Friday, December 13, 2013

Fertility Guilt......

I know these days it seems like women every where are struggling with infertility, so it seems like you never hear about women who have no problem getting pregnant. Although, I guess if you're trying to get pregnant it probably seems like everyone around you is having a baby. I have a little bit of fertility guilt. Here's a little background: I have two children, but before my first was born I had a miscarriage.  I cannot put into words how devastating that was. I remember crying uncontrollably and the feeling of devastation was like a huge weight on my shoulders. Even though I know it wasn't my fault and there was nothing I could do to avoid it, I still put the blame on myself. I remember not wanting to answer the phone because I didn't want people to ask how I was doing. I really just wanted to get through it on my own in my little cave and then eventually I would come out and I wanted everyone to act as if nothing had happened. Looking back I am thankful for all the people who prayed for and encouraged me during that incredibly difficult time. At the time it was hard to face those people because just when I thought I was going to be able to go to the store without crying, someone would call and ask, "how are you", then I would lose it.
A few months after enduring a miscarriage I became pregnant with my son and had a pretty great pregnancy, even if it ended with a c-section. We knew we wanted another child fairly soon and when my son was 10 months old I was pregnant again with my daughter. We weren't really trying and I remember feeling a little anxious about having babies 18 months apart, but all went well and another pretty eventless pregnancy ended with a beautiful baby girl and my dream of a VBAC!
After having my daughter, I knew I didn't want to do the 18 month apart thing again, but I knew I wanted to at least try for a third baby. If we didn't get pregnant I would be okay, but I always wished my parents had had one more child so I knew I wanted to try for three. We weren't really trying at the time but we weren't trying not to have a baby. I had shared with my husband that I didn't want to be on birth control and I had my IUD removed because I thought it made me feel crazy, so that left condoms as our choice of birth control. My hubby hadn't been fully on bored with the three kids thing so he was very faithful with the "birth control". I'm not sure what happened or what changed his mind, but one day he was okay with a third baby. I told him it could take months to get pregnant and I knew that I was only getting older and we might not get pregnant at all.
I'm happy to announce that I am indeed pregnant with our #3! I have days where I have no idea how it will work since I only have two hands, but then I try to remember to savor every moment of this pregnancy because I know it will be my last. I thank God for the morning sickness that helps me to know my baby is doing what it should be. This is the sickest I've felt out of all my pregnancies, but I'm trying to remember every little thing about this pregnancy. There is a downside, I feel, to all of this. My sister-in-law is struggling with infertility. I think it's been almost two years that they have been trying to have a baby. We told my mother-in-law that I was pregnant and she was happy, but I could tell that she wasn't THAT happy. She didn't ask my anything about how I had been feeling, how many weeks I was, she pretty much just said congratulations and that was it. My husband didn't seem to think it was a big deal and thought I shouldn't look to much into things, but it was then that I was determined to be happy for this baby and grateful for my fertility. I can't pretend to not be pregnant and I'm not going to avoid talking about it. I definitely won't rub it in anyone's face, but I think this baby deserves to have some happy thoughts even if they are only from my husband and I.
I feel for all the women struggling and I know what it's like to go through the loss of a miscarriage. I remember feeling like everyone was getting pregnant or having a baby soon after I had the miscarriage and I know it's difficult to deal with, but I was always happy for my friends. Yes, it was hard and sometimes I would cry when I was alone, but I was happy for my friends and their new additions. I'm looking forward to all that God has in store for us and our new addition to our family!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Big Boy Bed

Well, it was finally time to start the transition from crib to big boy bed for my nearly 3 year old. He could climb out of the crib, as he had done it many times, but he was well behaved enough to know not to do it. I wanted to make the transition before my husband goes back to working regular hours and has to get up at 5am. Selfish, I know, but you do what you've got to do. Jackson initially did great, almost too great. The first two nights he didn't get up once. He still wasn't sure about the whole thing and he'd still ask us to get him out of the bed, so I'm not sure he thought he was allowed to get himself out. Now, he climbs out multiple times a night and even early in the morning. My solution to the issue:

