Friday, October 28, 2011

Hello

I have decided that I don't lose all of the baby weight until I'm done nursing, and I will hopefully not be done for two plus years, so I just need to get over it.

I am applying for a job with the mystery shopping company I have been working for. They told me I'm a great shopper and that great shoppers usually  make great employees. It would be two - three hours a day, but I am excited about it.

I buy jeans, but they are tight at first but then stretch out as the day wears on. By the end of the day, they are saggy.

Phoebe is crying and this is all I have to say.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"blacks" in the military

This guy calls our house the other day and introduces himself as being from a market research firm. He then says, "How do you feel about gay marriage?"

"What do you mean, how do I feel about it? Can you be a little more specific?"

"Well, do you believe that gays should be able to get married?"

"I think it's a little odd that I can divorce my husband tomorrow and then get married to a dude I met at the bar next week, but two men who have been living together can't commit in the same way. I guess I'm not sure."

next question:

"What do you think about blacks in the military?"

?!?!

"What do I think about it?" (Hello, 1955?)

"Yes. What is your opinion?"

"Well, blacks have been serving in the military for a very long time, and I think anyone who serves in the military has made an amazing sacrifice. I suppose if I saw an African American who had served in the military I would tell him thank you, just as I do his Caucasian counterparts."

"I see."

The really funny thing about it is this: I can tell the man I am talking to is black. I REALLY wanted to ask him what "he" thought about 'blacks serving in the military.'" I also wanted to ask him how he felt about gravity or french fries being served at McDonalds or Wal-Mart being open 24/7, but I refrained.

 Tonight I go and talk about my political views for two hours and they'll pay me $100.

Scott will try to breastf*eed our love child and break fights between the older two, and I'll be spouting off and sipping Diet Coke.

It's a win-win for all,

except for the "blacks" who are still under the assumption that they can't join the military.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Why Facebook is annoying

I keep trying to think of things to write here. Sometimes I write just to find out what it is that I have to say.

Baby Man's new foster mom called and said he took his first steps. I was very happy for him. I was also very happy that he's not walking around my house, making it necessary for me to chase him everywhere. 

We have gotten two calls since he's left. One was for a set of siblings, two months old and 12 months old. Please, try and figure that one out. Another was for a set of siblings, ages two years and four years.

Phoebe is three months old. I love that little girl. She has healed so many places in my heart. One of the things on my long list of things to do is "start writing a book." Honestly, friends, I don't feel the pressing need to revisit all of those sad, dark emotions right now. 

I am annoyed with Facebook. It is a double-edged sword. I love seeing what people are doing but I also hate seeing what people are doing. Something about it seems so self-important. I look at what I've written as status updates and it is all so trivial. Another thing I hate about Facebook is how you can offend people without even realizing it. I love the English language and hate it when people treat it sloppily. It happens all the time on Facebook. I want to correct everyone, and I realize that is an annoying habit of mine.

Did you know that once the language starts to slide the culture goes with it? Check out your local history book.

I see grammar errors in our local newspaper. I affectionately call it "The Falling Star" because it's mainly full of liberal-type drivel. There are often grammatical errors in the headlines. PROOFREAD, people! It's not that hard, and it makes you look professional! Feel free to correct my grammatical errors.

I also hate how I always get sucked into political arguments on Facebook. It just riles me up and annoys me.

See, it's hard living in a first-rate country. These are the things I have to think about.

The Occupy Wall Street hoo-ha is driving me bonkers. I am willing to bet my chocolate bon-bons that 98% of those "protesting" and likely being paid for their time also voted for President Obama. I'd like to remind you that President Obama has given more to our financial institutions in bail-outs than any other president in history. Incongruities, anyone?

I'm done now. I promise.

Anyway, that's about all I have. I love my baby girl and people like to snuggle her. Here's proof:


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween

Monster Mouthful Halloween
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Saturday, October 15, 2011

it hurted

My sweet sister in law was due to deliver her first, very longed for, baby this weekend.

Instead, she is hugging a teddy bear.

I looked back on my archives, the ones I wrote and never published. They were too raw to share.

If you're in the middle of it, maybe they'll give you some solace.

This was written on January 29, 2010. I was fresh off my third miscarriage. Does anyone see the irony in Scott's fears?


