21 Months Later

Twenty one months ago around nine at night, I had my little Emmett. I honestly can’t even believe he’s that close to turning two – but thats a post for another day. For the last couple of months I’ve been really focusing on myself, especially my body and the way I am caring for it and thinking about it.

Its been a rollercoaster, thats for sure.

Quite truthfully, I’ve always had a very up and down relationship with my body. I’ve always caught myself wishing it was looking like something that it was not or wishing it was doing something it wasn’t currently doing. I’ve been all over the place inside of my own brain when it comes to my body.

This makes me sad because my body is awesome! It has been pretty darn healthy for my almost twenty-nine years of life, its allowed me to go on adventures, walk miles and miles in Disney parks, birth two beautiful babies – one vaginally and one through c-section (both incredible feats) and thats only to name a few of the things its blessed me with. So then why the heck can I be so harsh with it and speak so unkindly about it?

A couple of months ago, admittedly after weighing myself for the first time in who knows how long, and not feeling in love with the number I saw (stupid scales), I decided something needed to change. Maybe physically, but especially mentally.

I needed to love my body again.

So I made a pact with myself.

No more shameful words towards my body. I see all those posts all the time about ‘wear the swimming suit’, ‘talk about your body how you wish your daughter would talk about her body’, etc. That last one is the one that got me. I’m sure its likely more significant with daughters, but guess what? Sons watch their mamas really closely, too! I want my boys and my future kids to be confident in themselves and I want them to have learned their confidence at home from their parents!

I also made myself vow to treat my body kinder. Not as much junk. A lot less Diet Coke (still accepting this one). A significant amount more of exercise. Choosing the active day instead of the lazy day. Maybe I’d lose some weight and gain some muscle, but hopefully I’d lose some body negativity and gain some confidence, acceptance and pride in my body.

And guys? I think its working!

I’m still working on myself physically. If I’m being honest, I know I’m capable of shedding a few extra pounds, eating healthier and getting toned up in a couple places, but I’m not rushing myself and I’m not beating myself down when those goals aren’t being reached as fast as I’d ideally like. I’m also being patient with myself and reminding myself that I’m human and sometimes, as a human, I really want a cookie and a giant Diet Coke from Sodalicious and that is PERFECTLY OK. While I try to work on whatever my goal body is, I choose to love my body every step of the way. Weather its softer than its ever been, really sore, growing another baby, feeling sick, feeling strong – I’m going to love it, respect it and honor it because I can’t deny how amazing it is.

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E’s Ears

I’m not sure if you know this or not, but my sweet baby E has had a rough go when it comes to his little ears. In his fourteen months of life, he has had twelve ear infections, most of those happening since August/September-ish, and most of them being double ear infections. We also found our pretty recently that for a while now, both of his ear drums have been ruptured. Isn’t that awful? You’d be floored to hear this if you know him or have seen him recently though, because he’s just so happy still. But it definitely now makes sense why when he was ticked, he was ticked. The pain tolerance his little body has is absolutely incredible. During a recent discussion with E’s ENT (ear nose and throat doctor), he told me that the pain he must have been feeling was so excruciating it would send a grown man to the Emergency Room. That shattered my mom heart. I had no idea. I mean, I knew it hurt, but I had no idea it hurt that badly.

We finally got him into the ENT a little while ago where they told us E needed tubes (no shock – thats why we were there). Thats also where we learned about the double rupture. Poor baby. So earlier last week, he finally got his tubes put in, along with a small exploratory surgery just to check out his ears and make sure there isn’t anything else to be concerned with. Good news, everything looks great. I’m so grateful for modern medicine and for doctors. I’m especially for doctors who make your children feel special. I was so impressed with all the doctors and nurses we talked to on E’s day of surgery. They all got down on his level and talked to him – something that social little boy really loved. It made me feel even more comfortable and confident.

Recovery has been pretty good, all things considered. The first few days involved a lot of blood and a lot of ooze, but thats all stopped now. He hates the ear drops we have to put in multiple times a day with a passion, but those are almost over with. We are so excited for a pain-free baby who hopefully hopefully hopefully won’t have to deal with anymore painful infections anymore.

