ONE More.

Whee!

After Wes was born we decided we probably wouldn’t have any more kids, definitely didn’t want anymore for awhile, but that we would wait to make a permanent decision until January 2011 which would be 9 months from when NikkiZ would start Kindergarten. We didn’t want more than two preschool kids at a time because at that time I was working full time and the idea of three kids in daycare made our wallets explode.

Well…we’re coming up on decision time. We have already made a decision of sorts in the last few months. We do want more kids. Living in that cramped house when I was working fulltime – the idea of another kid made me want to punch myself in the face. But now that life is a bit more manageable and our house has a bit more room, I really feel like I want more. But…do we start trying in January? I mean, let’s face it, if you’ve struggled at all with conceptions or pregnancy (like we have) then the only reason NOT to try is if at that moment you just couldn’t handle the idea of another kid. And right NOW? That’s the case. Sorta. We just really want NikkiZ to be in Kindergarten before we have anymore kids so we have to wait until January to reach that goal. But then…why wait? If our past history is any indication, and then the trend for my preproductive tracts to get in worse shape in the last few years, we should start trying as soon as we get out of that Three Kids At Home danger zone.

But…BUT…am I ready to get on the TTC train again? Before I dealt fibroids, endometriosis, and the annoying habit of miscarrying for no good reason. This time I get to add several ovarian cysts to the stockpile of Fun Stuff going on in my lady bits. (Totally the name of my next single, by the way.) So…the Trying To Conceive train may be even MORE fun than it was before. MORE FUN? Really? Can I handle more fun? I mean, sometimes it’s easy to “forget” the challenges when you see your successes every day. Two angel faces coloring on your walls and eating your moisturizers. But when I pause for a moment and look back? It comes flooding in and I think…Why would I want to do that again?

With Wes, we just stayed on the TTC path even after NikkiZ was born because we knew we wanted two and didn’t know how long it would take. We never stopped TTC. This time, willfully stepping back into the emotional heartbreak and anxiety after such a long and peaceful break? Seems so torturous. And masochistic. But, we’ll be doing it. We’ve decided. ONE MORE we keep telling our selves. We would love ONE MORE. Will we get it? Maybe. Will we kill ourselves emotionally and physically trying? No. We’ll probably be much more willing to accept defeat this time around. Too many failures, or too long without any successes, and we can easily throw in the towel. Because we are lucky and we know that. We left the battle long ago with our trophies in hand. We’ll go back in for awhile, but the stakes won’t be as high. The wounds won’t go as deep. It will be tough, but not AS tough. Because our gifts from the previous battles are here to distract us and both remind us why we’ll be trying again, but also why it will be okay to surrender if the pain gets to be too much.

What about you? Have you struggled with building your family? How did you resolve the desire of more children with the pain of the struggle to have them?

ONE MORE.

Kick
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Talkative

I was at Target getting groceries this weekend with the two little ones. Wes in the buggy (shopping cart for those of you not from the South) and Nikki walking along beside me. It was the same drill it always is for us, a constant parade of conversation from aisle to aisle. Sometimes Wes freaking out about the dog in the photos above the refrigerated sections. Sometimes Nikki trying to figure out some way to convince me to buy [insert random pink item here] for her because she TOTALLY NEEDS IT. Other times we’re talking about non-grocery related tasks like the upcoming days and what we have planned or the next meal and what we’re going to eat. I sometimes stop and wonder if other families are as talkative as we are. Especially when it’s been just me and a baby doing the same amount of talking. YES. I’m that Mom. The one that even when her kid is not old enough to hold up his head, I’m saying things to him going through the store like, “Don’t let Momma forget the oatmeal.” Or, “I can’t remember if we’re out of orange juice or not.” I never really expect a response, of course, it’s just the way I’ve always been. It’s an instinct in me, I guess, to chat with my kids. Even if they’re not old enough to chat back.

So…this weekend. We were rounding an aisle and a lady stopped me and said, “I just want to tell you I think it’s wonderful how much you talk to your children. I’ve been listening to you all and you talk to them, and they talk to you, and you respond and it’s such a joy to hear. Sometimes I see parents and children out and about and no one is even looking at each other, much less talking.” I was overwhelmed with appreciation at this stranger’s praise but I said while laughing, “Well…we are quite a talkative family!” She smiled sincerely and said, “And I wanted to compliment you on just that.” I thanked her and we went our separate ways. Nikki immediately said, “What was she saying?” while Andy starts waving, “Bye! Bye!” I guess to prove her point – we never shut up.

