Wednesday, December 5, 2012

these days

i have about 374 different posts that i need to write to get "caught up" with but let's be honest, i might, if i'm lucky, do about 3 catch up posts. life's crazy and busy as usual. having three kids with a fourth on the way has for some reason just recently really hit me on how much life is changing. it's always changing and evolving but with the kids getting older and our family growing, it's getting harder and harder to find someone who's sane enough for us to trust and insane enough to agree to watch all the kids at once.

jarod and i are staying home more often and the thought of going out has almost been eradicated from our minds. with the boys getting older and both of them egging each other to stay up as late as humanly possible for little boys, "bedtime" is making it near impossible for me to grab dinner with a friend. jarod's sweet and understanding about the fact that sometimes a girl's gotta get out before she loses what's left of her mind but it, also, wouldn't be fair for me to make the man stay up disciplining and monitoring potty breaks late at night and then turn around to wake up before the butt-crack of dawn to work a 10+ hour day very often.

we've never been the crazy, adventurous types but parenthood has really made us extremely boring. jarod, sadly, even commented the other week how it's lame there aren't any good shows on tv on saturdays and i pathetically agreed. but it would be network suicide to do so because nobody stays home on a saturday - well, nobody except parents with 3.5 young kids at home.

i'm not complaining because my life is exactly how i've always wanted it to be so i hope my words aren't misconstrued. i just want to write life as it is so i can look back and remember the blur that is my life but we're so exhausted. most days it's a controlled exhaustion and some days it's a "fuuuuuck my life" exhaustion that's begs for the day to speed up, the kids to fall asleep and for the feeling of being human to return. it's so hard but yet, it's so rewarding at the same time. their laughter, their wit, intelligence and the way they look at you with such unconditional, devoted love make the days bearable, even, dare i say, pretty dang amazing.

in less than four short months, we'll have a sweet little boy joining our family and life will be even crazier. i've done this a few times to know the exhaustion of a newborn and how normal, every day tasks seem impossible, like taking a shower or brushing your teeth before noon, but none of that reality can shake how damn excited i am to meet this little guy. it still brings me to tears to think of him inside of me. growing. becoming.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Three Not So Proud Moments

What's funny about this blog is I'm so incredibly open and honest on here that sometimes I'll write things and think to myself, "I shouldn't post this. I'm going to erase this," while I'm simultaneously hitting the "Publish" button. I appreciate honesty and find no benefit in hiding what makes us all human, including stories like these. Here you go, enjoy!

1. I literally thought Country Crock was real butter up until a few years ago when my MIL asked me if I would prefer to use "real butter" when I was making dinner at her house. Whhhaaaaat?!? I was shocked (I had been lied to for years) and so confused but didn't want to look like an completely idiot so I politely thanked her and said, "this is fine."

2. I weighed more than my husband when we first started dating. No, I didn't miraculously lose a shit ton of weight a few years ago, the kid was skinny as f*ck. I like to joke that I carried him to bed in our early years.

One month into our relationship.
3. I was the most obedient child in the world and for that very reason, I pissed my pants in Kindergarten. After lunch, my class would line up by our classroom door and as I stood in line, I raised my hand to ask the teacher if I could go to the bathroom. Unfortunately, she never noticed - until all the kids, including myself, were screaming, "gross!" and "eww!" because somehow in my little five-year-old mind I thought I could play it off. Fake it until you make it, right?!

Five-year-old me in the pink shorts doing an great job controlling my bladder.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Jumping Back In

I've attempted to write an all-encompassing update for the few weeks I've ignored this little blog of mine and the attempted posts always felt jumbled, scattered and full of run-on sentences. I even have the post still in my saved drafts folder and I've realized I just can't publish such a post. I can't do it, ya'll. And on top of that, I keep thinking of things I want to write about, random things on my mind but felt like I couldn't/ shouldn't because first, I needed to perfect the update post. Well, I've finally just come to the point where I say, "F it," and I'm just gonna jump right in.

8 week baby (ultrasound).

13 weeks.
14 weeks and 8 inches of hair chopped off.
I'm almost 15 weeks and just recently have started to feel normal again. It helps that I'm no longer sticking Progesterone pills up my vag nor am I taking anti-depressant medication any longer and my anti-nausea medication is now being taken few and far in-between. If there was something I could take for exhaustion, I would happily take those but apparently, there's no such thing (safe for pregnancy) other than sleep. Who has time for that!? I remember a time I was the girl that was so against taking any kind of medication during pregnancy but thank goodness, I took that guilty "I'm going to damage my unborn child even though there are legitimate studies that say that chances of anything bad happening are incredibly rare," stick out of my butt. However, I think that guilty stick has just been replaced with the mommy guilt of not being nor doing enough for my children that are already here because of how terrible I feel.

My tired baby girl with my handsome husband.
Jarod's been a saint. Of course, he's still human and still grumbles about how exhausted he is with work and then having to pick up my slack these last couple of weeks but in exchange, I've made sure our fridge is stacked with beer and I tell him quite often how much I appreciate him. I think the best medicine for our situation, though, is that we know this too shall pass and it is the LAST time we will ever do this. Jarod and my mom like to "joke around" with all seriousness that I'm just not going to stop having kids as in I'll be Mrs. Dugger #2 but I am so done. I've already happily informed my doctor to tie these little ol' tubes up and for real, I am so so tired. Plus, if we were to have a fifth, I would feel it necessary to have a sixth and did I mention how dang tired I am??

As for my preference on gender, quite honestly, I truly don't care what the gender is. The only thing swaying me is I'd love for Ali to have a little sister but otherwise, having a healthy little one is the only thing I care about. I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to have another one that baby #4 can be another crazy little boy that breaks almost everything in my house with a little smirk on his face and I'd still feel so grateful. But for the record, my mommy instincts tell me we're going to be filling this house with a little more pink.

I have another prenatal appointment in two and half weeks and hopefully, my doctor has the time and ability to do a quick ultrasound for the gender but if not, I'm not too far away from the 20 week scan. But ohh, I'd love to know what baby's gender is - like yesterday ago! Since we essentially have everything (just need to replace a few things) for the baby Jarod's condemned buying absolutely anything for the baby until we know the gender. Plus, it doesn't help that I like Pepto-Bismol "puke in your mouth" pink for girls and anything "gender neutral" just looks like boy clothes to me.

Other than the fact that we are nowhere near having saved enough money for Jarod to take a month off leave for when the baby comes yet, I'm so ready to cuddle this little baby in my arms and for this little baby to join this adorable craziness below . . .


Thursday, August 9, 2012

6 Weeks Pregnant: Depression Update

Since my last post, I feel a million times better. I wrote my last post the night I started my anti-depressant medications and they hadn't quite fully kicked in yet. But these days, I feel like myself again. Happy. Content. Grateful.

There hasn't been any new symptoms but I'm tired as heck. I am exhausted by 9pm (this from a girl who normally goes to bed at midnight or 1am) but instead of sleeping, like I should, I force myself to stay up because "my time" is much too sacred to me.

Also, the gravity of having four children has recently hit me. My days are busy and they're going to become much, much busier. I have a tendency to romanticize life and the thought of having four sounds absolutely wonderful but since this little bean miraculously decided to join us, I've really been thinking about how insane it's going to get. We've got a few months and maybe by then, Aiden will start pitching in more?! HA HA! Right :) But one thing that will lessen the load a bit is Aiden will start Kindergarten six months after the baby is born. Thus, by the time I finally figure out the whole "Mommy of Four" thing, life will get a little bit easier. Thank goodness.

I expect life to turn completely upside down and to be honest, a bit of hell (aka four kids screaming at me at once - yikes!!) some days but I'm still deliriously happy and I finally feel such a completion in our family. It's pretty amazing.

As far as weight, I'm started actually eating again, so "yay" there. I put back on the two pounds and am now sitting at 140. I'm trying to stay healthy. The recommended weight gain in the first trimester is 4 pounds, which means I should at least try to stay away from ice cream more often. Notice I didn't say "stay away," but rather, "try" because at this point, this preggo can't make any promises.

I have a pretty strong feeling that this is a boy but I, also, don't have the best history with the whole "mother's intuition" in regards to pregnancy and gender. So we'll see! I think that's all for now! :)



Friday, August 3, 2012

6 Weeks Pregnant: Depression

I've never been one of those woman with whom "pregnancy agrees with." It's always been a b*tch to me and I think it's actually quite spectacular how a mother's love for a child can trick make a woman forget overshadow the sacrifices a woman willingly makes in their right mind in order to love someone they've never even met.

I knew how crappy I was going to feel. I remembered how much I couldn't wait to not be. pregnant. anymore. But, still . . . here I am. This week is where I officially got my ass handed to me. I'm exhausted all the time and I so desperately want a nap every and any afternoon but we all know a girl can't always get what she wants, especially a girl with three kids. I've been nauseous quite a bit but have only thrown up two times, which is actually a new low record for me.

I know you're probably thinking that that doesn't sound too bad. Well, the worst is the onset of depression. I had the very same thing happen in my last pregnancy with Ali; thus, I prepared myself mentally for the possibility of it returning and told myself ahead of time that I would be more proactive about it. Last time this happened, I was so incredibly against taking medications because I felt so strongly that I could fight this disease mentally. Thankfully, the depression subsided in the beginning of my second trimester so I didn't have to struggle for very long but it wasn't until it had passed that I realized how terrible it truly was.

Lately, I've been feeling incredibly overwhelmed and quite sad about myself, my life, my expectations of myself as a mother and a wife. I feel terrible about myself and can't help but hear the word, "failure," when I think of my life. But the crazy thing is simultaneously, I know I'm not a failure, my life is great, I love my kids, I love my husband and at this point in my life, I would never want to replace money and a career for the time I get to spend with my children but yet, the word lingers.

I have no history of depression outside of these hormonal pregnancy changes so this hormonal depression thing is especially crazy to me. This battle is such a strange thing because it's almost like a war with my former happy self and a seeping depression chemical in my brain. I just want to feel like myself again. Unfortunately, the medication helps but it doesn't restore me back to my true self.

I am glad that there will be a definitive end date to these feelings aka my due date and I'm hoping in my second trimester to waver off these medications. If my last pregnancy was any indication, I believe my body is just overwhelmed with the influx of hormones but once the placenta takes over then things will calm down a bit.

Also, since I've had a history of miscarriages (I've had two) and had one pregnancy with low progesterone levels (Tristen), I went in to test my progesterone levels. The doctor likes to see the levels around 20 and mine was at 9.5. I got a bit freaked out because low progesterone levels coincide with miscarriages but I calmed myself down enough to get listen to the nurse ask me if I was okay with inserting the pills vaginally as it would be more effective. Ehh, what?!? Last time, I took these pills I was able to do so orally and now I get to insert things into my vag. Oh, lovely day.

Thus, I am now taking two prenatal pills, Sertraline (for my depression) and I'm inserting Prometrium up my vajajay. So far, I'm doing great (insert loud, screaming sarcasm here). Also, the week before I found out I was pregnant I gained five pounds because I'm certain I'm the only one in the planet that gains weight when sick but I have since lost that plus two pounds. I'm certainly not trying to lose any weight but I have absolutely no appetite and have to force myself to eat. I'm not sure if it's a side effect of the medications I'm taking or a side effect of the depression.

All in all, the hormones in week five are completely kicking my ass. I know I sound like the biggest bundle of sunshine right now but I really am happy about this baby. I know the outcome of all this mess will be more than worth it and I can't wait to meet my little bean.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

5 Weeks Pregnant

It still feels a little unreal that I'm actually pregnant. The pregnancy test still says I am and yet, it still hasn't fully processed in my head. I've definitely had symptoms indicating I am, which include fatigue, breast tenderness, pregnancy insomnia and nausea. But the symptoms aren't fully kicking my butt yet and maybe that's why I don't necessarily "feel" pregnant." My last pregnancy kicked my a**, physically and mentally, so bad that I was certain I would never do it again. HA! Funny how holding your baby in your arms somehow makes you denounces the existence of any pain that your sweet, precious little baby ever caused you.

I know it's still early and I anticipate feeling so horrible but so far, I'm feeling pretty great. I don't feel 100% but I think since I have such low expectations of feeling "wonderful" during another pregnancy I'm just happy that I'm not curled in bed crying from depression or pain.

Also, I feel like I hit the jackpot with having this baby inside me. Getting pregnant and having Jarod on board with our three other children was a breeze but getting him get on board to have a fourth was such a struggle. His biggest concern with a fourth was the finances to which I completely understand; thus, part of our agreement to have a fourth was I have to start working when this baby starts 1st grade and we're getting permanent means of birth control. I'm getting my tubes tied right after this baby's birth.

I so incredibly happy to have another baby. I just want to savor this pregnancy because I know how fast it's going to go by. I scheduled my first visit with my doctor for August 28, 2012 and hopefully we'll get to see the little peanut and a sweet, healthy little heartbeat.

My worries are bigger with this pregnancy than they've been before with the other three. Maybe it's age or it's seeing other people with children with disabilities that has changed my perspective. I'm lucky. Really, really lucky I have three healthy children so this time around I'm trying to do everything right. I'm more diligent about prenatal pills, I've cut out caffeine (well, about 95% less than before) and I'm making it a point to eat things that are good for the baby. I desperately want this baby to happy and healthy.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Took A Pregnancy Test

On Monday, July 23rd, 2012, I took a pregnancy test and then this happened:


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dear Jj: Two Will Become Six

Dear Jj,

It's surreal how differently our lives have evolved over the years. I remember when I was 18 and you were 20 and our biggest concern was, simply, being with one another. I remember holding your hand as we walked around the neighborhood, daydreaming about the day we would have our own home and how we would fill it with little baby feet. One day. Someday.

