Thursday, April 28, 2011

random thoughts

*It's a weird feeling, to be playing computer games with my husband, my brother, and his friends.  I feel very out of place & old.  But still fun.  (And to be hearing Mr. Wickham's voice through Eric's microphone on Skype.)
*I get tired of eating out so much.  Kris' parents eat out a lot, and I think I'd much rather cook for us and eat at the house, than eat out all the time.  I get worried that Alaise is getting more and more used to salty & fried foods.
*I never thought I'd love nursing.  I still don't, really.  But one time during the day, I do love - around midnight, when I dream feed Kai before I go to bed.  I love that he's mostly asleep, curled up, not getting distracted by anything and everything.  I cherish being able to just look at him, and enjoy his small-ness that will not last very much longer.
*Speaking of nursing, I never thought I'd be nursing full time at 5 months.  Praise the Lord.
*Speaking of the Lord, we are going to dedicate our babies at church on Mother's Day.  I'm really excited.  Although it seems to be an "American church" thing, I read a short documentation that our pastor wrote up, and I really like his view on it.  And even if it is just a church-y thing, I'm excited to participate in it.
*I am SO unmotivated to do house work these days.  Being a clean & tidy wife is so unmotivating...  Dishes will be there tomorrow, whether I do them today or not.  Same thing is true with all the chores.  I put it off, and put it off.  How do some women keep their house clean & tidy 24/7?  I just can't seem to.  I'd much rather enjoy my (luke warm at best) coffee and a show on Hulu...  I guess that makes me a lazy wife.
*I love my husband.  This October will be our 10 year anniversary of being together, and he still makes my heart warm & fuzzy.  And he's willing to do painful things for me.  It was heartbreaking to see him in pain.
*I never realized how big a year and a half olds were.  I thought kids Lacey's age were like...  Three.  She's grown so much, it's insane.
*I can't seem to get my Genovese basil to grow very well in a pot.  The sweet basil, on the other hand, seems to be doing better.  My cucumber plant totally wilted and died without sprouting a single new leaf.  The tomatoes seem to be flourishing.  Not too much success with the grass seeds.  Lavender doesn't seem to be doing too well either...  I'm thinking it needs a bigger pot.
*We cleaned up our sun room and WE LOVEEEE IT.  LOVE IT.  LOVE IT.
*I wish we could turn off AF when we're done having kids.  It's very inconvenient.
*Speaking of, I think it is slightly unfair that AF came back so quickly.  So much for breastfeeding delaying fertility.  I'm not so lucky.
*I definitely think the birth certificate for Obama is relevant.  But not to a point of sending out emails about the serial number of it and stuff.  It's just not going to make a difference at this point, one way or another.  I'm tired of hearing about it.  (They talk about it on The View almost every single morning, for Pete's sake.)
*I am super excited about our first Farmer's market trip this Saturday.  Maybe they will have  yummy blueberries.  Alaise LOVES blueberries.
*Milano cookies - I adore you.
*Purchased leggings for the first time.  We'll see how they fare.  On that note, I'm needing new jeans.  SMALLER jeans. :D  My size 8s are too big anymore to look nice.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

turning point

As I sit here, my daughter is playing in the room, teasing, and being teased in return.  I love to find new things that make her laugh each day.

I haven't blogged in about two months...  When I was blogging at first, I had SO many things I wanted to put down in words.  I think it was cathartic, with all the different things that were going on.  Putting random thoughts into words helped me get my thoughts in order, and to some extent, give things closure.  Then I got burned out, I think.  Especially since I've been mulling over one issue for weeks now, and I sort of got tired of writing & just thinking in general.

Sometimes, you think about something so much, you just don't want to think about it any longer.  I was so tired of thinking about children  & pregnancies.   I just wanted us to make a decision and be done with it.  I've struggled with making a decision for weeks, because I had a distinct feeling that we weren't done.  Our family wasn't complete.  But for me, (and Kris) the decision to get pregnant again is something I can't consciously make.  Knowing that it might put my life in danger, and leave my wonderful family behind, it's not a decision I can make.  So the only decision I could make was to be done with having babies.  This really hurt me, and I couldn't shake the nagging feeling that we weren't done.

