Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back at it...

Let's be honest.  There's been a HUGE silence on this blog for a long time.  I've had a lot going on and a lot that I don't want to share with the whole world.  Bottom line.  Life is hard.  Transitions make it even harder and if you live through them... then you're a superstar.

I have this innate ability (in most cases) to make my brain sort of like a huge etch-a-sketch.  Something happens, it's awful, I dwell in it for a minute and then I wake up the next morning thinking... I'm not going to let that get my down, today is a new day... let's go.  Move on and move forward.  I sort of grew up this way and it's something that I haven't really ever grown out of.  Some days I feel so embarrassed that I just skipped right over a huge argument or conversation and then other days, I feel great because it's a new day and I don't have to think about that anymore.

For those around me, when this happens, it can be super frustrating and other times, really awesome.  I wish that I had a way of turning it off, but I just don't.

When I think about it now, I think... Well, it could be worse.  I could just stew over something forever and let it eat me alive... but I just don't.  Now granted, there are occasions when things get too meaty that I don't just let them roll off my shoulder... But those things are just few and far between.

I used to think of myself as a patient, free spirit... It's hard admitting that now because that's changed a bit with a family and kids, but I'm trying to get back to that feeling.  I don't want to be bogged down with negative crap but in all honesty... That's all I've been living and breathing for about 18 months.

I'm turning a page.  I need happy.  I need to feel it, breath it, live it and do happy... All day long, every day.  I realize that choosing to do this isn't something that's going to be easy but I'm giving it a try.  I mean, why not.

The stuff that has been going on, I will eventually talk about.  It's pretty heavy stuff and the details, are just hard to talk about.  We're doing better, our family is doing better, but there are always set backs.  Thankfully, we are moving through those set backs at a better pace now and in a more healthy way.  It's not perfect by any means, but we are moving forward to a more positive future and goal, together.

I don't think you'll meet anyone that says that marriage is easy.  It's not, folks.  There are so many highs and lows, in every circumstance, that it's just hard.  And I feel like I've lived through a lot of the lows that not everyone faces...

So, if I can do it... You can too.  You just have to have the right support and it will work.

With all of that said, I guess it's good that, in this situation, I sort of have that etch-a-sketch brain (as my husband calls it) because, I can't let the bad eat me alive.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Empowering

If you've followed our journey to have children at all, you'll know that it wasn't easy.  We tried a whole LOT of medical procedures, we tried a lot of different medications and experienced all sorts of side effects.  I also decided really late in our journey that an alternative way would probably be more productive and effective than just constantly going to a fertility specialist.

I didn't know where to turn when it came to researching this "alternative" method, but I knew there had to be something out there.  I dug around the internet for weeks and after a little while I felt pretty confident that I had found some things that were going to be helpful for us and that I wanted to give it a try.

After one month of trying this "regimen" we were pregnant with Spud and while he was only in our lives for a very short time, we were so thankful that he arrived and that we were able to become pregnant!  It wasn't exactly what we thought was going to happen but we learned and lived from that experience and we are better because of it.

Bottom line, medicine wasn't the be all and end all for us.  We had another option and with a little research and personal "need" we found it, tried it and it worked!

After my son was born, we were at the doctor for sick bay 4 time for every well visit and to say that we got to know the staff was an understatement!  We were there all the time.  At a very young age, Coen had breathing treatments because of a respiratory infection we had ump-ting medications and antibiotics and we were also sent home a number of times for a viral infection that they could do nothing for.  It was beyond frustrating and hard to watch because there was just so many things that were made "normal" for a baby to have gone through when it really wasn't what I wanted to see happen with my child.

After my daughter was born, I needed something else.  We were staying fairly healthy, she wasn't going to the dr nearly as much as my son so I thought we were in the clear.  Around the time that my son was turning 2 and my daughter was about 9 months, a friend of mine introduced me to essential oils.  She went to a medicine makeover class and sent me a message that said, you need to get your family healthy, keep them healthy and care for them in a natural way... you need these oils!  After a few conversations, I bought a kit.

A year later, we hardly ever go to the dr.  My husband went a few months ago and our pediatrician is our internist too and he said to my husband... "where have you guys been?" and it wasn't until he said that I was like... "Oh wow... I teach about these oils working, I know they work but holy cow, they are really working!"  Thankfully my husband proudly responded to the dr, telling him how we're using the oils and how they are keeping us healthy.  The doctor was so positive and supportive that it really just confirmed this awesome thing that I've chosen to do for our family and how well they are working!

Mind-blowing.

And while I do sell them,  I also teach classes about the oils on all sorts of subjects and have an amazing team that is growing daily..... It's the experiences that people have with the oils that keep the momentum going.  We talk and share about the oils, all the time.  What makes us healthy and happy, encourages others to do the same.  I actually don't have to sell anything.  I simply just have to share an experience or an oil and that's it.

