Friday, December 31, 2010

Three...How Can It Be??

This was from our family blog...I thought I'd double post here, a little update from my last post. We had a wonderful weekend! Challenging, but wonderful!
As you all know, December is a busy month for us! Between Ryan's Birthday, my Birthday, Christmas, our Wedding Anniversary, and Roo's Birthday... It's a bit overwhelming! We were talking the other week about Hanukkah and how that is some thing we've both always wanted to celebrate. I have some Jewish roots in my family and I just...I don't know, think it would be cool to celebrate such a neat family centered tradition.

As we discussed "next year" we had to laugh, do we REALLY need another excuse to celebrate, really?


Maybe one year we'll have so much need to celebrate we'll get a Menorah and some candles and go for it...Maybe.

Between all the normal Holidays, and all the extras in our family... Well it's 8:30pm on the 31st, the kids are asleep. We made it through the craziest month of the year! Boy, are we wiped out.

But I have to sneak on here and write. I am so not going to make it to midnight, not even close. I'll ring in the new year in my subconscious, hopefully. But I have to share how thankful I am. Thankful for the zany, sweet, amazing little soul God blessed us with 3 years ago today. Roo. I can't thank God enough for the honor of getting to raise this amazing little person. The sensitivity, empathy, grace, love ,and joy she is and has brought into our home is more than we deserve. She is a gift.
Some Roo Baby pictures...

Roo Minutes old

Roo Girl 24 hours old

Her First Birthday!

Our Great Big TWO year old!!!

Elmo Undies another hit!

She had a terrible cold for her second Birthday

Priceless! She was grinning SO big right before I went to take a picture. I said "Smiiile!" and she made this face
I can't believe 3 short years ago this was who she was: newborn wonderfulness (video)

Ryan got me a new camera for all of that (Christmas/Birthday/Anniversary) and so I've been taking pictures up a storm. So amazing to have a nice new digital camera what a blessing!

I wish I could insert some thing deep and touching here. I have no words. I can't believe how much she's grown and changed. How much I have grown and changed. I am in awe of what God has taught me in these fast three years.

And we continue to spiral up the cork screw, learning more and more with each turn around.

It has been a wonderful few weeks. We don't usually celebrate our Birthdays separate from our anniversary. It saves time, energy, and money to do it all together. But this year...Well this has been a special year and we felt it was important to celebrate the goodness out of it all! Yesterday we celebrated 5 years of marriage. My Mom kept the girls for us and we went out for the whole day. Wad a wonderful breakfast, took a long walk through our "old stomping grounds", took in a great movie... Just had lots of wonderful time to talk and be. It's been a very BIG few years, we really would have loved to take a few days off and just go on a "get away". But our littles are still very little, and we just didn't feel a peace about leaving them yet. So we decided to take them with us! We got a room at nice local hotel, during our day away we spent a few hours there on our own, got to feel like we were really getting away for a few hours. Swimming without being life guard, eating chinese food without having to share, it was such a treat! And then we went and picked the kids up for a wonderful slumber party. It was THE best most fun thing we've done...ever. The girls were so excited, we watched the new Disney movie, Tangled (which Roo loved!) and ate popcorn and let the girls stay up way past their bedtime. In the morning we took them for a swim, let them splash in the jacuzzi in our room and snuggled in the big bed watching TV together. I think it might be a new tradition for our family...To just get a room for us all once or twice a year, mini "staycation" for a night. No one got nearly enough sleep, and we wore the girls out with all the swimming and water time: but it was worth it. I'll post pictures later, seriously we didn't get enough sleep last night (Roo was still partying hard at 11pm and Friendly was up and at em before 6...And that wasn't including the 3 other nights we had like that this week, thanks to Friendly cutting molars).

But I'll leave with you with 2 other pictures from today...

