Sunday, December 8, 2013

Remember Me?

Remember way back in the day when I used to blog? And I actually really enjoyed it? And then I suddenly fell off the face of the earth? And then I showed back up one Sunday and I was another kid richer? That's happening today.

So why exactly did I stop back in the summer? Well...things got crazy, for one thing. And it's a real long story, so I'm just going to give the short, edited version. On July 4th, I started having what felt strikingly similar to contractions. At only 21 weeks, that was obviously pretty unnerving. I downed my water, and tried to ignore them as we headed off to our annual family dinner and fireworks. But by the next day, it was obvious they weren't going to go away on their own, so we headed into Labor & Delivery, panic stricken. They hooked me up and confirmed that I was contracting, and did a fetal fibronectin test, which came back positive. For those of you who are lucky enough to never have had to worry about preterm delivery, it's a test that picks up a certain protein that is generally only present within two weeks before you deliver. A positive test means that you have a higher chance of delivering in the next two weeks, and a negative means you're probably good to go. Through all the drama and hospital stays with Landon, I never once had a positive. Never. But on July 5th, at 21 weeks, I got a positive with Lucas. And since the age of viability is 24 weeks, I was told pretty much just cross my fingers, say my prayers, and don't move too much.... there was nothing else they could do for me. And so we left the hospital in tears, thinking this was the end, and we had to just go home and wait for it all to come crashing down.

If you know the rest of the story, you know that I made it to my scheduled c-section at 39 weeks and 1 day. Ridiculous, right? A lot went down in between there, including a few more trips back to the hospital, an overnight stay, a LOT of progesterone shots and NST's, every day spent with my mother in law in the morning, and my mom in the afternoon, some weird reactions to medications and a lot of tears and frustration. But, at the end of it all, I was a staple at the doctor's office, closer to my mother in law, and I had a beautiful, healthy baby boy. And the cherry on top was that my two year old didn't completely hate me for being a big blob all summer long.

But the real point my return to this world is that I want to document Lucas' birth story, before all the details start to get blurry. Landon's was traumatic, and every second seems like it is just burned into my brain and will never leave. Lucas was a completely calm, peaceful experience, and I feel like small bits are already starting to fade as I adjust to life with two boys.

So around 34 weeks, my doctor told me we could officially schedule my c-section, and if I made it that far, great. If not, I was past the critical point and we knew would be safe. So we scheduled me for Wednesday, November 6 at 9:45 am, never thinking I would actually make it that far. I had this ideal dream of an October baby, but was petrified of a Halloween baby. So naturally, I was fairly certain he would show up on the 31st. But....October came and went, I passed my 35 week 4 day mark, which was when Landon was born, and pretty soon it was November and it was obvious that since I had made ZERO progress in over three weeks, I was going to make it to November 6th.

The night of November 5th was a surreal one. It was our last night as a family of three. The last night I would be tucking Landon in as an only child. The last night I would be struggling to sleep with the now GINORMOUS belly. I cried when I put Landon to sleep, lingering next to his bed, holding his hand for just a bit longer, taking in every ounce of him. And I was grateful that it took him a little longer to drift off. When I finally tore myself away, it's safe to say that I maybe slept for 20 minutes the whole night. How do you sleep when your life is about to change so monumentally in just a few short hours? You don't. Not if you're actually putting any thought into it at all.

When the alarm when off at 4:45, I knew there was no turning back. This was it. So I got up and showered, and did my hair and my make up (ridiculous most of you will say, but to me, I knew it was the last time for a long while that I would have the chance to do this, so I was going to live it up.....and look much better in post birth pictures than I did in Landon's). Of course, Landon isn't stupid, and he heard us both up, so we had a 2 year old up and joining the party at 5:15. But again, secretly, I was thrilled....I couldn't stand the thought of him waking up and us not being there and then when he did finally see us again, his whole world would be changed. So the 5:15 wake up was welcome, and the early morning snuggles were exactly what I needed.

It's strange, but I wasn't nervous at all. Maybe a little anxious, but I think it was more just excitement to finally meet him, not so much worried about the surgery. Which, after Landon, it was kind of amazing to me that I had such a sense of calm going into it, but I did. I was confident with the doctor delivering me, and something was just telling me it was all going to be ok. I don't know which of my angels it was, but I'm thankful they were there. Shockingly, I didn't even cry when leaving Landon. We got our hugs and kisses, told him we were going to meet baby brother, he told us he was excited, and we were off. Everyone was just....ready. And happy.

We walked into the hospital together, calmly, in no real hurry. Checked in, relished in all the congratulations and "good lucks" we were wished, and made our way up to Labor & Delivery. We were thrilled to find that our favorite nurse was there, and she was taking me. She would be with me through pre-op, the surgery, and recovery. Any anxieties I had lingering at that point disappeared. Everything was lining up. 

The whole pre-op process is kind of chaotic. There are a ton of people coming in and out, taking blood, asking questions, making you sign things, telling you things, overwhelming you. But still, I felt good with Jeremy, my parents and my nurse by my side. I was thrilled when the doctor finally came in, talked to me for a few minutes and told me we were about ready. This was it. And just after 9:45 am, I kissed my parents goodbye, watched Jeremy get suited up, and walked myself down to the operating room. That's when it started to get real. 

Operating rooms are never calming. Ever. They're stark and they're scary. Thankfully, I had a group of women in the room with me that was hilarious, and we clicked well. I laughed through getting my spinal while my doctor held my hand and told me jokes. The anesthesiologist and I had an understanding, and she loaded me up with anti-nausea meds every time I started to feel a little woozy. And my nurse was right there to continually assure me that I was doing fine. If you've never had a spinal, then you don't know how weird it is to suddenly look down and see people maneuvering your legs and realizing you can't feel a thing, like you're just a torso and head laying on a table. THAT freaked me out. Not a fan. But....hey....better than feeling them slice me open, I suppose. 

It didn't take long, and pretty sure Jeremy was back next to me, and they told me it was go time. My only job was to lay there and wait for them to tell me I was officially a mother of two. It felt like an eternity laying there waiting. I know my stomach is huge, but come on, how long can it take you to get to this kid? And then suddenly my doctor looked over the drape and told me they were about a minute away. Holy crap. One minute. In one minute my second son would be here. And I am not screaming in pain, or exhausted from pushing for 4 hours. This is amazing. And sure enough, about a minute later, at 10:22 am, I heard his first screams. Beautiful, gorgeous screams. They held him up for just a second and I got to finally see the face I had been praying for and loving for 39 weeks. And he was damn gorgeous. 

Lucas Michael Teltow
November 6, 2013
10:22 AM
7lbs, 7oz. 20 inches. 

And just like that, we went from a family of three, to a family of four. Another very surreal feeling. 

Because he was born via C-Section, he had some fluid on his lungs that didn't quite get squeezed out, so my fears came to fruition when they whisked him off to the special care nursery. I had this vision in my head that since I made it to 39 weeks, I would have him with me from start to finish and we wouldn't have to see another child hooked up to monitors and IV's. No such luck. But once again, we were so fortunate, and anything "wrong" with him was minor, and our stay in special care was short lived, and by Friday afternoon, we had him in the room with us. 

Next came some lessons. Things they don't tell you about when you have a C-Section. The spinal will take HOURS to wear off. And you will feel certain that you are paralyzed for life when they ask you to move your toes, and you realize your brain can't even compute how to tell your toes to move, let alone actually make them move. The morphine they give you will make you itch like crazy. And you will continue to itch, especially your face, for hours. You will swell. And I mean.....swell. Like crazy. So crazily that you won't even recognize yourself. Case in point....


But on the flip side, there are the side effects of becoming a mother of two that people don't warn you about. There is more swelling. Of the heart. Way bigger than any bodily swelling you'll experience. When people say you don't realize that your heart can love another human as much as you already love your first, they aren't lying. But it's a completely different kind of love. The love I have for Landon can't really be explained....he made me a mom. He taught me everything. That's not the same love I have for Lucas. Lucas completed me. I thought was complete, but I wasn't. I thought our family was perfect, but we were missing something. Now we aren't. That's pretty big stuff for such a small little dude. But he manages to pull it off well. 

