God writes our story.
I am still learning to surrender the pen.

Monday, November 14, 2016

I Don't Know Who They Voted For

This morning I was a Bad Mom, and I went to get a quiet brunch alone. My husband sent me away with specific instructions to "recharge". I decided to have breakfast (at noon), and eat it while it was still hot. (Winning!) I enjoyed every bite while thumbing through my Instagram, my Facebook feed, Pinterest... ang  suddenly I realized I wasn't recharging. I was feeling heavy over all the political posts and garbage... I was comparing myself to my friends and how much prettier they were than I... I was wishing to have the perfect house/living room/wardrobe that I would never have. So I put the phone down and I closed my eyes to soak in the moment.
I overheard the wait staff talking about their plans for the evening. When the manager came around, they invited him along. A busy businesswoman was making her calls, and she ended each call with "Have a great day today!". But what I noticed most was the sweet little girl in the booth in front of me, She was eating with her mom and Nana, but was playing peekaboo with me. Her mom corrected her by her name and told her to turn around and get ready to go. I looked at the mom and I told her, "She is just so sweet!"
"Well thanks, you want her?!" with a laugh.
"I have three at home, but I'll take her! Did you say her name was Emery? I have an Emery!"
Soon the three of them were at my table and we were excitedly chatting and showing photos to one another. I showed them a photo of my Emery and the mother said, "Oh Emoree! Look! You guys have the same name; you are twins!" The 2 year old little girl just beamed looking at my Emery, who is 11 months. The mother told me how beautiful my Emery was, and I told her how adorable her Emoree was. Nana told me how her and her twin brother were going to be 44 tomorrow. It was a sweet connection we all had.
As they got ready to leave the little girl waved bye and I told them how nice it was talking to them. The mother told me to tell Emoree's twin hello.
I don't know who they voted for. I do know that this sweet mother called her daughter, with beautiful brown skin and big brown eyes, and my daughter, with white skin and green eyes, twins. I could have scooped up little Emoree, and her mom and Nana, in a hug right then and there if I had the guts.
It's such a simple moment, that meant so much to me in a world where everything is divided right now.
Where it's THIS or THAT. Where it's "IF YOU voted _______, then you obviously believe ________". Two little girls (and their mothers) were made aware of their SIMILARITIES and not their differences.

That could make all the difference.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

There is No Reward for 'The Most Exhausted Mom'

How did your mom send you off to school?

My mom, the greatest mom I know, sent me off to school in my sister's hand-me-downs and $1.25 in quarters for lunch. I reused backpacks until they fell apart, she made or borrowed my Halloween costumes, and I wore a key on a chain around my neck when I was allowed to stay home by myself (in the 5th grade). When I ate lunch I ate white bread and Oscar Meyer. I came home when the streetlights came on. As a baby I was bathed in Johnson & Johnson. If my parents had errands to do, you bet I was along with them, and they weren't bothered by keeping me entertained. I dealt with it. I was a kid and I could use my imagination or whatever I wanted as long as I kept quiet. 

Almost none of these things are socially acceptable now in the mom circles. We are judged on if our children's crackers are in the fish or the bunny form (you are totally in the mom world if you know the difference there...). There are moms who perfect the art of making child-like bento boxes for lunch. Tediously placing their lunch together like it is art to make a dinosaur or beach scene. We load ourselves down with diaper bags full of toys and iPads and snacks, and secretly sweat the tantrum our child may throw in public.

Being a mom has always been a tough and thankless job, but it has reached an all new level of possible-nervous-breakdowness in this generation. Mom shamming via social media is real, and it is ruthless. I have been to mommy groups who have made me feel more ostracized than the cruelest day of high school ever has. So what do we do? We do our best to dazzle! We Pinterest. We one-up. We send little Jonny home with a sleepover favor that will make his mom KNOW that we are the best slumber party hostess in the whole city. Maybe the saddest part about this is sometimes we don't even mean to. We want to make our kids happy; we are kid-centered in our lives. So and Susie tells our child that her mommy hand makes her dolls from unicorn hair, gosh darn it OUR KID NEEDS THAT TOO. When we hear that Lucinda from the PTA does the magical elf that creates messes (because we need more messes) for our children each of the 25 days of Christmas (WHEN did Christmas become 25DAYS?!), we want to be super mommy for our children too.

The truth is, I am a terrible critic of myself. I feel like I have failed when my child isn't in GAP clothing and looking like a tiny adult model like the other kids in his class. "That poor child's mother", the other moms will say, "Is that polyester? Tsk tsk tsk." So I drop him off in class looking like a zombie myself because I have zero time for myself because I'm reading the ingredients on the hair gel to make sure it's child friendly so I can style his hair like it will last more than the .2 seconds it takes to walk to the car.

I am tired.

However, there is good news! There is NO reward for the most exhausted mom. Yep, you read that right. While you may sit and have a puzzled look on your face right now, let me explain:

Let's take a break guys. Instead of wearing our kid-pleasing-homemade-treat-non-GMO badges with pride, let's go out for a girl's night- with drinks! We aren't getting any rewards or recognition when we exhaust ourselves the way we do, what we are getting is kind of tiny brats. There. I said it. I love my children; I don't want to make them brats! They need to learn that no means no, and that the world actually does not revolve around them. Hard work and patience and delayed gratification need to return into our vocabularies when it comes to our children. I digress. Mommies, what I am saying is we cannot pour from an empty cup. We over over-friend and way beyond tense. I know I actually miss precious little stories and moments with my son when I am trying to make our lives appear Instagram perfect. The messes made, and the moments of surrender to seizing the day, are where memories are made. I had grey carpet in my room as a child and boy was it stained, but each stain held a story. A story of playing with cheap makeup, or popcorn butter and movies, or the pet I had to have.

