Thursday, November 7, 2013

#10 Grateful for His provision

This will be the first full year that I’ve been the main income for our family. I’ll admit that I don’t like the emotions, feelings and pressures that come along with the gig. I have a new respect for those who are the sole or main income for their family. When Ryan quit his job to become a full time student I was very nervous, especially because we had a seven month old. When I look back I think God prepared a path for us and this transition.

Here are some of the ways I’ve seen him work.

God gave me the opportunity to not only stay on full time at Siemens for an additional nine months after my internship ended in 2008 but I also was able to work a lot of overtime which helped us save money for this period Ryan would be a student.

I also got my dream job at Accudyne in 2009 with a great salary, benefits and profit sharing i.e. more savings.

Eight of my twelve weeks of maternity leave were unpaid. Good practice in budgeting while technically being employed and yet not getting paid.

I was able to exclusively breastfeed Tino for six months and through his first year which saved us a lot of money on formula.

When Ryan went back to work after I had my c-section his boss had cut him back to part time. Although we weren’t happy about this at the time I think it helped again slowly prepare us to budget even more. Plus it allowed Ryan to be home more to help me, new mom, with a colicky Tino.

Sadly our first choice of childcare for Tino for when I returned to work didn’t pan out and we ended up putting him in his current daycare which was significantly less cost and closer to home. This saved us money on childcare and gas.

Ryan and I met a wonderful couple named Carl and Jade who are the owners of TrinTac where we took our concealed carry class. As we became closer friends an opportunity arose for Ryan to work for TrinTac and they hired him on as part of their staff. He’s now teaching classes and answering their phones. Its evening and weekend work and answering the phones is done on his own time at his convenience which is great with him being a student. Although, it’s not a full time income it’s been probably the biggest blessing thus far.

Finally, this year has been most challenging as it’s been the slowest year my company has ever had. Of the 52 weeks this year I will have gotten less than 40 hours for half of those weeks. We also are not getting profit sharing this year. And our health insurance costs rose. I did get a raise but it was smaller than usual but certainly better than nothing and I’m thankful.

On top of that we’ve had some major unexpected expenses. Ryan had a lot of dental work done this year. We said farewell to our two pugs this year but not before dropping a large sum of money on each only to find out there wasn’t anything more we could do. Ryan’s tuition, books and lab fees were also much higher than we ever anticipated.

I think what I’m trying to say is that it’s been a stressful journey but God has provided every step of the way. We’ve worked hard and, although I don’t believe in what is referred to as the prosperity gospel, I believe God has rewarded us for our hard work. The reward is we’ve never had a single problem paying our bills. We’ve always had a roof over our heads, heat, clothes on our backs and food in our stomachs. We never had to ask anyone for financial help. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not easy. We budget and we don’t get out much. But, through it all, we’ve stayed afloat and I believe it’s all because of God. Today, I’m grateful for his provision.

Monday, October 21, 2013

#9 Grateful for my son’s ultimately healthy birth

A close friend had a baby yesterday. Another close friend is due any minute now. With all these babies being born it got me thinking about my son’s birth story. 

On Monday, January 9, 2012 Ryan and I sat down around 5 pm and had dinner. 

An hour later, nine months pregnant, I lay on the couch and took a nap. 

Ryan and I went to bed around 10:30 pm. Fifteen minutes later I had my first contraction. 

Two hours later my contractions were coming every four minutes and at 1 am we called the doctor and were told to go into the hospital. 

At 4:30 am my mom arrived at the hospital. 

Ryan and my mother stayed by my side through ever transition of labor. 

Later around 8:30 am my father and sister arrived and sat on a bench nearby my sister updating our friends and family on facebook. We joke that all of New Castle County Delaware was tuned awaiting a first glimpse of a picture of our son. 

I had two epidurals which my mother swears neither worked and that I just gave into the pain and worked through the contractions. 

They broke my water and around 11:15 am I was fully dilated and felt the urge to push. Of course Ryan stayed and after two hours of pushing with no baby to show for, our doctor unfortunately recommended a c-section. 

While having surgery Ryan joked with the nurses that I was asleep and snoring. 

