Tuesday, December 20, 2011

All Day I Bang My Head Against a Wall, DUH!



"How can you stay at home with kids all day, I could NEVER do that!"

This question is asked of me quite often.  It's a perfectly fine question, when asked in the right tone.  I think a lot of women secretly want to ask "why" I choose to stay at home instead of "how".  Like, why in the world would anyone want to spend time with children for hours on end.  And really, I think, I hope, most women ask me this question in a "logistically, how do you take care of children day in and day out" and not as snidely as I hear it in my head.

Let me be very clear here, 99% of the time I am not offended by this question, but that 1% of the time I am down right pissed.  It's pretty hard to truly offend me, but when you start to call in my parenting, all bets are off.  And as a parent I choose to be around my spawn.  The little beings that I created.  The people that I CHOSE to have.

But I TOTALLY get why women want to work.  I DON'T get women who work BECAUSE they don't want to be around their kids.  I mean, why did you have them in the first place?  You don't want to be around them, but you are totally fine with other people being around them?  That confuses me.  But I do understand that some women get a lot out of a job, out of a paycheck, out of accomplishments in the working world.  I get that, I really do.  But I have had women confess that they don't want to be around their kids.  Ey yi yi.  That is so freaking weird to me.  These women also tend to complain about the times they are with their kids, the hour before work, the couple hours after work, and then the LOOOONG weekends with them.  Guess what, your break is your drive to/from work.  Those few minutes you chat with co-workers about whatever, your break, you eat lunch somedays right, there's your break, coffee runs, walking to the bathroom alone, going to the bathroom alone, all breaks.  Why is it so hard to be around your kid(s) then?!

And I know women that in no way shape or form want to be a mom.  Kudos to you for knowing that and not forcing yourself to have kids to fit in, or do what's expected of you.   There are women in my life that are AH MAY ZING with my children and want none of their own.  Fantastic!  I understand how it would be fun to play with kids and then go back to your life.  Your life is fun, it's your life and you want to live it how you choose, yippee.

But whether you are a woman who wants kids, doesn't want kids, works or doesn't work, please don't judge me on my decision to stay at home.  That's where I have a problem with the beginning question.  The eye roll, or the confused look on their face, pisses me off every time.

Again, to be clear, a lot of people have said this to me in an honest, open way of congratulating me on being able to do it.  Or are in awe that I am able to do it.  But to be honest you with, I never know how to respond, so I usually go with, "I dunno, I just do it."  But to answer this question fully, right now, I am able to stay at home with them because I think they are pretty rad.  C, G, and H are so much fun, so cute, and very entertaining.  Do I have rough moments and days?  Yes. But don't you have rough moments and days at your job?  I truly enjoy the time spent with the children, I really, really do.  Does this make me a weirdo?  Maybe.  Do I care?  No.  I don't have to think twice about how or why I stay at home because I just do.  I stay at home and I love it.

The other problem I have is that I would never think to ask someone, "Gosh, how do you sit at a desk all day and crunch numbers?"  or "Gosh, how do you work all day with co-workers who are pains in the ass, a boss that doesn't appreciate you, deadlines that are ridiculous to meet, clients that are bratty, long hours with no recognition and little pay?"  Might be a bit rude, right?  Well, just because I don't have a "job" doesn't mean I'm not working.  It doesn't mean you can look down on my choice of employment.  We all hopefully choose careers that fulfill us in some way.  Mine works for me.  Yours works for you.  I mean really, when was the last time you overheard someone asking someone else how in the world they can do what they do?  SAHMs are sometimes looked at as strange beings in our society. Wasn't the feminist movement all about women choosing their own path in life?

Is it weird for me to not get a paycheck?  Yes. Is it hard to not get praise for the job I am doing?  Yes. Is it hard to not get out of the house as easily as I want? Yes.

Do I care?  Nope!

And if you think I'm a weirdo for being able to stay at home, well I think you are weirdo for having kids and not wanting to be around them. Nannie nannie boo boo, stick your head in...well you know!

And to the women who work because you need to financially (or for whatever reason) but really want to stay home, I am truly sorry.  I had to do that for a year and it SUCKED.  Hopefully soon you'll join me in banging your head against the wall!

I feel lucky to be doing what I am doing, that's all I have to say about that!

"And where was I before the day, that I first saw your lovely face?  Now I see it everyday, and I know, that I am the luckiest." ~ Ben Folds

Monday, December 12, 2011

Blessings and the Rat King

"Some are born with more and some born with less, so don't take for granted the life we've been blessed."  ~Ben Harper


The best way to sum up this past weekend is AWESOME!  I had such an enjoyable, pleasant, filled with happiness and joy, weekend.  


On Saturday we had a blessing for Gabriel and Harper.  I won't get in to how we arrived at a baby blessing (the Catholics didn't want us), but I'll say it was perfect for our family.  Pastor Jonge was the one that did the blessing and it was beautiful.  To summarize, it was a blessing on Marc and me to raise our children in a Godly manner and teach them the importance of God and Jesus Christ.  We can do that!  It was also a commitment from our family and friends to assist us in this mission and to also teach the ways of the Lord.  My favorite part about this all is that it was not one religion, so whatever the children may choose later in life is ok.  They are not bound to one set of rules.  My deep down personal belief is that we should all be good people and try our best to live in a way in which God would be proud of us.  To me, it does not matter what you are "labeled" just that you believe in something.  So this fit perfectly with what we wanted. 


My second favorite part of the day was being surrounded by the people that love us the most, support us the most, and have been with us since day one.  (Literally Alicia has been there since day one since she was there the night I met Marc!)


My parents, Marc's parents, my brother Michael and his family, my brother Scott and his wife Gretchen, and our sister-in-law Becky and her kids were all there.  Unfortunately some family couldn't make it, but we, of course, still love you and missed you!  In addition to this fine group was Gabriel and Harper's Godparents.  I am going to highlight each because we carefully chose them to be Godparents and I think they deserve the recognition.  To be fair, I am going to go over them in order of how long I've known them.


Alicia, my dear, sweet Alicia.  Mrs. Vanderspiegel is Harper's Godmom.  I met this fine lady way back in the Spring of 1999 when we were pledges of Zeta Tau Alpha.  We hit it off pretty quickly but really solidified our friendship when we were suitemates first semester senior year.  And after college, when we were both single and ready to mingle (HA!), we really got tight.  We've been through a lot together and I really look up to her for so many reasons.  When we were pregnant with our third child the discussion of Godparents came up and Alicia immediately came to mind.  I wanted to show her, in a very big way, how much she means to me.  I also knew that she would take the job very seriously and love TBD with all her might.  It was a no brainer and we just knew she had to be Godmom.  I am super thankful she said yes.  Alicia may live 5 hours away, but she has made it to birthday parties, blessings, baptisms, get togethers, any and everything she's been invited to.  This means so much to me.  That she is willing to put in the time to visit my family.  I love her to pieces and love that she is a part of my family.  She's so tight in fact that when she visits I know she will be fine talking to Marc's family and my family.  I don't have to check in and make sure she's comfortable.  She fits right in.


