Archive for May 2011




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Back in January, Tim and I decided to take a break from trying for our second child. Tim had just started a new job, our insurance was switching and I had just started some part-time freelance writing. We waited for 4 months before deciding we were ready to begin again. This month was our first month of trying and, of course, it’s going to be a bust.

I don’t know what’s wrong. What I do know is that neither Tim nor I want to spend a fortune (that we don’t have) on treatment. I talked to my Ob/Gyn back in late fall and he didn’t seem concerned. He said for some couples it can take up to 3 years. This is frustrating but it doesn’t mean there is something wrong. I don’t feel like there is something wrong, so I declined further testing.

I feel like we need a stopping point though now that we are back on the wagon and Charla is 3 years old. We agreed to try for 24 more cycles. Charla will be 5 years old and starting Kindergarten in the fall. I feel we will be so far out of the baby stage that we won’t want to go back. I’m already sort of reaching this point. I had wanted the kids about 2.5 years apart. The fact that this is not going to happen just plain sucks. It’s not fair but I can’t control it. I refuse to let it get me down. I have a beautiful daughter, a loving family and my husband is my best friend. What more can I ask for?!

So, I am starting the countdown this cycle. I’m crossing my fingers that by the end of this a baby will be on the way. If not, I have to move on. I only have one life to live and I want to enjoy it to the absolute fullest.

Add a comment May 28, 2011

Birds

Tim and I bought a bird feeder two years back. We have a large maple tree in front of our house so we hung the feeder from one of the branches. Then we got a bird bath so after the birds eat they can clean up. We put that under our maple tree too. At first we were really good about keeping the feeder full of seed and the bird bath full of water. Then, we became not so good. We would fill the feeder maybe once per month. Otherwise it would hang empty. Poor birds. The bird bath basically got filled when it rained. We had a pair of doves that would come and hang out around the bird bath when it was full, but they lost interest pretty quick.

This spring Tim started showing an interest in the bird feeder again. He started filling it whenever it got low and the birds came back. Either they are new birds or birds are very forgiving when there is food around. Anyway, we decided to get a couple more feeders. We bought one of those shepherd’s poles with two hooks coming off on either side and bought two more bird feeders. More and more birds started coming around. Last week I saw an Indigo Bunting and he was gorgeous!

We visited my parent’s house last weekend. My dad is really into birds. He’s got 7 or 8 feeders around his yard. Each is filled with a different seed so he can attract different bird species. One of his feeders is filled with thistle seed and it attracts the most bright yellow finches you could possibly lay eyes on. Tim was also talking to him about hummingbirds. We had been considering a hummingbird feeder for awhile. Then, a few weeks ago, I actually saw a hummingbird flying (buzzing?) around our tulips, so we knew they were in the area. My dad gave Tim the recipe he uses to fill hummingbird feeders since the store bought red dye food gives hummingbirds canker sores. Sad!

After we left my parent’s house we went to pick up two new feeders. One for thistle seed and, of course, a hummingbird feeder. The thistle feeder has actually been pretty quiet. I’ve seen a pair of yellow finches, and let me just say it is not fair that the males get to be the bright yellow! But the hummingbird feeder, oh my gosh, that thing is hopping! It had been hung for less than 24 hours and I had already seen 3 hummingbirds. Yesterday I saw another 5-6, and that’s just while I was watching. Who knew hummingbirds swarmed my area?!

Add a comment May 24, 2011

Memories

There is something about watching Charla run barefoot through the grass that screams “childhood”. Back when times were simpler and the only care in the world was if your friends were going to come over to play with you.

We kicked off the weekend Friday night with a bonfire. Charla had taken a nap so she was able to stay up a little later. I gave her a bath before going outside so she was running around in her pajamas. I set up her little camping chair and she would sit down for about 30 seconds before taking off to do something else.

Charla’s confidence in large motor activities has taken a steep climb ever since we built her playset. Now she is going up the slide, trying to flip upside down on her rings and laying on her swing to pretend she can fly. Even taking some minor tumbles hasn’t stopped her. It is so relieving to see her start to take an interest in trying new things. I feel like I can put some of my worries aside.

Yesterday was a summer-like day. We were outside almost the entire day. I love days like that and having a little girl just makes it all the better. I can dress her up in pretty sundresses and do her hair but at the end of the day she’s sweaty, greasy from sunscreen and covered with grass stains. And this is what being a kid is all about. I remember crawling into bed at the end of a busy day and falling asleep within seconds. These are the types of memories I want Charla to have. Barefoot in the grass, the sun shining on her face and popsicle juice running down her arm.