The first few days were challenging. I had hormones to deal with, I was missing Landon, I was in pain, I wanted Lucas with me, I was struggling with breastfeeding and all the emotions that go along with it (that's a post for another day), and um.....having a baby is just a lot in general. But we had a small birthday party for him, per Landon's request, and there were lots of visits from my favorite two year old to pull me through. 

We finally made it home three days later, and life officially began. Landon fell right into the role of big brother perfectly. He has been wonderful. He has his moments of desperation for our attention, but he is such a great helper, and he truly loves his brother, which makes it all worth it. 

As for as a mother of two is intense. It's non-stop chaos. But it's also non-stop love. I am running on fumes most days it seems, but neither of my boys seem to notice. And they love me just the same after a full nights sleep, or only a few hours. And the feeling is mutual. Although.....I do have a slightly higher appreciation when Luke will go for a four hour stretch in the middle of the night ;). 

I don't know how frequently I'll be back here to update on every day happenings, but I do have a lot of things I want to write about, and this little session here has been incredibly therapeutic. I snuck out this morning to a local coffee shop, and I'm sitting here with a coffee in hand, by the fireplace, listening to Christmas music, and writing. And for the first half hour or so, I was trying to decide if I was proud of myself for taking the time to do it, or if I was guilty for not being at home with my boys. I'm thinking now that it's the first. I'm about to head home refreshed....which means I'll have more patience with terrible two happenings and spit up. So this might have to become a ritual. It's a nice recharge. 

So, until the next time, I'll be with these dudes, loving life. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Trials (and Errors) of Being a Mama

This parenting business is tricky stuff. And it's no secret that I feel like I'm screwing up daily. I have this phenomenal support system that takes every opportunity they can to remind me that all parents feel that way, and that I'm actually not ruining my kids life. I am so beyond grateful for them, and I know that some days, those reminders are what get me through.

But...there are always those moments. Those decisions. That you look back on and you think, "WHAT!?". I've had a couple of those lately. And I've taken my time to feel down and awful about them, and now I'm onto the next phase. The phase of "Ok, it happened, we fixed it, I still live and breathe for Landon, and he still loves me. Let's move on."

Case study #1? A traumatic case of croup and a hospital stay. While in my deepest core of common sense I know that I didn't do anything to make him sick, there is still a very large part of me that is screaming, "But you didn't keep him healthy!!!". And that part....well she's a real bitch. I was so embarrassingly proud of the fact that we all got through the winter without really being sick. A cold was the worst of what hit us, and it was so minor, that it's almost not even worth mentioning. I somehow got my kid through the one of the worst "puking seasons" I've heard of in a loooong time, unscathed. I was amazed. I had this crap under control. Hand sanitizer, lots of wiping down surfaces, and basically being hermits.....that's the ticket. But....spring came, and brought with it warmer weather, and I got too confident. Yes, we still washed our hands and wiped down the grocery store carts. But I didn't think twice about putting him in the swing at the park, and going out to eat just didn't seem like that big of a deal anymore. And, sure enough, a rash turned into a fever, that turned into a cough, that turned into the worst 72 hours of my life.

Long story short, a couple weeks ago, we noticed a rash on Landon after playing outside all day. We figured it was either heat rash, or some random reaction to his sunscreen, and didn't think much about it. That night, he spiked a fever. He woke up the next morning with an insignificant cough, but the fever was higher and the rash was worse, so we went to urgent care. Did a strep test, came back negative. Determined he had an ear infection and a viral rash that would clear up on its own. Satisfied with that answer, we headed home. By late that evening, the fever was through the roof and the cough had become that unmistakable "seal bark". We tried everything to get him through the night so we could go and see our doctor Monday morning. Steam, cold air, snuggles, popsicles, everything. But around 1:30, his lips started turning blue, and it was a whole different ball game. Two breathing treatments, a round of steroids and several hours in the ER later, his oxygen levels were still way too low, so we were admitted to the hospital. At this point, I had to watch them hook my baby up to oxygen, load him onto a gurney, and I had to follow an ambulance down to St. John's Main. Yes, he was with his father and I knew he was ok, but still.....that had to be the worst feeling in the world. Following behind this ambulance, not knowing how he's doing at that very moment, knowing that we are about to be admitted to the pediatric floor and not knowing what would come next. Yes, most kids come out of croup fine, he did before, when he was 6 months old. But this time was different, this was serious, and every horrible thought I could possibly have was going through my mind. There is no way around it, I was a complete mess, who hadn't slept in 24 hours. We spent the next 24 hours trying to comfort a scared, miserable little boy, while nurses and doctors tried comforting us. I had to listen to countless people tell me to go home and sleep, that the baby needed me to. I had to then tell those people countless times that they were out of their damn mind if they thought I was leaving my hospital gown clad toddler and going anywhere. So I stayed awake for another 24 hours, truthfully, not even thinking about what I was doing, just watching his numbers on the monitor, and watching his chest rise and fall, and listening for any sign of him struggling to breathe. By that 48 hour mark, I don't think tired was even registering on my radar anymore. Thankfully, after one full night of monitoring, they let us go home. He was much better, but still not himself, and it would take days until he was. We came home on Tuesday, and it was Friday morning before the crazy kid I know was back. Of course, he came back right as I was being struck down with whatever insane virus had attacked him. It's now the following Thursday, and I can finally say that I feel like I can rejoin the human race today. Amen!

Moral of the story? It's going to happen, he's going to get sick. God forbid it ever gets that bad again, I will be a complete and utter disaster of a person once more. But I didn't do it to him. I couldn't stop it. At the end of the day, I listened to my mama gut, got him where he needed to be, and I did the only thing I could.....I didn't leave his side, I loved him, I let him know it was ok, and he knew he wasn't alone. Maybe I shouldn't have been sobbing uncontrollably alongside him when we were holding him down for breathing treatments, maybe seeing him in a teeny tiny hospital gown shouldn't have made my heart break into a million pieces. But....that's me. It hurt him, so it hurt me. In the end, as a mama, I did ok.

Case study #2? The damn toddler bed. We got a positive pregnancy test back at the beginning of March, and my mind went into overdrive. Oh my God....he needs to be potty trained, and out of the crib.....NOW. We only have 9 months. It needs to happen NOW. Well now I'm stepping back and doing that "What???" thing.

We nearly immediately switched his room, put him into the old office room, and put him in a toddler bed. That had been the plan all along. When baby #2 came, they would go in the green room, boy or girl, so we could avoid painting, and Landon would get the blue room. Yeah, well, I don't think the plan was to traumatize us all at once. Quite honestly, he did awesome the first week or so, he truly did. But then he got sick, and he was in the hospital, and he refused to sleep without being held. Cue the last week. He has refused to stay in bed, he doesn't fall asleep until nearly 11, and then is up at 6:30, and he's miserable. If he's not sleeping, it means we're not sleeping, and it has all just been basically awful. I have done countless hours of research on how to make this easier, and in the end, it all came down to one truth: he's just not ready. He's still a baby, let's be honest. And he's just not there yet. So what the hell was I doing? I have no idea. Trying to save us money by not having to buy a new crib for a new baby? Stupid. Needless to say, after a long talk, his crib was moved into his new room last night (and yes, he went right to sleep at 8:30, and slept through the night), and today, we'll move the rest of his "old" furniture in as well. The baby will get the green room, but it'll get new furniture, and Landon will keep HIS. And he can stay in his crib for as long as he needs to, and I can soak up the fact that my two year old isn't a COMPLETE "big boy" yet.

Moral of THAT story? I made a mistake. I pushed him too far, too soon, for no reason. And yes, I feel silly and pretty awful about it now. But, we're fixing it, and we're making it right again. That's all we can do. I can't go back in time and change everything, or I would. I could sit and sulk and cry and beat myself up over it, but what will that do? Not much. What matters is that we figured it out, and he's feeling comfortable, safe, and well rested again. That's a win.

And now we're into panic mode with his birthday party this weekend. Jeremy has had the whole week off, thank God, because I have been useless while I fought off this sickness, but we haven't gotten nearly as much done as we wanted to have done by Thursday morning. So today, after a hot shower to wash off any remnants of the "grossies", I'm off, to tackle the last minute needs of a two year olds birthday party. And, most importantly, I will make sure that he has the best damn Diego party I can give him. This ain't gonna be no "case study #3", kids.

