Thursday, April 26, 2012

a big change

I have been putting off writing this blog entry for... two months now.

This year, it seems, has been one that's brought on quite a few big changes in the lives of my little nuclear family. 

To begin with, Spencer is one now, and busy as can be, getting busier and more mischievous every day.

At the beginning of the year (January), Jake and I decided that at the beginning of February, I would change jobs.  I went from doing daycare at a friend's house, to being a stay-at-home-mom. It was quite an adjustment.  It still is, actually.  I mean, I think I'm getting the hang of it, have a routine, what-not, and then Spencer goes and changes things and throws me for a loop all over again.  I will admit, sometimes I go stir crazy, am super exhausted, or feel like I'm at wit's end, but generally, I love the change, and I wouldn't trade my time with Spencer for a job, unless I had to, of course.

In the middle of February, another big change came up.  That change dealt with Jake's job.

Jake's been working with Schwan's since a few months before we were married, making him a Schwan's man for six years now.  It's been a long, hard haul, for both of us.  He's enjoyed the job and his customers, but it's taken a lot of long, long days and much time away from home.  He has worked four to five, 12-16 hour days every week.  When we moved to Sioux Falls, he generally had Wednesdays off, every other Saturday, and Sunday, unless they needed him to fill in or do a fundraiser.  It has made it hard to plan for vacations, time with friends and family, let alone time to relax together.  It has always felt like his time off was rushed, trying to get things done in a really short amount of time.

As I said, in February, something new came along.  The opportunity to travel, still, which is something he enjoys about his job (I can't imagine him being in an office all the time), to meet new people (which he also loves), to potentially make more money, and have a bigger "block" of time off.  

He signed on to sell insurance with a company called PMA, toward the end of February.  The past few months have been leading up to the job switch, which occurs over this coming weekend.  That's right, as of Friday (tomorrow), my 5.5 year marriage to a Schwan's man ends.

Now, while this is exciting news, it makes me very nervous, as well.  Yes, there's potential for greater income, which would make it even more realistic (not that it isn't realistic now) to be a SAHM until Spencer (and Bo, possibly) go to school.  That's an amazing thing that we're really looking forward to.

But, with this new job, comes big changes and some sacrifices.

While Jake has always (since we were dating, really) been away from me (and Spencer) a lot during the week, he's been home 6 nights out of 7 the majority of the time.  Because he'll be traveling further distances with his "team," he will be away from home, sleeping in a hotel, 3 out of 7 nights a week.  That's a BIG change.  Granted, ever since Spencer was born, I'm usually asleep (or close to it) when Jake comes through the door after 11pm, but there's something to be said about rolling over in the middle of the night and feeling your husband next to you, or to see him through sleepy eyes a few minutes in the morning (because sometimes he sneaks quietly out if Spencer's asleep so I can get a few more more minutes rest (bless his heart)) that makes the idea of him being gone for two extra nights a week very overwhelming.  I've cried  my eyes out more than a few times in anticipation of the loneliness I'm expecting to feel come next week.

Not only that, but he's been an AMAZING partner in parenthood, and since I became pregnant in December, he has been the one to get up with Spencer (if he wakes) the majority of the time in the night.  So, that'll be a change.

I shouldn't complain, of course, there are many who always are the only ones to get up with their children, or sleep alone, but, as I said, it's going to be a big change for me.

Then there's the fact that he's been home, fairly consistently, on Wednesday every week.  So, he's worked two really long days, been home (not always the whole day, but still, home) for a day, before going back out.  I always have looked forward to the Wednesdays as a "saving grace" for my sanity, especially on harder weeks.  Well, that'll be gone, and we'll be apart for four days straight.  

Not only will I have to adjust to that, but Spencer as well.  Spencer's been known to get "crabbier" as the week goes on, especially if he doesn't see Jake a few minutes in the morning.  I'm very nervous to have him have to go without his daddy for four days, three nights, in a row.    In preparation, we're going to make videos of Jake reading books or playing guitar, so that will helpfully aid in the transition and stabilize Spencer's mood a little when he misses his daddy.

The thing I am looking forward to most, I must admit, is knowing that we'll have three days together, in a row, weekly.  It's going to be amazing.  I know that once the transition period is over, that will really be something spectacular, and I'm holding onto that hope to get through the hard weeks ahead.  It will be great to be able to go on a weekend trip more than an hour or two away, and not feel totally blitzed by traveling.