Not long after, Tino was born at 2:13 pm on Tuesday, January 10, 2012, his due date. He was 7 lbs 13 oz and 21.5 inches long. He was born blue and not breathing with an Apgar score of 2. Moments later they suctioned him and he had an Apgar of 9. Ryan seeing all this kept a smile plastered on his face the entire time because me he didn’t want to scare me while I was open on the table. I knew none of this until a week later when I was home reading through the hospital paperwork.

It was fifteen and half hours of pain, some fear and ended in surgery but after all that my beautiful, healthy son was finally born. 

Some difficult months followed as we worked through breastfeeding issues, colic and even some postpartum depression but I wouldn’t trade a second of it for my son. I never knew a love like this before this little creature came into my life. He is the ultimate blessing from God for both Ryan and I. I can’t wait to do it all over again. Only, hoping next time I won’t need another c-section.

Monday, October 14, 2013

#8 Grateful for the next 43 days in the gospels

I’m reading through the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in chronological order. I’m using a Read your bible in a year chronological reading plan but I skipped right to the gospels. They will take 46 days to complete. Today is day three. 

Some friends and family on facebook are reading along with me and its nice holding one another accountable. My fellow readers post a comment once they finish the reading for the day. 

Reading the gospels in chronological order is very cool. I get to watch the whole story unfold in order rather than four separate times. And, of course I know the story but I find myself anticipating the next day and even wanting to read ahead.

So far this is the most dedicated I’ve ever been to really reading The Bible. Yes, a whole three days in a row! It’s also the most excited I’ve ever been about reading scripture. I’ve never devoted time in my schedule for something like this and I regret that now. It gives me a sense of pride.

I hope others jump on the wagon and join us. It’s actually fun. 

Today I am grateful for the next 43 days in the gospels.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

#7 Grateful for Music

I grew up in a house with music. I remember my parents playing vinyl albums all the time. They listened to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Queen, Genesis, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Billy Joel, Mark Knopfler and so much more. I remember being very young and needing a step stool to put a record on the player. I danced around the living room while my mother cleaned and my father was outside cutting the grass. 

Our little family, Ryan, Tino and I, we tend to listen to music only in the car and Tino’s exposed to a wide array of music like Joe Satriani, Clutch, Stone Sour, Tom Waits, Joe Bonamassa, Foster the People and classics like Pink Floyd and Metallica. We’ve made him some CD’s to play in his room while he falls asleep to Enya, Secret Garden, Cold Play and Adele. I hope he grows up to have an appreciation for all music like his mother and father.

I think maybe it's important for us to turn Sesame Street off and turn some music on. There is so much natural talent and practiced skill to be discovered and appreciated in music. It’s really quite beautiful. Plus our son loves to dance. It's hilarious!

Neither Ryan nor I play and instrument. Both of us have always wanted to learn. I hope Tino does one day and I plan on strongly encouraging it.

Today, I’m really grateful for music. It’s an incredible gift.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

#6 Grateful for peace in my home tonight

Popular blogger Ann Voskamp always writes about how she see's God's grace in the simplicity of her life. I like that and her.

Tonight I was washing dishes. There was a lot because I'd slacked on them yesterday and most of today. I allowed myself to because as you know we put our dog down yesterday.

So I was washing the dishes. My husband was playing his video game. He put his headphones on so I wasn't subjected to the gunfire and explosions. I had the baby monitor sitting on the kitchen counter. My son was asleep and his CD player was playing lullaby renditions of Pink Floyd.

As I washed dishes I felt happy.

Our family had a fantastic day today. We had a good breakfast. We all tried some turkey bacon for the first time. I made myself and my son some apricot orange oatmeal with a little bit of cream I had left over in the fridge.

After breakfast my husband went upstairs to watch a lecture for school. I played with Tino on the floor for a bit and we watched A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures. While he was occupied I decided to straighten up and vacuum.

Earlier, I'd posted on facebook that we were going to Milburn Orchards later in the morning. My husband made the suggestion the night before that we should all get out of the house as a family. My sister saw the post and texted to see if she and her boyfriend could come. Sure! We don't see enough of each other. I miss her and I like her boyfriend a lot. He has a great sense of humor and reminds me of my husband.

