Thursday, May 15, 2014

Oh, The Places You'll Go {When You Get a Nap}

Our household has not had a solid nights sleep in...I don't know how long.  It's been rough around here.

Once upon a time Corbin was sleeping solid.  Then teething, a cold, and bronchiolitis happened.  I miss waking up to a happy babbling baby.

Too bad he's not the only one.  Emme has struggled with sleep since we brought Corbin home.  The past three weeks she hasn't slept once through the night.  We're stumped.  She's either waking up because of her ADHD or she scared.  We're not sure which.  Maybe it's both.  One of us usually ends up sleeping on her floor while the other one tends to a screaming Corbin.  It's all very glamorous.

Today alone we have dealt with throw up, a crib covered in pee, and a gyno appointment.  To top things off, Corbin and I were pooped on by a bird while walking into Emme's school.  It was the cherry on top.

The three of us barely made it to nap time before killing over from exhaustion.  Usually, my kid's schedules are opposite so I have no hope for a nap.  Today I made it work.  We all slept like a boss.  It was awesome.

It's amazing what a nap can do.  We awoke a completely different group of humans.  Corbin giggled, Emme obeyed, and I had patience.  We played and played. I made dinner. We spent much needed time in the sun. Instead of Emme making Corbin cry, she made him scream with delight.  She was actually a three year old today and not a raging uncontrollable toddler.   It was glorious.  We were happy. We had fun.

Sure the house was a mess and I had no make up on, but today I loved being a mom.

Nap. Oh, dear nap.  I love you.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Truth About Motherhood

Emme went through a phase where she separated herself into two different people.  There was a good Emme and a bad Emme.  They often got in fights with each other where bad Emme would hit good Emme, or bad Emme would scream at good Emme.

Disturbing much?

Naturally, I brought this up to her behavioral therapist.  She explained that Emme was having a hard time understanding that people can be both good and bad.  She only perceived them in a very black or white way.  Therefore, she split her personalities into separate components so she could process herself in a way that made sense to her.

Her BT brought up the point that everyone has both good qualities and bad qualities, but that Emme is too little to understand you can have both.

She has now grown out of this phase, but I was reminded of this conversation this week when her psychiatrist asked me how the last few months had gone.  As I thought back, I could think of many negative experiences, but I could also think of many positive ones.  So I responded with "we've had a lot of ups and a lot of downs."

Emme has come so far and yet we still have struggles every day.  I worried the psychiatrist would think it was a weird response.  I mean, she's either doing better or she isn't.  Make a choice.  Am I right?

Flashback to my conversation with the BT.  It IS okay to admit that our everyday life is both better and sometimes it's not.  10:30 might be amazing and 10:35 might be terrible.  Just like we all have good and bad qualities the same is true of many things in life.

Being a mom for example.

Motherhood is often times very polar opposite.

Sometimes it's beautiful...

and moments later it can become more...let's say....interesting...

"Emme, stop picking your nose and eating it."

Seriously, honey, that's gross.

Motherhood is both joyful and heartbreaking.

Worth it, yet SO tiring.

Funny and frustrating.

Messy and more messy. Okay that one doesn't really work.

Spiritual and scream into a pillow, worthy.

These are all things you probably already knew.  Well here's some realizations I made this week that you may not know.  

I love seeing all of the inspirational posts about motherhood this time of year.  Booyah to telling us it's okay to let housework go so you can play with your kids.  Kuddos to letting perfection go out the window.  High five to the person that said you have to make time for yourself.  I dig it.  I get it.  I love it.  Except for weeks like this one. 

As much as these articles and speeches inspire me, they also make me roll my eyes.  I can guarantee they weren't written in the midst of sleepless nights, sick kids, bathrooms that are overdue, and work that HAS to be done now.  Or as I like to call my life right now "survival mode."  

I hit a point this week that I just got SO frustrated!  I get that it's okay to let things go, but they still have to get done eventually.  Eventually was this week.  I couldn't handle the chaos any longer.  Problem is, my life doesn't care right now.  My life IS chaos and it's not going to change for a while.  I feel like I'm always just skimming the surface.  There's not time or energy to really dig deep into extra... well...anything extra.  I'm lucky to get the counter cleaned up and the toys put away.  It's an amazing occurrence when Emme is sent to school with matching socks.  So amazing that I deserve an award for it because it's such an accomplishment for me.  

No one mentions that you still gotta get crap done and find time to be a fun playful mom. No one tells you what to do if that's just not possible.  I've never been schooled on parenting a special needs child while making sure my house doesn't become condemned.  Where is an article that tells you it's okay to ignore your children for a moment because there is NO ONE else that is going to do the work for you?  After all, we can't turn into hoarders here people.  That's pretty much frowned upon.  Where is a post about making it through when there is not a single moment to go grocery shopping?  Where is the talk about never seeing your husband and date nights seriously not being possible right now?

