Reading…

Sadly, I can’t remember the last time I read a book.  Since I’ve had K, life has just been extra busy.  I want to say 50% of my entire day is spent nursing & pumping alone. There is such little time for much of anything regarding “me time” lately.  I have good intentions but 9/10 times I am interrupted or side tracked in my own squirrel like brain!  I’m a big advocate on self care and making time for myself during the day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes to decompose. Any person deserves this in their day.  Moms especially deserve this, yet if you are like me “me time” is hard to come by.

Most days I find it hard to sacrifice even 10 minutes, let alone and hour or more for myself. My excuse tends to be that there just isn’t enough time in the day, my to-do list is never ending, someone is always needing me in some-way, shape or form and the moment I sit down, it never fails I hear someone say either, “Niiiichoooole”, “Mommmmmmmm”, “Whhaaaaaa, Whaaaa, Whaaa”, “Woof, woof, woof” and/or “Meow”! By the time I do have time to back to that moment to myself it is typically when both kiddos are in bed for the evening.  At that time, I literally am too exhausted to even keep my eyelids open to care about doing something I actually want to do. If that something I want to do is reading at that hour, it puts me to sleep. I end up just crawling into my bed and falling asleep because I’m so tired (me being tired is another story for another day)!

Camping!  That’s it! The last book that I read was this past summer… when we went camping. Goodness, that was a long time ago (Pre K of course). It just randomly game to me (see I have a squirrel brain).   I remember because I enjoy reading books that are also movies and when I got done reading Me before You, by Jojo Moyes I remember thinking to myself, I need to place a hold at the library on this movie.  I’m laughing to myself because I never found time to pick up the hold at the library to even watch the movie.  Foolishly, I just placed another hold on in now while it was on my mind– thinking I will again find the time to actually watch it (who am I kidding.  I more then likely will not).  I also read the sequel, Me After You.  Wait…did I really read the sequel or did my sister just tell me about the sequel?  Crap!  I can’t remember. Seriously, my memory has turned to complete mush!

…and I’m back to the reason I need to start reading again. My brain feels like mush.  I need to start feeding it again.  Spending the majority of my day with my kids is what I will blame my brain not working properly on.  You’d think I could handle reading one book a month at least.  Lord knows it will take me that long (if not longer) to read a book beginning to end these days!

Since E is on Spring break this week, I took the girls to the library yesterday and E was able to attend the morning story time.  This is something I used to do with E on a regular basis. Unfortunately, her 4K program now clashes with the story time hour for her age group (unless I want to take her at 6pm story time on a Tuesday nights and that just doesn’t work well for us either right now).  While we were there, E picked out the DVD Moana, one she has  been wanting to see for a while now and she also picked out six books to check out.  We are always excited about new library material at this house and E will actually ask to look at books instead of asking for the IPAD when we do (win-win)! I decided since it had been a while since I had gotten a book for myself, I would pick one out.  The one that caught my eye and I ended up checking out was “Scrappy Little Nobody” by Anna Kendrick.  

Diving into this book last night, knowing I have a due date as to when I need to finish it by, I was able to read 2 chapters while K was nursing.  I read a 3rd chapter this morning while eating my breakfast.  However, after reading the first 3 chapters I realized I was distracted in thought almost the entire time reading it this morning.  Not only that, last night, I feel like E and my husband were both talking to me while I was reading (a huge pet peeve of mine) and it took me ten times as long to read a chapter because I was re-reading sentences and at times, whole paragraphs.  E also started throwing a bit of a fit when we wouldn’t let her start her movie she got because it was almost her bedtime, so she came up to me after telling her “no” and completely hit the book right out of my hand and I lost my page (I don’t like to call children names but she was down right acting like a little brat).  We had a little talk about disrespect, the word no and then with tear filled eyes (but I love you’s still said) my husband so kindly took her to her room, read her stories and got her to sleep.  That little mishap took up a lot of time.

