Playing with my boys

Playing with my boys
They keep life interesting :-)

Friday, April 4, 2014


When the clock struck midnight on New Year's Eve, I knew that this year would be a continuation of transformation for me.  To transform is to make a thorough or dramatic change.  I lost 30 pounds last year, and I plan to lose another 30 pounds this year.  Down 10 already, 20 more to go.  I can do this.

But beyond physical transformation, this year I am transforming my insides, too.

A blogger I adore has this remarkable ability to think the best of people, rather than the worst that I am so accustomed to, and it's really struck me that I need to TRANSFORM my way of thinking.  She sees a mom at the playground, eyes glued to her iPhone screen, and thinks "What a great mom.  She is obviously really busy, but still took her kids to the playground."  That's not how I naturally think...but I'm training myself to do so.  And you know what?  It's working!  

Don't get me wrong, more often than not, the negative thought is still that first instinct/gut reaction, but it's fleeting.  I quickly have a little pep talk with myself, consider a conclusion other than the one I initially jumped to, and instantly I feel...lighter.  Less judgy.  More connected (in a "we're all in this together" kind of way).  Its pretty wild.  Those of you that live this way, naturally, are probably thinking "What a weirdo."  But seriously, you have no idea what a heavy burden it is to walk around thinking so negative, naturally, all the time.  And how much it is a learned behavior to think differently!  But, I'm doing it.  Transformation.

I'm also transforming how I see myself.  I find that I constantly try to defend decisions I make, big or small.  I can get wrapped up in worrying that someone might not understand something I'm doing or a decision I make, and its my job to make sure they do - to make sure they think the best of me!  Like why we weren't able to get a babysitter so we could join them for a night out, when I know that there are just so many factors that are quite frankly not everyone's business.  I don't need to explain to people we're between paychecks, or our regular sitter is busy and our son's anxiety isn't going to allow us to just call up any old babysitter to come over, or whatever the reason may be.  I often feel compelled to defend why I fed my kids this, instead of that.  Or why they watched TV instead of making a craft with Popsicle sticks and cotton balls.  Or why I'm glued to my iPhone at the playground trying to respond to client emails instead of devoting 100% of my attention to watching my kids slide down the slide, repeatedly.  The fact is, I'm a grown up.  I'm a wife, I'm a mother, and I'm capable of making decisions that are right for my family.  So, I need to start seeing myself as that grown up, trusting that grown up, and not feeling compelled to constantly defend myself to people.  I need to grasp the concept my mother keeps drilling into my head: What other people think of me is none of my business.  Its not my problem, its their's.  What people think of me truly isn't about me.  Its about them, not me.  It is impossible to make everyone happy with the choices I make.  If I worry about getting everyone's approval, I'll never get anywhere.  If I let what others think of me become my business, it will consume all of my time and energy, draining me of the ability to move on in my life.  And being stagnant is simply not a part of the transformation equation, so that's not an option.  So, I'm growing in my confidence in myself.  I'm looking around at the family I've made, the home we have, the life we live, and realizing that I'm doing a pretty darn good job.  I don't need to defend my decisions as a wife, as a parent, as an adult.  I don't need people to approve of them.  I need to feel right about them.  I need to know that I'm doing the best that I can do, that I'm doing what's right, right now.  Transformation.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Need a Boost?

Do you ever feel so simultaneously proud and grateful that your heart might explode?  That was me back in January at Jungle Jake's.  My boys were running around, jumping, and sweating their little blonde heads off.  Burning off some much needed steam after being snowed in the day before on account of winter storm Janus!  

Anyone that knows our family well, knows that Aidan has some anxiety issues.  These prevent him from trying new things, even things that we are certain he could do easily with little to no extra effort.  The unknown makes him uncomfortable.  Jungle Jake's has a number of big inflatable structures with climbing walls and slides.  One of these in particular is a bit of an obstacle course.  Aidan has always refused to go in it.  There has been no doubt in my mind he could do it...he just wouldn't.  Well, on this particular day, I'm not sure what came over him, but my little man built up the courage to try!  And of course, he made it through the obstacle course without a problem!  He was zipping up and over those climbing walls, in one end and down the slide at the other in a matter of seconds.  It was remarkable!  And it made me so  h a p p y  to see him overcome a fear, and to see the joy it brought HIM...oh, its just indescribable!

After a little while, little brother wanted to play in this inflatable obstacle course too.  Unlike Aidan, Liam actually was too little to get over the climbing walls all by himself.  Oh but that didn't stop him.  He had his big brother there, to give him a boost!  Without any prompting from me, Aidan stepped in and guided Liam over the climbing wall, pushing his little butt till he could pull himself over.  My heart...

My hope and prayer as a mother is that they will always have each other, to give one another a boost when needed, physically, mentally, emotionally, whatever the need may be.  I know I won't always be here, but I pray they'll always have each other to rely on and they'll never be lacking for a boost!  Having each other is the greatest gift I could give them, and I am so grateful God made that possible for me!

My you always get your boosts when you need them too ;-)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Firefighter Handprints

This craft made my boys SO happy!

I used tempura paint, yellow and red felt (to cut out heads and helmets), fabric paint, and construction paper.  They loved it!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Bye Bye Baby

A month ago I sold my boys' Step 2 buggy to a nice grandmother, eager to surprise her granddaughter.  A couple days after that, I sold my boys' jumperoo.  The woman that bought it was a nice new mom who had registered for that exact jumperoo, but never ended up receiving it.  She was so excited!  Our jumperoo, while used well beyond the standard age range (both boys climbed into that thing whenever given the opportunity - then begged to be freed), was in excellent condition.  The idea of it sitting unused (minus the occasional mini-visitors) was sad to me.  I was happy to make a little money off of something we no longer use, but it was still really sad to see it go.  That jumperoo has given me so many wonderful memories of my children.  And countless hours of empty arms to rotate laundry, do dishes, vacuum, eat something - you know, all those fun things ;-)

 My boys loved that jumperoo so much that they often jumped themselves right to sleep!
That's my Aidan.  Plays hard, sleeps hard.

 And this is Aidan well beyond the age of needing the jumperoo,
but climbing in because it was there and still looked fun.

 And my little Liam...

 I'm pretty sure he partied himself to sleep more than even Aidan did.
I always found it hysterically funny, and 100% photo worthy!

Aidan on the 4th of July - one of his aunties called this his "oasis" :-)

As any mom that's moved on to the next stage of parenthood can attest, saying goodbye to the baby things is so much more than just having one less unused piece of baby gear taking up space.  Its emotional!  These baby items symbolize a chapter in my life that is no more.  Even just typing that puts a lump in my throat.

Creating our family hasn't come as easy as it does for most.  Its involved lots of testing, paperwork, medications, blood work, needles, injections self-imposed and otherwise, uncomfortable procedures, numerous ultrasounds and follicle checks, heartache, tears, tears, and more tears...the highs, the lows...the emotional roller coaster that is IVF can truly only be understood by someone who has experienced it.  And I don't say that to sound condescending,  like "Oh, you wouldn't understand."  But really...until you've felt what its like to have a body that doesn't do what its designed to do, until you've felt what its like to sit and wait for the doctor to call and tell you if any of the eggs they retrieved fertilized, until you've held your breath waiting for 2 weeks after your transfer for the call to say whether it was successful or not, until you understand the hurry up and wait concept that runs rampant throughout the process, until you've gone through this multi-month process, multiple just won't understand.  Its hard.  Its really hard.  Hard on a woman, hard on a marriage, hard on a family.  And after 4 rounds of IVF, and two beautiful little blessings, we're handing in our chips.

I sold our baby swing last week.  Our infant car seat, bases, stroller and all the baby bottles and paraphernalia were donated to a momma in need.  This is all a part of the letting go...the moving on.

Bye bye baby...