Whatever it means that I talk to my kids a lot, I’m glad I do it. Do I often also tell them to, “Be Quiet!” Yes. OH MY GOD…YES. Nikki’s favorite game is the quiet game and I use that to every advantage I can, because sometimes? I need it to be quiet. But a lot of the times? I don’t. And I’m glad we’re quite chatty. And I’m glad there are people possessed by so much kindness in the world that they feel the need to pass on compliments to strangers. I’m going to try to repay the woman by complimenting as many strangers as I can this week.

By the way…have I told you your hair looks great today?

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And now…random photos that relate to nothing above! Enjoy!

Not Posed
This is just one of the many moments I catch of my kids just loving each other. I’m so glad they get along so well.

Artist
Paint party on the front stoop.

Spin

This top was made from parts of the 100+ year old dogwood that has recently succumbed to time/sickness/aging. (Here is a photo of it in it’s prime here) The tree means a lot to me for many reasons, so I made sure to buy a handful of items a local artist made from the wood. I bought each of the kids a top and Wes has decided it’s his favorite toy EVER.

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Photographing My Exciting Life as a Stay-At-Home Mom

As per my 4 Simple Goals, I carried my camera with me all day yesterday. Turns out? I don’t do a lot of exciting things and I don’t go to a lot of photographic settings. However, the challenge of just photographing the mundane turned out to be quite an exercise in and of itself. It was quite fun to see my daily activities become subjects of my own photography. These photos are all Straight Out Of the Camera (SOOC) and I think quite a fun look at my day.

What she wanted to use as her bookmark
Nikki deciding to carry this picture with her to school because…I have no clue. She just found it and decided she wanted to carry it around. It would be sweet except she kept saying, “I want it to remember you by.” And that totally creeped me out.

Morning Reading
Breakfast table reading. He says, “Chicka Chicka 1 2 3!” whenever he “reads” this book.

Greeting the neighborhood cat, a morning ritual
Our morning ritual: Call the neighbor’s cat over and give him some love before taking everyone to school.

Waiting to take E to school
Waiting for E to get to the van.

After getting E to school and Nikki to Pre-K (halfday), Wes and I spent the morning running errands. When we got home it was time for my a.m. project (the project I try to complete before picking up Nikki from Pre-K) – putting together a collage frame for the kitchen. I got out the photos and the frame I had bought a while back and went to work. Here is the final product:

The frame I was putting together while Wes caused trouble

And here are a few pictures of the chaos Wes caused while I worked on this project. Keep in mind, the kitchen floor had nothing on it when I started this project. This is the plight of the SAHM…any single project to give you a sense of accomplishment for the day, creates more projects that you had no interest in dealing with. Like putting up the mess your kid made while you worked on your project. It took me 20 minutes to put together the frame, and 20 minutes to put up all of the stuff Wes got out while I put together the frame.

Wearing Daddy's Gear

Wes causing trouble while I put together a frame

Wes causing trouble while I put together a frame

Then I had to meet LilZ before he went out of town for a concert and then pick up Nikki from school. Came home and put the kids down from their naps and did my best to find interesting things to photograph around my own home. Well…you can see how THAT went.

Library Books
Dad's Magnet
Tiny Flops
Kettle

After naptime we had to go pick up a friend from the local middle school. We brought her back for some playroom time where I took a few more photos before calling it a day.

Window Crayon Art By ME
Crafty
Clearance Hole Punches
Easel/Jungle Gym
Art Gallery
Federal Disaster Area
Tinker

All in all it was a fun day. I think I’ll try to pick a day next week that has me in different places than my own home, which is where I already take 90% of my photos anyway. But, that was a challenge to do more than say, “Smile!” to my kids in my home to make a cute picture. It also turned out to be a neat way to document my day. What seems mundane when I talk about it looks kinda cool in photo form.

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Best Laid Plans…

This house does not have the typical “Open” floorplan you see on new builds these days, probably because it’s almost 30 years old. Our old house, on the other hand, was quite open with the kitchen only closed off from the office/dining room (What? Those rooms aren’t the same in your home?) from a bar. Therefore, it seemed like the kitchen area was always the central hangout zone. I loved this as it kept me from using my kids as an excuse to not spend any time in the kitchen. I had no idea how this would play out in the new house. I assumed the kids would hang out in my sitting room off the kitchen, which is why I made sure to get small chairs, a coffee table that could be beat up and colored on, and put a TV in there.