The "OK to Wake" Alarm Clock. This clock is an alarm clock and night light. We don't use the night light, so I can't say how that works, but we like the other features.  This clock lights up green when it's ok for the child to wake up and get out of bed. We set the time for wake up to be 7am. This worked great for the first few days, but Jackson still got up multiple times after we put him down for bed. He would typically wake up close to 7am, so he didn't have to sit long before the light came on. This morning was a major battle. He got out of bed close to 15 times after going down for the night, then he woke at 6:30am and got out of bed and came to our room (as a side note, I was up but I use this time to get ready for work so it's my preference for him to be in bed until 7am). I took him back to bed and reminded him to wait for the light to come on. He got up 4 more times before the light came on. I was totally exhausted from some allergy medication I took last night and just did not want to deal with him getting up and taking him back to bed. I know this is all part of the "parenting gig" I signed up for when I had children, but this part is so hard. When Jackson gets up we try to the the Super Nanny thing and not talk to him but then he gets upset I'm not to him and I'm afraid he'll be screaming so loud he'll wake Hayden up. I keep trying to "cherish" this time with him and think that these moments of struggle with my toddler are fleeting and it won't be long before he's in high school. I love him so much, but he knows my buttons and pushes them on a regular basis. Hopefully week three will be better than week two and we will just keep going. 
A friend of mine asked me the other day how I handle two children so close in age and I told her there's no way to prepare for it. You just do it. You'll drive yourself crazy if you think about it too much. There are great days and difficult ones, but you get through and as long as everyone is somewhat happy and alive at the end of the day you've done a great job. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Put on Your Big Girl Panties....

The past few months have been full of change, some great, some not so great.  Josh quit working at Lexus in May and went into real estate.  I was confident that God had ordained these steps we were taking.  When I would ask for yet another confirmation, He was there to assure me that everything would be okay and give me another dose of peace.  By the way, I've needed a "peace drip" over these past few months. Josh and I felt like his career in real estate was going to thrive and become this incredible business opportunity. Initially things went great and he was very busy. There were quite a few people who were interested in selling/purchasing property and Josh was ready to help. Some friends from church purchased their first house and we were so excited to be a part of it. Josh's parent's sold their home and purchased a new one. We really felt like things were going great, we even talked about Josh having a real estate business and his dad and brother could work with him. In July, money concerns became a topic of conversation. I was working part-time, so it was nice to have that supplementing Josh's commission, but we knew that money would soon become a much bigger issue. It seemed like as quickly as his business began to take off, it began to come to a close. I knew Josh was feeling discouraged, God has placed it on the hearts of men to provide for their family and Josh was beginning to feel the stress of that responsibility weighing heavily on his shoulders. Our first reaction was to question God. I know it's not the right thing to do, but I had no one else to go to. Josh was just as discouraged, if not more so, than me and I didn't want to make him feel more upset. God and I had some heated conversations, some desperate conversations and there was the occasional "I trust you" conversation. I didn't know what God was doing, I didn't know how it was going to work out, but I finally (after some wrestling within myself) decided to trust Him. I began to feel the confidence I felt initially that He had ordered our steps and we were where we were because it's where God wanted us to be. Josh began looking for jobs and actually got 3 job offers. He will be going back to work at Scottsdale Lexus next week and we are so thankful for this job. Sometimes Josh still questions leaving Lexus of Chandler. I truly feel that God wanted Josh out of there for a reason. I don't know why, but as these past few months have passed, I know he needed to be away from there. Even as we know Josh will be going back to Scottsdale Lexus and we are still waiting for an official start date, I know God has it all under control. Even though these past months have been difficult and there have been many tears, I know that I love Josh so much more as we've been through this. I'm so grateful that our children have really developed an incredible relationship with Josh because he's been home to play with them more than he had been. I remember when Josh came home and told me he was giving his two week notice at Lexus and after the shock wore off,  I thought that blessing after blessing would be poured out on us, financial blessings to be more specific. I know God is in control and it's difficult to think about Josh going back to a regular day job and not seeing him as much, I'm putting on my big girl panties and I'm confident that I am a child of the King and He knows what we need. He hears my cries and sees every tear. My friends, this amazing God I serve knows what He's doing and He sees each of us right where we are. I'm excited to see the new things He will do in our lives as Josh goes back to Lexus. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Look How Far We've Come.....

I don't know if you're familiar with Thomas the train, but at our house we have an obsession.  Jackson thinks the trains are the greatest thing ever!  We also watch Thomas videos quite often and have a few of our favorites memorized.  I was chatting with my mom and grandma the other day about all the expectations I had for my family when I was pregnant. Before I had our first child I used to tell people, my mom specifically (I suppose I wanted her to know that I would be doing things differently than she did), that I would not allow my child to watch TV until he was 2 years old and even then it would be only 30 minutes per day.  I would say that we would not allow our child to play video games and that he would not be allowed to have sugar except for special occasions.  I think about all these expectations I had for myself and our family while I was pregnant and, although my intentions were good, they have all fallen by the way side.  Jackson watches more than 30 minutes of TV per day and he plays games on the iPad (I try to pick educational ones) and he eats more sugar than just when he gets cake on birthdays.  Now, I'm not saying that all new moms or soon to be moms are crazy for making those expectations for themselves, I'm just saying it didn't work for me.  Breastfeeding didn't work for my mom, but it worked for me with both children for a year each.  Every family is different and every child is different.

I did initially start off following along with my "protocol".  Jackson was incredibly fascinated by the TV, so when it was on he was looking at it.  We tried not to watch too much TV when he was a baby and awake(especially Real Housewives shows on Bravo). I remember having my husband ask his mom to not sit Jackson in front of the TV in the bouncer.  I'm still not a fan of this practice, but my mother-in-law did this with some of the babies she watched.  Now, Jackson watching TV doesn't seem like such a big deal.  We are still careful about what he watches because he has bad dreams and gets frightened easily.

I started thinking about all of this when my friend had her baby boy.  She had been married for over 8 years when they had their baby and it was difficult to go from, "we can do whatever we want" to "we can do what the baby lets us do". The best piece of advice I could give her is that she had to figure out what would work for her, her husband and the new baby.  I knew that must have sounded awful since she was looking for concrete answers to her problems. Everyone will give you bits of advice and tell you what they think you should do, but ultimately you have to figure out what works for you.  There are so many decisions you have to make as a new mom and there's no book that tells you the specific answers you're looking for.  There are books out there that will tell you whatever you want to hear.  I think the best thing is to remember that God has blessed you with this baby and He will bless you with the wisdom you need to raise the child.  As parents or parents to be, we will all make mistakes.

So here's my advice for new moms- I can tell you what worked for me, but you have to be the one to figure out what works for you.  I know it might sound crazy, but your motherly instinct will kick in and don't feel like a complete failure if you don't have all the dreamy, crazy in love feelings for you baby right away, I didn't.  Your hormones are going crazy, you won't sleep much and there is a tiny new person in your life you just have to get to know.  Trust in the God who knew your baby before he was even formed in you.  Trust that there is a great plan for your child and pray for wisdom to raise him/her so that they will be able to walk in all that God has for them.  It will be hard and there will be days when you want to throw in the towel, but there are so many more good days to come.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


I've been thinking for some time that I need to write this poignant blog and remind myself where I am for when I get where I want to be.  Time just gets away from me, but today both children are napping at the same time and my work for the part-time job is done and my husband is not home hogging the computer.
April 1, 2013 has been another life altering day for me.  Not as much as getting saved, married, or the day my children were born, but life altering none the less.  My sweet husband gave his job of 12 years a month notice that he was leaving.  As long as I've known Josh he has worked at Lexus of Chandler or Penske Automotive Group.  He has been a faithful employee and has worked in just about every department they have, except for maybe accounting.  He currently works as a service advisor and he makes enough money that I have been able to be a stay-at-home-mom for 2 years now.  I am grateful that I had that opportunity.  I'm currently working part-time and still grateful that the majority of my days are with my children.  Josh has decided to go into real estate full-time.  This is a decision that has not come without much prayer.  This is a decision that is completely out of the norm for Josh.  Yet, here we are with 2 weeks to go.  I support Josh in this decision, but that doesn't mean that I don't have my worries and concerns.
I know we haven't been married that long, but I am much more trusting of Josh at year 7 than I was at year 1.  I have finally let him be the spiritual leader of our home (that took some time and prayer to overcome) and I love him and know he would never do something to financially hurt us.  It's hard to explain, but I have such peace about this.  Yes, I have many questions about the details but I also feel like God has told me not to worry about how the plan will work, just trust that the plan will work.  As you know, I am a self proclaimed control freak so not worrying about the details is difficult.  We won't have the somewhat decent medical insurance that we currently have with Josh's employer, we won't have the money to go towards paying our Lexus lease (which we have to keep at this point), we have no salary guarantee.  I'm sure that everything about this situation must say, "RUN", "Don't do it".  I just keep thinking of the testimony that we'll have in a year.  It might be that we have no idea how it happened, but we made it through a year.  It might be that Josh gets double his salary by doing real estate.  I don't know the outcome, but I do know God is a good god and He will not forsake me.
There are days when I feel like I don't have a worry in the world and I don't know how, but I know God will take care of this.  Then there are days when I think that I don't know how we're going to make it, how is this going to work, it just doesn't make sense, are people going to think we're crazy for doing this, are we sure that we're really hearing the correct message from God.  It would be so much easier for me if God would speak to me in a clear audible voice and tell me that everything is going to be okay, but that hasn't happened.  I definitely have these moments of complete peace and I know that's how God must speak to me, maybe I'm working up to the clear audible voice.  I have to tell you, I don't know how it will work, I don't know if we'll have insurance, I don't know if we'll lose our house, I don't know if Josh will be this incredible success right off the bat.  There are countless unknowns, but one thing trumps all that- a good God.
I was talking with a friend last night and I told her that I've heard many stories of other Christians who have taken a risk, moved, changed careers, gone into the mission field and they have never said that they thought God totally forsake them.  I have never heard anyone say that God left them/never showed up/forsake them when they moved across the country not knowing where the would live/work.  I remember being jealous of our friends when they moved to Portland.  I thought it would be awesome to be totally dependent on God, not knowing where you would live or work.  Now, we are there.  We are the ones trusting God with everything, not knowing how we'll pay the bills if Josh doesn't have any money coming in from commissions.  If he's not helping someone buy/sell a house he doesn't make any money.  God has truly brought me to a new place of humility and trust.  I can't wait to write about the incredible thing that God will do in our lives, now there may be struggles along the way, but I know there will be an incredible story of God's faithfulness to come.
Please keep my family and I in your prayers if you think about us.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Winter/Spring 2013 Update

I am an awful blogger these days.  I do check in to see what everyone else is up to, but I can't seem to find the time to sit down and write (without thinking of 100 other things I should be doing).  The days seem to fly by and I can't believe my baby girl is nearly 10 months old.  Before I know it, we'll be celebrating her first birthday!
Baby girl started crawling at 8 months.  Jackson was 9 months when he started crawling, so I was kind of expecting another month to prepare and re-babyproof things.  Now days, she's pulling up on everything and doing all the baby stuff that mischievous babies do.  Just yesterday she ate her hair clip. I was frantically looking all over for the clip, sure that it had just fell on the floor.  The clip was no where to be found and I called the doctor.  I was sure that we would have to take her to the hospital; conveniently enough we just switched to the high-deductible insurance plan and I was freaking out not only about her swallowing the clip, but the cost of an ER visit.  After talking to the nurse, we just have to watch her and check her diapers for the clip.  I keep looking around to see if maybe I missed it and it will be lying there on the floor, but no such luck.  Jackson never did the putting everything in your mouth thing, but Hayden wants to taste everything.  She has 2 teeth and these teeth have tested my commitment to nursing.  I have these days when I cry and think I just want to quit, then I talk to a friend or my husband and they encourage me to stick with it for just a few more months.  Part of me wants to be done with it because I want my body back.  I want to be able to go on a crash diet, or take whatever medicine I want without worrying about it effecting my supply.  I have decided to start a pretty strict diet program next week with my sweet husband.  At this point I feel like my weight loss is more important than Hayden continuing to nurse.  I know that sounds incredibly selfish, but for health reasons I need to lose weight.  And I think Hayden would be better off having a healthy mom and possibly not breastfeeding than an unhealthy mom and continuing to breastfeed her.  I will continue to nurse her as I can, but if I lose my milk supply do to dieting I'm ok with that.
Jackson is 2 years 4 months and he is such a joy.  Yes, he has his moments of independence and defiance but he is such a sweet boy.  He loves Thomas the Train and he talks like the trains do with a bit of a British accent.  He is extremely verbal and can tell you exactly what he wants.  He doesn't talk like a baby, but like an adult.  People tell us all the time that he is very smart.  I haven't been around many other kids his age, so I don't really know how he is compared to other 2 year olds.  We are considering starting preschool for him.  Since I stay home, we don't get out much.  We do go outside everyday, but in the summer it's hard to do that because it's so hot.  I'm planning on working on potty-training next week.  We started it a while back, but everyone got sick and I just couldn't stick with it.  Hopefully now, it will be something that he'll master.
Josh finished his real estate class in December.  He took the national/state exam last weekend.  He had been sick the week before the test and it had been over 2 months since he had been to a class, so I have to be honest that I didn't think it would be a good outcome.  I told him that either way, I would be happy for him.  We both were thinking that if he passed the test, then we would know that this real estate thing could be a feasible option for him.  He passed the test!!  I was so excited for him!!  I know he was miserable in the testing center.  He had a cold and couldn't take in tissues or cough drops.  The security at the testing center was worse than airport security.  He has to take the contract writing class, but then he can get his real estate license.
I worked part-time at the contracting company I worked for before Jackson was born.  I covered for the girl who replaced me, while she was out on maternity leave.  It was a little awkward, but I was able to get back into the swing of things and get the work done.  It was nice working part-time for those few weeks.  Hopefully there will be a position for me permanently later on down the road.  There were some days when I didn't want to go in and I dreaded leaving the kids, but after getting to the office I felt good about it.  The extra income was nice too.  God knows my heart and he has the perfect part-time job for me.