We took her to Friendly's for a Birthday lunch: they sang to her when they brought her sundae. She was impressed.
Roo asked for a puppy cake...My attempt.
Happy New Year!!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Anniversary...Celebrations. Picture-y Post

I'll get back to my conclusions on my last post...But right now I'm just excited.
My husband and I will be celebrating our 5th anniversary this week. And since the girls are napping, and it's snowy and blustery outside...I thought I'd take some time to look back. This doesn't have much to do with Motherhood, and yet it has everything to do with it.

It's been a crazy five years.
We've grown so much, I don't even recognize us.
At the close of this 5th year I'm feeling so grateful. Overwhelmed by God's grace. Excited.
We haven't really done much to celebrate our other anniversaries...Sometimes we went out to eat or to a movie...Some years we stayed in and had $5 wine (erm, excuse me "wine drink") , peanut M&M's, and a movie we'd both enjoy (yup we sure know how to celebrate).

Our first anniversary Ryan gave me a beautiful ring.

Hubby got me a new camera (Nikon s4000) for my Birthday/Christmas/Anniversary present ...I was able to take REAL close up shot of my rings, some thing I never got in our wedding pictures.

The middle ring is our 1st anniversary ring.

He gave it to me to remind me that we made it through that horrible year, we can make it through a lifetime together. Not that we were ever on the verge of ending it, not even a thought in our mind. But we had faced a lot of tragedy, disappointment, frustration, and chaos that first year. And we came out on the other side, more one.

Heading out to celebrate our First Anniversary, 2006

Our Second Anniversary... Well a few hours past, checked into the hospital having Roo Girl.

So excited to meet our girl.

This isn't technically taken on our third anniversary... It was taken the week Friendly was conceived! For our actual anniversary I was pregnant with Friendly and I was in bed the entire day with morning sickness. SO we all spent the day in bed with watching movies and I spent a lot of time nursing Roo.

Our 4th anniversary, blurry picture. Heading out on a quick date...We didn't want to leave Friendly (then 3 mos) for too long.

Out for our Birthdays...I'm sure there will be official anniversary pictures...But these will do.

A picture only a husband would take...

Self portrait.
So what are we doing to celebrate this year? We're taking the day off. Lord willing (and blessing, please Lord?), it will be the first day in 1,094 days that we haven't had the kid(s) we will be heading out as soon as we can (hopefully by 8a.m.), going to breakfast, hopefully visiting our favorite places and walking around (parks and neighborhoods), going and getting some thing warm to drink and then heading to see a matinee movie... After the movie we will be calling a hotel (where we have reservations) and see if our room is available. Yup, we're getting a room. At the same hotel where we spent our wedding night. We're going to go there and spend the afternoon, the room'll have a jacuzzi and I plan on taking advantage of that. We'll watch movies, eat take out for dinner and just BE together. Living with family we pretty much have 0 privacy and having special time alone doesn't happen. It just really doesn't...Some one is always walking through our date time in the family room. It's been really challenging. We're going to go away for the day...Then sometime after dinner time we'll go pick up the girls, bring them back for some "Sesame Chicken/Chinese food" (Roo's FAVORITE) and take them swimming in the indoor pool...Let them take a bath in the giant jacuzzi tub, and then tucking them in for the night.
We would have loved to go away for the night, alone. But Friendly is not night weaned yet and we've never left Roo for the night before either (though she did spend a few nights in Nana's room when Friendly was born). This will be wonderful. We'll wake up on New Years Eve- Roo's Birthday! Eat a special yummy breakfast, watch cartoons in our room and take them swimming again before we get ready to check out and go home and celebrate Roo's Birthday together...Baking Cake (I got a Giant Cupcake Silicone Baking pan for my Birthday), taking Roo out for a special Birthday meal (perhaps) or maybe just to Build a Bear: we'll see how she's doing that day.
See why I'm excited?

It sounds just too perfect. I am so excited.

And for another post: I can't believe Roo is going to be 3 on Friday. How did that happen?

It sounds so perfect I'm scared to hope that it will all work out that way.

Our precious girls.

Roo Girl in her Christmas outfit.

She LOVES to play with "coins". I can't believe how she's grown...More on that later.

Merry Belated Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A story not about Grace...Not at all..

First, Merry Belated Christmas...And Happy New Year to you and yours...