Oh...and lastly....I felt baby's flutters for the first time yesterday. One of the upsides of being stuck in bed and not able to move. It's amazing how much you forget about that feeling when it's no longer there. But let me tell's pretty damn cool. And this bambino can flutter to its hearts content, mama is soakin' it up.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Stop and Smell the Roses....errr....Dandelions

Life with an almost two year old is a little.....hectic. Emotional. Bipolar, really. Add to it pregnancy hormones, and those around me, specifically my husband, probably deserve a medal of honor.

Although.....Tuesday marked the end of my first trimester (and I loved that it fell on my bestie's birthday....there was just a whole lot to celebrate that day), the weather has FINALLY turned beautiful, and I do actually think that the second trimester brought with it a batch of feel good hormones. I've found myself more patient, happier, and just generally lighter, the last few days.

But that doesn't change that I still live with a small monster, that wants to test me every minute of the day. This week has been a whirlwind of great moments for Landon, and really, really awful moments. I could just write about the good ones, but that would portray us as this perfect, always happy, always together little family....which we are NOT.

Wednesday night, Jeremy decided to take Landon to a soccer game. In all fairness, I feel like his expectations for Landon's behavior may have been a little too high. He should have known the wiggle worm would never sit in the stands without argument and watch high school girls kick a ball around. However, I still know that he witnessed the utter mess that Landon can know....the mess that I'm always telling him about, but he never seems to be around to see. Yes, well. They came home about an hour later, and I could hear Landon's screams before he even opened the car door. Jeremy looked like he had just run a marathon, and he was just beside himself. I listened as he told me all about how he threw himself on the ground, walked over a woman's north face jacket, screamed when Jeremy tried to pick him up. I know he wanted a lot of sympathy, but really, I couldn't help but laugh. Especially when he told me, "No, you don't understand. He was awful". Oh, I don't understand? No, but I do. This meltdown is equivalent to the ones that I have sat and cried over at the dinner table. The ones that happen in the middle of Target, or in a restaurant. The ones that my dear, sweet husband always tells me, "He's two. He doesn't know any better. It's ok. He'll get better." So I said those same words to him. Funny enough, they weren't much comfort.

He was embarrassed. And I get it, totally. The funk hung around him for the rest of the night and into the next morning, despite our sweet, loving Landon having returned. My hope is that the lesson behind this is that the next time I'm mortified and frustrated, he gets it. I'm probably asking for a lot, but my fingers are crossed.

That day was followed by yesterday, when that ugly creature didn't rear his head at all. I had a perfect toddler all day. We played outside, we went for walks, we watered our seeds, we read books, we took a three hour nap, we ate all three meals PERFECTLY, and we ended our day with a wagon ride with Daddy. He went right to sleep, never got out of bed during the night. All in all....he really did have a "perfect" day. He has those days.....where he really does seem like he might bypass the terrible twos.

But those days are always followed by days where we are reminded that no, he will not skip over them. He will land right in them, really sink into them, and who knows how long they'll last.

Today in between. There was a lot of whining about nothing this morning. But he was phenomenal in Kohl's and Michaels during our errands. He wasn't happy when I told him we had to come in to eat lunch, and he threw himself on the ground and kicked and hit. But, he ate his whole lunch, and then fell asleep on our walk afterwards. He took a short nap, but woke up with a smile on his face and a hug for me and a kiss for baby.

So we went to the park. And I made a decision. Just him and I were going to the park. Not my phone. I wasn't going to wait for the perfect moment to snap a picture that would be great on Instagram. I didn't want to follow him around waiting for a cute face to share on Facebook. No. I wanted it to just be about him and me. So we swung on the swings. We went down the slides. We climbed the huge sled hill (and ran down) three excruciating times. He stopped to smell every single dandelion in a field of dandelions. He ran the bases on the baseball field. He was thrilled. And he was....again....perfect. He listened wonderfully, he laughed, he reached up and grabbed my hand while we were walking the trail. He kissed me, he said "Mommy!" with such glee. My heart exploded at that park. And I was so grateful that I made it just about us. In 6 months, it won't be "just us 2" anymore. There'll be another little bug hanging around, so I need to savor every moment of "just us" that I can. And today I did. Until it was time to strap him in his carseat.

He walked to the car perfectly. I told him we would go home and have a popsicle, and he kept chanting "opseeecle, opseeeecle". Picked up and put him in his seat, and that happy child disappeared, and out came that monster. There was kicking, there was screaming, I was even slapped across the face. I assured him that he would not be coming back to the park if that's how he acted, and he proceeded to kick his DVD player off the seat, to what I was sure was its demise (I'm happy to report, that the monster got INCREDIBLY lucky, and didn't break it). There were crocodile tears all the way home. And I felt myself starting to get angry, but those feel good pregnancy hormones must be little heroes, because they stopped me. Instead, I was thankful for the hour we just spent together. For the laughter and the happy. And I reminded myself that these tantrums are going to come, but they are far outweighed by the good. And I somehow managed to calmly (me, not him) get him in the house and let him finish his fit, which included some books being thrown. Sure enough, once he got it all out of his system, in an instant, that happy boy was back. Crawling onto my lap, giving me hugs and saying "orry Mama".

The thing is, he knows when he's being bad. And he knows how to behave better. But, just like his mother, in the heat of the moment, it doesn't matter. He's upset, and he has to just get it out. I know how that feels.....needing to just "get it out". So I let him do it. Because it never fails, that once he's done, he appreciates having had the chance to scream and be sad, and I get the reward for it. The hugs, the kisses, the "orry"'s, and the "love ya"'s. And those are so much more important than stressing out over the screaming.

Does that mean I will gladly let him throw a fit in the middle of Target if he doesn't get his way? Hell to the no. But it means I will let him feel upset. Feel anger, and sadness. I won't just give in and give him his way to make him always be happy. It's a part of life, and he is learning that he isn't always going to get exactly what he wants. I'm praying (hard), that with time, he finds better ways to express those emotions, but in the meantime....he's two. And this is what he does. And we aren't going to change him, I wouldn't want to. So we're going to roll with it. And we're going to learn from it. And we're all going to be ok. 

By the way...the other peanut, the small one inside, is doing phenomenal. But it's already taking a hint from its older brother, and is very stubborn. It hid from the poor ultrasound tech for forever on Wednesday, and it likes to hide from me every time I try to find it with my doppler. But when we do find it, it's adorable, with a perfect heartbeat. And really.....that's what counts. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Secret Is Out!

Again....I haven't forgotten about this corner of the internet. But when trying to keep a major secret, the last thing I need to do is start writing. It's sure to come out.

I have gotten asked so many times why we didn't say anything about baby #2 the second the test turned positive. And we some. Our parents, Jeremy's brothers, my best friend, my DOCTOR.....all got calls or text messages the instant we knew. Slowly, we let other people in, close friends, other family members, but for the most part, it's been our little secret.

We're cautious. We have watched people lose pregnancies. We've watched the hurt of going back and telling every person they know that it didn't stick. It's such a personal thing, such a heartbreak, and while I am an open book, there are certain things that I don't need every member of my high school class to know about. Not everyone needs in on that pain. But of course, if God forbid something did happen, we would need support. So our families and our closest friends knew right away.....they're our rocks.

On the flip side, it's such an exciting thing, it's nearly impossible to keep inside. And I have been wanting to shout from the roof tops since the day we found out. And as much as you want to be positive, and believe that everything will just be fabulous and perfect, I'm also a realist who knows that it doesn't always work that way. I went through hell to get Landon into this incredibly hard, long 8 months, followed by a miserable birth experience. During his pregnancy, I found out so many things about myself, my body, and my health, and those things make eternal optimism rather difficult.

Point blank, myself, and two of my cousins, have a blood clotting disorder. This nasty, mutated gene that we have, can cause a clot to travel to the baby, and cause a miscarriage. I watched my cousin go through it three heartbreaking times. When I was first pregnant with Landon, I demanded to be tested right away, to avoid going through the pain I watched her go through. My first doctor refused, and I switched. When I finally got to a doctor that would test me, I tested positive.....which meant had I NOT been tested, Landon might not be here today. I was insanely fortunate with him. We did what we had to do, and I got a healthy baby out of the deal. But every pregnancy is different, so every pregnancy brings a new set of fears and anxieties.....especially about what is going on inside your body.