You’d think this would have been a prime time for me to continue reading once my husband so kindly took over the bedtime routine and since K was happily nurse-sleeping in my arms. Nope, instead, heavy eye lids ensued.  Both children were sleeping and this Mama’s knew she wasn’t going to be far behind them doing the same thing.  My bed was calling my name.  So that’s just what I did. I told you, the good intent is there for self care, but dang it’s hard to incorporate it in the way I need it. The three lovely chapters I kinda sorta read, I found I could relate to and had me laughing (I love Anna Kendrick and actually think we have some personality traits in common)…I think it’s going to be a good-light spirited read if I just get the quite moment to do so.  I just want to read a book. My goal is  to read 1 book this month.  Is that so much to ask or even strive to do?!  Good lord what is happening to me?!

“I think I need to become perfect all at once, so I keep getting overwhelmed and putting it off. I can’t remember the last time that I didn’t have something hanging over my head. There are usually about thirty to eighty things. Is that normal? Don’t tell me. If it’s not, I’m a jerk. If it is, that’s super-depressing, and I know I’ll just use ‘this is normal’ as an excuse to procrastinate even more.”
Anna Kendrick, Scrappy Little Nobody

Food for Thought (Pun Intended)

Meal planning is not the worst task I take on, but it is also not my favorite.  I enjoy cooking the meals I plan, but having to think of what to make and then make out a grocery list and then do the actual grocery shopping is a giant headache for me.  I’d rather clean up the aftermath of my kitchen mess after making a meal, then have to plan them, make a list and grocery shop. It’s just so monotonous.

Growing up, my mom always made home made meals.  I rarely remember a time that she made something from a box.  Mostly, I do a lot of my own home made cooking, yet convenience has been a factor in our meals too.  Ultimately, I do admit that I use a lot of boxed items.  There is no shame in that, although I try to avoid it when I can as I like to know exactly what I am putting into my food and into my body.  Lets face it, home made tastes so much better too (if you are a good cook). It is also healthier to not eat those convenient foods all of the time.  Not that I am tooting my own horn, but I consider myself a decent meal maker!

Trying to make something that everyone is happy with can be hard though.  Never was this a challenge when it was just my husband and I, but when you throw children into the mix it gets hard-really hard!  Most nights, I am either finding myself separating a meal for my daughter (like a casserole or taking fixings off pizza) or preparing something else she claims she will indeed eat.  This would have never worked for me growing up.  My parents would not have made me anything special and would have made me eat the food that was so graciously prepared for us. If we didn’t eat it too bad so sad, we could go to bed hungry.  Lucky for me, I was never too much of a picky eater growing up, and my mom was a good cook.  I don’t remember too many nights where I was starving.  Thank you Mom!

As I sit this week and look around in my kitchen and I am scraping by food wise and trying to hold off on grocery shopping for a couple days I realize the inevitable.  It’s time to plan for the next 5 days of meals.  Sunday we had boxed Mac & Cheese & frozen Peas (Gasp!) and last night we ate home made chicken tenders and canned greened beans.  Tonight’s meal will be a mystery because our fridge is literally bare, but I do have some staples in the cupboard and I know there is a container of frozen Pork Chops in the freezer!

Speaking of freezer, and just a little side note before I get into my menu for the next week, I wanted to mention that I had a freezer full of home made meals that I slaved in the kitchen over while I was pregnant with K and then we had a mishap!  The freezer door was left open (or magically popped open on it’s own) overnight and we literally lost everything.  Mind you this is the 2nd time this has happened since we’ve had our upright freezer.  Well, the third time will not be a charm for us because I made my husband put a lock on it!  Now, it’s just remembering to lock the freezer once we are done with it-so far it hasn’t been an issue but as we well know, it only takes that one brain fart moment to forget.  I would have a massive heart attack now if it happened because it’s completely full of my breast-milk.  In fact, we bought a 2nd freezer, a 7 cubic foot chest freezer, at Costco the last time we were there because we had run out of room and my milk doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon!  With the loss off all those home made meals that would have put us well into Christmas (I’m talking meatballs, soups, lasagnas, breads, muffins, garden veggies, etc) I’m a little more bitter about having to make home made meals daily when I could just be pulling them from my freezer.  Little by little when I make home made meals I am trying to put away any left over in the freezer to build that goodness up again!  It’s so much better to have those kind of quick meals to pull out and throw together then convenience box foods!

