months before we did. For me, the desire to carry a child was so great that I struggled more with stopping IVF. It is not that I did not want to adopt. I just saw adoption as the end to trying to carry a child and that thought broke my heart. There is something about growing a baby, feeling that baby move, and being able to do something for that child that no one else can do that was meaningful to me. However, after the third miscarriage I decided that maybe it was just not going to happen and I needed to move on. So, we did… Continue reading

They call her “The Streak”

“Here she comes, boogity boogity
There she goes, boogity boogity
And she ain’t wearin’ no clothes

Oh, yes, they call her the Streak
boogity boogity
Fastest thing on two feet
boogity boogity”
I know that you have heard this song, The Streak by Ray Stevens. If you have not heard this song then you need to Google it and have yourself a good laugh. Yes, I changed the pronouns from male to female. Why you ask? Well, because I am a female. Oh, so you thought this was about one of my children…if only that were true.

A few months ago I was at a party at my next door neighbor’s house. My neighbor was turning sixty.  I walk in and I notice that I know no one but my next door neighbor. Luckily, she is a good cook, so I was too busy stuffy my face with homemade Chinese food to have the time to worry about meeting people and small talk. My husband and I just were just standing there checking out the place and commenting on the delicious food when my neighbor walked up to us. Behind her was a couple. They looked so familiar. Then it dawned on me that they were the people who lived behind us. The woman was dressed in a black shirt with large multi-color flowers and jeans so tight that she had camel toe. Yes, I said it. I went there. She had camel toe. Now that you have pictured that it in your head I will give you time to recover….

Ok, now that, that is done we can move on.

Her husband was wearing an equally as colorful shirt with Hawaiian print. As expected we have the typical getting to know you small talk. Then she asks about the windows in our house. She wanted to know who had replaced them. We discussed this and then she says, “I wish I could leave my blinds up all the time like you do. You must have a great view. We sure do!”  Mr. Hawaiian shirt stood there with a huge smile on his face. He looked down and kind of blushed.

Wait…what did she mean? She must be talking about the view from her house. Right? Why was he blushing?

“I am going to go get a refill. Do you want one?” I asked my husband with a little nudge.

“Sure,” he replied and we excused ourselves. “That guy was strange. Did you think so?” my husband asked.

“They both were!” I remarked as I walked over to the Crab Rangoon and took a huge bite.

A couple of weeks later my husband and I were sitting by a fire in the backyard of our house. We had just put the kids to bed and were listening to the baby monitor. My husband ran into the house to grab himself a beer as I sat outside watching the glow of the fire. I happened to look up and I could see him walking through the house so clearly. He opened the refrigerator, got himself a beer, walked to the counter, picked up our bird shaped bottle opener, and opened the bottle. This would have been very insignificant, however I could see him so clearly.  All of a sudden I had a flash back to the party, to what flower shirt said…

If I can see him so clearly…then so can the neighbors…then they must be able to see us all of the time…then they have seen me walk through the house….NAKED!!!!!! OH MY GOSH!

A million flashbacks went through my mind. All the times I have walked downstairs naked to get clothes out of the dryer. All the times I have changed clothes in the kitchen (it is right next to my laundry room). All the midnight feedings where I walked downstairs half-dressed to make a bottle and then sat in the living room and fed my daughter.

OH NO! WHAT ABOUT THE FRONT OF MY HOUSE? WHAT ABOUT THE LARGE WINDOW BY THE STAIRS!

I ran to the front of my house. Yes, I can see the entire staircase just as clearly. Yep! I cannot believe it. My entire neighborhood has probably seen me naked. I have walked around this house naked more times than I can count. Suddenly, I felt a little sick to my stomach. My poor neighbors! What a way to introduce myself to the neighborhood.

Then I start to wonder if the neighbors have a code word for me.  I can picture a family driving past my house, the parents yell “The Streak,” and kids know to look down and not towards our house. I am so embarrassed. I never thought about the blinds. I grew up in the country. The only thing that could see my house were cows and chickens. We did not worry about blinds.

Shamefully enough, this song fits my life more than I want to admit. I think I will stick to wearing my oversized, fluffy, grandma robe around the house for now on and I will skip neighbor parties and bar-be-ques until people start to forget, if that is even possible.

IVF and Me

When something like infertility comes in your life it makes a huge impact. I have written a lot of posts on this topic and this will be my last for a while. When I write about this I am forced to go back in time and think of the memories that I have for such a trying time in my life. I wish that I could tell you that I handled the three years of trying to conceive with grace. I wish I could tell you that it did not have a powerful and sometimes negative impact on my life…but that would be a lie.

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