Lor and Steve, Marc's sister and her husband, are Gabriel's Godparents.  Pretty sure they will need to call on God a lot to help with this boy! HAHA!  They are the first family members I met after Marc and I started dating.  They came up for a UVa football game, which was HUGE because Steve is a die hard Tech fan.  BUT Steve is also a die hard Steelers fan so my parents fell in love on the spot.  They loved Lor and Steve so much they completely ignored Marc.  Oops!  (For the record they love Marc.)  After the game we all hung out and it just worked.  We all got along and from that day we have gotten along.  Lor is the easiest person in the world to be around.  You can talk to her about anything and trust that she won't judge you, at least to your face, and won't hold anything against you.  Lor is also a riot, so much fun!!  She and Marc were buddies growing up so they have a special bond.  I feel pretty lucky that I get to be apart of it. Steve is super tall (Harper was the size of his hands when she was born) and looks intimidating, but he's a big old softy.  He has been really good to my family and I am so appreciative of it.  It's amazing we picked them for Godparents for our second child and that baby ended up being a boy.  They are the perfect boy Godparents.  They are actually a perfect Aunt/Uncle duo.  I trust them 100% with our kids and any parent knows how important that it is.  I heart the Dooleys big time!


Mike, Marc's brother, is Harper's Godfather.  In the early days of Marc and my's relationship we used to visit Mike and Becky a lot.  Again, we could just hang out with them, and their kids, and not have to worry about how we were acting.  We all got along and had a lot of fun.  We still do of course, but we have three kids, they have their own business and our lives don't always intersect as much as we like.  But when we are together it's still a great time.  Mike is actually the one that helped us get his pastor to do the baby blessing.  If there is anyone in this world that lives and breathes his faith, it is Mike.  He doesn't just punch his ticket to church on Sunday and go about his life.  He lives in a way that is Godly, faith based, and honorable.  He wakes every morning to read the bible, works with his wife to make their union a strong bond, and goes above and beyond in working with the community.  He gives to others before he takes for himself, a trait that is hard to find these days.  He was another easy choice when it came to who should be our third child's Godfather.  We knew, without a doubt, he would be there for our child and for us, now and in the future.  Any assistance we may need Mike is always willing to help.  I have so much respect for Mike and the life he and his wife lead.  We are honored and humbled to have him be Harper's Godfather.


After the blessing we hung out, as a family, and enjoyed each other's company.  These type of gatherings always make my heart fill with joy and tears come to my eyes.  To hear laughter, running and playing, loud voices telling old stories, sharing moments with loved ones.  Life isn't much better, to me, than those moments.  The fact that my family (to include Alicia) and Marc's family so seamlessly fit together makes it an awesome time.  After the blessing Alicia, Scott and Gretchen came back to Deerfield to stay over.  Always a good time with this group.  We probably stayed up way too late, but it was fun and so hard for Marc and me to walk away and go to bed.  I love that we all have similar values and stances on things, but if we do disagree no debates or arguments break out, just conversation.  It also helps that they love my kids and my kids love them.  They don't mind the playing, they don't mind the shenanigans, they go with the flow.  It's nice.


Fantastic Saturday had by all!  Thanks to everyone that made the day so special.


On Sunday my parents took Carter and I to The Nutcracker.  My parents have made The Nutcracker a part of their yearly Christmas tradition.  They've seen it in different places and put on by different ballets.  They've gone alone, they've gone with family and friends, they've had big groups and small groups.  This year it was the four of us.  I.ALMOST.CRIED.THE.WHOLE.TIME!!!!  Carter was so excited to be there and loved it.  She had her popcorn and soda (she NEVER gets soda but I knew this was a special treat), and she sat their proudly with it.  She watched each dancer very intently and seriously.  Throughout the show she would move from each of us to sit on our laps or stand and watch.  Well, as she moved from each of us she would prance like a ballerina, sometimes adding a spin, and when she'd jump in to our laps she would sort of leap like the dances.  She showed a new level of cuteness to me!!!  I watched her more than I watched The Nutcracker because she was so cute.  It was an awesome experience and I'm so thankful that my parents let me be a part of it.  They easily could have taken Carter by themselves, but they graciously let me tag along.  To date, it's one of my favorite days ever.


(All morning Carter has been fighting the Rat King!  I'm hoping we will defeat him soon so he doesn't return!)


It also made me feel good that Marc hung back with Gabers and Harpie.  It's hard to get quality time with kids when you have so many, so while Harper was napping Marc and Gabe ate dinner together.  That makes me want to cry too, I'm a sap!  My two boys chilling.  Love it.


So my weekend was fantastic and we are truly blessed.  I had to stop Marc at one point and just hug him, hold him tight, and thank him for this beautiful life. We got a good thing going and I thank God for all he has provided us.


Cheers to the Kozuchs and Patrouchs! Cheers to this beautiful life, this beautiful time of year, and the happiness that fills my heart!

Monday, November 14, 2011

These are the Days of our Lives...



My baby is 11 weeks old.  ELEVEN WEEKS OLD! My mind cannot handle that number.  In Kroger yesterday I almost cried when I went down the baby food aisle. I mean, my little pumpkin is going to be eating that stuff soon. How?!  How is she old enough?  Soon she'll be driving.  Then in college.  And then her dad will be walking her down the aisle and I'll have to say goodbye to her.

Yes, that's Harper Ri's timeline: baby food, driving, college, marriage.

There's something special about this one.  So there's actually something special about each of them, but with this one, my last one, I am cherishing my time a bit more.  I knew after Carter and after Gabe I wanted more.  With Harps I'm pretty sure this is it.  The last true birth day being celebrated, the last newborn onesies to wash and put on a small baby, the last of the carrier car seat, last flips, crawls, walks, and first talks.  The endless feedings I'm experiencing now will turn in to snacks and meal times.  Her limpness cuddles are already turning in to her wanting to stand and move.  She's finding her voice, noticing the world, and growing with each second.

She's going to be my last little peanut.  Tears my heart to pieces.

I'm a baby freak.  My babies, my sweet round-headed babies, are my everything.  My heart and soul.  The cheese to my macaroni.  The peanut butter to my jelly.  The Piglet to my Pooh.

If I could just stop time for 5 minutes I would pick these ages to capture.  Carter is a riot.  Gabe is a sweetheart, and Harper is sweet.  Each one still under my roof.  Each one still loves me.  Each one is still my biggest fan, letting me know I'm doing ok.

I don't want them to grow up.  I want to live in this bliss forever.

If I were a working woman I'd be ending my maternity leave this week, facing the work world once again.  I will be sure to thank God each night this week that I don't have to go back.  I don't have to leave them.  I don't have trust them in someone else's care.  I get to be the one annoyed by their tantrums.  I get to be the one to stop the bites Gabe is sure to give Carter, stop the screaming Carter is sure to do after the bites, and change the five thousand diapers an eleven week old produces.  I am the one that gets the hugs and kisses.  The "I love you's" and the big gummy/toothy grins.  I hear the singing. I hear the playing.  I hear the love between siblings.

It's a crazy life, but it's perfect to me.  Deerfield is perfect.  Team Patrouch is perfect.  And each night I get to see excited little faces when Marc comes home.  Marc's being the cutest of them all.

I am home.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Evilness That Is Now My Friend


Never in my life have I worried about the scale and the number that appeared.  I didn't even own one until Marc moved in.  I AM NOW OBSESSED!  I've always been more interested in how I felt and how my clothes fit.  No more my friends.  I want to be a certain weight and that's all there is to it.

I've actually started to care about what I am eating.  Not that I still don't sneak junk because I am a firm believer if you deprive yourself of something you will want it that much more and eat that much more of it.  Whew, that was a lot of words.  So, if I want a snack I eat it.  But I stop with that one snack.  I've always been good about listening to my cravings...if I feel like a steak, to me, that means my body needs something that a steak provides.  If I want cheese then it must mean I am lacking calcium or something.  Well I am trying to pay even more attention to my cravings and only eat that item.  I'm also stopping when I'm full. Again, I've always done this because I think the full feeling you get after a meal is just plain gross.  I hate it.  But right now I REALLY hate it.  I vow that when I'm done, I'm done.  No more "one last bite" for me.

It also helps to have a biffles that is super in to eating healthy and working out.  I'm still trying to convince myself to work out.  I took the kids on a walk yesterday and that's about all I've done.  I've seen some ab exercise I may try too.  I miss volleyball.  That was the one thing I loved to do!  Anyhoo, my bff is also very great about responding to all of my questions regarding food.  And I've started to read the packages in the store to try and find the most healthy options.

I just weighed myself and I'm under 150!!  YAY! Ok, so maybe it's still morning and I haven't eaten today, but it's still under 150.  This makes me oh so happy.  Right before I married Marc I was 124 pounds.  That number shines in my head like a Broadway sign.  It's my ultimate goal, but I'm sure I'll never get there.  For now I think 135 is a reachable destination.  And don't get on me about 3 kids in 3 years and Harper is only 11 weeks old, I hate the chub that I carry around with me all day long.

Wish me luck friends, I'll need it!

And my bestest pal, Lisa, doesn't recommend the anorexia route.  FYI.  So I will not be going about weight loss that way.

P.S.  I've started drinking more water.  I do think it's helping with the energy level and making my skin better.  It also fills you up so you don't eat as much.  But golly day is it hard to drink 3 QUARTS of water a day.  I'm averaging about half of that.  My whole day is dedicated to drinking water.  If I go to drink a soda or something else I redirect and grab the ol' water bottle.  It's wearing me out!!!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Playing House

"You'd say we're playing house, Now you still say we are..."

After being with Marc for awhile I remember telling him it felt like I was dreaming or on vacation or something. Everything just seemed so great that it couldn't possibly last. I'd either wake up or come back home and he wouldn't be there anymore. That's how wonderful life really was. Well now I feel that way, but about a hundred times more.

Each team member is unique and fun, and makes me happy!!!

CJP
What can I say about our dainty bull? She is so awesome. Right now she is loving some princesses. She hasn't taken off her Halloween costume since Monday. CJ loves to spin around in her dress and say she's pretty. Which she is! And the funniest part is that ANY dress is a princess dress, not just one with pink and glitter. Our little gal isn't just pretty, she's smart. Of course every parent says that, but she really is. She's learned how to play with the iPad, iPhone and iPod. She also has a wicked memory and doesn't forget anything. We now have to be careful of what we say and what we promise. C is also an amazing drawer. She spends hours drawing pictures. A trait she gets from her dad. She throws some great toddler tantrums, but she's also super polite and well behaved. After her flu shot she actually said thank you to the nurse! A couple of weeks ago she finished her swimming lessons. Marc took her every Saturday as a special thing for them to do. A few times she got to be the person that demonstrated the skill they were learning. Marc was a proud poppa! Overall, she is one neat kid. She sings and dances, tells fantastic stories and is delightful. In the morning she says, "I awake now, I not sleeping!". And so I let her know she can get up. This all being done between the walls. After I give her the go-ahead I hear her open and close her door, going running down the hall, down the steps and say, "Oh hey dad!". She makes me smile.

GBP
Gabberdiodle. My Gabers. Gabearoo. Apple of my eye. Ugh, I can't get enough of him. He's precious. The thing that is most said about him is "He's so smiley!". And he is. He really is!! He's starting to speak a bit but not full words. He says nana for banana, mama, dada and buh bye. He waves and blows kisses. He also sits down for diaper changes when he sees me holding a diaper. Pavlov would be proud. He also has the most amazing pincer grip skills I've ever seen!!! He only grabs food with his pointer finger and thumb. Everything he does is unique! G is also ALL boy. Loves to knock things over, make loud noises and climb. He actually got stuck on the coffee table one day and I thought it was so funny I recorded it instead of helping him. Such a happy kid who is tons of fun and a fantastic cuddler. He makes me smile all day long!! Marc says I don't have a soft spot for the boy, I have a sinkhole. And I can't argue.

HRP
Our little rookie. She made the practice squad and eventually the team. We are glad to have her playing with us. She was born so tiny and little but has packed on the pounds. She has a nice round head and double chin which makes me giggle. Her smile makes me smile and I am thankful that she's so happy. So far she's a bit leery of her brother but is obsessed with her sister. On quite a few occasions I've enlisted CJ to help me calm the littlest Patrouch. But it always works so I'll keep doing it!! H still has a bubbly mouth, which is weird, but it doesn't seem to bother her so I don't worry. Even if I do Google it often. The thing that has most amazed me in her little life is what happened right after she was born. When they lifted her up she was crying but as soon as she heard my voice she stopped. Absolutely stopped crying and became peaceful. It's amazing to me that I can have such an affect on another human being. My presence made her feel better. I get tears thinking about it. I love my little love bug and thinks she's super precious!!!

MJP
Our manager, coach, team leader. Marc is a pretty alright guy. He's so involved with our little family and I'm lucky for that. On the weekends he makes sure I get out of the house so I don't go completely insane. At night he takes whichever kid is driving me bonkers, sometimes all of them, and entertains them while I get some alone time. M always takes on bath duty, changes diapers, gets kids ready for bed, helps clean up and the most important contribution, makes me coffee every single morning. He lets me bitch and complain about whatever, let's me hog the bed, and let's my weirdo self feel normal. We've had a lot going on these past three years but he's never lost his cool. At least not in front of me! I heart the guy big time. He's also super funny and makes me laugh all the time. Which is so important in a marriage. M is awesome with the kids and is such a great role model. Nothing, absolutely nothing, makes me love him more than when he is bonding with the children. They all play together, laugh, run around, cuddle, dance, hug and love one another. Marc dances around with a fussy Harps to get her to sleep, holds her for hours when needed and gets up early with her so I can sleep. He kisses boo boos, hugs away pain, and wipes away tears. All of this PLUS goes to work everyday to make this life possible. We give him an A+ in the awesomeness category.

So, I'm lucky. Oh so lucky. Hopefully this dream/vacation never ends!!


(The lyric at the beginning of this post is from Jack Johnson's song "Do You Remember".)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Collage of Thoughts

Sometimes I have SO much to write about I just don't write.  None of it fits in to one category, or they all sort of criss cross and I can't organize it so I don't.

I could write about my kids and how insanely in love with them I am.  Like, I grab them, hug them, kiss them all over until they wiggle out of my arms, and then I do it again.  Luckily I have three and one can't move too well, so I can spread the love.  I was never a mom that thought "How can I love my other kids as much as my first?"  I always knew the love would multiply.  And boy did it.  I bust at the seams with love for these kiddos.  They are just so.dang.cute!!!  I actually keep a journal of funny things that are said or happen.  I know one day I will appreciate the memories.

Something else I could write about? My husband.  The man that puts up with me every.single.day.  I really don't know how he does it.  I mean, I am a nut!  And if I don't sleep well, even nuttier!  Like crazy, toddler like behavior comes out of me if I don't sleep.

I should also address.the.periods.  Why do I do this? I hope it comes across as me making a strong point and not as though I don't understand punctuation.

Television and my kids is something I could address.  I posted a picture on facebook that eventually led to the fact that my children watch television.  It was all in a "joking" fashion, but I also know people have a strong hatred for the glowing box.  But boy do I love it. My kids are  healthy, love to play, imagine, be outside, but sometimes the television is just needed.  In my life anyway.

I recently joined Pinterest and I am now a junkie.  It's awful.  The last thing I need is another internet addiction.  But it has so many wonderful ideas.  Every year Marc and I have a Christmas Eve brunch at our  house for our family.  I guess this is the 4th or 5th year of it.  Well I've found some great recipe ideas as well as decorations.  It's making me giddy for the holidays.