Add a comment May 23, 2011

Dr. Google

I have always been told that ADD runs in my family. I haven’t been officially diagnosed with it, but, that’s just a technicality. I was able to make my way through school without much difficulty so my parents never pushed for a diagnosis. My dad and brother have both been officially diagnosed.

I’ve been doing a bit of research lately. There are certain things about Charla that don’t sit right with me. She’s very intelligent, her verbal skills are excellent and she’s just as cute as can be. However, her large motor has never been that great and she has certain oddities with textures and large crowds. During my research I came across sensory processing disorder. Charla has a few of the symptoms. What surprised me, however, was how many I have. Way more than Charla.

Supposedly people find ways of coping with it if it’s mild enough. I’m not sure I’m coping though. In large crowds I have a huge problem focusing on one conversation; to the point where I won’t involve myself in any conversations. I also have a very hard time focusing in stores if I need to bring Charla along. It’s like I’m overwhelmed with having to get what I came for while watching Charla. Multiple times I have left without taking the things I purchased. I hate certain textures of food. When playing in the sandbox I always brush the sand off my hands or pants; even if it’s just a few grains. I have to externally calm myself by squeezing something soft and cold – like a blanket. If Charla’s blankey is laying next to me I find myself constantly squishing it in my hands.

I’m not sure what I want to do about this. I’ve been thinking about it now for about a week. I guess I feel like I already have so many coping mechanisms in place that I will be okay. Plus, how much stock can I really put in a self diagnosis I made through the internet?

Add a comment May 19, 2011

Attitude

Yesterday was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and we could actually go outside without putting coats on. Charla didn’t nap so we went outside early in the afternoon and stayed out until I had to come in to make dinner. She played on her playset, colored with chalk, played t-ball, and rode her bike. A great afternoon!

Tim is getting frustrated with the weather lately. We have been having a lot of below normal temperatures and rain. I try to understand his point of view but by the end of the day I’m sick of  hearing the complaining. I try to look on the bright side of things. Perhaps we were 7 degrees below normal yesterday but Charla played outside, the sun was shining, and it was a fun afternoon. I don’t want his negative views to rub off on how I see things. I don’t think I could go through life looking only at the bad things. I have a feeling that was the way he was brought up and I don’t want Charla to grow up that way. I want her to be a happy and positive person. Obviously she’ll have her days, we all do. But when that day ends, I want her to be able to realize that tomorrow is a new day and things will get better.

Charla is going through another “mommy” phase. I keep waiting for a “daddy” phase but it’s never come. She goes through periods where only mommy will do and then will relax into her normal I prefer mommy but I suppose daddy will do. I’m not sure if this is normal or something to be concerned about. I didn’t (don’t) have a very strong relationship with my dad. He’s always been present in my life but we didn’t have the type of relationship where I felt I could go to him with problems. Maybe that’s how a lot of teenage girls feel, I don’t know. I wanted Charla to have a better relationship with her father but she simply doesn’t seem interested. I think part of it is that Tim has his own agenda and if she doesn’t want to do what he has planned then she can just stay with me. He does keep asking her if she wants to do things with him though so I guess that’s good. I know things won’t be like this forever.

Today is rainy. I’m not sure what we’ll do this afternoon. Probably just stay home and take it easy. Put in a movie and cuddle on the couch, paint, and play with toys. Sounds good to me!

Add a comment May 18, 2011

The Day After

Yesterday we didn’t want to stop celebrating. Saturday was so wonderful, it felt a bit anti-climatic to just let Sunday drift by. It was too cold and windy to spend a lot of time outside. But, we decided it would be the perfect day to drive over to Lake Michigan and watch waves roll in for a bit.

Charla had a great time throwing stones into the water. Although the water was way too choppy to watch them make a splash. A few times a wave would come right up to our feet and I would pick her up and we would run backwards so our shoes wouldn’t get wet. She would laugh and laugh.

Afterwards Charla got to play at the park for a little bit. It was a great end to a wonderful weekend.

Add a comment May 16, 2011

3!

I can’t believe it. I just can’t wrap my mind around the fact that Charla is 3 years old. She’s been a part of my life for  3 years. On one hand it seems like these years have flown by. On the other hand, it feels like she’s always been here. I didn’t have this much trouble grasping her first or second birthdays, but this time is different. I feel like my baby is now grown into a child, basically overnight. How did this happen?!

