Sunday, October 17, 2010

There is something amazingly therapeutic about headphones in your ears; music cranking in, the world drowned out. Sometimes you just need a little help blocking out thoughts. I'm the definition of type A personality, so I often obsess over minor issues that in the long run don't mean squat. So a distraction is nice. Plus, it motivates me to clean the toilets. There is also something therapeutic about the wonderful shades of orange, yellow, and maroon on the trees. There is nothing better than driving home from a terrible day at work and being able to look out the window and just smile. Smile at the pureness, the beauty. I love that nature is beautiful and doesn't expect much in return...
I was recently blessed with the opportunity to spend the WHOLE weekend in Cleveland with my husband. (I have an amazing mother in law) ;) We stayed busy the entire weekend, but at the same time it was a much needed pause from everyday life. Everyday life is good- but a break once in a while is nice. We saw the Bodies exhibit, which was amazing! I just hope that someone, somewhere prayed for these people before their bodies were turned into a science exhibit. I hope the people who once owned those bodies are resting peacefully. We also tailgated before the Bengals/ Browns game which was the most fun I've had in my adult life! There is something about eating a hot dog and drinking a beer at 9:30am that can't be touched. It was a wonderful weekend!
My mom is 3 treatments deep in her chemo... 3 down 9 to go. Maybe. The 3rd treatment threw us all for a loop because we never expected the horrible side effects to hit so quickly. She said that she truly felt like she was going to die. She has barely been able to walk since the treatment. She is so thin. So weak. She is talking about quitting the chemo and just living life. Before she got diagnosed she felt fine, so why after its removal should she feel like she is 6 inches from death? She has a lot to discuss with her oncologist, and hopefully they can alter the game plan so that the method to heal her doesn't kill her. She has a whole lot of people praying for her everyday so let's hope they can make some changes to get her through this!
I LOVE this time of year, but I'm pretty shocked that we are already on the downhill slide of October- and of the year! Which means my daughter turns 3 and then my son turns 1!! what?!? The hardest part of motherhood is remembering that every moment, every day builds up to shape them into who they are and who they are gonna be! Addison has always been an obedient little girl and has never really questioned who is in charge. Until recently. I knew this day was coming, but having her test boundaries all day every day gets a little taxing. Tonight I had to put her to bed without a story and it made my stomach hurt because she was begging and pleading. I had to stick to my guns though, because giving in one time tells her that I am a pushover. Her bedtime story is the highlight of her day. :( But I HAD to stay strong. Avery is an altogether different kind of child. He has been crawling for 2 weeks now and he is only 7 1/2 months old. He crawls right toward wires, outlets, and cords! He is a very curious child. ;) He is gonna keep us busy, I'm sure of it. So having a nosey lil infant and a boundary testing (almost) 3 year old keeps me very busy! I'm trying so hard to remain patient because if I get frustrated- it teaches them that it's ok to get upset and angry at minor things. So, it is not always easy trying to maintain the standards I set for myself as a mother. I think Robbie and I do a good job and helping each other out when the other is overwhelmed. There still should be a book on how to raise babies... Oh, wait! There are like 3 million- all with contradicting information. So they all cancel each other out! Guess I will just keep learning as I go and hoping I'm doing a decent job!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