My experiences with the oils span over many subjects and some are kind of personal to just post over the blog-world, but what they are doing for my family and myself is just empowering.  We use the supplements every day to reduce inflammation in our bodies, to boost our energy levels, to get the proper intake of fish oil (without burping up fish oil) and to just make us happy.  We take Triease during this lovely allergy season to keep the boogers and sneezing away.  We take TerraZyme and Digestzen following a really awesome meal that our body's won't love us for; to help it process through without totally destroying our systems. We use Lavender oil for all first aid related items and boy do we have a slue of those lately!  (hello summer!)  I use Deep Blue rub on my stomach and back for the "time of the month" cramps and discomfort. I use Citrus Bliss, Lime and Lemon in my homemade dish-soap, I make my own all purpose cleaner... etc.  The list goes on and on and on...

What I'm doing for myself, my family and everyone that I touch with oils is absolutely life changing and so empowering.

Teaching people about how they can care for themselves naturally and how they can remove (virtually) all toxins from their house, is such an amazing feeling.

Sure, it takes time, but it's your health.  Taking the first step is hard to do sometimes, but once you do it, your body will thank you!

I can't tell you the last time I took an over the counter drug.  I used to live on Tums and Tylenol and I haven't touched those in over a year.  Empowering.

I'm stepping down from my soap box about essential oils, but seriously, if you want oils and want to try them, I want to send you samples and get oils in your hands that will help you feel the way I feel.  They are life changing and I'm confident that you will love the way you feel once you introduce them into your daily regimen.

Take care of yourself and educate yourself to do so!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday to Coen!!!

Today, my son turned 3!


And can I tell you how much I love him?  He's the sweetest little boy, he's kind, affectionate, considerate and a fairly good eater.  He's a ball of energy, he loves playing, he loves running around, he loves his dog and he especially loves his sister.

Turning 3 has surely snuck up on me... I mean, it's bound to happen, right?  But still, it's here now and he's no longer 2.  Last night we were talking about him no longer being 2 today and how this would be the last time that he could say that he was 2 and really be 2.  So then this morning, when we were asking him about how old he was, he immediately said 2... So cute.  We're working on 3 and he's really good at showing us on his hands what 3 looks like.  But don't do it like an "ok" sign, you have to hold down your pinky finger with your thumb or you aren't doing it right!

We're so excited to continue to celebrate with Coen throughout today and the rest of the week!  Birthday's were a big deal with my family and I hope to continue to share that joy with our kids as they have birthdays.  We don't have to do anything really elaborate, but still, just making them feel special and for more than a day, if we can...

So, with that... Here are some pictures from his party this weekend...
















Thursday, March 13, 2014

It's all about ME!

Can I be honest?

2013 was not my year.

I had a lot of things going on emotionally and physically and well, they are still not up to snuff but I'm working on them in a positive more constructive way that I was in 2013.

As a family, we had a lot going on too.  A lot of adjustments that have been made and need to be made in order to be better, together.  We're working on those things too.

I've had some really great realizations, with the help of my counselor...

I need to be me.  I need to let me be me and I need to do it.  I don't need to hold back.  I don't need to worry about what others think and let those things hinder me from being me.  I just need to do it.

Forever, I would let other opinions and ideas and thoughts help shape me.  I would take what other people would say and I would want to do what they are doing or be who they are and I would live with such envy.  I think that's okay in some cases, but I would let that sort of flood my mind and I wouldn't let it come of anything and in the end, I would sort of just drown in an idea and never make anything of myself.  Over the last few months, I've come to realize a couple of things.

I love natural alternatives to medicine.  I love helping people learn about how to care for themselves and I enjoy helping to coach them on how to do those things.

I really do love the idea of going back to school and I really really really really want to get a college degree. I realize that sounds so trivial at this point, but I really want to accomplish this.  My mom always told me that I should do it before I have kids or it will be very difficult.  That didn't happen but I'm very much interested in making that happen, it's just going to take time.

I loved breastfeeding and even though I didn't really document the end of our nursing journey with Emie (but I will) I want to talk to others about breastfeeding every day, all day long.  So, I believe I have come to the realization that I want to work on getting some sort of certification or license so that I can do this.

And now, when I look back through these things spelled out (as I have a handful of times over the last few months), I have decided that I'm going to go back to school, to get a degree that will allow me to help influence people and teach parents-to-be about breastfeeding, natural alternatives to medicine and when it's all said and done... I will get to say that I did this for me!  And in the end... My family will all be happy because I'm happy, doing what I've wanted to do!  :)

This year is going to be pretty life changing for me and I'm excited.  It's going to be the turning point that I've needed... I know... You're probably thinking, you had 3 pregnancies in 3 years and have since had 2 babies... isn't that life changing enough?  Yes. But I need this for them and for me too.  That's pretty important.

Friday, January 24, 2014

I love it...

Coen,

I love it when you put your arm around me and give me pats on my back.  And then you follow it up with saying, "You like it when I give you pats? Yea? You do. You do."

I love when you ask me to catch my bubbles and then you pop them with your finger on my cheek.  You're fast to say, "I use my finger, right?" You say this because before you'd haul off and smack me in the cheek to make me pop my bubbles and I quickly corrected that.

I love it when you ask me to make a sad face and then a happy face.  We do that over and over again until you're done and then you say, "I make you happy?"  To which I tell you that you're my best buddy and my favorite little boy and that I love you to pieces.