And then, I look around at this life we have created and it's still unbelievable to me our love has created these children, our children. It warms my heart to know they are ours as we are theirs. I love that I can see your face in theirs and I smile at each trait, good and bad, they have of us.

Our three children fill my life, my time and my heart.

And the prospect of a fourth baby fills another part of my heart. A part of my heart that just a few short months ago, I thought needed to be boxed up, hidden in the deep recess of my soul and covered by cobwebs and the importance of money.

But one day, the stars will align and a fourth will reside deep in my body and a dream of mine, one I once thought was long gone, will be ours.

One day, what once was two will become six. It's hard to believe the two young, crazy in love kids who strolled around talking about having kids one day is now wanting and waiting for a fourth. It's unbelievable.

It's a dream that one day will come true. I love you.

Forever Yours,


Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Choking Baby and A Sweet Kid

I'm not sure why the "terrible twos" are so glorified when I'm certain that the age of "fours" is much, much worse in it's entirety. A parent's anger frustration at the craziness of toddler hood is, also, combined with a loving, sympathy of your little one's inability to communicate as well as they'd like. It's almost pitiful to see the disappointment in themselves when their babyness overshadows the big-boyness they desperately want to be sooo bad. But four (sigh). Four is the age where they know exactly what you want from them but they've decided they don't care anymore. Four is the age where it seems like they just want to argue for the sake of arguing.

I, often, feel like Aiden is really a teenager at heart. Complicated, emotional and intelligent - he's a joy to parent. Some days, he gets so frustrated, runs to his room and when we're really lucky, he likes to slam the door to show his disdain. Seriously, WTF?? I wasn't prepared for this kind of thing happening before the kid even entered Kindergarten.

Let me start by saying that I really do love the kid. Overall, I think he's wonderful and he's going to be a great man but it's getting there that might kill me.

The other night I was feeding Ali some Mandarin oranges (the soft kind that are canned) and she somehow negated to chomp down on this particular bite and instead, went straight for the swallow. Her little face glazed over a slight red and she was so still that I screamed for Jarod to rush over immediately. It felt like five minutes of this red-faced, not-breathing fiasco but in reality, I think it only lasted about four seconds.

Regardless, the whole ordeal scared the crap out of me. I actually had the morbid thought cross my mind, that, well, we made it to her first birthday and now she's going to die because of some dumb Mandarin oranges. It scared me just as much as it scared her and for a good twenty minutes she cried. I thought, maybe, it was stuck in her throat and making her uncomfortable so I tried to make her throw it up (didn't work) and I tried giving her some milk to drink it down (wouldn't take it). We just settled on holding her, rubbing her back and trying to calm her down.

Jarod and I sat on the floor with her; me calming Ali down and Jarod calming me down. The boys ran off to the toy room and within seconds, Aiden came out with his medical Doctor Kit, handed it to me and said, "Here, Mommy, use this!" My heart melted at his kindest. He, then, proceeded to climb up and grab Ali's blanky from her crib and snatched Sophie the Giraffe from Ali's bin of toys and gently gave them to her to ease her pain.

Jarod and I try really hard to be great parents. I know it's not a perfect science; it's such an unique relationship between one particular parent and one particular child. But sometimes, it's hard to feel like a good parent because we often don't get to see all the hard work we put into our children until a much later date.

But today, I got to see Jarod and I truly aren't so bad at this parenting gig and I feel really, really good about the kind of person our oldest baby is growing up to be.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

TTC: Pregnancy Test & Impatience

I know I said I wasn't going to test and I was too exhausted to even pee on a stick. Well, let's just say the antibiotics are working wonderfully and I'm back to my old neurotic, impatient self. I waited anxiously for the results to stream through. I held the test up towards the light, tilting it to left and then to the right.

I see a line!! I see a line!

. . .

No, that's not a line.


I know it may be too early to get an accurate result but I feel fairly certain that if it's not positive now that it just isn't going to be a positive this cycle. I told Jarod the results shortly after taking the test. He didn't understand my disappointment and wondered by I was so adamant about being pregnant ASAP.

"Don't you want to be a stay-at-home-mom forever?" he teased, as we have agreed that I will start working when our youngest enters the 1st grade and just for that, I really should just conveniently wait to have our fourth in, give or take, 17 years.

But he really did get me thinking about my incessant need to control the spacing of our children. Obviously, I would like to have another child for my own benefit (on some level) but my strongest advocate for having a fourth is Ali. Aiden and Tristen are so close that I fear she'll forever be the third wheel. I understand the enormous possibility that baby number four will be a little boy (honestly, I still can't believe Ali is a girl) but I'd like to give her a chance to have a sister and even if a sister isn't in the cards, having a little brother to even things out would be just as wonderful.

The fact is Ali will love her little brother or sister, regardless if they are two years or three years apart. I would prefer if they're age-gap was closer than not but I can't control that. Truly. And it feels really good to let go.

Jarod and I will continue to TTC every month, hoping for the best but ultimately, I'm letting go . . .

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dear Jj: Happy 8th Anniversary!

Dear Jj,

Happy Eighth Year Anniversary! We've been married just over seven and a half years but this day has always been more significant to me than the other. This day we went on our first date and we verrry quickly evolved from being two people into one solidified couple, one in every essence of which that is a marriage. Thus, I like to think of this day as our unofficial wedding day, the day we began our journey together.

I've been told the seventh year of marriage is the hardest and this past year, I can easily understand the logic. Year seven has given us the third of our beautiful children as well as more responsibilities, more stress, less time and less us. This year has seen us fight about the struggles of everything from time, money, stress, responsibilities and the yearning of more of who we are together and who we are apart.

But year seven has, also, given me a reassuring peace and confidence of who we are to one another and the strength of a truth that no matter what, we're in this together. Undeniably, I'm more certain today, than ever, that we will weather everything and anything together. Of course, years ago, we vowed to one another this sort of devotion but time has a way of strengthening one's commitment and one's love.

However, more than being certain of our commitment to one another, I could not have imagined the love I would possess for you. Years after I told myself I could never love you more, I do. I love you so much and truly, I could not imagine a life without you.

Also, more than the strength of our commitment to one another as well as our love for one another, I'm most proud that I can still call you my very best friend. Not only do I really love you, I really, really like you. You are the first person I want to tell my stories to, the person I bitch and vent the most to and the one person that can make me laugh, no matter what. Even greater than loving you as much as I do, I still have that silly girl crush I had on you eight years ago.

There's so much more I could say but I think all can be sufficiently said with one silly made-up word, "hamperkiss." I love you, babe. Happy 8th.

Forever Yours,


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

TTC and Life Update

I got a stark, bright positive ovulation test on July 9th and luckily we had BD four days before ovulation, the day before ovulation, on ovulation day, the day after and the following day. Our chances of conceiving based on the ovulation test and the timing we BD is pretty high.

Due to the fact that I was so certain that we conceived last month, I haven't even wanted to think about possibly being pregnant. I have had some cramping and breast pain but I'm just chalking that up to my impending period.

