Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 New Year's Resolution

My 2012 New Year's Resolution:

*Lose Ten Pounds: I've been carrying around these pesky extra ten pounds since I became pregnant with Aiden . . . my first-born . . . who's almost 4. Uhhh (looks down at the ground in slight shame). Now that we're done baby-making it's time to get serious about losing my "baby weight," if can I still call it that?! :/

Snuggling with my sweet baby, Aiden <3
*Pay Off Half Of Our Debt: Our goal is to pay off all our debt in two years (or less). Some days when Jarod's thinking crazy he sincerely thinks/ wants to pay off all our debt in one year, which is actually entirely doable if he never comes home and eats, sleeps and showers at his job. Sure, why not? I'll be just fine if three kids by myself O_o

*Write A Blog Everyday For a Year: Some days I want to just write Monday through Friday and some days I think three days out of seven isn't bad. Nobody really reads these, right? (Except, of course, my mom - Hi, Mom! :) But I made a goal and goshdarnit, I'm going to do it. Writing helps me breathe; hence, my cheesy blog title :) And I love that I'm keeping a written account of what's going on in my life and my little families' life <3

So those are my 2012 New Year's Resolution. What are your's? I'd love to know :) I hope you have a wonderful and safe New Year's Eve!! <3 Here's to a great year! Cheers!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Our Baby Farm is Officially Closed

We are officially done having babies. I know what you’re thinking, “uhh huh, suuure,” (as you point out  this, this and that, ohh, yah, and that) and a small part of me is thinking the same thing so that’s why Jarod's going to get the snip-snip done as soon as possible. I’ve scheduled an appointment to get the Depo shot next week and Jarod will be making a call for a consultation asap aka tomorrow.

The truth is I feel complete and so grateful for my healthy little family of five but it’s making that definitive choice and saying we are done that scares me a bit. If we are going to have a fourth, we both would like one sooner than later. I would never voluntarily have a fourth child years apart from three kids that are incredibly clustered together; I think he/she will feel left out. From my own personal experience and personal preference (my brothers being six and five years older than me), I just would not want to do that to a child. And we are not having five. Nope. Never. No.

Apart from the spacing of the children, financially having four worries me. Oddly, having three children never worried me - I always knew we would be able to financially afford them but with four, everything seems much more expensive.

On top of all of that, a very big part is that Jarod really doesn’t want to have a fourth. If he did, then this whole process and decision would be a no-brainer but the fact remains, he doesn’t. He really only wanted two but he gave me three and very kindly, really wanted to want to have four for me. He’s a saint and I’m lucky I have someone who loves me so much but I think it’s best that we put this show to an end.

It’s not as if I don’t feel happy with what I have, I’m just the kind of person that wants more of a good thing. I’m the kind of person that would, literally, have fifteen dogs because they’re cute, fun and cuddly. But do I need to be the crazy-dog lady? No. I know, I know, dogs are entirely on a different category as children but my point is, I’m kind of crazy and I know I’m a bit crazy; thus, the small rational part (aka the adult part) of me needs to step in and reevaluate what’s really going on.

The truth is I’m going to miss the whole process of having a child. Granted, a lot of it has been difficult and I’ve even gone as far as to equate it to being in hell (i.e. depression/ anxiety during and after pregnancy), but I’m desperately going to miss it. The last few years of getting pregnant, being pregnant, preparing for a baby, having a baby and enjoying in all the exciting, cute, delicious-smelling baby love has consumed my life. I feel as if I’ve known nothing else these last few years. I’m going to miss the exciting ultrasound where we find out whether we will be buying pink or blue, the pregnancy test that slowly shows the echoes of a faint second line, the little baby kicks and hiccups you feel inside of you, the joy and wondrous, overwhelming love you feel the first time you hold your newborn child. I will miss so much of those precious times of my life. They were some of the best and the moments that truly make life worth living.

But alas, it is now time to move on. It’s time to watch these beautiful children of mine grow from babies to children to (gulp) adults. It’s time to savor the time they thoroughly enjoy spending with me, the time where I am most certainly the most amazing person in their eyes. It’s time to relinquish time back with my best friend, the love of my life and the whole reason there are even three beautiful babies in this world to begin with. It is now time to move on and with such a bitter sweetness, I bid that wondrous time in my life farewell.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mommy Guilt

Following the lovely day I briefly lost my mind, Jarod encouraged demanded I get out of the house to regain my sanity. Prior to said-crazy day, he expressed concern that I spend all of my time taking care of everyone else and not enough time taking care of myself; at the time I thought it was true and after crying in a fetal position for a bit of time, I’m certain it’s true.