Kim K. and Kris H. is another topic I could touch on.  I actually have a lot to say.  Whether it was publicity or not, divorce is not easy.  There is nothing glamourous about it and I feel badly for everyone involved.  It can't be easy, especially with everyone commenting about it.  But I am actually more shocked and surprised by Zooey D. and her husband's split.  They were married for two years which seems to be a very bad number.  A few people I know that have been divorced it has happened in the two year mark.  Hmm??

Winnie the Pooh - have you seen the new movie?  If not, you have to! It's so cute.  My favorite line, "You have such a talent for words and telling us what to do."  I sent this to my husband with "I'm pretty sure you and the kids think this about me. A lot."  It cracks me up every.single.time.I.hear.it!  The whole scene is hilarious.

I've already gotten the "Are you going to have more kids" question.  I've gotten it a lot actually.  Not that I can blame anyone.  When you have three kids in three years people are going to assume things. But I must say, I never got pregnant this quickly! It was at the 5/6  month period.  So ask around the end of February folks. HA!  But the answer right now, is no.

ALTHOUGH  every time I hear of another pregnancy, see a newborn, look at pics of my own kids as newborn, or think about pregnancy I get a twinge of "awwwww, baby".  So who knows.

Ok, that might be it for now.  I am sure I will think of 100 more things after I post this.

Like the house burglaries that have been happening here, our cars getting rummaged through and my iPod being taken, the kids that were sneaking cigarettes by our house, Longwood kicking my frat and others off campus, me being a single mom for a week while Marc was out of town, my thoughts on breast feeding, the fact that Harps only woke up once last night and I'm pretty sure Daylight Savings will ruin her run, and 100 other things!

Peace and love, Rev Run.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

C-Section

So there is a new show on NBC called "Up All Night".  I love it!  It represents parenting in a humorous, but very truthful light.  Last night's episode was about the birth of their daughter.

It hit me hard.

Everyone has an image in their mind of how their birth will go.  Some write out a birth plan (I did not), some just picture it in their own heads.  I never thought I'd have a c-section.  It wasn't even on the radar except for the fact I knew I didn't want one.

I had one.

Now I've had a total of 3.  I don't like it.

The initial blow of hearing the word "c-section" made me cry.  It made me cry hard.  The doctor asked me why.  I said that I was upset I couldn't give birth the way I was supposed to.  I was thinking that I was a failure.  That my body, the body that was CREATED for this, couldn't do it.  If I couldn't give birth, how could I be a mom?  Plus I was just scared.

Of course that is silly, but it was, and is, how I feel.  The thoughts of failure still enter my mind.  I still feel sad about it and wish it could have been different.  I tried so hard, so very hard, and still couldn't do it.  It was probably the first time in my life that I wanted something so badly and couldn't get it.

Well watching that episode brought it all back to me.  I go through spurts - sometimes I'm ok with it, I know it needed to be done, other times it breaks my heart.  It breaks my heart that I've had to keep having them and that it could possibly affect how many children I have.  I talked to the docs about a VBAC and it really wasn't an option for me.  Another crushing blow.

This post is not to say there is anything wrong with a c-section, because there isn't.  This post is about heartbreak I felt over the situation.  To see my husband hurting along with me, to be scared right along with me, and being so emotional words escaped him, made the whole experience that much more painful, but brought us that much closer.

I couldn't have done it without him.  In the show last night the husband was their for his wife and that's really when the tears started.  Marc has always been my safety net, my airbag, the guy that convinces me the world is a beautiful place.  He was strong for me when I couldn't be, even when he was hurting.

I'm hoping that as the years pass the heartache will get less and less.  I am sure it will never go away, it will always be a dark spot in my heart, but I hope I won't bust out in to tears whenever the subject comes up.  All that really matters is that I have three beautiful children that arrived here safely.  I guess it shouldn't matter too much how.

But on a funny note, I totally get Reagan wanting to wear a headband during the birth and trying to look cute!!!  I wore make up to Gabe and Harper's surgeries and painted my nails.  I wanted to look good in pictures.  And I am vain.

Here is the episode if you want to watch:

Friday, October 14, 2011

SAHM vs. WM

For whatever reason the topic of stay at home mom vs. working mom has come up a lot lately in my life. It's an interesting debate for me because I've been both. So I truly, for a fact, know that BOTH are hard. There are pluses and minuses to both. Both have great moments. Both have really awful moments. If you stand on one side of the fence and judge the other than you are a damn fool. As moms, as women, we should commend each other for our choices/decisions instead of trying to figure out who is a "better" mom.

When you become a parent, of any kind, you are now responsible for a HUMAN BEING! Do you know how much pressure that is?! It's a lot. And under that pressure you are forced to make a bunch of decisions - forumula or breastfeeding, vaccines or not, co-sleeping or crib sleeping, Mickey or Minnie, organic or not, gender specific play or generalized, circumcision or hooded wang, chocolate for breakfast or actual healthy food? The list goes on and on. And with each rising sun a new set of choices is presented. So when parents decide if one will stay home or both will work, trust me, it's a lengthy conversation. It's not, at least in my experience and in talking with others, a fly by the seat of your pants decision. And if you decide on working, you then have to decide on a day care situation which is also difficult.

What I am trying to get at is that working or not is a huge, personal choice and only you and your partner/spouse can decide what is best. NO ONE ELSE. So it hurts me to read or hear one sided arguments. I feel very lucky that I get to stay at home. I also feel lucky that for 7 years I got to be in a job I loved and enjoyed every day. So leaving it wasn't too awful because I got my fill.

I have sympathy for anyone that is unable to be the mom they want, stay at home or working. I am sure there are very valid reasons why they cannot do what they want and I am sure a bit of them hurts each day. For a year I had to be a working mom when I desperately did not want to be. Finances kept my dream from happening. Going into work never "got easier", never "got better" and I hated hearing that it would. My last day of work was one of the best days of my life!!

Do I miss work? Sometimes. But never enough to want to go back!

But in no way do I fault women or men for wanting to work. I totally get it. This being with the kids all day, every day is not for everyone! Some days I think it'd be easier to have a 9-5er. Other days I feel awful for Marc having to spend 40+ hours at a job and then come home and be dad.

All I know is that 100% of the time you are a parent no matter where your butt rests most of the day. And being a parent is the best most tiring job you can have!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Walt, C'mon Man!!

So this will be quick because I'm blogging from my phone. I want to see what it's like since I can't always sit at the computer.

Anyhoo, why does Mr. Disney hate women so much?! Mostly moms. In his movies women are dead, witches or evil step mothers. Yes, most of the stories are adapted from previously written fairy tales or stories, but c'mon man! Make us look decent every once in awhile!!

Snow White - evil step mother
Cinderella - same
Sleeping Beauty and Tangled - have moms but there are evil women out to get them
Little Mermaid - no mom to speak of, evil witch lady
Beauty and the Beast - no mom to speak of
Lion King - this one does have a mom. That's forced into slavery by her brother in law
Toy Story - single mom, why did the dad leave her?!
Princess and the Frog - finally a strong mother!!

I'm sure there are others, these just came to mind quickly!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ohhh little kid...you step back...

I do declare, I am not a mom made for play areas.

Let me explain.

While Marc was out of town for work the kids and me went and stayed with my folks in Charlottesville.  This required a 2 1/2 hour trip up and back.  On each leg of the trip we stopped at a place with a playland for them to stretch their legs.  Don't judge, yes, I give my kids fast food when needed, deal.

So at the Chik fil-a in Charlottesville Carter was a sweetheart and said hi to all the other kids.  They just sort of looked at her. Then she tried to hug one little girl and the brat said, "Don't hug me."  Ok, I get it, my child needs to learn to not touch people, but c'mon, it's a hug.  In my head back to the girl I said, "Keep up that attitude and no one will want to hug you. Ever.  Brat."