This time around, I am with the single most incredible doctor I know. She knows me, she knows my story, she knows what I need, and most importantly.....she knows what I need emotionally. I feel exponentially better about this go around, just because I have her on my side. It's a huge relief.

All of that being said, anything can still happen. But we chose to look at all the positives of the past 11 weeks. So far.....this pregnancy has been completely different. I feel sick SO much more often, but the BIG things, have all gone smoothly. All my initial blood work came back flawless, which is insane for me. My doctor even told me she read over it 3 or 4 times, sure she had to be missing something that was off. But NOTHING was. Hurdle number one crossed. Our first ultrasound, even though incredibly early in the game, showed us a small little kidney bean, with a beating heart. Hurdle number two crossed (For those that don't remember, Landon's first ultrasound didn't show a heartbeat, and we were told the pregnancy may not be viable). And each subsequent ultrasound has shown a growing, gorgeous little person with a strong heart rate and last time, two legs and two arms that were waving.

We're having a baby.

And every single day, that still blows my mind. We were blessed again. Our luck is immeasurable.

I thought the second go around would be different, emotion wise. I've been through this, the heartbeat is cool, but it's not like it's my first growing child inside me. No. So wrong. It's the same exact feeling. We made another life. It's such a fragile, precious miracle, that it is such an incredible blessing to have it ONCE. But twice? Someone up there really, really loves us.

And this time around? I get to see Landon watch it all. He points at the ultrasound pictures and says "Baby"; he kisses my belly goodnight every night; when we ask him if he wants a brother or a sister, he tells us he wants a cow (yep....daily). It's already amazing to see him.....I cannot imagine the feeling I will have when I see him HOLD his baby brother or sister. Kiss its cheeks. Share his toys. Comfort it when it cries. If anything, the emotions are even HIGHER this time.

So we're starting the journey again. We're still nervous, we're still on God's plan, and only he knows what this baby will be, and if this baby will make it to us. But today, we're choosing to believe that yes, it will. This is the tiny soul our family is missing, and we cannot wait to welcome it.

We are SO thankful for all of your well wishes and congratulations. It's wonderful to know that you are all as excited as we are. And for those of you in the "inner loop"'ve been amazing.....and thanks for keeping your mouths shut ;) Well....except you Dad.....I've been hearing that most of Port Huron has known for a while now. But hey, an excited Papa can't be blamed. And we LOVE that you're that excited.

As for what's been happening while we've been doing all this secret keeping? I've been crap. Much worse than with Landon. Landon's could be described as "occasional bouts of nausea that passed quickly". This kid can be described as "all day, every day misery, broken up with occasional urgent cravings that need to be satisfied RIGHT THIS MINUTE". Zofran and I have become very good friends. As have me and pretzels, lemonade, Olga's Snackers, Chicken Ceaser Pitas, and McDonald's french fries and chocolate shakes. And one night after dinner, an entire package of cinnamon rolls. Hey man, baby wants what baby wants.

I've been laced with so much mommy guilt for the days spent just laying on the couch and not doing much to entertain Landon. Fortunately, he's been great. We do a lot of snuggling, watching Diego, and reading. And I am soaking up every single second of life with just one child. Savoring every inch of him. That makes all the sickies seem worth it.

However, the Michigan weather is making for a very bored, stir crazy toddler, and this mama can't blame him. We've been teased with a few beautiful days, and we spend every second we can outside. Spring and Summer have to be coming eventually....right??

In other news, he's officially in his new "big boy" room and "big boy" bed. The transition, so far, has been harder on me and my mama heart than on him. Last night was our first rough night, and I'm sure we're in for more. But as I was laying on his cold, hard floor, trying to reason with him why 4am was NOT a good time to be awake, I kept telling myself that this won't last forever. Just like his waking up every 2 hours didn't, or any of the other precious newborn things. So I need to cherish it now, when Mommy sleeping on the floor next to your bed is still "fun".

We're also planning a Diego birthday party, because as crazy at it is, this little dude will be TWO in just  25 days. THAT is insane. But it has been so much fun watching him get into this year. Helping pick out decorations, telling everybody he's having a "pawty" with "Deeeeaygo" because he'll be "TWO!". But it DOES still feel like we were just telling everybody that I was pregnant with HIM. I'm still wondering why the years WITH the babies fly so fast, yet the time being PREGNANT with them goes SO slow? It's a weird time warp thing that I'm reeeeeeally not a fan of.

We went camping with my parents a couple weekends ago to test out their new motorhome.....which is beyond gorgeous. It was rainy and cold, and kind of miserable weather wise, but Landon was ENTIRELY into it. I cannot wait to take him this summer and let him get the full effect. He would have stayed outside jumping in puddles all day, every day if he could have convinced someone to stay out there with him. But taking trips to the campground store with Papa was the highlight of his day, and swimming was maybe his favorite thing ever. Just goes to show, again, what a little person he's becoming. And....he is ALL boy.

Other than that, we've just been here, hiding out, trying to conceal my growing stomach and avoid the last traces of winters illnesses traveling around. But it's a huge relief to say that I don't have to hide the pooch anymore, and hopefully the cold weather is headed out, and the beautiful spring will coincide with the end of my miserable first trimester! THAT will be a beautiful day.

**Edit: As I was finishing this up, my beautiful boy sat up from his nap, leaned back and fell out of bed for the first time. To which.....he laughed. Thank ya, Jesus!**

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Rock Your Red

This is no doubt about to be a controversial post, so let me preface it by saying this:

I support gays and marriage equality.
I believe in God.

If you disagree with me, but believe that everybody is entitled to their own beliefs and thoughts, then please, feel free to continue reading.

If you disagree with me, and believe that I am an advocate for the devil's work and am spreading sin, then please click out of this window right now. We have nothing else to discuss.

I have a friend. My first friend in this world. A boy. Believes in God. Liked to give me scars and beat up on me. Always had my back. Would play the husband when we played house, and on one of my all time favorite home videos, says the words, "Honey....will you please hand me the coffee cup?". Would have wars with me in my basement with our cassette players: his playing Michael Bolton, mine playing Barry Manilow (hey....we were children of the 80's). Would also fight with me over who got to carry the hot pink purse when we played dress up.

In high school, my friend confirmed what most of us had long believed; he is gay. And that day, I knew that I had a job to support him and love him more than ever. That was also the day that I formed a belief system on the entire "gay topic", that I refuse to waiver from.

Do I believe, for even a second, that at 5 years old, he had the mind set to "choose" to have a natural inclination to want to the hot pink purse? Do I think that at 16, he "chose" to be ridiculed, criticized, taunted, bullied, hated? Do I think that today, at 28, he wakes up every morning and "chooses" to go against what society says is "right"? No. Not for even a millisecond do I believe any of those things.

Instead, I believe that the God that both him and I believe in, made him exactly how he wanted him. And HE chose to make him gay. And by doing that, he gave me a person that I admire, love, and respect more than most straight people in this world. My friend is a beautiful, amazing person. So is his boyfriend. And they have a relationship that is more solid, loving and REAL, than so many of the "conventional" relationships I know. And it really, really drives me insane, when I hear anybody tell me that they aren't entitled to that relationship.

I go to church. I read the Bible. I love and trust God. And just like I believe that God made my friend the way he is, I believe He made me to love and support him. I don't think God makes mistakes. And I certainly don't believe my friend is one.

You don't have to agree with me, you don't have to believe the same things I believe. But, if you are as Christian as some of you claim to be, you will listen and respect me. My own husband and parents don't share my same set of beliefs. parents watched me and my friend grow up together, and they love him. My husband knows how strongly I feel, and welcomed my friend into our wedding party....because he likes HIM.

My question is you believe in marriage being solely for a man and a woman. How does the marriage of two men REALLY effect YOU? It doesn't. You still get to marry YOUR choice of human. Nobody is taking that away from you. You still get to believe exactly what you want, nobody is taking THAT away from you. What I would LOVE to take away from you is your pure and utter hatred, because THAT isn't ok.

Do you hate that man because he's black? No, because he didn't choose to be born black, and then you'd be racist. Do you hate that woman because she has cancer and can't pay her bills? No, because she didn't choose either of those things, and you'd be a pretty evil person. So why does being "christian" allow you to hate my friend for loving another man? For the life of me, I can't see how it does.

