Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Birthday Boy!

Waiting patiently for our family to arrive.
365 days.  What a difference a year has made.
1 year ago (tomorrow technically) our little man joined our family and forever changed our life.

I could fill this with all the typical "you don't know love until you have a child" cliches, but if you don't have children, you don't understand that statement and if you do have children, you totally understand without any other verbage from me.

As many of you know,  life has been a little less than "nice" to me for
the last handful of years. After losing mom and DJ, I was becoming increasingly bitter towards everything and was really struggling to stay positive about the direction my life was taking.  I took a job at a daycare to supplement the hours I was losing with the family I nannied for, and I was promoted rather quickly.  It felt good to be needed and working full time again, but I didn't realize it would be the most stressful job I'd ever had.  I carry a lot of responsibility, and at the time it was nice to have a distraction from the painful, guilt-ridden thoughts I was having.  I settled into the job and found a comfortable routine and new purpose.  But that only lasted a short time until I felt myself becoming numb and bitter again.

Now, by no means did we have Brady in order to fix me.  He was and continues to be a gift from God that proves to me there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  God's timing is perfect, His purpose for my life is a never-ending journey and His love is unending.

Last photo before Brady joined us.
Brady teaches me these lessons everyday.  In the short year he's been with us, he has already changed me more than any pain could ever change me.  He has restored my hope and shows me grace.  I have become more patient (in some respects), I am more open to love and I have certainly had to trust.   I know love like I've never known it before.  The thought of him fills me with wholeness and joy and he re-prioritizes everything!  Having him in our life has given me a new respect and depth of love for Chad as well.  I love having a 100% partner in parenting and we work beautifully as a team.  He fills my weaknesses and respects my strengths.  I don't overshadow him and I love that he is the head of our household.  Our goal for our parenting is to be the example of the people we want our children to be and the example of the people we wish for them to spend their lives with.  I try to be the wife and mother I would want Brady to marry someday and be the example of a strong, victorious Christian wife that I want my daughter to be.

My biggest parenting fear is that he will never forget the mistakes I make and that I will fail him as a parent, but I know if I keep my priorities in line with God's calling on all of our lives, he will grow up to be everything God has planned for him.

Brady Michael- our most amazing blessing to date!
To say having children is a life-changing experience is the understatement of a lifetime.  They are a gift from God, the most amazing blessing ever given and the greatest calling given to parents.  They are a test of strength, a lesson in love and a humbling experience.  I look forward to every minute I can spend with him and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of our next blessing!

So, I wish my baby boy and very Happy 1st Birthday.
I thank him for making me a better person and I wish him all the love a momma can send!

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Amazing Husband

I'd like to think that I am a superwoman who could do anything and everything that was put in my lap, all by myself.  However, I have learned that I certainly can't and it's OK.  Thank God (and I mean that literally) that I was given an amazing husband.  He is the leader of our home, an excellent example of strength and determination for our children, and my perfect completer.
Obviously, as my belly gets bigger and Brady gets bigger, daddy takes over even more than his share of responsibility in our home.  AND he's learning everyday how to deal with an even crazier pregnant wife.  It's a roller coaster for all of us!
He "took over" the laundry chore several months ago, he grocery shops, he has rearranged his schedule to go to the gym after Brady is asleep and I have passed out on the couch for the night.  He is a better bathroom cleaner than I am and is a great cook.
As I write this, I'm thinking to myself, "Well, what exactly are you doing at home, supermom?"  I'm not exactly sitting on my butt eating ice cream... I would if I could :)  I'm usually along for the ride on most of these things- I'd love to be able to do everything, but I'm physically down for the count at this point!

Chad and I have been together 15 1/2 years to date.  Literally, half of my life has been spent at his side.  He was the first person to ever tell me he loved me (and mean it- 6th/7th grade boyfriends excluded).  He has been with me through bouts of teenage bulimia, the death of my mom and brother, and he stretches me everyday to be a strong, warrior princess.  He treats me like a queen but doesn't let me be a brat.  I love that he is the head of our household and I happily submit to his final decision.  He keeps us on track financially (I only have periodic issues with retail therapy!), keeps me focused and emotionally stable and is always thinking about how to make our future better.  We've made mistakes, we're not perfect.  We don't have all the answers, but we figure them out together.  He is the perfect match for me.

In counting my blessings, I count him several times.  I wouldn't be the person I am today without him.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

8 weeks and 5 days to go!

8 weeks and 5 days left...

Pregnancy itself is so surreal.  I dreamed my whole life about how fun it was going to be when I was pregnant.  The growing bump, the cute waddle, the cravings, the maternity clothes and the special attention :)  I definitely have all of those attributes, but they aren't as "fun" as I imagined them to be!  I have a serious love/hate relationship with being pregnant.  I LOVE the end result, but some of the process- eh, not so much.

My pregnancy with Brady was SO easy, with the exception of a little (very expensive) 36 hour stint at St. Johns for what turned out to be a muscle spasm that caused contractions.  I gained 46 pounds, but otherwise, I had no complaints.  I slept beautifully (which I could've done 24 hours a day!), no muscle cramps, no morning sickness, no strange cravings.  Moodiness was present, but not rampant.  Well, maybe you should ask Chad about that one.

