Tuesday, February 28, 2006

It's Baby Day!

Well I just had my first serious blog SNAFU. I wrote a beautiful entry about babies and accidentally closed it without saving it. Genius. Now I know. So, I will try to recreate, but quickly because I must get to work.

Today is baby day for my brother and his wife. This is number three, and while my sister-in-law is my age, numbers one and two are in fifth and seventh grade. I cannot imagine starting over at this point.

They can go out (or at this point, could go out) and leave the kids at home, alone. They can run to Home Depot, eat at restaurants, and go in a store without fear of someone pulling everything off the shelves. They can sleep all night and leave the laptop on the coffee table. They have no gates in their house, no locks on cabinets, and no ban on small objects.

But, that is all about to change. She is in the hospital already, getting induced. I wish it was me (not the induction part, but the birth part). Giving birth is the most unbelievable experience I have ever had and wish I could do it a hundred times. I guess, physically I could. But, I have been struggling lately with if I really want more kids.

I do. I do. My body and heart do. I crave the feeling of growing another life in my body. Those tiny kicks, hiccups, and elbows across the belly. Rearranged intestines, a constant need to pee, and an extra fifty pounds are all amazing to me. Stretchy belly skin, protruding belly buttons and feet too big for their old shoes. Ah...Even better than pregnancy is the actual birth.

It is impossible to describe to someone-that moment when you pull your baby onto your chest and your eyes meet for the first time. They seem comforted, they seem to understand. It is like the missing piece of a puzzle that you have been working on for nine months. It is the strongest statement in our mortal life of God's power and grace. It is hope for the future.

You body transforms, contorts and reshapes itself to deliver the future right on your doorstep. I want to do this again. But, as my mom used to say every time I wanted a new kitten, those "kittens" grow up into cats. And, those cats take a lot...a lot of everything.

I already have three boys, so the odds are not looking good for me to have a girl. Boys are wonderful, but they need clothes, food, activities (sports, equipment, clubs, bikes, lessons, clinics, camps), school supplies, toys, and more. Bath is full and always ends with water all over the floor. Lunch for the family of grilled cheese uses almost a full loaf of bread. An outing to a movie? Might as well make a car payment. And, then their is the issue of their education.

Plus, my time. One needs me here, the other there and a third at home. I need to watch this, help with that, and fix the other. Each is different and requires a different response, a different approach, and a different kind of love. So, you are probably wondering why do I have to decide now if I want more later? Because it is me and I am a planner, an organizer.

So, like every new project that I tackle or every mess that I organize-I am going to start with what I know. I know that I am ready to move on from baby stage at this point and if I have another baby, I will just get new stuff. That means I am ready to clean the attic out and say goodbye to my baby gear, clothes, and toys. I know that I am not ready to have another baby this year, or even next year. And, I know that I want to hold the opportunity open to reconsider at any point after that.

While I know one more at this point would take me over the edge, I still wish it was me today giving birth. I long for that special moment every time I see a tiny baby face or a pregnant woman. I want to grab her by the shoulders and say, "Do you realize what you are about to do?" in hopes that she too, will overlook the pain of childbirth and focus on the hope God delivers to mothers' hearts. It won't be my magic moment today, but it is still magic. And, I will certainly thank God when I look into the eyes of my new niece or nephew for the first time today.

I will post the sex once it is revealed.

Monday, February 27, 2006


BFF...Remember back to fifth grade? Best Friends Forever. That is how I used to sign notes in school to Stacey, or letters to Wendy when she was at camp. This is a picture from last summer of Phillip and his friend Mia. Mia is our neighbor and both Samuel and Phillip enjoy playing with her. She is an adventurous little girl who doesn't mind playing pirates, exploring in the forest or riding shotgun in Phillip's Gator (other boys always want to drive; Mia likes to ride).

Mia came over to play yesterday. They have such a great and easy friendship. At five, Mia comes over, they play, she goes home. So, here I am at thirty-three finding myself challenged to develop, maintain, or nurture friendships. Where did I go wrong on this one? I keep trying to think what event in my life made friendships get weird for me (always analyzing...I think I have been to therapy too much in my life).

While I don't know what even triggered this, I know at some point, I really started thinking that everyone else has plenty of friends--but me. At some point, I grew insecure not about a particular friendship, but about the very idea of friendships. At some point, I just got bad at making friends, and even worse at successfully maintaining friendships.

I meet plenty of people and have lots of acquaintances, but when it comes to developing real friendships, I usually find my self saying things like, "I am sure she already has plenty of friends." And, at those moments in life when regular people call on their friends, I rarely feel comfortable picking up the phone and calling someone I consider a friend.

How much do I share? At what point? If I call her and ask her to do something and she says no, is she really busy or just doesn't want to do something? What if she says yes--does that mean she wants to be my friend or is just saying yes for something to do? How many times do I call and extend an invitation after getting nos? How many times do I call, period? Should I call her and then wait for her to call me the next time?