Also, there will be more opportunity and flexibility for holidays and vacations, or time off when our child is born.

And then.. there's.. Baby Bo, coming in August (God willing).  That's going to be a huge change.  I feel like going from zero children to one wasn't a shock to our family, but I feel like going from one child to two with my husband being gone so much IS going to be a shock.

I'm scared.  I don't know if I'll be able to handle everything on my own.  To have a toddler as busy as Spencer and then a newborn who is very needy is going to be tough.  I'm not looking forward (in fact, I'm downright dreading and scared) to being without my husband three nights a week, as I fight (if things continue with Spencer not wanting to go to bed for me) SJ to sleep, and then getting up every two to three hours with a newborn.  With Spencer's daily nap duration dwindling as well, I'm terrified to think of how exhausted I'm going to be.  I'm afraid I'll be entirely overwhelmed and an emotional, mental, and physical wreck.  Trust me, I've cried over these fears many a time already, too.

I am fortunate, I believe, that our children are so young (well, Bo will be) that the transition will most likely be easier on them, than say, if they were in elementary or preschool.  I think that they'll grow up just feeling that "this is how it's always been," and they will be okay with it.  I hope. I fear it won't be, but I hope that it will.

So, there's that.  Next week, the second big change in our lives this year is going to occur. 

 I will admit, I am very much looking forward (as in, I can't describe it) to having my sister, Samantha, here with me this summer.  I remember being exhausted and such when pregnant with Spencer in the summer, but I wasn't a full-time mommy then, and I wasn't full-term.  So, she's going to be such a huge blessing.  Not that I intend for her to be a maid or live-in-nanny or anything like that.  I can't wait to have fun with her, and to have her company, especially getting used to Jake's absence.  I hope she enjoys being here as much as I'm enjoying the idea of her coming.

Of course, at the end of August, she'll have gone back home, Jake will be back on the road... and then... I'll be here with Spencer and Bo, alone.  Yup, I'm back to that.  I'm terrified.  But, I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there.  That will be big life change of 2012 number three.

I'd appreciate your prayers for our family during this transition and change.  I know that Spencer (though he can't express it) and Jake will too.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

a sense of hope

This week, April 22-28, 2012 is National Infertility Awareness Week.

As my friends, family, and long-time blog readers know, infertility is a battle that my husband and I have been a part of, since before our marriage.   I've known for years (since puberty) that something was 'wrong' with me.  I shared these fears and worries with Jake before we ever discussed getting married someday, and from the beginning, he's stuck by me.

We were married for over three years, hoping, praying, and trying to begin a family.    We were married on August 5, 2006.  After the urging and prompting of a dear friend, we finally sought the help of a reproductive endocrinologist in November of 2009.  It was there I was "diagnosed" with Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).   (I use the term "diagnosed" loosely, because it's not something they necessarily tested for and labeled me as in a chart, but rather, they ruled out other issues via blood work and ultrasound, and based the PCOS diagnosis on my presenting symptoms.  I have quite a few PCOS symptoms.  Click here for more PCOS information.)  We sought the RE's guidance, and with the help of oral medications to induce ovulation, as well as an hCG trigger shot, we went on our marry way, trying to conceive.

On February 22, 2010, I tested positive, on a PREGNANCY test.  I couldn't believe it!  We were absolutely overjoyed.   After a fairly wonderful, healthy pregnancy, Spencer was born on November 1, 2010.

On August 7, 2011, after a few more months of seeking the help of our RE, following the regime that helped us conceive Spencer, I tested positive on another pregnancy test.  Though, as life would have it, we lost Baby "Sprout," at 8 weeks gestation.  (You can read about that pregnancy, loss, and journey healing here.)

Though devastated, we never gave up.  After two months of being on birth control to help my system "heal" after a D&C, we tried again.  And on December 12, 2011, we learned that I was pregnant for a third time.  The pregnancy with Baby "Bojangles," or "Bo" for short, has been going well, though I've always been a little edgy about it going rapidly downhill like my last one.

In a nutshell, that's my infertility journey.  You can read more about it through these posts, if you'd like.

