Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Quiet Moment

It's been a couple of long... trying... exhausting days. Spencer, bless him, is quite a stubborn little man, and we've been getting along a little less than we usually do.

Today, I have no idea when he woke up. At 11:30 I finally opened his door and he was wide awake, laying silently in bed. I decided to just see how the day went and decide if/when he needed to nap.

He didn't nap. 

No big deal.

But come bedtime, it was meltdown central. I finally scooped him up in my arms and carried him upstairs to his room as he screamed in my ear. I changed his diaper as he continued screaming, then cradled him in my arms again.

With the lights off and a soft melody playing on the CD player, I swayed to calm him down as he gazed at his lava lamp, falling silent. 

As I stood there, swaying in rhythm with the song, I couldn't help but peer at his small body, his head resting firmly against my bicep, his eyes transfixed on the lamp. His hands were wrapped, one behind me and one around my front. His long, slender legs dangled freely over my arm to my right side.

While his eyes grew heavy, the stress of our last few days seemed to melt away.

The words to the book "I'll Love You Forever" came over me, and slight chills ran through my body. 

I looked again at my sin's eyes, now closed- his dark, full eyelashes softly touching above his cheek. He seemed so small, yet he seemed so large. I cannot believe that it has been over 28 months since he arrived, screaming, into our world.

And then, all I could see was my baby boy. The miracle we hoped for... prayed for... fought for... and were blessed with after 3 years of marriage.

I laid him in his bed and gently stroked his brow, seeing more of his daddy's features in him than my own as he nestled into his pillow. 

I noticed then I had tears in my eyes, kissed him softly, and crawled out of his room whispering, "I love you, baby boy."

And now, I sit on the couch watching Collin grow weary, and prepare myself for another quiet moment with our second miracle, our other baby, our other blessing.

I wish I could pause time, just for a while.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

She's Got Skills

Ever have one of those days where you sleep too little, get up too early, and spend the first part of the day in a funk where it seems like you can't do anything right?

I mean, honestly, how did I drop soy sauce off the top of the refrigerator 5 minutes after I left the kitchen? That was a nice loud crash, resulting in a cracked soy sauce kid and a giant blackened puddle on the floor. 

That was my day today. Crikey. Almost as soon as I woke up I was ready for a restart or at least nap time. I had a negative view of myself and my abilities as a mom at 8:30am as I tried to convince Spencer, who usually wants to try to sneak out of the house to play outside, that we should go play outside. It was going to be sweltering in the afternoon and wanted him to hace somefresh  air. He fought me on it for 45 minutes. 


 It was mind boggling, and I swore that whatever the reason was stemmed from my sucktastical skills as a mom. I eventually, after tears on both our parts, realized he was mad about having to wear clothes, and we compromised for just shorts and sunscreen. (By the way, sunscreen in Spencer's opinion, is a torture mechanism...)


Nap time approached, and despite a bit of resistance, SJ went down and Collin was out for the count, so I was thinking that I would get to nap. Not so much, because by the time I was relaxed, Collin woke inconsolable, and by the time he was asleep again, I was on my third wind. So, I decided to work on cutting some fabric for the quilt I'm working on for a customer. (I do that, and many other things, now. Check them on Spenk & Ollie Creations on Facebook if you'd like.)

As I was cutting (fabric). I was revisiting the morning and again, dwelling on the ways I feel incompetent and inadequate. 

Then, it hit me (thanks, God, for the whisper), that although I may not be good at everything, and at times I feel a failure, even as a mom, I am good at things. I have skills, strengths, talents, etc.

And in order to change my mood around, I decided I should focus on those instead.

I decided to list the first 10 things that I am good at on paper. 

Now, I know this probably will sound like bragging, but... I decided sometimes, so long as you aren't doing to be pompous or make others feel bad, it's okay to highlight what you're good at. While it took a bit to pin down 10, due to my mood, by the time I was done, I had more I could have listed on my mind. Things that I used to do, for example, that I know I am talented at and miss doing- writing poetry or creating hand-bound journals, for example. Or other random little things like for the most part, I'm pretty good at deciphering Spencer-Speak. 

The list in the picture goes as follows:
1- sewing (at least easier things, I can't make a parks, sorry)
2- making people laugh (Collin will laugh if I chant "Ice, Ice Baby," I'm that awesome)
3- photos (I can even take decent to good photos with my cell phone, which is great as its all I have currently)
4- cooking (I specialize in creating soups, and baked buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese)
5- snuggling (yup, I will consider that a skill)
6- writing (by hand, by blog, etc.)
7- listening (for the most part, sometimes I admittedly don't hear something Jake tells me... but I've been told by friends they appreciate my listening ear)
8- artsy stuff (like doodling, drawing, painting... all of which I rarely do anymore)
9- caring (even for people I've never met, read some of my blogs on marriage or slavery for example)
10- teaching my kids (a team effort between Jake and I, of course, but I think we have taught Spencer quite a bit already and he's only 2.5)

And I decided that its okay to feel like I am good at more than ten things. In fact, it's great! I think it's important to focus on that sometimes. Don't you?

