Tag Archive | motherhood

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.


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

Dear Michael

The moment I found out about you, I was filled with fear. For me, for you, for the broken ideas that I had for our lives.

January 26, 2008

January 26, 2008

Then you turned one and you started spending nights with your dad. When you were home, I would watch you sleeping in your crib. And I would sob. And pray. And trace your perfectly round face with my fingertips. Our future looked bleak at that time. I saw myself going nowhere fast. And as for your future, well, I couldn’t see that either.

Continue reading

The Mom No One Wants to Talk About

It’s a tricky thing, this mom business. There is so much advice on the subject, too.

Ten Ways to Raise the Perfect Child

3 Things Not to Do to Destroy Your Child

Being a Mom is the Best Job in the World

5 Things You Must Say Every Day to Raise Healthy Children

It goes on and on and on and clutters my facebook feed. When did parenting become about the “dos and the don’ts?” When did it become so complicated?

My generally parenting philosophy is this: If I’m not doing something wrong, then I’m not doing anything right. 

In order for me to be involved and alive in my kid’s lives, I need to be human. They need to see me have a melt down and then (hopefully) come back around. They need to see that when I lose my temper, I still love them – even if it takes a few beers or a few hours to get to that point. Fact is, I fail my kids. Every day I fail them because I’m flawed and there is no way that saying 5 magical words is going to fix human nature.

Continue reading

Babysitting: I Was the Best

Does babysitting count as a first job? Technically that’s the first work I did to earn money other than doing chores in exchange for an allowance.

I was a great babysitter. My mom taught me one very important thing: Leave the home cleaner than when you found it (on top of all other necessary duties). As a born over-achiever, this was always my goal; to receive praise to be the best babysitter these moms had ever seen. It worked, too. On top of that, I found that tidying someone else’s home was much easier than cleaning my own home. Besides, what else am I going to do while the kid naps? Sit around and watch TV? Well, it seems that’s what babysitters today do.

Continue reading

Jessica’s Grace

As I made the switch from Blogger I realized I needed something to call my blog other than 5 Hearts, One Family. Eventually I want to own my own website and 5Hearts just won’t fit if our family happens to grow to 6Hearts or 7Hearts.

So I pondered.

I did some free writing.

Then I did some thinking.

I discovered that grace has been a huge theme throughout my entire life. And from the looks of things, I’m going to be challenged in this area for years to come. I’m thinking of Marie as I type those words. She requires an extraordinary amount of grace from me. A grace I don’t hand out easily. A grace I’m not sure I’m all to familiar with in the first place.

Continue reading


I planned my first surprise birthday party when I was 8 years old. It wasn’t for me. That would be silly. It was for my mom. From what I remember, I did do all the leg-work myself. Since this was in an era before I used computers and before cell phones, inviting people took a lot of effort. A LOT. I made so many phone calls my ear started to hurt. When I left messages I said over and over again, “This is a surprise party. Do not tell my mom. Do not talk about it on my answering machine.” If I didn’t get a call back, well, I called that person again. I was a persistent child.  Still am, for that matter (persistent, that is). I planned every single thing about this party. What time. Which day. Who is coming. Where she would be while guests arrived. Decorations. Food.  Although my dad did have a hand in paying for everything and he may have been the person keeping her occupied while guests arrived. I don’t remember. All I know is that when time came to yell, “Surprise!” she was surprised. Unless she was faking and never told me…

Continue reading