Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day Seven

Today I am thankful for my job at FBC Plano. I work about 25 hours a week between the two programs and I am able to see my kids during MDO - and go nurse my little monster who gives the proverbial middle finger to drinking from a bottle. And, since I work in the afternoons from 3-6 every day, the boys stay home with Curtis who has changed his schedule to allow me to work without needing childcare. So, I am able to make enough money to make a difference, but my babies are with us and not in a full time day care all day.

Side note: MDO is a great two day a week program for babies 6 weeks to Pre-K and your kids will love it - and you can have a little break too! Check out Mother's Day Out in Plano

Day Six

I am SO thankful for online banking and online bill pay. If I had to mail checks and payments places, we would never have electricity and I would probably overdraft the bank account weekly. Technology can be a blessing like that!

Day Five

Today I am thankful for a mom who, in spite of being younger when she had me, instilled values in me that have continued with me into adulthood. My mother is compulsively honest and has always done things with integrity. That is so rare. I hope I can raise my boys with the same level of moral values so they can be considered trustworthy to others. My mother is dependable and a genuinely good person, and for that I am thankful.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day Four

Today I am thankful for the 6 month breastfeeding relationship I have had with Cade. I really wanted to be successful at it since I struggled and subsequently gave up with Gage when he was barely 6 WEEKS old. We have been blessed with a good supply, no clogged ducts, infections or really even any pain. It's been a blessing to have this chance and my only regret is that the kid won't take a bottle. But, we are working on the sippy cup. I figure why worry about the bottle when he is already this old and can start working with a cup anyway.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day Three

I am thankful for our family that takes Gage to do fun stuff. Uncle Scott & Aunt Miranda take Gage almost every weekend, and Uncle Dean & Aunt Suzanne even took Gage to a birthday party today. He loves his extended family and it makes me feel really good to know that they want to spend time with our kids and love them just as much as we do.

Day Two

I am thankful that my husband takes the time to connect with me and make sure we can celebrate many more years together. We have two small children and they take a lot of time and energy, but he has been making sure that we are getting time together, even if we have to steal a few moments at a time.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day One

Today we stayed home from MDO because both kids were sick. I'm glad we made that decision because Gage got progressively worse. Poor baby. So, even though he is sick, I am SO very thankful that neither of my children have any sort of life threatening or terminal illness. They were born without any health issues, missing heart valves, or even any stomach issues that a lot of babies have. They are handsome and healthy and for THAT I am thankful.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The 4th Trimester

I have been uncharacteristically silent the past couple of months. I know, I was all "dear Gage" every month when he was born. I did that for my sanity. I have enjoyed Cade's first weeks so much more than I did with Gage. And, that's what I will tell them when Cade is all "why didn't you write me a letter those first months?" - I will say "After I had your brother I was totally depressed and confused about my new role as mommy. With you, it just happened to be wonderful."

Here's why: Baby #2 means you've already survived raising the first one for at least a few months. This isn't my first rodeo. I knew what to expect - the horrible no sleeping, crying, fussing, trying to figure out what baby wants. Baby #1 is always an experiment. I get now why people have 4 kids. You get better at it and feel like an awesome parent each time you figure new things out as you add the kids.

Personally, I think having a summer baby is a lot easier on the depression factor. You can get out with your newborn when its warm outside. Gage was born during a cold winter with a LOT of snow and ice. Also, breastfeeding is a lot easier on the sleep factor. Cade cries, I whip out the boobie and hook him up to it. It requires very little effort. And, please be jealous when I say that I have not had to get out of bed ONCE in the middle of the night the last three months. Since we aren't judging each other on our parenting choices, you don't have to be mad. We co-sleep. We breast feed. I wear Cade around like a kangaroo mommy in his Moby wrap. I am a bit more of a hippie mama with this one. I even debated cloth diapers this time around.

