Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Bloggers disappear.  This is a fact of the blogging world.  In my case, I had my beautiful babies and the reason for my writing in the first place no longer existed.

But I always hated finding a blog that I enjoyed and then just have the blog END.  I mean, lives go on after blogging, right?

In my case, life has most certainly gone along.  My children are practically teenagers!  Okay, perhaps not.  But Will is nine you guys, almost ten!  I can't believe how fast he has grown up into this little person, but he has. He is in third grade and doing all sorts of things, like writing book reports, doing division, and getting up in assemblies and giving speeches.  He enjoys playing Minecraft (it's an obsession, really) and is a purple belt in Tae Kwon Do.  We still enjoy snuggling on the couch for a movie or tv show, but when we put our hands up together to measure, his thumb is bigger than mine.  He delights in this and I want to cry.

Emma Drace.  Seven years old and so sweet, smart, and silly that she just makes me smile.  She is obsessed with a youtube personality (JoJo Siwa) and wears her hair in the same side ponytail, complete with large, borderline obnoxious hairbows, which she is collecting.  She has a best friend (known as a BFF) that she loves to pieces.  She recently tested into the Hi-Cap (highly capable) program at her school.  She always brings home little notes that applaud her behavior and her teacher loves her.  She has been easy from day one, and I now am not afraid to say it.  I'm really lucky God blessed me with this amazingly precious little girl.

Andrew.  My gosh you guys, he has so much personality that I don't even know where to begin.  True to third child form, he is my little comedian.  He makes me laugh on an almost hourly basis.  He loves anything army-related and loves playing with little green army men and tanks and trucks.  He is in pre-school and will (gasp) start kindergarten in the fall.  I am still his #1 girl, although he has a "girlfriend" at school and they tell each other they love each other every day as we leave the parking lot.  SO. CUTE.

My kids are healthy, happy, and growing up way too fast!  I miss their baby days so much it hurts sometimes.  My mom asked me why I hate them growing up when the alternative is no good.  God forbid that anything happen like that!  I just loved being a mommy to small kiddos.  I knew how to fix boo boos and clean up spilled juice and change a diaper.  I can read in silly voices, build a tent fort, and generally just know how to be a mom to little kids.  These big kids are a puzzle, a challenge that I feel ill prepared for.  I always wanted Real Life Babies, and now I have Real Life Kids.  I want to be the best mom for them possible and sometimes I realize how I am not quite up to the task.  It's a big job.

I am still working parttime from home.  I enjoy what I do and who I do it for.  I am truly blessed to be able to work at home as I still cannot drive.  That's right, nearly three years since I sat behind the wheel of a car.  Wait, that's a lie.  I sat behind the wheel a few weeks ago as we were just sitting in the parking lot.  I put my hands on the wheel and it is amazing that feeling of power that you can get just from driving a car.  I know it's an easy thing for you to take for granted, I know I always did.  Just be grateful if you can drive yourself to the grocery store or anywhere, really.  But I really miss just running to the grocery store for milk or juice or whatever.  I miss the independence that driving brings.  Since I am still having regular seizures, there is no driving anywhere in my near future.

How am I, really?  People ask me that, knowing we are going on three years of dealing with chronic illness and managing three young kiddos.  The truth is, I am very lucky.  We have been surrounded by family throughout this time.  I am rarely alone with the kids, which is hard, but also a blessing when I have seizures or days when I don't feel well.  The medications that I take are sedating and I am tired a lot of the time.  I also have insomnia, which doesn't help the constant fatigue.  So it is nice that my mother-in-law makes dinner most nights.  My kids have been surrounded by love and care have seen how family pulls together in times of need.  I see the compassion in them that shows they have been handled with that same compassion.  We do what we know, right?

I am also very depressed.  Mental illness is something that I think we are all getting better about speaking out about.  I wrote about my post-partum depression with the kids.  This is the same beast that I know so well.  It is an overwhelming monster that eats away my joy and eeks out my life.  There are days when I get out of bed, only to stumble back into it once the kids are at school.  I am seeing a psychiatrist and counselor regularly.  I have been to support groups and done a six month seminar on handling anxiety and depression.  I take two very strong medications to help address the depression itself.  I do everything that I can to fight this monster from taking over everything.  It's a daily battle.  But my kids are worth it.  I'm worth it.

From time to time, I check in here and I almost can't recognize the girl that once wrote all of these words.  I had so much energy, so much joy for life.  Even when things were crappy, I still felt blessed.  I still feel that way.  I have been so fortunate to have the help that I have had along the way.  But I just want to be ME again.  I just want to have energy, joy, and a zest for life.  I want to live my life, not just survive it.  I am trying very desperately to make that happen.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

One Clawing Step


That was a "fun" year a half.

After getting diagnosed with epilepsy, I spent nine months on a terrible medication called Depakote. I'm sure for some people, it is a miracle drug.  For me, it almost killed me, and I am not being dramatic.

Depakote is a drug that can cause toxicity.  Though my neurologist watched my blood levels (and had to reduce my dosage twice), he stopped monitoring them when I was on such a low dose, that he didn't think it possible that I could be toxic.

Well.  I was.  I heard ringing in my ears, vomited constantly, felt as if I had fallen into a black pit.

One time, I lost three days of my life.  Three days that I can't remember, during which time, I went on a $700 shopping spree (not like me at all), and met my new neurologist, whom, I vomited all over.


So.  Two neurologists, two psychiatrists, two counselors, a week-long hospital stay (in-patient epilepsy monitoring unit) which included a neuro-psychological evaluation (make that three psychs, and it's at a teaching hospital. so I lost count of how many docs rounded on me), thousands of dollars, and testing later, it was determined that Depakote was making me sick and also not controlling my seizures.  So I was finally switched a different medication and things have been somewhat better since.  I say somewhat, because I still have seizures; about once or twice a month.  I can't drive, haven't since June 2, 2015.  I can't really be alone with Andrew, since my seizures leave me unconscious for awhile.  So while the big kids are in school, I have a nanny, which we can ill afford. 

In the middle of all of this, I had a seizure and fell on (then two year old) Andrew and BROKE HIS ARM.  I broke my baby's arm.  It was decidedly the lowest point of my motherhood journey. Accident or not, knowing that I hurt him was excruiciating.  And I was so out of it, I couldn't even comfort him afterward.  It was awful.  Fortunately for me, Andrew was a trooper.  He only cried when they took the cast OFF.  He loved being the center of attention with his little cast and proudly told everyone that "mommy fell on me and broke my arm".  Also fortunately for me, no one believes a two year old when they say that.

Oh, we almost lost our house.  I mean, I couldn't work when I was Depa-drunk.  I could barely walk a straight line.  

I got depressed.  I got a little suicidal (one of the medication side effects was suicidal ideation).  I hated life, I hated myself.  The ONLY thing that kept me hanging on...

Will.  Emma.  Andrew.

They deserve so much better than the mom I have been these past 18 months.  I haven't been all shitty.  There have been moments when I have managed to pull my act together and be a decent mom. But I also spent a lot of time in bed, a lot of time hiding, a lot of time feeling sorry for myself.

It's only in the last few months that I have finally started to really poke my head out and about of my self-imposed prison and looked around.  And I still have terrible-awful-no-good-very-bad-days, like after a seizure.

Will is 8.  Eight years old, you guys.  He has turned into such a compassionate little guy.  I hate that my illness has impacted him so, but our pediatrician says that children of parents with a chronic illness usually grow up to be in the medical field or some sort of caregiver.  I could live with that.  He is in second grade and KILLING it in school.  He reads like a champ and behaves so well.  Not a single complaint from his teacher. 

Emma is 6.  SIX.  She is sweet and fiesty.  She started kindergarten this year and has two best friends, loves riding the bus, and lunch.  She still loves her stuffies (stuffed animals) and only has about 556 million of them and counting.  Unfortunately, she caught a bad cold the second week of school and it ended up turning into a raging case of sinusitis which she can't shake.  We visited the ENT yesterday and they are recommending taking out her adenoids.  Yikes.  We are seeing an allergist first and will go from there.

Andrew is 4.  This one really blows me away.  How can my BABY be FOUR?!?  It's just ridiculous.  HE is just ridiculous.  He is funny, sweet, cuddly, stubbon, and makes my world complete.  I can't describe how much I love that kid.  I don't think I've ever really had to discipline him.  Not that he isn't ever naughty, but he is so eager to please, and when he does do something bad, he instantly knows it and apologizes or puts himself in time out.  That kid.

I started working again in July.  I was blessed to find a company that allows me to work from home most days.  I even get to go into the office somedays for some social time.  Working has been GOOD for me. I was drifiting for awhile.  I love being home with my kids, but having the nanny there, and family all of the time, made me feel unnecessary.  I am good at what I do, and feel appreciated.  And since I mostly work from home, and am only parttime, I am able to still be there for them most of the time.  And since I am working, we are able to hang on to our house, by our  fingernails.

I feel as if we are scratching our way up from the bottom of a deep, dark pit.  I still get knocked down from time to time, but I am climbing, here and there.

I hope all of you are doing well.  If anyone even comes by here any more.  But if you do, this is where we are at.  One day.  One clawing step at a time. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015



This is embarrassing.

Ever had one of those friends?

You know the type... They are too busy for you for months until something happens and they need you once again?

Luckily, this is a blog, which I think means its feelings don't get hurt. Which is a good thing, because it turns out my sadly neglected little corner of the internet might now get some more attention from me. At least for the next six months, that is.

The reason for my sudden reappearance? I can't drive for six months and lost my job as a result of the fact that I was diagnosed with epilepsy after having two clonic-tonic (formerly called grand mal) seizures in the past two weeks.

Fun times.

So, stick around for kiddo updates, pictures, and stories of (literally) being trapped in Suburbia.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Covered In Kid

I want to make sure I keep this space somewhat current.  I am not sure how many readers are left, beyond the loyal few, but I also know that when I was dragging myself through the worst of my infertility days, it was the blogs like these that gave me hope; blogs like these, that began in such despair, and yet ended with such happiness. 

I started this blog in 2006.  EIGHT YEARS AGO.

I'm going to be real honest here.  When I came to this blog, all of those years ago, I was one hot mess.  I was barely making it through each day.  While I tried to make light of my insanity, I was probably hovering uncomfortably close to the DSM-IV definition of street rat crazy.

And adding honesty to brutal honesty? 

This blog saved me.

It was a turning point of sorts.  It was a place for me to vent.  A place for me to receive support.  A link to others out there with stories like mine.  Or maybe not like mine at all, but yet all too familiar.  Perhaps we all had somewhat different stories, with varying degrees of tragedies, but we all had a similar theme.  We were all mothers-in-waiting, families incomplete, broken-hearted, empty-armed, and searching for reason amongst insanity.

Before I started this humble blog, I felt alone.  Most of my friends had abandoned me in search of more cheerful pastures.  Looking back now, I cannot say that I blame them. After all, most conversations with me centered around the rather uncomfortable topic of death.  I was either miscarrying, pregnant-but-about-to-miscarry, or recovering from a miscarriage for two years.  TWO YEARS.

And, unlike some people, perhaps more stoic than me, I refused to remain silent.  I would not let my precious babies slip from my womb with no more than a plop in the toilet and a rift in my heart.  NO.  If you were going to know me, if you were going to walk that path with me, you would know about my babies.  About my nine angels and their all-too-short, difficult-to-define lives (difficult for others to define, I had no issue with defining them).  They didn't have birthdays.  They had empty, meaningless, never-fulfilled due dates (meaningless to others, yet with all of the meaning in the world to me), scratched out ultrasound dates on a calendar. 

The agony of infertility is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.  It was my waterloo.  It altered me forever, defined me for years, and, even today, when with my three RLBs piled on me as I type this, it has shaped the mother that I am.

These babies are here today.  They are five, three, and one.  They love me with a ferocity and purity that humbles me to my very core.  I love them with a ferocity and purity that they will not understand until they are parents themselves.  They are miracles, as are all children.  But I do sometimes wonder if my foray into the dark world of recurrent miscarriage hasn't made me just a bit more aware of the true wonder they are.  It certainly has made me a grateful Mama and at times, when my patience wears thin and I find myself longing for just one moment to myself, I remember all of the countless moments that I had to myself, where my heart ached for just one moment of this.  And I dig deep within me, and pull out just a tiny bit more patience.  Not that I am perfect, mind you, in fact, far from it.  There are times when even recalling the dark days of infertility can't bring out an ounce more patience, Mama is DONE.  And I have learned to accept that is okay, too. 

Parenthood after infertility is a bizarre world.  I am certainly no longer what you could call an infertile.  Nope.  I have been a "melon belly" three times over.  I have had three births.  Three newborns.  Three infants.  Now I have two preschoolers and one toddler.  My arms are stuffed to overflowing, my heart exploding in love.  Yet I still feel the ache of those precious babies that I will never hold in my arms.  I wonder, too, about the embryos we will never use.  My babies are all very similar in appearance (though very different in personality), so I feel as if I almost know those babies I will never hold, because I am graced with the opportunity to hold the ones that I do.  It is at once a comfort and a bit of a heart ache. 

I am also done with having babies.  I will never again have another pregnancy, newborn, sweet nursing session, or a first birthday party, or all of the moments in between.  And although three is definitely the right number for our family, there is a wistfulness in knowing that the baby years are behind me.  I waited so long and so desperately and now they are over.  I am very excited to see what the future holds, as each day brings some new adventure.

Being a mother is everything I thought it would be and nothing I imagined all at once.  It is all encompassing, all consuming, uplifting, and humbling.  I learn from them far more than they will ever learn from me. 

Whenever I sit or lay down (which is actually a rather rare occurrence) these three babies of mine gravitate toward me as the moon pulls the tide.  And I have a rule.  There is always room in my heart and on my lap, and we all shove around and get comfortable, our limbs and hearts a web of love.  Then I say it out loud, "I am covered . . . "

And Will and Emma chorus with me, "In kid."

I am blessed, grateful, amazed, and humbled, to be covered to be in kid. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Wow, 2014!!!

So, once again, it has been awhile.

I feel as if I start every blog update that way.  Perhaps because I DO. 

Updates, galore, are due.


Andrew started walking just a few days after his first birthday.  He is still in that cute, almost-drunken-looking baby walk, but I was watching him tonight and realized that is melting away into a more experienced gait.  It makes me at once incredibly proud, happy, and wistful to watch my final baby become less and less of a baby every day.  He truly is growing up so fast; I blame Will and Emma.  They show him new tricks every day, and all three of them are so darn proud to show us his new talents. 

He can say just a few words, far less than his older siblings could at this stage, but still in a normal range.  He also clearly understands pretty much everything we say to him.  He can follow simple directions, "Please give me this", "Please put this toy away", "Go to your room so we can get dressed", etc.  I feel as if he listens and follows directions far better than they did when they were his age.  He STILL hasn't said Mama, but I wait (not so patiently).

He is still the world's most cuddly boy.  I have called him my Velcro baby from day one and the nickname is still very appropriate. He gives real hugs and lays his head so tenderly against the person or animal he is loving on. 

He eats like a little piggy, pretty much anything and everything.  He still has a forbidden bottle of half milk/half formula at bedtime, but is using a sippy cup for everything else.  He never was a binky baby, but he decided his blanket would be his comfort item of choice at about 11 months.  He carries it everywhere with him and it is pretty darn cute.


She still wins the award for easiest child ever.  I have even gotten to the point where I say it without wondering if I have jinxed myself.  Seriously, it is a good thing that I have more than one child to keep me humble.  If I only had Emma, I would be an obnoxious mom who thought that she had all of the answers.  It is truly that Emma just makes parenting look easy.  She is sweet, yet has a spirited side.  She is smart, but not a know it all.  She loves her family and is very attached to us, but is also independent.  She loves school.  She loves going to her Gramma's house.  She loves playing with her friends.  She does her chores with no argument (seriously, we rarely even have to remind her, she just does them). 

If I had any worry about Emma, it is that she is SO good that she sometimes gets a bit lost in the shuffle between her two needy brothers.  But I am aware of this potential pitfall and make sure we spend time together.  Tomorrow morning, I am taking her to my hair stylist for her first ever hair cut (sniff, sniff).  Her hair isn't even really that long, but it is curly and a bit wild, so I am hoping for some styling tips and a bit of shaping. 

She loves anything animal. . . cats are a favorite.  She loves stuffed animals ("stuffies") that she can snuggle with.  She likes to play vet and doctor her animals.  She went through a major Batman phase this fall and early winter.  We bought her a pair of Bat PJs (complete with Velcro-on cape) and she would wear no other jammies for about two months.  Seriously, we had to buy a back up pair, and one pair wore out at the seams, so we had to buy a third pair.  At one point, I was looking back over my FB photo stream and realized that she was wearing a pair of Bat Jammies in each and every picture. 