I didn't know how much grieving I would be doing over this.  The dream I had of my children having more than one sibling to depend on later in life, to play with, to BE with.  

But now, I'm finally at peace.  I believe that if we aren't in fact "done", God will do something about it.  Kris said to me, "God's bigger than our decision, and if He wants something, he'll do it regardless of what we decide."  So we'll move on with our lives with that in mind, and I feel so much better, having made a decision.  I still think about it sometimes, but a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders.  My stress level has gone down significantly, and I feel like I can move on with life.  I don't have to distract myself all day so I don't sit and think.  I'm free to think again!  :)

And now that I have other things to think about, I think I'll get back to writing down some thoughts.

Friday, February 18, 2011

when life doesn't go your way

Today someone asked me, "How are you managing your two kids?  Are you thinking of a third?  Or is it too early?"  It was a little awkward, as I had to tell her, "Oh, we can't have any more.  We've been recommended by my OB not to have any more kids."  And then had to explain briefly what had happened.

Kris and I had just had a discussion yesterday about this very matter.  The hematologist that I went to see on Wednesday said that if we wanted more kids, we should see a high risk OB...  Someone who deals with this kind of stuff on a regular basis, to see if they would have an idea of what might have happened to me, and maybe would know how to manage it.  Kris is definitely against having another kiddo.  The thought of losing me is terribly traumatic for him.  Me?  Well.  I think I'm used to the idea of being done.  But I look at our two kids, and sometimes ache for one more.  I always wanted "at least three, maybe four".  The thought of not having a newborn babe of mine to hold again is...  Difficult.

At the same time, I'm not sure if I'm willing to put myself at risk again to have another baby.  I have a husband & two babies whom I absolutely love and adore.  They need me.  It just doesn't make sense to put all that at risk, just to have another.  What would be the point if I died?  I feel like even if I go see a high risk OB, the best they could do would be to try to control the bleeding, not prevent it.  (as I'm pretty sure it will happen again if I deliver a baby.)  What if I go into DIC again?  There is just no telling.  Logically, I know all of this.  But it is still so hard for me to say, "Okay, I'm done.  Go get snipped." to my husband.

Since we've shared our story with people, I've had several people tell me (including my mother-in-law) that I can always adopt if I really want more children.  To be brutally honest, this is SO not helpful...  Especially when we're still in pain & grieving.  The point of it isn't that I want just any baby.  The point of it is that I can't have OUR baby that I want.  Not to say that once I've healed a bit more, I won't consider adoption.  But this probably isn't something you should say to someone who just found out they can't have any more kids.  It reminds me of a blog that I read about infertility, and she lists this as something that you should not say to someone who is going through infertility.  (if interested, read about it HERE.)

I didn't realize how much grieving I would need to do about this issue.  I know I have a boy and a girl, and I got "lucky".  I know I have two beautiful kids.  But I still grieve for another baby that I wanted.  I grieve for my children, who won't have another sibling to play & fight & grow up with.  I grieve that I won't have a bigger family when we get older.  It hurts my heart to watch grandma & grandpa Vanderwater beam at their 4 children and all the grandkids, because I know my clan will be much smaller.

But sometimes, when life doesn't go your way, you take what you got and move on.  I am incredibly blessed to have had two beautiful & amazing babies.  I know there are people who can't.  (I was afraid of this at one point in my life too - it took us a long time to get pregnant the first time...)  I have to believe that God has his hands on our lives, and have faith that what we have is for the best.  Just as He knew that Kris was the person for me and led us together, He brought Alaise and Kai to us.  And the four of us will make do for now.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

So I think that America revolves around holidays and corresponding sales.  Thanksgiving sale!  Then Christmas.  New Years.  Martin Luther King Day.  Valentine's Day.  Easter.  Memorial Day.  Fourth of July.  Labor Day.  Halloween.  Then back again to Thanksgiving.  (With Columbus Day and President Day thrown in there somewhere, along with a couple more obscure holidays.)  Each major holiday comes with its own colored chocolates & candies, and all the stores are decorated in corresponding colors.  Car dealerships always seem to have ___ Day sale!  Come now! slogan on TV.  A country that revolves around consumerism thrives on special days.