Friendly had a bad night. I am SO over bad nights. But while I laid awake (after giving up on sleep) I started thinking on this, and it was kind of keeping me up.

I was pondering my generation, in my family. Pondering what I've learned from the Mother's before me, and what I hope my daughters will learn from me. I hope I am never a cautionary tale.

I have a kind of distant relative, we'll call her Sarah, who has really been on my heart. Sarah met married her husband at Bible college. He was studying to become a pastor, and she a teacher. The got married, graduated and had a couple kids...In the midst of that he was pursuing his M. Div (masters of divinity) degree, and I believe an associate pastor at a small church. When he finished his degree they moved to another state a couple hundred miles away. They had another baby. They were super super involved in the church he was associate pastor at. They lived in a close knit Midwest town with long winters. She home schooled their children. On the outside they looked like the "perfect" Christian family. blegh. But things weren't so perfect, they never are, they aren't supposed to be. It came out that Sarah's husband was struggling with pornography. When he confessed this (and I assume asked for help) to the head pastor at his church, things turned ugly. Instead of grace he was shamed, not just privately but publicly and more or less fired from his position of associate pastor. It was a low blow, 4 children to care for and out of a job. Things were rough. I don't know all the details from that time. I don't claim to know what was going on in the relationships in that family, I just heard scattered whispered conversations from the grownups in the family, and from my cousin who was brave enough to ask what was going on.

There's more. He did find a job, and they got pregnant with baby number 5. There were complications the whole pregnancy and at at 21 or 22 weeks Sarah was hospitalized for pre-term labor. She was hospitalized for 5 weeks when a little girl just couldn't wait to be born and arrived weighing just 2lbs 10oz. Either was she was micro, teeny, tiny baby. She was a fighter.

2 months in the NICU and she was home. I can't imagine how stressful that time was for the family...Back and forth to the NICU daily, lots of hospital bills (though thankfully [?] baby was 1 oz under the limit where the state would cover the costs for her care, but there were still bills).

13mos later a little surprise arrived. A feisty, healthy, full term baby boy. Sarah had 6 children 2 under the age of one (technically) 10 mos (adjusted age) and a newborn. I don't know what the community was like surrounding her, I don't know if they rallied around her to support her. But I have a feeling that if they handled the things with her husband so horribly...Well either way, I'm sure it wasn't nearly enough. I can't imagine how heart wrenching those years must have been, how overwhelming!

And then...It was Christmas Eve, Sarah was making Christmas dinner and a fire broke out in the kitchen. Getting to be like a Lifetime Movie, no?

Thankfully no one was hurt, just a bit of fire damage on the one kitchen wall. The fire department came and had them ship shape and I assume they had a fairly nice Christmas...Then the new year broke. The insurance appraiser came to check out the fire damage and while there discovered mold. Mold all over the house. Toxic, rare, deadly mold. They had to be evacuated immediately... SIX months later still living in a hotel (and I won't even go into all the craziness of that time) a church in the area had a house come available that they could live in for a time. The insurance company kept dragging their feet, first they were going to just do a treatment to kill the mold. Then they couldn't. Then they refused because it would be too expensive...If you've ever tried to get money from insurance company for some thing odd, you know it can be like pulling teeth, and drag out for a LONG time. Well at least they had a place to stay so they could get back on their feet. What a time!

It eventually turned out the house (which wasn't that old) had to be condemned. They sold the property and decided to head east to be closer to family. They were burnt out, understatement. Sarah's husband got a job driving trucks: local routes. And she started teaching full-time in a (very very very legalistic) Christian School, her children (the youngest 2 staying with grandma since they weren't yet school age), were able to attend with reduced tuition (ridiculous!). They also had to attend the church that was part of the school. It was a crazy few years. The school treated Sarah horribly, she had to be at every school event (even the elementary productions even though she taught high school math), and she had to attend services and be involved in a ministry. This on top of parenting 6 children and the HUGE amount of work involved in being a teacher (even for a moderately sized Christian school).