I know a few people who will read this, probably "de-friend" me, and for the rest of their lives, look down on me. That's ok. If that's how you feel because I love without boundaries and exceptions, then I don't really need your approval anyway. And I don't need my son knowing that kind of hate. Because I am raising him to see the world as a beautiful place. Where people can be whoever they are, without shame or guilt.

I also know a few people who have chosen to just not discuss this topic with me, my father included. Because we will never see eye to eye. And I will NEVER back down on how I feel. And those same people know that if they make a rude, uneducated, hateful remark, I WILL blow. I don't sit back and let that slide, and I DO get angry. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and beliefs, absolutely, but that doesn't entitle ANYONE to harbor hate.

After a particularly ugly episode with my father and husband on this subject, I asked my counselor why I get SO heated. I believe a LOT of things, but they don't drive me to such anger, and tears, when someone disagrees with me. And she hit the nail on the head. I sat back and listened to people say things when my friend came out. I let them say evil, hurtful things. And for the most part, I didn't say a damn thing. Because I didn't want them to think I was gay. I didn't want them to hate me. I never joined in on the rude remarks, but I never stopped them either. I realize I was young, and a high schooler, and it was probably a natural reaction at 15. But now, it doesn't seem natural at all. And it kills me. Kills me that I didn't stand up and tell them all how absolutely ridiculous they are. How wonderful of a person he is. Kills me that I just let it all go because I was afraid of how I would look, while one of my very best friends was hurting. Makes me sick, actually. And now, I refuse to EVER let someone make me feel bad about supporting him, or for believing what I believe. I owe it to the person who would walk through fire for me, to do the same for him.

At the end of the day, I could sit here and rant for hours. Fill this post with studies and statistics, but I don't need to. Because I believe what I believe. And I'm not here to force you to feel the same way. I'm just here to say that today, and every day, I support marriage equality, and I pray (to GOD) every night, that one day, I'll be able to watch my dear friend marry the love of his life, and that I'll get to watch them have a family (oh yeah, I'm totally cool with that too, if you hadn't already guessed). Why? Because they deserve it. More than most. They have a love that deserves to be celebrated every day. They are PEOPLE that deserve to be celebrated every day. Just like you. Just like me.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Drama, Drama, Drama

Once again, no, I haven't not given up on this little blog. Life has just been insanely hectic, and sitting down to type something longer than a quick response to an email has been...well....impossible.

So what's been happening?

Well....our entire house got an overhaul. We were expecting none of it to start until probably mid-March, and yet, it's already entirely done. We lucked out! Our tile guy got us in one day after coming to give us a quote, and our painter had an opening and got us in 2 weeks ahead of schedule. And let me tell ya....thank God they did.

It was mass chaos around here for the entirety of last week, and for two days, Landon and I were locked in my bedroom from 8 am until about 4pm....which is enough to make us both go crazy. The first couple hours on the first day, he thought it was the best thing ever. We got to eat snacks in bed, do our puzzles, color, paint with shaving cream in the shower, eat lunch at his mini to my bed....he was in heaven. By about 12:30 that first day though, he had had enough. And we still had many more hours to go. To say that we both survived is really a huge accomplishment. And the fact that I didn't go absolutely, lock-me-up-in-a-padded-room crazy with the complete and utter disarray of my house for those few days.....THAT is downright amazing.

But we made it through and it was SO worth those few agonizing days! It all looks AMAZING! Everybody keeps asking for pictures, and I'm getting there, but I'm still working on some finishing touches, so I don't want to jump the gun. We have an area rug on order for the kitchen, I still have some pictures to hang, a few projects to make and hang. We're getting there. At least it's all functional. And once it's all entirely complete.....there will be a LOT of pictures!

Aside from our house getting a makeover, Landon got one of his own this weekend. The dreaded hair cut. If anyone has seen my child in person over the last month or so, you know how badly he needed the hair cut. But if you know him, you also know that getting a hair cut is the equivalent of putting him in the electric chair. The kid doesn't deal well. At ALL. It's almost as if he can feel every single hair being cut, which makes me wonder if he has some weird, rare disease. Although, I'm guessing, he's just an average toddler. With a little more than average lung power.

So we tried last weekend.....thought we'd take him to lunch, and then to Carnival Cuts, since that is where everyone has told us to go. Yes, well, the wait was an hour, we were coming up on nap time, and they expected him to sit, strapped in, to that little race car? Sooooo not going to happen. So we resigned and said we'd try again. So Saturday came, and it was time. Nap time had been successful, we had suckers in hand, and we headed out to find someone who could put up with the demon that comes out of him when he's near scissors.

Here is where I must say, I think we have eternally ruined the sweet young girl who unknowingly agreed to cut this angelic boys hair. He came in, all smiles and waves and giggles, and she said "of course!!!". We assured her that he didn't like it, tried to warn her. She assured us it was "fine" and that "we get nervous kids allllll the time". Ooook. If you say so. So we get ourselves into position. Jeremy is caped up, Landon on lap, sucker in hand, Baby Einstein on my phone. Then it happened. She made her first mistake. She picked up a comb, and ran it through his hair. Suddenly, he knew exactly what was happening, and he wasn't cool with it.

Next came the blood curdling screams, the back arching, the pleas, the aggravation. Sweet young girl was trying her hardest to wait for him to calm down. I quickly let her know it wasn't going to happen, just go for it. Just get it over with. And holy hell did she ever. Her first cut.....I'm pretty sure I almost passed out. Let's step back in time for a second and remember his last four hair cuts. We have gone to Jeremy's cousin, who is a perfectionist and goes slowly, taking only a little bit at a time, in case he absolutely refuses to let her continue, at least it will be even. I was good with that. Took forever, but at least it wasn't extreme. This chick....oh no. A solid three inches, one swipe. And that's when I just knew. Nobody was going to be happy when we left.

By the end of the ordeal, the poor girl was shaking, Landon looked like he took a weed whacker to his head, I was traumatized, and Jeremy was exhausted. Annnnd.....everyone else in the salon at the time? They'll never be the same.

Had to come home and try to attempt to clean it up a bit ourselves, which was a whole new war to wage. But we got it a little more even....I think? I must say, the girl did a phenomenal job. She really did. She worked SO fast, and she didn't smack him. It's not her fault. And I do hold extreme guilt for the nightmares she will probably have for the rest of her lifetime. My child is just a special breed when it comes to hair cutting. At least it's so short, we won't have to worry about it for a while again. But will need to be cut again. Like before his 2 year pictures. And I think I may have to have a surrogate mommy go. I don't know how much more of that my heart can handle.

Yesterday, seeing as we had traumatized him the day before, we figured we would have a nice little family day. We had errands to run, so we figured we'd add lunch in, some Spring / Summer clothes shopping for the little guy, it'd be perfect. Sun was shining, we didn't need to wear coats, what could go wrong? Everything. Everything could go wrong, of course. First meltdown came in Kohls, when he decided the stroller was no longer doin' it for him, and he was over being held. Fine. Hurry up, finish, got everything we needed, we were good. So let's try lunch. Again.....the people in that restaurant will never be the same. We have officially had to leave our first restaurant, and leave our first delicious meal behind. We tried everything, but it became incredibly obvious that nothing was going to work, so I threw in the towel, and took him to the car. I was mortified, he was STILL screaming, and a huge sense of defeat fell over me.

My kid is that kid. That kid that I swore I would never have. That kid that screams through lunch and throws himself onto store floors when he doesn't get his way. How the hell did this happen? I have worked my tail off this last 21, almost 22, months to ensure that this wouldn't be the outcome. We have taken him to countless restaurants, so he knew how to behave. We take him shopping, so he knows how to behave. And on the average day, he really does do amazing. And no, I'm not just saying that because he's my kid and I want you to think he's perfect. Go back and reread everything I have just written, I have absolutely NO problem owning up to the fact that he can be absolutely insane sometimes. And I have absolutely NO problem owning up to the fact that there are probably things that I am doing as a mother that are contributing to him acting that way. And that stinks. Big time. Because I really am trying my absolute hardest. But I also have to remind myself that NO child is perfect. They all have their moments. This weekend, my child's just all happened to be in public. Which is embarrassing, but it happened, and there's nothing I can do now, except to hopefully stop it from happening again.  Which it probably will. And when it does, I will be back to thinking I am an awful parent because I can't control my kid. And there will be more mommy-tears, and lots more mommy-frustrations. And probably a lot more posts about the insanity. Jeremy tells me these are the stories that one day we'll laugh about. I'm not there yet. Right now I'm still stuck between disappointed (in him AND myself) and embarrassment. And being downright thankful that we will probably never see any of the people that experienced his tornado this weekend, ever again.

