Making it Work

So here is actually a funny story for today. I know my posts lately have been about loss and sadness, but there is a lot of joy and good going on in my life. One of them happened yesterday even though they didn’t start out that way.

So yesterday my husband got our daughter ready to go since I drive him to work being we only have one car. I asked him does she have on pants and he said that she didn’t want to wear them, but he will put them in the car. We leave and I have to go to Home Depot on the way home and therefore Emma having pants was kind of a big deal. I grab the jumbled fabric that he said were pants and it was a long sleeve shirt. She of course already had a shirt, and I needed pants.

A little miffed at my husband, I go to Home Depot anyway and try to think about what I was going to do about my daughter not having any pants. Well, the Holy Spirit spoke to me in my heart and said, “It’s a long sleeve shirt. Put it on like a skirt and tie the sleeves in the back to keep it on”. It was genius!

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Doesn’t she look cute with her skirt shirt thing? And everyone kept telling me that my daughter’s outfit was so cute as we walked through the store. If only they knew what kind of morning had led up to it. So, in the honor of that guy who now plays Bailywick in Sofia the First, I made it work 🙂

How to Grieve a Miscarriage With a Child in the House

I have to say these past few days have been rather crazy. I am still recovering from my D&C and my husband and I are trying to work out our feelings about the loss of our baby. But there is one other person in our home that we cannot forget and that is our two and a half year old daughter. She has feelings just like us and she is very perceptive. We have tried to not make it a huge thing in front of her about the baby passing away, but she knows something is up.

To be honest it would have been easier to actually grieve without a child than it is with one. Let me explain. See, when you have infertility problem without having a child in the house already, there is the ability to openly grieve without little eyes looking at you wondering why mommy has now cried all of a sudden ten times in the last hour. Anyone know what I mean? Children are a lot smarter than people give them credit for and they can sense everything that happens in the house. So if I am sad, my daughter picks up on it and knows that something is wrong.

The other reason why having a child when you have lost another is because your fertility is staring you in the face everyday. You can’t get away from the reminder that at one time you were able to have a baby and now suddenly you can’t. It’s maddening. With my daughter, when things started rolling, they were stressful in their own way but she was a solid pregnancy (difficult birth) but no reasons that the pregnancy was ever in question. Now that I have lost four in a row, it’s so frustrating, but my daughter can’t know because she would feel bad if she really knew what was going on.

Trust me when I say my daughter is enough child for me just like your little one if you are in the same boat as me. And, honestly, she would be enough if my husband and I were never able to have another baby. Would it be heartbreaking for that to really be a reality? Of course, but are we preparing ourselves for that outcome? Yes. But here is the ticket for those of us dealing with secondary infertility is that we have a reason to live that those unfortunate woman who has primary don’t. We have our child that we have been blessed with and that is where having a child and grieving with them in the house is easier.

If I didn’t have my daughter while going through this, I would probably have fallen into a horrible depression. I would probably have internalized this situation to the point that it would have ruined the relationship I have with my husband and I would be curled up in a ball all day in bed because I frankly could. That is not the case for us with children in the house. They force us to get out of bed everyday when we feel like we are falling apart and live because they are still living. Yes, you lost a baby, or two, or three, or four, but you are still a mother to at least one on this earth.

When I get up every morning, especially right now, the first thing I want to see is my daughter’s smiling face. The day after my D&C I was feeling ok physically but emotionally I was drained. I knew she was up but I just wanted to disappear into the sheets, but I had to get up. And you know what I am so glad I did because I got to experience a real treat. My daughter wanted me to cuddle and hold her like I did when she was a baby. Now for those who have had a D&C or had a stillborn, the feelings of holding a baby again is painful, but, when my daughter wanted me do it with her, it was restoring. I knew I still had this little girl who needed me and I needed her. She is still my baby no matter how big she gets, and I will always be her mommy.