I have just had a much more positive experience with Cade's first few months. If I had written letters they would have looked something like this:

Dear Cade - One Week (May 11th)
You're just one week old now. It's Mothers Day weekend and your daddy's 36th birthday. We had SO much help this week from my wonderful friends who cleaned, brought us food, brought gifts for you and your brother. This helped set the pace for the next few weeks. Your daddy hasn't had much chance to hold you since you've been on my boob most of the day. But, you are doing great and I am getting to shower every day, so I will chalk that up as a victory. Ow, breastfeeding hurts a little more than I'd like, but we are going to make it!
Love, Mommy

Dear Cade - One Month (June 4)
Well, I have come close to deciding that I won't be returning to my job. Two kids in daycare is a lot of money and Frisco is a long drive from home. I am delighted to be at home with you, but Gage is getting a little Cabin Fever. We have gone out a few places here and there and I think it's been a lot easier than I expected. Something about not having to carry bottles and formula is very liberating. We nursed in public for the first time. At the McDonald's inside of Walmart. The epitome of not fancy. So, I didn't feel one bit awkward. You don't want anyone except for me, and you're totally offending everyone by being so prejudice. You like daddy only when he doesn't have a shirt on and you can get skin to skin contact. He's a very warm daddy, so you guys bond a little bit like that. We also attended Wes & Stephanie's wedding and you did AWESOME! You ate during the ceremony and then slept in the sling the whole evening. Everyone commented on how good of a baby you were being. I was so proud of you. I can already tell you're going to be easier on me than your brother. I love you so much. You've managed to make my heart grow even more with your life. Being mommy to two boys is such a blessing.
Love, Mommy

Dear Cade - Two Months (July 4)
We have made it two full months of breastfeeding!!! I only made it about 6 weeks with your brother, so I am VERY proud of this accomplishment. Every day from here is a victory. We went to Grandpa Gary's this weekend to hang out for the holiday and they agreed you're getting big and you're adorable. We have also been going to play with Gus & Emmerson for a couple of weeks, and you seem to enjoy their attention as much as they like playing with you. When you're awake and not eating, of course. Which is not often. You seem to have hit a nursing cluster feeding stage and OW it hurts a little bit again. I took you up to my old job and they all said you were precious and totally understood why I wouldn't be returning to work there. You're starting to be awake more and have cute smiles and the TALKING just kills me. You're so chatty. I don't remember Gage being this talkative. I love it. You like playing and kicking on the playmat and the bath tub is a lot of fun. I'm so glad you like the water. It's been so much more of a breeze with you. Thank you for being such a sweet, easy baby. Even though you're not totally in love with your dad yet, I know you'll come around once you realize that even though he doesn't have boobies, he is pretty awesome. You're an absolute JOY to have, sweet baby. I will try and do a little better at the letters from here on out.
Love, Mommy

So, that's everything in a nutshell. We made it this far!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My husband is my hero

That might sound a little silly to you, or perhaps like I'm being overly dramatic. But, if you had been in our house over the last nine months while I was pregnant with Cade, you'd probably wonder why Curtis hadn't just up and left to get away from my insanity.

Then, a week before my due date, we conclude that Cade was indeed breech. He had, in fact, never been head down for the duration of my pregnancy. So, of course the option of a C-Section comes up and I start to panic, and act even more horrendous to Curtis. I will write a whole other post about that and the birth experience later. This is about my husband. He deserves more than a blog post of praise for all he's done and does for us every day. He has started his own business, provided for our family, played with our son, helped cook dinner, not complained when things weren't done or he couldn't find any clean underwear because everything was still sitting in the dryer. He was a one man show with the business this last year, handling marketing, sales calls, appointments, physically DOING the work, making bank deposits AND dealing with the drama queen he's married to. Let's just say, I may have gotten compliments on how "glowing" I was during this pregnancy, but I did not wear the hormone changes well. Again, I am surprised Curtis didn't leave the country and change his name to escape my aggressive rage. (I have a theory about being pregnant with a boy and perhaps the amount of testosterone in a woman's body being higher because of it.)

