Monday, January 29, 2018

Haunted by Emptiness

Mila moved to a new room and a new bed this weekend.  It was needed.  I felt so guilty every time I'd check on her, and she was hanging half off her bed.

I had been avoiding this move.  I thought it was because I didn't want my little baby to be in a big girl bed.  I thought it was because I didn't think I had time to make this switch.  I thought it was because I wanted new bedding, new furniture, and new paint in her new room.  I thought I it was because I wanted to make it perfect like her current room.

I slowly told myself these were unrealistic expectations.  Mila's nursery was a work in progress that took six months to complete.  I reassured myself that, in time, her new room would be just as perfect.

When she was half off her bed on Friday night, I knew it had to be this weekend.  I bought a super cute quilt.  I put Doug to work putting shelving in her closet.  We rearranged the bedroom to make sure the bed was against two walls.  We started clearing boxes we hadn't looked in since we had moved in four and a half years ago.  It was time.  I was as ready as I would ever be for Mila to be a new room.

Or so I thought.

I started searching for a new dresser for Mila's room.  I toyed with the idea of going to Homemakers and getting her a bedroom set.  I know it wasn't necessary.  I didn't have a bedroom set until I was married.  And we definitely can't afford the added expense now.  I clearly was trying to avoid something.

And then it hit me.  She didn't need a new dresser because no one else would be using the one in the nursery.  I realized this move didn't really have anything to do with Mila growing up.  It was about the empty nursery.

I am sick of being reminded that I am not pregnant.  Now, this one is a big gapping empty whole in my house constantly taunting me.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Office Oasis turned Playroom Paradise

One of the selling points for our house was the office with French doors.  Between that and the open layout of the first floor, I knew this had to be my home.

I envisioned an office oasis where I would write my first book.  I pictured myself there with the windows open hearing kids running around outside.  I would have a comfy reading nook in the corner to curl up in.  And I was slowing creating this:  A beautiful desk from Pottery Barn.  Two bookshelves.  A sitting chair, though not super comfortable.  But, if I'm honest with myself, most of my writing happens in the living room.  I rarely sit in the office as planned, so the room is not getting the use it could.

And, that is not the stage of life I am in.  I am a mom in the stage who desperate wants her house back from the invasion of toys.

Since Christmas, the inundation of toys creates anxiety and tripping hazards.  After a few days of mulling it over, we turned my beautiful office into a playroom paradise.  We rearranged the house moving desks, bookshelves, beds, and toys. By simply purchasing a rug and a wall decal of letters and numbers, Mila has a room that makes me jealous.

And she helped decorate.

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Hardships of Conceiving

I had a dream right before I woke up that it was negative.

When my alarm went off, I hit snooze.  Not because I needed more sleep, but because I knew what was coming.

By the time I got my feet on the floor, I was in the middle of a panic attack at five am.

My chest tighten.

My breath shortened.

My entire body tensed.

I knew the only way to start to ease this was to take the test.  I have to accept the result either way.  The only relief would come when I knew and could move on from there.  But I already knew.  My dream told me.

We've been trying to get pregnant since January.  It's a little hard to use the second person pronoun here.  Yes, my husband is one hundred precent in this with me, but the strain and stress is wearing on me differently.

This really has never been an easy process for us.  Before I got pregnant with Mila, I had three miscarriages.  By the time I did finally get pregnant with her, I had been pregnant four times in twelve months.  Most women never have that many pregnancies in a lifetime.

As we try for the fifth pregnancy for a second child, I am constantly haunted by the same feelings every month.  I am reminded of what I went through for the twelve month period in trying to conceive Mila.  I guess I thought it would be different with the second child.  I thought I would be used to this by now.  I thought I knew what to expect.  But these feelings still overwhelm me every month.

The feeling of failure:  Yes, I know intellectually, that is nowhere near accurate, but emotionally, it is absolutely correct.  Each month, I fail to get pregnant. I fail to be a mom of two kids.  I fail to do what I need to make my body ready.

The feeling of grief: I mourn the child I was going to have that month.  I had subconsciously planned the arrival of this sweet miracle.  I grieve the life I had dreamed would be.

The feeling of loneliness:  Multiple times a day, I think about being pregnant.  I ruminate on the idea.  When I wake up.  When I see a woman who is pregnant.  When I put Mila down at night.  When I fall asleep.  When I dream.  And all of this reminds me that I am not.

Right now, I can take deep breaths.  I can hug my sweet girl a little tighter.  I can remember to have faith.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer is...

music lessons on Mondays.

swim lessons at Clive Aquatic Center.

popsicles on the porch.

sprinklers with Aunt Rissa.

water table play with my bff.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

B+ Teacher

I need to learn to be a "B+" teacher.

As I lay here in bed on the Sunday night of Spring Break, the weight of everything I didn't do and need to do is suffocating.  Why do I have so much to do?  Do all teachers feel this way on Sunday night?  Am I expecting too much of myself?  Of my students?  What is that balance between trying to challenge and grow as learners and feeling like this?

For now, I have no choice but to make compromises. And that's okay.  It has to be.

I won't be the best teacher tomorrow - and that's hard to admit. But, my students have taught me more about grace than I ever knew possible. When I am honest with them tomorrow about not being prepared, they will understand.  They will cut me the slack I am so unwilling to cut myself.  And they will see me as an ordinary person who sometimes struggles, but is persistent. And that's a lesson in itself.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Toddler Photo Shoot

My entire goal was to get a cute picture of her smiling and showing "Daddy's Lucky Girl" on her shirt.  Apparently, my years of professional photography experience did not prepare me to capture images of my own child.

While this one is good, it's not her smile.  It's just another in a series of silly faces.  But those eyes! 

All of this occurred over the course of about sixty seconds.  And, as it turns out, I love the entire photo series.