I can’t even recall the last time I got a haircut. I’m fairly certain it was before Ali, my almost five month baby girl, was born. It’s particularly evident it’s been way too look just by the look of my hair. And it’s been over four weeks since my last free hour long massage of which I’m allowed one every week. When I step myself out of my life and look at how ridiculously crazy, busy it all is I tell myself that I need to schedule in time for myself to maintain some sanity and then I proceed to start taking a mental note of all I’m going to do, Yoga on Tuesday, massage next Monday, should really get a haircut on Thursday, etc.

Must do very soon.
But then life kicks me back into reality and it’s almost 4:00pm, I need to start dinner, the boys are fighting over one of their 534 Matchbox cars, the laundry hamper is embarrassingly overflowing, crumbs for the boys' snack is thrown all around, toys are scattered all over the house and then Jarod comes home after an 11-hour day completely exhausted and murmurs, “it’s been a long day,“ as he grabs a beer out of the fridge.

Needless to say, the guilt creeps back in and Yoga class is once again rescheduled and I never do quite schedule in that massage next Monday. It’s difficult finding time for myself. I love being a mommy. I love giving my time and love to the people I love most but sometimes it’s all very exhausting. I need to work on making myself more of a priority and leave the guilt behind. I need it before I find myself in a fetal position crying hysterically in an insane asylum.

Exactly where I don't want to be. New Year's Resolution: Don't end up here.
Question: How do you, mommies and daddies, find time for yourself?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Love You

A few days ago, I lost the baby that called dogs, "doggy," and today I've gained a sweet little boy that willingly tells us he loves us and yes, my heart literally melts each time he says it.

For quite some time, he has stubbornly refused to say, "I love you," back to us but tonight at bed time we tucked him in, said good-night and the sweetest three little words crept out of a blue Lightening McQueen comforter. I love you.

"I love you," totally and completely beats "doggy," any day <3

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Good-bye Baby Aiden

 "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” ~Elizabeth Stone

On Christmas Eve, Aiden opened a gift from his uncle Jay and as he pulled the stuffed animal out of the box with excitement, I looked over and exclaimed, “It’s a doggy!” to which he simply remarked, “No, it’s not. It’s a dog.” And in that very moment, with a bit of sadness in my heart, I realized that he had bridged over from being my little baby into a child.

There’s always such mixed emotions when your child grows up; on one hand, you’re excited and proud of them for making new strides in their lives and taking on new accomplishments but on the other, you are forced to say good-bye to the baby who has outgrown himself. It’s a very bittersweet good-bye because you want nothing more than for them to grow and prosper and be happy but you will never see, cuddle, squeeze, kiss, hug or talk to them, in exactly the way they are, ever again.

As a mother, you willingly accept a newborn into your arms, your life and all of your heart. They enter with such sweetness and quiet abandonment that nothing else in the world matters anymore and without hesitation, you swear to yourself you will do everything to protect them. You watch them as they grow into their own unique personalities, guide and mold them into people you hope them to be and then one day you are forced to love them from the background.

We, as mothers, get to love our children with every aching ounce of our hearts and then we, selflessly, let go and pray to God nothing happens to them. Aiden only turns four in a few short months; therefore, it’s going to be awhile before I will even think about letting him out alone in the cruel, unjust world but every day, every moment he grows up I feel as if I’m letting go of a little piece of him that I just started to know and love. I know that I must love him enough to let him grow into the child he will become and the man he will be. But I still hate that I feel like I’m losing him as well.

So as I welcome my child that now calls dogs simply, "dogs," into my heart aand life, I would, first, like to say a bittersweet good-bye to my sweet, precious baby Aiden that would exclaim with such happy delight, “doggy!” each and every time we saw a dog. I already miss you so much but you will forever live in my heart.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Our Very Merry Christmas

My babies with their cousins on Christmas Eve.
Every year we go to my mom’s house on Christmas Eve, eat way too much food and open gifts later that night and this year was no different. I love going there for holidays and family get-togethers. I especially love that our children get to play with their life-long friends, their cousins. I didn’t grow up with extended family around so holidays growing up consisted of just me, my parents, my two older brothers and my Lola. I always longed for big, chaotic extended family get-togethers with kids running around everywhere, which is probably a large part of my desire to have all my kids so close together. My brothers were, respectively, six and five years older than me and as a result, I felt like an only child growing up. Thus, I want my children to have what I longed for: someone always there to play with, to have someone who knows exactly where they came from and to laugh, sympathize and/or share a drink (be it apple juice or hard liquor) with every stage (I.e. Barney, dating, marriage, kids, etc.) in their lives.

Me and the hubby <3
After we opened all our gifts, we (adults) enjoyed ourselves with some holiday cheer condensed down into the size of a very small glass and busted out the karaoke machine. Jarod and I decided that he would be driving home that night so I was able to drink; therefore, Jarod was completely sober. He was completely sober and he finally, after seven years of being apart of my life and apart of my family, grabbed a mic and sang a little song. I honestly thought I would never see the day. I know he’s always ached to sing karaoke and finally said, “F it” and gave in. We sang a few duets together and seriously, this was probably the best surprise I’ve ever had for Christmas.