Sometimes I feel like Valentine's Day is just one of those days.  A day for people to get & sell more stuff.  When I was dating Kris, I especially felt this way.  Flowers & gifts & chocolate just seemed dumb.  Sure, special something was nice and probably expected, but it just seemed like an excuse for money to go around.

Now, I've been married almost 7 years.  We have two kids, and my feeling towards Valentine's Day has changed a little bit.  Sure, I still think that it's a day for people to spend & make money on stuff.  But when life gets busy with two kids and chores and work, a day to remember to do something special for each other isn't so bad.  A day to look forward to, doing a little on-line shopping for someone special to me.  A day to set aside for each other, and hear your husband say, "Don't put the roast on - I made a reservation."  To feel special in the midst of a busy and chaotic life.  To a couple with a baby & a toddler, Valentine's Day is a reason to make the day extra special for each other.

So thanks, babe, for making today extra special for me.  I love your gifts & thoughts.  And the sweet words & champagne.  Thanks for making me feel "one and only".  I love you.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

garden spells

There are people who can't read fiction, because it's not real and they don't have time for what's not real.  (For example, my mother-in-law.  She only reads non-fiction books & only watches the news.)  There are people who can't read non-fiction, because it's too real and there's enough reality during the day.  (And I'm sure there are some in the middle ground...  maybe?)  I'm one of the latter, as is my husband.  We love fiction & fantasy.  Besides some self-help books & "religious" (don't know what else to call them) books, most of what we own is fiction.  (Most of Kris' books happen in the Star Wars universe...  And I'm pretty sure that's fictional.)

My favorite stories belong in the fantasy world.  Magic, dragons, elves and such.  (and yes, occasionally a ring that rules them all.)  I hope to write about some of my favorite worlds one of these days.  Anyway.

I'm excited about a new book coming out by Sarah Addison Allen...  The first book by her I read was Garden Spells - if you like light/easy read, with a little bit of cooking & magic & romance thrown in, you might really like it!  (I'm talking about you, Dana.)  I've read it several times, and I still love it.  I've read her other books as well - The Sugar Queen and The Girl Who Chased the Moon.  I didn't like the other two books as much as the first one though.  Her books have a hint of southern charm in them, along with cooking & baking.  It's almost as though you can smell powdered sugar and chocolate while reading them.  :)

Something about the interaction of the sisters in the book is very touching to me.  One is very reserved and "odd" by the world's standards, and the other is very outgoing and worldly.  They grow up in a small town where everybody knows everything about everyone, and reading their reactions to such life reminds me of the missionary community that I grew up in.  Teenagers react to such an environment very differently...  They may even dislike others who are different - I felt like people who made different choices were weird, or just plain irresponsible.  Sometimes, I felt like their grass was a whole bunch greener.  But in the end...  We're family.  Even though that seems so cliche - "brothers and sisters in Christ" - like it or not, it's true.  That's hard to remember for me, and yet, the reconciliation that takes place in the book reminds me that in the end, family matters.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

good day, bad day

I'd love to get into a routine.  It seems like having a routine would make every day a little bit smoother, and life would be a bit easier.  For example:

**Ideal Start of a Day:
Not so long ago, I woke up early at 7:30am with Kris' alarm.  I felt refreshed, and the kids weren't up yet, so I went and got myself a cup of hot coffee, and sat down and started watching The Bachelor episode I had missed the day before.  (I know, a frivolous way to spend a free morning, but really, there's nothing like a good cat fight and drama to indulge in sometimes.)  I was more than half way through the episode and was done with the coffee (while it was still hot!  ZOMG!) before Alaise started stirring.  It was an awesome way to start a morning, just a bit of time to myself.