Once you've begun to struggle with infertility, you never forget the grasp it holds on your heart.  A Facebook status I read, and shared yesterday, hits the nail right on the head.  It reads:  Infertility is a heart-wrenching, faith-questioning, relationship-testing, life-altering experience. April is Infertility Awareness Month. Whether a friend, a family member, a colleague or yourself has fought through this difficult fate that MILLIONS of women and men are fighting day in and day out. Post this as your status if you or someone you know has walked to hell and back for the chance to be a MOM or DAD.

I remember, when we first started trying, it felt so hopeless, so very often.  I had a few other friends that were also struggling with the infertility demon alongside of me, which made it more bearable, but not always more hopeful.   I could read, and did read, many testimonies of people who struggled and eventually held a miracle in their arms.  I knew you could become a mother through adoption.  I knew I was never without all hope.  But it didn't always feel that way.

It honestly wasn't until a friend, and then another, the same ones I struggled alongside, got pregnant, that I really felt there was true hope for me.   I had prayed to God throughout the journey, but it seemed, to me, at least, I needed reassurance, close-by and interacting with me on a regular basis, that it REALLY could happen for Jake and I.

And, it did.

When I blog about infertility struggles, or the struggle of healing after a miscarriage, or the joys of being a parent post-battles, I do it for me, of course, to document and share my thoughts, with myself and my friends and family.  But, I also do it for people I don't know.  It may sound strange, but I do anyway.

And, occasionally, I receive messages from friends, acquaintances, and even people I do not know, sharing with me what I shared with my two supports.   That my story gives them hope.

I feel beyond blessed to read messages like that.  Do I deserve to have them sent my way?  No, not really. I don't feel like I've done anything spectacular for others that warrants me to be a beacon of light or hope in along the darkest path known to a woman who wants to be a mother.  But, I am blessed to be, and to know that I have been.

It always hits my heart like a dagger when a friend tells me that they've been trying so hard for so long, that they suffer with infertility, too.  Especially if it's been going on a while before I knew.  I don't feel like I need to know, by any means, but when I do know, I can instantly relate to them.   And, knowing how ashamed one can feel when they feel broken, insufficient, or inept, I feel honored that they trust me enough to share that secret with me.  Not everyone who suffers through this battle is public about it.  That's okay.   But, sometimes, I must admit, it does help to reach out to someone.  Whether you know them or not.  Just to let someone out there know.  Have someone to cry to if you need to, or to vent to, whatever.  

There is hope out there.

I feel like I've been babbling for quite a while, so I'm going to go.  But, I'm going to leave you with a video that another friend of mine shared yesterday.  It is... powerful, for lack of a better word.  I can relate to it.  So can my husband.  So can some of my friends.  So can millions of others that I do not know.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dear Sprout,

Dear Sprout,

Today was the day that your father, your brother, and I were "due" to meet you, see your face, hold you in our arms. April 18, 2012 was the predicted date that you'd enter this world.

I can barely wrap my mind around the fact that it's been 32 weeks since your heart stopped beating. It's been 31 weeks since we found out you were gone. It sounds so recent, and somehow, it seems like forever ago. I sit here, tears falling softly down my face, as I remember how beautiful my life was with you in it, and how devastated I was when you left.

Somehow, though, I feel strong. I wonder how long that strength will last.

My goal for today, while I celebrate your Auntie Allie's 13th birthday, while also observing the life you barely began to live is simply to smile. I hope to fight back tears and carry on with the day. I want to embrace the joy you brought us, as I embrace your father and also your brother. We have gotten through the loss so far, and I know that we can continue onward.

While I am sad that your'e gone, I know you're in a better place. I know that you never suffered the cruelty that this world can bring upon a person. You lived, so briefly, in a serene, calm place, and then ever so quietly went to meet our Maker.

I know that He has held you in his arms, even though I was unable to hold you in my own.

I know that there's a purpose in all of this- in your short life inside of me and the eternal life you began living, what I deem to be "too soon," and while I often sit and wonder what it is, I have decided to let it go. Someday, I will know. Until then, I will just embrace the fact that you happened to me- to us, and that it was a perfect and beautiful gift.

