Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wanted: Room to grow

 If only I could win the lottery. I know you all wish that, too!

Ever since I was a little girl I just assumed that I would have a pretty house in Poulsbo, somewhere near the water, with my family when I became a wife and mommy. Imagine my surprise when I got married and started househunting in 2006 (the near peak of the housing bubble) and discovered that those homes I'd always pictured cost $400k and up! Craig was new at his job and I was new at mine and we were young and poor, but we wanted a home. We went out almost every night with our agent looking for a home we could afford and that didn't need too much work. We would find one that was a possibility and then by the next day it was already off the market. We couldn't move fast enough. We also couldn't afford to live in Poulsbo. We figured well, what the heck, we'll buy in Bremerton and in a couple years we'll sell and move. That couple years has come and gone and March will be 4 years in our home. I am trying to keep my patience and trust that God has a plan for us and our family and that hopefully that plan includes a bigger house. I honestly (seriously!) believe that my 13 month old daughter hasn't figured out walking yet because there's no need to in a house as small as ours. How small? 763 square feet. We do have a 2 car garage and an unfinished basement that you get to from the outside so at least we have storage. However, our actual living area is very small. The average size of a US prison cell is 8x12, I think my bedroom is that size! You can't ever escape or have privacy and poor Eliana has no where to roam. She loves crawling all over the place in her grandparents home that is about 6 times the size of ours. I'm not asking for that much square footage, but even 1500 would be nice. I am going stir crazy and am feeling anxious about what we're going to do when we are able to get pregnant again. Many people say to us, "oh don't worry about it, when my kids were little we had a tiny house and it was just cozy. You just stack them and they don't care!". And then I ask them, "how small was it?" The common response? 1500 square feet. I then want to scream, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? That's TWICE the size of my home. You do not even know the 1st thing about small until every time you buy something you think, "where will I put this? (even toilet paper and pan spray!)" I hate that I can't entertain. It's crowded in here with just Craig, Eliana, and me, not to mention if we had people over! I would love to throw dinner parties and ladies nights...but where would I put the people? I have often said to friends, if you wonder why I never invite people over and don't host parties, it's not you, it's just that my house is super tiny and I have no room. That sucks!

We had hoped to sell this past June but ran into two hurdles. One, we would need over ten thousand in cash at closing just to offload our home. Second, the loan company was not thrilled that Craig had unemployment income during the year. We've put over $15k into our home in renovations and couldn't seem to swallow having to also pay to get rid of it. And as for unemployment income, I get why that's a concern but I had hoped that great credit scores and never being late on a payment would count for something. We took those as a closed door and are now waiting.

Please Lord, provide my family with a home we love and that gives our family room to grow. I am anxious and frustrated in this little home, help me to trust you and know that you'll provide.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mommy Time

Yesterday was such a busy day and I had committed to going to a Mary Kay party at a friend's house in the evening. I was so worn out and tempted to flake out and just sit on my butt and watch tv (I know you've all been there!)  :) , but I went anyway and I'm so glad I did.
I go to a mommy group, Moms and More, and have been making some great friendships. One of the mommies hosted the party. Of course makeup is always fun, but mostly I just appreciate candid and real women that love God and love their families. 2 of us stayed til after 1am (!!!), which made me feel like a teenager again and so the three of us ladies just chatted and chatted and realized we're all very similar and even our husbands have similarities. I feel enriched by these relationships and am wondering how my life would be different if I hadn't joined a mommy group. To have a group of women that share my Faith, my commitment to my spouse and family, and my ideals is just so wonderful. I think this is how God intended for us to live. To not go it alone, but rather have a 'family' that helps us through everything and teaches us from their experiences and encourages us as women.
I also appreciate that in a group like this I end up meeting people that I may not have become friends with otherwise. God knows who will be a blessing to us and maybe who we can bless and He orchestrates us being in that group. What a blessing! Now I don't feel jealous when my husband goes to Men's Roundtable (awesome men's Bible study). Because honestly, I was feeling jealous there for a while. Like how come he gets to go do something for 2 hours every week and I never get to do anything by myself ever! Now I have mommy group 2x a month and La Leche 1x a month and they give me something to look forward to :)
I hope that all you mommies have friendships that grow you and uplift you and if you don't I'd encourage you to find a mommy group. If you're in Kitsap County, check out Moms and More at Christ Memorial Church. There's always room for one more.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

11-12-09

Eliana got up screaming at 5:30am this morning and went back to sleep finally at 6:30, only to be up every hour screaming until 9:30. I tried a couple times to put down for a nap today and finally thought I had gotten her down at 3:15 only to have to her wake up 20 minutes later. I know she is exhausted. She looks like a zombie and has red puffy eyes, but she won't sleep. The culprit? 3 huge molars cutting through. Poor baby. I need a break! I was hoping to vaccuum and start baking for the bake sale counter at Moms and More Bazaar this weekend, but it'll have to wait until tonight, when hopefully she will finally sleep. I am so worn out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Is my name Diane?

