Category Archives: On My Heart

Hard Things

I sit here with a full mind and a blank screen. So much I want to say, though no words will come out. The things I’ve had floating around in my head waiting to come out are still there, but pushed to the back because now they seem trivial.

Why must bad things happen?

How do you explain hard things to little ones? Attacks? Natural disasters? Death of a loved one or even a family pet?

Sometimes I just hope they hold on to their innocence just a little longer, so I keep the TV off and turn the radio dial when the news comes on. They don’t really need to know something bad happened, do they?

Maybe all this will be easier when they’re a little older and more capable of understanding? Or maybe that will just make things harder?

When bad things happen it’s hard not to hold their hands a little tighter in a parking lot or watch them a little more closely. Snuggle just a little bit longer.

They say ignorance is bliss. I want my girls to be blissful and happy and carefree. But I don’t want them to be ignorant and sheltered from the world.

I have to hold on to the faith that there is good that will come of every situation. There are still good people in this world.

We choose to focus on the good.

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Unfinished Easter

Growing up, every Easter was the same…there would be Easter decorations set out. Even an Easter tree made with blooming branches of the dogwood tree from our backyard. We dyed eggs a couple days before. My mom made us Easter dresses. My dad bought us all corsages to wear. Easter morning baskets were hid and my dad sent us on a scavenger hunt, complete with rhyming clues to find our goodies. There’d be our dyed eggs, some candy and one or two other age appropriate things. We’d all pile in our car and head to church. After church there would always be a big family dinner.

As long as my childhood memory goes back, that was our Easter. And looking back, I loved them. I loved our family traditions.

My mom had her ish together. Or at least in my eyes she did.

My dad rocked the rhyming clues. Even if he did reuse them every couple of years.

I feel like my Easter this year is still kind of…unfinished.

Even with the best of intentions, we never dyed eggs. And I’m not even kidding, I think this is the first year I’ve never dyed eggs…even through college we’d dye eggs because my brother is 10 years younger than me. Don’t get me wrong, I had every intention of dying eggs with Rylee. I boiled our eggs up on Thursday night with plans for dying on Friday. Then Friday came and Rylee was misbehaving so we opted to dye them on Saturday between our Easter party and going to my uncle’s house for dinner. Then when I was cleaning up from the party I went to pull something out of the refrigerator and the entire bowl of boiled eggs fell and cracked. All 11 of them. In a rush I boiled a few more. But we never had time to dye them. So there we were, left with nearly 20 hard boiled eggs and not a single one of them were dyed for Easter.

I hardly even decorated for the holiday. Rylee set our her little Easter village that my mom gave her last year and other than that, this is was the extent of our decorating…

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Easter morning came and the Easter bunny hide some stuffed eggs for Rylee to find and hid the girls’ baskets.

The only photo I managed to get of either of the girls was a blurry iphone pic of Reese.

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I found myself getting annoyed that rylee was taking so long to hunt her eggs. Then it was a rush to get ready for church where I put Reese in one of Ry’s baby dresses and Rylee wore one of my favorite dresses of hers that my mom made…then paired it with a blue zip up hoodie and a St. Patrick’s day headband.

Dinner was really good, dessert was fantastic and we spent a ton of time playing outside. All in all it was a great day but we ended the day not even seeing some of our family. To me, that left it…kind of weird.

I want so badly to pass on the family traditions I loved so much as a kid that I hold so close to my heart as an adult.

And yes, I realize we threw an awesome Easter Egg Hunting Party with all of our friends that Rylee will likely remember for years to come. But I just can’t help but feel maybe in my “who cares, this is gonna have to be good enough” attitude, I failed my girls just a little bit.

Maybe I just need to realize that the traditions I loved so much growing up won’t be the same traditions we have for my family. Maybe it will get easier as they get older? As we settle in to our own Easter traditions?

One thing is for sure, no matter what the holiday, my girls will now they are loved and they are important, just like my parents did for me.

Struggling.

I’ve been struggling all day.

On more than one occasion, I’ve said I have no words. I’m still not sure I do, but I can’t just sit here.

I know there will always be things in life I won’t understand. But sometimes, that’s a hard pill to swallow.

I know of a number of friends that are battling infertility. I even have a couple of friends that I suspect are battling infertility, but haven’t shared it with me and I haven’t asked because it’s not my place.

All the friends that are struggling, would make amazing parents. Amazing. And what really pisses me off about it all, is that there are people that are in absolutely no position to be bringing small humans into this world, yet get pregnant by doing nothing more than sneezing.

HOW can these amazing people that would make amazing parents not be able to have babies?

Infertility is a dirty whore.

I am angry.

In my head, I can repeat “everything happens for a reason” and “we’ll never be given anything we can’t handle” over and over and over again, but right now, I can’t see past right now.

I am struggling to understand. As a woman, as a friend, as a christian.

And because I don’t know what else to do, I pray.

I pray for peace for the families struggling. I pray for their healing; physical, emotional and mental. I pray  for the right words to speak, when necessary. I pray for wisdom and foresight that I may be able to recognize need and step in to help, even in some small way.

I pray for understanding for all those struggling.

Struggling with the weight of it all.

Struggling in silence.

Struggling to make sense of it all.

Just struggling.

Lets talk about milk sharing

Milk-sharing was something I never in a million years thought I would do. But here I am, with an abundant milk supply and an over-flowing freezer getting ready to donate my freezer stash of breast milk for the fourth time.

Back before I made my first donation, I went back and forth on whether or not to do it. If I saved it all up, I could stop nursing Reese early and she could just use what’s in the freezer until her tummy could handle regular milk. But then I thought about it some more and realized I didn’t want to be done nursing Reese, even if I was projecting my thoughts and feelings on the matter months into the future. Not to mention, I just still wasn’t…sure. I may be a bit granola, but was I that granola?

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Quite a while back {like, years before I was pregnant with Reese, but after I was done nursing Rylee}, a friend from high school/facebook friend had mentioned something about Eats on Feets, a milk-sharing something or other. I liked their facebook page, then went about my business. Once I realized I had too much extra milk in my freezer, i started looking at their page. I figured I’d be a pretty good candidate for milk sharing…I don’t smoke. I rarely drink, and when I do it’s after I’m done feeding/pumping for the day. I’m dairy limited, due to the fact that Reese’s sensitive tummy can’t handle it when I drink milk. The page creeping continued For a couple of weeks. I’d read posts from moms requesting help for their little ones, but I was never “called” to reach out or make a connection.

Then one day I saw a post from a dad requesting milk for his son that was just a few weeks old. I took a closer look and realized that I knew the baby’s mom. That was apparently the push I needed. I sent her a message through Facebook.

Since then, I’ve donated to her twice, and getting ready for a third. When I traveled to SanFran a couple of months ago, I connected with a local mama via the Eats on Feets NoCal chapter and left my milk at the hotel’s front desk for her to pick up. And in just a few weeks I’m headed to Arizona and will be sending all my milk home with Brandy to help build a freezer stash for little Ollie.

Mamas utilize milk sharing for various reasons. Sometimes a mama may be going through a medical procedure and her milk supply is low. Sometimes a mama just can’t produce enough and needs to supplement in order to feed her baby. Sometimes a mama had her baby prematurely and she’s struggling to produce milk for her baby. Sometimes a mama just isn’t able to produce milk at all, tries to give her baby formula and the baby has trouble digesting the formula.

You might think its totally weird. Or gross. If I’m being totally honest, if I think about it too much, I still kind of get weirded out by it. But something changed inside me along the way and the health and well being of babies is more important to me.

If you’re interested in learning more about milk sharing, I encourage you to check out Eats on Feets. There are chapters all over the world connecting moms with an abundance of milk to babies that need it.

Milk sharing isn’t for everyone. And that’s fine with me. To be honest, I don’t care what (formula vs. your own breastmilk vs. “borrowed” breastmilk) and/or how (bottle vs. breast vs. a combo) you feed your baby as long as you’re doing what’s right for you and your family and that sweet baby of yours is getting fed. Period.

I always thought there’d be three.

It was something we talked about long before their was ever an engagement ring on my finger…Three kids.

Now fast forward about ten years, a giant mortgage and two kids later…a lot has happened in the last ten years…especially the last 5. Three kids is no longer in the cards for us. For a variety of reasons, really. We don’t think it’d be fair to Rylee at a minimum of 6 years old to be starting over, again, with a baby. Where would we physically put three kids? Then there’s the whole money aspect of it all…our financial situation is much different than we thought it would be during those dreaming years. A third child means we’d need a new car….new cars cost money. And three kids in daycare, well, that’s a lot of money too. We want to pay for our kids to go to college…putting three kids through college wouldn’t be an option. We want to retire someday…preferably before we’re in our seventies. Not to mention we’ve already got two weddings to pay for someday.

There’s a number of people that have told us to do it anyway. That we’d figure it out. If there’s one thing about us, it’s that we don’t rely on the “we’ll figure it out somehow” rule. If that were the case, our girls would be two years apart and not four. We would’ve bought a new car years ago instead of driving around the ghetto-fabulous Buick.

These girls of mine are growing so fast. Rylee will be starting kindergarten in the fall. She can’t wait to ride the school bus. She wants to get her ears pierced. She’ll be transitioning to a booster seat before long. Reese is a crawling machine. She’s got three teeth. We just bought her size 3 diapers. Andy walked into get her after nap one day and she was sitting up in her crib. She pulled herself up to standing the other night.

I used to sort of make fun of moms that talked about getting all emotional and weepy going through and getting rid of their baby’s outgrown clothes. Now I get it. I’ve become that mom. As I go through all of the outgrown baby clothes, I hold up nearly every piece. Think about the memories each one holds. Both my girls wore these. I’ve set aside my favorite pieces to hold on to for my sisters when they have kids. I’ve also set aside a few of my very favorite pieces, like what they wore home from the hospital, to keep in my cedar chest.

Last week when Reese was sick she didn’t want to nurse. At first I thought no big deal, but as the days went on, I wondered if she was just done with it and my heart sank.

I knew right then and there in my heart, I’m not ready for this journey to be over.

It’s a very surreal feeling…coming to terms with being done having kids.

My heart is absolutely full, overflowing even, just watching my 2 girls together, but there’s still that little part of me that thinks…I always thought we’d have three.

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