Currently, Jarod has Bronchitis, a sinus infection, an ear infection and some kind of eye infection that begins with the letter G. He saw a doctor the other day and she diagnosed him with a viral cold. The days passed and instead of getting better, he got much, much worse. Finally, Jarod saw a different doctor that within two minutes basically told him he's F'ed up and needed a bunch of meds. I've caught something that is much less severe but with both parentals feeling horrible, our house is a complete mess. The laundry is backed up like no other and I feel like I'm barely able to keep up with the basics of life.

I just came back from the grocery store to pick up Jarod's medication, restock our Gatorade supply and I bought myself two boxes of cookies, which I hardly do (baking them from scratch is a favorite of the kids, it's cheaper and healthier - less preservatives) but I could give a damn right now. Just like a crazy, crack-addict, I yanked those cookies from the shelf and told myself I deserved them. Also, I definitely bought some surgery (though on sale) cereal because, let's be honest, I feel terrible and cooking as little as possible is part of plan of attack for the next few days.

Thankfully, the kids are healthy; although, I'm afraid that baby girl is starting to come down with something, too.

Tomorrow is Jarod and my eight "first date" anniversary and instead of going out I think we're going to Redbox our night and lovingly share Kleenex tissues. The day after that is baby Aaliyanna's birthday but who knows how she's going to feel or if she's even going to be diggin' the cake.

I've got a week before AF comes and I'm so exhausted that I probably won't even test until I'm late, if I even become late at all. That's all for now. Please wish us our health back because we're curently getting our butts kicked. Thanks!



Friday, July 13, 2012

Why I Tell My Daughter She's Pretty

Our society is bombarded with images that are so easily manipulated by Photoshop, makeup (apparently, you can even airbrush abs these days), lighting, camera angles and the knowledge of how to position one's own body that it is impossible not to notice and as evolving social beings, we are constantly viewing the world as it compares to ourselves.

It's almost naive not to acknowledge that being physically attractive isn't apart of our lives and life. My children, especially my daughter, will one day realize their own "worth" in terms of other people's perception of their attractiveness. There will be countless people that will tell my daughter she's beautiful, some genuine and many, not (stay the F away, you idiot boys) but she will hear whatever the outside world throws at her.

My daughter will, also, hear she's ugly and no matter how many times she's told otherwise she'll still remember that time she was told she was. I can still distinctly recall everything about the moments I was told I wasn't pretty. Looking back, it's since occurred to me these boys probably had a minor crush on me and somehow felt their best move was to tell me the exact opposite. However, at such tender ages of six and twelve, their words stung and stayed with me much longer than it probably ever occurred to them it would (I mean, I'm blogging about it at the age of 26).

Additionally, growing up my parents never focused on my physical looks, even attempting to steer me away from shaving my legs and from putting even an ounce of makeup on until I was forty (clearly, that didn't work), to the point that I can only recall one single time I was told I was pretty from them. I completely understand their perspective as well as the other parents who say they don't want to place importance on such "ridiculous" things. I'm certain my parents did this with the best of intentions.

However, much to the dismay of my parents, I grew up - and so did the boys around me. Twice in my life, excluding, of course, the daily taunts from my brother, I was told I was unattractive and for a very, very long time, I believed it.  Every time I caught a boy stare at me, I was certain it had nothing to do with admiration but something messed up with my face. Do I have something stuck between my teeth?  I have something on my face, OMG, I have something on my face. Every time I heard someone thought I was cute, I was almost certain it was a joke.

Even to this day, I can't stand when Jarod, my own husband whom I have been with for almost eight years, stares at me with that smirk of his that more than exceedingly notions that he thinks I'm beautiful. His stares should make me feel beautiful; yet, I still can't overcome my own beliefs of inadequacies. Of course, as I've gotten older, my shameless doubts have weakened but I fear the core of them will always remain with me.

As a mother, I wish that I could keep every single person that will every say or do a harmful thing to my children at bay (or on a completely different planet) but the sad, unfortunate truth is I can't. People and life will tear away at my wonderful, amazing, perfect children and I believe it's my most sole responsibility as their parent and as their mother, "to build (them) up so the world can't ever tear (them) down," [source: familyfriendlyfrugality (dot) com - Pinterest].

My biggest wish for my sweet baby girl is for her to see how absolutely wonderful and amazing she is. I hope Jarod and I love and build her up so much that no matter what, no matter what anyone else says and no matter how terrible she's treated, she believes in the depth of her own worth. I hope one day she will become wise enough to know that the beauty of one's soul far outweighs anything her body or face will ever look like. But I, also, hope if anyone ever tells her she's not pretty, I hope her confidence is so big that their rude remarks won't even faze her because she will know she's fucking fabulous - just like her mama told her.

The sweetest, prettiest little thang in this whole world.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What I Wish I Had Known About Marriage

Love is not a mediocre thing. It can leave you on the brim of euphoric deliriousness or itching to stab someone in the throat. It's beautiful, incredible and can satisfy one's soul with the soothing calm of completeness that once never seemed empty. However, it's, also, despicable, infuriating and can piss off even the most spiritually-centered and level-headed person imaginable.

I married my Jarod five months after I walked down the podium of my high school's navy-blue cap and gown celebration much to the dismay and disappointment of many. I had people blatantly tell me I was ruining my life, that my relationship wasn't going to work and I had no idea what love meant. Other people were a bit kinder about their disapproval but I could still sense their pity for the poor choice they believed I was making.

It seemed everyone knew love was hard either through their own failed romantic experiences or the unfortunate rates of disappointing relationships and marriages we constantly see on gossip magazine covers, the ever fluctuation of that girl's Facebook relationship status or the even more heartening and personal devastation that occurs in one's family when two decide to part.

The sweet lil ol' 18 year old me naively thought it couldn't be that hard but truly, I had no idea how insanely hard being married was and much more importantly, how hard staying in love would be. I can now vividly see the absolute lows in the course of our relationship where each one of us wanted so desperately to walk away. I understand the heartache of being broken by the one person who you truly believed never would. And I know the strength it takes to change something of yourself that you once thought was so fundamental to your core for the greater cause.

Through my own marriage's complications, I've learned to not pass judgement on other's when a relationship doesn't work. The truth about relationships is there's a million and one interchangeable variables that come into play at any given moment and they have to peacefully coexist and happily mesh for even the consideration of success.

Eight years ago, I had a very distorted idea of marriage. I didn't believe the cynics about love because their wisdom was overshadowed by the unhappiness of their pain nor could I believe the sweet, happy couples, blissful in the aftermath of Cupid's arrow, because they inadvertently made it seem like their loved one never even took a dump.

Jarod and I have weathered the ups and downs of a seven year marriage and the miraculous blessings of our three children; however, I wish I had known then that it is possible to love someone with the minuscule fibers of one's soul and then annoyingly hate them the very next. I wish someone had told me that it's not only possible but it's okay.