Discreet TV

While they do end up there periodically, the crayons and coloring books I put in there originally? Have ended up in the kitchen. There is – of course – our breakfast table in there for small meals. But there is also this strange desk area that I can only assume was some sort of bill-paying/letter-mailing center in the original plan. There are mail slots above it in the cabinets that I now use for those random things we need readily accessible: Sunscreen, bugspray, bandaids and – of course – flashlights without batteries. (We never keep actual working flashlights accessible in our home. It keeps power outtages more exciting that way.) But this desk area? Has become quite the hang-out zone for the kids.

Mad Men

I often will try to get them to at least move to the breakfast table, as I typically keep my camera and purse and laptop on the desk area, they still spend quite a bit of time there using my pens (Why can’t they use their pens? Because I’ve evidently already instilled in them some office-supply snobbery.) on my grocery-list notepad. Do they use their crayons? Or their coloring books? No. Not as a first choice, anyway. Sometimes they’ll do that when I ask, but first attempt? Always MY pens, MY paper, on MY desk area where I keep my laptop so I can have my recipes easily accessible. So much for the well-thought out sitting room with it’s adorable kid-friendly furnishings.

*sigh*

What about you? Do you have a planned children’s area that seems to be constantly ignored for your areas? My kids also love my office even when they have an entire playroom ALL TO THEMSELVES. I guess the only way to really assure they use the areas like you intend them to? Is to use reverse psychology. “I do NOT want you touching those crayons! Use Mommy’s pens instead…those crayons are off-limits!” or “Please don’t go play in the playroom. Stay here in the kitchen and harass me while I cook, please? I don’t want you in the playroom!”

I’m sure even that would backfire on me.

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Who Am I? Crayola Graffiti Artist, Weather Goddess, and Super-Important Social Freak

Coloring upside down

I bought the most fun thing EVER this week: Window Crayons. (I also bought Window Markers but THEY SUCK.) The Window Crayons are so much fun! They are a bit too easy to wipe off, however, as you can see Wes’s belly covered in his own art from when he would lean over on the table. Nikki did fine with them though. And when I went to get E’s headphones yesterday out of his room? I saw his mirror in his bathroom was covered in funny messages and reminders. My point? THEY ARE FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY.

Sky

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We went outside to watch a storm roll into our neighborhood last night. We sat on the stairs and watched the giant storm cloud go from a visible change in the horizon to all encompassing gray sky above us. We felt the first few random sprinkles and waited for the deluge. I don’t think the kids believed me it would happen like that. That we’d go from watching the distinguishable cloud in the sky to being rained on in just a few moments. When it actually happened that way – like I said it would – they both kinda looked at me like I was a god. Like somehow I made that happen. I kept saying, “Here it comes! Here it comes!” Until the sprinkles went to curtains of rain and we ran under the awning. They will never look at me the same again. I am now Mom: Commander Of The Storms.

Rain Dancing

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I went to my first official board meeting this week for the Theatre Board at E’s school. I’m a publicity chairperson and I was moronically nervous. I spent the entire 15 minutes before the meeting sitting in the parking lot just trying to decide which door to go in. Once everyone started getting there I calmed a bit because – after the Spring Musical Baptism By Fire last year – a lot of these people I now consider friends. But I spent the hour or so after the meeting reanalyzing everything I said and did and trying to decide if I confirmed in other parent’s minds that I am entirely NOT cut out for this job. Like – I wrote my email for a parent on her notes from the meeting. OH MY GOD…was that totally rude? Should I have written in on a separate piece of paper?

(Do you see how ridiculous my social anxiety is? Would I have cared if anyone wrote on MY notes? No. WHY AM I FREAKING OUT?)

Anyway…I did leave with this giant stack of full-size envelopes to deliver to various schools/offices around town. This giant stack of IMPORTANT BUSINESS made me feel SUPER COOL. I walked into my house with my arms full and expect my family to be all, “Look! It’s our super-important mother with her giant stack of super-important envelopes! We are so lucky she has time for us with all of her super-important business she must attend to!”

They were all upstairs watching TV. *sigh* They just had to trust me: I’m Totally Super-Important Now.

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