Maybe when I look back at this time, I will write an inspirational article saying "I've been there." " Hang in there, friend."  "There will be a time for organization later in life."

Now is not that time.

Right now I'm just a complete clone of Franky from The Middle.  

Unorganized, tired, poor, and not a very good cook.  It's scary how well I relate to her.

So here's my inspiration to myself right now.

YES, it's okay to let housework go, but it's also okay to let Emme watch TV with a big bowl of popcorn while you wipe down the toilet.

YES, it's okay to play hide and seek with your three year old. But, it's also okay to unload the dishwasher, once in a while, instead. 

YES, it's okay to take a nap after a sleepless night, but it's also okay to feel a little guilty that you accomplished nothing, nothing, when Emme was at school.   A little guilt is good.  It brings motivation. Now I'm just making stuff up.  Have I mentioned I'm tired enough times yet?

YES, it's okay that your life is contradictory and this article may only make sense to yourself.  

YES, it's okay that you are a mess right now because it's still a mess that's pretty beautiful.  See how I brought that back around?


Just. Keep. Surviving.  You're doing great.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Things You May Find

In my garbage can...

...On a Sunday morning...

__One exact pound of burnt to dust bacon.

__Doughy cherry pie bars.

__Kidney bean liquid scooped out of the crock pot and mixed with baked beans.

__One box of empty cookie dough, bought from a school fundraiser.

__My cooking hopes and dreams.

I think it's safe to say...

__You shouldn't ask me to cook for any event you're having.

__I will wake my husband in a panic when bacon is charred and there is no counter left showing in the kitchen.

__My husband makes great bacon.

__He bakes the perfect fundraiser chocolate chip cookies.

__My talents lie elsewhere.

__I should have listened to my sister in law when she said "Will you bring a dessert to my baby blessing even if it's just store bought?"  Probably meaning, "I know you well enough to know this is not your strong suit."

__She was right.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Count On Me

The summer before third grade, my dad introduced me to his close friend's new step daughter, Jessica.  She had just moved from "big city" Utah to our quaint little farming community.  She was my new neighbor.  Which in Idaho meant she lived a good mile away and was within biking distance.  I was in awe of her Polly Pocket collection and her stories of the city.  We became instant friends and even survived a tornado while riding our bikes one day.  Hilarious story by the way.  We were put in the same third grade class and were in the same ward.  I was in heaven.  

Flash forward to seventh grade.  

In health class I was assigned to sit by a girl named Callie.  She had a quick wit and didn't put up with crap.  I asked her for a piece of gum to which she frankly replied "no', because it was her favorite kind.  I don't remember how we became friends after that, but I'm sure it was our shared love of sarcasm.

By ninth grade a trio of friendship was born.  We knew each other better than anyone.  We laughed, we cried, we fought, passed notes, crushed on boys, vacationed together, and made up dances.  We were a part of each others families.   We really had such an innocent childhood together.  One that anyone would be lucky to have.  

This is a true selfie before digital cameras.  

One summer when we were in high school, Jess was on her way to visit her dad in Utah.  I was at youth activity at our church house when I heard siren after siren pass by.  It is highly unusual for something like that to happen out in the country.  We knew it meant bad news.  Our leaders left the room for a while and when they came back they all had grave looks on their faces.  They wouldn't tell us what happened, but I knew it wasn't good.  

When I got home that night my mom, who was the Relief Society president at the time, finally shared the tragic news.  Jessica's step dad and one of my dad's best friends had passed away in a car accident not far from our home.  Jess and her mom received the news half way to Utah and quickly turned around to head back home.  

My mom went to their house that night and I remember saying "mom, please make sure Jess is okay."  She promised that she would.

Callie was always better at knowing how to handle times like this.  I'm sure she organized a gift for Jess and knew the right words to say.  I on the other hand sat back in shock and heartache for my friend.  I had no idea how help my friend.  This wasn't suppose to happen to one of us.  I don't recall much of our conversation the day we went to visit Jess after her step dad died, but I do remember sitting on her bar stools in her kitchen and trying to make her laugh.    

I always admired Jessica's strength.

Polaroid anyone?

We rocked many girl's camps together.  

Jess is using an actual phone with a cord and everything.  

What else is there to do in a small town on a Saturday night, but play at the park?  
Jess with her high school sweetheart.  How cute is that?