Then at the McDonald's outside of Roanoke a little girl pushed Carter.  Ohhhh momma was hot.  Carter, of course, looked quite sad, so I told her to come play with me instead.

This, this right here, is where I win Mom of the Year.

When CJ got to me I told her, "You push her right back.  Don't let her push you."  She said shyly, "Ok, mommy."

I just can't.  I can't be the mom that sits and lets playground stuff go down.  Not while they are so little.  It just broke my heart that Carter was so sweet and wanting to play and those germ monsters weren't accepting.  This, of course, leads to other thoughts of rejection that I really can't deal with now.

I CANNOT wait until the day Gabe is a beast and can take care of things for me.

Take that bratty little shits that will have no friends one day because you are mean.

Ok.  I think I am done now!

(I do understand this makes me look crazy, but I can accept that label.)


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Superwoman



Ahh, Superwoman, is there such a lady?  A woman that is so super she has special powers?

If there is, I am not her.  I struggle.  I struggle with different things at different times.  And the guilt of it weighs heavy on me.  Am I a good mom? Am I a good wife?  Am I neglecting my friends and family?  Do I put myself last when maybe I shouldn't?  Is that selfish of me to think?  It's tough to try to do it all.  In the words of Lady Antebellum "Trying to be everything can make you lose your mind."

I quit my job to be a stay at home mom because I knew I wasn't giving it my all at work.  The work/life balance was not something I was interested in mastering.  I had no desire whatsoever to work, therefore I was doing a piss poor job at it.  I didn't think that was right to do to my employer.  Or my co-workers who expected more of me.

Now replace co-workers with family and friends.  I'm not the friend I once was.  I am not the daughter or sister I once was.  And dare I say it, I'm not the wife I once was.  My whole focus is on my kids.  And that's probably not healthy.  But they are so little and I justify it to myself by saying, "They need me."  I have to start saying, "It's ok to not meet EVERY SINGLE DEMAND.  It won't scar them for life."

Asking for help has never been a strong suit of mine.  Not sure why.  I have MANY people in my life willing to help out if I just say the word.  But, of course, I'm a woman, and I go about things passively.  I think "Why can't they see I need help? Why don't they just offer?"  It's silly and ridiculous to think anyone can read my thoughts, but I think it.  My poor husband is probably the brunt of my "Why can't he..." lines in my head.  He has often told me, "Emily, men are easy, just TELL me what you want and I'll do it. I don't know what you're thinking unless you tell me."

Why is it that women feel the need to be all things to all people?  We have a hard time saying no.  We have a hard time giving up control.  It's not that I don't think my husband is an awesome dad and can take care of the kids, I just feel bad leaving him in complete control.  I don't want to burden him.  It's not that I don't think my family can help out, I just feel bad burdening them with three kids.

Even though every single person in my life has offered help.

What is wrong with me?  Why can't I take a shower and not feel guilty?  Why can I not go out shopping and leave the guilt behind?  The kids will be ok.  Whomever might be watching the kids will be ok.  Everyone is ok without me!  Maybe I need to write this on index cards and place them throughout my house so I can remember it.

I'm tired this week and this is why this post is even being written.  Gabers had Croup, Harper is a newborn, and Carter is starting to notice she doesn't get as much attention as she used to.  Another major guilt thing of mine right now.  I had to sit and laugh one day as I was feeding H, G was trying to sit on my lap (which meant also sitting on H) and C was crying "Hold me, mommy."  What else could I do in that moment but laugh?  I only have so many hands.  I only have so many hugs and kisses to give out at one time.  I only have so much patience on any given day.

Kudos to us though for only having one or two crazy days in 5 weeks!

This mom needs a vacation.  Not even a big one.  I need 30 minutes of guilt free thoughts, where I can actually RELAX and not think about being a mom. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE BEING A MOM!!!! I love being a SAHM mom, but I deserve a break right?!  Just a little one?!  Again, my husband, my in-laws, they have all given me breaks, they have all done their part to help out, it's my brain that needs to give me a break.

Please tell me you are a Superwoman who needs a brain vacay?!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day of Caring

For the first time, in a really long time, I miss working in Human Resources for the University of Virginia.

Yesterday was the Day of Caring. ONE OF MY MOST FAVORITE DAYS OF THE YEAR! HR has worked with Worksource Enterprises for about 4 years now and it's the most amazing day. It's the one day of the year when everyone cares about other human beings instead of just the task at hand. We set up a carnival for the clients so they can have a day of fun. The joy on their faces and the excitement of the day is overwhelming. The first time we participated I was newly pregnant with Carter and quite emotional. I realized that no matter what kind of baby God gave me, everything was going to be ok. My baby could have a "normal" life as long as I made sure of it. What's funny is I think I was pregnant or had a newborn for each Day of Caring. How nutty is that?!

Anyhoo, a dear friend sent me pictures of the event. (Thanks Ray Ray!) I immediately started crying. Seeing people that I worked with for 7 years brought back a lot of fun memories. Yeah, there were rough days, weeks, months, but overall it was a great experience. I loved my job, it was perfect for me. And most of the year I don't really miss it. But today, on this rainy Thursday, I miss my work buds. Also, to see them interacting with the clients is a good sight to see. In the working world you don't always get to see the sweet, nice side of your co-workers. A lot of the time you just see the "working" side of them. For one day we are just people helping other people for the pure joy of it.

But don't you worry, I don't want to go back or even start a new job! HA! My SAHM thing is working out pretty well. Plus, my co-workers are way cuter and give way better hugs than anyone in HR.

And it's Harper Riley's 4 week birthday. I'm feeling a blog coming going in to detail about my love for this sweet little pea. But I'll wait. Tears over work are one thing, tears over my baby is another!! Not sure I can handle it today. :-)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Will Follow You Will You Follow Me

"I can say, the night is long but you are here, close at hand, oh I'm better for the smile you give" ~lyrical genius of Genesis

So I had my third kid. In three years. That may be overdoing it a bit. Maybe I'm a showoff at heart?! Anyhoo, she is wonderful and I love her.

But she kept me up all night. I guess that's what a 2 1/2 week old does, but c'mon lady, sleep already! You'd think I'd be used to it by now.

In all honesty though, she's a dream. Doesn't cause us too many problems, yet, so I should count my blessings and be happy that bad nights are few and far between.

But on those nights it's rough man!

And on days like this, when I am oh so tired, I remind myself that I chose to be a mom. I chose to be a stay at home mom. I chose to have a third child. Not that it makes it easier, but it does put it in to perspective. I also realize I could have it much worse. I mean, one day, she'll be out on a date. Or driving. Or drinking. Or all of it and I really won't be able to sleep. At least these days she just wants to eat or be held. That's easy peasy if you ask me.

Harper's Story
We have been told we are crazy, nuts, insane, and other similar words for having three small children. I think it's rude but whatevs. We have wanted each of our kids. Another question we get a lot, "you planned them?" Yes. Yes we did. Gabe was the only one that we sat down and said right now we want to get pregnant, but the other two were "hey, let's see how it goes". And it went just as it should. Carter, Gabriel, and Harper are my babies and I love 'em. They are the exact children I am supposed to have.

Anyhoo, Harper was planned and she came on August 25. She was delivered by c-section and it was rough. Definitely the hardest one I've had yet. I didn't like it and repeated that phrase many times during the procedure. But I had to keep my eye on the prize and know that it's worth it.