So the biggest advantage to having a child and dealing with a miscarriage if they give you a reason to live. They are your joy and strength in a tough time like this. My daughter is that joy and strength and she will be if she turns out to be our only child not by choice. But here are a few tips I am using to get through this valley of grieving when I am unable to show that I am grieving around my daughter:

  • Laugh with him/her
  • Play with him/her
  • Pray for direction and strength
  • Don’t forget to spend time with your husband together and as a family
  • See the blessing that is in front of you instead of the sorrow of your loss
  • And when you can, go into the bathroom and cry it out

That almost last one is the hardest for me. I know with my last pregnancy I had so many plans and dreams to do with this baby since I had learned from some of the mistakes I had made with my daughter. There were quite a few things I hadn’t fully enjoyed and embraced and I wanted to do them over again. But now none of those desires will come true. Will they ever come true with another baby? I don’t know. I still don’t even know what the pathology report says and won’t for another week on why this baby passed away so soon. But what I do know is that I didn’t stop being a mom when this baby’s heart stopped because I still have a child’s whose heart is beating still, and she cannot be forgotten. So continue living as we get to parent our little blessings while remembering our angels in heaven.

 

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My little blessing playing in her favorite spot. She brings so much life into our world.

 

I Miss VHS and Cassette

Being a 90s kid, I remember VHS and Cassette Tapes and therefore I remember when DVDs  and CDs came out. They were supposed to be these awesome things for movie goers and music listeners because they didn’t take up much space on the shelf and they could have hours of extras of bonus material that had been possible before on a VHS. Sounds great right? Well there is one thing about DVDS: They suck with kids. Let me explain.

I remember as a kid being able to get up and go start my own movie with no parental help whatsoever by the age of two. Why? Because it simply required me to remember two buttons on the remote, the power button on the tv, and sliding the movie into the player. Now, it will take my daughter a lot longer because half of the DVD menus require the ability to read, and take two, three and even four buttons to finally get to the movie. So now I have to get out of bed and start my child’s movie when she gets up before I am ready to start the day instead of her being able to be independent and start the movie herself.

The second thing that is irritating with DVDs and kids is that they ridiculously fragile! Seriously!? Why is that with all the technology in the world the next best thing can’t hold up to a toddler holding it the wrong way for it to not play properly anymore? And just so you know, that whole thing with BluRay that is can’t scratch is bogus too because they obviously didn’t include toddlers in their focus groups. My daughter has damaged three BluRays to the point I will have to replace them.

With VHS it was so much easier because they only had one weakness and that was if little Johnny decided to pull the black tape out of the casing. Otherwise, my VHSs survived being stepped on, thrown, and even ran over. Yes, I left one of my movies in the garage as a kid and my Dad ran over it. But, you know what, it still worked. I would love to see a DVD or a CD survive being run over.

I know what you are probably thinking and why don’t I just keep them out of my daughter’s reach? Well I’ll tell you why – she doesn’t stop. Take a look at this poor CD for example.

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This lovely little CD was on a top shelf and my little one climbed up and got it down and hid it from me. Today I finally found it in her room in pieces since my daughter now knows what happen with something not bendy is bent. She also gets to learn what happens when we don’t treat the things we have with respect and this is now in the trash and she thinks I am a monster.

But you know what, this would never happen with a VHS or Cassette. Nope. It would have taken ALOT more force than a toddler bending it to have one of them break. So, as a mom, I wish they didn’t get rid of VHS and Cassettes completely. I believe they are very much still relevant. And to me, the bonus features really aren’t that worth it. Most of the time they don’t show the “how they did it” like I would like to any way. I would rather save money from not having to buy the same movie I love in less than a year because I daughter thought it would make a fun chew toy.

So to all those parents out there who feel the same, stay strong. Someday we won’t have to keep treating the DVDs like they are made of gold anymore.

It’s Quiet in My House

My house is quiet tonight. Now as a mom, if your house is quiet with your kids in it, that could be a bad thing. I know when my daughter is quiet normally it is because she has gotten into who knows what and is doing who knows what with it, but not tonight. Tonight my parents have her and I was really excited about having some quiet to myself until my husband gets home from work, but, as soon as I left her, my world felt empty. I knew there was something missing.