There is not some judge that will walk up to the mom who has been awake for the most hours or the mom who has spent the most money on her child. Those moms are great moms! But I know I am a greater mom when I take care of myself, even just a bit. Whether that's going out with my girlfriends every Thursday night, or pushing off doing the dishes to take a nap with my son, or having a date night with my husband. Sometimes when those overachieving moms hear that I do these things to protect my sanity they throw out there, "Oh I could never do that. I haven't left Calvin for more than a few hours in the 60 months he's been in my life!" or "Oh I just wish my husband and I could abandon our children for a night away, but we just love them so!" (Okay, maybe the comments aren't that bad... but I promise you sometimes they comments I receive are just as condescending). Stop that. Just stop it moms! Recharge yourself and come back home swinging and ready to knock out some moment-seizing! Not for your Facebook wall, but for your child's childhood. It is true, you cannot truly take care of another if you are running on empty yourself. And moms, there is a big difference between a girl's dinner out and leaving your child to be raised by the nanny. You deserve a night! Put yourself first every once in a while, even if that means starting small and just spending 45 minutes in the bathroom uninterrupted. Go out for a date night! One of the best things you can do for your children is to show them a shining example of a healthy marriage. (But more on that another time...)

There is no reward for being The Most Exhausted Mom. So don't be! Be a Great Mom who loves her children, but also one who loves herself enough to take that step (no matter how small it is) to treat (and love) herself.

Start now.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The ReBoot to my Blog

It has been over two years since my last post, and the last few posts were rushed and careless.
There have been many times over the last few years that I have wanted to reboot this blog, but I have not until now for numerous reasons. I was worried I didn't have anything to say (still am). I told myself I was too busy (still am). I thought about just starting all over, with a new fresh blog (but to be honest, this blog is where I started, and it will always draw me closer).

Walter and I now, almost 30 and still trying to get our act together.

In the past two years, like many, I have experienced great joy and grief. I have had so much joy in my life being a mom to my sweet miracle baby, Sullivan. So much so that we continued to try for another baby. When Sully's second birthday neared, he requested a little sister and I just knew it was time to turn to IVF again. We geared up for our third cycle.

Our handsome boy now. He has grown up so!

During our third cycle (which I may post more about later) we learned that my AMH was low. This is basically how many eggs are left in the carton. Long story short, we learned that my ovaries thought I was in my 40's and that this would likely be our last try at a IVF cycle. We were scraping the bottom of the barrel, and so our wonderful miracle-giving doctor decided to make it a hell of a try. That meant more drugs, more side effects, and (hopefully) more eggs and more embryos and maybe even blasts to freeze for later tries. Egg retrieval didn't give us the results we were hoping for right away, but it wasn't the worst news. We got 12 eggs, the same as our first cycle. However this time 9 of those eggies froze and we were going into transfer with our more embryos yet! Transfer day came and we were surprised (not surprised) by "lackluster results" once again. We did have a NINE CELL though- which was our best embryo yet! Our RE was "sure" this one was going to take. We had a few six-celled embryos, but they had plenty of fragmentation. Our angel of a doctor suggested we put in this little four cell embryo. I was skeptical. Our first cycle we put in two four celled embryos and we got a heartbreaking BFN. In the end, I trusted her. Lying on the table Dr. Cooper came in with so much excitement, "I think it's already a six cell this morning!" she almost sang. She joked that she was giving us twin girls and my exact words were "Oh don't do that to me!". We laughed because she knew I would take what I could get.

I was sick. Almost sick right away. I had this gut feeling it was twins, and I tried to convince Walter it was twins while trying to convince everyone else it wasn't. I wanted Walter to have time to let the possibility of twins "settle" because I just had this strong feeling... but I wanted everyone else to get used to the idea that we would be thrilled with one baby. I didn't want to hear the "oh just one" comments again.

Because I plan to blog more about this later, I'll cut to the happy ending: We are proud parents of now 10-month-old twin girls. God (and Dr. Cooper) knew better than we did, because our twincesses fit perfectly in our little family. Sully got his wish, not just with one sister, but with TWO! He somehow knew it all along, telling us the news of it being two sister when we told him he was going to be a Big Brother. "Well buddy, we don't know if it will be one or two, or even if it will be a sister or a brother... but we do know you are a Big Brother now and that is exciting enough!" He nodded along, but he was already convinced and then tried to explain that he knew otherwise. We should have listened I guess.

35 weeks in, and 35 weeks out.

Anberlin Lily (left) and Emery June.

So our circus now consists of a sleepy daddy and a busy mommy of three kiddos now 3 and under. Sully is already 3 (almost 3-and-a-half) and the girls turned 10 months old on the 2nd. Life is sweet, beautiful chaos.

Proud daddy and his three monsters.

Sully honestly couldn't love them more. He is the best Big Brother to them and is very proud of his "job".

Now you have a little more backstory. I'm not sure who I'm talking to, but I hope if anyone is out there reading that I can give you some gem that you enjoy in the future. I hope to get my fingers to typing a few times a week. I'll blog about life and mommyhood after infertility, and the circus our home is now. If no one decides to read,: Sully, Emery, and Anie, I hope someday you are able to read and see just how much joy you brought my days.

My (not so little) family on Grace's Day, still remembering our first angel.

More to come.