December 31, 2012

From Two to Three

Before Baby Boy was born, people kept asking me if I was ready for three kids.  I heard story after story about how the transition from 1 to 2 was so much more difficult than from 2 to 3.  Eight weeks into the chaos and I totally call B.S. on that.  The transition when baby #2 was born was hands down easier than what this has been.

Maybe it's because baby #2 came after all of the birthday/holiday craziness (she was the New Year's baby).  Maybe it's because we only had an older child (KT was 4) to bring baby sister home to.  Maybe it's because we've battled round after round after round of sickness in our house since the day before I had the little guy.

I don't know the reason specifically but I imagine it's a combination of all of the above, with a couple of extra factors tossed in for fun.  All I know for sure is that I feel like I'm treading water.  Barely keeping afloat and looking to cling onto anything that will help buoy me along, allowing me to rest my weary arms and legs, if only for a few minutes at a time.

I'm exhausted.  Trying to find the time and energy to keep my family fed, their clothes clean and myself showered.  Any projects I'd hope to accomplish during this time are piled in a heap on my sewing table.  My goal was to reopen the shop the beginning of January and I'm not sure where or how I'll find the time to sew stuff for customers.

Maybe after all the Christmas decorations are packed away in their boxes, the last slice of birthday cake is eaten and all the gifts have found homes within the confines of our tiny house, things will start to fall into place.  I'm hoping that's the case.

November 21, 2012


I knew the transition to life with 3 kids wasn't going to be without challenges.  But I didn't expect to tackle it with a nasty stomach bug running through our house.

Today, being a Mom in this household means simultaneously holding the hair and/or rubbing the back of a six year old as she pukes, keeping an almost two year old in a time-out for spitting at me and nursing an infant.


Without a doubt.

November 19, 2012

Boy, oh, Boy!

With other avenues of social media connecting many of us, it isn't new news...

but baby BOY made his appearance on November 2nd, weighing in at 8 pounds 3 ounces and measuring a gangly 21 inches long.  (For reference, he was almost 2" longer than his sisters when they were born and weighed in between the two.  I think he's going to get some height from his Dad, thankfully.)

I was scheduled for a c-section on Tuesday, November 6th -- about two weeks before my due date -- to ensure I didn't go into labor on my own, stressing my heart.  At my appointment on the 1st my OB was concerned that baby was getting big and my amniotic fluid levels were getting high.  Both of which were physically putting pressure on my heart/lungs.  He offered to do a c-section that very day but I declined, opting to keep an eye out for warning signs.  I woke up the next day with some shortness of breath, tightness in my chest and just an overall feeling of discomfort.  A late morning call to the OB had us heading to the hospital with bags in tow.

Biggest sister was absolutely thrilled with the news of a baby brother!  Baby sister wasn't quiet so enthused -- not sure if this was related to the raging ear infection and cold she was fighting, or just losing her position in the family as the youngest child.

Even though he came 16 days early, he was perfectly healthy and has been an absolutely easy baby (which was fantastic considering I ended up with bronchitis just after we came home from the hospital!).  We thought we got really lucky with the girls when they were newborns but he makes their early days look challenging.  Hopefully he continues with his laid back personality.

And in other great news, both sisters now give him copious amounts of snuggles and big sister love!

October 2, 2012

Starting Over

It's one of those days around here.  One where the coffee isn't strong enough, nor is my patience or will power.  Instead of having to power through it and act like the parent/adult I'd like to tell the world to take a flying leap and crawl back into bed.


September 24, 2012

Getting through the Transitions

At times I sit here and wonder, how in the world, the underlying reason behind the start of this blog, is turning 6 in a few more weeks.  How did I manage to blink and all of the sudden have a big girl who goes to kindergarten, rides her bike without training wheels and has a very specific opinion about what she's wearing, how her hair is done and even the accessories that go with her outfit.

We've been through some major transitions/experiences this summer -- KT's best friend moving away, deaths of close family members in both mine and C's families, starting kindergarten, my pregnancy -- and at times it feels like the household is still reeling.  Still unsure of our footing as we continue to navigate through these changes.  Each day I wake up and hope that the day ahead will be calm and happy, but steeling myself for the likelihood that there will be chaos and tears.

Making the transition into kindergarten has presented many challenges.  Sending her off to school wasn't a challenge in itself.  I looked forward to hearing her stories, seeing her make the transition into a full-fledged student and having some much needed one on one time with her little sister.  What I wasn't prepared for was the emotional turmoil it would create within that beautiful little girl.

The first week was tough on her.  Tough on me!  She'd come home from school and scream at us over everything.  The slightest agitation immediately escalated into rage.  Didn't matter if it was because I poured a glass of milk when she wanted water with lunch or her sister took a toy she wanted.  No one, no situation was exempt.  And the task of trying to get her to rest in the afternoon was another matter.  Her school schedule requires us to wake her earlier than she normally gets up, and the activity of a full morning would send her home with big purple circles under her eyes and yawns through lunch.  To me, it was apparent that she needed rest, that she needed some time to rejuvenate.  The slightest mention of a nap though would initiate tantrums of epic proportion that would leave both her and I exhausted and in tears.

I just wanted to have good days.  To hear her excitement over school -- friends made, songs sung, games played.  Instead we've muddled our way through the screaming and the tantrums, hoping the transitional time would be short.

She just finished her third week of school and it's getting better.  We're making progress but there is still much ground to be covered.  Each week I'm trying to help the transition along.  Trying to come up with ways to sidestep the tantrums and screaming.  Trying to take little steps, giving KT a little more independence and helping to foster her self-confidence while finding a balance of showing her that I still love her dearly and she's still my little girl.

September 16, 2012

Admitting This is Tough

I am so tired of the "Mommy Wars", a debate started in the late 80's over who has it easier/better -- the moms who stay at home with their children or the moms who work out of the home.  We all need to do what's best for our children, our families and OURSELVES.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both scenarios.  What works for one family might be a complete disaster for another.  What comes easy for one Mother might be really difficult for another.

Instead of bashing and belittling one another for the choices we've had to make, we should support one another in our decisions and rally together to help through the difficult days.

I posted a status update the other day, saying,

I love my kids and am grateful that I have the chance/ability to stay home with them. But today is one of those days where I'm envious of the parents who work outside of the house.

It was one of those days where I was envious of the working moms who could go to the bathroom in peace without having a small child intently inspect what you were doing while trying to assist or having to hurry through your business because you could hear them emptying stuff out of the refrigerator.  A day where I was envious of the working moms who could hold business conversations over the phone without having to lock themselves into the bedroom for 3 minutes of semi-muffled quiet or asking your banker if you could call them back because you couldn't hear them over the screams of two fighting children.  A day where I was envious of the working moms who could take their kids to daycare and then take a sick day for themselves where they could actually get some rest and try to get feeling better.  A day where I was envious of the working moms who didn't have to sit and listen to an hour of their five year old screaming how they hate you, how you're a horrible parent and how they wish they weren't part of the family all because you tried to get them to lay down for a nap.

My intent wasn't to say or insinuate that working moms have it easier.  I wasn't saying that they're lucky to be away from home all day, to have someone else tend to their kids.  I know there are aspects of my day that working moms long for.

What I was saying was that *I* was having a hard day being a stay-at-home-mom. That *I* was struggling with the blessing I've been given.  That some days I question if this is the best decision for our family, for me, for the kids; that I wonder if the girls would be better if they didn't have to deal with a short-tempered, exhausted Mom some days. 

Some days I wonder what the hell I'm doing and if it's even close to the right thing.  Those are the days that are really tough.  Especially when I am criticized for complaining, criticized for saying I'm envious of others.  I carry enough guilt for feeling like I'm failing my kids and not appreciating or savoring the chance I have to stay home; I don't need others making me feel worse for just admitting my weakness(es).

Aren't we all allowed to have bad days?  Days where we question what we're doing?  Days where a part of us, even if only a teeny-tiny part, wishes things could be different?  That things could be easier?

All I know is that being a Mom is by far the toughest job I've ever had.  If you've never had a moment in this career where you drop your head into your hands, or stand in the shower, sobbing because you're overwhelmed, exhausted or just completely unsure that you're doing the right thing and praying that you're not messing up your kids, you're luckier than I.

I didn't mean for my comment to cause such controversy.  I was just trying to let the other side know that sometimes, I wish I could be in their shoes, even if they are simultaneously wishing they could be in mine.

September 10, 2012

The Next Step

I've been thinking about shutting this down.  For a while I made it so that only invited readers could view the blog.  And then I didn't invite anyone!  Haha.

But there were a handful of people I wanted to know that I was pregnant.  Knowing that one of the best ways to get the message to them was this blog, I opened it back up and posted the last stuff about my heart.  Now I'm back on the fence about shutting it down completely.

When I started this blog 6 years ago it was an on-line journal of sorts.  A no-holds barred place to dump my feelings.  A place that only a select few were privy to; a place where people supported what I wrote. Anymore I feel like I have to be cautious about what I say here because of how it's perceived -- spending too much time online, sharing stuff too personal in a public space...

It seems like I can't win for trying.  I'm trying to decide if the backlash that can come from posts is worth the relief I get, for getting stuff off my chest.

August 27, 2012

Mixed Emotions

On one hand, I exhaled a small sigh of relief yesterday.  On the other hand, my anxiety increased ever-so-slightly.

Yesterday marked the 28-week point in my pregnancy for baby #3.  

Yes, for those of you that are scratching your head -- both due to the lack of an announcement and also general confusion due to my declaration of not having any more babies -- I am pregnant.  To put it simply this pregnancy wasn't intentional, nor in our plans, just the opposite in fact, but apparently this baby is determined to be here no matter what.

There is no way to tell if I'll have the heart problems like I did after Baby Girl was born.  Some doctors say it's not a matter of IF but WHEN, while others are saying we have a safer prognosis if monitored very carefully.  

No matter the case there are two things I do know:
  1. There is very little they can do for me, if my heart does start to fail as long as I am pregnant (because technically, any DECLINE in heart function is classified as the beginning of heart failure).  The usual such as bed rest, limited activity, etc. applies but at most will only help slow down the progression.  Medication is the only feasible option to STOP -- and begin to reverse -- the damage but is only an option if I have delivered the baby.
  2. The end of the pregnancy and immediately following delivery are the most dangerous times for me.  As the baby gets bigger, it's actual size and the stress of the pregnancy in general will put more stress on my heart.  Also an increase in blood volume being pumped by the heart enlarges and tires the ventricles, further contributing to the stress.
So why the mixed emotions?  At 28 weeks I'm entering the home stretch -- when baby gets big and the chances of having problems increases.  (Most cases occur in the month preceding delivery and in the couple of months postpartum.)  As hard as I try it's difficult to not think about the what-ifs and become slightly anxious.  Every time I notice the slightest bit of swelling in my extremities, experience shortness of breath or feel an erratic pattern in my heart rate I have to fight a touch of anxiety that wants to build in the back of my throat.

Fortunately for me, the medical staff I'm currently working with are monitoring me and the baby closely.  Making sure that anything abnormal is closely examined instead of being written off as "normal" pregnancy symptoms (which many beginning symptoms of post/peripartum cardiomyopathy are identical to other common ailments in pregnancy).  

And although not an easy option by any means, there's a bit of consolation knowing that baby would have a good chance of survival any point from here on out.  If my heart started to fail/decline we'd have much less risks with an emergency c-section delivery.  I certainly don't wish to have a premature baby but it would mean they could deliver and begin treating my heart instead of walking the line, trying to gauge who (i.e., me or the baby) is at the greatest risk.

To say it's been an anxiety-ridden spring/summer would be an understatement.  Not a full explanation but at least a partial one on my lack of posts around here.

June 5, 2012

No Regrets

When I was a teenager (and even early in my time at Michigan State) I had this vision of what I wanted out of life.  Or rather, what direction I wanted my life to take.

It went, specifically, in this order:
  1. Graduate from college.
  2. Get a job.
  3. Work for a while.
  4. Get married.
  5. Work for a while.
  6. Have a family.

I wanted to establish myself in my career -- at that time I was headed on the track to teach agriculture/life sciences at the High School level -- before I got married and started my family.  With going through the teacher certification  program at Michigan State it meant I'd teach somewhere in Michigan.  Close to home? Perhaps. Certainly within a couple hour drive of family. It would completely depend on where I could find a job.

When I went away to Michigan State I wasn't interested in sorority life.  I knew I'd have to work; I knew I'd have to study and I knew I wanted to do a study abroad somewhere.

My trip to Nepal turned out to be so much more than a study abroad.  It opened my eyes to a vastly different way of life and a vastly different mentality.  My meticulously dreamt-out plans were unraveling at the very seams and I was learning to revel in the unexpected.  My life went completely off the path I had hoped it take.

I got married first.  Meandered my way across the country with my husband, following a desire to find a job and a way of life that matched our personalities.  After a total of 3 universities I graduated with my degrees in fields that had little to do with teaching, albeit still agriculture/life sciences.  I went to work.  I worked some more.  Trying to start a family was a challenge I never expected; a challenge I'd never wish upon anyone.

I never expected to end up in Idaho.  I never expected to only be 6 years out of college and make the decision to not go back to work in my field for a while.  It all works for us, though.  We feel like all of the decisions we've made to get us where we are today have been the right decisions for us. 

There are aspects that make me sad.  It's hard being so far from family.  It's hard being removed from family events, birthday parties, Sunday dinners, holiday festivities.  It's hard knowing our families miss out on so much of our lives and so much of the girls growing up.

Through it all, even the sadness, I've never regretted the choices I made. I know that not everyone has agreed with my/our choices, nor has liked them.  But they were chances I had to take.