A marriage based entirely on emotion will always fall short but a marriage guided by the very vows one earnestly makes on their wedding day is nothing short of miraculous.

"To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part."

To my Jj,

I choose you. I choose to hold you for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. I'm not a perfect woman; in fact, I'm certain I'm a pain in the ass but you have continually chosen to love me. You have loved me at my best and at my worst - thank you for that. I love you so much.

Forever Yours,


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Less Money, More Time

For the majority of the last two years, Jarod's been fighting tooth and nail for a day off, often going over 20 days without one. Although the hours sucked, the extra income was pretty nice and we grew accustomed to living accordingly. However, within the last month, Jarod's hardly been getting any overtime hours at all - just a few here and there.

Honestly, when Jarod informed me of the changes at work, I'm certain I had a small panic attack inside. Thankfully, we were smart enough to not extend ourselves out of his base wage. In other words, we'll be fine paying our bills; however, a lot of the extra money Jarod used to pull in - is gone.

The first thing we did was sat down, looked at our monthly bills and decided we needed to make some changes in our lifestyle. We were planning on getting a data phone plan (because Jarod no longer has a company phone and we, honestly, really just wanted smart phones again) this fall when the new iPhones were expected to come out but have since, decided against it. Jarod agreed that he wasn't going to spend $100 online on workout supplements anymore and I agreed to start meal planning and coupon clipping. We've stopped having "date night" out for dinner and a movie and now we tuck the kids in bed, bake cookies and Redbox our night.

It's definitely a different lifestyle than we've been used to. We don't even think about spending money because there isn't any "extra" money to spend. I'm much more diligent about planning ahead with our meals at home and when we're on the road, simply because we have to be. It's annoying and inconvenient and I look forward to the day when this lifestyle will once again be a choice and not a necessity.

However, I would be lying if I didn't say I didn't love it on a some weird, pure and simplistic level. Don't misread me because no, I do not like being poor. I look forward to the day when Jarod makes twice as much as he does now (three more years, three more years! three more friggin' years!! :) and when all of our babies are enrolled in school and I can start my own career and bring home a nice hefty :) paycheck. I absolutely look forward to having money.

Yet, life seems just so much simpler now - without it. I've seen my husband more these days than I feel like I have the last two years. Jarod's less stressed and less tired, which equates to him being a happier and "sillier" father. He's home more often; thus, I finally have help in the house and I don't feel like a chicken with her head cut off 90% of the day. It's peaceful and as serene in this household as it can be with three crazy kids, an extremely vocal cat and a rambunctious puppy.

We are so broke and yet, here I am - so incredibly happy.


Kris <3

Sunday, June 24, 2012

TTC: Four Pregnancy Tests Later . . .

. . . annnd I'm definitely not pregnant. I took a pregnancy test on 8, 9, 10 and 12DPO (days past ovulation), which obviously means I have problems were all negative. You see, I found out I was pregnant with baby Ali 9DPO so I was hoping the same results would occur but the main difference between then and now is that I was pregnant then and now, well, I just wasted four perfectly good pregnancy tests - because I'm a POAS (pee on a stick addict) annnd I'm crazy annnd I'm stressing waaay too much about the possibility of being pregnant that I convinced myself I was.

Anyways, this morning my period came and a small part of me broke. It's funny that I've been down this road so many times and I know I shouldn't stress out because it will happen, when it happens. But knowing and doing are two completely different things, amiright? My boys crawled into our bed this morning and even though my little OCD Trissy kept complaining and kicking around because the pillow, the blanket, the sound of everyone else's breathing wasn't to his exact liking, I soaked in the warmth of their little bodies as they cuddled each side of me.

I have so much; I know I should really just focus on the positive aspects of my life. It's just difficult when you want to add to the beautiful life you already have. It's difficult when you can envision more happiness than you already have and more love than you already know. It's difficult when you want another child so badly . . . annnd then your damn period comes.

Frankly, it sucks . . . balls.

But life goes on and baby #4 will come whenever baby #4 comes <3

Friday, June 15, 2012

TTC: More Pregnancy Symptoms

I've noticed more, "guuurl, you is pregnant," symptoms. Honestly, I've done the TTC process enough times to know that sometimes "symptoms" you feel are just a product of something else, meaning even though you thought you were foo shoo pregnant - you're not. I'm going to feel a bit embarrassed if I'm not actually pregnant - but yet, I'm so sure that I feel pregnant. What I'm trying to say is pleeease, don't be a hater if I'm not.

Anyways, some of the symptoms I'm feeling on top of the other symptoms I wrote about the other day is excessive saliva (isn't that such an odd symptom??), vivid dreams (I hardly dream or remember them but the last two nights have been crazy, weird deep-sleeping dreams) as well as a sore throat (which makes sense because your immune system lowers it's defense system in order to allow the "virus"/ fetus/ foreign entity into your life uterus). I've, also, had some twinging and cramping in my lower abdomin, some pimple friends starting a party on the fore of my head and lately, napping has become my best friend.

But the biggest symptom is the bitchness that is ohh, so familar with pregnancy is occurring. We had spaghetti for dinner and when Aiden got up to bring his plate to the sink, I told him to leave it, that I would put it away and sort of, okay, I did, snap at Jarod about not helping him (fast enough) because I was frightened that he would drop the plate and all it's contents (seriously, he took, maybe, two bites) would fall on our lovely light tan carpet. For my defense, Aiden is super clumsy like walk into walls, I-had-no-idea-such-a-level-of-clumsiness-existed-before-this-child clumsy. Jarod looked at me and matter-of-factly said, "you are pregnant. You're snappy."

I almost hope I'm pregnant for that reason. I don't like being a bitch. I'm really a nice person, I promise. I'm not sure what's gotten into me lately. But I do know when I'm pregnant the things that would kind of annoy me, but I would let just slide off my back, start to annoy me like ten million times more. Every pregnancy has gotten progressively harder and more complicated for me (in the healthy, normal pregnancy of things spectrum) but I think me being pregnant is worse on Jarod than it is for me. Trust me, he's already dreading all my pregnancy symptoms with a passion. Thankfully, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel = baby's due date.

Hopefully, there's a little baby in my belly but if not, I think I need to invest in some aromotherpy candles and some yoga classes. Shesh.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

TTC: TTW & Feeling Pregnant

I would say that I am for sure 3DPO but there's a very good chance that I'm 4DPO because I got a decent semi-positive OPK on Saturday and two very positive OPKs on Sunday. The dates aren't really a big deal to me, 3 or 4, whatever, but the reason that this might be crucial is because I am almost certain I'm pregnant. I know that it's "scientifically" impossible to feel pregnant at this point as implantation probably hasn't occurred at this point. Whateves.
I do agree that our minds can control the perception of how we feel. We can think ourselves sick and likewise, we can make ourselves feel something we want, like being pregnant. I get it; I completely understand the necessity of placebos in experiments. The mind is a powerful thing.

BUT I do think it's unfair to discredit the thousands of women on the internet that have known they were pregnant waaay earlier than the supposed earliest day to know. I remember when I was 5DPO with Ali and I was telling Jarod a story and I busted up crying like my childhood dog just died. No joke. Shocked, Jarod took one look at me and said, "You're pregnant," and I said, "I don't know what's wrong with me." I've truly have not been thinking about what I may or not be feeling in terms of a pregnancy but I've had a few symptoms that point to, "guuurl, you are friggin' pregnant."

My boobs ache, which I really don't pay much attention to because my boobs ache often and can be an effect from ovulation, the fact that I'm getting off of the Depo, impending period, blah, blah, blah. But I've fought with my husband twice in the last few days over dumb things. Duuumb things. The first one was about money. I was so mad at him but thankfully, quickly realized I was just being an ass and I apologized. Then the fight last night was about him being more romantic. Granted, I have a vagina; thus, I like romance but I, honestly, have not cared about "romantic" things in a looong time.

I know Jarod loves me the way the guys in every sappy, romantic love story loves a girl; I'm certain of that. I don't need flowers or Hallmark cards to denote the love he has for me but ohhh my gawd, last night I was crying so hard (like wiping snot on my shirt kind of ugly-cry) because he hasn't been romantic in a long time. WHAT?! is wrong with me? (It ended sweet and I'll write a separate post about that later.) After we made up, he fell asleep and I laid in bed and thought, "WTF. I'm really emotional - I think I'm pregnant." But I brushed that off with well, maybe I need more romance. Ehh. I can't complain with more romance in my life.

But today, I walked out of my bedroom and had the strongest whiff of dog poop in my face.

Are you serious?! I thought as I looked around, pissed at the dog that I just took out. I couldn't shake off the damn smell. I checked the garbage but Jarod had just emptied the garbage last night; no poop there. I searched a little longer and then realized I was smelling the poop on the other side of the sliding glass door. (We have a little garbage can that we keep outside for dog poop that we empty out when we take the garbage out. Don't judge us; we live in an apartment and we have three kids.) We've been doing the dog poop garbage system for a few weeks now and this was the first time I've ever smelt dog poop in our house because of it. Apparently, I have freak super hero smelling powers right now.

Who knows, though. I don't want to dwell on symptoms that may or may not point to me being pregnant. We'll get pregnant one of these days - it's not a big deal if it's not this time but the timing was perfect and I'm feeling a little different. A little pregnant.

Monday, June 11, 2012

TTC #3: Blessed Ovulation

Based on my OPK's as well as the horrible way I've been feeling today (back pain, nausea [I threw up once :/ ] and mittelschmerz), I'm quite positive I ovulated. Jarod and I had sex today, yesterday and the day before and will probably have sex tomorrow and the day after, just for extra measure. I know that we only have about 25% chances of getting pregnant this cycle but like I said before, I have a feeling that this cycle will be the cycle. But who knows. Maybe I'm just overly confident in our baby-making skills because we're been more than successful at it.

Morrre than successful.

I remember the month we seriously tried to conceive baby Ali, which also happened to be the month she was conceived (insert cocky son-of-a-bitch "I'ms the shit at conceiving" smirk here), I had the same ovulation symptoms. Backache like no other. Nausea. Slight pain in the lower abdominal. And a positive OPK to solidify my suspicions. We consummated our love and at about 9 DPO, we found out a little baby Aaliyanna was brewing in that little ol' uterus of mine.

I know from experience the biggest deterrent for not getting pregnant is being stressed. So it completely works in our favor that I'm ridiculously happy and content with life. I want this baby so much and I would love if we got pregnant this very instant. Please note: how much sex we're having lately because that is not an easy feat for parents of three, ages four and under - anyone who says otherwise is an absolute liar . . . or a hooker (not judging, though). But I'm, oddly enough, okay if this month isn't the month. I'm really okay with having to wait a few cycles. I'm absolutely okay with not getting what I want this very moment, which is, ohh my, so rare for me.

I'm just so happy right now. Trust me, I'm going to be over the moon when there's another little baby in me as I may or may not have literally jumped up and down at the very sight of a positive OPK test. But this contentment feels nice. After fighting a number of times with Jarod about the prospect of a fourth and finally coming to a sad but understandable sort of closure with babyhood, I feel so incredibly blessed that we're actually trying for another.

Sooo lucky to have this guy in my life <3
I think that's all for this TTC post - I just wanted to do a quick little update that I ovulated on CD (cycle day) 15 (Sunday, June 10th) and we're at it like rabbits in heat (TMI but you're reading a TTC post, whadya expect? :)

Please wish us luck and lots of baby dust!! <3 And maybe, a little vote ;)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Twenty-six years ago my mom was nine months pregnant, sitting in the hospital room attempting to aid the advice of the nurses, "keep her in," as they urged her the doctor would be there any minute. (Seriously though, who tells a pregnant woman in labor to, "wait,"?!) I had other plans as my head started crowning. (Also, who in the world tries to confine a Gemini?! ;)

The doctor barely made it to my grand entrance and at 9 in the evening, 6 pound 9 ounce, 18 inch little ol' me came out. Ultrasounds weren't as readily available back then so my gender was a complete surprise and delight as I completed the little family with two little boys.

Twenty-six years ago today, I was born. There's so much I look forward to and so much to be thankful for . . .

. . . like birthday cake :)

Yay!! for birthdays and having people who love you enough to celebrate them with you <3

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

26 and Second Chances

I turn 26 tomorrow, which to this twenty-something girl marks a definitive age where thirty is officially closer than twenty. The simplicity of being a twenty-ish year old signifies youth, freedom and is, more often than not, generously given the compassionate acceptance of not truly knowing what the hell one is doing with one's life. On the other hand, thirty, which is synonyms with responsibilities, mortgages, careers and all that adult crap, is the complete opposite. Thirty seems much more set in stone. Where you are at thirty is almost always a definitive path of where you will be for the rest of your life and being closer to thirty than to twenty makes me feel like I need to get it together.

Granted, I have the vast majority of life figured out. I've met and have known a man's uncompromising love for almost eight years. Jarod and I are finally at a place in our relationship/ marriage where there is a peaceful ease in the way we work. We really know who we are apart from our relationship and exactly what it takes to be a really great couple. Mainly, because we have, most certainly, argued and have been forced to come to a compromise about every conceivable thing on this planet (but those are small, small details :)

I have three incredibly amazing and beautiful children with the prospect of a fourth little one in the near and dear future. My heart is absolutely full. (sigggh) Truly, my life feels amazing on so many fronts. I'm thankful for the friends I've been blessed to have. I love how we can go months without seeing each other (as we often do) and we can still talk and laugh like it's only been days since we've last seen each other. I'm thankful for my crazy (in a very endearing way :) family that each has their own lives but manages to always find time for one another. I love that my children are growing up with family that extends from Jarod and I (which is something I didn't have and have always wanted). And I really thankful for my mom - I love our relationship, our talks and the way we can read each other, often, without words. Forget pink tutus and pretty bows, our relationship is the real reason I wanted a daughter so bad.

There's so much I love about my life, so much to be thankful for. Life at 26 feels complete and filling.

I, also, really love who I am. When I think back to myself even just a few years ago, I'm so glad that the mess of a confusion is behind me. Even though I will forever attempt to look younger than I am (hello, wrinkle cream), I look forward to the peace of mind that comes with age. 26 feels really good. I'm certain 36 will be even better.

However, my one gripe about turning 26 is a little promise I made myself, a little dream of mine that I almost too embarrassed to write and most certainly, too embarrassed to say out loud. My little dream and promise I made to myself a little under two years ago was I would write a book by the time I turn 26. Unfortunately, I truly let my insecurities and all the possible and imaginable imperfections I might possess stifle any chance to get my written words down on paper. It frightens me so much that I've literally been frozen in fear.

I know, I know, I seriously need to get over myself. Thus, I've vowing to fight that asshole voice inside my head and simply, give myself a chance. A chance. It may be the most horribly scattered, poorly written book in the world. It may never see the light of day. It may be laughed at, scoffed at and looked down upon. And I'm finally okay with that because it's no longer just about a book; now it's about not disappointing myself, not giving up on me. Now it's about trying and giving myself and my little ol' dream - a chance.

So here's to turning 26 and second chances - cheers!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

romance in marriage

the world hushes it's hustle and bustle as i lay in our bed. almost eight years have swiftly passed through me and you - those years have changed us, taught us and humbled us. we have grown as much as we have grown our children for once there was two and now there are five. the inkling of a promise for us to be six, soothes a calm serenity through my soul. i always hoped this much love would grace my life and here it is, all of the love in the world. all of the love i need.

and while these thoughts fill my heart, you walk into the room. you smile at me and i smile at you. with the ease only those who have loved for years can know, you lay upon me. we embrace as your lips reach for mine. the warmth of your mouth slowly lingers down the arch of my neck beckoning for more. you move slowly down towards the aching heat of my chest. on darkened nights and years ago, this would have led to more but you slow your pace as our children play peacefully in the other room.

we embrace again. love fills us. love fills me.

with my heart full, i savor this moment and i yearn to remember it all.

seemly my thoughts silently transfer to yours because in a single second, you begin to hump my leg with the fierceness of a heated dog.

"you're ruining the moment," i say as i slap your arm as laughter excapes your immature self.

"Love, Love here we are." ~Pablo Neruda

Friday, June 1, 2012

I'm an A**hole Shopping Experience

Jarod sometimes gets these points from work, which he can then exchange for various items (we've gotten a camera and iPod music dock in the past) but this time, he took his points and got me a few gifts cards from Macy's for my Mother's Day gift. I was super excited to find the cards in the mail. We had just gotten home from lunch, so the kids were fed and it was almost time for the babies to take their nap. Before I could tell Jarod that I was going to go shopping by myself (which as a mom is equivalent to meditating, no joke) while the babies napped, Jarod, who has a very typical-guy mentality with shopping, very sweetly said, "okay, let's go."

In my head, I was like, "ehh, are you sure?" but at the same time, I feel like I never have enough time with him and as much as humanly possible, I want to spend all my time with him. So we headed to the mall and it became very apparent that we were crunching into the little ones' nap time. We have a double stroller so Ali and Tristen were in the stroller but we had to constantly be moving and pushing the stroller so Ali could fall/ stay asleep, otherwise you could very clearly hear her little baby complaints screams. Tristen was pissed that he was strapped in the stroller while Aiden was freely walking around and Aiden kept complaining he was tired and asking to be held. Basically, it was the very opposite of anything enjoyable. Fortunately, (for me) Jarod dealt with the kids all by himself without acting the least bit annoyed or tired or anything that may have made me want to leave.

I tried on a bunch clothes, mainly dresses. I liked a few of them but of course, he didn't like them because he's a guy and wants me wear clothes that accentuate my boobs and ass. I liked these dresses because they were loose, flowing and let's be honest here, I could let the gut hang out a bit. In typical girl fashion, I put them back and then I picked them back up again and I repeated that a few times. We both liked another dress that was girly and cute (for me) and did enough for him to get a bit of a boner. Win-win situation, right? But I just couldn't get over the fact that it was $90. Seriously?? First of all, it rains and is too cold like 90 percent of the time in this state so I would probably never wear the damn thing and two, the damn thing was 90 fucking dollars. Yes, I'm a cheap ass.

After what seemed like a half hour, maybe an hour, Jarod started complaining and saying that we should go home. I completely understand how frustrating dealing with three kids are, particularly when they're all tired but really, it was my mother fucking Mother's Day. I thought to myself, I deal with this shit every single day, seriously, give me one day! We didn't argue but I was annoyed and just kept pushing that I just wanted a little bit longer to shop.

We agreed to let me look for a few more minutes so I could try to find something for my mom but we were leaving right after that. At this point, I had two dresses, a shirt and a bunch of underwear for less than that crazy expensive dress. I immediately saw a North Face windbreaker and in less than 1.3 seconds decided to put everything else back and get the jacket. Jarod laughed and said next time we go shopping for me that we're just going to look at hoodies and jackets. Oops, what can I say? This girl loves hoodies.

Somehow I managed to sneak in one more store before we left and got my mom her Mother's Day gift. We made it back to the vehicle, loaded our grumpy kids, sat down and then I looked at the clock. Ohh my gawd, we had been shopping for over three hours! I'm such an asshole. I not only made my poor husband shop with me for over three hours but I, also, made him deal with three exhausted kids throughout the duration of their entire nap while I happily frolicked from clothes rack to clothes rack.

However, the upside of this experience is we both learned a lesson that day. I learned that I'm an ass and that maybe I need to return that North Face jacket and buy myself a watch because I, obviously, have no concept, whatsoever, of time and Jarod learned next year for Mother's Day, he should just throw a hooded sweatshirt and a clock (for "me") in a gift bag. And call it good.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

TTC #2 for Baby #4

As long as I've been tracking and been really conscious of my cycles, I've always had a 31-32 day cycle and I usually ovulate on day 18-19. I started a cycle on May 2nd and on cycle days 12, 13 and 14 (which was May 14th, 15th and the 16th) I took an ovulation test. The ovulation test on May 14th (cycle day 12) wasn't a positive but it was pretty close to a positive (meaning the test line was almost as dark as the control line but not as dark or darker) so I assumed that I was just days away from ovulation. However, the preceding ovulation tests on the 15th and the 16th were progressively lighter; thus, I concluded that I had already ovulated (probably two days before I tested the first time).

I have never ovulated that early before and my suspicion was confirmed when I started a new cycle (aka my period) on May 26th, which would have been cycle day 24. This was not a normal cycle for me at all and I'm pretty positive it's not a very normal cycle for anybody - it's such a short cycle! I'm positive that the Depo hormones were probably still affecting my body.