Getting to my meal plan for the next 5 days, here is what I came up with.  If anything sound remotely delicious to you or something you would like to try, feel free to leave me a comment and I will post the recipe.  I’d post them all now individually but I am running short on time today as my oldest is on spring break all week and in order to keep everyone’s sanity I am trying to keep her VERY busy!

  1. Broccoli Cheese & Potato Soup with home made French Bread.
  2. Chicken Cordon Bleu Crescent Rolls with steamed Mixed Vegetables.
  3. Oven Baked Fajitas and Corn Bread.
  4. Swiss Steak over Egg Noodles (Crock Pot Version).
  5. Ham & Scalloped Potatoes with Corn (Crock Pot Version)

See…nothing fancy.  I try to just keep it simple and most of this is far from healthy (but I plan on working on the healthy aspect little by little as this extra baby weight isn’t going to fix itself otherwise).  However, can you believe it took almost 3 hours to get this meal plan accomplished?  I betcha it only takes 3 minutes to devour!  Uffda!

 

Random Friday thought…

Just so my readers are aware, I am posting this morning via my phone. I do not normally write my blog posts with my phone. I prefer to write them at my computer, early in the morning, with a mug of coffee that keeps me awake & motivated. My typing skills at my computer are excellent, and I’m talking speed wise. I realize that I’ve had many typos in blogs past, run on sentences when my brain is working faster then my fingers, and also some incomplete thoughts. However, as I continue to write this out on my cell phone (in a car, I might add), I am realizing this is not as enjoyable for me and it will probably be a short post because I “text” with my right pointer finger only, in a pecking like fashion…but a fast pecking, not a slow pecking like a really old person would do. It was pointed out to me that this way of texting dates me and is old school. Apparently, all the young kids these days text by holding their phones sideways and use both their thumbs. I have seen this first hand before and its actually very impressive. Old habits die hard though because i tried it and failed miserably. I am not one to change easily though and change is always hard on me, imagine that! …and wow, did I just say all the young kids these days?  Sounds just like something my own mom would say!

Now, I’m only 32 years old and I say only because nowadays that doesn’t seem that old. I am also a firm believer that you are only old as you feel. I certainly don’t feel like a spring chicken anymore but I also don’t feel like I am 32. Actually, I am inching closer to 33 because my birthday is in May. As the numbers continue to go up at each birthday, the more terrified I get. Getting old scares me.

I look at the elderly and have much respect for them. I also am always in awe of them and wonder what they looked like in their youth. I wonder how they lived their lives and wonder what they accomplished. I wonder what dreams they chased. I wonder about life lessons and hardships they faced. I wonder about their family life. Most of all, I wonder if they could go back to their 30 year old self, what kind of advice with they give themselves? 

Life goes so quickly. For me it’s been going by in the blink of an eye, more so now since my children have been born. I truly hope I can look back in my elderly years with little to no regets and see a life lived fully, a life filled with love and laughter and lessons learned. Tid bids about my life I can pass on to my own children with pride. Surely, there will be a new way of texting by then!

Smilestone

…and just like that K can roll over from back to tummy.  It seems like she’s been working towards this for about a month now.  Once she finally accomplished this task last night, there was no stopping her.  She was able to do it over and over and over again, as if she’s been doing it for a long time.  It is always amazing to me how these milestones seem to happen in the blink of an eye.  Changes take place so quickly.  Once they accomplish one milestone it’s like they are on to the next and just keep on a going! It’s a fact… she is inching further and further away from that newborn we brought home from the hospital just 4 short months ago and it’s so bittersweet for this Mama. Time goes so quickly & I certainly cherish each and every single milestone.