We decided we weren’t going to go anywhere on Christmas. It’s a very rare occasion that Jarod has a day and usually when he does we’re either doing an outing that I wouldn’t dare do by myself with three kids or we have some party, get-together to go to so it was especially special that we spent Christmas at home. The kids woke up, Aiden wondered at the “magic snow” footprints Santa left behind and the kids opened all their presents. We spent the morning opening packages and putting toys together. Twice today, Tristen cozied up in all the Christmas love said for the very first time, “happy, happy,” and I swear, each time my heart melted. It was exactly how I always pictured Christmas morning with my kids. I loved it.

Later when Ali and Tristen took their afternoon naps, Aiden was so involved with all his new bright and exciting toys that Jarod and I were able to have some uninterrupted couple time. We just laid in bed, cuddled and talked for awhile. It’s nice being able to just be a wife and completely focused on spending time with my husband, rather than multitasking and helping one of the kids with something while trying to have a conversation with him that often includes, “what? I can’t hear you,” and, “never mind, I’ll tell you later.”

This was the first holiday that we’ve stayed home and celebrated with just me and my little family so it’s also my first holiday dinner cooking everything myself. I spent a few hours in the kitchen cooking and making baked salmon, cheesy potato casserole, green bean casserole, stuffing, fried shrimp, deviled eggs and a cheese dip. Also, we had olives, celery with cheese spread, a veggie platter and Marionberry pie with vanilla ice cream. It’s funny that Jarod and I have been married for seven years and this is the first holiday dinner I’ve made at home all by myself. Embarrassingly, in true Anne Cleaver form, I was incredibly proud of myself.

I had such a wonderful Christmas. Sometimes I fight myself about not being a career-woman and for “just staying home” and sometimes I have horrible, horrible days (like this day) but then there are days that are so perfect that they erase any of those ridiculous notions and I can’t imagine being anywhere else and doing anything else.

I hope you all had a wonderful and lovely Christmas or any other holiday you may celebrate. I hope your December was filled with nothing but love <3

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sex and Communication

(between a husband and a wife)
You know you're old when you don't know how to use your phone :)

Love you. Good night babe.
Good night baby. Mwah. Let’s “hang out” tomorrow ;)
Aka sex :)
Is that too forward? :)
Ok :-/
:/ ?? Why
Cuz I can’t type on this phone

They say the key to every good relationship is communication. I say the key to getting laid is good communication :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What I’m Thankful For

I’m thankful that this Christmas we don’t have to worry about where we’ll find the money to make this Christmas special for our children and that our biggest dilemma right now is deciding how many toys is too many or not quite enough. I am thankful that I don’t have to face the difficulty of caring for a unhealthy child and that my biggest complaint is that my children act their age. I’m thankful that I have a partner that loves and respects me and above all, treats me the way I should be treated. I am thankful for a (crazy and) loving family that undoubtedly would be there for me and my family at a moment’s notice if and when the occasion called. I’m thankful for friends that can’t fully comprehend my chaotic life but make every attempt to, who work with my schedule and carry on a conversation as if it’s been days instead of months since we’ve last spoke. I am thankful that it’s possible for me to watch my children grow before my very eyes and with a bitter-sweetness know exactly where all that time went. I’m thankful I live in a healthy and safe environment that allows me the privilege to willingly question who I am and grow into a person I can be proud of.

Beautiful and perfectly shattered.
I am especially and truly thankful because I can distinctly recall a time when I lost the invaluable human connection with many people I love and felt as if there was not a single soul to lean upon, when money was so scarce we waited until the last and final warning to pay our electrity bill and when uneasiness and ambiguity was what I faced as I looked unrecognizably into the mirror. But most of all, I am thankful that we each have a choice to live life like a mirror as every chapter in our story can and will damage us but we can choose to simply be a broken mirror or an object that illuminates more rays of light, than any new and perfect mirror could, when merely shined upon.

I am thankful I have chosen the latter.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Extra Money!

The company Jarod works for and the union that represents Jarod and his fellow co-workers recently came to a mutual agreement and created a contract for the next four years, which means we don’t have to stress and save up for a possible strike as well as the appearance of a very generous bonus that wonderfully appeared in our checking account the other day.

Sparkly ring. Want.
We blissfully thought about all the shiny and expensive things we could afford and have. My personal dream list includes a shiny, sparkly beautiful vintage engagement ring, a Canon Rebel and a new big screen TV. I picked out my sweet, beautiful wedding ring when Jarod and I got engaged and it was exactly what I wanted at the time but for quite awhile I’ve been wanting a gorgeous, sparkly diamond to look at and admire and love. Jarod wants nothing more than to get me everything my little heart desires and (possibly an even bigger factor for him is for) other guys to see the huge chunk of a diamond on my little-ol'-finger and stop hitting on me, which is probably the true reason.

