Tuesday, February 28, 2012

For you, I've waited all these years.

I started with a video, how about that?!

Sometimes my breath is taken away by the bliss I feel.  I get so overcome with joy, I can barely handle it.

Last night I had that moment.

For the first time all three of my kids came to watch me play volleyball.  My husband and mother-in-law escorted them, they didn't go alone!  Anyhoo, as I was playing I could look over and see all of their little eye balls, the kids, not the adults, staring at me.  They'd randomly wave, say "hi mom", and overall just be INSANELY cute.  Gabe would go running, Marc would chase him. Carter would roll a ball, Marc would chase it.  Harper stayed snuggling with Mom Mom.  It was a lot of work for Marc, but I appreciate he went through it for me.

So when I closed my eyes to fall asleep, I thanked God for all of the blessing he has bestowed upon me.  I cannot believe this is my life.  I cannot believe I have everything I ever wanted. And more.  I have an amazing husband, beautiful, healthy children, a warm place to rest my head, food to fuel my body, and enough love to last me a million life times.

I am so blessed.

That night I dreamed that Marc was almost eaten by a crocodile and it made him realize he didn't love me anymore.

Go figure.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wishes for the Children

Once you have a baby you start to wonder about how they'll turn out.  What will their little personalities turn into?  Well this morning I started really thinking about this.  I started thinking about what qualities of Marc's and what qualities of mine I hope they have.  Here is my list!

My husband has an AMAZING ability to handle any and all situations very calmly.  I am completely envious of this quality.  He is cool, calm, and collected.  I hope my children handle all of life's ups and downs with such grace and dignity.

Marc is super smart and talented.  If we were in high school I would give him the "Best All Around" award.  He can talk about anything, fix stuff around the house, play sports, so on and so forth.  He has many talents and I hope my kids follow suit.

Adventure is something MJ has that I do not.  He is willing to go anywhere, see anything, do anything!  He is not afraid of new situations or places. I am.  Marc is so much braver than me and I hope the children are the same.  I hope they don't get nervous or cancel plans because they are too anxious to go.

The man I married is also much nicer than me.  He is so  kind.  True story, when my BFF met him she told me he was too nice for me.  She was right.  I repeatedly said he was "too nice" in the beginning of our dating history.  He opens doors for people, helps our old lady neighbor with her trash can, talks to our neighbor for far too long just because Bill wants to talk to him, he never blows anyone off, never rushes past them.  He always takes the time to acknowledge people.  Marc is not one to talk badly about people, he always gives a second chance, and never holds grudges.

And the thing I hope my children get above all else is Marc's positivity.  He sees the world through rose colored glasses and for that I am jealous.  He genuinely believes that "every little thing, is gonna be alright".  There's always a silver lining, always a brighter tomorrow, there is ALWAYS a good outcome.  And the karma he puts out, brings good karma in return.  I pray that my kids are always looking for the good in the world, just like their dad.  And his ability to find JOY!  He makes life fun.  He likes being goofy.  Team Patrouch should be the same way!

I hope my kids are fiercely loyal.  Family and friends mean a lot to me and I try to show them when I can.  No matter what happens in life I got their back!  To me, the people closest to you are what make life worth living, so make sure you enhance their lives.  I really hope my kids feel the same.

When they laugh, I want them to mean it.  I want them to laugh loudly, often, and have it be infectious.  My husband added that he hopes they feel everything as much as I do.  When I cry, I mean it. When I laugh, I mean it.  It's all or nothing.  Hopefully the kids will be as passionate.  Go big or go home, baby!!

The social game.  I hope that CJ, GB, and HR are able to talk to anyone at anytime.  Check out lady at the grocery store? Ok!  Man pumping gas?  Hey, friend! Couple sitting next to you at dinner?  Whatcha eating?! I feel that people from all walks of life can teach you something and everyone is interesting, somehow, someway.  So if you give someone a chance to speak, it could turn in to a really good conversation. And if they are a dud, hey, at least you gave them a shot!  I'm sure being a recruiter helped me in this area.  OR it was a natural job selection to fit my personality.  Either way, I'm a talker!

Which leads me to, I hope they can give everyone a chance, no matter the skin color, religious beliefs, income, sexuality, etc. etc.  I want my kids to like or dislike someone based on the sum of the parts, and not just one tiny aspect.  People are interesting.  Give them a chance!  Don't be a judgmental fool that fits themselves in to one box and doesn't leave it.  There are always many sides to a person and you shouldn't judge them on one side.

(And for reals, I HAVE to say that I hope they have Marc's face, because they all actually do have Marc's face!!! HAHA!)

MJ and EN
From both of us I hope they get our strive to do well.  I don't care what jobs/careers they choose in life, just that they work hard.  I want them to know the true value of a dollar.