Now my little girl is a handful and trust me when I say I am happy for a break, but that isn’t what made it feel like something is missing. It felt empty because she is my life. As a stay at home mom, you get very little time to and for yourself. You spend all day taking care of the kids and then your husband when he comes home. The word ‘tired’ is tattooed across your forehead and all you dream about is taking a shower that is longer than five minutes which includes the heat up time. I get that tonight and now I want her back. I want her crawling on me and demanding things from me left and right. I feel like my night has no purpose and my house feels hollow. I walk by her room and I want to curl up in her bed just to get her scent. She is my world and I miss her.

I know she is fine and in five minutes I will be jumping for joy down the halls that I get to sleep in without my normal 6:00 am alarm clock, but right now I miss her. She is having so much fun that she doesn’t know what to do with it. My parents will keep her well busy and the other way around and I look forward to hearing the stories from their time together. So tonight I will enjoy the quiet house and the night’s sleep because I go pick her up tomorrow and my crazy life picks up again. I can’t wait.

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You can tell she is a barrel of fun 🙂

Modern Sociology of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Like so many little girls, my daughter loves the Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It’s a cute little love story of the power to of true love and how it will always bring you through the toughest times. Or is it? Watching the movie now as an adult, it is almost painful for me to watch with how so many concepts in the movie have evolved into monsters in our society today. A few of these things are the way that men are looked at, the way that Snow White is really meant to be perceived, and the romantic idea of love.

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I hold no rights to this photo of the characters of Snow White and Seven Dwarfs

First and foremost that drives me crazy about the movie is the way that the men are presented, especially the dwarfs. Here are these successful businessmen with their own mine come home one day and have this spoiled little princess telling them that they have been doing everything wrong their whole lives. No wonder Grumpy wasn’t so welcoming to her! He was a grown man and had been getting along just fine without her but now he was having to change everything he did for a person he #1 didn’t know and #2 didn’t like.

I can see this be the real start to the way that young girls started to see how they were their man’s saving grace. Because God knows that men are completely incompetent to take care of themselves. Now would it be the same way a woman takes care of themselves? Yes and no. Now my husband shared a house with four guys when he was in college. He was definitely the messy one in the group. Snow White would have gasped ad probably fainted at his room, but did that instantly mean that all the guys were like him? No! The rest of the guys were very tidy and very organized. To me they had no “need” for a woman to come in a save them from they caveman ways. Now did my husband need some help, yes, but the difference was that I helped him over time. I didn’t do an overhaul on his room on our first date. Now he is very helpful in keeping the house up because it is important to me and he wants to make me happy.

The other thing that is nuts about the movie is Snow White herself. She is played off to be this innocent, little thing who has no idea how life really works, but then she gets out on her own and suddenly she knows how to run a house and is so confident that, even though the witch is hunting her, she basically kicks the men out so they will go to work and leave her alone. Now she isn’t very bright in seeing the good in everyone but that is for another tale because what the heck was Disney thinking when he thought having her do breaking and entering? So pretty much my daughter is learning it is ok to break into someone’s house as long as you clean it up and cook dinner. I have to laugh at that. I know it’s just a movie but kids learn from everything they see.

For example, there is something good that she learned from the movie. She learned a sock and a stocking are the same thing. She was watching it and Sow White said that line “A pick ax. A stocking too!” And my daughter corrected her by saying “sock”. Then I got to tell her that a stocking is another word for a sock. She looked at me and said, “Stocking – sock”. So she made that connection and it was really cool to see a two year old make it. So it’s not all bad.

There is just one last thing that has made our society into something that is kind of a mockery and that is our idea on what love is and how it happens. I really do wonder how many bad relationships could have been avoided if little girls weren’t indoctrinated with the idea that the first man they meet will be their forever prince? The are other movies… ok pretty much every Disney princess tale except two were the whole plot is based on a love struck girl who breaks the ties of her whole life just to be with the man and then marries him in the end. Snow White for example, met the guy once and, even then, she ran off and hid from him for singing a love song to her. But she was in love with him? She didn’t even speak to him! And then he is just as crazy to spend a year searching for a girl he scared to death to find that she has “died”, but he kisses her anyway.