Ok, so I have a random thought, or actually more a random vent about an ongoing issue. For some reason, it really bothers me when people call me Diane. It's not my name quite frankly. There is an 'a' at the end of my name. I wonder if Princess Di ever dealt with this. Just yesterday I registered on a website and got a welcome email this morning addressed to 'Diane'. That means the person was literally looking at my name and still typed it wrong. Weird! I would rather you call me D or Di than Diane. This issue dates back to 2nd grade honestly. I was in kids choir and it was always, "Diane, please come up for your solo". My little 2nd grade buddies would chime in "It's Diana!!!"
I realize I may over react to this, but how would you feel if your name was constantly butchered even though it's one of the easiest names ever?
I once had a boss call me Diane for 4 months, despite being told she was wrong. Um, seriously? Yes! I've received work and church schedules with my name spelled wrong and people say it wrong to my face. I will literally say, "hi, I'm Diana, nice to meet you", and 2 minutes later that person will refer to me as Diane. What gives?
I'm sure my parents had no idea that such an easy name would be said and written wrong all the time. Argh!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ramblings about getting pregnant and PCOS

I don't know if it's the time of year or what, but I find myself wanting to be pregnant. Could it be that 3 people I know just had a baby? Or maybe that I have 20 pregnant friends on Facebook? :)
There is a very real part of me that just loves Eliana so much that I can hardly imagine having more kids and having to sacrifice any time that I currently give to her. I love kissing her and cuddling her and being available to her. Yet, there is another very real part of me that dreams of a big house filled with a big family. How big? I'm not sure. Sometimes I think 5 and then think maybe I'm crazy. So maybe 3? I don't know! So how many more babies? I'd say anywhere from 0 to 6! Time will tell. Things are definitely trickier for someone like myself with PCOS. For me that means I don't ovulate (or menstrate for that matter) without medication to make it happen. I have never, not even once, had a period without medicaton forcing it. This is sort of a blessing in terms of not dealing with all that mess, but it really sucks when it comes to growing a family. I wish I could just do what other people do and 'make a baby' and , surprise!, have a positive pregnancy test. But for me it all has to be very intentional. I have to intentially go to a dr for an exam and prescription, I have to intentionally chart out all the days of my cycle, what days to take which medication (as there are 3), and what days to 'make a baby'. It takes all the mystery out of it. It was very stressful trying to conceive Eliana.

I found out at 17 that something was wrong with me and I would need help later on to have kids, but didn't know what exactly was going on. They just put me on birth control and basically said, 'don't worry about'. I wish they had done an ultrasound and bloodwork. If they had, they would've realized I have PolyCysticOvarianSyndrome and a lot of things about myself would've made sense. Like why I was 17 and had never had a period. Like why weight has always always always been an issue for me. I balooned at age 12 (the pictures are frightening) and have struggled ever sense. I was a size 5 at age 14, which was only because of my struggle with anorexia and bulimia. I was a size 6-8 when I met my husband, which was a time in my life that I kept busy, went tanning, and avoided food. It's a constant issue and battle for me. I have only been small when I wasn't eating which is a fact that some people don't know about me. Those of you that have known me for decades have seen my weight go way up and then way down and then way up. I am honestly not willing to tell you all my size right now. Maybe another day. It hurts too bad to say it.

I told Craig today that I feel like I have succeeded in being a wife and mom, but have really failed with my looks. I know I'm not ugly and I'm not looking for pity, however I am very overweight and it eats at me (pardon the pun!). I think about it all day every day and it bothers me. I know with having PCOS (google it and you'll get tons of info) that I will always struggle with my weight and that just overwhelms me. I've honestly been considering Lap Band, which I know sounds crazy! But on the other hand, I don't want to spend my life with this issue. With PCOS and being Insulin Resistant, I am at a great risk of eventually developing diabetes. Will I actually do lap-band, probably not. But sometimes I really wish I could. It has shown helpful for women in my situation, as far as dealing with PCOS and staving off diabetes.

It sucks that I ended up with this problem and it sucks for all the women I know that have it. PCOS looks different in different women and the degree of how it impacts a person can vary. For instance, some women have occasional periods and can get pregnant on their own. This is not the case for me. Some PCOS'ers have tons of facial hair. If you see an overweight woman with a lot of facial hair....there's a good chance she has
PCOS. I do have some facial hair, but lucky for me it's mostly blonde and nothing Nair can't help. Some women have acne and cysts in their ovaries. I have not dealt with those issues. I guess I have primarily dealt with it in these ways: infertility, inability to lost weight (without starving), some facial hair, sleep apnea, and elevated blood pressure. Sounds fun doesn't it? http://www.pcosupport.org/med_treatments.php

I guess I also just want to urge those of you who know someone Trying to Conceive to be gentle towards them and sensitive about baby issues. As I embarked on the infertility issue trail a couple years ago I quickly realized there are a lot of couples on that trail. When you have been trying and trying it is heartbreaking to hear another couple say, 'wow, we just got drunk and then bam, it happened!' Not that you aren't happy for your friends, but when you are TTC it is the top thing in your brain and often the desire for a baby can become all consuming. So give your fertility challenged friend a hug and some lee-way on moods or weird reactions about pregnancy news. It's a tough road dealing with health issues and especially when those issues threaten to crush your lifelong dream of being a mother.