Clearly, he wore himself right on out, because he slept until 9:30 this morning. I'd love to credit the time change, but he still went to bed at 8 last night, so it was just a result of being utterly exhausted after all of his shenanigans this weekend. And yes, when I went in to get him at 9:30 today (after getting TWO bathrooms cleaned, and a load of laundry started....whoooo hooooo!), I retrieved my sweet, loving, calm little boy with a crazy hair cut. He was all smiles, hugs and kisses, and for a few moments, I completely forgot about this weekend and all the downs. I was stuck in an "up" with him, and it was exactly what I needed. Here's to hoping the rest of today stays stuck in "up".

Friday, February 22, 2013

Some Current Obsessions

It's another list kind of day. Because it's snowing outside AGAIN and it makes me dark and dismal and dreary and putting together any kind of lengthy, meaningful words just seems like too much work for me and this cup of joe beside me.

So's my list of current obsessions. Because I have a few.

  • Clearly, this here little corner of the internet has gotten a small makeover. Gray, Chevron and I are having a moment. As I'm about to paint half my house gray, I'm planning for all the small ways I can bring chevron in without overdoing it. I feel like it's a fine line, and I don't want to cross it.
  • Change. I'm obsessing over change. I've changed my half bath and now my laundry room, with paint. We are preparing to change our living room, foyer, hallway and kitchen with paint. I am feeling an extreme need for all this change and new things to look at. 
  • Babies. I feel like I have finally reached a point of feeling like we are truly ready to add to our family of three. When it will happen, I have no idea. But I feel 100% ready for the first time; I feel like I'm realizing that maybe there is another soul that belongs in this family. 
  • My friends babies. I had a long talk with a good friend yesterday about how excited I am for all my friends to become moms. Because I know, without a doubt, there is not a single one of them that isn't going to kick ass at it. And now as a mom myself, I want to see all of them love this much. I want to see the moment when they go from thinking I'm crazy to totally understanding. Because it's coming. And I can't wait to see it. I can't wait to share it with them and spoil the crap out of those babies. 
  • My kid. I'm obsessing over my kid lately. His every move, his every word, his every smile, his every breath. I'm just flat out obsessed with him. Especially when we're sitting at the table, eating breakfast, and he takes a bite of his waffle and says, "Mmmm. Dats weel good". Yep, that happened this morning. Right now, he's sitting on a plate and scooching (is that a real word? I can't find correct spelling.....?) himself around the kitchen, cracking up. Whatever works, dude. But I'm a little sad it's not the mounds of toys that you have sitting here. 
  • Odwalla Strawberry Banana Smoothies. Obsessed.
  • I have a serious determination when it comes to tricking the cat into taking her antibiotic, and I get a very strange thrill when it works and she didn't even see it coming. Last night, it happened at 10:15 and Jeremy was not nearly excited as I was when I accomplished my feat. In fact, I think he said, through closed eyes, "You're insane". 
  • Still obsessed with finding a new Florida. Some days I know it's just ridiculous talk, other days, I'm so dead serious, it's not funny, and I get a little pissy when people don't believe me. Today I'm feeling is one of those days. STOP WITH THE FREAKING SNOW ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!
  • Paint chip colors. I think I'm settled and ready to hand them to the painter, and then....nope. Not quite. Gray is a tricky business.
  • Grey's Anatomy. I fell off there for a while, but I've been back these last two seasons and holy cow. I'm still madly in love. Especially with McDreamy. How does one individual get better looking every episode? I mean, seriously.
  • Landon would like to add his list of obsessions to this list. They currently include: chasing the cat, kitchen chairs, play dough, picking up crumbs, and fruit twists. His cat hates the chasing, his mother hates the crawling on the kitchen chairs, the play dough and fruit twists I'm ok with, and the crumb picking....I'm undecided. Part of me says "YAY! He's a clean freak like me!". The other part of me says "Oh shit. He's a clean freak like me!". 
  • I have been singing "Squirmy, squirmy wormy. Squirmy, squirmy wormy" for 20 minutes now. Thanks, Little Bill. This isn't an obsession I was looking to have.
Hope you all have a great weekend, and that you stay WARM and safe from the freaking snow! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This One's For The Girls

I know girls. A few of them. All around the same "teenage" or "tween" age. Some of them share blood with me. Some of them don't, but I love them just as much. And they're all different. Each one. All unique. All amazing, wonderful, beautiful girls.

I was their age....not THAT long ago. I remember it vividly. I remember the heartbreaks. The "instant messages" which are now texts. I remember wanting to be cool. I remember wanting the popular girls to like me. I remember it all like it was yesterday.

But here's the thing. I wasn't cool. At least not to the "cool kids". The popular girls didn't hate me, but they didn't want to hang out with me, either. The "cute boys" didn't like me, hell, they probably didn't even notice me. When my name was read at graduation, I am fairly certain that a large number of my fellow students probably said, "Who?".

And there were days when all of it was horribly painful. I wanted to be pretty. I wanted a boyfriend. I wanted everybody to love me.

And these girls I know, whether they admit it or not, all feel the same way. For some of them, it's not painful at all. Nope. Because they ARE the popular one. The pretty one. The one all the boys like. Some of them are more like me. Not hideously "unpopular", but not invited to the hottest parties every week either.

I could turn this into a big spiel about how much more I relate with those girls. Because let's be honest, I do. But I'm not going to. Because at the end of the day, what I want to say is for ALL the girls. Cool, uncool. Popular, unpopular. Cheerleader, band member. Whatever they are.

And I know that what I'm about to say is so much easier to say now that I'm through it, and it's over for me. But....if I had known then what I know now, maybe I wouldn't have spent so many nights crying to friends over SILLY things. Because while they seem huge to you now, I promise you, they aren't.

That cute boy that you're "in love" with? The one you are crying over because he likes that "other" girl? He most likely won't be your husband. You'll probably never see him again after graduation. Your soul mate is out there. And probably not sitting two rows ahead of you in English class. Don't sweat it. Really.

That pretty girl that all the boys like? She probably won't marry any of them either. So don't envy her. She seems perfect to you because they like her. But you have no idea. You don't know what it's like for her at home. You don't know why all the boys like her. And trust me, if they like her for the wrong reasons, you do NOT want to be like her. I promise.

And if you ARE that pretty girl? Stop trying so damn hard. Any boy worth your time will like you for (drumroll please....because it's about to get corny) your PERSONALITY. Not your boobs hanging out of your shirt. Or the bottom half of your ass cheeks hanging out of your shorts. The boys who like that want ONE thing, and I promise you, it's not to live happily ever after with you. And being vulgar to get their attention? Not cute either. Maybe it is to them now, but one day, when your kid is asking you why there are naked pictures of you online somewhere laced with curse words and awful things, you'll regret those five minutes of popularity it all earned you.

You don't NEED to go to the party and get drunk on Friday night. You really don't. Hanging out at home won't kill you. In fact, it definitely won't. That party might. Don't be dumb. Might be "cool" now, but it won't be later. Trust me.

Middle school, high school, none of it lasts. It'll be over before you know it. And then what does being "popular" mean? Nothing. Sorry. Doesn't help you in college. Won't help you in the real world. Your awesome bubble will pop the day you're out of that school. So I'm hoping that your bubble is filled with good grades, true friends, and lots of laughs, and not sleezy pictures, drunken nights and pregnancy scares. (No, you don't want to be on Teen Mom....those girls are NOT what you need to be aspiring to)

Some of these girls I know will read this. Some of them might say to themselves "Ok...I really am ok. I'm going to be something someday and high school doesn't last forever". Some of them will roll their eyes and say "Oh my God, she's SO lame. She IS such a loser". Whatever you say, that's ok. Just remember it all. Because one day, when you're sitting in your kitchen watching your kid play and make every animal noise in the book, while you wait for your husband to come home, you'll realize that I'm right.

To the ones that do read it, and take it in, I love you. If you ever need a shoulder to cry on, know that I'm always here. You are perfect just the way you are. Don't let anybody tell you any different. And please, do trust me when I say..... your life will turn out just the way you want it to, if you work for it. If you stay focused, and you make the right choices, you WILL get exactly what you want.

To the ones who think I'm "like the biggest nerd, ever", I love you, too. I only want the very best for you, and I know exactly what you're capable of, and exactly what you're worth. And it's more than the vodka and mini skirts. You are BEAUTIFUL, and you don't need to flaunt it so much to be just as gorgeous. And your heart is amazing.....let someone see THAT first. Please. I'm here for you too though, if things go too far one night and you feel like shit in the morning. I'll pick you up, cry with you, whatever. But be prepared for reminders that you are better than all of it.

And to the mama's of these beautiful girls, you're amazing. You have phenomenal daughters. Remind them of that daily. And remind yourself, too.

To the Daddy's, give these girls love, lots of it. Don't make them search in the wrong places for the wrong kind of love. Give them the right kind, constantly. Tell them they're beautiful, that you love them, that they are your world. Because I know they are.

And to Landon, be the "good guy". Like the "other" girl. The one who isn't always perfect, but the one whose real. See her heart, not her body. None of them will ever be good enough for you in my eyes, but don't drive me to heavy drinking with your choices. Make your mama proud.

And to any future daughter that I may or may not be blessed with, you're perfect. Gorgeous. Listen to mommy when I say you don't need to be extreme to be loved. And know that your father should ALWAYS be your number one guy. Until you have a son....then it's ok for him to be 1.5.

"This ones for all you girls about thirteen, high school can be so rough, can be so mean. Hold onto your innocence, stand your ground when everyone is giving in. This ones for the girls, who've ever had a broken heart, who've ever wished upon a shooting star, you're beautiful the way you are. This ones for the girls who love without holding back, who dream with everything they have, all around the world. This ones for the girls."

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lots of Love

Valentine's Day was a special day around here. Nothing extraordinary, nothing spectacular, ordinary, really. But special nonetheless.

I kept thinking to myself all day, that I had to make it special, because if we are lucky enough, it could be the last Valentine's Day with just one little Valentine. And I wanted to soak up every ounce of the day in case that is in fact, the case.

We started by adding our final heart to Landon's bedroom door. In case you missed it, I started about three weeks back, adding one heart to Landon's bedroom door every morning telling him something else that we love about him. Him and I read them every morning when I got him out of bed, and Jeremy and him read them every night before he put him down. It was so much fun, and such a wonderful way to remind ourselves just how blessed we really are with this little dude. It's definitely a tradition that will be carried on for years to come, and all of them will be saved. I can't wait to look back one day and see what special pieces of him we loved the absolute most each year. Some of our favorite hearts included...

And of course, the handsome Valentine in front of his love explosion:

We decided that Valentine's Day called for a breakfast more significant than english muffins or cheerios, so we opted for strawberry muffins. But why not make them heart shaped? After all, Pinterest exists for a reason.

Super cute idea, but the heart shape didn't really pan out once they were cooked. But they were still just as delicious, and clearly, Landon didn't mind the shape when it came to devouring....

I do believe that SOME of his two muffins made it in his mouth. But I was also reminded of why muffins are only for "special" mornings. 

The rest of our day was just a lot of snuggling, a lot of loving, and a lot of enjoying. And it was pretty perfect. And of course, we also had a festive lunch....

I assure you, I found this much cooler than Landon did.

Of course, what would Valentine's Day be without a little drama for the mama? Our plan was to pick up dinner from Macaroni Grill and have it here for when Jeremy got home from work. Our adventure began with a missing gift card, went on to car issues involving an incessant beeping and interior light continually flashing on and off, then progressing onto the CD player trying to eat my brand new Tim McGraw CD. Add to it massive traffic, sleet, and a kid was getting beyond irritated, and it all ended with a call to my mother to just vent and scream before I lost my mind. Eventually, we made it home, and dinner was delicious. So all is well that ends well. But there was definitely frustration in between.

Friday was Mama's spa day, which, after the intensity of Thursday night and its stresses, was much welcomed. Dropped Landon off with Jeremy's parents and headed off to lunch with my Mom, then a massage, facial, and hair cut. It. Was. Divine. But I missed Landon horribly and was all too happy to be reunited that evening. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, I suppose.

The rest of our weekend has been a lovely mixture of chaos, love and fun. Stopped into Aidan's soccer game Saturday afternoon, and let Landon run wild on the empty fields. That's the way to that kids heart, clearly. Did a lot more staring at paint chips, and feel even more confused than I was before. Amazing. Today we attempted a trip to Lowe's together to get some back splash samples, and that was just a disastrous meltdown situation. But, we think we have at least made a decision on that. So hey! We're getting somewhere. 

Tonight after dinner, somehow we started a full out running game. Jeremy was at one end of the hallway, me at the other, and Landon just kept running back and forth between us, screaming with pure glee, and flying into our arms at each end. As we continued to play and laugh, I was hit with this overwhelming feeling of, "Holy crap. He's ours. Half Jeremy, Half Me, All Ours. We made this. And we are his world." You would think it wouldn't take me until 2 days before his 21 month mark to realize this, and I don't really think it did. But it just hit me hard today. If we are blessed and fortunate enough, one day we'll be a family of more than just us three, so I need to savor and take in these moments now, while they're happening. So that's what I did. I let myself be completely immersed in our game and let it all sink in. And it was beautiful. And I think I was probably more disappointed when Landon started panting and we had to stop, than he was. But it was a blissful 5 minutes for our family of three. And I'll take it. 

So...that's that. Tomorrow is a bank holiday, so we're lucky enough to have another family day while Jeremy has the day off. Although, it involves a trip to the vet for Daphne and me, and my anxiety surrounding THAT task has already begun. Almost as bad as Landon's shot days. Especially for my little anti social ball of fur scaredy cat. 

One of the bloggers I follow, Meredith, over at The Tichenor Family shared a song on her blog yesterday (along with an absolutely heart wrenching, gorgeous video of her beautiful family and their BIG announcement), and I found the lyrics perfectly suited to my feelings this evening, so I'll end with those.

"This kind of love makes me feel ten feet tall, it makes all my problems fall. This kind of love it's what I dreamed about, yeah it fills me up, baby it leaves no doubt. This kind of love it's why I'm standing here, it's something that we can share. I can't enough of this kind of love."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Random Thought Wednesday

I have a lot of things running through my mind, all very random, and none of which can make up an entire post. So this is just going to be a purge of my brain at the moment. I assure you, there is no theme, or any connecting factor. It is all just pure random garbage.

  • Blake Shelton's newest single, "Sure Be Cool If You Did", I feel fairly certain, was written about the night Jeremy and I met. It's basically perfect. And spot on. It's on repeat around here.
  • Counseling really does make me feel like a normal human. Most of the time.
  • Still not spring? Lame. 
  • If it snows another flake, I will lose my mind. 
  • Friendships die out every day. Others grow every day. I am loving the growth. Surprisingly, I'm only slightly saddened by the dying out.
  • My husband really is a good seed.
  • Landon is learning something new every single day. Watching it is the single coolest thing I will ever do. 
  • Landon is a real person. With a real personality. And it's a damn good one. 
  • Scentsy's "Inner Peace"....where have you been all my life? Why did I not stock pile you during Bring Back My Bar?
  • I'm simultaneously writing this and preparing a meatloaf for dinner. Why both at the same, Kelly? Why?
  • We have made so many Valentine's treats and crafts leading up to tomorrow, that I have nothing special planned for the big day at all. Besides heart shaped sandwiches. That is happening. 
  • A lot of thought, emotion, and talking goes into deciding on the timing for a second baby. A LOT.
  • Landon screamed the neighbor's name yesterday. From his bedroom window. While pounding on it and watching him play across the street. Made me realize, with 150% certainty that we made the right choice to stay here and not move. 
  • Where the hell are Max & Ruby's parents? I mean, seriously. I know I'm not the first to ask, but why has the question never been answered?
  • Germ anxiety hasn't lessened, I'm just learning (or trying to learn) to deal. I haven't decided how this is going. 
  • Success = a trip to Marshall's with two germaphobe mamas and two toddlers that resulted in no temper tantrums, and lots of great buys.
  • Painted my half bath a grayish purple. And it kicks ass. That was a week ago. Maybe before we hit the two week mark I'll fix the places on the ceiling that got paint on them. I said maybe.
  • Tax return has been filed, now show me the money, Uncle Sam, so we can get the rest of these renovations under way. 
  • Fairchild Road between 21 and 23 Mile is the biggest mud bog. It's ridiculous. And is cause for a carwash. 
  • Landon is a counter top food thief. Don't set your plate too close to the edge. You'll be missing valuable food groups by the time you get to it.
  • I need to go wrap presents for the two fellas in this house. Yes. We buy presents for Valentine's Day. Why not? My prediction is that tomorrow will be a play dough heaven around these parts. Bring it on. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Mommy Woes

This has been a day. One of "those" days.

The type of day that starts with a toddler continually pulling out the bottom drawer of the entertainment center to stand in. Which then proceeded to pushing every button on the very heavy TV. Cue my (probably) irrational fears, and all I could do was see the TV collapsing down on him. He was taken out of the drawer and put into time out at least 6 times. Every single time his time had been served, he was back in the drawer. I tried redirecting, it would only last a maximum of 2 minutes before, you guessed it, he was back in the drawer. Tried to take a shower, locked him in the bathroom with me. Completely obliterated the undersides of the bathroom cabinet, leaving the bathroom in complete shambles, and then broke free. I then had to rush out of the shower and run to the living room soaking wet, because mama vibes set in, and I just knew. Where did I find him? In the drawer. Pushing every button on the TV.

This is where I must remind you that I am human, just like I have said from the very beginning of this blog. And this human mama lost it. There was yelling. A lot of it. Which caused my adventurous boy to start crying hysterically. Which, of course, caused me to start crying hysterically. So now there is yelling, crying, apologizing, more yelling, and yet still, no solution, because I STILL have a toddler standing in a drawer.

Enter my God send, my mother. I call, completely overwhelmed and defeated, and she asks what she can do. Except, I have no idea. Because at the end of the day, I know the root of all of this. We are stir crazy. Completely OVER being stuck in the house. Over the cold, over the winter, over the germs, over my absolutely debilitating fear of the germs. He's bored. I'm going crazy. It's just a bad mix. I am 100% serious when I tell you that I have researched family friendly towns to reside in in Florida. Like...have actually looked at homes online that are currently available to purchase.

But that's neither here nor there I suppose. My mother showed up, less than an hour later, with the fixings for cookie making and open ears. She flat out asked me, "Is this one of those days when you just don't want to do this anymore?". My heart sank. Oh my God, I must be a horrible mother, because I am quite certain that that thought had to of crossed my mind at some point during this mornings fiasco.  But she was also quick to say, "Because it's ok if it is. I had those days, too." Oh wait. This is normal? To feel this overwhelmed with ONE kid? How are people doing it with two? Three? Four? FIVE!? And being so calm and happy? Surely, they are normal, and I am bat shit crazy. Obviously.

My cousin also offered me some solace. She told me that if we are being amazing parents 1/3 of the time, we are doing our jobs, and we both know we are being amazing parents far more than 1/3 of the time. In fact, 95% of the time, I do feel like I'm pretty darn good at this. {For the record, that doesn't mean that I AM good at this 95% of the time, but I at least know that 95% of the time, I am trying my absolute hardest} But there is that 5% that creeps in some times, and this morning, was one of those times.

I also know, that it's not just me. He's a toddler, he's testing his limits, he's learning. But in that moment, I feel like if I was a better parent, he would have absolutely no need or desire to stand in a drawer after being told 50000000 times not to. And those moments....well....they SUCK. Because they are enough to break any mama's spirit and will. And this morning, I felt very broken. Very unsure of how I will ever be able to handle this when God decides to bless us with another baby. Very unsure of myself, and quite frankly, really not liking myself very much.

It also didn't help that in the midst of all this, my hair is continuing to fall out in clumps, and the bare spots are growing by what seems like the millisecond. I can't walk by a mirror without feeling absolutely disgusted, and that gets a girl down. Sorry, maybe that's vain, but it does. Everybody wants to feel like they're at least not "disgusting", and on most days, I don't feel that. In fact, I feel downright nasty. And it's disheartening. I try to look past it, try to tell myself, "Hey! It's ok! You don't need great hair or perfect skin, you're a good mom, and look at your miracle!". But there are moments when it all culminates together and I feel like a shitty, ugly mom. Today was one of those days.

But I thank my Mom, because she did help. Her reassurance, and of course, delicious cookies, did help offer a small bit of clarity.

Tonight, Jeremy and I will be discussing what home improvement projects I can get started on immediately, instead of waiting for spring to start. To give my something to do to pass these (hopefully) last days of winter. To make me feel accomplished. Because when I feel accomplished, I do feel better. Bucket loads better. So....let the planning commence.

And tomorrow, we will leave our house. I will force myself. To go to the store. To do SOMETHING. To just get us out of here. We need it. We also really need Spring. Right now.

And Wednesday, I will go see my counselor again, for the first time in a few months. Because, clearly, I still need to. I thought I was good, and for a while, I was. But I know me, and I know when I'm in a place that I need help, guidance. And I'm there. And I'm not afraid, nor ashamed, to admit it.

Does any of this mean that I don't still love being a mom? No. Does it mean that I want out? Absolutely not. Does it mean that I give up? Nope, not even close. It means that I'm human, and I had a day. Isn't the first time, won't be the last. The goal, however, is that on the next "day", I know what to do, how to snap myself out of it, how to feel better faster. Stay tuned.

Friday, January 25, 2013

"On The Night You Were Born"

We just had a moment. Landon and I did.

We woke up this morning and he started sneezing, and his nose started running, and I started cursing because we literally have not left our house all week. We've gone NO where. So the fact that he apparently STILL managed to catch something, just really grinds my nerves.

So after not wanting to eat much breakfast, he brought me an armful of books, crawled up in my lap, snuggled in, and we started reading.

We have read "On The Night You Were Born" by Nancy Tillman before. A couple times, tops. It isn't filled with cows that he can moo at, or babies that he can kiss, so it's not one of his absolute favorites. But reading it today, I realized that it is, hands down, one of my favorites.

If you haven't read it, or you don't have it for your child, please, go buy it, and have a moment like Landon and I had together this morning.

Feel every word. Relate to every word. And if you're anything like me, cry over every word.

I won't sit here and type out the whole book, although, I really should so you get my point. But, it starts with Pslams 139 on the first page: "For you are fearfully and wonderfully made". I kick myself a little every time I walk into Landon's room and realize that this verse isn't displayed SOMEWHERE in his room. I've vowed to fix that, and to make sure that any future babies also have it in theirs. Because really, is it not the absolute truth?

I didn't even get through the first page without realizing that I hadn't paid close enough attention to this book the first few times we read it. And it took me back to that fateful night of May 19, 2011, which in some ways, was probably the worst, scariest night of my life. But in every single way that matters, it was the absolute best night I will ever have. I've already written his birth story, so I won't go down that long road again, even though every second of it all is replaying in my head right now. How did we get from there, to this TODDLER that will be TWO in four months? FOUR MONTHS!!!! TWO!!! I have FOUR months to plan a kick ass Diego party for my TWO YEAR OLD. But that's another story.

Annnnnyway. The first page, I have to share.
"On the night you were born, 
the moon smiled with such wonder 
that the stars peeked in to see you
and the night wind whispered,
"Life wil never be the same."
Because there had never been anyone like you...
ever in the world."

It goes on, for 14 more beautiful, heart wrenching pages. And on every page, I felt like good ol' Nancy Tillman was talking right to Landon and me. Mamas, please, do yourself a favor, if you don't have it already, go get this book. And be smarter than me, and put it up somewhere where little hands can't get it and destroy it. Thankfully, we only have a bent corner, but after this mornings "moment", it will be put in a special place. Maybe it will become our new tradition, to read it every morning, or every night, on his birthday. Maybe at exactly 9:21pm, so we can experience together, exactly what we experienced that night. Sounds like an amazing plan to me. 

"Heaven blew every trumpet, and played every horn, on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born."