I don’t know about you, but I would like to at least know the guy’s name before he lay his lips on mine. I mean not only that, but the prince never said he was coming back for her. Did he go back to the castle and ask about her? Wouldn’t the Queen have killed him then? Also if Snow White was this beloved princess, wouldn’t her subjects want her coffin at the castle and not in the middle of the woods? I guess it could be called devotion, but I call it a bit odd in total.

But that is the thing about true love, right? If it is meant to be, then it is meant to be. Even if you are at the point of death, one kiss will bring you back. I wish that was one thing that was true about the movie. I would have saved so much in medical bills if my husband’s kiss could heal me from my ills.

So yes, Snow White is a fictional movie that can’t happen, but the underlying story can. It can change the appearance of things that have been distorted in modern society about the way men are children and need to be taken care even when they are grown, Snow White is just an innocent girl who really is the power house of the whole thing, and the idea the of romance and the first man we see will be our prince charming.

Will I stop my daughter from watching the movie? No because I she loves it and as a parent you learn to pick your battles, but I will watch it with her and explain the flaws in the story. Because overall I am my daughter’s greatest teacher and it is my job to train her to be a wife and mother who is strong yet meek, confident yet humble, and loving but not a doormat. So it’s “Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it’s off to work I go”.

Being a Working Stay at Home Mom

So it has been a LONG time since my last post, but I have good reason. I now have a part time job that I do from home. Most people would probably go “what is so big about that?” Well if you are a working from home parent, you know exactly what I am talking about. A two hour project turns into four, your work space has flying projectiles in it, and your assistant has worst hand writing than a doctor. It’s lots of fun for sure.

But it’s a lot better for me than going to a work site in many ways. I have done that before when my daughter was a new born and I missed so much. My parents took care of her for me for a year and then I became a full time stay at home mom and it has been great. I love how much time I haven been able to be with my daughter and all the memories we have made, but I missed working.

So when the opportunity came for me to be able to work for home, I jumped at the chance. Now it has been interesting working with a two year old in the house but it is still worth it. I am adding to my family’s income and I can still raise my daughter without having to put her in day care. I get to make her breakfast, lunch and dinner, I get to play her with her on my breaks and she gets to see her mommy do something for herself. So working and being a stay at home mom can work hand in hand and for me it is working.

 

Little Yellow Balloon

A couple weeks ago, Emma had her first real tragedy. It happened after her first dental cleaning and it will change her life forever. She learned what it feels like to feel loss which is a normal thing for adults to feel on a regular basis but there was always that first loss that starts it all.What was so terrible that Emma didn’t know how to react. Let me explain.

The assistant gave Emma a little yellow balloon because she was such a good girl. Emma couldn’t have been more excited to have the little balloon. The assistant wanted to put it on Emma’s wrist, but she didn’t want to wear it, and I tried to carry it for her, but she wouldn’t let me. I knew as a parent was going to happen if she decided to carry it out on her own since she didn’t understand what would happen if she let the balloon go, but, she was not about to let anyone tell her how to carry it, so we left. We got about half way to the car (with me continuing to to tell her that I needed to carry it or she would lose it) and sure enough she let it go. You want to talk about crocodile tears. I have never heard her cry from the every bottom of her soul. I knew that she was truly in distress as she yelled “My balloon!” as it floated away.

Now I wanted to ease her pain by going in a asking for another balloon but I had to make the decision to let her deal with what the loss felt like or not. It was painful, but I decided to help her deal with the loss and not give her another balloon. One reason was because I knew she would just lose the second balloon too. So I just her took up in my arms and told her how sorry I was that her balloon got away. She wrapped her arms around my neck and cried and processed what happened for around ten minutes, but I could see the reality setting in on what loss is.