I'm angry.

Today I am so angry.

If someone looked at me from the outside, they would never guess. I look totally well-adjusted, feeding the kids and laughing with the checkout lady at the store and sucking down Diet Coke.

Inside, though, I've never been more confused.

I think a major cataylyst was seeing the beautiful little cell phone picture of a friend's third child, a mewly, pink, perfect little girl.

I can't help that rage and jealousy that bubbles, and I hate myself for it. I am not capable at this point in time, to offer more than perfunctory congratulations, send a card, and leave it at that.

I'm realizing that this selfprotection, this staying off of Facebook, this avoiding friends with brand new babies, is OK for now. I cannot go back to her blog. I know it now. I feel like her whole post about the baby's birth was just a spit in my face. I know it wasn't. Logically, I know it wasn't. But why does it feel like other new moms seem so "smug", like, they did something right?

Half of the battle is realizing my limitations and honoring myself enough (wow, Oprah much?) to stand by them. To say, "This is the line I cannot cross."

Today we walked past the baby aisle at Target. Dammit, I was minding my own business, and that damn aisle had to go and irritate the hell out of me. I didn't expect that sort of emotion from an inanimate thing.

I am angry. Really? A baby with birth defects, then a loss at 15 weeks, another at 8 and another at 6 and another at 8, AND losing a tube to an ectopic pregnancy?

Shaking my fist at God is nothing new with me. I sat outside on our front porch so many times when I was pregnant with Lucy - begging God to let me keep this child with her guts literally hanging out of her body. BEGGING HIM. Telling me that if He let me keep her, I would never ask for anything, ever again. I am so foolish. I have dear friends who have prayed the same for their children, and God answered "no". God does not work that way. He does not have to give me another baby. If it is not His will, it is not His will.

And still my will presses forward, calmed only by the Muzac at Hobby Lobby, playing "How Great Thou Art" today. Those are my moments of peace. And prayer.

What have I done wrong? This isn't fair.

And then I think, "We could extend that thought to its logical conclusion. It's not fair that someone else lives in Haiti and I live in the United States of America, or that someone else's husband died and mine didn't, or that someone else's mother in law is a beast and mine is not. Shall we rectify those situations then?"

Just a good little reminder, is all.

Those stories of the two-push births annoy the hell out of me. Leave me alone. Remember me. Treat me normally. Ignore me. Ask me how I'm doing. Don't ask me.

I don't know.

I don't know.

Another baby will not bring back who I lost. I am so jealous of full families with 3 children. Before Asher, I was jealous of full families with 2.

Three friends have asked me if I have thought about adoption. "Oh," I want to say. "So THAT'S how my white friend ended up with a black baby. MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE SOLVED!"

Yes, I have thought about adoption. After Scott and I got married, I told him we should not have any biological children and adopt instead. That is how excited I was about adoption. Scott was not so excited about it. So, the reason we are exploring biological children at the moment. But, really? Why do I have to explain that to people? What business of theirs is it?

I think it would be so much easier if God would come down on a cloud and say, "You will not have another biological child." then I might find some peace. I want to know what to pray for, what to hope for. Is it irresponsible to try again? Do other people think so? Do I care?

Scott would adopt if it he knew I wanted it that badly. The thing is, I don't want him to do it for that reason. It's not a good enough one.

He is afraid I will die if I get pregnant again, that blood clots will finally settle in my lungs and leave him with three kids. Really, that is his fear. Maybe it is fear enough to launch him into adoption, I don't know. But is fear a good reason to do something? Probably not. He is being so gentle with me, not making declarations about what we will or will not do, and I love him for it.

I love him for it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dear Baby Man

Dear Baby Man,

It's still strange not having you here. I had to have all of your "gear" put away right away. I couldn't look at it.

Asher wonders why you aren't in his room any more, and I think of funny things you'd do and say that would make us all laugh. Then you'd laugh harder.

I wonder when we'll get a call again. We are going to do respites for now, unless a call for an older child (3 - 5) comes and it sounds like a good fit for our family.

At Costco on Thursday I saw some Carter's three-piece outfits for only $7.99. I instinctively grabbed one in your size, realized what I was doing, and put it back.

I cried all the way home.

Someone told me I need to get to the doctor to get some antidepressants. I don't think you need antidepressants for crying. Crying feels good. You, as a baby, knew that. :)

I don't think you always need to pop a pill just for being *sad*, you know? I'm just sad. I miss you.

There are awesome, happy moments in our home, too. Today the kids and I are going to an inflatables place and they're going to bounce around while I sit on a couch and read and write letters. If you were there I wouldn't be able to do that, because I'd be chasing you all around. See, we're still happy and having fun. I know you are, too:


Sometimes you just have to feel the sad, and not worry about other people not understanding. You'll learn this in life.

Sometimes you just have to hold on, love, and let go. You'll feel an undercurrent, equal parts grace and solace. And I hope you always know that it's God who is giving you those things, and the roots we gave you for nine months.

I hope it mattered.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

chasing shadows

*originally published 04-05-2008* (this is really cool to see where I was then, and how far we've come now.)

Lately I've been praying fervently that God will either give me contentment with having two wonderful children and not ever actively trying for more, or open both Scott's and my hearts about having more. "Either way," I told God, "I will obey." And I will. Do you notice, here again, that I want to know NOW whether or not our family will be expanded? I want to control! In light of some recent conversations on a dear friend's blog, I'm realizing that some of my motives for thinking we shouldn't have any more kids aren't necessarily what I want them to be.

I was sitting today with my family, looking at their beautiful faces, and I prayed a prayer to God. "No, Lord, you can't touch this - you can't touch this beautiful thing I'VE created." I want to be safe. I don't want death or sickness or sadness to hit my corner of the world again. I was reading another blog and the author just announced she's pregnant. She supposed she should wait until it is safe to announce, but then made the statement that life is never safe.

It may be obvious to others that one of the things that motivates me most is fear. Ugly fear. I am afraid of what going for a 3rd child may mean. You know I adore my children. I love being a mother. Scott loves being a dad. But what I feel drives us both is fear. We don't ever want to revisit that fear we felt when faced with terrifying possibilities the first time around. We both knew we dodged major bullets. Today he was looking at her and said to me, "Sometimes I just watch her playing and wonder what life would be like if she hadn't made it, or if we had made a different choice."

I wonder, too. And then I think about all of the times in my life when I wanted to let fear reign supreme. Honestly? Had I let fear reign we wouldn't have either of our children. My fear nudged me in the direction of terminating the pregnancy the first time around. Yes, there I said it. We considered it. You can call me an evil person, but until you are in that situation, you don't know what you would do.

The second pregnancy, with Asher, I felt like we dodged some bullets - that he came out healthy and "unscathed", and that our family is complete and we shouldn't want or have any more children. In some ways I feel almost selfish for desiring, in my heart of hearts, another child. I tell myself that I don't like pregnancy and I'm not really a baby person, but those are "shields" for the real reasons. The real reason is the fear in me that crouches around every corner of my sometimes shadowed heart. I don't want to be vulnerable again. I want to control.

I want to be safe; I want these walls around me never to crumble. I see them crumbling every time I turn on the news, or see the drug deals going down, or see fear in one of my children's eyes. I feel them crumbling under tissue paper fingers when I hear of someone dying of cancer, or watch a tree lose its leaves, or hear of a friend having yet another miscarriage.

I see these things, and I want to run. I want to run and hide, away from good dreams. I listen to the voice that says, "No! You can't have it. Be fearful. Can you imagine the bad things that could happen were you to try that again? Don't do it! Don't give in!"

And so here I sit.

So, here comes the choice, right? Do I give in to the fear?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

number

Because we got two children two minutes after we were licensed, it is strange to be in a place where we are foster parents without foster children.

The majority of foster parents are licensed a bit longer before their first placement, so this is new territory for me.

Yesterday we went to Costco and I saw an adorable little Carter's outfit that would have been adorable on Baby Man.

I cried on my way home.

Then, I took Phoebe to a secondhand store and bought her the cutest, girliest little bouncy seat I've ever laid eyes on. I had always been averse to gender-specific baby gear, but I don't have to be, now!

This girl is it!

I have a clever idea for Halloween costumes and I will give you a preview shortly.

Have I told you lately how lovely it is *not* to be pregnant, and how lovely it is to know I *never* have to go through that hell again?

For now, I am off to Google "number of calories in a shot of rum."

Friday, October 7, 2011

crazy

Asher stole a candy bar from the grocery store today.

I told him he might have to go to jail.

He sobbed in his room.

I bet he won't do it again.

Also, I had blue frosting on my face the whole time I was in the grocery.

I told a friend her child reminded me of a patient in a mental ward with her aimless wandering around and mumbling.

We are back in the foster care system as "open for placement". Three years old and up. We will free to say "no" to any and all calls we get.

But there may be a "yes".

Yup.

We're crazy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

why don't you want to help the animals?

Yesterday was a very teary day.

I have to learn to be "ok" with sad days when they come. I sometimes fall into the trap of striving to be "happy" when I just feel sad.

I feel guilty because I think my sadness is rubbing off on my kids and they'll forever remember me as the Sylvia Plath wanna-be mom who was lying on the couch, crying into her pillow.

I feel guilty because I think of all of those older women who tell you, "Enjoy this time, they're only little once!" and I sort of want to throw paint in their hair.

Yesterday I missed Baby Man with a strange intensity. It was also strange because I was completely overwhelmed with emotion yesterday and so was Asher. We butted heads yesterday.

That child is stubborn, and I want to direct it in a positive direction. (Famous last words.)

When my sister in law and another friend called and said they were getting together with their Bible study girls and watching "Bridesmaids" and having "treats", I was standing at the edge of the driveway with Phoebe waiting for Scott to get home so I could jump in her van and make a fast getaway.

I got to meet the amazing Molly (I was actually nervous before I met her, read and go figure) and a bunch of other awesome girls. One is going to be a fellow foster mom, another had a hysterectomy so we got to talk a bit, and the others were just plain cool.

I worried about having two drinks and everyone judging me for then nursing my child. Then I figured that if my womb of doom didn't kill her, a couple'a shots of alcohol through the good old boob weren't going to do her in.

Lucy is dropping out of Girl Scouts. I don't have the energy. For their service project, they made, and get this, CHEW TOYS FOR DOGS AT THE LOCAL SHELTER. When the woman who runs it asked why we were quitting, I just told her I didn't have time. I didn't say, "Well, I sort of think that the whole Girl Scout spiel of believing in yourself and being green and worshiping the earth and making chew toys for dogs at the shelter who would rather be eating their own scat is a tad humanistic, and I don't want my kid in the organization," because I knew she'd just give me a nutters look and say, "Well, why WOULDN'T you want to help dogs?"

and then I would say, "Well, because there are thousands of babies dying every day from malnutrition."

and then she would say, "But we're all inhabitants of this planet!"

and then I would run away screaming. I have these imaginary conversations in my head all the time, you see.

Lucy's girl scout vest is going on Ebay today.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

sad

I feel like I'm getting seasonal allergies and called the dentists' office because I was going to be 20 minutes late for my appointment. I took Asher and Phoebe because I do better with Asher when he's sick. Appointment was at 9:30 and we got there at 9:50. She told me she thought I was going to be 5 minutes late (what?) and they had to cancel it.

I had to gulp big breaths so I wouldn't lose it and barely made out the words, "I'll call to reschedule" before I ran out the door, lip quivering, buckling kids in the car.

I lost it approximately 3 blocks from Target.

I knew it was coming...

The UGLY cry.

People were looking over at me at the stop lights and I can't say I cared.

I parked in the Target parking lot and sobbed my guts out. Sobbing feels good. You should try it sometime. You know, the kind of cry where you can't catch your breath.

I thought of everything he did...getting him out of his crib every morning, a big grin on his face. Watching his toupee-like hair waving in the wind,

pudgy fingers smashing Cheerios at lunchtime;

his big grin whenever he saw me after visits.

I told Asher that Mommy was OK; I just miss Baby Man and needed him to give me a great big hug because he (Asher) could hug me and make me feel better. I worry about where Baby Man will end up.

I *have* to give it to God.

I still know we made the right choice but it doesn't make this any easier.

We went into Target, I tried to buy a bre*ast pump, bananas, and underwear for Asher. Got to the line, realized I didn't have my wallet.

Starting to cry again.

Came home, told my family I needed a great big *hug*.

Cried some more.

Naps this afternoon.

Crying is good.