I know she’s going to need me for quite a few years yet, but with her baby years behind her, I can feel our relationship changing. Where before I had played the role of nurturer, now I’m finding myself being more of a disciplinarian and playmate. Of course she still likes cuddling at the end of the day, but these cuddles aren’t what get her through the day. Now she needs me to help her work out right from wrong. She needs me to laugh at her jokes (this is a new thing, she sings silly songs and laughs and laughs at them). She needs me to push her in the swings and play hopscotch with her. As much as I miss holding her as a tiny baby, I like this change.

I look forward to this year. I’ve loved watching Charla grow and learn new things. I love teaching her about life and being with her while she explores on her own. This has got to be one of the best things about being a parent. I’m sure this year is going to be full of exciting new things.

Charla’s birthday party was amazing. The weather was gloomy and windy, but that didn’t matter. Family was gathered in the living room, presents were being opened and a good time was had by all. Now that these last two super busy weeks are over, I’m ready to look forward to summer fun. Swimming, vacations, parks, picnics – it’s going to be a good one!

Add a comment May 15, 2011

It’s Almost Party Time!

Quick post because I have a lot going on today! This morning is the calm before the storm. The storm being Charla’s birthday party on Saturday.

I’m a procrastinator. I always have been, probably always will be. What that means for today is that I have absolutely nothing ready for her party. I seem to work better under pressure though, so I know everything will get done and the party will be enjoyable. However, this afternoon is going to include doing some grocery shopping and heading to DQ to let Charla pick out her cake. Oh, and I almost forgot she has to bring snack tomorrow for school….eeeek!

I love days like this. I thrive on them. They make me feel alive. Being so busy I don’t have time to sit and think feels great. Come Sunday though, I will be glad it’s over.

Add a comment May 12, 2011

In Process

Lately it seems like I am all about self exploration. I’m not an emotionally deep person. Meaning, I don’t sit and ponder the meaning of life or why I am a certain way. I took a psychology class in high school, but that is the extent of my knowledge of the brain’s inner workings. However, like I’ve repeatedly said, becoming a parent opened my eyes to a few things.

Yet another one of those things is my family and extended family. Growing up, I always thought we were a close family. We got together for every major holiday and even some of the minor ones. There would be laughing, talking, and playing games. Don’t get me wrong, family gatherings were fun. But…..

Now that I’ve grown up and had a child, I can see family gatherings a little more clearly. I’ve become familiar to the family politics. My family isn’t exactly open with one another. Emotions get hid, people get mad without voicing their concerns and passive-aggressive comments are made. I guess this is pretty unavoidable whenever there is a group of people getting together on a regular basis.

I have a good relationship with my parents. However, there are certain parenting techniques I’m doing differently and things I want to do differently as Charla gets older. It can be hard to step out of the mold. When I’ve had a bad day I feel myself slipping back to the yelling and frustration that my parents often used to discipline.

I also find myself as a glass half empty person. I’m not sure if this is something that can be genetically inherited, but I’m sure if you live around that for the early part of your life you tend to pick it up. I’m trying to have a more optimistic outlook on life and not let the little things bother me.

So, those are the two big things I’m trying to work on within myself. I know that anger, frustration and negativity are always going to be a part of life. They are necessary emotions since life cannot always be sunshine and rainbows. But I think aiming for more fun, happy times is a good goal.

Add a comment May 11, 2011

Life

Bringing life into the world has changed a lot of my outlooks on many different topics. However, the most changed outlook may very well be how precious life is. How easily “living” can be taken away. I look at my daughter and can’t imagine what life would be without her in it. Yet at the same time, I know how quickly that could happen. I don’t sit and dwell on this thought because it is rather unpleasant. Sometimes though, it sneaks into the corner of my thoughts and it feels like I’ve been punched.

The same goes for my life. I’m not sure what I believe in as far as religion and the afterlife. I was raised a Christian, but I haven’t been to church in almost 2 years. I’m not necessarily scared of death as much as how I’m going to die. I hope I will live to a ripe old age and watch Charla grow up, go to school, start a career, get married and have her own children. The thought of missing any part of her life due to me dying hits me almost as hard as the thought of losing her.

I want to be here for everything. I want to watch all her accomplishments and be there with her to celebrate them.

Thankfully, my health is not in question. It’s scary though reading about how things cause cancer. Or how if you don’t eat properly you shave years off your life. And if you don’t exercise you are at greater risk for heart attack. Not to mention the statistics of car accidents or the probability of another World War. Even 2012 can be unsettling, although I’m not putting much trust in that theory. The world is a scary place and it can be an overwhelming job to protect our children, our partners and ourselves.

Add a comment May 10, 2011

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