She started going through the steps just like we do. She was shocked when her balloon went up and didn’t come down, she then went into denial that her balloon was gone by calling out for it like a pet to come back, then when I wouldn’t go and get another balloon she turned toward anger and it’s probably a good thing she doesn’t have an adult vocabulary yet, but, as we left the office and made our way home, she calmed down and accepted that her balloon was gone. I was impressed at how well my two year old went through the steps of grief. I know many adults who take a lot longer to go through it on the littlest things. But I do have to say it was just as painful for me to go through it with her.

I just wanted to take the pain away but I knew that wasn’t the best for her in the long run. Then a light bulb came on in my head – that’s why God lets us go through tough times too. It isn’t because He is mad necessarily (even though a consequence is different than a trial keep in mind), but, rather, He knows that it for our greater good that He doesn’t deliver us from all our trials. If He acted like how I wanted to act by giving Emma another balloon then she (we) wouldn’t be able to learn what she (we) needed to in that moment. Now, next time, I am sure she will do better with a balloon. She might still lose it, but I betcha she will hang onto it a little bit better next time. And that is how we are.

As humans we can be pretty slow like toddlers when it comes to correction and learning from our mistakes. It might take us a few time of making the same mistake but eventually we learn to not let go of the balloon. Does that make sense? So, needless to say, the yellow balloon is a sad day in the day of Emma , but it’s a lesson that we can all benefit from.

A Sweet Moment Sewing

I know it has been a few days since my last post, but I have a really cute one to share with you today. I have been finally able to get my sewing machine out since we moved into our new house and I have been having a lot of fun. One of the things I have been also trying to do is make my own patterns which I am not sure is going well but I will keep trying.

One of the cute things that I have made recently is something that I got to include Emma in on it. I drew out a pattern for a little horse toy and thought I would give it a try. Emma was still taking her nap when I got started, but, when she saw I was sewing, she wanted to give a hand. I then told her I was making something for her and her eyes lit right up and she really wanted to help even more.

I sewed the pieces together and turned it right side out. She then wanted to help me stuff the little horse and she was such a great help. I would cut up the strips and she would hand them to me while sitting on my lap. It was such a great moment between the two of us. I felt so connected to her as a mother and a friend and she was so excited that I was making something just for her. Most of the time it’s for my Etsy Shop and I haven’t really made anything for her.

It was such a sweet time with her. With her being two, sometimes it feels like all I do is correction but this was a moment were we got to be together without any expectations or correction needed. She just sat on my lap and helped me make her horse.

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I know it doesn’t sound like much but for a mom who wonders if she is doing anything right with this parenting thing, it was a confidence boost. I know that she will turn into a wonderful little girl and later a beautiful woman. I love her more than anything.

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Finished project! It has some things that need to be changed but Emma loves it so that’s all that matters to me 🙂

 

When Your Child Wants a Baby

Emma did the cutest thing today. She has this baby doll that she loves named Bailey. She is originally Emma’s potty doll but she has turned into her best friend. Bailey tends to go every where with us. But today she did something that made me smile and my heart ache.

We were sitting down for lunch and she insisted that Bailey join us. I remember doing that as a child with my little Simba so I told her that’s fine and we began to eat. I noticed that Emma was putting some of her Mac and Cheese off to the side and she was mumbling something to Bailey. I listened closer and she was saying, “There Baywee. It’s nummy. mmmm… dewishous.” (bad grammar to match Emma’s pronunciation.)

That’s what made me smile and a little sad at the same time. She was treating her doll as if she was real. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. I have caught her her rocking Bailey to sleep and taking her potty on the big girl potty. She is such a good little mommy. But I am worried it is because she wants a sibling. She stares at sisters whenever we go to the store and she is drawn to movies and shows that emphasis the sister bond.

What if I can’t give her one? Will she feel left out? Will her life be less fulfilled than that of her friends with siblings? I know the answer to everyone of those questions but the truth it whether or not I will listen to it or the lie. That is the important part.

When your child wants a sibling I know it can be heart breaking when you have tried and God has not blessed. I haven’t had her ask directly yet “Mommy, why don’t I have siblings like my friend ___?” And I am not looking forward to it.

I had a break down a couple weeks ago thinking about this very thing. I texted my sister telling her that I don’t know how I am going to make God look good in all of this to Emma when she can start asking those kinds of questions. My only thought was “Well honey, God only wanted to give you for us to raise. He didn’t see fit to give you a sibling”. Pretty horrible right? But this is what my wiser (younger) sister replied with, “No you tell her that I wasn’t supposed to have kids and God was so gracious and gave us you! Can you believe that? Isn’t He good? Then He told me to be happy where I was and mommy loved being your mommy so much that I was ok with just having you”.

Pretty crazy right? And did I mention my sister is only 22 years old? Where did she get to be so much wiser than me in this growing up adventure? So when your child starts to ask for another baby and it isn’t possible, try to remember that God has already given you a very special gift already. I can’t lose sight of that as I am getting closer to finding out if I will be able to give my daughter and brother or sister or if I will have to have this serious sit down talk with her in the future.

If there is anything you would like to add, feel free to leave it in the comments! Have a blessed day!

Look in a Mirror: Parenting 101

My last post was one that was really from my heart and my goal with it was to touch someone who is in the same boat as me. I wanted them to see that they are not alone but that God is still good in the end with everything.  Well this post isn’t like that one. Not that God isn’t good still but rather this post is about my child I have on earth and not the ones I don’t have.

As you know, I have this bombshell of a daughter and she is the world to me. She doesn’t get the title of bombshell for nothing. She is beautiful and smart and will knock the socks off an elephant with her drive and her will. None of which is bad but keeping it focused in the right direction is really hard. I have tried certain things that people have suggested but I was still left with this wonderful child who is screaming (sometimes literally) at me to lead her and raise her in the way that God desires. What I was trying wasn’t working.

The problem with it though is that I have no idea what I am doing half the time. As a young first time mom, I am still trying to figure out all the do’s and don’ts  when it comes to raising a child in this day and age. This thing called discipline in one that has been become so confusing that I have often missed a great training opportunity because society has made doing the “old fashion way” of parenting really hard. And the crazy part is that my two year old figured it out! She knows that she wouldn’t be taken behind the shed or put on a time out in public since I really can’t do any of my tools in public other than just let her sit there in the store and have a tantrum over not getting that piece of candy. (Please understand that I have an awesome daughter and I know that. I am talking about those moments when children have those episodes they do at times. Most of the time I can take her any where and she fine.)

That was until I went seminar from the National Center of Biblical Parenting, and introduced to me the heart way of raising children. My daughter isn’t a bad kid but she is a kid whose heart needs to led in the right way to have her grow into a confident adult. The ultimate goal as a Christian parent is to bring my daughter to the feet of Christ and have her accept Him as her Lord and Savior. So I picked up their book Parenting is Heart Work and have had a hard time putting it down. I haven’t made it very far to know exactly how to help change my daughter’s heart yet but so far the book has been great as explaining what it means to be a heart based parent instead of just a behavior modification based parent.

So I will continue reading and let you know how things go with my daughter, but there was one huge thing that I learned with reading this book. The reason I think the book is written the way it is because us parents need to look in the mirror and get our act together in order to be able to parent our children properly. I am reading going “when do we get about my child?” But really it is touching my heart. My daughter has a thing with anger so I need to ask myself how to I react when she has done something wrong? Is my heart in the right place to be that leader and example she needs? So the title is fitting in two ways. You can’t give what you don’t have.

I can’t wait to keep reading. I think I finally found the answer I have been waiting for in order to turn my daughter off the track I can see her going down. She might be only two but with something like anger only gets bigger as they do. If I can help her now with it and help myself with it just imagine what life will be like when she gets older. Imagine the work God could do through her if something like this doesn’t get a chance to really take root in her as a child. I am so excited to get started.

Do you have a child that you have tried you feel like everything but nothing has worked? Why not give this one a try and let me know how your results are? We can start our own little support group because parenting isn’t easy. It’s the hardest thing that we can do but it is the most rewarding thing we could ever do.

So until next time, keep your head up and keep looking up. His grace is sufficient in all things.