Long story short (and a few years into this grueling merry go round), Sarah snapped. She had stopped being a wife to her husband some time before, they lived as room mates. She quit her job at the school and got 2 part time jobs, trying to make ends meet. Her new jobs were better for her, the one job kept her physically active and she lost quite a bit of weight. She started an affair. She filed for divorce. Sarah still lives with her husband (it takes 2 years generally from start of divorce hearings etc) she technically isn't supposed to be living in the same house as her husband, but she has no where else to go...And I think in some ways she feels that she deserves the house after the hell she's been through, she won't leave, and neither will he... The 4 children they have left at home are stuck in the middle.

It's a tough situation. Sarah's husbands family are appalled and heartbroken by her behavior. They are angry at her and are not speaking to her.

I'm not angry at her. I want to cry for her.

What is wrong with these "Christians"? She endured abuse after abuse and when she realized those around her who were supposed to love and support her, and help her carry her burdens, were judging, and pulling her deeper...She acted out and broke free. Did she make good choices? No. But given the hell she'd been through, they make a lot of sense.

What breaks my heart is that she, and her children have a skewed view of grace, of God...Or Jesus.

Her story breaks my heart. I wish I could reach out, I am waiting for a chance to reach out and say "I'm so sorry, you deserved so much better." There is so much more that I would want to say to her too, and I hope I'll some day get a chance.

There are some things I really wanted to talk about in closing...But a snow storm is on the way and I need to run and grab some groceries.

I'll write my conclusion soon...There are some things I wanted to talk about. Generations, the things we learn from them...How I hope I, and my generation, will be different than the ones before us. There were so many things that women just took, still take because "that's what you do", especially in Christian circles. I'll write more soon.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Birthday To...


I'm 26 today. It has been like most Birthdays, kind of catastrophic.

There were suddenly no eggs in the house for breakfast (my Mom had used up the last of our eggs to make some thing early in the morning...she replaced them- but there weren't any there when I got up).

I took the kids out for a quick run to Target and when we got back to the van- it wouldn't start. Battery died again.

When I went to called hubby to help, I realized my phone was out of minutes. I had to call the phone company first to buy more minutes, and then call hubby.

30+ minutes later, he was there and able to jump us back into life.

Let's hope that is the end of the drama for this Holiday weekend. So excited, hubby is coming home early from work and taking me out for my Birthday.

I was going to write some thing more reflective and deep than all this, but the moment I sat down to write this post:the girls woke up. Friendly is sitting on my lap as I type demolishing a fig newton.

So, 25 you were lovely...Probably one of the most stretching years of my life, but lovely...I look forward to seeing what (or who?) 26 will bring.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Temper Tantrum.

It's been a really hard week. The kind of week full of bitter cold winds and temperatures outside. And sniffly snuffly, whiny, napless, sleepless, clingy (oh so painfully clingy!) babies. Fighting, tears, tantrums, general ugliness. Constant (I mean CONSTANT) interruptions on even the smallest project (making a snack, using the bathroom, sitting down for a moment). So much whining my ears hurt. Even fun things were turned ugly because one or the other wouldn't co-operate and fights had to be intervened. Nothing was fun. Even going out held no appeal, Roo was "defiant" and difficult. Not feeling well left for some naughty behavior for both of them. Do I even have even have a voice? did you not hear what I SAID? Seriously????? I do GOYB, I make my words have meaning, but REALLY? I can't count how many times Friendly pulled the Noodle arms on me, even worse when Roo would (you now when they just turn into a noodle in your arms and seem to slip and slide so you can't get a grip on them. Yes, I was the Mama with 2 screaming children at the mall on Thursday. And I won't even get started on nights, long sleepless, nights that were all about milk and keeping Mommie awake.