I love it when you ask me, "Is that a good idea?" in context.  It cracks me up.  I equally love when you follow up by answering your own question and tell me, "Yes, yes it is.  It is a good idea."

I love when you are asked to say thank you and you quickly answer yourself with you're welcome before anyone else can answer.  Then you go back to have correct the person that should've said you're welcome to then say you're welcome again.

I love your questions.  Like, when you get up from time out and you immediately ask, "why am I in time out?"

Or, when we ask you to talk about something you did the day or weekend before, you almost always say, "what I do?" As if you don't recall and you need help remembering... Sometimes I wonder if you say it out of habit to collect your thoughts and then share what you remembered.

And your memory... My goodness, it's amazing.  You remember things that I sometimes forget were even talked about.  Lately, you've been re-playing a video conversation that you had about Toby (our dog) eating your fishy book and you almost always repeat it exactly as you said it on the video.

I love how you can memorize books and read them back to me.  I also love hearing you on the monitor, when you're in your room and you're reading books to yourself as if we are sitting there listening to you.

I think it's hilarious when you are asked what you want to eat at any meal, or what you had to eat at any meal, your response is almost always, "chicken nuggets!"  And now, you know that it's just funny to us to have you respond that way, so now you say it and immediately crack up.

I love when you ask to watch a video on my phone, that we have a conversation like this...
Coen: "Video?"
Mama: "Not now."
And you think it's hilarious.  You ask it over and over again because you just love to laugh together.

I love that when you apologize for something that you say, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to. It was just an ass-i-dent."

I love that you ask for the "liza-betta song" in the car and that I know what that means, I think.

I love that you ask for Emie's input and most of the time cut her off with, "yay, you do?" before she can answer.

I love it when you give Toby scratches and get all excited about him chasing you around the house... only to realize that Toby might actually be running from you and it just looks like he's playing with you...

I love it when you say, "it's just an ass-ident."

I love when you recognize where we are and also recognize that you don't know where you are and you ask about where we are going.  Like when we were driving to Nana & Papa's house and you could tell that we were headed there.  Or when we were driving on some back roads to get to the sitter's the other day and you immediately knew that we were doing something different.  (I guess that just means, again, that kids love routine and when you take them from it, they notice!)

I love it when you go into our room (with your sister) and turn on your dad's alarm clock radio and it starts playing songs.  To which you guys then start your own dance party and encourage everyone to dance!

I love how... at the end of the day, when you're going to bed, if you hear your sister crying, you say, "I go check on her." And when I tell you that you cannot and to get back in bed, you get so mad with me.  Usually you go on to say, "I'll be riiiiiight back.  You stay right here. You understand?  Ok?"

------------------

I had to document these things before you're old and grown and these things are just a faint memory of all of the really great times that we had with you as a 2.5 year old.

You make me smile every day, even if you aren't agreeing with what I'm asking you to do.  We're in the middle of several things, right now.  We're working on potty training, which is going so well!  We're working on no hitting and no biting which is a really hard phase to get through.  It seems like it's sticking around a little longer than normal and that's hard to deal with.  You're starting to understand but it's just taking time.

You're so full of energy and love being a fun happy kid.  This morning you were doing laps around the house in your jammy top and undies.  It was hilarious and I literally had to block you from doing another lap to get you dressed and on the potty.  You say that your running shoes help you run fast "like Dash".

You love playing ball of any kind and you have a great throw!  You also are able to hit the baseball pretty good, already... So much so that you almost always hit it directly into the face of the person "pitching" to you.

You're all boy.  You love trucks and planes and helicopter and trains and dirt and puddles and walking in the snow and wearing boots and all things that boys like to do...

You're a blast to be around and your personality is just perfect. We love watching you grow and while we have had a fun harder stages these last few months, it's all just a phase and we will grow together, through it.

Happy 2.5 years Birthday, Bubs!

Love you,

Mama

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Toddler Christmas Shopping in FULL SWING

Uplifting and off (the current "mama's in a funk" - we're going to get through it) topic...

What's on our Christmas lists?

Buying for two kids close in age, we decided that we'd get them something "big" as their gift and then throw in a few small things to help balance gifts and gender specific things as well.

This year this is what's on the shopping list or has already been purchased..

1. The BIG Gift.

I'm on a lot of those "mommy's cleaning out the house, let's sell it" boards and boy are their some really great deals that come through there!  This year, we talked about getting the kids a train table with drawers of trains and storage.  We thought it would be fun for both of them because with the little circle track that we already have and the 4 little trains, we find one of them playing with it, almost daily.  Thankfully, one set popped up on one of those boards that just hit the nail on the head.  It was a Thomas the Train table with two drawers for storage underneath and each drawer was full of all of the pieces and parts that were needed to complete the whole deal.  It had something like 29 trains, all sorts of tracks, buildings, bridges and whatever else and it was seriously, perfect.  We snagged it for a great deal and with a little pick up project done and our of our way, it resides in our basement until Santa arrives.

It looks something like this...