This pregnancy however has been a completely different ballgame.  Thankfully, no morning sickness!  Although, I have had the stomach flu of some variety 3 times so far and let me tell you how irritating it is to throw up when you're visibly pregnant.  Taking care of Brady (who is the world's easiest little man to care for!) has been a major factor in how different  this pregnancy is.  He's just learning to walk, so obviously we carry him a lot, and carrying a 29 lb child can be a bit more than tiring for an ever-expanding body.  Some nights when I'm rocking him (on what little lap I have left) I swear the two of them are fighting for space.  Brooklyn from the inside and Brady snuggled up around my belly from the outside.  Kind of endearing, but exhausting at times too.

Perhaps there's a reason my OB told me not to get pregnant for at least a year after Brady was born.  "Your body needs time to heal."  My body felt fine to me. Or maybe that was still residual effects from my C-Section pain meds and riding high on hormones?  Regardless of how/why/when my princess is coming, I'm anxious to meet her.

And the process of growing a girl has been an adventure.  I've been a self-proclaimed b**ch on some days, then there are days when I can cry at the sight of Brady playing with bubbles for the first time (really, I did.)  I get frustrated that I have so much I want to do, but no energy to do it.  So I rely on Chad to do a lot of grunt work that I'd rather do myself and my brain function is completely gone!  I spend most days in a mental fog and it takes A LOT of energy to stay focused and think through things.  Thank God for people around me who aren't drowning in progesterone!

But, despite the muscle cramps, insomnia, crankiness and never ending trips to the bathroom, there will be a new princess in the King home in 8 weeks and 5 days... and we can't wait to meet her!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Balance? Really, does it exist?

Balance...does it exist?  Does anyone ever feel like they are ahead of the game and not constantly play an endless game of "catch up"?  I am, by no means, a planner, organizer, scheduler kind of person, but I'm beginning to think I'd be more efficient at everything if I was :)

Chad and I are working to figure out mealtimes and keeping our 29 lb, 32 in. 1 year old, full!  He is a bottomless pit lately and we are constantly planning and preparing to stay ahead of him.  We spent yesterday afternoon cutting fruit, veggies and cooking for the week ahead, because momma has hit the 3rd trimester wall and would just like to sleep 24 hours a day!

In addition to working full time jobs and strategically planning to get out of debt and save for our own home, our plates tend to be full.  When we're home together (every night, thankfully) we have a beautiful routine and it's all about our family.  We cook dinner, (even if that means tuna sandwiches) have a ton of fun playing with Brady and walking around the house with him wobblyingly holding our hands for security and enjoy bath-time.  The weekends usually consist of catching up on laundry and getting out and about a little.  Sometimes the "routine" drives me crazy, as I wish I had more time or energy to live life a little more excitingly, but then there are days when I'm so thankful for the monotony.  Brady is changing so much, so quickly.  He's finally crawling and has now moved on to wanting to walk everywhere.  Which is not necessarily fun when you're nearly 8 months pregnant and have worked an 8 hour stressful day.  BUT- his smile and squeal make it all worth it.

Now, I'm by no means complaining about my job.  If I really wanted to stay home, I would, but in all honesty...I kind of enjoy the distraction of a job and the feeling of productivity I get.  I run a daycare of about 60 kiddos and 15-16 employees.  It's not glamorous by any means as I've been known to plunge a toilet or two and have tweezed many a various item out of little noses!  I like to think I'm contributing to society in some small way though :)

We have been talking very seriously about homeschooling our little ones.  I love the idea of being my children's teacher, but that also adds to the hats I will wear.  I am totally committed to the idea and still have a few years to get our resources together, so no big debates needed now.  I know it's a controversial subject, but after teaching in both public and private's just what I feel most confident in.  I want to teach them HOW to think, not just what to think.  Anyway, that's a blog in itself!

Life is going to get interesting and I can't wait to welcome Ms. Brooklyn to our family.  I'm excited and terrified at the same time to have a daughter.  Girls just seem like a whole different ballgame.  Not to mention I wasn't crazy about being one myself :)  I'm looking forward to shopping weekends and getting our nails done- maybe she'll bring the princess out of me!  Her room is coming together...slowly at times it seems, but it's definitely a girls room.    There are still a few little details to take care of, but I certainly learned with Brady that what I think is going to be important usually isn't and the things I've overlooked always seem to find the spotlight.

If there are any supermoms, either stay-at-home or working with great tips on how to keep my sanity- I welcome them!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Answering the Call

So, I'm doing it.  I'm joining the blogging bandwagon...  
I'm a working mom of almost 2 children.  My little man will be a year old this month and my princess will be here in 9 weeks.  Yes, that's what I said, 9 weeks.  They will be 13 months apart- what was I thinking right?  I was thinking...well, I wasn't thinking anything.  I've always said I would be the next Michelle Duggar if I could be.  I couldn't believe how madly in love with my son I fell and I figure a second gift will be just as spectacular, so why not have another if that's what God has planned.
I love being a mom.  I know it's the greatest calling on my life and I've been dedicated to answering the call on my life for several years now.  I still have days when I wonder what the heck I'm here for and if I'm doing anything God wants me to.  Then there are days when everything is in place and I know I'm on the right track.

I want to be the wife my husband deserves, my son's biggest cheerleader and my daughter's example of a strong Christian woman.  I think that's a pretty decent answer for the call I've been given.