We can joke (a little) now about how he totally freaked out when Gage was born. That's a story I will leave up to him to share - but he's admitted that he didn't react well to the whole birth experience, being in the hospital, etc. etc. This time, he was absolutely wonderful. He got a tiny bit of cabin fever, but was able to run a few errands (like running home to walk the dogs and bring me Starbucks BOTH mornings after Cade was born) to get out and breathe. He took care of putting baby gifts in the car and taking them home and cleaning out the car completely before we left the hospital. He ate every meal with me, and brought me Gatorade and juice and dropped off AND picked up my prescriptions for pain medication. Which, yes, I have needed because the effects of nursing are similar to mild contractions this time around. The nurse mentioned that the cramping gets worse with each subsequent pregnancy. That ensures this is our last baby!

When we came home, our fridge/freezer had done that thing where its all frozen over and cant keep anything cold - so we lost A LOT of food, and Curtis had to defrost it over night. He scraped and used a blow dryer to get the ice out. Went and bought ice and borrowed an extra cooler from the neighbor to save what we could and make sure we had a gallon of milk for Gage to have his milk. He brought home lunch on Monday since mostly everything was in the trash and I wasn't exactly up for cooking. He cooked dinner on the grill that night and last night too!

He has always been pretty "go with the flow" and this time around, he was wholly supportive and stayed by my side the entire weekend. I struggled with depression after Gage was born. I was hurt that Curtis wasn't as supportive by staying at the hospital, although we both know in retrospect that he was just as freaked out as anyone could be. He panicked. That's ok. We've moved on. He more than made up for it with this labor and delivery. I am successfully nursing Cade (something I will write ANOTHER post about). I have all the support and love of my husband for that as well. But, I feel like we're on the right foot this time around. He made the biggest difference in that I think. I told my best friend that I felt more like I am in an "afterglow" than the darkness I felt with Gage. I've only cried twice - once when this guy took my parking spot at Walmart, and once when I felt like Curtis misunderstood what I said. Both a little silly, but I know I had cried a lot more with Gage by this point. I truly put a lot of weight on Curtis's actions this time - he's the biggest reason I don't want to drive my car off a bridge this time around.

I know I am pretty open about how I feel most of the time, but it's been a REALLY long time since I have been encouraging to my husband. I haven't made the time to appreciate him. Let alone TELL him I appreciate him. I've mostly bashed him verbally - to his face, mind you. I don't talk bad about my husband much to other people. I save that for him personally. I know - awful!!!!!!

I could go on, and I know that I've left things out, but this has taken me 4 days to write between feedings and naps. I think I've made my point. I certainly hope Curtis knows how much he means to me, and I want everyone else to know how blessed I am. Feel free to remind me of that when I complain later about having two boys who fart in my bed every morning after they wake up.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Birth of Baby #2

Clearly I haven't HAD the baby yet. But, all of a sudden, it's become painfully real that he will be here in a week. Sweet baby is breech. Like, head up under my ribs, spine down by pelvis breech. And, that means that he's never turned head down. I know this based on sonograms and that I distinctly remember BOTH times Gage turned head down.

Yep, we've had this little problem before. Gage turned head down in the late 20 something weeks, then he decided it would be fun to flip back at about 37 weeks. My OB at the time offered to schedule a c-section at 38 weeks, but I had so much time before my due date, I wanted to wait it out. I went back at 38 weeks and Gage was still breech, so she referred me to a doctor who did inversions (manually and externally moving the baby - don't look for that on YouTube) for that afternoon. Gage turned at lunch time, while I was sitting in a lawn chair, having Thanksgiving lunch at Curtis's work. I went to the appointment and they confirmed he was head down. Moving along, we had Gage 3 days after my due date via induction and labor with an epidural.

This time around, he hasn't turned. Next Friday, may 4th is my due date. Most of you may not know that I've done a lot of educating myself and research and had decided that this time around, I wanted to have everything NATURAL. I even looked into a birth center birth, but didn't find one I liked that my insurance would cover. That's fine. I'm not trying to have a baby at home or anything so I skipped the midwife/doula option and found a doctor and made my desires clear. My OB is 100% supportive of letting everything happen naturally. Except for in the case of this breech baby. There are a lot of people who might get vocal about how midwives and birth centers and even home births (especially in other civilized countries) will deliver a breech baby. Maybe if he was feet first. MAYBE. But, his butt is where his head should be, and there's no way this boy is coming out folded in half like a taco, ass first.So, she scheduled the C-section for the day he was due, and I sort of resigned myself to it.