2. Mr. Potato Head

Of course I walked into Toys R Us on a weekend and almost walked out because of the crowd but decided that I would just find the first store associate and ask for them to show me where I could find the three items I was looking for and I wouldn't leave unless they didn't have them.  Wouldn't you know that a store associate was very hard to find that wasn't already helping someone else... the nerve!  I found a young soul, had repeated my list a hundred times in my head and when I went to spit it out and ask this poor youth what I was looking for, do you know what I said? "Could you tell me where I could find Humpty Dumpty??" WHAT?!?!  It barely got out of my mouth before I realized what I was really trying to say, but you know that he of course had plenty of time to look at my like I had 4 heads before I could correct myself.

That weekend when I went, Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head were $5... BARGAIN!  So, yes, we will have two... a girl and a boy version and it will all be a fun mess!

 


3. A Doll.

I really wanted to get Emie a doll.  A cloth doll with virtually no parts or pieces or loose clothing items.I did a couple searches on Target.com and before I knew it, it was right there in front of me!  I have seen several ideas online or through Etsy, but it just wasn't fitting my need and with a little peanut that literally puts everything in her poor sore mouth, I wanted something that I could wash or not worry about her having in her bed.

So, what is it called?  It's called a Mooshka Tots Doll and her name is Zana. She's got brown hair and blue eyes, kind of like Emie, although she's probably more blonde than the doll, but that's okay.  Still cute.  There's a commercial out there that is super cute and shows a doll that sings "ring around the rosie" and I would've loved to have bought that one, but just thought this was perfect for Emie.  She has other babies, but really liked this one and thought she would to, so I went with it.



4. Slippers.

A friend of mine was traveling with her daughter in an airport and posted a sweet picture of her wearing slipper socks and I thought, "those are so darn cute, I need them for our kids!"  And that was that.  I asked her where she got them and I was off to find the same thing.  I just know that shoes aren't the most comfortable thing for kids to wear all the time, my daughter almost always pulls them off as soon as we get in the car and while I'd love for her to keep her piggies warm, she's not always on board.  So, maybe these little slipper sock deals will change their minds about what they put or keep on their feet!  I can dream, right?

 

5. Stocking Stuffers.

Growing up and even still now... My mom (aka Santa) was a HUGE stocking stuffer fan.  She loaded them up so much that when we pulled them off the mantel, we were digging through our loot for a long time before we were done getting it all out and looking through it.  So, I try to carry on that tradition, but honestly, it's just starting this year.  And I'm so thankful for Target's dollar spot for making it so darn easy to accomplish!  Small wooden music toys, festive socks, board books, sticker pages, and some other wooden toys.  I still need a few other things but I have plenty of time...

Last year we got Coen and Emie a kitchen from a garage sale and we were able to fill it with wooden food from Melissa & Doug, as well as pots, pans and utensils from Ikea and they are still in love with it.  So, I'm hopeful that this new train table will receive the same sort of attention that the kitchen has.  It's going to take up some space and we're still talking about where to put it... It's going to be a lot of fun to play with.  The little items are just fun for them to open and enjoy.

It's going to be extra exciting this year since Emie is bigger and going to be into it more and as proof from our first "advent book" opening night, Coen is really great at unwrapping!  Oh man... this is going to be great!  Now, if I could just get the house decorated, I'd be a happy camper!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Overcoming a Slump

I have a lot of work to do to get myself on the road to recovery.  These are the big things that I'm really trying to work on and focus on to help me get me back...

1. Medicine.  

I've talked about this on here before.  Basically an antidepressant is not my friend, but adderall is!  It keeps me on track, focused and gives me the stamina to get everything done that I need to get done in a day's time.  I haven't been on it for about 3 weeks which is completely noticeable.  Because it's a controlled substance, my dr cannot send the prescription to the pharmacy for me, nor can they add refills and therefore, I have to pick up the paper prescription each month at an office close to my home which is about 45 minutes from my office that opens after I leave town and closes before I return.  Sooooooo, basically, it's almost impossible to get.  Hence the 3 weeks.

I need my medicine in order to function, period.  I'm going to get it this weekend, but seriously, without it, I suffer.

2. Chores.

I hate chores as much as the next person and they are the first thing that I put off after a long night with the kids and everything else, but I've decided that I just have to suck it up and do them.  I joked with someone the other day about how when you have kids you just do laundry all day long and if I don't do one load a night, I fall behind.  Well, that my friends (all jokes aside), is the God's honest truth.  That's not a load of their laundry a night, that's just anyone's laundry.  I have to do one load a night of some kind of laundry or the house will fall apart.  If I'm not literally running a load, I need to be folding it.

And aside from laundry, I just need to do some kind of chore that I wouldn't normally do in an evening to help make the house function.  We always try to tackle chores on the weekend and then weekends get slammed with plans and then the week starts over again and we don't get anything done.  So, I'm going to really try and just do more everyday and not let laziness get in my way.  Heck, if I accomplish chores during the week, then maybe my weekends can actually serve as lazy family days, as they were intended.

3. Self Improvement.

Like I said in my last post, I've had a role change over the last 3 years that has completely consumed me.  I believe it was for the better, but my husband calls what happened unhealthy, but basically because I was either pregnant or nursing over the last 3 years, I fully committed to being the best parent I would be.  Unfortunately, in return, I killed some friendships, focused on my kids and forgot what I like to do to make myself feel happy, outside of just being with my kids. So, I'm trying to widen my focus and I'm trying to do things for me.

