Monday, March 20, 2017

Losing Things and Finding Things

Y'all. Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes things don't make sense.

If you've been a reader of this blog at some point in the last two years you are well aware of the fact that miscarriage has been a common theme. And that's because I had miscarriages in July of 2014 and November of 2014. 

And now we can add February 17, 2017 to that list. 

February 17th has been a strangely significant date in my lifetime. In that last few years, it was the due date of our very first, lost, baby. Then it became the conception date for Junior, our wonderful baby boy here with us earthside. And now it has become the date of our third miscarriage. The day our fourth baby left us forever.

I have taken a lot of time to process with friends and family already, and I feel like I have come out the other side intact. It's different than the first time because I didn't have to go through the same physical difficulties. It's different than the second time because I'm not wondering if we'll ever have a child someday. This time I have a sweet (albeit teething) boy to snuggle, and plenty of experience to fall back on.

Ok, so this might sound weird to some of you, sad to others, and understandable to a few. I find myself wondering why people keep asking if I'm doing all right. I felt like I was able to process and go through the steps of handling this loss quickly this time, and it's because this is the third time I've had to go through it.

Am I the only one who feels this way when going through this kind of loss/trial so often?

Every now and then something pops up in me to remind me that I am not 100% OK. That my natural optimism, hopefulness, and positivity has been damaged.

-When a couple I know says they're ready to have another child and are already talking about their next pregnancy with the expectation that it will result in a live birth. And my reaction? I want to tell them to be cautious. Don't use that terrible word, "when." Use the safe word: "if."

-When I avoid all the newborn clothing sections in stores because it just doesn't make sense to coo over a precious set of footie pajamas.

-When precious people in my life have children so close together in age, and when people around me talk about how, yes, it was really hard, but now they're so grateful their kids are only a year apart, and I find myself already regretting the fact that Junior won't be that close in age to a future sibling. That I'll never be a "two under two" mom like I always wanted.

-When, now, over a month after the event, my body is attempting to start a new menstrual cycle and my hormones are wildly out of control. We're talking white-hot-rage out of control. Why, oh why, does my body create this deadly chemical cocktail of fury and impatience in me? Me, who never before struggled with an anger problem. Me, who always prided myself on my ability to maintain a level head in the face of absurdity or futility. It's been over a year since I have felt anger on this level, and the last occasion was the final swan song (is that redundant?) of my PPD.

-When the weight just WON'T. STOP. PILING. ON. Seriously. Won't stop. 10 pounds in one month, y'all. TEN. And I know that even when I say I'm fine, and even when I believe I'm fine, somehow, I must not be. Grief. Depression. Bitterness. Sneaking. Hiding. Sin. I wear it all around my middle. It clings to me and I can't seem to shake it, no matter how hard I run or how many reps I lift or how much I can wrap my arms around my legs in a forward fold.

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Whew. I know I always say to "keep it real, y'all," and apparently, that's what I just did. 'Cause that just got really real, really fast.

As I'm writing this, and attempting to come down from the "rage mountaintop" a nap-fighting, screaming 16-month old gave me this afternoon, I'm sitting on the couch next to some empty candy wrappers, the TV remotes, a baby monitor, and a water jug I should have refilled hours ago. The television is paused on the ultimate trashy guilty pleasure. The dishes from last night are still sitting in the sink. My teeth have about an inch of grime on them because I've yet to brush them today. My phone is sitting at 1% battery life because (like the water jug) I just don't want to get up and walk the 20 feet to plug it in.

But I wrote this post. It had been sitting, unfinished for about a month now. And something this afternoon prompted me to open it up and just start writing. I don't even know if where I started this afternoon meshes with what was previously written. I'm not going to check. I just needed to write. Things were crouching inside me that I didn't even know were there. Dark things. Secret things. Hiding in the corners of my mind and slowly poisoning me.

This helped. Finding those things helped. They're not gone, but at least they're no longer hidden. I can see the monsters now, and (just like any scary movie you ever see) that somehow makes them less scary. Now it's time to assess them, rally my weapons around me (friends, prayer, Jesus, Truth, Love), and take them down, one by one.