EDITED to add the Birth Story!

I actually ended up sobbing in our bed at 11:30pm the day before we were suppose to arrive at the hospital at 5am and basically panicking. I decided to participate in some last minute denial and just planned that maybe, perhaps, the baby would turn sometime before they cut into my abdomen the next day.

What happens next is an absolute miracle as far as I am concerned. We go to the hospital, get checked in, they're prepping me for surgery. But, just like my Doctor promised, she did one last sonogram just to humor me before they were going to roll me into surgery. Much to my delight, my sweet baby TURNED and was head down and ready to start the labor process.

My OB told me we should go ahead and induce and take advantage of him being head down. I was game. I knew the pitocin drip may not be ideal for my all natural birth plan, but hey THIS KID WAS HEAD DOWN AND IN PLACE. We started the pitocin at 8am. I labored til a little after 12 without any meds or an epidural.But, I was starving (they didn't let me eat after midnight or after they induced with the pitocin) and didn't enjoy laboring without any energy. So, I got an epidural and labored another few hours. Cade Corbin Avary was born at 6:18pm and weighed 7lbs 11oz.

All in all, Cade arrived perfectly and even though things didn't go exactly as I had planned, he was healthy and perfect and we'll keep him.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Why I Love Boobs

As you all know, I am pregnant with precious baby boy #2 - and SO close to the finish line, I can almost taste the breastmilk. Wait, what?! Ok, so, I don't drink breastmilk, but my baby will. Gage did. Curtis refuses to taste it. I am adamant about breastfeeding this baby because I had a disappointing experience with Gage, and mostly, it was due to my ignorance.

When I had Gage, I did a LOT of research. Mostly about having a baby, being pregnant, being prepared for labor and delivery, what to expect from a newborn, etc etc etc. I intended to breastfeed, and I did. Except it didn't go how I planned. Because I failed to plan for that portion of having a newborn. Stupid, I know, because it's like the most important thing you'll do for your baby - feed them. That's pretty much all there is to do with a newborn: feed them, change them, smell their heads, and watch them sleep when you should be sleeping.

So, when Gage was born, I didn't have a plan for nursing. I bought ONE nursing bra (that was way too small, like I didn't realize I would FINALLY have the boobs I always wanted) and did not attend any breastfeeding classes. Although, I could easily blame my doctor because she told me "breastfeeding is a two person sport, you don't really need a class to tell you how to do it", I did have ANOTHER opportunity the day after I had Gage to take a FREE class in the maternity ward at the hospital. To which I replied "no thanks". I wish I could go back and hit myself. I would definitely say "Really!? You turned down a chance to take your newborn to a breastfeeding class down the hall and you said no?! YOU'RE SO DUMB!"

I also did not buy a breast pump. I don't know WHY. I don't know what I was waiting for. But, I just didn't. So, when I had Gage on Tuesday and my milk didn't "come in" until the following Sunday, I wasn't sure what to do. And, to make it worse, when I took Gage to his first check up on that Friday, they totally freaked me out because he had lost 11% of his birth weight and anything over 10% is like "OMG your baby is starving to death and it's all your fault. You HAVE to supplement with formula until you can feed him with your boobs successfully like good moms do." - or that's what I heard. I can still remember how guilty I felt, how defeated and so much like a complete failure.

I also remember going in the nice little cozy nursing room with the lactation consultant who reminded me of the perfect grandma and how SHE made me feel horrible too because we discussed my "supply" and she suggested I start pumping and gave me Enfamil to supplement Gage's feeding after she gave him a little bottle and commented on how his fists relaxed when he ate, so he was clearly hungry. My overall impression "YOU SUCK AT BEING A MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I gave up after 5 weeks. I didn't understand that I should have tried nursing Gage within an hour of birth. Or that I should nurse on demand in the hospital and spend as much time with him skin to skin in the hours after birth. I also didn't know that babies can take 30 minutes in one "session" and that they eat like every 2 hours, so when I felt like all I was doing was nursing Gage, I was actually doing the right thing and it was normal baby activity. I didn't know there was a TON of free help available to me via The Leche League, and many other support groups, even on Facebook.

But, you know what? It's not always "the most natural thing". It's not just like magically your boobs make milk and your baby latches on and nurses away while you stare into each other's eyes. Sometimes you don't have a clue what you're doing. Sometimes you get bad advice. Sometimes there's a medical reason it's not successful. But, if you CAN and your baby CAN, then you should be sure to get support to remind you that you CAN when you think that you CAN'T. So, here's a little link list to help you out too.

The Leaky Boob on Facebook

La Leche League International

Find a Lactation Consultant Near You

Hope this helps you and your boobs!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

33 weeks - and Gage's 27 1/2 month letter

Let's kill two birds with one stone and get an update on everyone at once. I call it multitasking (and being too lazy to post two separate blog posts today).

So, I feel like someone has beaten me while I slept. When I get up in the mornings, I imagine it must be how people with arthritis feel. It's just achy and hard to move and I want to lay back down and sleep some more. I am SO ready to have this baby, but not at the expense of his health. I just want to be done already. Being pregnant and having a toddler is about 500x harder than being pregnant the first time, with no other children.

Gage is getting his two year molars - which I didn't even realize until this weekend when I looked into his mouth closely. Yes, I brush his teeth, but I'm not sticking my hand in there to feel around regularly. It explains the recent struggles we've had with him, which I will address in the portion of this post that's Gage's letter.

We've decided to have a garage sale next month with my sister in law so that we can clear out the remaining stuff we have no use for and make more room for our soon to be family of four. And oh my gosh, I just really thought about that....we're going to be a family of four. But, you know, I think it's pretty much the same as having any number of kids. If you have kids, it changes your life. One, two, seven. You're not doing anything without considering how it affects your kid or kids anyway. So, bring on the baby. I would have three if it means I didn't have to actually be pregnant again.

I feel like a giant, uncomfortable cow and I desperately miss working out and moving without waddling. I know if I had been working out when I got pregnant, then I could still be doing something, but I wasn't and now I regret it. I think my body wouldn't hurt as much.

Now, for the Gage update:

Dear Molar Monster,
     So, it turns out that all this insane sleeping junk is due to molars. You started trying to get into bed with us, randomly about two weeks ago. Now, I am TOTALLY against this. Your dad thinks it's cute. It makes me want to go sleep in your bed and leave you two to kick each other while you sleep.
     Then, you decided to wanted to sleep on your bedroom floor. I'm fine with that. I made you a little pallet, and you slept on it pretty well. But, you have been playing some serious games at bedtime, coming out of your room and giggling and playing with Mimi in the hallway. I've threatened to lock you in with one of those door knob covers that you have to squeeze to turn the knob. Your dad is TOTALLY against that.
     You are such a master manipulator, and you're really pushing the limits lately. I'm sure it's called "testing your boundaries" - I consider it a true test of my parenting endurance. The Toddler Games. They should make a movie series about it. Don't steal my idea now. I realized I am sitting on the next book series goldmine.
     You seem to basically understand WHERE the baby is if we ask, but when I asked if you wanted a baby at our house, you told me no. Guess what? You're in for a BIG SURPRISE in a few weeks. I know you're going to be helpful. You love helping around the house so much already. I also get that you might be jealous. What's strange is that I don't stay at home with you right now, so it should be a total change of pace for us all when I am home on maternity leave with the new baby AND you at home. Meaning, you don't get all my attention all day long anyway, so you'll actually be getting to see me more once your brother gets here. I won't pretend to know how it's all going to go down though.
     You're still growing and learning every day. You speak such clear sentences that sometimes I am surprised that YOU are the one talking to me. You know what we're saying to you, but we know what you're saying as well. Of course, that means when you're contrary, we understand you clearly. You've been saying "I won't do that" or "no it's not" - basically arguing with us. You ask for fruit snacks often, even in the mornings at 6:30. I always tell you "No candy for breakfast" and you told me "I want candy RIGHT NOW!" - of course you got a swat on the butt and a reminder that you will NOT be speaking to us like that. So much personality, and so little fear.
     Sometimes I wonder how hard I will have to (figuratively) push you to get you to listen. You're not easily upset by discipline. I find myself wondering if I really have to be even harder on you to get your attention. Of course, that makes me think about how hard I "force" the Lord to discipline me before I listen sometimes too. Guess that stubborn streak you have didn't just come from your dad.
     I know you're going to be an awesome person. I also know we're going to have to really stick with consistent rules and expectations to get you to stay awesome and not go bat shit crazy when you hit those teen years. Oh, Lord, I am already thinking about you being a teenager. This is where I will stop this month.