I have plans for dinner, drinks and shopping with some friends that I haven't really spent time with in YEARS in a coming week, I have lunch plans with a friend, I have plans to work out this week that hasn't really happened much over the last 3 weeks and I'm going to make an effort to just have alone time for me.  This weekend I spent about 2 hours by myself going to a few "Shop Local Saturday" craft shows, art shows and local shops in town.  It was great.  I didn't have a time limit, I didn't have to wait on anyone, I could talk to people and vendors as I wished and I actually really enjoyed just being alone and shopping, even though I didn't really buy much.  Still fun to look around and get ideas.

It's a big deal to make sure that through all of this that I remember to do what I enjoy and to make myself happy doing those things and this is something that is going to take a lot of work and time, but doing these things will make it all better in the end.

4. Lists.

Aside from my medicine, this is what makes me completely sane.  I have to write things down.  For so long, I've tried to completely rely on my phone for everything, but I'm still that girl with a "work bag" that brings in here personal items, including a yearly planning appointment calendar and "journal" to write things down on so that I don't forget, DAILY.  If I don't have it, I literally struggle with what I'm supposed to do or where I'm supposed to be.  That doesn't mean that I still don't forget things because I do; I'm human.  But writing things down and making lists cut the things down that I'm supposed to do and that I typically forget, in half.

Someone told me once that I have a really hard time saying 'No' and that's the truth.  I like to do it all and I really try to do it all, but boy can that be exhausting.  Which leads me to my next item...

5. SLOW DOWN.

I know this is something that EVERYONE could work on and I know I'm not alone when I talk about this but... I seriously just need to slow down.  Get things done, focus on a small list of things and let the rest just play out when it plays out...


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Breastfeeding my children has hurt my marriage...

As much as I hate to say this aloud, and I wouldn't (and won't) change a single second of my nursing journey, I do believe that breastfeeding my children has really (really, really, really) hurt my marriage.

I know, dramatic, right?

Well, this is how I believe this all came about...

First, we got married, thought it would be fun to just practice and not really try.  That didn't work.

Then we started to try.  That didn't work.

(Enter stress levels rising...)

Then what we used to think was fun, wasn't fun anymore and it wasn't working.

(More stress...)

So then, we sought help from doctors and procedures.  That didn't work.

We got disconnected, we were just doing the deed to make a baby and not to enjoy it.  It was a lot of work and it still wasn't working.

(Soooo much stress here.... we just didn't know what to do but give up... have faith and let it just work itself out...)

Then something happened... a series of things.  We got pregnant!

Then we lost that pregnancy at 8.5 weeks.

After 5 years of trying and failing to finally succeed and then fail... talk about a roller coaster.

(Hit rock bottom...)

Then we tried again and were so hopeful it would work again, and it did!

Then we had our son.

(Sweet sweet sweet success!)

Five months later, we were just getting back into having some fun and not always child focused and we got pregnant again.  Surprise!  It works when you least expect it to.

And then we had our daughter.

(Holy cow!)

Now, to tell you a little TMI... I'm huge into the "prep work" that leads to everything else but while nursing, those "prep work" activities were off limits because I basically wanted to keep my bra or shirt on the whole time because my boobs were not a sexy place anymore... just a source of nutrients.  Way to kill the mood, right off the bat, right?

So, there's that... Then the fact that because of nursing, I was able to bond with our kids differently than my husband.  Let's talk about this for a minute.

When you're nursing, or if you're like me when you're nursing, it's your pride and joy.  You do it all the time because that's what you're supposed to do for your baby and really that's all they want right away anyway.  So that bond between mother and baby happens/continues from the moment they are born.  Nursing only solidifies that connection.  Unfortunately from a dad's perspective, they almost feel shafted and because there isn't really a "need" for them to always be home or with the baby, they resume life as normal, pre baby.

But what about you, right?  Well, then comes in the, I don't want to do anything but be with my kids because it's so much work to do anything different or involve someone else.  And I don't really want to go out and drink because I'm going to be "needed" when I get home and I don't want to have to pump when I'm out, so let's just leave late... but that's annoying because I'll still have to get up in the morning and it'll be so exhausting... So, I would just choose to stay home, because my kids are my priority...  I'm not saying that they aren't my husband's priority, I just know that a nursing mom vs. a new dad... their are different priorities.

(Stress.)

So, I let go of my social life because it's not worth not nursing my kids to have a drink or to be away from them.  Maybe that's not a healthy way of thinking, but it's just what I decided to do.

And unfortunately, a long time ago, I decided that I wouldn't be the wife to tell my husband no or what to do.  He needed to figure those things out for himself and I had faith that while they wouldn't always be my choices, he would choose what to do and whatever was best for him and (hopefully) our family.


Through two children, infant stages and all... Sean was living life normally (for the most part.  I'm not trying to make him sound like he was just lolly-gagging around, but he wasn't at home nursing, you know?)  As any dad would.  His life wasn't really being limited because he wasn't the one having to nurse or comfort or just be 100% aware of every move that baby was making.  It's a motherly thing that women are just wired for... It's nothing a new dad can really tune into, it's just not their bag...

(My shoulder is going to fall off.  STRESS.)

As I'm starting to near the end of my nursing journey with my second, I'm starting to become really aware of the fact that I really don't have a lot going on socially, outside of my kids.  I mean, sure, I take family pictures for fun on some weekends or evenings, I teach classes about healthy living and alternative medicines, but socially..... Socially, I talk on the phone or through Instagram or through FB messaging to my "friends".  Socializing outside of the house with real people, that doesn't really happen. Ever.

It's sad to know that I gave my all to my kids only to have everything around me and that I loved before kids, fail.  It's not their fault.  It's just a transitional stage in life that is really hard to adjust to and I'm struggling.

Being married has proven to be really difficult, lately. I know it's not meant to be easy, but again, this transition is just been hard.  We go all day long, when we get home, we do everything for the kids and when we try to squeeze in something small for ourselves, like working out or something, it rocks the routine and immediately puts everyone in a foul mood.  It's a tough spot to be in and continually reminds us that being married is really hard.

(STREEEEEEEESSSSSSS.)

My husband has made several comments about stopping my nursing journey and "when's that going to happen?" comments were starting to hurt a bit.  I thought I'd just continue until Emie wishes to stop and I wasn't going to stop just because I think my husband thinks it's time.  We have to agree and come up with a plan together, not just have one person call the shots, unless it's Emie.  But, with the dr requesting the pacifier to be gone at 18 months, I figure, I'll end nursing just before we do that...  I don't know.  It's not my call.  She's been cutting back considerably that I believe that it will just drop off... right?

Why do those comments come to me and why does he say them to me like that?  Because he's jealous?  Because it's time consuming?  Because he just wants his wife back that isn't locked into nursing his child all night long? Because he's just thinking it's time?  I don't know.


With all of this said, this is the reason I feel like I'm struggling to be a good wife and while our marriage is hurting right now...  I'm on board about the fact that I've lost myself.  It's a tough spot to be in but I've become a mom (my dream come true) and my priorities changed. I've got a lot of work to do on myself and until that happens, it's going to be a little rocky.

It's a really sucky place to be and I (we) have a lot of work to do.

Just remember, after it's all said and done... While I am over the moon about nursing my kids, I recognize now where I should've taken care of myself along the way.  Because of that, I'm just struggling to "find myself" again.

I used to be a really fun person with fun things to do and fun people around me... I miss fun Jill.  She was a good time.

I'm sad that through all of our trials, we neglected to really take care of our marriage and ourselves.  We went through a lot of heartache but we just kept going, knowing that it would all work out... only forgetting about all the stress that would build on top of the heartache that would really rock the boat after months and years of neglect.

There's some jealousy that fluid my mind... Sean was out having a good time, all the time and I was home choosing not to do those things.  At the time, it just seemed right and I don't know what I would do now differently if I had another child because those times with my kids, I will never forget them and I could never replace them with something else.

Becoming a mom is one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me.  I'm beyond thankful for the person that I'm becoming, but remembering that I matter just as much as everyone else is something I'm forgetting to pay attention to.  I'm aware, but I still have some recovery to do.

I have faith.

I have faith.

I have faith that things will work out and that this is just a phase.  It's a hard phase to face and face alone... but I'm here, doing it and I will make it through.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Grateful

Why is it that when November comes, we force ourselves to remember how many things in our lives we are thankful for?  Why can't we do that throughout the whole year?  Why does it happen now?  Just because Thanksgiving is on the horizon and we like to remember those things around that holiday?

Well, with all of that said, I'm going to try and commit.  To sharing my top 3 things that I'm grateful for whenever they come up throughout the year.

Today, I'm starting.

I got this email from BlogHer about NaBloPoMo and every day they are giving topics to help prompt reasons to write... Today, it's perfect.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

So, to continue why I'm grateful...

Today, I'm thankful for my quiet time with Coen at the end of the day.  We always put the kids to be together (or at least we try) and what usually happens is we play and read in Coen's room.  We have Emie give kisses to everyone and the I depart with Emie to nurse her and put her down.  As I'm leaving Coen's room, I promise him that daddy will leave the light on and that I'll be back to snuggle before he goes to bed.  Daddy usually wraps things up with Coen, leaves his light on and as I put Emie down, I go in there to snuggle with him before he goes to bed.  I have found that in those moments, I'm reminded of how precious his little life is and how fast he learns and how much he enjoys just talking to us.  He has gotten in a habit of unwinding and just likes to talk about his day and things that happen throughout it.  No real rhyme or reason, but just talking.  Watching his mind work and hearing what he has to say makes me remember how much I take for granted how awesome my child is and how much I miss one on one time with him.  So, today, in this moment, I want to say thank you for letting Coen come into our lives and continually be such a joy.