However, it's rare that I wake up at 7:30am refreshed, especially since Kai almost always wakes up between around 7:00am to nurse.  I usually crawl back into bed after he's done and try to doze another hour or so, if I'm lucky.  So I would like to compromise with a good day.  For example:

**Good Day:
Yesterday was the first day I felt good since we caught the stomach bug.  I woke up feeling much better, and Alaise and I had breakfast.  (It's helpful for Kai to sleep a bit longer, it gives me time to change & feed Lacey.)  Kai woke up about 30 minutes after that.  They were both in a really good mood - so I started on some chores that was backed up from being sick.  They both went down for a nap at the same time (which happens when Lacey wakes up earlier), and slept for 2 hours at the same time.  (YESSS.)

After lunch, I had enough energy, so I cleaned the kitchen & Kai sat in the car seat watching me & Alaise followed me around, playing with kitchen utensils in the kitchen.  Around 3:30pm, I gave Kai a bath (I usually give kiddos baths at night, but he stunk like puke all morning and I couldn't stand it any longer.) and put both of them to nap.  Again, (!) they napped together, although Kai slept a lot longer.

Dinner & Bedtime and then mommy & daddy time.  A good day.

Now, I thought that once I had two kids, my days would look pretty similar.  Not so.  For example:

**Bad Day:
Today, I woke up really really tired, even though I got out of bed at 9:30am.  I couldn't fall asleep till 1:30am for some reason...  Then Alaise was up at 4am and would not go back to sleep for an hour.  And as I crawled back into bed at 5am, Kai woke up hungry.  He again woke up around 7:30am, and both of the woke up at 9:30am.  I could hardly crawl out of bed, as I felt like I was up all night long.  Since they Lacey woke up so late, she did not want her morning nap when I laid her down.  Kai napped only an hour at a time.  (mommy's plan to nap while they napped = epic fail) 

Lacey was fussy all through lunch because she was tired, and as she started her nap, Kai woke up from his.  Sometimes, he goes to nap again after about an hour of being awake, so I laid him down again, thinking that Lacey would stay asleep for about an hour since she didn't take her morning nap.  Mommy lays down to nap, and 10 minutes later, she's awake.

Seriously frustrating day, when the bad night's sleep starts off the day & their naps alternate.  I have no energy to get anything done, and when I do have some time, I don't want to clean the house - all I want to do is sit and browse the web.  And inevitably, on days like this, Kai only naps for an hour at a time, and both kids are very whiny all day long, and my patience runs very thin.
One of the problems with setting a routine for me is that I have SUCH a hard time going to bed early.  After getting the kids to sleep between 8:30-9:00pm, all I want to do is spend time with Kris, doing adult activities.  (did that sound naughty?)  Watching our missed shows, playing games (gotta keep those StarCraft senses sharp), having adult conversations without kiddos.  The last thing I want to do is to cut this time short and go to bed.  It doesn't help that both Kris and I are night people - we have so much more energy at nights.

I tend to think that if I go to bed early, it will help me wake up early, allowing me an ideal start to the day, and get the kids up at the same time every morning, and set a good routine.  But it's so hard to do.  And on days like today, (a bad day) it's so tempting to be in bed by 10...  (Oh wait.  It's past midnight and I'm still up writing this blog.  Sigh.  Another failed attempt.) 

Monday, February 7, 2011

random thoughts

Some random thoughts of the day:
  • Watching my daughter toddle into my arms with her arms spread wide as I squat down.  Priceless.  Seriously.
  • Feeling my daughter's arms wrap around me as I pick her up from the above pricelessness.
  • After being sick for nearly 4 days, the house is a completely and utter WRECK.
  • It seems like as I try to tidy up the house, I look back, and whatever I tidied up gets untidy by Alaise who is following me around.  (Why do I bother?)
  • Kai's head is full of round curls and it takes almost as much shampoo as what I'd use to wash.
  • My son's smiles and occasional laughs make my heart want to explode with happiness.
  • Being bathed in warm water and then getting a full body massage with nice smelling baby oil must be hard work, as Kai started fussing towards the end of it.  Obviously.
  • Listening to my husband sing (rather loudly) while focused on his work makes me smile.
  • Where does all this (enormous amount of) dust come from anyway???
  • And OMG, I got a shower in today, and even washed my hair.
  • I hope I won't have laundry full of poop & puke contaminated clothing for some time to come...
Now I'm going to finish my cup of coffee.  I'd really hate to nuke it AGAIN.