We love you sweet baby boy!

A great deal I had to share!

Click here for the deal!

I can admit it. I am NOT good at saving money - as in putting it into a savings account and LEAVING IT ALONE. But, I love to SAVE money with a good deal on things I needed to buy anyway. I last posted about the produce baskets, and I really hope you checked it out.

This time, I am sharing a deal for a "Pretti" little consignment shop located here in Plano. I've been wanting to buy a new pair of sandals to get me through the rest of this pregnancy since I can't wear flip flops at work, and I am tired of closed toe shoes right about now. $10 for $20 worth of merchandize!!! I am going to use this deal to check out some adorable shoes. Hope you take advantage and find something fun you can buy. Don't you deserve something "new" too? I had to share their photo of the shoe rack!

Monday, March 12, 2012

All the fiber you can stand

I recently heard from my friend, Kerri, about this really neat produce deal called Bountiful Baskets. (She's a savings guru, so check out her blog to find more great local deals.) I am totally addicted to this produce basket. It's a co-op that pools our purchasing power to get fruits and veggies directly from local farmers and growers, sort of like a farmer's market does. But, it's all volunteer/non-profit so it's truly a co-op. You just need to plan on donating an hour or so of your time every 6 weeks to balance your good karma :). I feel almost guilty about the great deal that it is. For instance, this week we paid our $15 on Monday and then Saturday we drove to the pick up location and got the following items:

-Bag of apples
-Bag's worth of oranges
-approx 8 bananas
-3 or 4 cucumbers
-1 pint of bluberries
-1 head of romaine lettuce
-1 bunch of kale
-1 bunch of carrots
-1 bunch of asparagus
-1 pineapple
-green chiles
-sweet banana peppers

I feel like I am forgetting something. I promised myself that I would take a picture with my phone before I unpacked the baskets into my reusable grocery bags this week, just to show you how awesome it is. Curtis made fun of me for being so excited after the first week, since he didn't get to come with me. But, this week he came and he admitted it was pretty cool and he enjoyed unpacking and checking out all the produce goodies. Gage was even excited about getting our "begables" and bummed that he fell asleep in the car and missed the actual pick up. He asked about it twice when he woke up afterward.

I made a big salad Saturday night and we ate it with dinner both nights this weekend. (there's still more) And, last week, I had cut up a bunch of the fruit and put it in a container in the fridge and we all snacked on fruit all week. It's literally changed the way we eat - healthier, simpler - all the fiber we can stand! I almost feel guilty getting such a good deal, but with jumping off and Curtis working for himself only, we are saving where we can. I am impatiently waiting for 12 o'clock so I can login and order our basket for this weekend.

I know that when the baby starts eating solids, this is a great way to skip the canned stuff and make our own homemade baby food. There's just no reason not to with all the stuff we're getting. I am super excited for all the summer berries and the peaches. And winter produce. The fall squash. Just excited. I think I've always had a weird thing for produce...and this is like a dream come true for me.

So, check out the BB website and get your basket ordered - less than 10 minutes til 12!!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

29 1/2 weeks

Getting closer to baby arrival time! Are we prepared? For having a baby, yes. We've done it before. I'm not too concerned about the hows and whats of having another kid. But, like, prepared as in do I have all his cute little baby stuff out and the nursery put together? Not so much. But, I can vouch that Curtis is the kind of guy who can whip the room together in a weekend. Mostly it requires furniture re-arranging. A FAVORITE hobby of mine, but a big "No-No" in my current state. I would seriously like to have a garage sale and just purge some things. However, organizing a garage sale at this point in the game might be a little bit too much.

I am terribly excited because my best friend is having her baby TOMORROW. They're doing a c-section for everyone's safety. I think it's bizarre to know you're going to walk in and have a baby on a certain day. I like to plan, but personally it would make me panic more knowing "THIS IS THE DAY". I appreciate the unexpectedness of going into labor. Of course, let's not forget that I'm the clueless mother who didn't realize she was in labor when it first started. This time, I plan on hanging out at home, eating and watching Netflix until I can't handle it anymore.

Speaking of Netflix...I've been watching episodes of Weeds over the last few weeks. I'm into Season 4. I'll make this complaint: Season 3 randomly had a ton of hardcore nudity (see: men's penises) and Season 4 has been just as traumatic. However, something about watching a show where a suburban house wife who is suddenly widowed and sells pot to her affluent neighbors forces me to accept that it might be expected to see all those naked people. This is where I am thankful that Netflix has fast forward. I've also decided if I were in that situation: suddenly a widow with two sons and no other family to turn to, I might sell weed too. It's better than becoming a stripper, right? Curtis argues that this is clearly NOT an option for me, but I'm amused nonetheless. Just to cover my butt: I do not currently, nor have I ever purchased or sold drugs to or from anyone. I would absolutely pass a drug test any day of the week. Moving on...

I had some crazy weird dreams last where I had Gage and my mom was there, but no new baby and no Curtis. And, these two mean looking Hispanic men were kicking us out of the nice house we lived in and only gave us like 10 minutes to get our stuff and go. This is a DIRECT result of watching Weeds. And, yet, I find myself intrigued by the story. I'm sure I'm a horrible person for watching a show with a weed dealing mom and naked people.

The other dream I had last night was that I had already had baby #2 and forgot about it. So, I was going to leave somewhere with Gage and realized I wasn't pregnant anymore and went and found the baby in the carseat carrier. And then I fed the baby and he was fine. But, it made me feel really horrible.

 I think my biggest fear right now is figuring out how to juggle two kids and share my attention. I realize that sort of thing works itself out, but last night Gage woke up a couple of times, crying because he was scared of the Big Bad Wolf from the Three Little Pigs. So, we had to take turns talking to him about it and I ended up laying down with him for a little while so he wouldn't continue to worry. I remember being terrified as a kid because I had this overactive imagination and could picture scary faces and stuff I had seen in movies or masks at Halloween. That being said, I don't want to baby Gage about it, but I certainly understand his fear. He has my photographic memory and my imagination. Poor kid. At least it makes him really smart and will help him if he wants to do something creative as a career.

We went and had our sonogram yesterday. Baby #2 is still a boy, and he's a very healthy one. We saw all his organs and she measured his head and thigh bones and belly. Just made sure everything looked good, and it did. Curtis commented that it's not something he takes lightly. I know I took it for granted. I just assumed he was perfectly healthy, but it really is a huge blessing that he's got everything in the right place and is growing normally. Another handsome little boy to love. I'm delighted. (Not looking to all the farting that will go on over the next 18 years in my house though.) He was playing with his feet, which would explain the constant use of my belly button for target practice. Tiny toes and fingers poking me dead center in the belly. Cute even though sort of creepy if you think too hard about it. I think he looks like Gage did in his sonogram pics.

Gag me. Someone ordered Chinese food for lunch and it's stinking up my office.

Monday, January 23, 2012


I think that's probably the most general title I could think of, since I don't want to commit to a certain topic. Last year was a hard one in a lot of ways. Curtis had worked for a garage door company for a few years, and he had also been doing side work when it was available to us - that's the beauty of being a sub-contractor with a skill set. It was really nice to be able to stay at home with Gage all through the first year of his life in 2010. I started working at MDO and watching the Craft kids to have extra income and get Gage socialized and get myself out of the house.