In a way, I suppose I should thank you, too, for giving your father and I the chance to become parents once more- for giving Spencer the opportunity to be a big brother to your little brother or sister, who we currently call Bo. It breaks my heart that there is no way that the two of you could exist in this household, on this earth, living this life together, but again, I know that someday, we all will be reunited as a family. I know I will live my earthly life imagining, from time to time, the day that the reunion comes true.

Baby, sweet baby, I miss you. I love you. I thank you for giving us the opportunity to know you exist and to love you forever. I carry you with me always.

Someday, Sprout, I will hold you.

Love, Your Mommy

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Simple Pleasures

I get stressed. A. Lot. Lately. I hate to admit it, but it's true. Thankfully, it's not chronic-raise-your-blood-pressure-have-anxiety-eat-my-stress-away type stress, but it's stress, nonetheless, over random little things, or some bigger things.

I get stressed when the dog won't stop whining, because he wants to be outside, but then when I put him outside, he gets mad and barks and barks until he's inside, almost immediately after I turn my back.

I get stressed when Spencer freaks out, runs away from me, or fights me as I put a jacket on him.

I get stressed when I think about Jake being gone overnight.

I get stressed when the neighbor and her boyfriend can't seem to be quiet for more than 10 minutes at a time when it's dark outside and my toddler is sleeping... or at 4 in the morning when I'd like to be sleeping and she is still... loud.

I get stressed when Spencer won't eat, which is a new phase he's going through, I guess.

I get stressed thinking about travelling alone, running errands, feeding, bathing, diapering, and putting two children to sleep in a few months.

Among other things.

But, fortunately, I've been, as of late, finding stress relief in the little things. Simple pleasures that my son has shown me... taught me... or reminded me of.

  • Bubbies! That's how Spencer says bubbles. He LOVES bubbles, which makes me love bubbles- even if I get a little lightheaded blowing them for him.
  • Sharing a pop-tart in the morning, in our pajamas, on the couch, as we watch an episode of Blue's Clues.
  • Anything that glows in the dark.
  • Big bubbles, with bubble wands, in the backyard when it's windy.
  • Writing with chalk... on his wall (where we now have a chalkboard decal).
  • Bubbles in the bathtub, during bath time, when they stick to his wet body, and the tub, and float on top of the water.
  • Goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, saltines, and yogurt! Yum!
  • A lackadaisical walk around the neighborhood on a nice day (assuming he doesn't dart for the street, which he's getting better about).
  • Watching fish swim!
  • Sticking stickers on bare skin.
  • Giggling with your friends again after you've been apart.
  • Sitting by the window and watching the cars whiz by in the rain.
  • A handful of M&Ms, Skittles, or Gummi Bears, every now and then.
  • Coloring with crayons... outside the lines.
  • Throwing balloons as high as you can and watching them fall down and hit you in the face.
  • Cats and kittens!
  • The satisfaction of making a basket playing ball, especially since my aim is not very great!
  • Cuddling on the couch while watching the first... half... hour of a Disney movie.
Among other things. Those are some of the big, simple pleasures that are frequented in our daily lives.

Perhaps, though, my favorite is... when he's not even awake. Yes! I LOVE spending time with him, playing, exploring, and creating while he's awake. But, let's face it...

I love listening to his deep, slow breathing, watching his eyes flutter beneath their closed lids, as his face relaxes while he's curled up right next to me. Sometimes, I nap with him. Sometimes, I just lay there, with him lying on my arm, and watch him sleep for an hour. It's true.

Monday, April 16, 2012

a memorable hug

Nearly a year ago, my "little" brother left Minnesota on a deployment tour to Kuwait. The deployment ceremony was in May of 2011, and since that time, I believe we had seen him for two other days in the past nearly a year. That's more than many military families can say, I know and for that I'm grateful.

But, let's just be honest, 11 months of "touring" is a long time. Surely, it is for the soldiers, and also their families. I know it's nothing I've knowingly experienced before. And while it was my brother who was off on a mission and not a spouse or a child, it was still a big difference, and a big deal to me. I mean, I see my family every month or so, at least, despite the fact that they live over 2 hours away. We're close. I try to see them as much as a I can. So, when I would visit, or they would visit, multiple times over the last 11 months, and Bryan wasn't around (except for our family gathering and then again for my son's 1st birthday party), it just felt... different.

