Wednesday, October 8, 2014


I have one more year with a child that is in the single digits.  NINE!!!  My baby turned 9 yesterday.  I really, truly, completely can not believe it.  I remember so vividly the days that seemed to DRAGGGGG on, and here we are at a place where time is flying.  I remember calling Kevin, "when are you going to be home?  Why'd you take THAT way, that way is longer!  What are you near now?  The Wawa?!  That is still 15 minutes away!!"  Yes, I was that wife.  I was that mom.  The mom that feels like she's drowning, and I only had 2 kids.  But Taylor cried for years (no exaggeration), plus I had a kid with medical needs (therefore even more to worry about) and it was really hard.  This very blog all began late one night, as a lifeline.  I thought if I could write-it-out, it'd be a sort of therapy.  And it was, and it is...and I guess I need less therapy because unfortunately I rarely write.  I should write more, as I really do like venting via typing.

But back to the birthday girl.

Taylor came to us much like Bailey did - as an exciting surprise.  Ok more like a HOW THE HELL DID THIS HAPPEN?!  That shock QUICKLY turned to joy and I will say to my dying day, God has given me the best presents I never asked for.  How thankful I am to Him, to always know what I need before I do.  And yes, I even feel that way about the baby that didn't stay.

When I got pregnant with Taylor, Bailey was only 15 months old.  Again, I was sick throughout my pregnancy, just as I was with Bailey.  They think it was because my hormone levels were so high - in fact they were so high that I had to have an internal ultrasound to check for "multiple fetus'" (SAY WHAT?!) early in my pregnancy.  I remember begging the ultrasound tech to tell me how many were in there, but she wasn't allowed, the doctor had to.  Finally I said, just blink for how many babies you see.  She turned the screen towards me and blinked once, and pointed to one dot.  Bless her.  I am sure we would have made due, and given thanks, for however many there were, but with a baby at home with CF, and possibly more on the way, I did feel overwhelmed.  And I have a small house!

We elected to have a repeat c-section with Taylor because not enough time had passed for me to forget the gory details of my birth with Bailey.  I walked in to Virtua on October 7, 2005, early in the morning, feeling so ready and so happy.  Taylor was born at 8:11am - our anniversary is 8/11 so I thought that was really neat.  We were both able to see her be born, something we did not take lightly since neither Kevin nor I saw Bailey.  They handed her to me, I was crying of course, and first I noticed she had Kevin's ears, and oh my the chin!!  She had a deep cleft in her chin, just like her daddy.  I remember saying, she doesn't look like Bailey!  As I had expected my second girl I guess to be a clone.  And I remember saying Thank you God over and over, and that she was so beautiful.  I still say thank you God, and I still say she is so beautiful, all the time, every day.

In the hospital, touched with a bit of jaundice, I said "you are just our perfect little sweet potato aren't you?  You're our Tater Tot" and it just stuck.  And it suits her.  She is my Hottie Tottie, my Tater Tot, my Taters.  She is JOY she is FUN she is a DELIGHT.  And typing these words is my delight, because there was a time I couldn't have said that honestly.

When Taylor was a week or two old, she started crying, for hours, every day.  She actually slept well at night, thank the good Lord as I think I would have "run crying for the hills" - an expression my mom uses.  Nothing we did brought her relief.  They said it was colic, then acid reflux....she grew older and was still crying so as a toddler we took her to CHOP for an x-ray and diagnostic testing (she was perfect), to an ENT (who said she had polyps on her vocal cords from all of her screaming/crying..hence her raspy voice...but was fine otherwise).  We took her for allergy testing (she is only allergic to white birch trees), we took her to a gastro-intestinal specialist.  Nothing was internally wrong with her that would be causing her pain.

One Sunday night in February of 2009, Taylor was 3 years old, I googled "behavioral therapy for toddlers in Marlton NJ" as I started to believe the people that were saying it was behavioral.  That she was just stronger than me, that she "ruled the roost."  I knew in my heart they were wrong, that something was wrong, but I really didn't think she was autistic so what was it?!  There at the top of my search was a listing for Sensational Kids in Marlton.  They were giving free workshops THAT VERY WEEK on sensory disorders.  I googled sensory disorder and I KNEW I found something.  I went the next evening to their workshop and cried my way through it.  It was Taylor, all of it. I felt the weight of the world on me, and yet the weight of the world lifted.  I felt such distress that HERE IT WAS THE WHOLE TIME and yet such relief that IT had a name.

We enrolled her immediately in therapy through Sensational Kids.  We then started the process of having her evaluated through the school system to get her services.  She went to Sensational Kids twice a week until the start of the school year in September, where she was to attend the disability pre-school.  She was in a class of 7 children with a special education teacher (I wanted her to move into my house but she said something about boundaries), 2 amazing aides, and she received speech, occupational and physical therapy.  What a great district we are blessed to live in.  She was in that classroom for 2 years, and then the disability kindergarten for half the day and "normal" for the other half.  Then for 1st, 2nd and now 3rd grade she has been and is in an inclusion class, containing both children that are "normal" and kids that need a bit of extra help.  Next year she will not be, as it was this year they really thought she was ready to move to normal.

When she was 3, and I toured the preschool for the first time, I remember walking into the school and seeing a group of children walking to recess.  One girl was in the back, all by herself.  I prayed, with tears streaming down my face, please God bless that girl.  And please, please God don't let my child be her.  Please help her so she can have friends.  I couldn't even envision Taylor caring about friends, as she only was bonded to her family and wanted nothing to do with anyone else.  Playdates were torture - she'd hide in the bathroom, under tables or cling to me around my neck, her face buried so she didn't even have to look at anyone.  Meanwhile my other kid LIVED for playdates.  I longed to be like the other mothers, children happily playing, seemingly not a care in the world as they sipped their coffee.   Instead I had one kid that had to do treatments twice a day because she had a beast in her body that they say will kill her, and another kid who cried incessantly and hated life.   I felt sorry for myself.

To say I am thankful for all of the services she has received to develop coping and social skills, is an understatement.  To say I am proud of my daughter is an understatement.  To say I am in love with my child is another understatement.  My heart is just bursting with gratitude and joy for this girl.  She has come so far, and taught me much along the way.  She taught me to trust my gut.  She taught me patience.  She taught me that God answers prayers in His time, in His way.  I still don't understand God...I know there are children for which it appears healing never comes.  I don't know why.  But for our family, in this instance, God led us to health for our child.  Because of this, I have more hope when I pray for healing for my other child.

When Taylor was 4, she had her first school dance.  She clung to me and wouldn't set a toe down.  She hid her eyes on my chest and covered her ears.  And cried.  I couldn't leave, as Bailey was having the time of her life.  As we often did, Kevin drove separately and so brought her home.  I remember watching her leave, her daddy carrying her, and being so sad.

Last year at the school dance Taylor had a little following of friends follow her around, and she won a dance contest.  SHE WON A DANCE CONTEST.   The same kid who wouldn't set a toe on the gym floor.


I love you so much Tater Tot

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


My firstborn is about to be 11 years old.  Ahhhh.

At 23 years old, we thought we would wait longer having children.  Kevin and I were both working full time and taking masters classes.   I was pregnant with Bailey but didn't know it when we wrote up a "5 year plan" complete with what countries we'd visit (countries!!) on a weekend get-away in February of 2003.   Several days later, laying in my bed one morning counting how many days it had been since my last period (40-something), I decided I should take a test.  Ran to CVS and took it, then peeked at it while I was in the shower and promptly slipped and fell.  I still have a picture of the bruise from my hip from that fall.  I remember sitting on the shower floor, wondering if ALREADY I did something bad to my baby - I had gone snow tubing on our weekend away and now I fell?!