May 31, 2012

Six Divided by Three...

Means that within the next two weeks I'll have been unemployed in Idaho longer than I was employed in Idaho.

Six years ago Memorial Day weekend we made the almost-five hour drive from Provo to our new place of residency in Idaho.  Bringing with us two whiny dogs, the boat, all the stuff the movers wouldn't take and everything we thought we needed to survive the 4 days until we could get our stuff off the moving truck.  I was (fairly) newly pregnant, sicker than a dog (still), giddy about the prospect of using my degree for actual research work and optimistic about the new adventure we were about to begin.  The weekend was cold and rainy but we didn't let it dampen our spirits.

Three years ago I was entangled in a tornado or emotions greater than I'd ever known.  I'd busted my backside working on a last ditch effort of a grant proposal to keep myself employed.  We'd found out it hadn't been funded and I was waiting to hear when my last official day with the University would be.  I was devastated.  Completely and utterly knocked off my feet.  I knew I was bordering on some serious depression but didn't want to face it.  It was only a job; JUST a job.  But I dreaded what lay ahead -- being laid off, trying to find a job in my field, or any job that would pay enough to make it worthwhile to work, going through interviews, the thought of putting KT in daycare.  I wanted to crawl into bed, pull the covers up and sleep it all away like a bad dream.

We've come a long way in those three years.  A long way in the six, period, but the last three have been particularly trying.  

My vision was clouded at the time, my heart as heavy as stone but the lay-off turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  For months I'd been downplaying some physical symptoms that were creeping into my life.  Telling myself that I was just overworked and exhausted.  The layoff made me hit rock bottom and I hit hard.  I forced myself to find a counselor for therapy and a new physician for some meds to help me through.  Along with the meds came some medical testing and very unexpected news.  I trudged my way through the summer, fighting the depression, getting my life back on track and preparing for the scariest thing I'd ever faced.  Brain surgery.

I was lucky.

I lost my job.
I had successful brain surgery.
I started my own business.
I got pregnant again.
I got another PICC-line.
I had a(nother!) beautiful baby girl.
I was diagnosed with a heart condition days after her birth.
I worked tirelessly at getting my business to be successful. 

The blessings in my life are numerous.  Even though there are days where the clouds seem to linger a little longer than necessary, the sky dumps a little more moisture than we need, the sun doesn't shine as brightly as I'd hope, the wind blows a little too strong for my liking.  There are days where I get sad over the things I don't have, there are days I get mad over the things I don't have, there are days I get jealous over the things I don't have.  But at the end of the day I can't help but be grateful for what DO I have.

Especially because it took my world falling apart to get here.


May 8, 2012


Things are busy here. 

Things are chaotic here. 

And I'm quiet.

April 20, 2012


Nothing major, but today is one of those days where I'd just like to lay on the floor and kick/scream like my small one.  Although it breaks my heart to see her mad like that (and sometimes it makes it me laugh) I imagine there's a huge sense of relief in just getting all of the frustration out.

I guess I just need to put my big girl pants on, pour myself another cup of coffee and face the day like a grown up.

It sounds so much nicer to throw the tantrum.

March 16, 2012

March Madness

So far, March isn't proving to be much better than February.  Which stinks.

We're still battling with the dumb furnace.  The repairman was out last week and I just put in another call this morning.  My fear was that the trouble I've noticed the last couple of days would escalate exponentially as soon as business hours sailed past us tonight.  And I really don't feel like paying for another weekend/emergency, service call.  I'm getting tired of the nonsense; hopefully today they can figure out exactly what's going on so we can either replace the damned thing or get it fixed for good.

Health concerns have now expanded to the dogs.  The vet is concerned about reflux with Dakota (hence him eating my afghan a month ago); we've also noticed random episodes where he seems to lose his balance and fall when he's standing up.  We've joked that perhaps he's narcoleptic but it's really starting to worry us.  They also think Logan is allergic to traditional dog food --battling yeast infections in his ears, a sign of food sensitivity-- and want us to switch to an "alternative protein" dog food.  The drawback is that a 25-pound bag of food is $50.  It's bad enough that we spend $40 on a 35-pound bag right now.

Thankfully the roof has been repaired and no leaking is apparent.  The dishwasher also ceased making it awful noises.  The gas gauge in my vehicle has worked consistently the last couple of weeks.

If we could get the furnace on track I'd feel much better.

February 28, 2012

Is It Over?

This month has been one thing after the other.