I have known for a while now, a couple months, anyway, that sometime in April, he would be coming home. He's told me many times, as have my sisters, other brother, and parents. But, I was never certain of the date, because a specific date was never given to us.

So, when my dad called me a week ago, roughly, to tell me that the weekend coming up (this past one, now), Bryan would probably be flying into Minnesota, I was really excited! I didn't think I'd be seeing him right away, but just knowing he'd be on home soil was amazing. And then on Saturday, I saw my mom had said that she's be picking him up on Sunday sometime.

Sunday, as in YESTERDAY. She had figured sometime in the afternoon.

Yesterday morning, she sent me a text saying she was on her way to get him.

And... it just so happens, that was PERFECT.

I had forgotten Spencer's diaper bag, which also housed my wallet, at my aunt's house for Easter the weekend before. Despite a whirlwind busy weekend, chalk full of things to do, Jake told me the other night that we would go get it on Sunday. My sister got it from my aunt's house, so we were going to stop by my dad's and pick it up before heading back to Sioux Falls for the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert.

Seeing as that my mother was getting Bryan in the morning instead of afternoon... that meant we would see him!

So, yesterday, around 3pm, I received one of the most memorable, best hugs I've ever received. And it was from my "little" brother, who is 7.5 years younger than me and towers over me by inches.

I walked up to my dad's house, and he, along with my siblings and parents, walked out. And, still dressed in his uniform, he came up and gave me the tightest hug I've gotten in ages. Ah! I am smiling now just thinking about it.

It was surreal to see him again, being that I hadn't really expected it!

Of course, my father, being the photographer that he likes to be, had to get a picture of us together... so we got to hug again... which became kind of awkward when my dad realized his camera was frozen, and we were standing in the front yard hugging like goons and smiling at my dad... who was not actually taking pictures yet, but telling us "just a minute, hold on." Haha. Bryan started dancing with me, "to the Elton John song in his head," and when I busted a gut laughing and tried to get away, he told me "no, wait, it's only the first chorus!"

So, not only did I get a great first hug, a long, awkward, hilarious second hug, and dance, but another couple when my dad finally enlisted my help in "thawing" (haha) his camera so he took pictures, and you know, when we left again, too. Yup, it was pretty great.

Bryan, for the record, has an excellent sense of humor. One of my biggest fears, aside from losing him while he was overseas, was that he'd come back super serious, or completely changed, and it would feel like we didn't know him at all.

Fortunately, that is not the case. Gosh. When you get all 4 of my siblings and I (ah! I'm so glad this happened) together, sitting at a table, talking and joking around, I laugh harder than I do most anywhere else. With Bryan there, it was just absolutely... perfect.

Though we had to leave after an hour and a half to get back in time for the concert, it was well worth the extra 2.5 hours of travel time, just to see him, talk with him, and hug him a few times. And, we left knowing that it won't be months before we see him again.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Almost Due.

It's almost April 18, 2012.

That wonderful Wednesday, my youngest sister will turn 13. Man, that makes me feel old!

That same Wednesday, last August and September, was slated to be our due date with Baby Sprout.

I can so clearly recall how "perfect" we thought that pregnancy worked out to be. I mean, really, being due on my sister's special birthday!? It was AWESOME. I for one, had prayed about it constantly since I calculated what that date would be, just asking God to allow it to happen. When I tested positive early morning on Sunday, August 7, I was shocked with disbelief, but through the roof with excitement. We told my sisters about the baby that morning already, we were so overjoyed!

And, as life would turn out, we lost Baby Sprout in the middle of September. Grieving and healing from the loss of the baby was a huge process to me. It was overwhelming for days before I finally could make it hours without crying. And over the weeks, and months as my body healed from my D&C, my mind started to heal as well, with the prospect of trying again for that second birth.

A sidenote: Sometimes, I get confused as to what to call Baby Bo. Is Bo my third child? Or is Bo my second child? I opt to say second child because it's less confusing for everyone else. Second child, third pregnancy, perhaps?