On a side note I asked if she could pop over a bit earlier and keep and eye on Tino while I got showered and dressed. She jumped in the shower, got dressed and came right over.

We all got up and out the door. Milburn Orchards was fantastic. Tino ran around. He loved the goats but didn't like the chickens. Nice family outing for less then $30, admission and a dozen apple cider donuts included. We got some fantastic photos.

My sister, although she might not know it, was such a big help today. I sometimes feel like I'm stuck by the stroller with my purse while my husband and son run off. So many times today she kept an eye on our stuff, the stroller, diaper bag and my purse so I could go snap a picture of my son. Half the time she pushed it for me so I could have my hands free. Her boyfriend took a couple really nice family shots of us for me. I'm sure it's not always fun hanging out with a couple with a kid when you're young and childless but these two are troopers. We all had a really nice time.

Once home we had some grilled cheese and soup for lunch. Ryan took a nap. Tino rested in his crib for a while and I uploaded all the photos to facebook, emailed them to my mother and chatted with her about them on the phone.

Tino was up from his nap and we finished the turtle movie, had some dinner and played some more. Ryan gave him a bath and got him in bed. He's no doubt exhausted from such an exciting day. I know I am.

I cleaned up our kitchen and now I'm spending a few minutes typing this out.

I'm sure to some this doesn't sound like a very exciting day but for me it was perfect. I love our little family so much. Our weeks are so busy with work, school, daycare and home. I crave days like these.

I think Ann is saying that you don't need to look hard to see God on days like these even if from the outside looking in they don't seem to exciting. You can feel him even while wrist deep in dirty dishes, barefoot in the kitchen feeling the night air drop in temperature and reminiscing about the day. I think if we spoke she would tell me this and I think she'd be absolutely right.

God is so great!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pinky Floyd & Shelby aka Burt

Some of you know that Sunday, March 31, 2013, Easter Sunday in fact, our pug Pinky Floyd died. Pinky went blind a few months before our son Tino was born. We took her to the vet who confirmed she was blind and wanted to send her to a specialist. She was diagnosed with Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS) which is an incurable disease in dogs causing sudden blindness. 

Although blind she did very well getting around our house. Saturday, March 30th she suddenly was not herself. She wasn’t getting around. She was very wobbly and she stopped eating and drinking. I planned to call and make her a vet appointment first thing Monday morning. However, that next morning, Easter morning, she still refused to eat and struggled to even stand. Ryan actually laid her in her bed and went to get a shower and when he came down she was gone. It was very quick and peaceful. We buried her in our backyard wrapped in a blanket and planted a garden with a blackberry bush over her. 

Her last year was a tough one. I have some regrets. And, I miss her.

Sadly, this upcoming Friday, September 27, 2013 we will be putting our pug Shelby to sleep. We made the decision yesterday and it’s not been an easy one.

I sent my family, mother, father and sister a long email laying it all out for them. I copied my husband on it as well. It stated what we are dealing with at home with her and her quality of life. I talked a lot about my feelings; frustrations and guilt at letting her go on like this. I was honest with them that with our without their support I’d made the decision that it was time to put her down. 

I sent a similar email to Shelby’s vet who confirmed that we’d done everything we could and that yes it does sound like it’s time. Dr. Flanagan at VCA Animal Hospital in Glasgow is amazing, professional and tenderhearted. He said to call and make an appointment for Friday.

I think after reading my email everyone finally understood that it’s time. I got a nice email back from my mom telling me she loves and supports me. My sister also sent me a nice text. My husband, Ryan, and I talked when I got home from work and he also agreed that it’s time.

Last night I was sitting at our computer and I was looking through old pictures of Shelby to share on facebook and it hit me that she is just not the dog she used to be. She doesn’t jump on my leg with her silly face and airplane ears perked for a treat. She doesn’t freak out and run all over the house and jump on the furniture and bark her high pitch bar. She doesn’t talk when it’s time of her dinner. She just struggles to walk and lies around. And because Tino doesn’t understand that she’s in a delicate state he’s not gentle with her. To protect her we keep her in the kitchen alone all the time. It’s such a sad life for her. After looking at her life two years or so ago and her life now I feel much better about this decision.

Also, Ryan made a great point that Tino’s still little and he’s such a busy body. He probably won’t even notice she’s gone. If we wait another six months or a year he might put two and two together and be sad. If I can spare him of that for now I will.

Friday will be a hard day. I’m taking the day off from work. I’m taking Tino to daycare. I’m going to give Shelby a bath and brush her well and maybe take her down to the park. She can do her best to walk around in the fresh air for some time. I might even make her something to eat, some table food she’s not normally allowed to have before we head up to the vet.

I’m praying for peaceful day Friday. Please keep me in your thoughts.

She loved to be outside!

Always had her tongue out!

Airplane ears perked up for a treat!

The tongue again!

Did you say food? This dog was ruled by her stomach!



Funny sitter!

The two best dogs ever! Having just one pug is like eating just one potato chip!

What a pair uh?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

God Forgive Me

So the horrible story about little Evan has really just broken my heart. I don’t know why this hits so close to home with me. Maybe because it’s a boy and he’s so close in age to Tino. Maybe because it happened here in my home state. 

I read his mother’s description of her last hours with him and even though I won the battle of fighting back tears all day at work I completely lost the war after I picked Tino up from daycare. I kissed him and hugged him tight by the car. Then I strapped him in. Once I got in the car I put some music on for him and cried the 15 minutes home. The tears were cleansing.

My last few hours with my son I would also need to be the one to take him off life support. I would craddle him for hours. I would bathe him one last time. I would dress him in warm clothes. I would place him gently in the bag, kiss him one last time, zip him up and watch them wheel him away. Even after his beautiful and boisterous little spirit left this world I'd care for his little body with the love, respect and dignity it deserves. After all I’m his mother.

In those moments when the tears just streamed down my face I thanked God for my son. I begged Him to always keep him safe. In the darkness of my human heart I sinned and swore vengeance, justice and murder on any evil that would ever dare harm my child. And I clung to the hope that if anything horrible happened to our family that God is strong enough to get us through it.

However, a very tenderhearted person told me yesterday that if she ever lost her child in that way she’d never want to smile again. I can’t help but feel the exact same way. I’m not sure I’d want to live another moment without my beautiful baby boy. God forgive me for such thoughts.

#5 Grateful for Honest Mothers

Today, I am grateful for honest Mothers!
Mothers like this:
They make me feel like:
1. I'm not alone
2. These feelings are normal
3. I don't need to feel guilty
4. I'm doing my best
5. I'm a good mother
I don't think there is anything worse then having these feelings and someone making you feel guilty about them.
We do a huge disservice to one another pretending it's kisses and giggles 24/7.
I'm convinced it doesn't get easier. It just gets different.
But still, it's

Saturday, September 14, 2013

My Mexican Stuffed Shells

This recipe is making it's way around on facebook. I changed it for ingredients my family likes. You can do the same. This recipe made a lot. Much more then I thought it would. I'm thinking of freezing one of these for another evening.


1 box of yellow rice
1 lb of ground beef
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 tbsp of tomato paste (I use the tube kind)
1 can of diced tomatoes w/ green chillies (Do NOT drain)
1 package of cream cheese
1 can of black beans drained and rinsed well
1-1/2 cups of frozen corn
1-1/2 cups of Mexican blend shredded cheese (inside)
1 box of large shells
Non stick spray
1 can of Enchilada sauce (topping)
1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese (topping)
2 - 13x9 pans


1. Cook rice in the microwave or on the stove according to package
2. Brown beef and added seasoning and tomato paste. Do NOT add water as packages instructs.
3. In a large mixing bowl combined tomatoes and cream cheese. Don't worry there will be lumps.
4. Add hot, browned beef mixture. This should help smooth out the cream cheese and make it creamy.
5. Fold in the black beans, corn, rice, and 1-1/2 cups of shredded cheese.
6. Refrigerate mixture.
7. Cook shells according to package.
8. Spray both pans with non stick spray.
9. Stuff each shell with a heaping tablespoon of filling and make a single layer in each pan.
10. Top each shell with one tbsp of Enchilada sauce
11. Sprinkle both pans of stuffed shells with 1 cup of shredded cheese
12. Refrigerate until 40 mins before dinner.
13. Cook for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees until heated through
14. Serve with sour cream and green onions (optional)