When Marc told me it was a girl I said, "Holy shit!" followed by, "Gabey gets to stay my boy". Yes, I'm classy. Swearing and then pointing out my favorite kid. HA! The hospital's name is Lewis-Gale and they were over the top AMAZING! I heart my doctor big time, Dr. Christopher Keeley, and his whole staff, especially his nurse Wendy. And the nurses and staff on the maternity floor were so sweet and caring and made our stay really special. Carly and Trish were my favorite and I think I need to drop off cupcakes for them. I mean, they were REALLY great. Only one other nurse compares and that is Ms. Lietzle Ford! And no one, I mean no one, will ever top her. The cleaning lady that decided to join in while Carter and Gabe met their baby sister was a bit weird, but I can't blame her, we're a cute family! I would have hijacked it too.

Then we came home and my parents stayed the week to help out. They were so fantastic. Even made me my favorite Polish dinner. It was so great seeing Carter and Gabe bonding with their grandparents and vice versa. I didn't mention Harper because I kept her all to myself for the most part! And I love that my parents got to see C and G in real life instead of just hearing the stories I tell all the time. We lived really far from my grandparents, so it's special to me that all of them can be in each other's lives. Thanks mom and dad! It meant so much to have you here. Plus, you were a huge help!

In another post I am going to address breastfeeding. I'll tie it back to the post I wrote before about the same topic. I won't get in to here because it will make for a really long post. But the short of it is that it's going pretty well! There are pluses and minuses but it's working for now so I'll stick with it. (Really I don't want to give up these hooters! HA!)

And next week my closest of friends will be meeting my newest addition. They actually may start to get mad at me for all the money they have to spend visiting these kids. HA! I'm excited though because these ladies are like family to me. Alicia, very kindly, has agreed to be Harper's Godmother and I could not be more thrilled. She's my longest tenured friend and we've been through a bunch together. I think they'll be the best of friends!!!

So, I am off to find something to do. I don't really have a lot going on so filling the days is quite difficult.

{sarcasm}

Sorry for the long random post. I rambled a bit and not sure what any of it means! HA! In my defense I didn't want to get too sappy cause I cry easily these days.

And here is the song I referenced above. I heard it on the radio shortly before TBD was born and it made me cry. I think it's just perfect!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I HEART YIPPIES!!!

Yippies = Yuppies + Hippies

Marc and I have VERY weird conversations, very weird. Most people would probably look at us very strangely if they overheard us. I am sure there are still people talking about this particular conversation we had in Best Buy.

We want to start a coffee shop/restaurant/bar geared toward Yippies. The coffee shop, of course, would be made from reclaimed wood, serve organic coffee and scones with the freshest of ingredients. Only singer-songwriter music will be played. Only Mac products will be installed. And it will be a requirement that the baristas will have wrist tattoos.

The restaurant will serve hummus and pita as their bread option, avocado as their condiment, and again, all organic. Waiters and waitresses will be required to wear thick, black framed glasses. Our logo, similar to a Mac, will be an avocado outline instead of an apple. We might go out of our comfort zone and play music other than singer-songwriter. But it will be acoustic.

The bar will have only micro brews. And the bookshelves will be lined with the classics. Debates around politics and medical coverage will take place. Live bands will play while white guys hold their beers and only move their upper bodies. When live bands aren't playing rugby and futbol matches will be on the televisions.

Of course in each area there will be hook ups for laptops and iPods. Bathrooms will have soy candles only! That are lemongrass, basil, and sandalwood. Of course no paper towels will be found, only earth friendly options to dry those hands of yours.

No need to tip anyone either, everyone has chosen this profession because they "aren't mainstream", don't want to "work for the man", they "do it cause they love it". Plus, they are only working part time while they attend classes to be a social worker or environmental saver person.

WASPY NAMES ONLY! Do not apply unless your name is Barrett, Winston, Ani, or Sayrah. If we really like you though and get a good Yippie vibe, we'll just use your last name if we don't like your first name.

And yes, this would be a favorite hang out for Marc and me! We would absolutely love this place cause we are Yippies!

What else would you like to see in our coffee shop/restaurant/bar? Oh...we need good name ideas!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

And In This Corner...

You have Marc, the groom, and in this corner you have Emily, the bride!

Do you ever feel like saying that in your marriage/relationship??? Comes with the territory. What's great about fighting as a married couple is that, for the most part, you know you'll put the gloves down, call a truce and move on.

At least you hope so.

But I find great comfort in knowing how to fight 3 years in to our marriage. At first it's not easy. You don't want to be mean or pushy, selfish, rude, you try to keep the peace. And then at some point claws come out, mouth guard put in, earrings come off and you slick up your face. True dirty fighting takes place. You know what to say to get your way, what to say to really piss 'em off, and what to say to just end it. Some can be brutal! I mean BRUTAL!!! Others are hilarious and you can't help but start laughing in the middle of them.

I know on our anniversary day I should talk about the butterfly eyes, fluttering hearts, and Cupid coming from some mystical place to shoot you in the heart. But c'mon, that's for the birds, right?! Maybe, maybe not.

But I like we were are. We are comfortable but not complacent. We are in love, not lust. We truly admire and respect each other and honesty is of the utmost importance. We are solid.

Not to say we didn't have that to start off with, but I can honestly say we've grown better at it. On your first anniversary you're so in love, and everything is new and exciting. Granted we had 6 month old messing with some of that, but we were definitely newlyweds. Marc was hot and cute and fun. He kept me on my toes. I was skinny and playful, not bogged down my duties at home.

We were awesome!!

Now we are those things but BETTER! I see that Marc has grown in to an amazing man. He takes care of his wife, his kids, his job and his life. He is extremely responsible, organized, but playful and fun. He brings out the joy in all of us. Marc makes me be not so serious and always needing to "just do this" and "just do that". He makes me relax, sit back, enjoy the life that is happening around me while I do laundry, cook dinner, and clean rooms.

Bonus to this, he's still hot and cute!

Marriage is a roller coaster ride that has hills and valleys, twists, loops, upside down turns, fast and slow points, but all exciting. These days we might hear "Uh, don't go in there, it's stinky!" or "Have you brushed your teeth today? Gah!". You'll catch either one of us with drool on our shirt, poop on our finger, a toddler at our feet crying about something, wearing the same clothes all weekend, or just in general in a nasty mood. You don't have too many of those when you are newlyweds. You have "Damn baby you're looking good!" or "We can go to the beach this weekend or to a concert somewhere or just stay home and do nothing!". No planning, no thinking, you just go!

Those were great days. These days are my favorite. I get to walk down to my groom playing with the kids. I get to see him hug his baby girl and really, really mean it. I witness him showing his son how to fix things and "be a man" and I've been blessed with seeing him treat his mother and sisters with respect. (A HUGE must in my book!) I get to sleep beside him knowing I am safe. The man I married in 2008 is not the same man in 2011. He's Super Marc! He is mature, caring, kind, hilarious, sweet, and everybody loves him. I have so much respect for him and everything he has accomplished. I am proud to call him my husband. Today I know what "for better or for worse" really means and I know that Marc does as well. He will always stand by me, no matter what, just like he did on that alter in the University of Virginia Chapel on a bright August day. He will help me through 2 days of labor. Stay up with me while I cry about my problems. Rub my back when it feels like it's broken. And most importantly, help me navigate the world of being a parent.

"I do", two words that change your life. Two words that when said, mean you've promised to always be each other's best friend and biggest supporter.

"I remember thinking
Sometimes we walk
Sometimes we run away
But I know
No matter how fast we are running
Somehow we keep
Somehow we keep up with each other"

Monday, July 25, 2011

This Adult Thing I'm Doing...

Growing up is such a wonderful thing...meeting your soul mate, establishing true friendships, figuring out that maybe, just maybe, your parents were right about some stuff, starting your own family, learning that you can wear whatever you want and you don't have to fit in with anyone else, and that if you want to eat ice cream at 2 am no one can stop you. All joyous things.