Amazing camera. Want.
I want a Canon Rebel so bad it hurts. I want to take amazing pictures of my children and lovingly admire their innocence and cuteness for years to come but those cameras are expensive and cost a very pretty and very shiny penny.

Also, we embarrassingly have a television that we have to warm-up to use; I wish I was joking. I believe it’s about a 52 inch LG television and in the process of moving multiple times, having children that love to throw, natural aging, etc. it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to turn on. Our almost four-year-old will ask if we can warm the TV up so he can watch cartoons. It’s as sad as it sounds; slightly funny but still very sad and so annoying.

Big screen TV that doesn't need to be warmed-up. Want.

There are so many material things that we wish we owned but we’re determined to get out of debt so Jarod and I sat down and decided exactly where every dollar of that bonus would go. We paid-off a school loan (we’ve paid off three so far, YAY!!), took our family vehicle to get it’s brakes done and a few other services that were needed and we replenished our emergency fund, which recently was depleted to fix our other vehicle.

It will takes us awhile to get out of the mess we created for ourselves but I’m so proud of us for not succumbing to the brilliance of marketing and forging ahead to a better life, one in which we will be debt-free, have a house completely paid-off in our 30‘s, a lucrative retirement plan and very cushioned college funds for our babies. We’re making baby steps but we're going to make it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Marriage: Year Seven

Jarod and I got married at very young ages and loved one another with such fierceness that others brushed off as “puppy love," which was their only logical explanation at the time. I knew then that the authenticity of our love would only be taken seriously years later.

September 2005.
The love we have for one another always existed; however, the strength of our marriage is only something I can marvel at now. We married with the presumption that, well, we’re going to do it anyways so now is as good of a time to do it as any (such a great reason, right?). Also, being a “good” girl, I didn’t want to be living with a man and sleeping with him if we weren’t committed in every sense of the word.

I know many others would brush the institution of marriage as just a legal document but it’s much more than that to me. But now, at the seventh year into our marriage, I fully understand it.

Chrismas Party 2011.
Living with someone else and sharing your life with them is amazing, wonderful and also, astronomically difficult. I have cried many tears wondering if I made the right decision, if this is the person I should be with, why is he acting like the biggest jerk right now, etc., ohh, the list goes on. Personally, I believe the majority of our problems in the past were based on the fact that we were really young and there were some very toxic people in our lives at the time. But would I go back to eighteen-year-old me and change things? Absolutely not. He’s amazing and we’re amazing together. If anything I would tell eighteen-year-old me to drag him to the altar much sooner (if that's at all possible) because this guy’s a keeper and marry him before he changes his mind!

Throughout the seven years we’ve been together, we have evolved into something I wasn’t aware of until it happened. We’ve learned to respect each other’s differences and quirks, really compromise on crucial life decisions, we’re learned how to fight in a very mature and constructive manner (we still work on this but overall, are really great at it) but most of all, I’ve learned and truly realized that no matter what happens we will be there for one another no matter what.

It’s really nice having that satisfaction because some days, especially with all the little ones we have, it’s hard to find common ground and even a single tender moment when we’re really kind to one another. Some days we are stressed the hell-out because of so many various outside reasons that us, (gulp) adults (it's still weird for me to place myself in that category), have to deal with. Life is crazy but I love knowing that at the end of the day, pissed-the-hell-off or not, I will have my best friend there and we will get through it. We will get through anything.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Victoria's Secret

Jarod and I have been married for over seven years. When we first fell in love with one another I could never imagine how at ease I would eventually be with him.

What women want to wear.
There’s an ease that can only be gained from being together for over seven years. A calming understanding that comes from the birth and the aftermath of your child(ren) that beauty has surpassed physical appearance. A gentle comforting knowledge that when your body has failed you, there will be someone willing to take care of you. There is a remarkable friendship that remains through adversity and when even you, yourself, do not recognize yourself.

What men want women to wear.
I can be who I am with him and he, for whatever reason, still loves me. I don’t feel like I have to put on a bunch of makeup, spend an hour doing my hair and wear unimaginable tight and uncomfortable clothes to impress him. So the other day when we were browsing the comfortable, sweatpants and sweatshirt section in Victoria's Secret, I pointed out that if he decided to buy me anything from this section it would be more than a hit and I’d love it.

He nodded, seemingly taking a mental note of what to buy for our next gift-giving exchange and replied, “If you buy me anything,” pointing in the opposite direction of my-said comfy section I.e. tiny, pieces of lace sewn together for incredibly expensive prices to only be worn for minimal time in the bedroom if done correctly, “then I’d be happy.”


Note to self: don’t get too comfortable.