As much as I cherish every milestone, each one comes with such mixed emotions.  I was crying both sad and happy tears for her last night when she first rolled over.  Sad tears because she’s not a baby-baby anymore and these moments come and go so quickly and will soon just be memories. Happy tears because she’s doing what she should be doing at this stage, is strong and she is thriving.   She even smiled and let out a little laugh when she first did this, almost as if she was proud of herself and her newfound mobility!  It was just so fun to see.  It made me want to call this milestone a smilestone because it was such a happy little moment we all shared and celebrated together as a family!

Of course, after she rolled, I wanted to see how old E was (our oldest daughter) when she rolled. So, I dug out her baby book and I had recorded in her book that she was 5 months when she first rolled.  With that said, K is a month ahead in her rolling skills then E was.  I’m anxious to see what she does next and will be interesting to see how her milestones will compare with E’s.  Each and every child does things at their own pace, so it’s pretty neat to see how things will differ.  I think my favorite milestones with E were when she started trying new foods and laughing so hard at all the goofy faces she would make with each new flavor.  I also enjoyed when she started to communicate with words-and how cute her pronunciation of each word was or names she came up with on her own for things.  I remember she used to call her pacifier a “BA” and she used to call her Grandma “Nama” and when she wanted to go outside she would point out the window and say “Sssssssidddde”.  It’s those little things that I miss so dearly!

When did your baby first roll over and what are some of your favorite smilestones of your child(ren)?!

Confession time…

I am not a perfect person.

I am not a perfect wife.

I am not a perfect parent.

…and I never strive to be any of those three things.  Big shocker right?  If you could look into your crystal ball and see what goes on in my life on a daily basis I would more then likely look to you like a squirrel trying to cross a busy road.

I do however, try to do the best I can with each day I am given as an individual, a wife, and a parent.  Try being the key word.   I must say there are days that are easier to be at my best then others.  Some days, I feel like I’m doing a great job and other days I know I am struggling.  Lets face it, there are a lot of factors that play into being able to be at your best self on a daily basis.  There may even be parts of your day where you are practicing your best self, and something triggers you to be your worst self.  For me, being my best self tends to fluctuate with the passing hour, especially as a parent who is currently running on very little quality sleep!

Yesterday,  I had a conversation with a friend of mine. We both admitted that although we love our children with our everything, being a parent can be very trying at times and sometimes you are just not the parent you want to be– as I’m sure many can relate to.  There are times I am not proud of my parenting.  For example, this morning I lost my patience with my 4 year old because she was kicking me while trying to help her get dressed and ready for school.  Instead of showing her a bit of grace because it was early and I know she was tired, I snapped and yelled at her (probably making the situation worse). Was this my best self as a parent?  No.  Not at all.  There was much better ways of handling the situation.  Not even an hour later, I was heading out the door with her to wait for the bus and she turned to me and said “I love you Mama, have a good morning.”  We hugged, kissed and she was off.  In that moment, I forgot about our struggle we had earlier this morning and felt like I must be doing something right.

With that positive moment, and a little coffee…I feel like I’m ready to jump start my day and attempt to be my best self, best wife, and best parent that I possibly can be for today.  Being the best I can be is in no way perfect, and I know there are more trying times in my day to come with it’s speed bumps, detours, and winding roads. However, remember being your best self does not mean perfection.  Trying to be your best is all about learning to be better and making improvements along the way.  I know I’m always a work in progress, doing the best I am capable of doing in that second, minute, hour, and day!  Chin up to whoever is reading this-you are doing fine!

 

 

 

Unspoken Loss…

Today I was updating my girl’s baby books and photo books. When I was looking through K’s photo book, the picture of our two embryo’s that we transferred (one being K) caught my eye.  It started to make me think about how far K has come since that little embryo that she once was.  It also got me thinking about how truly amazing the IVF process is. There are days I am still in disbelief at this beautiful miracle that has been a part of our lives the last 4 months.  Then, a wave of grief struck me while thinking about that other little embryo.  The embryo that we lost.  The embryo that arrested and absorbed into my body.  The embryo that was made up of cells, but never continued to thrive…the embryo that was our potential baby, but is now gone.  Gone forever.