Friday, September 13, 2013

#4 I’m grateful that I can encourage young minds

My former instructor Chris from Del Tech contacted me last week. He told me he has a Computer Aided Engineering Drafting and Design student who had to interview someone in his field of study for an English Composition class. Chris asked if I’d be interested in meeting up with this student, Elliott, and be interviewed. I said sure and told him to give the “kid” my email and phone number. The next day he emailed me and I suggested he come out to Accudyne and I’d interview him and give him a tour. He was very excited. He even did some research before hand and checked out our website. He was a little late this morning because his daughter missed her bus but he called to let me know he was on his way. He showed up in a shirt and tie. He was very nice young man. He has an eight year old daughter. He works full time cutting plastics with a water jet cutter for a local manufacturer. His family owns a company that rents out moon bounces. He’s a full time student and is the music director at his church. He is a very ambitious young man and I think he is 26 years old. The interview was fun and I felt like it even helped me to appreciate my job all the more. The tour was a smashing success. He was shown some great examples of what we do here. I was very worried I overwhelmed him a little bit but he promised me he had a great time and was going to see if he could write a longer paper then was assigned because he had so much to say. Overall I think it was a great experience for both of us. Every semester at Del Tech I try to either go there and give a presentation about my experience at Del Tech and at Accudyne or I coordinate a tour for students at our facility. I love doing this. I’m going to start visiting high schools in the near future. I love doing this. I’m grateful that I can encourage young minds.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

#3 Grateful for the Comfort my Faith gives me

Twelve years ago today I was a receptionist for Bank of New York (DE) in Newark, Delaware. I remember I was working when the first tower was hit and an executive came walking quickly down the aisle near my desk. She went into the VP’s office and shut the door. Less than 20 minutes later two more of upper management came running down the same aisle. They opened the door and slammed it behind them. 

I could speculate and exaggerate but to be honest that’s all the specifics I remember. I’m not sure if an email was sent out or a verbal announcement was made or if it was just whispers throughout the office.

Soon everyone was on the internet looking at pictures. We soon heard about the Pentagon and the plane in Pennsylvania. There were stories of a fire at the DC Mall. Schools were being closed. Everyone was very upset. All the mothers wanted to go get their children and just get home. It's funny. I understand this more now as a mother. When the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary happened I just wanted to get to and hold Tino so badly and kiss him.

I think the one memory that stands out in my mind was when I got home. Ryan had left Buckley’s and was at my parent’s house getting a shower and changed out of his work clothes. He was sitting on my bed in my room putting his shoes on. I remember telling him that I was scared. That this was our generation’s Pearl Harbor. I remember asking him what if we went to war. I remember telling him I was afraid he’d be drafted. I remember fighting back tears and completely losing the battle. I remember Ryan holding my hands and having me sit in his lap and he told me that no matter what we would be okay. I think he took me out to dinner to Season’s Pizza in an attempt to relax and have some semblance of normalcy. 

The next few weeks we had major issues at work. I think our company’s hub was near the blast and was down for a very long time. I know I worked extra hours and they provided a lot of comfort snacks for everyone. There were these giant trays of cookies. I know this because I was on Weight Watchers and the trays were by my desk and my will completely broke. We found out some of our customers were in the towers and were killed. Even two Bank of New York employees had been in the towers and died although I didn’t know them.

I remember the news papers all having these amazing front page photos of the devastation. My grandparents collected them all and my mother has them today.

I don’t remember my parents saying much. I can't even tell you if they had the tv and news on.

I remember spending time with Ryan at his parent’s house and lighting a candle on their front deck one night.

I remember a lot of people mounted American Flags to their cars and trucks.

I remember video of Osama bin Laden stating that he didn't expect the towers to fall after being hit but that he was thrilled and thought it a blessing from his god that they did.

I remember stories over the radio that suspects were arrested in connection with the attacks. I remember strong feelings of demanding justice and excitement at the thought of vengeance just flowing through me.

I’m grateful that we haven’t experienced anything to this magnitude in the 12 years I’ve been on this earth since that day. With that said, I guess I feel safer but I think our world is still in very bad shape. I can’t say that I feel protected or shielded from evil like this in the world. Even now being a believer. But I do find a lot of comfort in my faith.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

#2 Thankful for EVERY friendship

Oh I read this great blog post by Kristen Strong last week about finding yourself “in a season of changing friendships”. I think right now I’m in that season. I’m not friendless but I have had a lot friends move out of my life, some getting ready to move and some new friends moving in. It’s not a good or a bad time. It’s just a period of adjustment. I can’t say I love it. Friendships with other women have always been a particularly difficult area in my life. 

I have stayed in touch with some ladies who have moved on to new and better lives. I sure miss them. There is always facebook. Some friends I’ve not kept in touch with and I’m learning that is natural and even healthy. I often try to force something that may need to fade in its own natural way. I tighten my death grip, mulling over what I’ve done wrong, what I could do different. Why am I like that? Why did I say that? What’s wrong with me?

My husband is so good at this. This never fazes him. He just rides along with the current and I’ll admit I envy him in this regard. He never wonders if it ended because of something he said or did.

It’s times like these that I wonder if God wants my focus on other things like Him, my husband, my son, my home and job.

So, I’ll shrug my shoulders and wipe away the few tears. Every friendship I’ve ever had has blessed me and taught me.

My big prayer, in regards to all these friendships, is that hopefully, a few, I’ve blessed as well.

#1 Grateful for the mornings you're there

My husband, Ryan, is in school, fulltime to be a nurse. He has finished his academics and is now in the midst of his clinical rotation. He is in third week of his third semester. He will be done in May of 2014.
Mondays and Tuesdays, every week, he leaves the house very early and reports to a medical facility for on site, hands on training. This week he is at Meadow Wood Hospital. This is a behavioral health facility. They specialize is mental health and addiction treatment. He seems to really be enjoying this rotation. But on these two mornings he’s out of the house before 6 am.

Sometimes I consider myself a mom who requires a lot of help. Other times I like doing it all on my own. On the days that Ryan doesn’t need to be up and out the door before 6 am he still gets up and helps get Tino to daycare and me to work. He changes Tino and dresses him. He makes me a cup of coffee to go. He gives Tino a snack. He takes our dog out. He even walks us out to the car and gets Tino all strapped in. While he’s doing this I am able to take a shower and get dressed in peace.
I can do all these things on my own. In fact, I do all these things on my own two days a week when he’s up and out early. But, I like his help.

To me it says:

I’m raising this kid with you.

If you have to be up I’ll be up with you.

I know working and being away from Tino is hard so whatever I can do to make it easier, so be it.

I want to see you and our son before you leave for your day.

So today I’m grateful for the mornings that Ryan’s home to help. Even though he knows and I know that I can and do, do it without him. I want him to know that I appreciate those mornings he’s there.

Friday, June 21, 2013

01Y 05M 11D

Today my son is one year, five months and 11 days old. He’s fussy. We’ve hit this horrible phase of tantrums. He’s a big boy, very independent. He’s a busy boy. He wants to play. He doesn’t want to be strapped into his car seat. He doesn’t want to be in the car. He doesn’t like the sun in his eyes. He doesn’t want to play with his toys that I keep in the car. He doesn’t want to sing songs. He’s so frustrated. He’s so fussy.

It’s only a 15 minute ride from our house to daycare but those 15 minutes are hard for me especially to and from daycare five days a week. Maybe those 15 minutes wouldn’t be hard for you and that makes you a better mother then me. Maybe I’m just feeling sorry for myself, lashing out a bit, but those minutes tick by so slowly.
I try talking to him. It doesn’t work. I try turning the radio on. It doesn’t work. I try pulling over and reaching for his OTHER toy to see if he wants that one. That doesn’t work. I try tuning him out. I try sipping my coffee and focusing on my favorite radio talk show. I can’t stand it. The anxiety is building in my stomach, my chest, my shoulders, my neck and the spot right smack in the center of my forehead.

I grip the steering wheel, my knuckles turning white, I start thinking about the evening before when he didn’t want to eat his dinner or sit in his highchair. He didn’t want his hands wiped off. He didn’t want to come out of the chair. He doesn’t want to be put down and play with his toys. He doesn’t want to be held. He’s rubbing his eyes. He’s cutting teeth. His nose is running. He wakes up once a night. We wake up with him once a night. Everyone’s tired. It’s been a long day. Now it’s morning and already it’s Good Morning Mr. Fussy Face. I think ahead to the fact that Ryan’s working all weekend and we have a family function to go to and I’m already picturing his tantrums in front of my family. Yeah, I know, they are moms too and they understand blah, blah, blah. It doesn’t make me feel better.
Back in the car, on our way to daycare, in this moment, like other moments, I’m having a hard time seeing the joy in motherhood. I start comparing myself to other mothers who never seem to complain or struggle. Jealousy, frustration, guilt well up in my heart as the tears well up in my eyes. Then it happens, I yell, “SANTINO RYAN, STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!” I hear his breath catch followed by my beautiful baby boy’s crying. And here it comes, instant guilt and regret, waves and waves. I tell him, “It’s okay buddy. Mommy’s sorry for yelling but we’re almost there. You’re going to have some breakfast, see your friends and Miss Nancy and play and have a good day.”

He settles down and we both stay quiet the rest of the way. I even keep the radio off. We get to daycare. I come around to get him out of the car and he’s smiling at me, happy guy with bed head. I grab his comb from my purse and comb his wispy hair. I kiss, kiss, kiss his ravioli cheeks. I tickle his belly. I pat his bottom. He’s so amazing to me. I’ve never loved anything so much. We go inside and he runs to the little table covered in toy trucks. I say bye and step outside. I flop into my car angry with myself for losing my temper. I try to remember to stop and take a moment to thank God for His grace, for my precious child, for Fridays, for coffee and then... I ‘keep calm and call my mom’. TGIF

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Where's Momma?

Ryan and I have found that the one thing that helps us be the best parents that we can be is routine. It’s not for everyone. Before Ryan and I had Tino we said that we would bring Tino into our routine and not wrap our lives around him. Well children change everything when they come along. You can’t deny that. In some ways we’ve adjusted our lives to Tino and in others he just has to deal with the way we run things. Either way, sticking to a routine really helps us and I think Tino’s happier as well.

In my opinion, Tino’s bedtime routine is great. Around 7 pm – 7:30 pm I ask Tino if he’s tired and ready for bed. If he is he drops his toys and runs over to the baby gate blocking his way up to his room. I walk over, take down the gate and he runs to the steps, crawls up and runs down the hall to his room. Recently, he’s started opening his drawer that holds his pajamas and then running over to his CD player and turning his bedtime music on. I’m usually one step behind him, getting ready for bath time if it’s a bath night.
Tino’s almost 18 months old so the risk of SIDS is no existent so now he has some stuffed animals in his crib and a blanket and a monkey pillow pet. He likes all these items arranged a certain way in his crib. So I get them all settled blah, blah, blah.

Last night, we went about routine as usual.
Me: “Tino, buddy you tired?” He runs to the baby gate. I remove the baby gate. He climbs the stairs and runs down the hall to his room, which was dark. However, this time, I stopped at the top of the stairs to get a pair of his pajamas out of a laundry basket of his clean clothes that hadn’t gotten folded yet. Normally, I’d be right behind him. Only this time I stopped for a minute at the top of the stairs and he ran on ahead of me.

I hear him start screaming and crying and calling out, “Mummy, Mummy!!” I’d never really heard this cry from him so I thought maybe he’d tripped and hurt himself. So I rushed to his room and he’s standing there crying big ol fat tears, arms out for me to pick him up. He was afraid. He’d walked into the dark room, turned around and I wasn’t there. He got scared. I scooped him up and soothed him. He settled down. 
It was a tender moment. He’s so independent pushing my hands away whenever I try to help him with anything. But, last night he still needed his momma. I just love my little guy.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sheena's Thursday Thoughts


This post is just going to be a mess of thoughts and emotions.

First I just love my kid. Ryan and I took him to his one year wellness visit yesterday. He was obviously a year old in January but the doctor needed the day off so we rescheduled the visit for February. Although, he had to get shots and that is never fun, talking to the doctor about his weight, height, what he’s eating, what’s he’s doing, how he’s sleeping is nice.

Tino doesn’t see a pediatrician. We all see the same family practitioner and Tino just so happens to be the youngest patient at our family doctor’s office so when we arrive the whole place stops and everyone gushes over him.

The wellness visits are a chance for us to recap Tino’s new milestones and address concerns. Dr. Case is great in the fact that he encourages me to trust my instinct. When Tino was born he wasn’t gaining weight super fast. I mean he gained but just slowly. If I expressed concern Dr. Case would say, “Sheena he gaining and he going to continue to gain. Breastfed babies gain weight slower. It’s normal and will be better for him long term, but if you’re worried you can supplement but I don’t think he needs it.”

Our family doctor is so encouraging. He always tells us we are doing a great job. He asked if Tino is still nursing and I told him sadly he weaned himself. I told him I was very sad about it. His response was, “Well of course you are.” I love that. Most people respond with, “Well, Mommy he’s growing up.” I know that but it’s still sad to end something that was such an intense bonding experience. Dr. Case was one of my cheerleaders when it came to breastfeeding so I was very touched that he acknowledged that stopping wouldn’t be easy.

Also, Tino’s walking since seeing him last and that was exciting. And, right before we left I said to Tino, “Where’s Tino?” and he points to his chest and claps. That made Dr. Case chuckle and us proud.

Ryan and I were just observing Tino last night while he was playing. Honestly, when I pictured our child in my head before we had him I just never pictured something so beautiful. He is just that… beautiful; his wispy light brown hair and his blue eyes. I secretly wanted a brown haired blue eyed son but I never thought we’d have one since Ryan and I both have brown eyes. When he was born with blue eyes I figured they would change to brown. However, they are still as blue as the day he was born. Dr. Case says they are most likely going to stay that way.

When Tino smiles, my whole world is right and good. My heart soars. I can’t imagine my life without him and if I try I get anxious and upset and I bury the thought quickly before tears rush to my eyes. When I rock him at night sometimes I find myself expressing such deep gratitude in prayer to God for entrusting this miraculous little creature to us. What did we do to deserve such a perfect little boy? I never thought I could love something so much. I don’t think anyone can tell you what it’s going to be like to have a child. The challenges and frustrations of just taking care of their basic needs are in themselves an atomic bomb of change and adjustment. But, the warmth they bring to your heart and your soul is overwhelming. It brings tears to my eyes.

This morning Tino was up earlier than usual so we had about 20 minutes of playtime on the living room floor before we had to head out to daycare. He was relaxing with Dada in the recliner. With Ryan reclining back and Tino lounging in the curve of his arm, I notice something I’ve noticed before that always makes me smile from ear to ear. Ryan reclining in his chair, his ankles crossed and Tino lounging in the curve of his arm, ANKLES CROSSED! They are relaxing in the exact same position. Now either Tino is mimicking his father or he just is comfortable in this same position. Either way it’s about the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life. I mentioned this to my mom this morning and she burst out laughing, a deep belly laugh, saying she’s noticed it as well. 

I love that we had a son. I love having Ryan and his mini. These two men mean so much to me and have turned out to be my whole world and the source of all my joy. I feel so overwhelmed to literally drop to my knees and thank God for them both!!

All the kids at daycare are sick. I feel like we just got our family better. Tino’s been teething. He got shots yesterday so I’m sure the next couple days he may be a little fussy and perhaps even run a low grade fever. He’s had a runny nose for weeks with the teething. And, this morning he started with a cough. I fear we are in for a rough couple weeks ahead with potentially a fussy little man. Say a prayer that it’s not too painful for us all.

I have the baby itch. I really do. I’m ready for another child. However, Ryan’s not working. He’s in the middle of his clinicals. We have to wait. It’s the right thing. But, if circumstances were different I think we’d be trying for number two. And, I’ve really been thinking I’d like to have three children total. I’m hoping that after Ryan graduates and he’s working he’ll be on board with this plan. We’ll just have to wait and see.

That’s it. I told you this was a smorgasbord of thoughts and emotions. I hope you were able to follow along.