She is over the Bat obsession now, though she still likes the jammies every now and then.  She also likes me to lay down with her at night while she falls asleep.  It is one of my favorite times of the day.
Last night, I was laying down with Em before bed and rubbing her back.  I said, "Goodnight my precious Emma."  She whispered back, "Goodnight my precious Mommy."  Heart. Melted.


Little Man.  Not so little any more.  He is five and in pre-K.  He will start kindergarten next year.  He is SUCH a big boy now.  I can hardly recognize him some days.

He is an amazing big brother.  He LOVES Andrew and I am pretty sure he would take a bullet for him.  He has, in fact, stepped in the line of fire on several occasions to stop another kiddo from hitting or throwing something at "his" baby.

I was talking to my MIL today and mentioned that probably my favorite quality he has is that he doesn't seem to get jealous of other people's fortunes.  For example, we got Emma the coolest bed EVER off of craigslist for a steal.  He was so purely excited for her.  This is not to say that he wouldn't have wanted the same bed for himself (this is a cool bed, people), but he never acted jealous or upset.  He just helped M put it together for her and then played happily with her in it.  If a friend has a new toy, he will act very excited for them, but never pouts or asks for the toy for himself.  It is a neat (and rare) trait.

He is also completely selfless at times to the point where it amazes me.  Last week, we were driving down to my parents house three hours away for Christmas.  We stopped for ice cream after the three hour drive turned into a four hour drive and we weren't there yet.  I gave the kiddos the choice of a milkshake or hot fudge sundae.  Will picked sundae and Emma picked milkshake.  Well.  When Will's sundae came, it was a thing of beauty, complete with mounds of whipped cream and a cherry.  Emma's shake, while perfectly fine, paled in comparison.  She sadly sipped at her dessert while he joyfully ate a couple of bites, clearly loving his delectable treat.  And then. . . he slid the sundae across the table to his sister and said, "You can have it Emma." He didn't mean that she could have just a bite.  Nope.  He gave her the entire thing.  They ended up sharing it (and bonus! I got the milkshake), because it was huge, but he would have let her have it if she had wanted all of it.  I couldn't contain my pride.


I survived the three weeks away for training (it was ROUGH to put it mildly) and have been settling into my new job.  I love my boss and teammates and the company is a good fit for me.  Changing jobs was difficult, but it was only after I was gone that I truly realized how toxic my former position had become for me.  It is way too much drama to go into here, and it's over anyway, but let's just say it was time for me to move on and I was very fortunate that I found an even better situation to move to. 

Not only is my professional life settling down nicely, but our home life is doing much better, too.  Things kind of got off the rails there for awhile, as we had to let our first nanny, Mary Poppins go in June.  It was another thing that I won't bore you with because there was a LOT leading up to it and it wasn't a decision that we made lightly.  She had truly been a wonderful nanny for us at first, but three kids was more than she had bargained for, especially a newborn.  She also had some personal problems and basically had a nervous breakdown.  We wanted to (and tried to be) supportive, but when she came to work drunk, we had to fire her.  Fortunately, we were able to part ways surprisingly amicably (I think she was relieved, honestly).  We then had another nanny start, and it was a disaster.  She only worked for us for five weeks and then we had to let her go.  It was rough as the kids really liked her (she was a lot of fun, with craft projects every day, but she had a problem with showing up for work on time. . . or at all and lied to us about a few major things so it was a no-go).  As any mom knows, when you don't have reliable childcare, it isn't an exaggeration to say it is a crisis.  We had to do some serious juggling for a few weeks to find ways to make it all work and I almost had my own nervous breakdown, but we made it through.  

Fortunately, we now have our current nanny.  She has been with us since the end of August and is amazing.  The kiddos love her.  She is the oldest of eight kids, so she takes our family's craziness in stride.  I don't think that I have ever seen her ruffled. She is very sweet and affectionate with them and genuinely seems to love and care about them.  They love her and run to her every morning with hugs and kisses and are sad to see her go in the evening.  Even Andrew, who is going through a mommy phase right now, goes easily to her and is very content.  Most mornings when I leave for work, they are so happy and content they barely notice I am leaving.  It is so wonderful knowing they are in good hands while I am away.  She had some time off at Christmas and they talked about her a lot and were glad when she was back. As a bonus, she keeps our house immaculate and does extra projects around the house "just because". I came home today and she had cleaned the refrigerator. I mean CLEANED it.  She had taken the shelving and drawers out, scrubbed it down inside and out, then reorganized everything.  It looks brand new.  This, by the way, is by no means anything that we expect of her.  Her responsibilities are the kids, period.  That includes cleaning up after making them meals and such, and directing them to clean up their rooms and play areas to teach them to be responsible and clean up after themselves.  But we have a biweekly cleaning service to handle the major cleaning and I make it a point to never leave a sink full of dishes for her or any big messes (and I am proud to say that I manage this most days).  But she likes to clean and takes pride in "making my life easier".  I don't know how I would live without her.  I just pray she never leaves.


I had the delight and honor of throwing Rebecca's baby shower in October.  I outdid myself.  I'm not even kidding.  I had two people who attended the shower contact me later to ask if I was a professional party planner and would I do a party for them (possible dream job down the line)?  I put so much love and attention into everything, I even amazed myself and can't be humble about the results.  I wanted it to be perfect, after everything she had been through, and. . . it was.  There wasn't one thing that I would do differently, except to do it all again.  It was so much fun to be part of it all.

She did amazingly well through the end of her pregnancy, only needing bed rest at the very end.  She was in labor for 36 hours and had to push for two, but at long, long last, Rebecca gave birth to her daughter on her due date - December 8, 2013.  She was 7 lbs., 8 oz, and I got to see her the day she was born.  I am in love with this child.  She is beautiful, sweet, perfect, and HEALTHY.  They have been settling it at home, and beyond the usual struggles of adjusting to life with a newborn, things have gone very smoothly.  She had a bit of a rough start, but breastfeeding is going well now, and she is feeling pretty good.  Of course, she is in love with her baby girl, and it is wonderful to see her so at peace after everything she endured to get here.


Wow, that was a lot.  I think I covered the major things.  Oh, on the second day of my three week work trip, our Nanny was doing laundry upstairs.  When she came downstairs with the kiddos, they played in the playroom for a bit, and then she came into the living room. . . where a flood of water greeted her.  The washer had leaked, through the hall and ceiling, downstairs into our living room.  What a disaster.  Thank goodness for homeowner's insurance.  It was thousands of dollars and weeks of work to get it all taken care of.  So, in a public service announcement, I wanted to let you know about these water sensor things that you can buy for not very much money, to put in areas where a leak might be a concern (laundry rooms, bathroom sinks, etc.).  They work very well.  We put them in and then a week ago, our upstairs toilet started leaking.  The alarm worked perfectly and we were able to stop the leak while it was just a puddle in the bathroom.  Money VERY well spent.

So, there you have it.  Life update in a nutshell.

I keep up with most all of you on Facebook, but you are welcome to friend me if we aren't already connected.  That way, I can keep up with YOU, too! 


Monday, September 16, 2013


Oh, my poor little blog.  Once, this place was my lifeline.  I couldn't imagine visiting and writing here every single day.  I couldn't imagine what my life would be like without my postings here.

And now. . . it sounds trite to say that I am too busy to post, but it is simply the truth.  With a full time career and three children five and under. . . my life is busy, busy, busy.

It is a good busy, a happy busy, a crazy-hectic-filled-with-love-laughter-and-more-busy.

It has been two months since I posted, and a lot has changed here.  Most importantly, I quit my job and started a new one.  As you can imagine, a lot of chaos has ensued with that.  And. . . I leave for training. . . next week. . . and. . . it is three weeks away.

Three.  Weeks.  Away.

All that I have to do, professionally and personally, before embarking on such a trip, is overwhelming to say the least.  Somehow, someway, I will get through it, but it is gonna be dicey.

I return on Andrew's first birthday.

Another topic that throws me for a loop, if you must know.  My third and FINAL (because the good ol' tubes were tied) baby is not a baby for much longer.  He is practically walking, already talking, and eating like an eighteen year old. 

Add to this that Emma recently had her very first day of preschool (which, she was so ready for) and that Will recently turned five. . . and, wow.  Just unbelievable how fast time flies.  Again, so cliché, and yet so very true.  It all goes so fast.

My infertility days seem far behind me in some ways, and yet, I can still remember the dark desperation and sadness of that time.  Which is why I still check in here and keep up with all of you.  I remember. Each and every day, I do remember.

So, this blog might not get as many updates as it once did, but I am still here, still chugging.  And updating when I can.  I hope you are all well.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Amazing Adventure

When your children are little, those whose children have grown are fond of telling you that these are the best days of your life and to enjoy them, because they go so fast.  You are aware that they are correct, but as the old adage goes (and is so often quoted by those same well-meaning strangers in the grocery store as your four year old throws a tantrum because he wanted to get Sponge Bob mac & cheese and you opted for the 3/$1 store brand with plain noodles), "The days are long, but the years are short."

As a mom to three children under five who also has a full-time career, I feel as if I spend most of my time just barely keeping up.  It isn't that I don't enjoy these moments; I do.  I can feel them slipping through my fingers at a pace that increases by the day and I know that soon these days will be in the past, a distant, sleep-deprived memory.  Try as I might to hold on to the little things that make each day count, I find myself slipping into a groove, and days go by without me really getting to stop and take note of the passage of time.

Then there are days like today.  My sweetest little Project As If, Emma Grace, turns three years old today.  When I woke up this morning, the realization that three whole years have passed since she was placed in my arms made me stop and think about what that truly means.  In what has seemingly been the blink of an eye, she has gone from that tiny, helpless newborn to a walking, talking, full of spirit pre-schooler.  She is so vibrant, my little girl, so happy, so playful, so funny, so engaging, so. . . perfect.

Her sense of humor and comedic timing is beyond her years.  She has these faces she makes, she mimics people, she has this deep belly laugh that you can't help but join in with.  She is constantly entertaining us.  She is also so incredibly sweet and compassionate.  She is such a good and tender big sister to Andrew, sharing toys and food with him whenever possible.  She loves it when I put him in her crib in the morning or after nap. She will draw him close, sing to him, cuddle him, hand him one of her beloved stuffy.

Speaking of the stuffies. . . oh, my land.  She has never met a stuffy that she didn't want to take home with her.  We have hundreds already.  And she has about a half dozen at each time that she has to take everywhere with her.  This group rotates, although she always has to have her original stuffy, Ellie (a pink and green elephant blanket she has had since she was six months old) as part of the crowd.  Other than that, you can usually find her toting some sort of pony, kitty, and, lately, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (yep, my sweet precious baby loves her some "gingas").

She loves to play veterinarian and you walk into her room to find a makeshift animal hospital.  Tiny Alvin and his chipmunk buddies wrapped lovingly in blankets as Dr. Emma makes her rounds, giving them "shots" and taking their temperatures.  She will look very seriously at me and say, "Mommy, these stuffies are very sick.  I need to take very good care of them."

She calls with "Brova" and, even though they fight a lot, they are also often best friends, united against the world.  Often, when they are arguing over a toy, I will step in on her behalf, and she will then turn around and defend Will, even though he was usually the aggressor.  When he gets hurt, she is the first to come running with a hug and kiss. 

From day one, Emma has been the definition of easy.  Had she been my only child, I would have been an insufferable mom, who thought she had it all figured out.  She is pure sunshine and brings such joy to our lives.  I truly cannot imagine my world without Emma in it.

And yet, on days like today, celebrating her third year in our family, it makes me realize how truly quickly it has all gone and continues to go.  I am reminded that I do not have forever with her like this, where I am her world and she is mine.  I have great hopes for our future, that we will have a good relationship, that we will always have this ease between us.  I am also realistic enough to know that if I do a good job parenting her, eventually she will not need me, and I will shrink from being the center of her life to a marginal bit player. 

This is a bit melancholy of a birthday entry, and I don't mean it to be that way, truly.  I am so happy to be Emma's mommy that it makes my heart feel as if it might burst.  I am so happy to dedicate a day to celebrating her amazingly little self.  My children's birthdays have always induced this feeling in me, this realization that they are growing up and away, and that I will never have these moments back.  While I am glad to see them growing, thriving, and maturing into amazing little people, there is a tiny (admittedly selfish) part of me that wishes I could just have them like this, here with me, forever.

Then, as another day draws to a close, I have to admit that I am also excited to see who she continues to grow into.  She is such a spectacular and amazing person now, I can't even begin to imagine the force she will continue to be as she grows older.  It will certainly be an amazing adventure.