Then, there are the heart wrenching, tear inducing, terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things that come with age and being an adult. The email or phone call you get from your best friend that he or she is getting a divorce, hearing from a close pal that she's lost her baby or can't get pregnant, learning that loved ones have lost jobs, have to move, or God forbid, someone in your or their family is sick and it's not looking good.

There's no easy way to deliver such news and there is no good way to respond. You want to say the right things, you want to be supportive, you want to be a friend. But sometimes you have nothing. All you have is a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on, and reassurance that no matter what, you are there for them, truly there for them. I've learned in my short time on Earth that sometimes the person on the other end just wants someone to hear them say, "This f'ing sucks" and not judge them for their bluntness. Not hold it against them if they break down, can't handle, want to give up. They want you to wallow in the pity with them and know when to reach out your hand, pull them out, pat them on their back and tell them life goes on. It's a delicate thing though. You don't want to rush it, don't want to delay it, you want to time it perfectly. I'm still learning this part. Sometimes I'm funny when I need to be serious. Sometimes I'm serious and they want to laugh. Other times I am silent and have nothing. But hopefully in any difficult time I have in some way helped.

I appreciate all of the people in my life that have lifted me out of despair. Whether real or imaginary, big or small, pain is pain. It sucks, it's no fun, and you never want to face it. But life happens and pain hits you square in the jaw sometimes. It'd be great if you could punch it back, but that's not always an option.

To those of you whom I love and adore and are facing some challenging situations, I love you. You are stronger than you think, you can do this, it will get better, and life will return. In the meantime, deal with it how ever you need to. Eat ice cream at 2 am, watch a sad movie, walk around the mall aimlessly thinking about what's going on. My personal favorite is crying in bed or on the couch for hours until there is a lump in my throat, my eyes are red, cheeks are puffy, and I'm pretty much dehydrated. Call me, text me, email me, bug the crap out of me. I may have to yell at a kid or two while we are talking, but heck, that may be the break you need!

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah! Lala how the life goes on...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Monsters in Law

A few pics of Momma and Poppa with CJ and GB during our time here!

Ok, so I TOTALLY don't have monsters in law, but I thought it may get a few folks to read this blog! The truth is, I have quite the opposite. Even though I don't know what the opposite of a monster is!

In a week's time we will be moving in to our new house. We will be leaving the Patrouch Compound at Falling Creek to venture in to a new territory at Deerfield Manor. We have been living with Marc's parents since the middle of October and in 8 days we will be leaving. This makes me sad.

Don't get me wrong, I am very excited about moving and having our own house and decorating it and making it nice and pretty. But it is all bittersweet. When we moved here Gabe was but 4 months old and growing out of the newborn stage and in to the baby stage, Carter was just really starting to become a toddler, Marc was about to have back surgery and I was about to explore the world of the SAHM. Through each of these milestones Mom and Pop were there to hold our hands, guide our way, and remain patient. I can honestly say they helped me learn how to be a good mom and wife.

I've never met a lady that is so optimistic, understanding, calm and sincere. And Pop, well Pop is Pop. He has a big burly exterior with a mushy inside. But nobody tell him that I let out his secret! When Carter stuck her hand in hot coffee they are the ones I turned to for help. When Marc needed to be driven to the ER Pop took over. The days when Gabe was fussy and cranky Momma cuddled with him and made him better. When we found out about TBD they were the first to know and congratulate us. There might have been a "seriously" thrown in there as well! Basically, the were the center, we were the fray. When we didn't know what the hell was going on or how to react they sat back, kept their mouths shut, and offered advice when asked. They never overstepped their boundaries, never pushed, but never held back either. They are truly parents in every sense of the word.

I'm lucky and blessed to not only have amazing parent in laws, but all of Marc's siblings and their spouses have been amazing during our transition. Phone calls, emails, drop ins, babysitting, you name it, they did it. Takes a village people, and my village consists of Patrouchs! They are an incredible bunch.

And yes, this village will remain, but it will be different. I won't get to hear Carter say, "Morning, Pop" when we walk out to the back porch. Gabe won't get that beaming look on his face every time Momma walks in while I am feeding him. And I won't get to bitch and complain to two people that give good feedback. And Marc won't get to remain the baby and have his mom take care of him! (I guess I'll be required to do that now!) I shall miss this place and all the craziness that has occurred.

Momma and Poppa have given us more than a place to stay, they have given us beautiful memories, life lessons, hugs when we needed it and tough love when called for. When my kids turn out to be great adults I know that part of it will be because of this experience.

And because I am now crying and need to laugh, listen to this song! It will ALWAYS make me think of Momma and Poppa!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Momumentary – Chastity Rodriguez-Hise aka A Mom That’s Probably Cooler Than You

In case you didn’t know, I’m a sorority girl. I am sure this surprises some and doesn’t faze others. What I find amazing about my particular sorority is that you can be connected to someone you didn’t actually attend school with, but through others sisters you have been introduced and become quasi close with. Well Lisa Alcorn introduced me to Chas and then facebook reconnected us. I love this lady. She is a put together career woman that adores being a mom but also admits to tough times and hard days. She’s a cool chick (who probably hates that I just called her chick) that rocks tattoos, painted hair and a “be who you are” attitude. I’ve asked her for hair advice as well as parenting advice, I mean, how cool is that! She is a modern day renaissance woman.

I introduce to you, the one, the only, the fabulous, Chas!

1. Please give a quick bio about yourself (your name, husband’s name, kids’ names and your job, ages welcome but not necessary!).

Chastity Rodriguez-Hise, married to Russell Hise. 3 1/2 yr old Stella and almost 2 yr old Roy. I am a full time hair stylist and part time birth doula, Russell is an appliance repair technician.

2. What is your favorite part about being a momma?

Watching them learn new things always amazes me

3. What is your least favorite?

Having to surrender my control freak nature

4. What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Fantasy novels about fairies, vampires, werewolves

5. Best advice ever given to you?

Every child teaches you something- be prepared to figure out what it is

6. What advice do you give to new moms?

ALWAYS trust your instinct

7. Favorite memories of your kids?

For both kids, it has to be them singing and dancing :)

8. Favorite memories of you and your husband?

The intimacy we shared during the birth of both kids, and how sleazy he was when we first met (TeamPatrouch note – I love the addition of the sleazy part! Hilarious!)

9. What hopes/dreams do you have for your kids?

Success at whatever they desire to do

10. If you had a day all to yourself, what would you do?

Mani/pedi, massage, acupuncture, bookstore

11. How did you pick your kids’ names?

Stella, a tribute to my fav aunt who passed away

James Roy, combo of grandfather and Russell's dad

12. What activities do you love to do with your family?

Dancing, singing, swimming, museums

13. If you could go back and tell your pre-mom self something, what would it be?

RELAX

14. Which celebrity family do you want to be friends with?

Tori and Dean!!

15. What do you admire about your husband's parenting skills?

His never-ending patience and energy

16. Which mom(s) has had a big influence on you?

My own mom is my ultimate role model

17. What is your favorite part of being a doula?

Seeing a woman in control of her birth, surprising herself with her strength and then seeing her hold that baby for the first time

18. What’s the biggest misconception about doulas?

That we take over the birth experience and take away the dad's/partner's role

19. How many tattoos do you have? What inspired them?

14. Each of them was inspired by a different milestone in my life, ranging from the birth of each of my children, the death of my grandfather, recovering from a divorce to symbolic tattoo's that are for important things to me like literature and powerful women to the force of mother nature

20. Quick, think of a song lyric, what is it?

I don't mind if you don't mind, cause I don't shine if you don't shine (the killers, “read my mind")


And here is Mrs. America with her Prince Charming!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Two Months

I have two months until our lives are flipped upside down once again. What's truly amazing about such a shift is that one day, out of nowhere, you get flipped back upright. There's no warning, no signs, you just look around and BAM! you're "normal" again. You have your routines, you have the way you do things, life is just life once again. And you can't imagine a day without the people surrounding you.