Anyway... On December 12, 2011, I tested positive again, and was cautiously optimistic and excited with the "perfection" of this pregnancy as well. As I had calculated that due to be August 26, 2012, which was just days after Jake's twin and his girlfriend, one of my best friends, were to be home for a wedding from Alaska. It seemed another pregnancy too "perfect" to be true, and for weeks I was scared of the same fate. Jake and I relish every movement (even if they wake me, or if Bo seems to be trampolining off my bladder during a 2.5 hour car ride) that we feel, knowing that Bo is alive and growing and gearing up to meet his/her family.

Now, I'm 21 weeks along, with an adjusted due date of August 19, 2012. We, again, are beyond overjoyed at the idea of bringing a sibling into this world for our wonderful son.

When I got my memorial tattoo for Sprout in November, it really helped me to find peace in the situation. Never once was I really mad at God (as I shared in a group not long ago at Operation Prom Dress), but I was frustrated, sad, and disappointed that it all happened. But then, it was like a release. Letting go of the sorrow as much as I could, I guess, and moving on to what lies ahead.

And I don't think I've cried over the loss since.

Until last night. Out of nowhere, it seems. I guess I was thinking about what the date would be next Sunday, when Jake and I have plans, and how my sister's birthday is only a few days after. And then I realized.. that was our due date. If that pregnancy had gone well, I would be due any day now. Or maybe, just maybe, we'd have already met Sprout. Maybe we'd know if Sprout was a boy or a girl. Maybe... And I got to wondering if Sprout was our son, or our daughter. I feel like the baby was a boy, though of course, there was no way for us to know.

I started sobbing. I told Jake that in over a week and a half, Sprout would have been due to be born. It was so overwhelming.

But, of course, I realize I am already over halfway through this pregnancy with Baby Bo. God gave us this gift, too. And this time, God willing, we've been able to progress smoothly, and God willing, will be able to meet our son or daughter in 19 or so weeks.

While it doesn't take away the loss, it helps to cope, some, I guess. But I'm torn. It's hard to be sad about the child we lost while we are getting ready for another child, now. But, Bo will never replace Sprout. Bo is just the given we were given after Sprout left us. And it's okay to be sad, I think. It's okay.

I'm not going to let it bog me down. I'm not going to dwell on it and take away from my sister's birthday. I decided if I wrote out how I feel, maybe, once again, like it did right after the loss, it will help me cope and move on. So, here's to that prayer.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's been almost 2 months together.

Let's just be honest. I haven't blogged much lately. Not for lack of things to blog about, mind you, I've had a ton on my mind. In fact, as much as I would say I need to de-clutter the computer desk, I feel the need to de-clutter my mind, as well. Hopefully over the next few days (or weeks...) I can write it all out and find some more peace inside that chamber of thoughts.

Why haven't I blogged? A few reasons. The first is that I've been busy. I haven't been on a bunch of exciting or awesome vacations (though, I have visited my parents and siblings a few times), but rather, Spencer keeps me pretty occupied. And with the unseasonably nice weather we've been having, I've been trying to get us out and about (whether in the yard, or parks, or play dates), and not just hanging out in the living room all of the time.

And also.. I am EXHAUSTED. I remember being tired when I was pregnant with Spencer, and I had a job and all that, but hey, I feel like at least then, when I was super tired, I could rest. Now, my resting is dictated by a 17 month-old who just doesn't see the need to rest himself. Ah well.

We've been spending time with my cousin, who is also one of my best friends, during small chunks of the day a few days a week, as she comes over for lunch (she works blocks away).

Oh yeah, and I'll admit, I've been reading the Hunger Games triology. My husband purchased them on the nook, and we've both been reading them. I must say, while I'm not a fan of a lot of murder/death/gruesome reading and science-fiction stories... I'm somehow hooked anyway. I can that about the "Ender's" series, as well... books I was hooked on (of the sci-fi genre), that I never would have thought I'd become hooked on.


Although I was super comfortable in bed (for once) and nearly asleep, my neighbor and her boyfriend decided 9:45pm would be a good time to start an argument, so... I forced myself out of the bedroom and to the kitchen, where I now find myself.

Voila. A blog post.

It's not about anything weighty, or many of the subjects that bog my mind down and keep me awake, but rather, about the last two-ish months of being a stay-at-home-mom.

My husband asked recently, in summary, if I like being a SAHM and want to keep doing it.

Despite some reservations about the "gig," I told him I certainly would, as long as I am able to.