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Here's to keeping it real, y'all.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Baby Essentials: What We Couldn't Live Without

Just like every other blog written by a mother with a child, I'm going to post a list of things that I think are essential for those bringing up a baby.

Snore. 

But seriously, what is it about making lists like that and sharing them with everyone? There's something that simply compels me to tell you the things that are UH-mazing when it comes to sweet, little babes. And rather than imagine me with a bullhorn shouting them at you, instead imagine us sitting together in some comfy armchairs sharing a cup of coffee as I whisper these precious, magical, secret items in your ear. Ok, that sentence ended up a lot creepier than I meant it to be, but hopefully you know what I meant. 

I previously have posted a list of five items I consider essentials for newborns, so if that's where you're at, you might find that post a bit more helpful.

I promise this list is sweet, and oh, so short. No more than five items belong on it. Now, we happen to own a lot more than five items to take care of Junior, but I only count five items as essential when it comes to taking care of him. 


Let's get started, shall we? 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

In which I explain my absence.

I have been absent from posting here for so long because we've been working on a move from the great white north of Minnesota down to the rolling plains of Kansas.

No, I'm lying. I'm just lazy. Also, I have a baby, and who knew that would take so much time, right?

But seriously, I will be back soon and I will be writing more. Some things will be handy, dandy lists or projects because we really and truly did move from Minnesota to Kansas, and we happen to be renting a very large, very old house that could use some love. And some things will be more personal--not that I have anything new to share at the moment.

So, as a short catch-up, here's what life has looked like since April.

Junior (we also call him Bing Bong) has grown leaps and bounds.




Phew! It literally feels like Bing Bong has gotten this big in the amount of time it took you to scroll through those pictures. I can't keep up with him!

Besides that, we experienced a change of seasons in Minnesota.


And then we moved to Kansas!

Pictures and thoughts and scenes from that time will follow shortly.

I'll be seeing y'all again soon, I promise!


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Newborn Essentials: What We Actually Used and Loved

It's been far too long since I've been seen around these parts. My only excuse? Being a mama is just too much fun and I've been totally satisfied doing that.

So, since Junior is almost five months old now (what?!), we're out of the "newborn" stage and firmly in "baby" territory. And being on the other side of the newborn stage, I can tell you it was definitely different than I planned for. Some things were absolutely perfect for us and I'm so glad we had them. Some products were useful but not super necessary. And some products simply didn't work out at all. 


Here's the breakdown of how it all worked out.

Monday, December 21, 2015

How to Display Your Holiday Cards Quickly and Easily (and Cheaply!)

We may have a newborn baby around here, but we can't let everything slide, can we? 'Tis the season to receive endless stacks of holiday cards and yearly updates from people. And just what are you supposed to DO with all of that stuff? You're pretty much heartless if you toss it in the trash recycling, and you're just asking for a pile of STUFF if you keep it around. I mean, where do you put it?

Last year I just put them all in a bowl on our coffee table. That was nice, but it didn't really give us a chance to look at all the cards at once. And since most people these days put family pictures on the front of their cards, it's really nice to look over all our loved ones with a glance--and with said newborn, sometimes that's all I can spare at the moment!

Enter the quickest organization solution I think I have EVER come up with. Seriously, y'all, it took me two minutes to think of this, two minutes to run upstairs and grab the supplies, and ten minutes to put it up on the wall. All this while I was frantically praying that Junior would nap more than half an hour as he's been known to do around here.

If I can do it in those circumstances, I KNOW you can do it too!


Let me tell you how!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Bringing Up Baby: Ten things no one tells you about your baby's first month

So, if you can believe it, Junior is finally one month old.

I don't think I can believe we're here. We've learned so much in these past four weeks, and there's still more to learn every single day. Things about raising a baby. Things about ourselves. Things about readjusting to a new normal. Some of these things were expected, but some of them most definitely were not.
From small little quirks to major paradigm shifts, here are ten of the things we learned this month.