As the spring of 2011 came upon us (I can't think of any other way to say that, and it reminds me of a youth pastor who started a summer camp conversation with "summer is upon us" which we all found quite hysterical at the time - now I understand why he chose that phraseology) Curtis was getting busier with the "side work" - heck, 3 years of growing Everything Garage Doors with marketing and word of mouth referrals was starting to add up. So, we decided it was time to step out completely on our own - no more contracting for a larger company. Curtis was all of a sudden a one man show - with me handling the marketing.

I can tell you - the garage door repair business can be lucrative. But, all of a sudden, the marketing money was coming solely from our pockets. And the cost for parts was coming solely out of our profit on each call Curtis did. Business expenses easily quadrupled. Add to that, the summer was upon us and I was no longer watching kids, so my extra income disappeared. I felt really guilty that we were experiencing a financial crunch and I was still at home, when I'm quite a capable worker. I can even dress myself and use correct grammar on a regular basis.

So, I did what I prayed about and felt like was in the best interest of my family - somewhat against Curtis's initial wishes - I found a job. Well, let me rephrase that: I had help finding a job from a staffing agency and the good Lord. I was also fortunate enough to have great help watching Gage.

Taking all that into account, last year was a year of sacrifice for us. Not just financial sacrifice, but family time, mommy bonding time with Gage, sleeping in, having a clean house. We were hit with a lot of junk through out the year, and I've noticed my attitude toward "the business" as I refer to Everything Garage Doors is that I'm sick of it. I blame the business for all the things that sucked last year. The toll it took on us, on our relationship, on my shopping trips. When, really, if I get honest with myself, I should be blaming the Real Enemy.

Nothing for Believers comes easily when you're trying to be inside of God's will. Curtis felt like having our own business was a way to treat customers with honesty and integrity - not ripping them off for something that can be affordable and often is a necessary and unplanned home repair. We treat customers how we'd like to be treated if we have to call someone out to fix our home. I truly feel that Satan has attacked us all year long. (Let me insert here that I believe we've been under a little extra pressure because we live in a home owned by a family currently serving in China as missionaries - and I'm pretty sure that by indirectly supporting them being out of the country by living in their house and paying the mortgage doesn't make the Enemy very happy either.)

A slight rabbit trail - I grew up in church. It was my everything. From a rocky start in childhood to having Someone to lean on, constant friendships with precious sisters in Christ - I just always had that peace and joy that comes from a real relationship with Jesus. This relationship - the one that carried me through every other relationship no matter the type - was all of a sudden (well, it's never "all of a sudden". it's gradual, that's why you don't really notice it at first) gone. I had let the one thing that I could always count on slip away to a back burner, slip away to only a gentle nudge in my heart - slip away to where I really felt alone in a way I had never felt.

I guess that's how people who have NO relationship with their Heavenly Father feel all the time. I had let the disappointment of the struggle of 2011 turn me into a person I didn't know. Sure, I was still a good mom most of the time. Less patient, but still providing and caring. Was I being a good wife? Hardly. Feeding and washing clothes is hardly the way to convince your husband you're in love with him. All the joy I had felt in life had been tied up in the resentment that things had changed and weren't as easy anymore. And, I got really tired hearing stay at home mom friends complain about staying at home. I felt a little bitter about someone complaining about doing dishes AND cooking dinner, when I still do those things AFTER working a full day - and then I have precious little time to spend with my family if I want my house as clean as it was when I stayed home. I got spoiled staying at home and I resented that this growing time was causing my happy little world to change.

Anyway, 2011 ended, and I was incredibly happy to see it go. The stress and the tears and the struggles and the arguing and the decision making for our's all settled down. Well, maybe not the emotions, but that's the pregnancy's fault. Pretty much, 2011 can suck it and I am looking forward to what the rest of 2012 has to offer.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Rules for Mothers of Sons

While puttering around on Pinterest, waiting for my invite to go through, I found this list and followed it to her blog. I cried a little, and laughed a little. It's just too precious to not share. For all my fellow mommies to boys!

Team Studer: 25 Rules for Mothers of Sons