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.
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 tryreally 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.
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 . . .
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.