Tuesday, August 21, 2012

my heart overflows

children are by far our greatest accomplishments. it is a privilege, an honor, and such a blessing to be given the title of mom or dad. i can feel my heart glow when i hold them; my eyes water, everything slows down, and i cannot help but smile.
strangers comment "oh well, now your family is complete."
yes, you are right. my family was complete when Arnie and i were married. it was complete when Lily was born. it became complete when Amelia was born, and even more so the following year when Cain was born.
dont ask if we are finished, for the truth is, we were finished when Lily came into our lives. i announced it, proudly.
i look back now and smile at that time. i was young, naive, and thought i knew everything about planning.
the truth now is i have no idea how to answer the question "are we finished?"
i dont dare to plan that much. are we responsible? as much as we can be. do we make mistakes? of course.
i dont care how i'm viewed. i dont care how many eyes roll or heads shake in disaproval. these are my children. blessings. little beings that have made my heart move in ways i never knew was possible. yes, absolutely, our hands are full...but our hearts are tenfold what are hands can handle...and we cant stop smiling about it.
the truth is, i dont need your permission. i dont intrude on your life in similar ways, so grant me the same kindness and be happy for us as a family.
here are some moments in our lives, moments in my life, in my heart- that transformed me, that caused my heart to grow. moments where i held lily, amelia, or cain in my arms...or moments where i saw arnie hold one of our children...and i knew this was exactly what was meant to happen in my life. and any moment in my life where i've doubted who i was or where i was...a moment when i questioned if i had chosen the right path..all of that was swept away in an infant's sigh. in the clasping of a finger. in a smile, the first true smile...and i've never doubted again.
so when someone asks some silly question about "planning" and you see me smile- maybe you'll see why. i wont put that in my mind. i wont "plan" what's next. i'll leave that up to God. :)

pictured above is amelia mae

pictured above is our Lily Angelina (photo with baby Amelia)

 clockwise of the above 4 photos are as follows: Arnie and Lily- September 2004, me and Amelia- July 2011, me and Amelia- August 2011, and me and Cain- August 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

in sickness and in health

here i am. sitting on this dreaded couch again.

you know, i've loved this couch since we've purchased it...and then it seems like it's become cursed because for 2 years now, i have been pregnant...and for two years now, i have been placed on bed rest. bed rest. i sigh. strict bed rest were the doctor's words. strict.
have i ever followed the rules? have i ever done exactly what someone has asked of me? hardly ever.
i am a highly active girl. dont ask me to sit still day after day while i can clearly see that things need done. things that i have done day in and day out like a well oiled machine. not to mention my plans to over-haul lily's room, rifle through her drawers and get rid of all ill fitting outfits, and find out exactly what size she is now, given that school is around the corner and once again we are behind in preparing in that realm of the world.
the frustration sets in. i have a 7 year old who is in the midst of a huge growth spurt and is attempting to eat us out of house and home. i have 12 month old who is getting into everything, learning her emotions (i.e.-temper tantrums gallor!), and exploring her new found mobility- much to my dismay.
here, i sit like budha. unmoving. wanting to move. trying to obey these rules, if not for the better part of each day...because at some point, i tell myself, i must be on my feet: diapers dont change themselves, food does not cook itself, dishes stay dirty unless i am up, and laundry does not do itself (even though i wish sometimes-that it did)
i try to reason with my body...mostly my belly..that if i'm a good girl until...let's say 4pm...then it should cooperate and allow me a few consessions. my mind needs to be healthy too...and sitting here is making me INSANE...and the sad thing is i'm supposed to be laying down on my left side ALL the time. even for meals. i feel guilty because i'm not. i do not want to jeopardize the health of this little one kicking me on the inside, but at the same time, how can i possibly follow these rules right now? i cannot neglect the fact that there are 2 girls eyeballing me from across the room.
yes, i know at some point everyone has whispered under their breath "i wish they'd put me on bed rest.." unless of course, you've been there...in which case, you can only sympathize. it's not as wonderful as one would think. it's quite constricting, especially when you are not alone in your home.

who would've thought that 11 years ago when arnie and i took our vows that the sickness and health part would hit before either one of us were old? i know when i said it, that was what i pictured. us...much older...taking care of each other. but life throws your curveballs....
lucky for us, we both know how to play ball. :)

i am not the easiest person in the world to get along with. i am a perfectionist. i am extremely type A. heck, my blood type is even A positive. things must be just so...and with 2 kids and a husband that often works long hours, things being just so....can turn into so annoying...i'm sure.

add that idealism to the fact that i am no longer supposed to be up doing things. taking care of things. making sure things are alphabetized, organized by sized, folded- not wadded, crisp- not wrinkled, spotless- not slightly smeared....i become dr jeckyl and mr hyde.

i wrestle constantly with "let it go"..and "it can wait"...into the emotional throw down of a 4 year old dealing with stress that no one other than me--i've been heaping on myself.

i begin thinking: this baby can come any day. things need to be ready. that means little cloth diapers prepped. basinette cleaned-with mattress cover and a fresh blanket. bags need to be packed, but not so packed that i cant find my supplies. things should be properly organized in the kitchen. the floors need to be scrubbed. the carpet needs swept once more. dont get me started on our yard...and THEN i start thinking about the possible complications that may occur at the hospital. with the baby...with me....and then it happens. i explode. i dont think. i dont stop. i dont mention these things that have been racing through my mind as i have silently counted and weighed and measureed each contraction i've felt that day. (was that one stronger? are they getting stronger? is this labor? what was that?? should i call someone?!)

i'm a time bomb that constantly reloads and explodes without warning. i often wonder how many times arnie has silently thought in his head "i did not sign up for this." he knows it would kill me to say. he knows i would melt into a breakdown. i dont mean to be this insane...but WOW does stress get to me. it's hard enough having one child eat a meal that could've easily been for 3 people- come up to you five minutes after eating it asking if they can have something else to eat....then add in a teething, moody 12 month old..who enjoys kicking while being changed...and then add to that bed rest to a type A person who likes, wants, and needs to be able to do things herself....and arnie has a perfect storm he's walking into as he comes home from work.

i feel like Clint Eastwood...a version anyway...as arnie walks in the door and i give him a look that says "go ahead...ask me how my day was. i DARE you. punk."

now if you read this far, please know, this isnt a rant, or a pity party for me. this is just a glimpse in the window at our lives right now...and how i am grateful that my spouse took his vows to heart when he repeated the words "in sickness and in health".

good times and bad...he's still here. putting up with my insanity. my life is a blessing every day. i am so very grateful to have to chance to be a mom to 3 children. but any mom can tell you it isnt easy and rarely is....so i'm keeping it real. being honest at this point in our lives. i am grateful today for all that i have. especially my husband.

this experience thus far has taught me to appreciate the smaller things in life. like being able to get up and do random things around the house. it has taught me to look at my husband in a new light because i am honest enough to admit that i am not an easy person to be around when under this much stress. i have learned that marriage is absolutely something you must work at because it is so very easy to just disconnect yourself from everything when you get down. i hope it is teaching our children the value of family and how you can depend on them to help you when you feel -and sometimes are- helpless.

as much as i complain about bedrest, i should be thankful for it as well. there's nothing like not being able to leave the house at random that will bring a family closer. everyone surrounding me on this couch to play board games, to read a book together, to watch a movie....

so the next time you attend a wedding and you hear those words "in sickness and in health"...think about the weight they truly carry. my experience, in truth, has been a light one. there are husbands and wives out there dealing with so much more weight than we are: cancer, war injuries, alzheimers...to name a few. the spouses who stick it out...they bring tears to my eyes. i dont think you could ever clearly put a full definition on Love, but i think it is spouses like mine and like the ones mentioned above that truly help define the word...and like my tattoo on my arm says: it (love) never fails.