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I Never Had to Split My Heart in Half

When I got pregnant with E, I was ecstatic. But almost as soon as I saw that positive sign, another weird, unexpected feeling rushed over me along with the joy. That was guilt. It instantly hit me that H would no longer be an only child and his world of near constant attention and having his parents all to himself would be over in several months. I knew having more than one kid was absolutely right for me. I knew I was going to have more than two kids even. But I never knew how part of me would feel guilty for growing our family. I never thought about that when I was younger and to be honest I never really thought about it much until I learned I was pregnant with my second child.

The feeling of joy was a million times stronger than the guilty and sad feeling. But when I let myself really dwell on those two words, it got worse and worse. I knew how much I loved H. SO MUCH. So how on earth could I possibly love another human as much? Was my heart even capable of somehow dividing such a strong, powerful, fierce love to two kids? How would H not just always be my favorite because I’d had him and known him the longest? Would my second child feel neglected? Would he see that I had a ‘better’ relationship with his big brother? Fear and worry would creep over me easier each time I allowed myself to think on these scary thoughts.

I did my best to ignore them. People add children into their families every day and guess what? The other kids are ok. The new babies are ok. The family is ok. The mom…I hope she is ok. I would switch my focus back to joy. Adding this new little brother to our family was perfect. He was going to be so sweet and handsome and I couldn’t even handle the thoughts of how cute his relationship would be with his brother. Having two sons was absolutely going to be the best thing ever. It was right. It was good. It was perfect. I was going to figure out how to split my love.

Split my love. I hated that phrase, but I thought it all the time. Somehow I’d have to figure out how to take half the love I had for H and give it to his brother. Thats where the real guilt came in. Would H notice I had to share my love? Would he feel like he was less loved and less important? Sure he wasn’t even two yet – but even toddlers notice change. Was he going to be sad? Was he going to be mad at me? Was he going to resent his brother for this big life change?

I never told anyone these fears. No one. I was worried saying I was worried I couldn’t love them both as powerfully, equally and strongly made me a weak mom. I thought it would make me a bad mom. I kept it to myself and I tried not to worry and focus on the joy. I prayed a lot. I tried to have as much faith in myself as a mother as I could.

Then the day came. November 10th happened and I had my second son that night!

I learned something incredible. The second my c-section started I started praying in my head. I prayed that the operation would go well and that my new baby would be safe and healthy. I prayed I would be healthy. I prayed that H was happy back home with his grandparents.

I prayed that my heart could figure out how to be a mom of two.

Something pretty cool happened then. E’s delivery was a little bit scary. As soon as he was out, he was taken immediately to a NICU team in the next room and my husband went with him. I was alone on the operating table with medical people around me. They were talking to me, trying to distract me from the scary thing that had just happened. They were trying to distract me so I wouldn’t dwell on the fact that my new baby still hadn’t screamed or cried or taken a very good breath. I was terrified. Their distractions didn’t work. All I knew is I had only seen my sweet son for a split second and he was gray and silent. I just wanted to hear him cry. I needed to know he was ok. Nothing else in the world mattered in those unknown moments.

Thats when it all dawned on me. I loved him with my whole heart. I loved him just as powerfully, equally and strongly as I loved H. But it wasn’t because my heart split in half. It was because my heart doubled in size in a way only the heart of a mother can do. My love didn’t change, it didn’t shrink or alter for H. It stayed big and the same – maybe it even grew. My love for my new son matched the love I had for H perfectly. I just knew all those worries and fears I’d had most of my pregnancy were all a thing of the past now. I knew that both of my sons had equal, huge love from me. It was such a calming, overwhelming feeling. I was so gracious.

It felt like forever, but not too much longer there were finally some loud and glorious screams from the room next door. My doctors all sighed with relief saying, “there he is!” or smiling really big at me. My anesthesiologist energetically patted my shoulder. My nurses cheered. He was ok. So was I. I loved that little boy I hadn’t really seen so, so much.

He was finally brought out to me where we had our little post c-section face snuggles. It was so spiritual and perfect. He was snorting in my ear and seemed to be telling me he loved me and he was comfortable and happy to be back with me. It was perfect. I told him I loved him and I felt that. I truly, truly meant it.

My heart never had to change its love for H. It knew what it was doing. Maybe all the while my belly was growing, preparing to deliver a child, my heart, too, was growing – preparing to love another sweet little baby.