  • The third bladder infection in three months. Possible concern regarding kidney problems.
  • The gas gauge in my 4Runner intermittently works.
  • My cell phone doesn't always send/receive text messages.  Apparently on it's own schedule.
  • It also randomly loses email messages and/or deletes entire email accounts.
  • I slipped and fell on a patch of ice, screwing up my back and ripping my go-to pair of jeans.
  • The drain pipe for the washer broke on a Friday night, resulting in a flooded mechanical room and adjacent closet AND a Saturday service call for a plumber.
  • Within hours of the plumber leaving, our furnace quit working.  Resulting in another Saturday service call and a new circuit board.
  • While sequestered in the bedroom to avoid annoying the service guys, one dog chewed the corner off my 20 year old afghan.  Then puked for 3 days while C was out of town. 
  • The carpet cleaning machine spewed dirty puke water all over my bathroom floor. 
  • Both kids were sick.
  • C was sick.
  • Our babysitter bailed for our anniversary dinner, leaving me scrambling to find a new sitter.
  • A factory reset of my phone wiped out business mileage I'd been tracking. That I was too exhausted to remember to back up before the reset. 
  • A 60+mph wind storm blew shingles off the roof.
  • The other dog cut his tongue and proceeded to lick himself bloody for hours on end. 
  • The garbage disposal started making funny noises.
  • My sewing machine randomly locks up and has to be completely shut down to get it to restart. 
  • The kitchen aid mixer makes a metal-on-metal grinding noise when used and gets really hot to the touch.
  • Seventeen days after the first service call, the furnace guy was back again. This time a bad thermostat, hopefully. Which could have been the reason for the bad board before (the ailing thermostat shorting the board).

I hope the door doesn't hit February on the ass, on its way out.  My luck I'd have to replace the stupid door.

January 31, 2012

Growing Up

There are days that I wonder, at what point in one's life, do you become too old to throw on a baseball cap in lieu of doing your hair?  

This week isn't going to be that week for me.

January 20, 2012

Looking Back

This time of year always makes me nostalgic -- it was about this time that I started my adventures in Nepal back in '99.  So when the day dawns on January 15th I try to take a few minutes to remember things I desperately want to hold on.  And I do the same every day for a week or so afterwards.  I'm fortunate that my best memory of my trip kisses me every day before he leaves for work, hugs me every day when he comes home and sits next to me at the dinner table every night.  But the other memories fade a little more as the time goes on.  Photos help -- bringing back the sights, sounds and smells that one will only understand if they step foot off an airplane in Kathmandu.  It saddens me though that the details continuously become more obscure.

January 12, 2012

Question of the Day

After what timeframe, if at all, does the presence of a shoe in the dryer with albeit clean, but wet, clothes change their status to dirty and demand a do-over?

Little girls about 12-months in age, make for the BEST laundry helpers.

January 11, 2012

Dietary Confessions

Somewhere after lunch today turned into the type of day I convince myself I'm okay with the number on the scale and the strength/tone of my body (which I'm really NOT) in lieu of finding the motivation to eat well and take care of myself.  

I'd like to transition into evening with a glass of wine and a bowl of popcorn.  The bigger, the better.  For both.

Please excuse me, I'm off to raid the pantry to see if anything even remotely resembles a cheeseburger.

My hope is that tomorrow is better.

January 3, 2012

The Beginning of the End

When both of my girls were born, I set a personal goal of being able to nurse them until their first birthday.  

With KT, we hit a horribly rough spot about 9months in and she self weaned.  Honestly, I'm not sure what came first, problems with my supply or her not wanting to nurse.  Whatever the case it came to an end much more quickly than I'd hoped for.

This time around we encountered some bumps along the road but we made it to Baby Girl's 1st birthday on Sunday.  There were days I wasn't sure we'd make it, but we did.  And as her birthday has come and gone, so begins the process of weaning.  She was only nursing twice a day and biting more often than getting any nourishment so the decision was made to taper off completely.  We've started dropping the session before bed and it's going well so far.

It's sad to see this part of our relationship come to an end but in the same breath I love watching her grow up.

January 2, 2012

A New Year, For Me

This last year has been crazy.  New baby, heart condition, trying to run a business with two kids at home...seems like I have little time for this blog anymore.

But I miss this.  I miss this space.  The ability to sit down and dump my feelings out.  For me, it's therapeutic.

I'm not one to sit and make resolutions.  I know that by mid-January I'll be booking a one-way guilt trip because I've tossed them to the wayside.  This year though, I honestly do want to make some changes.  I need to do a better job of managing my time.  I need to do a better job of finding MY time.  As in, finding time for myself.  Doing things for myself.  And yes, that means coming back here more often.

I need it.  I need the outlet and truthfully, I miss it.

Happy New Year!