No one can prepare you for the birth of a child. Not your first one, not your second, and definitely not your third. With each new little bundle comes a whole lotta change. Today I think, "Gosh, one was so easy! How did I ever think it was hard?" Or, "Newborns are simple, why didn't I soak it up more?" And I'm sure the thoughts of two being easy will creep in to my brain often. I actually try to tell myself this when the going gets tough and I think I can't handle it. I say, "Emily, wait until there is a newborn and two toddlers and you really are losing your mind!"

I can't put in to words how excited/anxious/nervous I am about meeting TBD. Will it be a Harper? Will it be a Zac? Will s/he follow in the footsteps of Carter and Gabe and look just like their daddy? Will I finally get my true ginger? Will everything be ok? Will we be ok if it's not? How will I be as a mom of three? Can I juggle it all?

I don't have the answers now, not even close, and that's what makes the wait so tough. You just want to find out. You just want the shift to happen and know what you are up against. How big is the monster in the closet? Even with all the struggles of parenting and the sleepless nights, the arguments, the yelling, the "I don't know what the f *&k I'm doing" moments, you still find the quintessential feeling of unconditional love. You just LOVE this little being and they just LOVE you. It's quite amazing really. Someone you've never met just melts you. They get in to your soul and take over. And what's even more amazing is that with each child the love grows, your soul gets bigger, your heart gets bigger, just like that silly ol' Grinch.

It's going to be a busy two months. We have to start packing, we have to say goodbye to two amazing people that have opened their home to us, and we have to move in to a new house. Our first family house that we have chosen together. We get to make memories there. We get to bring a baby home to it, Carter gets to pick out her room and the decorations that go in it. Gabe has a new set of stairs to master and Marc and I have a new place to sit and solve the great puzzle of the world together. We will have family gatherings, we will have dancing in the family room, movies on the couch, fights in the kitchen, yelling in the back yard, and kids running in and out of the house.

The shift is coming.

Friday, July 1, 2011

What is a golfer's favorite sandwich?

Club.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Totally random post on the first Friday of July. HAPPY FRIDULY!

There have been so many highs this past year with so many lows. And a lot of "Wow, that was kind of a special moment, I hope I remember it." Life is funny. There are so many "mundane" things that happen, that truly are special, but get lumped in with the big stuff and forgotten.

Example:
The other night CJ and I were laying on the couch. She put her leg up on me and said, "rub mommy?" I could have DIED! She must have seen me do that to Marc enough to try it out herself. It was cute, sweet, and melted me. But I am sure years from now when she and I are battling I'll forget that one sweet moment.

Or when Gabe points up to the yard to see the deer that is most likely not there and says "ooohhhh" with great excitement. I'll forget that, but for now it's pure joy.

Yesterday was the closing on our house in Charlottesville. The day started off ok, nothing great, nothing horrible, just normal. Until we got word there wasn't enough money for closing. Long story short closing went through but now there is a lingering question of who is responsible for paying this money. Ey yi yi. I'm talking MONEY too, like we will seriously have to pull some resources together if we have to pay.

Yuck.

All day was just a mess of emotions - for me, Marc and the children. Goodness were they in rare form, both of them. Not to mention I am one to totally over react emotionally, Marc is one to totally over react stressfully (that doesn't really seem like a word, but I'll go with it). Basically I cry and say things like "I'll have to go back to work, and how are we gonna feed our baby, and we need somewhere for the new baby to sleep...waaaah waaaah wah." Marc hunkers down to business and pulls emails and documents together and writes up professional sounding rebuttals and can't think about anything else but building a case as to why we shouldn't have to pay. Luckily we both have parents that listen to our rants and help calm us. Thank the Lord.

So the day went on and emotions, like tides, went in and out. But last night two things snapped me back to reality. A family member is dealing with an in-law's health issues that are very serious and a sorority sister has been raising money for treatments for her son with special needs. (And I am VERY excited to say they raised more than enough to cover his treatments!!!) Both of which are DRASTICALLY more important than our money situation. Granted this money thing is quite a big deal, Marc, Carter, Gabriel, TBD, and me are ok...we can always always always find a way to get the money. If we have to get rid of a car, fine. Pick up a PT job, fine. If this means no cable in the new house, so be it. We will make it work. We live with extra luxuries that are not necessary. And sometimes, cutting back isn't a bad thing.

Today I am trying to "make this day, better than the last". I have a baby appointment this afternoon and I will get to hear that sweet beat of his/her heart. If that doesn't put your mind in the right mode I'm not sure what could. I have one month to go before moving in to our new house and two months before I meet my new son or daughter. Bliss.

Plus, for right now, both kids are napping. A bit scary it's so early in the day, but I'll take it. Better than them whining, right?!

To sum up how I feel please watch this:
http://youtu.be/zlnhhYczPMA (Including this link incase the video doesn't work!)


Monday, June 27, 2011

Teardrops of joy run off my face...

**I think this is when he requested new parents but no one listened!**


My baby boy, my precious, darling, 9 pound 2 ounce baby boy is officially one. He completed his first mission around the sun successfully. We are very proud of the guy.

I can't really put in to words the feelings I have about this baby growing up thing. As a parent you know your kids will grow up and you want them to, but a part of you will always see them as chubby faced babies, wrapped up in a swaddle blanket. At least I do anyway.

Somehow I just knew that he would be a boy. My boy. My son. And although I have four brothers I can honestly tell you I HAVE NO FREAKING CLUE HOW TO RAISE HIM! He is so different from my daughter. He has so much strength and aggression. He just...goes after stuff! He never sits still, never just colors, never just plays. He climbs, eats crayons, tumbles, falls, rolls over, all boy. BUT he is also very sensitive and sweet. He's my cuddler. My little love bug. To me, he is perfect.

I didn't always feel this way. In the hospital he was a DREAM!!!!!! We actually had to wake him to feed him! He didn't cry too much, didn't fuss, just slept. Even when we brought him home he was pretty awesome.

Until.

Until the day Marc left for DC for the weekend. Gabriel decided this is when he'd test out his lungs. And he tested them. He started screaming and I don't think he stopped for about four months. It was terrible. I felt terrible. He felt terrible. Marc and Carter looked at us like we lost our minds. There were days when I felt guilty about having a second child and not really wanting him. I now have days when I feel guilty about having those feelings. But it was what I was experiencing at the time. Everyone told me the second baby is great, so much easier than the first, I'll know what to do. I didn't. I didn't at all. I was 100% lost with this one. I couldn't help him. I couldn't make him feel better. I could not get him to stop crying. There were some dark days then, but shockingly I still wanted to be a SAHM. Go figure.

And then.

And then one day....

HE BECOME A DREAMBOAT! A big ol' lump o' love. He just turned it all around and decided it was better to smile than cry. And he's been that way ever since. Don't get me wrong, he has his moments, but for 99% of the day he smiles. And lemme tell ya, that smile will get him out of a lot of shit, mark my words. Who am I kidding, it already does. I will be that mom that is still taking care of him at 30 because he is so darn charming.

My mini mushface is super cute, super lovable, and super awesome. Even though he and I battled, we're in a good place now. I hope it stays that way for a long, long time.

Gabriel Benjamin, you fill me with joy. Even if you are a wimpus!