Sounds like I am talking about chasing a man--the same thing, I guess. I want someone that I can share the challenges and celebrations of life with today...and have it mean even more tomorrow. I want to be at the birth of my friend's child and in the pew the day he or she gets married. I want to be able to be honest about my feelings and concerns (I think sometimes people don't really want you to be honest, more on that topic another day). I want someone who listens to my petty shit and finds value in it. Yeah, yeah, my husband does that. But I want a female friend to share that with as well.

I try and tell myself I have years to find this friendship, and I cannot make it happen. In fact, one friendship that I really thought was headed for a lifelong connection recently fizzled. I know these things ebb and flow, but this one just isn't want I had hoped so desperately it was going to be. Maybe one day I will once again find a friendship that offers the joy and innocence of a childhood friendship. Oddly enough, I am still friends with Stacey. That is one of my greatest accomplishments in life. Stacey and I have been friends since we were five (although she lives out of state now).

But, unlike a childhood friendship, which offers memories, I want a friend to share the future with. This is the best time in my life--I want to share these joys, opportunities, and adventures with someone who will be around for awhile. Certainly, there is someone out there that God has in mind to be my forever friend. BFF

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Blogger and my three favorite cupcakes. Posted by Picasa

This Is It!

Okay, I guess this is it...I am blogging. But, I sort of don't know how to begin, and like my usual self, I am sure I am over-thinking this. Do I start at the beginning? Do I explain who I am? Do I just start writing and hope you figure the rest out? I mean, my guess is everyone reading this will know me, right? Are any of you strangers? And, if it is all people who know me--what, do I send out an email announcing my new blog so people can read about me? Hmm.

I am standing in my kitchen typing on the laptop with Andrew being pushed around my feet on a flimsy riding toy by his brothers. Danger! Ah, the day in a life of a boy.

So, now watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. I have thought more about my blog and have done some blog research. Some are journals accounting for activities throughout the day, others are over-simplifications of life's real complicated challenges, and others are just plain weird. When I told my mom about starting a blog, she asked me what they say, and I told her about some I read. She said, sounds like a Christmas card letter; she is right. I just cannot do that. My blog will have to include some of the bad, and even a little bit of the ugly. I will have to, at some times, risk someone realizing it is THEM that I a writing about. I will have to risk readers forming opinions of me that I wouldn't choose. Iwill have to give up the what if I sound like a...

Now that that is settled, where are we? Trapped in the house for what seems like weeks with sick kids and sick me. After a trip to the doctor last week, I am finally feeling better with the help of antibiotics. But, I am not alone. Two of the three boys (numbers one and three) are also on Amoxicillin for a total between them of four pink eyes and three infected ears. I feel like every time I put the baby in a shopping cart, he gets sick. This all started with a cold he developed shortly after a brief ride in a shopping cart at Best Buy (and, yes, I even clean their hands as soon as we get in the car). Then, the oldest, Phillip caught it with a fever for three days straight. By day four, the fever started to come and go, but lingered for three more days. He had huge coughing fits, so I finally took him to the doctor just to have her listen to his chest. All clear.

Next, me. In bed with a fever for more days than I would like to admit. Cold symptoms right on top of that. Ten days later, I was still suffering with cold symptoms, body aches, and low-grade fevers in the evenings. But life went on. So, one Sunday when the older two were with Grammy, I took the baby to Wild Oats and he rode in the cart. A mere 36 hours later, Pink Eye! The next day, Phillip woke up with Pink Eye. Thought we were all clear, but Sam woke up with it Saturday morning. Off to the doctor again tomorrow. That will equal $140 in co-pays in February (that is with decent insurance) and $40+ in antibiotics. Husband completely unscathed.

Anyway, that is a long time to spend on something so trivial. Especially considering the big blow I received recently about a friend. A mother of two (boy, 6 and girl, 4) has cancer and it isn't good. Terri is one of the funniest people I know. She has an amazing husband who is so in love with her and is such a great father. Terri and Dennis have such great respect for each other, work hard, and enjoy family. She had her youngest when she was 43 and never batted an eye. She is strong, determined, and an incredibly open person. Sometimes, if you didn't know her, you might think she was almost rude--but it is just Terri speaking her mind, asking whatever questions she has, or sharing her honest thoughts.

They found cancer in her ovaries, colon, and liver. They operated and removed about 8 inches of her colon and an ovary. But, the liver, there is nothing they can do. It is stage IV cancer. Once she recovers from the surgery, they will start chemo and if she responds, which they said it is about a 50 percent chance she will, it could add years. Otherwise, it will be months.

I need to call her. I have talked with her husband, but am having trouble calling her. I mean, what do you say? I need to just say that--I don't know what to say, but wanted to call. I will do it. Actually, I am hoping she will be home tomorrow and I can call her there. I always feel so weird calling people in the hospital, unsure of what is going on, if they are feeling like talking. Okay, and I hate hospitals. A silly reason to avoid it, but I really hate them. I have come a long way on this one, but it is deeply woven into my biggest phobia of all--vomit. There are people who vomit in hospitals. Should I be giving away all of my dark phobias so early in my blog?!

Anyway, I will call her tomorrow. Plus, I will look back on this entry and see how I like my blog and work on the next entry. Photos are a must, yes, indeed. Tomorrow. That will be the goal, tomorrow.

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