I go see my doctor in 1 1/2 months and I know I need to be praying about it all and really trying to take care of my body. The heavier you are when you get pregnant the harder your pregnancy is. And Lord knows I don't want to get pre-eclampsia again. I'll keep you all posted as things progress :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Toddlers and Tiara's?

I had the fun opportunity yesterday to take my beautiful daughter to her first modeling gig :)
About a month ago I responded to a casting call for baby models; sent in Eliana's measurements and some photo's. I got an email that they had filled their spots and thank you anyway. Boohoo. Well, I got another email a few days ago asking if we'd be open to coming in this week. I was super nervous, just hoping she'd do a good job and not throw a fit being put in new clothes in front of new people. I tried to find someone to go with us that Elly knows pretty well but everyone was busy. So, off we went to Baby Beau and Belle ( www.babybeauandbelle.com )in Gig Harbor, WA. The office was at their warehouse that was filled with hundreds of amazing baby clothes. The clothing is handmade in Bellevue and designed by a mother of three in Gig Harbor. Our photographer, Ethan, was kind and soft spoken and Elly eventually warmed up to him. We did two full outfits that included headband, bonnett, booties, gown, bib, and blanket. The dresses were like baby wedding gowns. Really amazing with lots of detail. I think Eliana did really well mostly. She was pretty clingy at first which is to be expected in a new environment. She did warm up to the people towards the end but by then was getting tired and hungry. She passed out in the car on the way home. Lots of energy for that 2 hours; look here, watch the birdie, hey Elly, peek-a-boo!
If they give us the opportunity to do it again, I would love to. Here's a link to the first outfit; http://www.christeninggowns.com/Joli-Christening-s/300.htm .
Made me proud of my beautiful, sweet baby watching her get her pictures taken. Who knows what the future holds for her and our family. I've been adding to our nightime prayers for God to "prepare her for the amazing future he has planned for her". I want to be the kind of mom that encourages (and gently push if needed) my child towards her dreams and the talents that God has given her. I think the TLC series Toddlers and Tiaras gives us a view of what we absolutely don't want for Eliana, but the modeling shoot we did was great. No makeup or anything weird, just all natural, sweet baby. I guess I just want to be open to what the future holds. If she wants to play soccer and dig in the dirt or play dolls and sing........whatever her dreams are I think it's my job to encourage her and provide the resources I can. I also hope that I don't try to live out my never achieved dreams of musical diva-dom vicariously through my children. She seems musically inclined as she's been humming and singing since she was a few months old (it's how she used to put herself to sleep in the car), but we'll see.
I just think she is the most precious and amazing little person ever. She has such a tender, gentle spirit and I really appreciate that about her. I'm pretty much just so in love with my sweet baby :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

11-2-09

Well, I spent the weekend trying to get over this nasty cold that I've heard many people have also had. Feeling lots better just now battling the mighty phlegm. I really think it should be humanly impossible to be sick once you're a mom. It's just not fair! I mean, to have to be mentally and physically present for a child/children when all you want to do is crawl in bed for 3 days is SO hard. I emphathize with all that are sick, but mostly for the moms! :) Sort of kidding, but honestly, I never knew how hard it was to be sick and take care of a kid until I had my own and inevitably got sick. So take care of yourselves moms, we need you!

My awesome DH really blessed me this weekend with a multitude of chores that he did. Eliana and I spent a night at my mom's so Craig could shampoo our carpets. I like this to be a yearly chore. Even with vacuuming several times a week, things just get gross. Also, now that we don't have a pet anymore (see 'Goodbye Maxie), I wanted a fresh start. So, I came home to beautifully clean carpets, a clean smelling house, clean dishes, freshly washed and made sheets and duvet.....and he even unpacked my suitcase (which is my most dreaded chore after a trip). I felt SO happy and blessed. I told him that him doing all that for me is better than a new Coach purse, to which he chuckled, but I meant it. I value a clean home and his participation in getting it and keeping it clean. I love my clean floors! Now if only my nose wasn't stuffed up and I could smell my clean sheets, that would be heaven :)

Ok, so something I heard today got me thinking.I would like tell what happened and ask your opionions; keep in mind that I am purposely being provocitive in my viewpoints as I want to see what your reactions are (this may just come across as judgemental, we'll see). A woman with a young child and a one month old baby was asked how long of leave she would take from work. Her response was, "well I can take three months but I might go back earlier. I want my freedom back. Drop off the kids and hello, I get my time back!"
Do you identify with that, have you felt that? Or are you like me and shocked (and maybe more saddened) that someone would have kids only to just as quickly drop them on someone else without a care in the world. I wanted to say to her, "why did you have kids?" That probably sounds so harsh, but I think her viewpoint on children and childcare is so polar opposite of mine. It goes against my being to think of dropping kids off on someone else when there is a perfectly good mother available to raise them (and who doesn't really need the money the job provides). I do agree that mothers need a break, although often there is none. I do think that some time away from our children can help us love them more. Yet I don't understand having just birthed a child and then within weeks already wanting to be rid of them. What do you think???