Tag Archive | parenting

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.

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Gymanstics

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Denai is doing gymnastics for the first time. She is the smallest in her class by a full head and probably the youngest, too, though not by much. She’s just a tiny thing. Always has been.

I think she takes after her daddy who grew up stick-thin. At least, that’s what Mr. Sexy tells me. I didn’t know him when he was young. I wasn’t even born yet. (See how I throw in those old-man jokes haha)

The fact that Denai is the tiniest in her class makes watching her jump and roll and balance that much more fun. Oh, yes, let’s not forget that tongue of hers. Her tongue is a sign of concentration and I have come to know it’s an endeared trait from Mr. Sexy’s side of the family. Yes, Mr. Sexy himself has been known to ponder, or work hard to fix a problem, all the while his tongue barely crosses the threshhold of his lips. Like I said, it’s an endearing trait – one that I make fun of from time to time.

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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.

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Fire Fighting Fire

First of all, the warm welcome I received with my I’m Baaaaack post was so nice and unexpected. I appreciate all the sentiments – both on and off the blog! I don’t have the biggest following but the ones I do have sure are loyal! So thanks peeps!

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Michael is and will always be my first born and eldest. Yes, he has a sister much older than he, but Michael remains my guinea pig. I was 19 when I became pregnant and barely 20 when he was born. I lived with my parents and felt more like a teenager than an adult – much less a parenting adult. So, at times, instead of parenting Michael, I simply participated. Thus as Michael went through the Terrible Twos and Thrashing Threes, followed closely by the Frightening Fours, I realized before I could teach my son how to behave, I had to learn how to behave. I do not miss those toddler years. And now, it’s happening again…

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She’s Got The Whole World

5-10 interrupted minutes of free writing on the topic: World

DenaiAs I dive back into 5 minute Friday in an attempt to keep my writing love affair alive, I am interrupted by a toddler who is wearing skinny blonde braids for the first time. With her crazy golden locks back from her face those big blue eyes are all I see as she tells me all about the concoction she created in her tea cup. It’s only water. But to her, it’s something amazing that she MUST tell me NOW.  In fact, when she can reach me, she will take her two hands, place them on my cheeks, and firmly direct my face to hers so I am able to focus. On her, of course. Because she is two. And I think most two year olds live in their own world. So Denai is no exception. She will let anyone within hearing distance know she is mad with her high pitched screams of anger or indignation. When she’s happy and excited she screams again, but this time it sounds happy – although you still don’t want to be too close to the siren. She wants to be involved in EVERYTHING happening around her. If dad is working on the car, she is getting his tools. If I’m working in the garden, she wants to pull out all the plants. While I’m eating (right after she finished her meal) she needs to be in my lap patiently – or not so patiently – waiting for her portion. Ugh. She drives me nuts.

A Little Girl Inside

Writing means I have to deal with things. Obviously, I haven’t been been writing which means I’m not dealing. I can easily blame it on having a busy life. But let’s be honest. I am a firm believer that we make time for what we really want. We will make it work in the midst of a busy life – and life is always busy it seems. However, in the wee hours of the morning, lying awake in a tent filled with my family and surrounded by woods, life isn’t all that busy. A broken phone means no escape from the thoughts that constantly try to push their way to the surface. I am forced to meditate and relive what I wish I could ignore.

I am very upset with my parents. This isn’t news to them. However, I have also felt guilty for feeling angry. Is it really their fault the way events panned out? Is it okay to blame them? Am I being unfair? And then, in the middle of the night, lying in a tent next to my snoring husband, I realized where the hurt was coming from.

They didn’t fight for me.

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