Break My Heart, Why Don’t Ya

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Nothing hurts my heart quite like a sick baby. For over a week our poor E has been feeling yucky. It started with a cough that grew into a bad, frequent phlegmy cough. Then a very runny nose was added, followed by a fever that was all over the place, but always higher than I hoped. Our pediatrician is close to the family so I was in pretty close contact with him, along with a few other family members during this all – asking advice and for tips and tricks. Two nights ago in the middle of the night I touched his head and he was on fire. Hotter than he’d been before. I took his temperature and it was so high. I called the after hours nurse immediately (@3:30am) and she told me what to be extra cautious of but said I definitely needed to see our doctor that next morning. I was given things to look out for, that if they happened I needed to take E to the ER. Luckily none happened and we monitored him very closely that night and ultimately felt like we’d be ok to wait until we went to the doctor in the morning.

So yesterday we got our booties over to the pediatricians to hopefully start helping our littlest buddy. It turns out E has a double ear infection, with one ear quite a bit worse than the other, and a mild, less scary/serious form of RSV. Break my heart! My poor boy! Now he is on an antibiotic and we have some special saline drops and suction instructions. Hopefully things start helping him and his situation begins to look up. I can’t handle his sad, sick, helpless face much longer! He tries so hard to be our usual happy E, but thats always interrupted by a yucky cough/gag/cry. Ugh.

I’m glad we went to the doctor. I’m glad I followed my mom gut. I’m glad my doctor genuinely cares for my childrens wellbeing and I’m glad that we have some answers and solutions. Feel better soon, little guy!!

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How We Found Out #2

Quite a while ago I posted about how I found out I was pregnant with H and how I told Wild Man. You can read that story here if you’d like. I figured it was only fair that I also share the story of this baby, as well. Just a heads up – much like the story of H – this is not anything exciting or cutesy. Apparently I turn incredibly uncreative when it comes to giant life changes like this.

We didn’t get pregnant immediately when we were trying for H. So when we had settled on a timeline for when we would start trying for baby #2 I wasn’t holding my breath for it to happen very fast (for the record, Wild Man had a very different attitude about this). So when we hadn’t been trying long like…at all…I was both hopeful and skeptical. No way it happened this fast this time. Nope. Regardless of my negative attitude, I couldn’t quit thinking about the pregnancy test sitting in the box under our bathroom counter.

One day Wild Man had just got home from work and we were all at the table eating dinner. I wasn’t even a day late for my period yet but I had been thinking about it all day. Somehow I just felt pregnant even though it made no sense. There was only one way to confirm my suspicion, though. I decided the next morning I would take a test because rumor has it, you get the clearest results when you take pregnancy tests in the morning.

Never mind. The longer we sat at dinner the more impatient I got. I knew I was pregnant and I just needed that little stick to tell me I wasn’t crazy. I got up from the dinner table and just said I needed to use the restroom but didn’t explain what I was doing. When you take a pregnancy test you’re typically instructed to lay the test on the counter for 2 minutes (or so) and check back on it. But I wasn’t about to wait 2 minutes. As soon as the test began I sat and watched it. I watched the test go from blank to…positive. I was right. I was pregnant.

I said a quick prayer of thanks, had my moment, cleaned up then ran out to our kitchen and stood right next to Wild Man and said, “Want to see something cool?” Then I handed him the test. (my cute, creative announcements are back at it!) We were both so excited! We told H he was going to be a big brother then Wild Man talked to my stomach for a minute. The rest of the day was just full of that pure elation you feel after seeing that positive sign – and to be honest we’ve been riding that high since and now we are this close to meeting this sweet baby!!

This is just for me to remember.. We were almost 4 weeks when I found out..

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Pray. Say thank you. 

I woke up with my husband this morning – which is code for: I woke up really early this morning. Like 5 or something gross like that. Of course, he didn’t know I woke up because I laid there with my eyes closed trying desperately to fall back asleep. I’m almost 35 weeks pregnant, so it’s no surprise that I didn’t have a great night of sleep last night. Our sweet little H who has been struggling to sleep all night lately laid beside me sleeping soundly and I was jealous. He looked so relaxed. So I tried really, really hard to fall back asleep. But every time I felt like I was at the brink of sleep, something would wake me up again. A movement from H, a sound from Wild Man out in the kitchen, a wiggle from baby boy, a sharp pain in my hip or another charlie horse in my leg. It was weird. It was like everything but my own brain was telling me to stay awake. 

I heard Wild Man leave and I could hear the dog adjust in her kennel out in the living room. Then there was silence. I laid in our dark room with my eyes open just wishing I was asleep. There seemed to be absolutely no reason to be awake at such an early hour. Then, what felt like out of nowhere I had a thought pop into my head: Pray. Say thank you. 