I invite you, whether you're having a good or bad day, low-esteem or high-esteem, to list ten things you are good at. Big things like being able to fix a car, or little things like being able to organize the mail (Im not good at that) or painting your nails (I am becoming good at that, and I used to be a nail biter). Recognize your skills. Pat yourself on the back. You are awesome. I hope you realize it.

If you feel comfortable, feel free to share your 10 things below.

Back to sewing. Peace.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

To the Mommies at Heart

Mother's Day is a joyous day, a day in which the country celebrates motherhood. We celebrate and honor the mother who brought us into the world, the mother who raised us, the grandmothers, the aunts we looked up to as children, the honorary mother-figures in our lives...

And some of us are celebrated as well.

This will be the third year in which I have been able to hold a child of mine in my arms. This year, I will celebrate with two sons. I have been blessed with the burden and the joy of raising two little boys to become caring, compassionate, accepting, loving men. It is more joy than I ever imagined would come to fruition in my life. Yes, this year, I too, join the community of those women being celebrated on Mother's Day.

For the third, (or fourth, actually, as my husband sent me Mother's Day flowers the year I was pregnant with Spencer,) year now, Mother's Day will be spent with the love of my children.

And while I am elated that it is the case, I know how Mother's Day can sting.

While I have spent 30 Mother's Days on this earth now, celebrating the love and role of the mothers in my life (my mom, grandma, aunts, mothers-in-law, my deae friends who have become mothers- each has shown me immense love and helped shape not only who I am as a person, but also now who I am as a mother, and I cannot thank God enough for them in my life) there were many years where the holiday also stung a little bit. Sometimes, a lot.

Those years where I was unsure my body would bear children. Those years I was terrified I would never be a mother.

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a mommy. When Jake fell in love with me, and me with him, I wondered, worried, hoped, and prayed I would be. I have always felt like a mother at heart. I have cared for more children than I can count, and sadly even remember, in many forms throughout my nearly 30 year life.

I remember the years of heartache and struggle so freshly as they were days ago. I can still feel the countless nights of endless tears as yet another month went by in which my mothering heart was without the promise of a child.

I know how lonely those journeys feel, even with a loving husband beside you.

But dear mothers at heart, you who silently, or publicly struggle to one day hold your baby in your arms, you are not alone.

Infertility awareness comes in October, and it doesn't feel like a day in which you celebrate your struggle, at least to me. There doesn't seem to be a day that honors you- mother at heart, as there is for the mother of a child.

But don't be fooled. You too, mother at heart, are being celebrated. If not by the masses, by me. It might not seem like much, and you may not even know me, but I walk along side you in your struggle. I'm here. You're with me, in my mothering heart, as I pray for your dreams to come true. I pray that although this year may sting as your womb or arms are empty, that next year, you will rejoice, next year, your mothering heart will be given to a piece of your body and soul. I pray you will have a child to hold. A young life to care for. I know it will not happen for everyone so easily, but I will not stop praying.

I will not stop honoring you. I will not stop feeling your struggle. I will not stop praying.

And infertility is not the only thing that can keep a baby from a mother at heart's arms. Some of you have yet to find your husband. And some of you are perhaps married to a woman and she also cannot provide a baby. But don't give up. Don't lose faith. I pray everything falls into place for you, too.  I am beside you as well.

I hope that you find ways to feel and embrace your mothering nature as you fight the battle that has been placed in your life. I hope there is somewhere a child you can love. A child you can embrace, care for, laugh with. For even then, that child will carry a piece of your mothering heart with them.

Perhaps you choose to not bear a child of your own, but care for children in other ways, through work, perhaps, or volunteering. Perhaps, you are an aunt. Perhaps you are one of those brave and selfless people who foster children whose mothers cannot care for them. I celebrate you as well.

Perhaps, you've suffered the heartbreaking loss of a child, either before or after seeing their face the first time or holding them in your arms. I celebrate you and your journey together that was cut much too short. You will always be a mommy. Do not forget it.

I celebrate each and every woman out there who cares for or so much as "just" loves a child. Each of those things is incredibly important, and you are of utmost significance in someone else's life. 

Happy Mother's Day, to all of you- the mothers of adults, of children, of the heart. You are each beautiful blessings to this world when each day you care for someone so deeply as a mother does.

(Join in on a Mother's Day blog party at CaringBridge: