Showing posts from 2010

Decisions Decisions

For the past two years, my girls have gone to Mom's Day Out, giving me a couple of mornings I can work without kids in the house. We love the program and couldn't beat the price. Miss N stopped now because she is in preschool, but Miss M loves it. Well, now I have a dilemma . They are raising the price by 50%. It's only like a dollar cheaper per day than preschool. So now, I must decide, would it be better to put Miss M in preschool next year when she's (gasp) three, or continue going to MDO for another year like I did for Miss N. When Miss N was M's age, I was NOT ready for her to go to "school." Now, I depend on that work time desperately. I feel much differently. Preschool has to be three days per week, so that is a negative ( MDO is as may days as you want per month, up to two days per week). MDO will be utilized in the summer when they can't go to preschool, unless I decide to do daycare, but I doubt I would do daycare at their school si

Obeying when Tired

My children require a lot of sleep. I have tried letting them go days with less sleep, and it is not pretty. For some reason they won’t sleep past 6:30 or 7, so staying up late is not compensated for in the morning. Likewise, our family’s schedule does not allow for bedtime any earlier than seven, unless someone is ill, so naps or at least quiet rest time are also a necessity for them to get sufficient rest, even though I have one child who is nearing the age of five. Incidentally, I am told regularly that she is too old to nap, but when I am tucking her in at nap time, she is usually rubbing her eyes and falling asleep while I sing to her. She still needs a nap. One thing I have been thinking about as a parent is behavior and tiredness. For example, on Sunday afternoons, by the time we are home from church and lunch, my children are extremely tired. The drive home is typically torture, and getting through stories and songs and getting tucked in brings many instances of sassiness, c

Sometimes I Wonder

If I am normal? Ok , I know the real answer to that, and what is normal anyways? Two weeks ago I was wallowing in grief, sadness, and, in a way, self-pity. Today I am fine. Of course, my hormone levels are leveling off, and the drug is out of my system. That makes a big difference. But still. Shouldn't I still be sad? Shouldn't I still be grieving? I remember when I had my first loss, I hardly grieved at all. And I felt guilty. And I feel guilty right now too. Of course, it's not totally back to normal. I have two friends on Facebook who are in early pregnancy, about where I should have been or a little past. When they post updates, I can't comment. When my photographer posted a contest for moms expecting in 2011, I had a hard time holding back because it hurt. I SHOULD have been able to join that contest. I SHOULD have been able to commiserate with my expectant mommy friends. If you are one of my expectant fb friends, please know that I am as happy as I can

Honest Questions for Santa Families

So, we have chosen not to "do Santa" in our family. We don't have any moral problems with Santa, nor do we feel "better" than those who do Santa, nor do we feel that those who do Santa are wrong and bad. We just have chosen not to "do Santa" for our family, and it works for us. But I am curious about a few things, and I haven't found a way to ask them without sounding judgmental to my friends who do "do Santa." If presents are coming from Santa, how do you handle the massive requests? You know, the little one who wants, say, a pony for Chistmas. Or maybe something more reasonable but still out of the budget, like an American Girl Doll? What happens when Santa disappoints? The next question is this: If Santa loves all kids equally, how do you explain why some kids don't get any gifts? Is that something your kids just don't notice? What if your kids are the ones who don't get anything becuase, say, your husband was laid off

Even more to be thankful for

So last night I was doing a little research on ectopic pregnancies to get some of my questions answered. I found something yet again to make me incredibly thankful for God's hand watching over me. During ectopic pregnancy, aggressive exercise, like running, makes it more likely that you will have a rupture. Women who are treated with the shot, like I was, are not supposed to exercise until they are certain the pregnancy is over. My doctor didn't tell me this, but I have even more to thank God for. See, my appointment, that i almost cancelled, was on November 15. November 20 I was scheduled and signed up and registered to run my second 5k. Had i missed that appointment, I would have run that 5k, and I would have been pushing myself the week prior to improve my time. Now, my doctor didn't tell me not to exercise, but I just felt to yucky to do the race. Then, I was too far behind on my paying work to run last week. I would have, though, had I not been so far behind. God wa

Thanksgiving Cuteness

(Sharing some sister snuggles before Mommy and Daddy got up) My kids constantly crack me up. This is the first holiday ever that we did not have family to go to. It was strange, but also nice. Growing up once we moved away from California, holidays were almost always just us. While I would have preferred not to have the circumstances that forced us to stay home and would have loved spending time with Tim's sister and family, today was nice. (Miss M said, "More?" at this point - she wasn't so sure about the way the tree looked :) ) Our plan: Buffet restaurant for lunch, Thanksgiving craft, putting up the tree, watching Toy Story 3. I am happy to announce all were accomplished. At the restaurant, my kids pigged out. They haven't b een to many buffets, since mommy finds it silly to spend that much money on food when you can't take home your leftovers, but they loved being able to pick and choose what they ate. (Can I just say she looks way too grown up al

Two Things

Unless I have to have another shot next week, this should be my last post about this situation. I am doing much better, honestly, and am ready to move on. But two things are going to haunt me, probably for a long time. First, did I do the right thing? The doctor never saw the pregnancy, even inside the tube. My numbers were high, not low which is typical for ectopics. Something was wrong, since the numbers were so high and they never saw anything, but how can we be sure we did the right thing? Second, when going over my risk factors for ectopics, my doctor asked me if I smoke (never), drink (never,) have had pelvic infections (nope), and have had c-sections (check!) Megan's birth was via c-section, and honestly it was elective. I had my doctor's advice about it, and she said after seeing M's size and position that it was the right decision, but she was head-down and I could have tried a natural delivery. So, if the c-section caused scar tissue that blocked baby's tri

Last Night I Dreamed

The crazy thing about this process is that my body still has pregnancy hormones coursing through it. So, in some ways I am still acting like a pregnant woman with many of the symptoms (thankfully no nausea or vomiting ), even though my baby is gone. I am hoping that does not mean that I will need another shot, but we will know that early next week. Last night I dreamed that the doctor made a mistake and, by some miracle, my babe was still growing inside me. It was a beautiful dream, and waking to the reality that it was just a dream was, well, painful. I am ready for this to be over, ready to get the go-ahead to move on and start planning the future. On the other hand, knowing that I am at an increased risk for this happening again (about 25 percent) gives me pause. Tim and I will need to pray and discuss the realities of our future. I'm also very (VERY) worried about the financial aspects of this. To make a long story short, we do not yet have maternity coverage. That should be


This past week has been a whirlwind of emotions, many negative. I lost my baby and could have lost my life. I have struggled to respond to my chlidren well, and the results of the chemotherapy shot made me literally crazy. But, I need to be thankful. There is so much to be thankful for: I kept my checkup on Monday, even though I almost cancelled it since I was pregnant. If I hadn't gone to the checkup, I would not have found out about the ectopic until it burst and my life was in danger. My little girl, sensing my emotional struggle yesterday, threw her arms around me and said, "I can tell you are having a tough morning, Mommy. I love you very much." My friend had invited my children for a sleepover last month. The date - this past Friday. The day after the big day, when I was an emotional mess, my kids were at someone's home having fun and being loved on by someone who had the ability to do so. A gal in my church has also had the medication they gave me, and she was

Seeing God's Hand in Grief

PS 14:8-10a, 11 "I have set the LORD always before me: Because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoicesth: my flresh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." The intensity of the grief I have been feeling has surprised me greatly. One minute I'm fine, and the next some thought comes into my head and I am reduced to the hugging my knees to my chest on the couch, sobbing giant tears. I told tim, "I'm a blubbering mess" and he said, "Don't say that, it makes me think of fat whales. Whales have blubber." He's been so good to me and so strong and I love him so much. It doesn't make sense - I have walked the path of pregnancy loss before and I was fine. one day of crying, and it was done and I moved on with my life, we got pregnant with Meg

The What If

The morning after I am plagued with "what if". Did I do the right thing? Was my doctor right? SHE NEVER SAW ANYTHING. I trusted her, but was she right? Lord, you know my heart. You know I was trusting in my pro-life, Christian doctor. Please, forgive me if I did something wrong. You know I wanted my baby. You know my heart. Will this feeling be part of me for the rest of my life?

Final Potential Pregnancy Post

Today as I was getting the girls ready to go to my husband's shop so he could check the fluids in the van before our trip for Thanksgiving, my doctor called. I have been seeing the nurse practitioner up until today, but she was off today so it was the doctor. She said the numbers were not good and I needed to come in now. Her words, "Assign someone to watch the kids, and come here now. I am very concerned." I was shaking the whole way to the town where Tim works. In the back of my head is the "what if" because she didn't actually see the tubal pregnancy. The protocol for this is to inject you with a drug to terminate the pregnancy so that your body will reabsorb the cells before the tube ruptures and has the potential to kill you. I took the girls to Grandma's, got Tim, and we went over. The doctor confirmed that it was an ectopic pregnancy, even though they couldn't see it yet. She said that what the ultrasound tech thought was a sac was not and t

Possible Pregnancy Post 3

Well, this drama just keeps getting more interesting. I wasn't expecting any call back from my doctor's office today, as they need two separate blood draws to make any conclusions from what I understood. However, she did call today. She said my numbers were really good, as in high. She said that this means they should have seen something on the ultrasound. I saw the nurse practitioner, and so she went to the doctor to see what to do. The doctor also said something should be visible based on the numbers in the blood work. So, tomorrow (wednesday) I go back in for another ultrasound and more blood work. According to my hormones, I am pregnant. According to the ultrasound on Monday, we don't know. I am feeling a bit anxious. I want to know what is going on - is my life in danger or is there a baby in there that's just too little to see? It's hard to concentrate on work today. I am thankful I have a Heavenly Father I can turn to in prayer when my heart starts to ge

Potential PRegnancy Post

Well, it has been about two weeks since I first got the positive test. Ok, well, maybe a week and a half. It's been a long week and a half since Tim asked me not to tell until we were more sure! I went in today for a routine appointment with my OB, but since I was there I mentioned the positive test. During the exam I had some pain she thought was odd, and I was explaining some other pain I was having. She opted to do an ultrasound. I was excited. According to my calculations I should be about 6 weeks, and at that time they can often see the heartbeat via an ultrasound. The ultrasound was inconclusive. They didn't see much at all, except the potential for a gestational sack. My doctor is concerned about a possible etopic pregnancy. So I had blood drawn and will return Wednesday for another blood draw. If my levels are doubling nicely, then that means I am most likely pregnant and just not as far along as I thought. If my numbers are not doubling nicely it is possible it is

The Test

SO, I just took a pregnancy test. It came back positive. I am not ready to announce this to the world yet. Last time I did that, well, we miscarried. I'm elated. I'm not sure when I should tell Tim. See, this wasn't our "plan." But, I've had the "baby bug" for a while now. It's not going away. And, well, knowing it was a possibility this month made me a very happy, albeit nervous, woman. Now we shall see if this little babe sticks. Whew, our house is going to be crowded if it does. Crowded, but full of love. So many thoughts. I guess I will just save this for now and see what comes. . .

Of Goosebumps, Dizziness, and Hypersensitive Children.

So I have determined that my eldest has hyper-sensitivity issues. Not a “disorder,” but an extreme sensitivity to pain and textures. Lately, she has refused to wear jeans because they hurt her belly and pinch her thighs, even though they are definitely large enough. So I have indulged her and purchased khakis or stretch pants for now. The last few days she has been getting goosebumps. The first time it happened she was warm as toast in her fleece sweat suit, but she was covered in goosebumps. No fever, no draft in the room – it makes no sense. Now, a normal child would probably grab a blanket and cover up and be done with it. Not my sensitive one. She had to cry and call me. This has happened at least four times in the last week – unexplained goosebumps that bother her enough that she has to point out to us. I just called the nurse and they didn’t have any “red flags” from the goosebumps, but they did say I can “bring her in” if she is really bothered by it or if I am worried. I do

Firsts - First Months of Marriage

Tim and I were married on June 27, 2003, a month and a half after my graduation from college. We spent a week in Colorado for our honeymoon, and then rushed home to Illinois for his grandfather’s funeral. His grandfather passed away while we were returning from our honeymoon. I returned to an apartment jam packed with boxes containing all of our earthly belongings, and no time at all to unpack any of it because of all of the family responsibilities surrounding the funeral. I distinctly remember sobbing as I had a can of soup to open because I was not feeling well, but I had no clue where in that mass of boxes I would find a can opener. As a young wife, I wasn’t sure what my husband, who truthfully I didn’t know all that well after dating long distance, needed while he grieved. As newlyweds, we were happy. However, I was miserably lonely. Janna was halfway across the world, and Melody was still in college. We didn’t have cable, I hadn’t discovered facebook and blogging, if they even

Traveling the World

These are My Young Adult Years from Mommy's Piggy Tails. In my college years, I had the opportunity to travel internationally twice. I consider myself very blessed to have had these opportunities and to have my eyes opened to the world outside of America. Spain Our hosts, the Campos family. The summer after my Freshman year, I boarded a plane with absolutely no one I knew and flew to Olot, Spain. There I served with one other gal and some missionaries, playing piano in their church and helping with a summer camp. The language barrier made it difficult to truly communicate with the people, but the opportunity to travel allowed me to see another culture and understand the way God works outside of America. Michelle, the girl I travelled with The Missionaries we stayed with, the Campos family, were not Americans. He was a native Spaniard and had been serving as a pastor while working full time. When some American missionaries saw how stretched he was, they advised him to s

We're Going on a Field Trip

The work-from-home routine drains me sometimes. Like right now, I should be rewriting an article about HCG hormones, not blogging. Oh, and let’s not get started on the house (which is almost clean since we’re having company tomorrow, thanks to my husband’s help, but typically it’s a scary place). Sometimes, I focus too strongly on the work aspect of working from home instead of the home aspect. When Miss N brought home a paper from preschool about her first-ever field trip and the fact that they needed helpers and drivers, my first thought was “but I have to work. I wonder if I can afford to take the morning off?” The only thing that makes my workweek possible is my full days on Mondays and Fridays while the girls are at school (N to preschool, M to Mom’s Day Out). Then it hit me. This is why I work from home. So I can drive to the fire station with a bunch of three and four year olds. So I can be home with my child when she’s sick. So I can help with the Christmas party. So

Friends for a Lifetime

This is post number 2 in my young adult years from Mommy's Piggy Tails My college years were all about my friends. I didn’t get a boyfriend until my second senior year, although I had a couple of male interests, so my friends were my social group. It seemed that most of my friendships revolved around church. In fact, the three gals I considered my closest friends through my college experience all attended the same church as me while we were in school. I could write about Janna and our friendship, as of my college friends she’s the one I’m still the closest to and the one who I had childhood connections with, but I have already done that . Suffice it to say she was (and still is) a friend I could count on to tell it to me straight and kick me in the gut when I needed it, yet still supported me when I needed that too. My freshman and sophomore years I hung out with Edy, who I mentioned in my previous post. We attended the same church, along with Janna, Paula, and a few other p

On My Mind

Now that Miss N is in school, I have at least one day per week where just Miss M and I spend the morning together. I am learning something. I don't really know my toddler. She is very naughty, and I'm beginning to think that part of the reason she is always into things that are dangerous or not for her is because she gets my attention. See, with Miss N, she loved to read books, snuggle, color, and do things I enjoyed doing, so nurturing and bonding were much easier. I don't know what Miss M loves to do with me. She likes to wrestle with daddy, and she loves when I swing her up in the air, but she's so heavy I can only do that a few times. She only snuggles when she is sick, rarely wants to be read to, and has a mind of her own about what she is going to do with her time. I need to find a way to bond with my baby. This is a matter I am going to make a matter of prayer. I love her, but I find myself exhibiting frustration and anger toward her more often than love a

Pumpkin Time!

Today was our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. I always enjoy seeing how the girls have grown with this sign. I know it's not an "accurate" measure, but it's fun nonetheless. Enjoy a little trip down memory lane! Natalie's first Pumpkin Patch trip - One year old Natalie, Two Years Old Natalie, Three Years Old Natalie, Four years old (is it just me, or has she not grown at all?) Megan, three months old Megan, one year old Megan, two years old.

My Lifelong Dream Fulfilled

I was born bald. When my hair finally came in at close to three years old, it was curly. Not the tight ringlets that are oh-so-cute on little ones today, but curly nonetheless. Throughout my growing up years I fought those curls and waves, until finally as a teen I embraced them because, frankly, I had no choice. This picture of me, Janna, and Mr. Moorehead shows how my curls normally looked While many people have dreams and aspirations of grandeur, and I had my share of those, one less glamorous or spiritualized dream stood out throughout my young adult years. I wanted to know what it was like to have straight hair. I wanted to have the ability to run a comb through my hair without completely wetting it down, throw it up in a perky ponytail, and run out the door for class with moments to spare. While I never truly got that wish, as my hair is and always will be curly, I did get to experience life with straight hair for 24 hours. My freshman year my two very good friends Edy and

I Did It

I am one of those people who finds life somewhat easy. Sure, I have my struggles, would like to have more money, and would love to be skinnier, but for the most part, the major things I have accomplished in my lifetime were easy for me. I graduated with the highest GPA in both my high school and college classes, and while I realize that was something to be proud of, it was something that was not difficult for me. Getting good grades came naturally. Working from home as a freelance writer is a challenge, especially finding the right balance between work and homemaking, but it is work I enjoy and work I find easy. I rarely apply for jobs I’m not highly qualified for, because I can’t stand the feeling of rejection. And I like life that way. I love living in my comfort zone, doing things I excel at. After all, when you attempt something that you are good at, there is little room for failure. I don’t do failure well. Today, for the first time in my life, I accomplished something that w

The Mommy "Gut"

If you are a mom, you have likely experienced something like what I have recently experienced. It’s that gut feeling that something isn’t quite right with your kid. You can’t put your finger on it, but you know something isn’t right. But, because you can’t put your finger on it, you wonder if it’s all in your head. I tend to be a hypochondriac about my kids. I see a spot that could possibly be a rash, I am googling pictures of rashes to make sure we don’t have something highly contagious. Miss N starts coughing during the night, I get the inhaler out so I know where it is if it gets bad like last time. My kid has “the runs” for a few days, and I start researching dietary sensitivities. Because I know that I tend to be a hypochondriac about my kids, I also tend to take two or three steps back before calling the doctor. Thankfully, I am raising kids in the age of Google, so most of the time I can reassure myself that, while a 102.5 fever seems scary, it does not warrant a call to th


As Miss M gets more and more vocal, Miss N is starting to enjoy being a sister more and more. They are waking in the morning and crawling into bed with one another to wait for mom and dad to get up. They are starting to play WITH one another, and Miss N has been rejoicing with us over Miss M's potty training successes. It's wonderful to watch what i pray will be a lifelong friendship blossom. But, they are still siblings. And the little one gets on the big one's nerves a lot, usually intentionally. Like the other day. I can't remember what Miss M was doing, but Miss N had had enough. After I reminded her to be loving, she looked at me and said, "WHEN will we have a baby BOY!!?!?!?" Very funny!

Learning about God

Miss N has had a lot of questions about God and the Bible since she got saved. It’s been fun to try to answer them. Here are a few I wanted to remember: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Miss N (while listening to the Barney theme song): Mommy, this is bad music. It says “if we just believe in him.” We shouldn’t believe in anything but God. (I did tell her the song said, “If we just MAKE-believe him,” and that make believe is a bit different.) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mommy: Miss N, you need to trust your daddy when he tells you something. Miss N: No, Mom, we should only trust in our LORD. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Miss N: Mommy, I have a mysterious question. Does God wear shoes? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Potty Training