Top that off with a horrible case of PMS, and wanting to crawl out of my skin...You get it, I was living for the weekend. Fresh blood! Some one to even out this imbalance. Some one to give me a few minutes to call my own! And it was nice, I woke up from a horrible night to snuggle with my hubby while the kids crawled all over us: sure makes up for the 6:30a.m. wake up call! We watched cartoons, hubby mae us coffee... After breakfast I got to work out for 30 minutes AND shower = NO INTERRUPTIONS! My husband rocks!! I got to sit on the computer for 30+ minutes with only a few instances of nursing and toddler climbing all over me...But at least I got to be on here, catching up on the news... Connecting with the outside world. Because sick kids = no play dates and it makes for a lonely week.

I got to play in a nice cuddly way with the kids while hubby got his shower- no real fights! Saturday = heaven!And then DH couldn't find a DVD that he wanted to watch with the girls while he drank his tea. Now if you know me, you know that I notice details. He could ask me where his left tube sock got put (when Friendly carried it off) and I"ll know, he could ask where the most random thing is: and I'll know. But if I don't know, I don't know. And more importantly, if I don't care (if I'm in the middle of some thing important to me and I'm getting interrupted) I DON"T CARE, figure it for a bit until I'm done. Hubby pressed, asked me to drop what I was in the middle of and help him look. I suggested al the places I could think tha tit would be... Not good enough, get off the computer and help. Seriously?

I know it just looks like I'm sitting staring at the screen while you hang out with the kids. But it's not just that, I'm discussing some thing with some Mama friends (on a private message board we have), I'm CONNECTING WITH OTHER HUMAN BEINGS (albeit on the Internet, I'll take the scraps I can get at this point). I'm not an extrovert, but I can seem like it, and I need other people some times...really need to know I'm not insane that other people find this job difficult.

There were too many things going on, I was in the middle of reading an article on car seat safety, the TV was making noise, the baby was whining, and Roo was asking a question, and DH was asking and asking and hounding (he gets a little OCD some times). I flipped out in a huge and stupid way. Screamed at him (in front of the kids) so loud I hurt my throat. I was wrong.

But it doesn't change the fact that I've reached my personal limit. I am out of ways of dealing with things. I am tired of being a Mama right now. Tired of the constant messes and interruptions. Tire. Tired of never being guaranteed 2 hours of connected sleep (and this past week, even that was rare!), tired of snot all over my clothes, food smeared all over my pants, tired of tear stains and scratches, my scalp hurting because Friendly grabbed and wouldn't let go (we're really working on the not-pulling hair thing but man is it bad right now!!)... I'm tired of my children being their own person and the randomness and un-predictability is exhausting. I'm tired of jobs that never get completed, of things always being a mess, of poopy diapers and loads of laundry. I'm tired of being under appreciated and judged. I'm tired of thinking that I'll get a few minutes to call my own, only to have napless wonder awake and nurse for an hour. And yes, I don't have to nurse her, but she's in pain and its' sure easier to lay there and nurse her than deal with the flailing and the crying because I've said no. I'm tired. I'm tired of living with family. Of not being able to throw a good tantrum with out feeling hot shame because know my Mom can hear and I know what she's thinking (and might even throw in my face at some later date). I'm tired of not being able to get in a good strong argument with my husband because my brother is in the room and I don't want to air our dirty laundry in front of every one. Or just yell and yell into a pillow and stamp my feet with anger because its' too much of a display of emotion. I'm tired of living with family, of never having privacy, of never being ALONE, a single family unit. I'm not going to apologize for all the things I hate right now. Not going to do a flip of this. Because there ARE things I, in fact. But I'm not going to go into them. I just want to air my misery. To say, yes I was wrong in screaming of modeling a rotten way to handle frustration...But I'm not sorry for feeling miserable in this moment. I am ready to live where I feel safe. Some where where we can lay the kids down for the night and go cuddle in another room, in our own bed, and TALK..I miss talking at night.

And that is my rant. Hubs, I'm sorry I lost it. I was wrong. I love you.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sick Littles...

We've had a bad cold the past few days... I have so many things I want to write about but haven't had time...

Have to share this smiling face... We think God made her extra cute just so we (and by we, I mean she) would survive teething. 4 new teeth and 2 molars cutting through! It hasn't been pretty.

But she sure is! We love our Friendly girl!