Honestly, I’ve never really taken the time to grieve over this loss in my life, let alone talk about it openly. However, it’s always been a thought in the forefront of my mind.  Both embryos were created with so much hope and so much love so it is painful to think about our baby that could have been.  Yet, we are so grateful that K did make it. She’s physically here in our arms to hold, to kiss, to snuggle.  It’s such a relief that she is thriving, healthy and strong.  I have tried so very hard to not get caught up thinking about the negative aspect of our circumstances and instead be grateful for the blessing God gave us.

Yet, I always wonder about this loss in my life and about our potential baby.  I grieve the fact that I will never see the baby that embryo could have become.  I grieve the fact that I will never get to hold, hug or kiss, snuggle, feed, or soothe that potential baby.  I grieve for my children that they will never know their potential sibling.  What a huge loss that little embryo is to our family.  I truly will never forget the day both embryos were transferred into my uterus and the feeling that they were finally “home”.

I must admit, it feels good to openly talk about this, even if only for a short while.  It’s something I’ve been harboring inside for a while now.  It’s amazing when things can be stored away in your mind and something can trigger all these emotions to come forth.  That is exactly what happened to me today as I opened that photo book.  I know it is normal to be sad & to grieve, but life too must go on…and I am just grateful for this life and for it’s many blessings in mine.

XOXO.

 

 

4 month mark

Tomorrow, K hits the 4 month mark.  I thought the time went by so incredibly fast with my first, but it seems to be going even faster with her.  This time with K has been both incredibly precious & also bittersweet.  With each passing moment, in the back of my mind I silently wonder what God has in store for our future.  I always wanted a big family (4-5 kids) but now that we know what we know about our fertility, I just don’t know if another child will be in the cards for us. This thought makes me sad and the thought of not being able to be in control of that decision for our family is such a hard pill to swallow.  We still don’t know 100% what the cause of our secondary infertility was, as we never got a very concrete diagnosis.  We really only got some speculation of a few things that could be playing a role in it.

After K was born, and I suppose all throughout my pregnancy with her, I automatically thought about getting pregnant just 1 more time. It has been a nagging thought pulsating in the back of my brain almost on a daily basis.  However, I don’t know if it would be logical for us to have another if it has to be under the circumstances that we had her.  Do I count my blessings and be thankful for the two children we have or do I go back to a place of great uncertainty?  It’s a hard decision and it scares me.

I’ve always said this longing in your heart to have a baby is just something you can’t shut off.  I already know that in my heart, I do not feel like I’m done having children.  I want at least one more.  Yet, I’ve been trying to tell myself we are done.  I think the reason I keep telling myself we are done, even though my heart is telling me we are not, is because we were only given a 10% chance of conceiving on our own with K.  That’s such a low percentage.  Could we be that lucky couple that is able to conceive naturally after going through something like this? Maybe.  However, I’m convinced it’s very doubtful.  I want to have hope that it could happen, but I don’t know if I’m ready to go back to feeling the double edged sword that hope gave me during our trying time with infertility in the past.

I know we had a positive outcome at the end of our IVF journey with K, but it was a very emotional and trying time in our life.  Hands down, it was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through in my entire life.  Worth it, it was 100%…but I always know that the reality of our fate could have ended so differently.  I also am a realist and know that just because it worked the first time, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work again.

Yes, just 4 short months ago I had a baby but I feel some of the same thoughts and feelings slowly creeping back into my days and even my nights.  Some may think it’s too early to think about having another baby so soon after just having one, but when you’ve walked a mile in the infertility world you know time is not always on your side.  Time is precious. The time is now.  I’ve been told multiple times that when you make the decision that your family is complete, it will always be a hard decision yet you just know you are done.  I believe this to be true because I know I’m not done because I don’t feel done.  I want another baby.

…and this terrifies me.