If you are my friend, you are probably already tired of hearing about this, but this is my blog and, well, I need to put some things out there to get them out of my head. So if you're tired of hearing about it, stop reading now. Miss M. For the past two and a half days she has behaved as a potty trained child, making all of her "business" in the potty. Today, she started pooing in her undies again. I admit, I am tired beyond measure of changing these messes. I have been at this for about three weeks, and I'm tired of the mess. Being tired is not a reason to quit, and i know that. In my heart of hearts I know that she can do this - goodness, she did it for 2 1/2 days without a problem, even "holding it" for a full 25 minute ride home from church and doing it successfully in the potty. But then, I read things. Things tell me "Start at 2 and potty train for a year. Start at 3 and potty train for a week." Honestly, it's cheaper for me to throw

Preschool Memories

Miss N: Mommy, today at recess me and Benjamin were playing Star Wars! Mommy: That sounds fun. What's Star Wars? (She's never seen it) Miss N: I don't know because Benjamin hasn't told me yet. We just chase bad guys with our pretend, um, gun hands.

A Lovely Family Day at the Apple Orchard (otherwise entitled, Why I Hate Pullups)

It was the perfect fall day for a trip to the apple orchard. Slightly overcast and cool, with rain earlier in the day to drive off the big weekend crowds. Somewhat on a whim, we packed up the kids after nap and went on our way. Apple cider donuts and cold cider drinks were calling our name. Miss M is smack dab in the middle of the potty training stage, and is doing fairly well. While we are primarily in underwear, we stuck a pull-up on her since the potties at the apple orchard are not very convenient. Off went to have some family fun. We arrived, did the potty thing, and then saw the animals. We played, we picked berries, we ate donuts. In the midst of all this fun we had several trips to the potty. Through it all Miss M stayed clean and dry. Donuts were a hit, as was the “juice,” (cider). Miss N played reverse psychology on me, pointing out a toy she wanted and then saying, “But I have enough toys, right mom?” This is the phrase I always say when she’s begging for something (beca

Mommy's Piggy Tales: Our Love Story

When thinking about what to write for post high school, the answer was not as clear as you might think. I could write about God leading me to Maranatha, a small Baptist college in Wisconsin. That was, after all, pivotal in developing some of my friendships and my meeting of my husband. I could write about the spiritual journey I went on through my college years, discovering who I was and what I believed. I could write about the birth of each of my children, which was certainly life changing for me. But, I guess the most important event that has happened to me since graduation from high school was meeting my husband. Even in that story, God’s hand was clearly seen. Most people in my circles meet their significant other in college. I went off to school, honestly, with that as one of my goals. I had a date my freshman year, arranged by two good friends, and went into the summer with hopes that it would develop into something. It did not, and that was OK. I went to several formal events,

Thankful for an All-Knowing God

I admit I don't fully understand prayer, it's purpose, and the way it works. Some day when I have some time it is something I intend to study further. However, I am thankful for the fact that God knows what we need, even when we don't, and sometimes when we don't even know how to pray. About three weeks ago I applied for a writing gig (I work from home as a freelance writer) that I really, really wanted. It took hours to prepare the application and sample, because I wanted it to be just right. I knew the job would stretch my writing style, but it was a challenge I honestly welcomed. Sadly, I don't think I got the job. I haven't heard "no" but it's been long enough that I think I didn't get it. Often in my line of work you don't hear "no." I prayed for that gig. I prayed that I would get it if it was something I could handle. I admit, I am disappointed, but I know God answered my prayer. However, I do need more work. Just this

A Four-Year-Old's Prayer

"Dear God, please let me be a farmer when I grow up so I can have a pony."

Wisdom from a Preschooler

My eldest shocks me with her whit and wisdom sometime. We've gotten past the endless "why" world of three year olds , the nonsensical world of toddlerhood , and are suddenly shooting into the world of young lady-hood. My girls are both now in "school." Miss N attends a traditional K4 program three days a week, while two of those days Miss M goes to Mom's Day Out at a nearby church so I can work. Mom's Day Out gives the kids a small candy at the end of the day if they are good. Preschool lets the kids earn "Dinky Dollars," which they turn in on Fridays for a prize from the "Dinky Store." Both reward good behavior, but in different days. This Friday when I picked up Miss N from school, she had a toy rooster she had purchased from the store. We drove to get Miss M, who got her candy. While we drove, Miss N was questioning me about whether or not I brought her a lollipop. I assured her I did not, and she was working herself into a sta