I love it. I do, but it's not always an easy "job" to love, I will admit.

Sometimes, I get really lonely feeling. Not for lack of having a lovable (and loving), chatty, busy-body with me in the house. But, as much as Spencer talks, and says actual English words now, and will hold a "conversation" with me, it's not the same as having adult interaction. Thank goodness for my cell phone (texts are my favorite), and Facebook. Shallow sounding, maybe, but it's true. I'm very grateful for those luxuries.

Fortunately, though, being a SAHM has given me time and opportunity to cultivate and strengthen friendships with a couple of my other stay-(or work-)at-home-moms that I know. It's been such a blessing to have time to spend with them. Whether it's via text message, email, Facebook message, like I said, which makes it very easy to keep in touch at all hours of the day, or play-dates with them and their sons, it's a treasure to Spencer and I both.

One thing that kind of caught me by surprise was the idea of "getting a lot done" around the house... not... so... much... happening. Not for lack of ambition (well, sometimes), but moreover, it seems that every time I start picking something up or organizing it, I have a little "helper," who I always seem to think is adequately distracted and won't notice what I'm doing. I'm generally wrong. Half of the time, it seems as soon as I start washing dishes, even though we won't have been playing or interacting, really, he will run to the kitchen and wedge himself between my legs and the cupboard and push me away from the sink. Or.. if I throw things away, he finds whatever he can find to throw away too.

And let me tell you, getting laundry done is not as easy as I had imagined. I never really saw the "need" to have main floor laundry until I started staying home with Spencer. Our laundry area is in the basement. Occasionally, say, if Elmo is "babysitting," I can sneak away to get it done. But, usually, I do NOT trust Spencer, nor Wendell, for that matter, to be alone, free, upstairs.

I don't really trust Spencer to be buckled into his high chair, and unsupervised, either. He's some sort of wizard, I swear.

I know, I should force myself to stay awake at every nap time and scrub the house and wash and dry and tend to the laundry, but as I said before, I am exhausted! I didn't realize that being pregnant with a toddler running around would be so tiring. I don't mean that to sound as a complaint, just a realization of my naivety on the matter.

I also didn't realize how hard it would be to sneak away to the bathroom to do my business... alone. I think he's got some sort of radar for that. I can't tell you how many times he's come barging in (because I don't always get the old, sticky, warped door latched all the way) with his shape sorter. Or if the door is shut completely, someone likes to pound and scream at me.

But, it's not all bad. Not even close, so don't let me fool you into thinking that.

I LOVE being home with Spencer. I loved working outside the home with him, too, of course, but there's something to be said about being able to wear your pajamas or comfortable pants (because I'm getting bulbous) all day if I want. Or to literally, not change him out of pajamas (or re-clothe him) on rainy days when I know we won't be leaving the house.

He has always been somewhat of a "night-owl," even as a newborn, and being that we don't have to be anywhere at a certain time, most days, it's okay with me that he stays up until nine (though I really prefer him to be asleep way before 10), and sleeps until eight... or nine.. or ten... thirty... in the morning. I don't mind not having to get up at 6:30. And, it affords me time, currently, to see my husband on the mornings he is home before work. I will admit, though, it's odd to not have to get up to wake him (either him, actually) in the morning.

I love that I can be attentive to Spencer, solely, as a child. To watch him intensely, as he develops skills, learns words, and uses his creative mind. He's just an unbelievable creation, to me. I tell Jake often that "I can't believe we made him." (Of course, thanks be to God, who had a very large hand in it.)

I love the freedom to visit friends, or family, during the week, if we so choose, and it works out for them. I love not having to cram errands into a half an hour chunk of time in the evening on the way home.

I love being able to relax and enjoy my role as a parent, as frustrating and exhausting as that can also be.

So, overall, I'd say it's been a pretty great two months. The first weeks, two or three, were a breeze. It felt like a vacation. The few weeks after, where the weather was kind of crummy and I was beside myself trying to figure out what to do, how to stay sane, how to continue interaction with others, and how to keep him entertained... were harder. But, I think after that, we've started to figure out our routine, a balance, and a way to make things work.

Of course.. soon enough, it's going to change again, and again, and probably again. But more on that another night. The neighbor is quiet again, and I'd like a snack before I fall asleep.