this weather does amazing things for my spirit. windows open with the curtains blowing just lightens me. it gives me hope. their is a slight tinge of orange on the trees and that, too, gives me hope. i love love love fall and with it quickly approaching it proves that time is passing. and with the passage of time comes change. a major change in my recent past? MY SON IS SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT! that is also doing amazing things for my spirit and my overall well being. my daughter has started preschool and it has changed me. i've never had the desire to be a full time, stay at home mom. i take great pride in contributing to my family by going to work. but her starting preschool has made me want to be home more than i am. i'm blessed to only have to work 4 days a week, but i desperately want to go down to 3 days. i want to be with my children more than i am away from them. time is running away from me and i get a sortof panicked feeling when i think about her being in school. i just want to be present more. soon enough they will be in school all day (almost) everyday and until then, i wanna eat them up! i wanna immerse my soul into their presence, their laughs, their cries, their naps, their everything. at least i know when i'm working they are with their grandma, so they are in amazing hands!
my mom starts chemo in a few days. she is (in my opinion) severely depressed and overwhelmed. i wish the weather and the orange trees would do for her what it does for me. she needs hope. the reassurance of those around her is doing little good. i tell my patients at work that your mental state is 90% of the battle. i tell my mom the same thing. wish she'd listen. i can't begin to put myself in her shoes... so i have no idea what she is going through. i do know that it isn't easy. if it were it would probably be called roses or playgrounds. not cancer. cancer is an ugly word. but life isn't always beautiful! ;) we are getting there. as a family we are moving forward and sticking together!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I love cold coffee. Not iced coffee, but a cup of hot coffee that has sat for an hour or so... Especially blueberry. Life has me running around so much that by the time I remember that I made a cup of coffee it is ice cold. And now I prefer it that way. I guess we all make adjustments to life- our circumstances, our expectations. everything. we are constantly adjusting. I surprised myself today when I realized how much I'm still adjusting to 2 kids! My 6 month old STILL doesn't sleep through the night and it's really starting to wear on me. I have to work harder at adjusting to the fact that a good night's sleep is a thing of the past. I may regain it someday, but for today, I have to realize that this is life! I may be tired, but I still have to enjoy it! I'm also still adjusting to calling my mom and hearing a sick woman answer the phone. She had her major surgery almost 2 weeks ago and she is still feeling really sore and nauseated. She starts her very intense chemo in a couple of weeks (a month, maybe?) So, unfortunately, she is gonna be sick for the next 6 months. I'm not a negative person- in fact, I tend to be a very practical person. But the truth of the matter is she will be having poison pumped into her veins for the next 6 months, so she is going to be sick. And I don't like that. I connect the whole cancer thing to the first year of my son's life. It's supposed to be an amazing time in my life! Watching him grow, change, and learn is wonderful. But I'm afraid I'll look back and compare everything to where my mom was in this awful journey.... I don't wanna be robbed of happy memories of my son's first year of life, but it is very difficult to separate the happy moments from the sad (and frustrating) ones. In fact, this whole nightmare should be over right around his first birthday. But if we can celebrate his first year of life as well as a cancer free woman then it'll just be one hell of a party!! There is other family issues going on and when that is thrown into the mix I just feel really overwhelmed! I know, I know- God doesn't give us anything we can't handle. It's just a lot at once! PLUS, my husband and I are trying to decide if we should buy land and build a house. We want to be close to our family and there are just no houses in our price range. I've heard from multiple people how stressful the building process is and we already have SO MUCH going on! I just hate things being up in the air! I want decisions made and I want them made yesterday! I love a plan! And we don't have a plan right now. It makes my head spin. And having a house for sale sucks! That has to play a role in our decision to build as well. I'm getting lost in the "issues" and I don't like that either! I just want my "normal" back- but that reality is this is my normal. Damn. I don't like that either. That's where expectations bite us in the butt! That's where we have to adjust! I don't wanna put my head down and just barely make it through the days, but I feel like that's what I'm doing! I have to put my head down to dodge the bullets coming from every direction! At least when I look up I get to see my smiling babies. I've said it before and I have to reiterate it... God gave me those beautiful babies so I could handle a sick mom, a job that sometimes sucks, having a home for sale in a crappy market, family drama and every other bullet. My babies ground me. They are my comic relief every day of the week! Most days, I need them more than they need me. That's the miracle of parenthood. I hate to use this just to complain! But I need an outlet! I have a lot of faith that things WILL be ok! And in the grand scheme of things these nuisances that are weighing me down right now are gonna be taken care of. I just need to let them go. It's not gonna be easy. But having faith isn't always easy! Just as life isn't either. So, that's why I say- I just need to let 'em go! And I need to wake up every morning, smile, and thank God for my existence and my hundreds of blessings.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Man, 72 hours can change your whole life! There is a lot weighing very heavy on my heart right now. I'm not ready to discuss it- I just am asking for prayers for myself and my family. Day after day, I've been utterly, amazingly blessed by how far my family is willing to go to help each other. What would we ever do if we didn't have one another? I thank God for the family I was born into and the families I married into every single day. Without them I would not have the strength or the hope that I have!
My mom feels so good since chemo and radiation are over! Her surgery is scheduled and it's quickly approaching. She is terrified. I'm relatively calm in the sense that I know this is the major step to beat this thing and I know that my mom can do it. After the surgery she will have 6 months of very intense chemo. That is not gonna be a walk in the park, but I am gonna do everything in my power to make it easier on her. I'm sad that she has to endure such a long treatment time. By the time we can celebrate her being cancer free, my son will by 1!
God placed Avery in our lives at such an integral time. 2010 has brought up so many challenges. And Avery and Addison remind me of the good things that can happen. They keep me strong, they keep my outlook positive. They keep me going. There have been days in my very recent past where I've just wanted to throw my hands up and give up. But then I look at my babies and I KNOW how needed I am. Work drama, family life, my own health issues- everything is quickly bringing stress to my life and to be able to take 20 minutes out of the day to be on the floor coloring, tickling, playing and laughing is the greatest de-stresser and greatest blessing a person could ask for. I know the cliche sayings that "everything will work out" and "everything happens for a reason" hold some truth; but in the here and the now it is hard to see the "why." I'm not a negative person, so I just have to wake up every day and hope and pray for the best. And with my amazing family by my side- I know that we will all be ok. Hopefully sooner rather than later...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Is it seriously the end of June?? Where the heck did it come from? 2010 certainly has brought on a lot of new challenges. Balancing the immense happiness of 2 incredible babies with the immense sadness of a parent suffering is no easy task! I guess everything happens to keep us grounded and human. If my mom weren't sick- I'd float away with joy. My kids are crazy-awesome. New challenges and chances to learn (and teach) present themselves every waking minute of every day. Needless to say, I go to bed utterly exhausted! Addie is... becoming a 2 year old? LOL is that a nice way to put it? (considering she is 2 1/2) She needs "corrected" about every 3 minutes because she has totally lost the words "please" and "thank you" out of her vocabulary. But, I've been expecting her to start testing the boundaries and believe me, she has been! So, like I said- we are all learning. ;) But, at 2 1/2 she is a pretty cool 30 year old. People who don't even know her have stopped me in an aisle at Target to tell me what an old soul she is. And that is so true! Some days she is like a 10 year old... Other days she is like an 80 year old with infinite wisdom... Yes, she is 2 1/2- but until you've met her and experienced her amazing-ness then you just don't know what I'm talking about. My son is equally charming. I'm not just saying that because I'm his mom. ;) I love the way he stretches for 3 minutes in the morning after being swaddled all night. I love the way his hairline shifts and his eyes turn into half moons when he smiles. The way he grunts when he hears me shaking his bottle to mix the formula in (yes, I've been remembering to add formula!) :) It's definitely been interesting fitting marriage into the mix of 2 babies! You absolutely have to make a conscience decision to work at your marriage or you will be swallowed up in the day-to-day business! Luckily, we have amazing family who will hang out with our kiddos while we eat dinner together or while we just go to the mall and window shop. It's a must for busy parents!
Mom is done with chemo and radiation!! YAY!!! It was a bumpy road for her (all of us) to navigate and I wish I could say we were at the end... We are (she is) only 1/3 of the way through... after an 8 week treatment hiatus she will have a major surgery to remove the cancer. Then she will endure a more intense round of chemo (length of treatment is currently unknown). Then she will go back under the knife for a more minor surgery. AND THEN this hellish ordeal should be over. And we can lift our glasses and toast a cancer-free woman! Doubt the remainder is gonna be that easy- but we will all be pulling for her, that's for sure! Communication is key when dealing with this mess! Because it, too (meaning cancer) is a chance to learn and teach. To learn how to be giving of time and emotion for those in need. And to teach our children how to be compassionate, caring people. So, please stop and say a little prayer for my mom. She is a strong woman, but this is a tough fight. One that I wouldn't wish on any family or person any where in the world.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

man, i 'm not doing a good job of keeping this as updated as I would like. BUT, in my defense- I have 2 children and a husband (and 2 dogs and a cat) that all require varying amounts of attention. I have a full time job. I have a home for sale... It's a busy life. :)
My little man is over 3 months old now and he literally grows right before my very eyes. He is such a nice little boy. He is sleeping so good! I just swaddle him up and put him in his bed (sometimes still wide eyed) and he just goes to sleep. He usually sleeps until 7 or 7:30, but this morning he (so kindly) slept until after 8!! He doesn't always love car rides, but I think with his crazy head of hair he just gets hot in his carseat. Add-a-roo is growing and learning and changing like a weed, too (figure of speech- I don't think weeds really learn!) ;) Today she said "mommy, you are a great and excellent mommy" wow... amazing coming from a little girl who isn't even 2 1/2. i'm incredibly blessed. and I must say, I'm a lil obsessed with my children. They are just amazing....
Unfortunately, I can't blame my being busy on the fact that our house is for sale. It's been a month without ONE showing! Last summer when our house was on the market we had 2-3 showings a week! It kept us crazy busy and we almost lost our minds... (I'm not gonna go into the drama about the buyer we had that backed out last minute causing us to obtain a lawyer). I really have no "vibe" this time around... Which is a bummer, but ya never know what might happen. We have an open house tomorrow. Maybe someone will love it and we can proceed with buying our dream house near our parents! Yes- we wanna be near our parents! They play such a huge role in our lives and in the lives of our children, so it would be a blessing to be closer to them.
My mom is half way done with chemo and radiation for her cancer. But, don't ask me how she is doing because I'm still not convinced she is being honest with me or my sisters. Which can be bothersome because I wanna be supportive and I wanna do what I can to help her. but she doesn't wanna be a burden. Is it socially acceptable to slap someone and tell them they aren't a burden? ;) I'm guess-timating that her surgery will be near the end of August. I bet she is dreading it and can't wait for it all at the same time. I look back at old pictures and just wonder 'did she have cancer when this was taken.' and I look back at pictures and feel a sense of uncertainty because I don't know what the future holds... I KNOW with all of my heart that my mom is gonna beat this, but I also know that this has changed my family forever. And I'm a creature of habit. I don't like change. Maybe it's a change for the better? maybe we can all find a way to turn this into an opportunity to be better people, be stronger people, be a closer-knit family... Only time will tell. And until then, we will face each day with the uncertainty that cancer brings. Damn, cancer....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day! I, personally, never knew how happy motherhood could make me. I thought having 1 child was amazing. No one can ever put into words how wonderful it is to add another child to the mix. I thought my life was perfect and complete when Addie was born. And, I'll admit, during my 2nd pregnancy I had terrible pangs of guilt- how could I purposely do something to divide my attention away from my baby girl? How can I possibly loved another child like I love my first? Everyone kept telling me that it just works out... I was skeptical for 9 months. The day- actually the second my son was born I knew what they were talking about. I grew a whole new heart.... I was instantly madly in love with my new family of 4. Avery completed something in me that I didn't even know wasn't complete. Life is so blissful right now. My 2 babies and my husband are my whole world. They are the air I breathe and the reason why my heart continues to beat. The work load has doubled, sleep (some nights) has been cut in half, diaper duty (until last week) also doubled. But the love and happiness in my life quadrupled. Don't get me wrong- there have been moments of insanity where I have wanted to melt into a puddle and cry, but mostly those overwhelming moments are few and far between. (I'm blessed with well behaved kiddos) And even during the craziness, the hustle bustle I love taking a step back and laughing. It's a crazy kind of hectic that only a mother could love. And I am so in love with this phase in my life. We are fairly certain that we don't want to add any more babies to our brood, so I'm trying to savor every smile, every dirty diaper, every bottle that I feed my son, and every pee pee in the potty, every story, every page that my daughter colors. The little moments pass by so quickly, and I want to hold tight to them. After all, it's the little moments of motherhood that God's presence is most prominent because it's the little moments that are the greatest blessings. Happy Mother's Day.

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's 4am.I have a terrible cold. I have a pukey/fevery 2 year old (who ironically is a big ball of energy- at 4am). I have a 2 month old who acts eerily like the "prince" and the pea. I have a sick mom who starts radiation and chemo in 2 days. We've decided to put our house on the market. Again. I go back to work in 3 days from my maternity leave. Think my terrible cold might be stress induced? Lord, please give me strength. When I heard a scratchy little voice at 2:15 say "mommy" I knew something was wrong. My sweet lil 2 year old was covered in puke and burning up. At the exact same time my sweet lil 2 month was wailing from his crib. I'm surprised he stayed in his own bed until 2:15. He has a sort of needy/diva quality about him. (I thought the 2nd child was supposed to go with the flow and be really laid back?!) He just wants to be snuggled up to me... Not to mention the fact that I have to help him hold in his pacifier, which he is reliant on to fall asleep/stay asleep. How is he ever gonna sleep in his own bed all night if I have to hold in his pass when he wakes up? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy snuggling with him, but I enjoy a full night's (good) sleep, too. And as I said earlier- I go back to work in 3 very short days. I would desperately love for him to be in his own bed all night before I go back... How can I let him cry it out when I have a 2 year old and a husband who need sleep, too? How can I get him to hold his own pass? (Yes, I've tried multiple kinds). How can I teach him to self soothe if, again- he needs me to hold his pass? (Yes, I've tried to make him go without it- its not a pretty picture). I wish his 2 month check up wasn't 2 wks late- I have a million questions for his dr. I know you aren't supposed to compare your children, but Add slept through the night at 5 weeks and was in her crib at 8 weeks. So, honestly, this is new, slightly frustrating territory for me. I'm a little bit overwhelmed. Ok, I'm a lot overwhelmed. But every day is a new one, right? But a new day with no sleep, a sick toddler and a needy infant isn't easy. I guess even after 2 months I am still learning to navigate this "mother of 2 ship". And I imagine I will continue to learn well after my kids are grown. We can't improve if we don't learn, though, right?

Friday, April 23, 2010

back to reality

The time is quickly approaching. The time where I leave my babies with their grandma and I return to work. It's such a "catch 22" feeling. I love being home with them and hanging out with them all day. But there is vital importance in adult time and a little break from the kiddos. Not to mention, I find it very important to contribute to my family by going to work. It definitely isn't easy getting things done around here (ask me about the basket of laundry that has been waiting to be put away for about 4 days now). And my big question is how am I gonna be able to manage work and the house when I can barely manage the house, now? The priorities include: loving, playing with, feeding, changing, and bathing my babies, hopefully feeding and showering myself, and then housework. See how low it is on the list? ;)
Little headway is being made on Avery sleeping in his own bed. The first night I was very adamant about him sleeping in the crib and we were both up until 4 am. By 5:15, he was in my bed. Night #2 I just couldn't bear the thought of no sleep, so he slept in my arms- all night- without one wake up! By night #3 I decided he is still a tiny baby and if he needs to be close to me for awhile then I am ok with that. I will try again in a few days. Maybe he just needs to be a little bit older... Addison hasn't been in bed with us since she was 5 weeks old, so it's very difficult for me to understand why Ave doesn't want his own space. But I'm getting there.
We are still hanging in the balance with my mom... She is waiting to have an ultrasound to determine the stage of her cancer. (They are pretty sure it is stage 2) Once we know for sure, then they will begin radiation and chemo for 5-6 weeks. After an 8 week break from those 2 she will have surgery to remove the tumor. HOPEFULLY that will be the end of this awful nightmare. I hate seeing her so vulnerable and scared. But, I just know that a year from now we are gonna look back and this is all gonna be a memory. But, hopefully it will be a life-teaching memory for all of us. I just wish there was a better way for us to learn it! True character comes out in time of stress and tragedy. and my mom is the same old, smiling, amazingly generous woman that she has always been. The woman that she will continue to be.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