I’m a little bit embarrassed to say I didn’t immediately start a prayer. H was wiggling around and I was watching his funny little sleeping faces. Baby boy was also wiggling and I was trying to figure out what body part it was I could feel. I knew I should pray, but I guess in my mind I thought it could wait so I brushed it off. Both of my boys settled again and as I sat in the stillness and quiet and looked at H’s perfect little face I heard it run through my mind again: Pray! Say thank you! This time the thought was accompanied with a realization that it is because of Heavenly Father, who I pray to, that I have my sweet, healthy, almost two year old, my wiggly baby boy in my stomach and an incredible husband. I knew exactly what I was supposed to say thank you for now. 

I didn’t even sit up or kneel. I stayed in the same position in bed with my toddlers left arm draped over my face and his feet tucked under my belly. I closed my eyes and said a prayer in my mind. I thanked Heavenly Father for my many, many blessings – especially for my wonderful family. It wasn’t a long prayer and it didn’t feel particularly powerful. When I finished it, I didn’t feel as if I’d had some incredible experience. But as I sat there I came to realize I was feeling something I haven’t really felt the past week. 

I felt peace

I’m not sure what it’s been about the past little while in my life, but it’s been hard for me not to feel overwhelmed, inadequate or like I’m doing my role as a wife and mother. I have been easily upset at myself, I’ve been impatient, emotional and feeling very off. It’s been a struggle. I have a lot of craziness running through me, likely since I’ll be having a baby soon – but I felt like there was even more to it. I was a mess and my mind was a mess and (a lot like my house, lately) I couldn’t get it cleaned up and organized which just caused me to feel less and less peaceful and…ok. 

My shoulders felt a little lighter after this prayer. I felt like the elephant that’s been crushing my chest lately was gone – or at least less paralyzing – and I could feel my regular happiness starting to familiarize itself with my body again. That’s when I realized that this whole time I’ve been feeling miserable for myself, I’d been praying the whole time, but I was always asking for things. I was asking for help. Begging for relief. For things to go my way.  Complaining and venting. But I never stopped to take the time to pray about what was going right – what I was thankful for. It hit me like a ton of bricks. THATS why I was feeling off and that’s why my life seemed as if it had a little extra level of difficulty to it that I couldn’t figure out how to effectively combat. I wasn’t thanking Heavenly Father for my blessings! 

The sun hasn’t even come up yet. It’s not even 7 in the morning yet. Who knows if I’ll fall back asleep this morning or not. But I am grateful I woke up at 5am this morning (NEVER thought I’d say that) and they I finally said a prayer of thanks. I hope it has set the tone for my day. I hope this can be what flips this weird month around for me. I hope I will remember this experience and not go so long without being thankful for my blessings. I feel so good. I feel so light and happy. I feel like I was a dead battery and am now fully charged and ready to go. My mind is much clearer. 

It’s funny how the Lord works sometimes. But it’s always in the most perfect way for our individual needs. He answers prayers in His own way and His own timing and it’s always just what we need. 

Now let’s hope that with all this newfound light and clarity, my body and house can get on board 😉 

xoxo

ceeceesparkles 

How I Deal With a Bad Day

This morning was one of those days where I learned very quickly after waking up that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, wasn’t feeling well and was just feeling off. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that my almost two year old refuses to sleep in his crib lately (only wants mom and dads bed) and doesn’t fall asleep until waaaaaay past his bedtime, has a cold so he wakes up lots in the middle of the night – which in turn wakes me up – and that I am almost 8 months pregnant. Couldn’t be that right? 😉

I didn’t want to get out of bed. Thankfully the dog slept in for a while so I didn’t have to get up to take her outside as early as I usually do so I just laid in bed with H for a whole extra hour until he was finally so sick of just laying there that he insisted we get up. I grouchily got out of bed and threw some clothes on that I pulled out of my dirty clothes hamper. We did our little morning routine and I was very much not myself and wasn’t very patient with myself, my son or the dog. I looked at the clock and it was 9:15am and I realized that I already felt like my day was ‘ruined.’ I hated that. I didn’t want the morning to set the tone of the rest of my day. H was being sweet and happy and the dog was actually being really obedient. There was no one to blame for my grumpy attitude except for myself. So I made the decision while we ate breakfast that I was going to actively change my day and *hopefully* my mood, also. I went to bed last night with a lot of mom/wife guilt and I didn’t want to do that again tonight.

Whenever I feel bummed out like that I typically try to change the day around. I believe I’m in control of my own attitude and thats a very powerful tool I have. Sometimes I try harder than others to make the day good, but on the days I really do try, there is a difference and I find that as I lay in bed that night I’m proud of myself and the effort I put forth.

This is how I combat a bad day. Like I said, sometimes it works a lot better than other times – but thankfully today its worked pretty well. Of course its only 1:30pm so theres still a lot of day left, but I’m determined to keep on being persistent in making sure I make this a much better day than it started.

  • Get dressed and put on make up. If I am in an actual outfit (not pajamas, sweats or leggings and a giant t-shirt) I feel better about myself. When I wear make up I am almost always in a better mood. When I allow myself to be so lazy that I skip both of these steps in the morning I typically realize that I’m a little less happy that day. Today I threw on a comfy maternity dress, put on a full but simple face of makeup and worked on a new top knot and it was the start of something good, for sure.
  • Make the bed. I don’t even know why, but a bed thats made just make you happier. Even if you didn’t make it until noon.
  • Count my blessings. This one really helped me out this morning. I especially focused on my sweet husband and son. I sent a text to Wild Man thanking him for all he does for our family and I talked to H about how much I love him. It filled my heart with gratitude and gave me something else to think about besides how tired, annoyed and grouchy I was.
  • Eat a treat. I don’t care what time it is. Its never too early for a treat. Treats help. They make me happier so its 100% justifiable to me and I will stick by that. This morning I had a piece of licorice and laugh all you want, it played a significant role in turning my mood.
  • Read a scripture or two. Sometimes you happen upon that verse that you feel like was written just for you. Thats one of the most amazing ways to feel God’s love for you. Even if it doesn’t speak to you so powerfully, its a nice reminder of something to strive towards or internalize and really ponder throughout your day.
  • Pray. Duh. It always helps. Our prayers are heard and we can be comforted, guided and blessed through it.
  • Do what makes me happy. The #1 thing that makes me the happiest right now is spending time with H and Wild Man. Uninterrupted time with my boys is the most powerful form of therapy for me. Since Wild Man is at work, I sat with H in his room. We talked, read books and played with cars. I laughed at his funny little mannerisms and unique characteristics. He gave me random hugs and would sit on my lap and lay his head on my chest. He’d laugh at the silliest of things. It lifted my heart in a way nothing else could have.
  • Clean. A clean house does wonders for the soul. I think clearer. I feel happier. My load is lighter. Its a sure way to perk me up when I’m feeling down.
  • If the motivation to do so is lacking – push yourself. This is what I struggle with the very most. Its so easy for motivation to straighten my home to fly out the window on days I feel like this. I’ve found that on the days I physically make myself buck up and get housework done I always end up feeling better, lighter, cleaner, prouder and I just feel better because my house no longer looks like a bomb went off in it.
  • Let it out. Its never healthy to keep thoughts and feelings inside. Eventually they explode out in a very exhausting way (for me) and I find myself wishing I would have voiced things as they were happening instead of when there was too much to process anymore and it causes me to just lay in bed and cry. (i’m not the only one this dramatic, right? right?) Even if its just sending a quick text to your spouse telling them why you’re frustrated or emotional – it helps! Just don’t keep it in. It always makes it worse. At least in my experience…
  • Take a nap. If I’m ever given the opportunity to nap – I will! I know naps aren’t meant for everyone. Wild Man swears naps make him wake up groggier and crankier. So obviously for him naps are not the answer. But naps for me are PHENOMENAL. Even when I’m not huge and pregnant naps are so healing for me. They don’t have to be super long even. Sometimes its just nice to completely turn off for a bit.
  • Get outside. Some fresh air is really as therapeutic and healing as everyone says! Its a change of scenery and a change of perspective.
  • Give service. We’ve all heard how the best way to be happier is to forget yourself and serve someone else, right? It sounds like a lot of work but its absolutely the truth. Service makes you feel better.
  • Give yourself time and patience. We can’t always be happy and on top of our game. I think its important to recognize that life can’t always be perfect and carefree, full of smiles. Its ok to have a bad day or feel different sometimes. Its just part of the journey. I love myself more when I allow myself to feel and to understand that its not a bad thing to be sad or feel off. It is perfectly normal to have our emotions change!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles