Friday, April 18, 2014

Don't Blame the Cleaner...Word to the Wise...

My child has a fantastic, steel trap, almost freakishly long memory. Obviously we are talking about the older one here.

She remembers everything. Although, some of it I think she makes up, i.e., "Mom...remember when you said I could get a slushy today" or "Remember when you said we could get a pig and name it Harvey". That was actually a real one too.

My daughter is a hoarder. Stuffed animals, toys, itty bitty little Barbie shoes, itty bitty doll tiaras. She won't even let me throw out her socks that have a big ol' hole in the big toe area.

But what is a dangerous combination??? When your child hoards and has a steel trap memory! Because you can't. get. rid. of. anything.....ever.

Which, of course, means that I use the time while she is at school to get rid of things. I think that I'm getting rid of tiny, inconsequential items. I would never get rid of anything important or anything she still plays with, or even anything she's merely looked at within the last six months. However, she always finds out.

Sometimes it's at 3am, when she wakes up after the startling revelation that all 34 stuffed animals are not on the bed with her. One is gone...moved...to a toy basket next to her bed. All hell ensues. Yes. This has happened.

But the worst is when she is looking for some tiny piece of junk...a particular Barbie shoe, a half deflated balloon, a plastic party whistle. These are things I try to clear out of the house on a weekly basis. Purge is more like it. And I'm always, always confident that she won't miss these things.

And, invariably, she does. She asks and whines and get upset when she can't find what she is looking for. And what do I do, wuss mom that I am????

I blame it on the cleaning lady...a wonderful woman who cleans our house once/week. She is heaven sent. Seriously.

I figure there's no harm in it, right? I say, "Oh hon...I'm sorry, Brenda must have thrown it out by accident". Alex kind of does the whole "Oh shucks" routine, but gets over it.

This works because Alex doesn't see Brenda. She comes and cleans while we are at gymnastics and then play group. It's convenient. Brenda is the scapegoat for me having a less cluttered house.

So yeah, it has worked out really well for me, and Brenda was none the wiser. Until this past Thursday. We got home from gymnastics and playing early. Brenda was in the final stages of cleaning. Alex said hi to her and was very polite and happy to see her. And then...I saw her face change. And she marched over to Brenda and proceeded with: "Brenda (or "Bwenda" as Alex calls her)...you need to stop throwing out my dolly shoes, I need them...especially Cinderella's glass slippers". Brenda, poor Brenda tries to defend herself, but my kid is having none of it..."Because my mommy said that you are the one who throws out the shoes by accident".

And then it comes back to me. I'm a bad person. I know this. I make some sort of laugh and tell Alex to stop bugging Brenda. But yes...I do feel like an ass. And it was kind of awkward.

So there you go...don't shift blame...next time you get rid of something of your kid's...flat out denial of any and all knowledge is the best option.






Wednesday, April 16, 2014

So What Am I?

I feel like my blog no longer has an identity. And it's VERY likely that I'm over thinking this whole thing.
So, what-for something like three years-this was an infertility blog with a smattering of "parentables" thrown in? But now fertility, or rather infertility, is playing less and less a role in my daily life. I don't talk about it everyday, I don't think about it everyday. Which is a GOOD and healthy thing. This was the stage I looked forward to when I was struggling, when all I could focus on was my suckiness at getting pregnant on my own...you know, something the average 13 year old crack head can do by "accident". Ok...I am, however, still working on the residual bitterness thing.

Anyway. My point is...unless we decide to have a third baby, because I'm not completely closing that door yet, infertility is going to become less and less a focus of my life. So what the heck do I write about? There a gazillion of mommy blogs out there...I'm no different. But I want to keep writing, and I don't want to have to stick to a clear focus because I'm doing this for me. So I can read back through and see what the heck I was doing or thinking at 33 years old.

I guess part of the problem is that, because I started out blogging about secondary infertility (following primary), I feel guilty if I have anything less than magical things to say about parenting. It is difficult for me to be honest all the time while blogging because I don't want anyone reading this to think I'm an ungrateful biatch. Because I'm not. Every. Single. Day., I thank God and medicine and the doctors and yes, even my slightly dysfunctional body, for my two girls.

But that doesn't mean that parenting is without hardship and struggle. For instance, Hayden is getting her 12 month molars and Alex is entering the "ferocious fours". Some days are hard, but I wouldn't trade these struggles for anything. Heck-I earned these struggles!!! I put my body through hell for these struggles!

So I guess what I'm saying is that I want to be less scared, more honest about parenting. If I'm having a bad day, or my kids are seemingly in need of exorcism, I want to be able to candidly state that without feeling guilty. And btw-the guilt is in my own head, due to the reason I started this blog. No one has ever made me feel that way.

So anyway. This is the way I have been feeling. I just don't want to upset anyone who stumbles across this blog who has yet to conquer infertility.

And I have to wonder, aside from blogging, is this whole thing another infertility legacy? Feeling guilty about having days when you can't wait until bedtime because you swore that you would never complain once you were lucky enough to beat infertility? Because I know that I swore that.

But here I am. Tired. Stained with coffee. Scratch on my face from itty bitty Hayden nails. Baby molars puncturing her gums and making her scream off and on for 12 hours...and I can't wait for Dan to get done with work so I can get a little help.  So yeah. Today is a hard day. It DOES NOT make me any less thankful for my girls. The worst days would never, ever make me less grateful and thankful that our prayers were answered. But dang-this momma needs to do a little cathartic letting off of steam...and hence this blog...that no longer has any sort of identity.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

THEE Countdown Begins....

Don't get excited. I'm referring to the countdown for starting back at work the Monday after Easter.

How am I feeling about returning to work after a whole year off???

Well, you see, that depends on the day, hour, minute....

First thing's first: I know that I am SUPER lucky to have been able to take a full year off. I don't know many women that are able to do so. So I had a full year with both my babies.

But like many big changes, I have mixed emotions. Part of me wants to go back, part of me dreads going back.

Things I look forward to: my morning commute (I know, weird)...it's just me, my coffee, country roads, and the Elvis Duran radio show; my coworkers (most of them); adult interaction on a daily basis; having more of a routine; using a different part of my brain for the job; the day to day variability....

Oh-and did I mention that I only work for ten weeks and then have the summer off??? Yeah, work ten weeks, off for ten weeks! So there's that!!! I kind of feel like I'm just getting my feet wet this year.  I can handle anything for ten weeks, right????!!!!

Things that are kind of bumming me out: working five days a week and not seeing my girls all day every day! Going into annual review season, which means a lot of meetings for a school psychologist; workplace drama; boss drama (thinking of one boss in particular); being stretched too thin, last minute evaluations and testing; annual review stress.

But of course, the biggest con is that I won't get to see my girls for 12+ hours a day. But I generally like work. I mean, sure, there are days I hate it, days that are a drag, but I usually like my job and think that I am doing something important.

I guess I'm feeling guilty because I know that, if I were really adamant about being a stay at home mom, we could make it work. My husband is fortunate enough to make a good living as a software developer. We could make it work. It would take some changes, but whatever. The thing is-I like the security of working. I don't want to give that security up, knowing that I could support us if Dan were injured or whatever. I also carry the insurance...and our insurance is top notch! But I think, also, love it or hate it, work is part of who I am...part of what I was raised for. And I feel like something is missing when I'm not doing some sort of work in some capacity outside of the home.

Giving up work would be giving up financial and personal security, giving up my state retirement (!), giving up my awesome insurance plan, and changing the way we live. The other thing is, I could go back to work after Hayden begins kindergarten, but by that time I wouldn't be able to go back to the job I have now. The job hunt would start again, I would have to start a tenure track again, I would have to retire later, and it's very hard to get a job as a school psychologist after taking five years off! I would no longer be "relevant"-as horrible as that sounds.

So anyway, I've made the choice to go back. And it makes me happy and sad. And I feel guilty, but I've also resigned myself to knowing that moms always feel guilty about something. My kids are happy, they know we love them more than anything, they are clothed and fed and emotionally/intellectually stimulated. That's all that matters. And daycare/school gives them something I can't staying at home...a world outside of home. New friends, new daily experiences...a balanced life. I know myself, and a strength of mine as a parent IS NOT getting creative with crafts, etc. So this is stuff they get elsewhere. And I'm ok with that.

And I also know that I am blessed to be in the field I'm in. I help people for a living, families and kids. BUT-this is also such a family friendly field. I'm out of work by 3:20 everyday. I only work Monday through Friday. I have summers off, all holidays off and will have all the same school breaks as my kids! I only work roughly 180 days/year-so I have half the year off! So there you go. It's kind of the best of both worlds.

And I know that I sound like I'm trying to convince myself that everything is all good. And maybe I am. All I know is that I AM lucky to have options, to be able to actually choose staying home vs. going back to work.

Now if only they would let me work three days/week...I'd be all over that in a heartbeat, no guilt, no drama!





























































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Saturday, April 5, 2014

HPT's...Old Habits...

I took a hpt a few days ago. I haven't taken one in a very, very long time. Which is great because I used to be addicted to peeing on the stick.

Only 4 dpo? No problem...I'll test...just to make sure the trigger is out of my system...
I'm bleeding? Oh well, maybe it's implantation bleeding. I should test just to make sure...
My last test was negative? Not a problem. It was probably too early! I should test again...

Yeah. Any excuse and I used it to test. A zit on my chin, some extra cervical mucus, feeling bitchy...used to all be completely valid reasons to test. I shudder to think about how much money went down the--er--toilet.

So I tested a few days ago. This time, I really really felt like it just might show a line. There were so many other times when I tested, that I knew it was a waste of time. I just couldn't control myself (like most addicts). This time though, I was actually pretty confident.

My symptoms? My sense of smell to rival a blood hound's; a small amount of spotting around when my period was due (this was the biggie, as I had a bit of implantation bleeding with both girls) and NO period in sight. Of course, with pcos, the no period thing is kind of par for the course. However, it had been coming every three weeks or so since Hayden was born. Now, it was late, and late by a week or two.

I took the test. I actually took two a day apart. They were negatives. I studied them for about 5 minutes, held them up to natural light, turned the test to look from different angles, and even dumpster dove a time or two. But, alas, they were negative.

And I was ok. There was no devastation like every other time I have tested.  In fact, my disappointment was tempered by relief. What an odd feeling for me, given my experiences. Hayden is eleven months. Do I actually want to be pregnant right now? Right before summer and camp season? Am I content with my two (knock on wood) healthy girls? And I think, for now, I am. Getting a positive test would have been a shock. And I think, this time, I would have actually had to get used to the idea. So is this a way of knowing if we are done or not? I don't know. I don't think this is a "tell all" moment. But it's just something else to think about....


Friday, April 4, 2014

Florida or Bust!

We got back from our trip to Ft. Myers to visit my parents late Monday night. No time to blog though! Needed to catch up on laundry, cleaning, unpacking, errands, gymnastics runs and soothing a sick AND teething baby. Yeah. That part has been...eh...challenging. We are heading to the doctor's today because I think Hayden may have an ear infection. Poor kid...hope she doesn't have my crappola ears or it will be "tube city" for her :(

Anyway, we had a great trip! As I mentioned in a previous post, the girls and I flew down on Monday morning and Dan didn't join us until Thursday. I was anxious about having both girls on the flight on my own, despite being pretty practiced with traveling with kids!

Anyway-on the way down, they were both GOOD AS GOLD! I mean, you couldn't ask for two better kids! Hayden mostly slept on my chest and Alex played with her ipad. Plus, I had two awesome seat mates who actually went out of their way to entertain Alex. The world is still full of saints I tell ya!

The Florida weather was pretty good. Not great...but after the winter we had, I'll take it. There was one day that it rained, so we went to the Golisano Children's Museum, and there were a few cloudy days (no rain)...but they were WARM so we totally didn't care!

Anyway, we went to the beach a few times, the children's museum, to shop the outlets, swimming, the splash pad and play ground...the girls both had a blast with Noni and G-Pops.

 Ready for the pool!

 The girls with Noni and G-Pops

 At Golisano Children's Museum


 Alex "rocked" this rock wall. She climbed over the red line, which was allowed, oops!

 First ride on a swing!

 Alex with her cousins at the beach

 Despite loving the beach in Australia, she hated it in Florida!


 Splash pad

 And this is what Hayden initially thought of it...

 But then she came around...kind of


 Daddy and Alex building a sand alligator


 First time Alex plays mini-golf!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

When to Say When?

I am SO struggling with the idea of having more children. More specifically...struggling with both ideas: of having MORE kids and of having NO more kids. Yeah...I can't get my head around either option right now.

So what the heck? The thought of being "done" is so odd to me; I've spent so long being so consumed by trying to have babies. The thought of not trying, of putting all this infertility junk behind me leaves a kind of weird void. Not a bad void, but still a void nonetheless. It really is challenging to think of never being pregnant again, never getting THAT phone call or seeing the second line on the pee stick.

But then...there are moments when I feel SO ready to be done. Moments when both kids are inexplicably grumpy or fussy. Times when I'm trying to get some housework done and absolutely can not because someone needs another drink or to be held. And yeah, I love sleep-so there's that to put into the equation as well.

But those moments where I am DONE are fleeting. Always fleeting. Incidentally, the moments where I am sure that I want more are also fleeting. So yeah...I'm just a big pile of confusion and uncertainty.  I would say that we are 92-95% done (as opposed to 99.98% done while I was pregnant). So I thought maybe putting the pro's/con's of having another baby down on paper might straighten things out. Works in the movies?

Pro's:
1. I can experience pregnancy again (this could also go on the con's list, as I was so sick the entire time with Hayden).
2. All the firsts: first sono, first u/s, seeing them/holding them for the first time
3. Getting to go through all the stages again...just one more time!
4. Get to pick out an awesome name
5. Potentially having a boy would be kind of neat (but not make or break)
6.  Giving my girls another sibling*****And hopefully having another life-long companion!!!
7. All the excitement of getting ready for another baby (shopping!). Ok, I know this is a shallow one.
8. Having another child. That's "pro" enough. Another child to bond with and to love. Which, of course, is the most important reason of all.