Thanks, Idaho, for a miserably windy and cold graduation day.
 Helping me carry my ginormously poofy wedding dress.  

My favorite picture of the three of us.
When we were younger we daydreamed of a time we would all live on the same street and our kids would be best friends. Once we were all married, we headed in different directions, but that didn't keep us from easily getting right back to where we left off when we did see each other.  Callie lives far away from us now, but we still keep in close contact through social media.  


Shortly after Emme joined our family through adoption, I got a text from Jessica saying they were going to be starting the process to adopt as well.  I was so excited for her, but I also knew what a roller coaster it could be and hoped her experience would go smoothly.

They had many ups and down while waiting to be chosen, and unfortunately most were down.  I was heartbroken when I told her we were getting another baby.  I cried and scolded Heavenly Father from denying them of being parents.  It wasn't fair.  Jessica took the news gracefully and told me this baby was meant to come to our family and not to worry about her.  

When Corbin was a few months old I received a text from Jess with a picture of the cutest and tiniest 6 month old I had ever seen.  She was finally going to be a mommy.  I cried tears of joy for days afterward.  I told everyone I came across the happy news.  I didn't even care if they knew her or not.  I thanked Heavenly Father.   All seemed right in the world.

Sweet Kai had some health issues, but he immediately flourished in Jess and Spencer's home.  I loved every picture and video Jess sent me.  I couldn't wait to get him and Corbin together, but with Corbin being really sick all winter, it was impossible.

One short month ago another text with a picture showed up on my phone.  Poor Kai was hooked up to a million tubes and Jess was kissing him on the forehead.  She told me the horrible news that he was fighting for his life.  It happened so sudden.  One day he was doing amazing and the next he was attached to a life saving machine.  My heart broke into a million pieces.  It felt so surreal.  I again pleaded with Heavenly Father.  Please, please, please, don't let this happen.

We were headed out of town just minutes after I heard the news and I'm pretty sure I cried most of the way to our destination.  Kai's fate started to look up and by night time he was doing pretty well.  I went to bed feeling like he was going to be okay.

Heavenly Father had other plans for Kai.  In the middle of the night he experienced a massive stroke one of which was impossible to survive.  I wept and wept.  Again, this wasn't fair.  This can't be happening.

Gregg and I packed our bags as fast as we could and left town.  For mostly selfish reasons I had to get to Jessica.

I made it to the hospital just minutes after Kai passed away.  My experiences after that are hard to explain.  How can you describe what it's like to hug a mother who just said goodbye to their child?  I don't have the vocabulary for it.  

Kai had an amazing viewing  The spirit was very strong and hearts were very heavy.  He looked so perfect. 

I had the privilege of singing "I Know that My Redeemer Lives," at the funeral.  I was an honor.  I had such a sense of eternity afterwards.  God really does know us and what we do here in life matters.  Kai touched so many lives.   He was a perfect Child of God.

There was a balloon release at the cemetery.  Jess' dad joked he was going to bring a red one because he is a huge Utes fan. So funny.  
This was my favorite photo of all.  So much contemplation in Spencer's face.  

Kai is so missed.  I look up to Jessica so much.  She is so strong.  She knows Heavenly Father has a plan for her family.  She struggles with the hurt, but I admire her want to get through each day being a little stronger.  She is a true model of what a mother should be. 

Jess, I hope you know you can always count on me.  I will always be ready to take a trip to see the pigs when you need it.  ;) 

Count On Me // Bruno Mars

If you ever find yourself stuck in the middle of the sea
I'll sail the world to find you
If you ever find yourself lost in the dark and you can't see
I'll be the light to guide you

Find out what we're made of
When we are called to help our friends in need
You can count on me like one, two, three, I'll be there
And I know when I need it
I can count on you like four, three, two, you'll be there
'Cause that's what friends are supposed to do,

If you're tossin' and you're turnin' and you just can't fall asleep
I'll sing a song beside you
And if you ever forget how much you really mean to me
Everyday I will remind you

Find out what we're made of
When we are called to help our friends in need
You can count on me like one, two, three, I'll be there
And I know when I need it
I can count on you like four, three, two, and you'll be there
'Cause that's what friends are supposed to do

You'll always have my shoulder when you cry
I'll never let go, never say goodbye
You know you can count on me like one, two, three, I'll be there
And I know when I need it
I can count on you like four, three, two, and you'll be there
'Cause that's what friends are supposed to do

You'll always have my shoulder when you cry
I'll never let you go,
Never say goodbye
You know you can count on me like one, two, three
I'll be there
And i know when i need it
I can count on you like four, three, two
And you'll be there
Cause that's what friends are supposed to do

You can count on me 'cause I can count on you...