New Baby, New Home

James is two weeks old and our household has changed quite a bit in that short amount of time. As Mr. Sexy and I were getting ready for bed last night, he commented how happy our home felt when he arrived – almost 2 hours late due to a last minute project he was given by his boss. Not only did I have my first outing with the three kids by myself yesterday, but the kids kept busy with chores while I toggled my time between James and Pure Romance. It was a busy day. For Mr. Sexy to come home in a terrible mood only to be uplifted by our high spirits is a huge compliment to me and the kids.

Pregnancy was rough this go around. My emotions were heightened to the max and seemed to increase month by month. Mr. Sexy and I struggled with Michael’s selfish behaviors which caused constant screaming between him and Denai. I lost count how many times I called Mr. Sexy during his work day in tears because I was at such a loss as how to handle Michael’s disobedience and non-caring attitude about how much he hurt those around him. Then, more often than not, Mr. Sexy came home after a stressful day of work to find me and the kids at each other’s throats. Adding a newborn to this crazy lifestyle we had somehow created seemed ludicrous to me.

As James enters his third week of life, Michael is finally home for the first time as a new Big Brother. When Michael comes home there is always that rough transition period which ends as he is about to leave for a week at his dad’s again. It’s a frustrating, never ending circle. Our transition this go around, however, has been, well, seemingly non-existant. He has happily complied with chores I have asked him to do. This morning dish-duty was his idea. WOW. No complaints. No tantrums. No whining. This was a proud moment for me. Michael continues to show off the servant’s heart he was blessed with at birth – something that has been covered up for quite some time. And when it comes to being a Big Brother again, Michael has taken his new role very seriously. Timothy makes a peep and Michael is right there to comfort him. Michael is obviously much more connected to his role as Big Brother now than he was 3 1/2 years ago when Denai was born.

So what has changed? I have, for one. My emotions have seemed to level almost immediately after having James – this has been surprising to me. And I feel blessed by it. My demeanor is more relaxed and while Denai is still in the habit of screaming when she doesn’t get her way, I am able to brush it off when needed versus overreacting. Denai also wants to help James and I as much as possible. She even goes so far as to ask if she can hold my breast pump for me while I pump. I have to tell her thank you but no, that’s just weird – and then I laugh. Denai’s love for James is undeniable. All she wants to do is watch him and touch him and get whatever he needs. For the most part. She does have her special moments of being “too tired” to fill my water or, and this is the best line, “my back is killing me.” Yes, she uses this last line quite often to get out of finding me a burp cloth or grabbing the Boppee.

I have noticed a switch in Michael, also. I see a new sense of responsibility in him. Mr. Sexy and I had a very proud moment as Michael mowed our lawn for the first time this week. He was detailed and worked very hard to make the lawn look perfect. Afterwards, we sat around and admired his hard work. It was such a blessing to see his pride show off for a job well done. Mr. Sexy and I have been waiting for a moment like this for a long time. Through prayer and not giving up on his heart, we are seeing very real glimpses into the young man we are trying to raise. I didn’t realize that all it would take was ten months of pregnancy, two days of contractions and 5 very long hours of active labor. Michael was the first family member to hold James. Perhaps that’s when the magic happened.

I am blessed to have the family that I do. Without Mr. Sexy doting on me after James’ birth, I wouldn’t have been able to heal as quickly and easily. I have two kids at home who do have their “special” moments – but overall are ready to jump in and help out. I do hope the happy home Mr. Sexy came home to last night is around to stay. I think it is. I have more patience for the kids and have recently gained new tools on how to respond better. I’m even relaxed enough to start writing again – a pleasure I have gone without for far too long.

Life is a Journey, So Keep Moving Forward: Part Two

When Mr. Sexy came home from work on my birthday, he knew once more that I was not doing well. However, like every other day, I wouldn’t let him in on what was happening with me. I was afraid. I was afraid to tell him about the anger that played around inside my head. I was afraid to let him in on the daily sad feelings that tried to overwhelm my spirit. But, as you know, my husband is a gentle soul.

I had made an attempt at getting dressed for my birthday, but that didn’t hide how tired I felt or the puffiness in my face or the red around my eyes. Even then, I was not willing to lay yet another burden on my husband’s shoulders. I was determined to do like I had been doing: get through until the next day. But Mr. Sexy stopped me from my finishing touches of socks and pulling my hair back. He looked at me in his deep way, the way that says, “I know, but you still have to tell me.” I guess, when you can see somebody is hurting, you can’t do a whole lot until that person is ready to, at the very least, admit they are hurting. This is what Mr. Sexy was waiting for.

I brushed him off. This works sometimes – as frustrating as that is for him. But this night, Mr. Sexy didn’t allow for me to walk away. He has a way of speaking at times with a gentle firmness I could never replicate in my own mannerisms. He can demand an answer while in the very same moment he is soft and kind. It’s a delicate balance of communicating. It’s also when I know he means business. I could see he was worried.

“I just, … Feel awful.” I could barely get the words out. They were so hard to say out loud. And then of course the tears came crashing past my eyes. Again, I tried to run away and hide but Mr. Sexy stayed right there with me. Quietly. Calmly. He sat until all the tears were gone and I was able to describe my feelings in short, embarrassing sentences.

It feels incredibly silly to feel such big things over seemingly tiny problems in life. I knew in my head I was living a good life. I was blessed with a good running car, a blessing of a home, a wonderful husband and a happy family. It just didn’t feel that way. And I couldn’t make what I knew in my head connect to what I was actually feeling.

On the morning of December 23, Mr. Sexy sat up, threw his feet over the bed, and rested his head in his hands. I was awake, too. After all, his alarm had only sounded a handful of times already. “You ok?” I asked. “I’m just in a lot of pain Babe.” For him, there was nothing I could do to help. I hated to see him in so much constant pain. He slowly made his way out of our room to get started with his morning. I dozed off, waking up a short time later with Mr. Sexy back in bed with me. “What are you doing here?” I asked. “I called in. I can’t go in to work today.”

Mr. Sexy and I spent that day sitting on the couch, holding hands and watching TV. I held a mixture of pleasure and concern that day. I was deeply comforted by his presence, yet I could see how stiffly he sat and could hear his breaths tighten with pain throughout the day. He went to work the next morning, only to come home halfway through. This went on for a short period of time, until he decided it was too much. He had difficulty concentrating and the pain nearly brought him to tears. He tried working from home for a short while, but even that wasn’t working out. The simple act of looking down at the computer and talking on the telephone was too much strain. Combined with medication, Mr. Sexy was not able to perform how he needed to. Finally, it was strongly suggested by his doctor that he take an official leave from work.

In the beginning, we spent a lot of time hanging out in front of the TV, neither of us knowing exactly what to do with ourselves. Our routine was completely disrupted. At times, I found it frustrating to have another adult to think about. It wasn’t just me and the toddler who was ready for lunch, there was someone else to consider also. I didn’t feel I could just give in to any emotion that came my way; I practiced control. I practiced taking deep breaths when I felt angry at Marie. I watched television when sad thoughts made me want to cry. And all the while, Mr. Sexy was sitting next to me, holding my hand.

Having him around 24/7 quickly became our new normal, though. While Mr. Sexy was in tremendous pain, he could hardly stand to simply sit around all day and “do nothing,” (his words). So it took a bit for him to realize that all the fixing around the house he wanted to do had to wait. That’s when he turned his attention to my business.

He would watch me work, ask me questions, then watch me work only to ask more questions. Soon he was strategizing business with me, creating spread sheets and learning as much about my business as I did, if not more. It was also nice to have a comrad in cahoots with me when it came to Deani throwing one of her infamous tantrums.

My Pure Romance business started to grow. While Mr. Sexy was learning the paperwork side of things and learning to do the laundry my way, I was able to focus on my party planning. What I didn’t notice then, is that my confidence began to grow which is now displayed for all to see.  The more Mr. Sexy learned about Pure Romance and the more he saw me work, the higher his impressions became. And while his paychecks became smaller, mine kept us afloat. For the first time, I felt that I was providing for my family. It’s an empowering feeling.

Surgery day arrived. While I thoroughly enjoyed having my husband home full time, I knew he was itching to get back to his normal life and of course to be out of pain. The pain wasn’t over yet, however. For about four days after his surgery, Mr. Sexy only moved from the couch to the bathroom as necessary. He had stronger medication now, but apparently it only dulled the excruciating pain his recovery had brought on. Had we realized the intensity of his recovery, I would not have scheduled myself to work that first weekend after surgery. But I did work. And we survived.

However, I can’t help but wonder that God didn’t have his hand in this whole situation from the beginning. As I had to come to terms with being pregnant and thus, change my lifestyle a little bit, God had thought ahead and knew the road I was on. It’s strange to say it, but my husband’s injury turned into a huge blessing for me. He was forced to come home and sit with me and hold my hand. With his daily support, love and encouragement through his own angst, I was being healed. So, I guess this means I’m thankful our car needed a flat tire to be changed. I’m thankful my husband is overly zealous and sees himself as Super Man. I’m thankful he was able to come home when he did. I have overcome many internal obstacles these past few months. I guess we both needed healing.

Part One: Life is a Journey, so Keep Moving Forward

Mr. Sexy is back at work after two months of disability leave. In October he injured himself throwing a tire into the back of our truck. Two months later the pain in his back only worsened causing sleeplessness, increased irritability and a lack of functionality in every day life. He then made the decision to work from home. But after a few weeks, as we finally started getting answers about his injury, it was suggested by his doctor he officially go on disability leave.

I do not believe in chance. Everything happens for a reason. Our pregnancy. His injury. Going on disability leave. Heading back to work. Timing can be everything. During this chain of events, timing was everything. In the moment I knew it, and looking back I see it even more clearly.

Continue reading

My Dream Job

“You should have gotten a degree in entrepreneurship,” Mr. Sexy said as he carefully strapped his neck brace on.

“Why?” I was standing in oversized sweatpants and t-shirt, rubbing Save My Skin on my growing baby belly.

“Becasue you’ve got the right mindset for it.”

I looked up and smirked. “Well, I was supposed to be an amazing Weather Girl.”

Mr. Sexy laughed. “I knew you were going to say that.” He was done fiddling with his neck brace and was now coming into the bedroom.

“Isn’t it interesting?” I commented. “I grew up with one man telling me what he thought I could be. And now there is this other guy in my life who tells me I can be so much more.” I was talking, of course, about Mr. Sexy. Neck brace and all.

Continue reading


Heart Day breakfast, 2015

Heart Day breakfast, 2015

I don’t feel bad that my Valentine’s Day wasn’t full of romance and special surprises as I am accustomed to on these special days. I didn’t spend time feeling sorry for myself, scrolling through date night pictures on Facebook while I spent the day watching TV with Mr. Sexy and trying to keep the kids from driving me crazy. I just felt bad when I would hear the quick, tight breaths coming from Mr. Sexy, telling me he was going through yet another moment of intense pain that his medications were not taking care of.

Continue reading