I am also grateful for our church.  We struggle with our relationship with God and a relationship with a church community, but ever since joining the community of Grace, we haven't had that feeling cross our paths.  Last Sunday, just like most Sunday's... I felt like the Pastor was just sitting one on one with Sean and I.  He spoke words that felt like he knew exactly what was going on in our home and our relationship and he was spot on.  Sean and I are opposites.  We have noticed that more and more lately.  We have some things in common, but overall, we just operate at different levels and it's not a bad thing... just sometimes we clash.  It's okay.  We work well together but sometimes we are just on such extremes that it makes whatever is going on worse more so than better.  Anyway, when we walked into church and heard that sermon, I was reminded that while things really suck right now, I should have faith that it will all work out.  It's going to take time, we're going to struggle and we'll probably fall down, but that we'll get back up and it will survive.  Without our church and our Pastor, I don't know that I would've gotten to that point so quickly and so, with that, I want to say thank you.  Thank you for coming into our lives and for sticking out the ugly side of life with us.

Lastly and on a lighter side of all of this... I wanted to say how thankful I am for my walk-station at work. While I'm reaching a new high on body temperature at work, I can feel that it's healthy for me and making me feel good about myself.  I'm beyond thankful for the physical activity I've been getting over the last 8 months with jazzercise, but with the added bonus of walking, lately... I'm even more thankful.

More will unravel as it comes up and I hope to continue to do this throughout the year and not just November, too.  I plan to journal 3 things that I'm grateful for per day and I encourage you to do the same.  It's healthy that even through the bad, you remind yourself that you're thankful to be here living this life and experiencing these emotions.  They may not always be the best or the most pleasant, but there are worse situations that you could be in... so, with that, go write them down.  Start today.  Journal when you're able and just remember.  It will change your life.

So, in closing... What would I love to change about myself?  To be grateful today, everyday and everyday after that.  Always expressing it, not bottling it up and continuing to share with myself that I am loved and that I love myself.  As humans, we long for appreciation.  This is hands-down something that I struggle with DAILY.  It's human, but still.  I need it.  So, what am I changing?  I'm changing the idea that I should be appreciated and that people should appreciate me or that they should constantly share that with me.  I'm changing my mindset and remembering that I have to give in order to receive. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Please call me.

I'm a helicopter parent.  I'm not ashamed.  It's just what I have to do in order to keep myself sane.  I need to hoover a little closely to my kids and pretty much know where they are at all times. It's inhibiting them from being independent, I just like to know what's going on.  Sadly (or maybe understandably so), it does make my husband completely insane that I act this way, but I cannot help myself.  I think it's just an instinct, a mother's instinct. Right?  I'm not alone here, right?  Come on.

Mother's Day, 2012, Coen and Sean were home with one another and Sean was getting ready to go on a run with Coen.  I was at a friend of mine's baby shower and got a phone call that I never expected to receive.

Coen was 11 months old, sitting in his high chair waiting on Sean to wrap up his exercises before going on a run.  Sean pulled out the tray, turned to grab something (probably his ear buds or water) and then it happened.  Coen fell from the high chair to the floor.  Sean took him by car to the ER and that's when I got the phone call.  "Jill, it's Sean.  Please call me."

I could tell by the tone of his voice that something wasn't right and with the lack of detail or even just the fact that he left a message... I knew I had to respond and potentially get to them fast.  I talked with Sean, found out that he was very upset and that he was still in the waiting room, waiting to get a room but that Coen was doing ok.  We got our room shortly after I got to the ER and after several exams and a few x-rays, they found that he had a green stick fracture in his collar bone.  Unfortunately, there wasn't anything that we were going to be able to do to help it heal, aside from time.  Coen did favor his opposite side for a while, but after about 2 or maybe 3 weeks, he was back to normal.

While Mother's Day wasn't the best day to have this event happen, I couldn't be more happy about how it all played out.  And no, I will never forget that call. I was 6 months pregnant and when I got that call, I immediately lost it and collected myself enough-so to walk into the ER and not freak Coen out.  He really didn't know what was going on and was more upset about being held in a chair and not having freedom.

Kids are resilient.

Prior to this, there was another incident.  Coen was learning to pull himself up on toys and exploring.  He was playing around an exesaucer and threw his head down and cut open his eyebrow.  That time, I got the call and had to get him and take him to the local urgent care.  He ended up with liquid stitches that basically looked like superglue and over the next few weeks it healed just fine.  He was about 8 or 9 months when that happened.

So, on Monday, we were all home in the evening, I wanted to go to Jazz but was running late from getting home and asked Sean to keep the kids at home and have them go on his run with him.  No big deal, they'll end up at the playground and have a great time.

I got through my jazz class and saw that I had missed some calls and maybe a text.  I called Sean and immediately knew that something wasn't right.  His text said, "Please call me."  I now know that this the phrase that he will use whenever something isn't right and also very serious.

They had to take Emie by ambulance to the ER because she took a dive (literally) off of the playground directly onto her head from about 5 feet in the air.  And thankfully, she's fine.  However, we weren't sure for about 3 hours.

She was on the play-set, Sean was with her and watching her from the ground.  He was trying to talk her into going down the slide, but she wasn't interested.  He followed her and went to the next opening on the play-set.  She got her shoe stuck and sat down.  Sean tried to get her up to come to him.  She fixed her shoe, got up and just started running from him.  She took the first left and it all happened in like slow motion as she jump, hit the ground, crunched her neck and as Sean got to her.  He picked her up and she immediately started crying and then calmed down, looked around and seems fine, but Sean wasn't comfortable with just letting it go since it was a head/neck injury.

He called the squad and they came and took the three of them to the ER.  Fortunately, the night-time custodian at the school saw the ambulance and helped Sean by taking the stroller into the school.

They did have to put her on a backboard, neck brace, head restraint type swaddle and she was in that for about 3 hours, which was awful.  In the ambulance, Coen got his own seat which he was pretty excited to talk about and the three of them rode together to the hospital.

I got Sean's text at 7:26pm but my class didn't end until 7:40pm and by that time, they were already checking into the ER, so I met them there.

When I walked in, the nurses were documenting things with Sean and Emie was on the bed with a nurse by her side.  He didn't have her paci with them because they were just on a run and we're trying to be more aware of not having her use it all that much.  Because she was already upset and then even more upset when I walked into the room, AND I realized we didn't have a paci.... I asked it was okay if I nursed her to calm her down since I couldn't pick her up either.  They, of course, said yes... I stretched myself over the table and nursed her.  It wasn't the most comfortable position, nor was it time for to eat... but it was working to keep her calm.  Thankfully, the nurse saw me struggling to get back to her so they offered to move her closer, which was much more comfortable.


In the ER, you never know who is going to be there and we were thankfully blessed with a NP who had 35 years of experience at Nationwide Children's.... THANK OUR LUCKY STARS because she actually had a great bedside manner with Emie and was proactive about treating her and getting the right images done to be sure that she was okay.


They did a CT scan of her head and you should've seen Emie.  I'm sure it was just totally weird for her and that's why she was so calm, but seriously, she was so calm.  She let me hold her hands and arms down, she didn't fit me or cry about it at all.  They followed up with a cross-neck x-ray and both showed that she was a very lucky girl and had a little angel watching over her as she fell.  There wasn't a single thing wrong with her.  She had a small hematoma on her head, some scratches from the mulch and now, just a little bruising that is starting to go away.

This is the top of her head and you can see on the left side that there is some redness.


Side note: Several people have said, "how did you hold it together seeing her like that? I would've been a mess."  And, all I have to say is that while I wasn't looking forward to hearing what Sean had to say or seeing Emie in the state in which she was in.... I knew that I had to just hold it together.  If you're a mess, then your kids will pick up on that and feed right off of the vibes that you're exerting. When I got that call, I said the eff word about 10 times on my way to the hospital.  I was confident that she was okay, however, I needed to see and know for myself.

This is the day after, in the morning, before headed to the sitter's house.

We are very thankful.  Sean was beyond scared and Coen, well, he has a great story to tell.  Emie... She's a blessing.  And completely normal and not phased by the event, at all.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Loving Your Siblings

I’ve talked about being a product of 3 and how having a brother and sister had its ups and downs I love them both more than anything and I’m thankful to have them both in my life.  My sister and I didn’t have a great relationship growing up, or at least that’s how I remember it, because I was so bossy and she was a tattle tale (it's the truth, no sugar coating here).  We still have our moments where we don’t agree, but we’re family and we always work through it.  Sometimes it’s just hard to process the real hard truth, period.  We have both been in situations where we’ve had to just lay it out there and while it’s hard to hear, we process it and adjust.  Maybe not 100% but at least it was said and we heard it… And sometimes a sister or family member is the only one who can really put it out there.  Anyway, my siblings are both a big part of my life and I wouldn’t want to know what life would be like without either of them.

When Sean and I talked about starting a family, we weren’t really sure about how many kids we wanted, we just knew that we would love more than one and whatever else would be really awesome.  I’ve always envisioned a family of 5, maybe because that’s all know from growing up or maybe because I want my kids to experience what I was able to when I was younger and so far, we’re on our way there.

But when I think about all of this, I start to think about the relationship that our kids will have with one another and I will

Emerson started walking at 9.5 months and at that point, I believe that’s when Coen and her really started to form a friendship.  She didn’t want to let him do more than her and she wanted to have every bit of fun that he was having, hence the walking at 9.5 months…

But in all honesty, I really do believe they love one another.





We’ve started to talk about mommy and Emie being beautiful and daddy and Coen being handsome.  We try to ask about other family members to see what he’ll say and if he’ll make the connection between men and women/boys and girls.  It’s very cute to then hear him tell Emie later (without and prompts) that she’s beautiful. I know kids are sponges and they literally hear everything that we say to them or around them (even when they are pretending to not listen) and it can be very eye opening when they repeat something that you had no idea that they even knew, but these moments, when Coen repeats something so sweet… That’s just the icing on the cake.




We want our kids to be the best of friends and maybe not always, but for the long haul, we’d love them to recognize that family is the most important thing and that you have to keep them close and love them more than anyone else.  A brother/sister relationship is a special relationship but not more special than a sister/sister relationship.  You lean on one another for everything, even if it is just a sip of milk from their sippy. 

Watching Emie and Coen become friends and watching them learn to lean on one another has been a pretty incredible thing to see unfold.  And, the best part?  It’s just the beginning.