And I want them to love deeply.  And not be afraid to show it.  I never want my kids to be hardened by life's tribulations.  If their hearts get broken, I want them to learn from it.  If they get picked on, I want it to make them stronger, but not in a mean way.  If they don't get a job, I want them to work harder to get the next one.  Always be a fighter, always keep going, but always be respectful.

Children, I hope you get the best of each of us. My wish is that you turn out better than your dad and me.


Monday, February 20, 2012

What? My kid is one? You lie, that couldn't have happened already!!!

I wrote this note on Facebook on CJ's 1st birthday, March 17, 2010.

What? My kid is one? You lie, that couldn't have happened already!!!

So it’s totally bizarre having a one year old. The first year is quite the whirlwind and 1 is a great time to stop and think back on what has happened. Carter’s labor and delivery was not the easiest or smoothest thing we have ever been through, but I know it brought Marc and I together and bonded us in a way that can never be broken. You don’t know how much someone really loves you until they look deep in to your eyes and helps you push through something difficult. 

I don’t think I can go without saying that there is no way I could have made it through L&D without my husband. His support and coaching was by far the bravest and strongest thing he has ever done for me. Marc knew the exact moments to be funny, the exact moments to be quiet, and the exact moments to be supportive. Although it was a hard couple of days for us, some of the funniest moments EVER occurred…one being that he thought someone came in the room and shot at us. (A story only to be told to those in our closest of circles!) He managed to drop my poor numbed leg on the bed as he jumped back! I am cracking up just thinking about that. But it was a much needed moment during a very hard time. After MANY hours with little success, it was a decided that a c-section was the only way the kid was coming out. NOT what we wanted to hear. But I went along with it, with Marc by my side the whole time. He may have been as scared as me, but never once showed it. He had the pleasure of telling me if our child was a boy or girl. He was quite hesitant in looking over the screen, but the anesthesiologist grabbed him by the shoulders and guided him up. After what felt like YEARS he finally said, “Oh my God, it’s a girl!” Best words he ever said to me after “I do”!!

That’s when life got interesting!

You read books, go to classes, get emails, have millions of people telling you what it’s like to be a parent..but NOTHING prepares you for just how much love comes rushing in to your body. It’s the most wonderful, natural, amazing feeling. There’s this wee little person that is a perfect creature looking up at you thinking “what the hell just happened?!” And truthfully, you are thinking the same thing! But you make it work. You just become a parent instantly and somehow know what to do. Maybe not ALL the time, but you figure it out.

Something else that I cannot forget to mention is my wonderful nurse Lietzle. I am not sure I have ever bonded with someone as quickly as I did with Ms. Ford. She was and is AMAZING. I know God sent her to me on that day, there is no way that was just luck!

So after the craziness that is child birth they just let you LEAVE the hospital! Yeah, no one comes with you, no one gives you an instruction manual, just a “good luck” and a baby. WOW! Since I had a c-section I was pretty much useless the first couple of weeks. Once again Marc stepped up to the plate and was our superhero. He bathed her, fed her, changed her, got up with her at night, and on top of all of that TOOK CARE OF ME! I still don’t know how he managed to do all that. Thanks honey.

We are EXTREMELY blessed with having an amazing family. Marc’s parents came and stayed with us to take care of the dogs, the house, and us as we needed it. They probably are truly the ones that saved us from jumping ship! Mom Mom and Pop Pop, you are some special people!!! We had lots of family and friends stop by the hospital and house to cheer us on, bring us food, and tell us that we were in fact going to make it! And we did!!! Marc’s sister Lor stayed with us for a few days as well. We introduced the Kid to Dave Matthews on the TV, the movie Slither and made her some cupcakes. It was such a great visit! Thanks Aunt Lor!!

How in the hell did we make it through those early days??? I mean really! They are so little. And they eat often. And poop a lot. And sleep a lot. And that is about it. Weird little beings really.

There have been so many amazing moments during Carter’s first year. Learning to roll over, sit up on her own, crawl, stand, walk, dance, babble, point, cry to get her way! She’s just the most amazing little being and is so full of life and spunk. She looks like her daddy and acts like her momma! But I do have to say, she has her dad’s laid back, chill attitude most of the time – which I appreciate, from both of them! She got to visit the Shore, attend her Aunt Alicia’s wedding, get dunked, meet her extended family at Uncle Scott and Aunt Gretchen’s wedding, many trips to Roanoke, spend a weekend with Grandpa DK and Granny MK, visit Uncle Brian at work, hang out with cousin Ali…the list could go on forever! She’s been a jet setter…without the jet!

There have also been some rough moments. Sleepless nights, feeding issues, teething, her first sunburn (good lawd was that awful!), bumps and bruises, and all around tough moments. She and I have battled, she and her dad have battled, but we all came through it! It’s true that you forget about these moments though. You don’t ever totally forget them, but they are on the backburner and you have to dig deep in to your memory to get them.

Another highlight of this past year is meeting Dana and her family. Never ever have I or will I meet someone as motherly and naturally awesome as her. I tell people all the time that there are days when she loves CJ more than I do and days when CJ loves her more than she loves me. And I can honestly say I am not threatened or bothered by that. How could I not be 100% happy that I am leaving my child in the care of someone that loves her so much and that she loves that much in return? Dana is for sure mom #2 and it makes going to work SO much easier for me. And she has two friends for life now in Dana’s kids. E-man is super sweet and loves on her (she got her first kiss from him) while M-woman is her BFF and they are attached at the hip! (I must also point out that Dana’s daughter has a thing for Marc, it’s SO cute!) Along with Lietzle, Dana was sent to me by a higher power. No random luck in that match up!

So I guess the point of this whole note is not only to be cathartic for me but to give kudos to me and the husband for making it this far. And the Kid…she had a lot to do with this! It wasn’t overly difficult, wasn’t overly easy, it was just right. Sort of like that bear and porridge story. OH YEAH! If you have kids you DON’T HAVE to listen to baby music or know all the nursery rhymes and stories!! I am shocked by how little I actually know! 

My dear husband, you amaze every day and I love you more with each passing minute. You are my strength when I have none, my comedian when I need to laugh, my therapist, my comforter, best friend, love of my life, soul mate and father to my children. I can’t imagine taking this ride with anyone else but you.

My Carter Jean, you are amazing. Your personality has been around since the days of womb and you get better and better each day. Your strong will, curiosity, and zest for life will take you far. You are a beautiful, smart lady and we love you dearly. I am so excited to see you as a big sister because I know you are going to be fantastic with your little brother or sister. I can already see your eyes lighting up when you meet him/her and I just know you will give LOTS of hugs! I love you baby girl.
Our first family picture!

The Dreaded Daycare Drop Off

I wrote this note on Facebook on August 19, 2009.  I didn't want to lose it, so I am putting on my blog!

The Dreaded Daycare Drop Off

So I read a friend’s status about not wanting to leave her kid at daycare while she works. This got me to thinking about May 19th the dreaded day I had to take my daughter to daycare. (Yes, I remember the date, not sure I will ever forget it.)

I bawled. I mean big sobs of alligator tears washing over my face. The kind of crying where you can’t breathe and can barely see. It was awful. I cannot think back to a single moment in my life that was more of a defining/horrible moment than this (and I pushed for 5 brutal hours!). I called my husband at work, because I mean, who else would I call? And he was not at his desk so I got his co-worker. It was hard enough to speak let alone be cordial so I quickly got him off the phone. He was very nice though and said “good luck” at the very end. Thanks Dan! But I immediately went back to the Oscar winning tears. My commute in to work is about 40 minutes and THANK GOD for that. It gave me time to readjust and make myself look presentable. Granted when I got to work a co-worker said “you look so sad”. AND I WAS. Stabs in the heart sad. My dear husband was brilliant enough to drop off Spudnuts (my favorite donuts), a box of tissues and a room full of picture frames of CJP in my office. My precious darling was all around, if not literally, figuratively. All day long I kept looking at pictures of her and listening to songs that I knew she liked. At this very moment I might cry thinking back to that day. I actually saved all of my posts from that day and all the well wishes and comforting words I received. It was a momentous day and I didn’t want to ever forget what I was thinking throughout the day.

I must also point out that I managed to cry the ENTIRE night before. That was quite awful too. I cried so hard I couldn't breathe at one point. I am sure my husband thought I had completely lost my mind, but he was sweet and rubbed my back and said it would be ok. Gosh I heart you MJP.

How I didn't get dehydrated I will never know.

Anyhoo, there are still days when my heart aches thinking about being away from my girl. The only thing that keeps me going is that Carter smiles BIG when she sees Dana (the lady that watches her everyday). If I can’t be around my kid to make her smile, I am glad that someone is! Carter loves her friends at daycare – she loves to watch them play with toys, run around, and just be. I think it helps that all the kids love her and give her loads of attention. Dana gives her as much love as I do, which is comforting to know. It also helps to wear the little tyke out!!

By no means do I prefer to work over being with my daughter BUT if you have to go through this horrible experience I HIGHLY suggest finding a daycare provider (in home or in a center) that you LOVE. And I mean LOVE. The people your kid is around all day will shape who he or she turns out to be…plus you want to be comfortable at work all day thinking about what’s going on with your little baby. In the next Presidential election I am voting for the guy or gal that makes staying at home a little more possible!

May 19, I hate you.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012