one day changes everything

Isn't it crazy how we all go along with day to day life in our bubble of naive happiness? Until your world is rocked with bad news....
We found out a few days ago that my mom is going to war. Not the kind of war that you go to boot camp for, leave your family and wear fatigues for. Not the kind of war you can prepare for. Her body is at war. She was just diagnosed with cancer.
We do not have a lot of information yet, because it was discovered during a routine test. We meet with doctors on Monday to determine course of action/treatment plan/prognosis/etc. My mom is one of the strongest people I've ever met. I know no matter what we are told that she will battle through this and beat it. She has to.
I miss my naive bubble of happiness. I haven't experienced a great deal of tragedy in my life, but what is worse than finding out your mom is sick? I imagine the only thing worse would be to find out one of your children is sick (my poor grandma and grandpa...)
I'm an adult, but in my eyes my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are "real" adults. To see them broken, saddened, and feeling helpless turns my world upside down. I'm also a fairly strong person (I've been fighting my own battles with health issues for a few years now) but, again, to see my family's foundation feeling weak makes me want to puke.
I hate the "c" word. (cancer). It's hard to even say... I keep repeating myself with "I just don't understand" because I don't.
My my is, has, and always will be my hero. Not because she is going to survive cancer, but because she is an amazing woman. Who has given to those in need without even thinking twice including giving people gas money and emergency airfare money. She has searched high and low for a sock monkey for my daughter after I couldn't find one. She searched everywhere for lemon flavored iced tea for me right after I gave birth to my son because that is all that sounded good and no one could find it anywhere.
No one but my mom.
I plan to keep this updated with my mom's journey- our journey. As she beats this disease. I know it will change our family for the better in the long run. I'm not going to ask why my mom was chosen. I know why. She is strong enough to beat it. That's why.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

been awhile

I haven't blogged since my days on myspace. It's been awhile. A lot has changed since myspace. My purpose in life has been truly defined since myspace. I'm the mother of 2. wow. the mother of 2. I feel like I have a lot of purpose raising 2 amazing babies. Some days I feel empowered to be chosen to be on team motherhood, other times motherhood seems to over power me! The true blessing is knowing the everyday is a new one and every day a new opportunity for learning and growing presents itself. For instance, last night in a no sleep delirium I accidentally fed my child a 2 1/2 oz bottle of water while the formula sat on my night stand waiting patiently to be mixed to the above mentioned bottle of water. My grunting, angry child attempted to notify my that something was wrong. In my haze, I didn't pick up on his cues. All I can do his hope that tonight is better and that I remember the simple step of dumping in the formula that is necessary to nourish my baby.
The thing I am having a hard time balancing in my new life as a mother of 2 is guilt. I have a supportive family that offers to lend a hand in helping with my kiddos. But guilt ensues as soon as I'm offered a break. Even a 10 minute break. I know how much I need 10 minutes to rest/relax/recoup, however time is flying by so fast that no matter how under-rested, how under-showered I may be; I have a difficult time relinquishing my kids (even if it's just one of them) I'm a stubborn person.
I know this isn't much of a blog. But I'm just getting my feet wet. It's a great way for me to clear my head- which is quite foggy due to lack of sleep. I hope that I am able to find time every couple of days (or weeks?) to get out some thoughts. For now, my thoughts revolve around: making sure I add formula to every bottle I feed my son, and making sure I relax when people want to take my daughter on a play date. She very well may need more of a break from me than I need from her! ha!