With the weird cycle and bad timing, we weren't able to actively try to TTC (trying to conceive) in the month of May. However, the good news is that I'm really positive I did, indeed, ovulate and that I'm going to ovulate from this day forward, which is so exciting. This time around we are going to BD ("baby dance") starting on cycle day 7 because I do not want to miss my ovulation again.

Jarod and I have been incredibly blessed that we have such an easy time getting pregnant. I don't think I've ever fully appreciated how lucky we have (in general), but particularly, in this regard, which is why I think I have a more calm, peaceful approach to this TTC journey than I've had in the past.  Ideally, I would really like to get pregnant before Ali turns 16 months old because I don't want a bigger age gap than 24 months - hopefully, we get pregnant sooner than later.

Also, I really think we're going to get pregnant this month for some strange reason. I'll keep you all updated with any news! Wish us luck! :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

we became one.

with love in our hearts and hope in our eyes we set out for the future. we forged forward, content on one single certainty - we would do this together. with a fierceness that only love can bring, we knew nothing and no one would keep us apart. "true love," they scoffed but we knew better. we knew anything and everything was possible with your hand in mine. with my tears wrapped into the warmed of my arms. with my love so deeply entrenched into yours.

we loved.

we lost sight of where i began and where you ended - we became one, a single act that begins with the enthusiasm of a child, aches like the body of an elder and grows through the sheer force of survival.

we became one.

you, my love, became part of my soul.

but . . . sometimes, somtimes i can't feel the gentleness of your hand. i can't hear the sweet caress of your words. and with certainty, i know, sometimes, you can't feel nor hear the kindness of my being. sometimes we lose sight of who we are, of who we are together. sometimes i cringe at our immaturity. sometimes i wish we were better.

yet, none of this, makes me question who we are together. who we are when we are one. these moments remind me we are human. we fail at perfection and we will fail time and time again.

but you are mine as i am yours and we will forge forward.

just as we always have.

just as we always will and we will become one, once again.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Letter to My Babies: Grateful for Mother's Day

Dear Aidy, Trissy and Ali,

I understand Mother's Day is about appreciating all the hard, invisible work that mothers do and I am incredibly grateful for all that my mom, your mama, has done for me and her family. But on this Mother's Day, I can't help feeling grateful for you.

Baby Tristen on his birth day (02/04/10).

There are so many people in this world that are unable to have children biologically nor even through adoption (as the cost are pretty pricey); however, for whatever reason, your father and I have been able to be so blessed with three beautiful, healthy children.

My loves <3
There are so many things about you that I love and cherish, so many moments that I wish I could bottle up and return to when I please and so much love that I didn't know existed until you were born. There is so much about my life with you that I love and feel so utterly grateful for.

You have shown me true unconditional love does exist, that heart does not believe in some silly notion of division to love but rather, grows exponentially to accommodate and most importantly, you have changed my very core. You, my children, have helped me grow into a better person, a kinder, more patient, more accepting person. Quite simply, you have helped me grow into a better version of who I once was.

Years ago, my thoughts were consumed entirely of myself, even my relationship with your father was consumed of what he could do for me; what love note he should write me, what sweet, thoughtful words he should compliment me with and how much he loved me. I loved your father but didn't know what love really was - until the day I became a mother.

Baby Aiden on his birth day (03/07/08).
The speed of which my love for my first little one eased itself into the core of my soul was only matched by the removal of my old selfish, selfish being.

Baby Aaliyanna on her birth day (07/19/11).
 I don't know who I would be today without all three of you. I can't and don't even want to imagine who I would have become and although, on this day for the rest of my life, I hope to get macaroni necklaces, crafty little gifts made inside the four walls of your classroom and a phone call just to wish me a, "Happy Mother's Day," more than anything on this day, I will forever be grateful for each one of you. All three of you have changed my life for the better and I doubt I will ever be able to repay you for what you have given me. I love each and every one of you so, so very much.

With the Greatest of Love,


Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Invisible Mother

A blog I follow, The Golden Spoons, recently posted this sweet little passage about the work a woman does as an "Invisible Mother" and it was just too good not to share. Reading this made me reaffirm why I choose to be a mother in the first place and reminded me of how my children are truly masterpieces that I'm building slowly, piece by piece, one day at a time. Motherhood comes with such amazing, wonderful highs as well as tiring, difficult sacrifices I naively didn't even consider before having children. There are days I cry from exhaustion and then there are stories like this that lift our spirits and remind us what being a mother is truly about.
The Invisible Mother by Mary Lynn Plaisance. 
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'
Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30 , please.'

Some days I'm a crystal ball: 'Where's my other sock? Where's my phone? What's for dinner?'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature--but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals--we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does."

No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he'd say, "You're gonna love it there..."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

Also, to my mother, Happy Mother's Day! This passage reminds me of you. I failed to see all the hard, tedious sacrificies you made when I was younger but now, especially as a mother, I've grown to appreciate all the hard work you've done in order to make our house a home. Thank you for being my best friend, for always showing me know your love and especially, for teaching me to laugh, even through the struggles that life throws at me. Thank you so much for everything. I love you so much!

Conversations with Aiden

It took Aiden until he was three years old to really start talking. We tried encouraging him when he was younger but he would just stare at us and it almost seemed like he was saying, uhh, what do you want me to do? I know the fact that he didn't talk until much later than the "recommended" age would worry others but I knew the little stinker was smart as a whip but incredibly stubborn and he would talk on his own terms. Although, these days he talks all the time, it still amazes me what comes out of his mouth and how funny he is!

So proud of his "homework" (as we like to call it) and seriously, when did he get so big??
Me: "Do you want a piece of candy?"
Aiden: "Yes!!"
Me: "Yes, please."
Aiden: "Can I have two candies??"
Me: "Can I have two pieces of candy, please?"
Aiden (thinks for a second): "Can I have three pieces of candy, pleeease?"
Me: "Haha, you’re a sneaky little thing."
Aiden (smiling): "No, I not."

I love him and his little smile :)

I walk into my bedroom and catch Aiden playing with my things.
Aiden (startled): "I sorry, Mommy. I sorry."
Me: "Aiden, you know better. You’re not suppose to play with mommy’s things."
Aiden: "I sorry. I sorry, Mommy."
Me: "Are you sorry you got caught or that you’re playing with my things?"
Aiden (thinks for a moment): "I sorry I got caught."
Umm, At least he’s honest??

Pretty much the face I get these days when I pull out the camera.

Unless it’s pouring down rain, I usually roll the boys’ windows down so they can wave and shout, “bye-bye, Mama!” to my mom when we leave her house. After rolling the windows up, this ensued.
Tristen: "Widow (Window), Mommy. Widow."
Me: "No, Tristen, it’s raining. We don’t open the windows when it’s raining."
Tristen: "Widow, Mommy."
Aiden: "No, Trissy. Do you like it if Ali gets sick? You want Ali go to the hospital? To the doctor? No, you don’t. You don’t like it. No window, Trissy."
Cool, I don’t even need to parent anymore.

I love these two <3