Con's:
1. Would be looking at going through the baby phase all over again once my kids are much more independent
2. I'm getting older...34 in June...and I wouldn't want to even try again for another year or two
3. Most likely, I would have to use medical assistance again. And do I really want to put myself through that emotionally or physically?
4. Childbirth. Enough said.
5. More kids = more money. And I'm not talking just about small stuff. I'm talking about college tuition, etc.
6. Going to and from Australia regularly would be a b*tch
7. Either we would have to move or the girls would have to share a room (not a fan of that idea). We have a big house with very large rooms, but that also means not as many rooms (3 bedroom house)
8. Pregnancy anxiety...about miscarriages, etc.
9. We would probably need a different vehicle, and I love mine already
10. Dh doesn't know if he wants a third, but is not completely against the idea
11. We have two healthy girls now (thank God and knock on wood)...do I want to chance it again?
12. Even less time to myself or 1:1 time with my husband
13. Spread even thinner than I am now
14. I hear that having 3 kids can be a weird dynamic
15. More opportunity for kids fighting
16. Most of my friends will be beyond the baby stage. And while this isn't a big deal, it will still be weird not having friends doing the "baby thing". It might feel a little bit isolating.
17. I've only ever said I would have two
18. I just don't know if I want a baby for the "right" reasons.
19. Not being able to really sleep for the next several years
20. Having my schedule dictated by a cranky baby
21. I just don't know if my heart is really into it

So, as you can see...the Con side is definitely a fair bit longer...and it was easier to write. BUT-the pro side has some "biggies". Having another child, falling in love with that child, giving my kids another sibling. Those are massive, unquantifiable things. And the thought of shutting that door forever is very scary and I'm not quite ready to be there. So I'm just as confused. Dang list didn't work.

How did you know when you were done? Is it a feeling that comes right away or that grows over time????

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

St. Patrick's Fail...Thanks, Pinterest.

St. Patrick's Day was two days ago. We did the usual stuff...both kids wore green Irish themed shirts, I had corned beef going in the crock pot (to have with our mashed taters and roasted brussel sprouts-oh and white sauce to go over the corned beef. Which, judging by my FB feed, Americans are completely clueless about. I guess it's a mostly Australian thing???) and even decided to treat Alex, hubby and myself to a Shamrock shake. Small for me. Because you know...that's like half my daily caloric intake right there-packed into green, thick, creamy gluttony. We'll ignore how I had like three a week last year while pregnant. Anyway. I thought I was doing well with the whole St. Pat's thing. I even bought Alex a bunch of boxes of Lucky Charms Rice Krispie treats to bring into school for her party. We were good.

Except that we weren't. Apparently, I missed the memo that St. Paddy's day is now like the new Easter/Christmas. Uhhhh-parently, a mischievous, spritely little leprechaun is supposed to sneak (invade) into your home and do quirky little things like leave green foot prints all over the place, pee green in the toilet and leave chocolat gold coins in its wake. This little bastard leprechaun is supposed to engage in all sorts of good-natured high-jinx. Oh what fun!

So naturally, when I picked up Alex from school, she wanted to know WHY the leprechaun didn't come to our house! He came to Johnny's house and to Brielle's house and to Ashlynn's house...He even came to her school! After all, there were even foot prints on the walls and chairs to prove it! The leprecaun left all the kids at school a green coin too. BUT..Brielle and Ashlynn got gold, CHOCOLATE coins AND Rachel's leprechaun left them GREEN milk.

"So where was OUR leprechaun, mommy?" (It also didn't help that I was pulling Alex out of her school-and therefore out of her party-early for a doctor's appointment. And NOT only any doctor's appointment...but one where she had to get three shots...thanks in part to getting bit by a friend's dog over the weekend...another story).

And that's when I realized I missed the boat. St. Paddy's day is now..."a thing". It's bigger and better than ever. So when did this happen? I don't think I even wore green on St. Pat's day when I was a kid???

But I think you Pinterest savy moms know that Pinterest is to blame. Thanks for giving more "with-it" parents cute ideas for how to make the day extra fun and special and memorable. Those seeds of creativity were sewn in parents' minds all over and a legion of mini red-headed dudes were now responsible for all kinds of crazy hijinks in homes across America...except ours.

So now I know. Memo received. St. Pat's day is a thing. Next year I will be ready for you.

Side note...I wonder if showing her the movie "Leprechaun" would squelch her yearning for a visiting leprechaun? Ok. Bad idea...