There was no cute way of telling the daddy.  I called him in a panic, my mom and best friend too.  Took a few more tests that day and swung by Labcorp for a blood test ordered by my doctor, who also got a panicked phone call.  I somehow managed to work, and I remember on my way home (can't remember if it was that day or the next?) I called the doctor's office AGAIN asking if they had the results yet.  The receptionist, who by now knew me and was laughing at me I am sure, said, "Hi Mommy" when I asked if the result was in yet.  I remember where I was, and I remember pulling over and crying.  By that point I was so happy.  I realized how much I wanted to be pregnant, regardless of our "plan."   This plan was better.

Pregnancy was not fun, as I was often sick, but I loved seeing my stomach grow and feel her move.  She was in utero how she is now...she'd find a spot and stay there, for a long time.  Sometimes I'd get nervous and try to bounce her around to feel her kick.  If someone wanted to feel her, by the time they'd put their hand on my stomach she was over it and not kicking anymore.

Our due date was October 18.  I had to see a specialist with Bailey because they thought I had a blood condition (which is why I wasn't on the pill - we practiced the "you can run but you can't hide" method).  In late September the specialist noticed my amniotic fluid level kept decreasing.  I wasn't leaking fluid, but there it was, less and less.  On October 2 I was admitted to be induced.  Kevin and I went to dinner first, I wore a nice outfit (why?) and checked in.  They put Cervadil in me and gave me Ambien, which didn't work I was up all night.  We played cards at one point I remember.  In the morning, her head hadn't even dropped, I hadn't dialated at all...we should have done a C-section.  But no...I took Bradley classes for 12 weeks, I wanted to go all natural.  I didn't want my baby having a drop of drug.

Shit got real.  A long story short (because I've already managed to go on and on) after a day of full pitocin, non stop contractions with no dialation, that evening I finally got an epidural.  Then I said my sorries and finally breathed.   A few hours later, her fluid even less, they said it wasn't a choice anymore, I had to do an emergency c-section.  I wasn't feeling well by this point (going through hell will do that to you) and had started to dry heave.  They ended up knocking me out, giving me general anesthesia to deliver.  It still breaks my heart that neither Kevin or I got to see our baby be born.  When I woke I was still so loopy but I faked being normal because I so desperately wanted to hold her.  She was so perfect.  She had Kevin's ears, thank goodness!!  And a perfect little face, little body... I just couldn't believe that something so perfect came out of me.

I was in love and I still am.  I still can't believe something so perfect came out of me.  I feel so honored that God used me as the vehicle to bring this amazing child into this world.  I can't believe she is mine still.

Her heel prick test came back flagged a few weeks later, for Cystic Fibrosis.  What is that?  Is that like CP, Cerebral Palsy?!  She looks perfect!  After we had gone home from delivering, we had to check back in for a night because of her bilirubin count.  I thought THAT was hard!  They had to access her vein at the top of her head, I had to fight to continue breast feeding, I had to see her be in an incubator, not my arms.  But this, this was hard.  Researching CF, taking her to get 3 sweat tests done, all inconclusive, before finally getting a blood test done (that is more expensive so of course insurance didn't want to do it first).  Then the call.  Holding my baby, saying over and over, "but she's perfect!  She looks perfect!"

I still do that sometimes.  I don't hold her while I say that, cry that I should say, but in my head, in my heart, I still fight her diagnosis.  But she's perfect, she looks perfect.  Not my baby please God not my baby.

But then I see her, I really see her, not through eyes of fear.  I see the delightful child she was, and the young woman she is becoming.  I see her youthful spirit but a wisdom beyond her years.  I see a girl that says I have CF but CF doesn't have me.  She is strong, she is kind, she is able, she is here.

She is mine.

Happy birthday love.  Thank you for being my girl.  Thank you for being my teacher, my hand-holder, my inspiration.  I love you so much it hurts.

11 years.  Thank you God.

Monday, April 28, 2014

double duty

I actually wrote for over an hour, composing a blog post that is not even done.   I started to get overwhelmed with it, so I saved it and here I am going to write about something else entirely.

Double duty meals.

I was talking with a few girlfriends this weekend about how much I love prepping and cooking meals.  My habit is to do bigger shopping trips every other week, with a weekly catch up trip for that week's deals with coupons and fresh produce.  They were surprised I think with how much I like it, but in thinking about it, I realized it's because I feel efficient and productive.  And I love when my family enjoys what I make.  My dream is to have an entire weeks worth of meals that all 4 of us eat happily, with no complaint.  But as it is, half the time I make the kids something else or they eat cereal.  I have bigger battles, people.

So here is our menu for the week.  I double duty almost everything I ever make.  Meaning whatever I cook, I plan a different meal out of the leftovers.

Monday - creamy homemade chicken soup.  I used leftover rotisserie chicken, that was from a meal I had served last week of chicken, potatoes, veggies.  I froze the chicken along with the veggies.  So today I made a roux of butter, diced onion and flour, added homemade broth and milk, tossed in leftover brown rice and the frozen chicken and veggies.  Took 15 minutes start to finish and it's ready to reheat tonight.  I made this meal this morning as I cleaned the kitchen from breakfast.  The kids will eat this but will pick out and bitch about all the veggies.  They will also have banana or applesauce and I'll make biscuits.

Tuesday - spicy italian chicken sausage links in homemade tomato sauce, pasta and salad.  I'll double the sauce so I have leftovers, and cook more sausage than we need, reserving for later this week.  The kids will not have any sausage, they only eat chicken, eggs and fish sticks.  If one morsel of the sausage gets in their mouths they'll gag and cry.  So they'll have plain pasta and use jarred tomato sauce bc mine is too full of "chunks" for their taste.

Wednesday - shredded bbq pork in the crockpot, cole slaw (for me - no one else will eat this), roasted potatoes.  The kids will have something else, not sure what, but quick and not heavy bc Tate has softball. Will make extra pork, remove before adding sauce and freeze it.

Thursday - Sausage sandwiches using the leftover sausage, adding roasted onions, mushrooms and red peppers.  I used these ingredients in my sauce earlier in the week and saved some to roast.  Fresh rolls, with cheese for Kevin.  Rest of the salad from Tuesday as the side.  Breakfast for dinner for kids - eggs, toast, turkey bacon.   Bailey can cook the breakfast mostly by herself and she will be happy I'm not crowding her bc I really only need to saute the veggies and toast the rolls for Kevin and I.  She will, however, complain about the smell of the peppers and onions.  Another softball night, so it's good this will take 20 minutes if that.

Friday -  SOFTBALL AGAIN.  Will feed kids before softball but Kevin and I will do a date-night-in when they go to bed.  I have steak in the freezer, I will throw it on the grill with asparagus (if it's not too expensive at the store today - substitute is frozen green beans) and cook slices of leftover cooked potato from Wednesday.  Reserve rest of steak for wraps during the weekend.   Meal will take only a few minutes to prepare.

Almost every single time I make meat I think about how I can use it again for something different.  Really, I do that with a lot of ingredients like fresh veggies, rice, pasta.  I plan a broad menu plan each month, meaning I plan what meals we want to have based on sales and items we already have, but I don't plug it into a day of the week until each Monday morning beforehand.  Weekends I don't plan, we have leftovers, eat out or eat quick things like grilled cheese and tomato soup.

So there it is - I filled my blog post goal for today of actually posting something, and avoided the emotional toll the other post was taking on me :)  Win-win.

Monday, March 17, 2014

things I write about

So basically this blog is about -

motherhood.  all of it.  the good, the bad, the ugly and the funny.

Bailey's Cystic Fibrosis and Taylor's SPD - their trials and their victories over these "special needs."

my marriage.

my faith.

my weight.



I think that's it, seriously.  I am a part time social worker by profession and although I have lots of great stories, I don't feel comfortable sharing, even with fake names.  It's a shame...also, I have a lot of great family stories but I think I would get in trouble.  Like, deep, deep trouble.  I wouldn't want my finer moments written down in a blog (even if only 5 people read it) so I get it.  The older the girls get, the more I am starting to become mindful of this for them too.

So here, on this Monday morning, what do I have to write about.  We had a delayed opening due to snow (which is so pretty, I am trying to see the positive in it).  This past weekend was awesome, with lots of playing, great weather, great friends, good food, wonderful service at church, precious family time.  I have nothing to complain about today (other than my back which is killing me, Bailey and I are seeing the chiro tonight thank goodness).  I feel really, really blessed knowing I kissed my husband off to a job that supports us, my children off to a school where I know they are taught and loved.   I know so many others today are hurting...and I am grievous that there is such pain in this world.  It finds all of us, at different times, in different ways.  Today is not my day for sorrow, and for that I am thankful.

I hope that you have a good day today.  What do you want me to write about?  If someone lets me know a topic, I will write on that.


Friday, March 7, 2014

facing fears

What are you scared of?

I can list several things right off the top of my head.  Losing my children is #1, by far.  That really goes without saying.  Sometimes, my mind wanders, and the nightmares that I know other people have experienced in this life renders me sick to my stomach and leaving me basically begging God to spare us that.   Because of Bailey's CF, I think about this more than I'd like to.  This past year I have joined a few CF facebook groups, for information and fellowship, but at times I wonder if I should leave the groups, as often there are postings about children, teens and adults who have lost their battle to CF.  Yes, my biggest fear is living through the loss of either of the 2 best things that have ever happened to me.  Losing Kevin too is a fear that makes me ill to think of it.  He's my best friend, beloved husband, team mate, sweetheart.   I will only be able to handle losing him if I myself am senile, and I wonder what happened to the nice old man that used to be my roommate?

I have far less serious fears too, relatively anyway.  Fears like what if my girls move far away from me?  What if they don't get along as adults?  What if I can't handle having an empty nest and I actually do lose my mind?  What if I can never lose this weight?  What if we can't help the kids afford college and weddings?  Will we ever not owe CHOP money, and will Bailey be able to always have affordable healthcare?  What if Parenthood/Greys Anatomy/Law and Order/Modern Family goes off the air?

And the one that has been plaguing me as of late...what if I make the wrong choice.

I am really wondering about next steps.  I feel like God has been showing me over and over that He has something else planned for me.  But I don't know exactly what or how or when.  It's scary!  I think I know what I need to do, want to do, but I'm scared I'll make the wrong move and regret it.

God keeps showing me signs.  He doesn't have to, but He is.  I can just picture Him up there, thinking "oh for the love of myself, when will this girl get it?!"  But I'm scared.

So in my quest to take on some life changes this year, I am going to try really hard to be less fearful.  To not double check my parachute 5,000 times before jumping.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

resolution rehash

So we are almost 2 years into 2014 and for the first time EVER I actually stuck (so far) to a few of my resolutions!  Or goals, I should say.  I am excited about one in particular that I want to share with you!  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Basically, in January I wanted to work on some things in my life, but I did a quick recap of how change has gone over in my past 34 years.

Not well.

So I figured that the only way change (and picture me whispering it like it's a bad word) would work for me was to take things  I broke things down into categories - spiritual, physical, emotional, relational.  And decided that I would just really work on one little thing at a time, in one category at a time.  I'd do something for a month, reevaluate, and then add another change.

In January, I swapped my coffee for tea.  EPIC FAIL.  I gave it a whole month, which I was really, really proud of myself for, because it was so hard.  Not hard as in "I have a child with a genetic life-shortening disease" kind of hard - that is actually hard.  But really, it was difficult!!  I decided to do this, under the "physical" category, because although I take my tea black, I use sugar in my coffee.  This was a decision that I felt bad about, every single day.  I felt like it got my day off to a bad start.

You know what got my day off to a bad start?  Giving up coffee.  You know what else?  It got everyone else's day off to a bad start! (Read - kids and man.  I pretended for everyone else).

Kevin - "Brynn, how can you be in a bad mood at 7:30am?  The day just started!"

Brynn - "**** off Kevin!!!"

No need for ANY comments about coffee vs tea.  I posted about this on fb and the post blew up with comments and I just wasn't expecting that.  No need for concern either - I have now happily switched back to coffee.  My family practically threw me a party.  With balloons and streamers.

But there was something we did in January that not only has stuck, I am so happy about it!  I didn't internalize it as a "change" but it really is, and a big one.  For YEARS, at least 10, Kevin and I have used a credit card to pay as many bills as we can, and then we pay it off every month.  There were a few times over the years we couldn't, but for the most part we've had no credit card debt.  We used it for everything.  Groceries, gym membership, gas.  Everything.  The plus was we were earning money back, as our credit card gives 1% back and then quarterly 5% on selected things.  But the downside was I KNEW we were spending too much.  I knew that if we switched over to a cash budget, we'd save money, because really, the only way we were saving money was a few times a year if Kevin got a bonus, not on a monthly basis.  All of our money was being spent each month.  And over the past year I had started to feel convicted about it.  But I wondered how to do it, as really, to switch over to a cash budget I had to have more cash at hand first.  It's confusing but that's how it was, because we had a credit card bill to pay the next month AND need cash for groceries, gas, etc.

We were blessed in December with some additional income from Kevin's job.  I knew it was time!  I looked over bills from the past year, and made a budget.  I wanted it to be realistic because if it was too tight, we'd go right back to the credit card.  But if it was using every penny we had, then what's the point,

We have not only stuck to our budget over the last two months but we had enough to put some in the bank and also bought a new reclining couch and recliner chair for the playroom!  I am thrilled.  We have a set amount we use per month and then any extra at the end of the month will be a bonus.  Sometimes it's been it is right now, the end of the month.  And last month I ended up selling a bunch of stuff from around the house to be able to go to the grocery store, as I had spent all of our grocery money already.  (Darn you Whole Foods!) But seeing how our savings could add up over the year, and have some money to make some small home improvements, is a great feeling.  Both Kevin and my income vary, sometimes widely, so I know some months we will just squeak by, even on a cash budget, while other months are more comfortable.

I wish I had done this many years ago, but for many, many years we were house poor.  Using a credit card was just how we paid bills, that was our system.  I stayed at home with the kids, making a few bucks babysitting or working in our church infant room.  Kevin's job has been a blessing all of these years as he has provided for us, but it's a recession.  We had particle board cabinets, people.  And I was grateful for those cabinets.  I was grateful for my cozy house....with furniture we bought 13 years ago that 2 kids, 3 cats and a dog put to DEATH.   So it felt awesome to get a new couch and chair...oddly enough no one took the old ones by the curb...was it the fact that the chair was in 2 pieces with stuffing spilling out of it and the couch had multicolor stains and rips all over it?

Anyway, to recap, switching from coffee to tea SUCKS but using cash to buy stuff ROCKS.

How are you guys doing with any resolutions/goals?  I'd love to hear a story of success or "this resolution is for the BIRDS someone pass me an oreo STAT."

Friday, February 21, 2014

an apology that goes nowhere

Sorry friends.  I am really inconsistent with this blog.  I could promise to update more often, but like my desire to cut out carbs, that will probably not happen any time soon.  BUT I do hope life settles down for me in a few months - I have hope that it will and no, we're not farming out our kids elsewhere, they'll remain in my care until they marry and move across the street - what was I going to say I forget.  Thinking about my kids ever moving out puts a fog across my brain.

So what have you guys been up to?  Snow shoveling?  Snowmen? know the kind...where one kid gets another kid wet in the face and everyone comes inside crying?  Never-ending laundry from wet snowsuits and a million outfit changes because the kids have been home it feels since CHRISTMAS?  Managing sibling stress, managing your job, managing to keep your sanity?

Yeah me too.  I don't know about you, but since Christmas I have felt one step behind.  You'd think that with the extra snow days and time at home I'd feel ahead of the game.  In fact, a teacher at my girls' school commented that she had nothing (said with great zeal) left to organize in her house after being trapped at home.  My house now needs EXTRA organizing after these last 2 months!  I wish we were buddies I could invite the Bored Teacher over for some organizing fun.

Oh well it's no matter really.

So what else...well Bailey had a check up a few weeks ago and got a great report!  Despite having a cold her lung health is continuing to improve after The Great Decline of 2013.  Aka hell.  We are SO thankful, so very very thankful.  The Great Decline deepened my appreciation of how healthy she has been all these years, and my desire to find ways to keep her healthy.  So actually I became a Young Living Essential Oils distributor.  I only became one to get our oils cheaper, but I have been thinking maybe I will try to share what I will learn with others and perhaps have a teeny tiny business out of it.

We'll see.  That may fall under the heading "Just Like Cutting Out Carbs" and go nowhere also.  But I DO follow through with some things, I do!  I have maintained perfect attendance for every single episode of Parenthood.  I faithfully show up for as many girls nights out as I can.  I peruse facebook  Just so you don't think I'm a slacker.

Ok kids, I'm committing to another blog entry next week.  Should I write about the puberty movie I had to watch last night that Bailey will see at school in a few months?  I had to take notes.  And I will now need therapy.  (Can someone please freeze time so I don't have to face this stuff?)  Or should I write what I think about Selena's rehab?  (spoiler - I don't believe it and I wish I could invite her for dinner but for some reason she didn't give me her cell number).  How about I tell you that I have returned to couponing and for my grocery bill yesterday I saved over $100 and spent $87, plus getting $15 in coupons to use next week?   Well I just told you the whole thing so that's out.   Hmmm...what else can I talk about...

I'll think of something and meet you back here next week.  xoxo

Thursday, January 9, 2014

all over the place

Yesterday, in the same day, I was happy and sad.

I think that happens to many of us women.  Our emotions are all over the place sometimes.  A rollercoaster.

Earlier in the day I held my baby nephew and remembered things about my own girls' infancies.  The good and the bad.  It was bittersweet.  Holding my nephew, my godson, is a precious, precious gift.  And yet sometimes it can hurt.  I can't turn back time, ever, and hold my own babies again.  I can't ever hold the one I lost.  I think I will feel this way until the day I die...loving where I am in the moment, but conscious that another moment will never come again.

I just lost you.  I'm a nutjob.

Anyway, after school the girls had dental check ups.  It went so great!  As I sat by myself in the waiting room I flash-backed to earlier checkups with Taylor, when I had to basically restrain her as she laid on top of me for the five minutes it took the dentist to check her mouth.

She was always stronger than me even as a young babe.

So I felt content.  I thought to myself, "see self, it's not so bad having older kids."

Then we went to Chick Fil A, as is our tradition after dental appointments. don't let your kids eat crap after getting their teeth cleaned?

It was crowded with other bad mamas (that is a JOKE) and the playroom was full.  All of a sudden I realized Bailey was really too big to go in there.  Probably Taylor too.  We went back to wash our hands first and I prepped the girls.  See, Bailey is really a youthful child.  She would gladly still play in the CFA playroom.  She is in no rush to grow up and in fact, gets sad about it.  I told them they are big girls, probably too big for that playroom.  Bailey said it was just like the Shop Rite playroom, when you get big you can't go in there but she wishes she could.  Taylor just listened.  Then we checked their height on the playroom door, Tate was a smidge under but Bailey was SO over the limit.  She took it in stride.  My heart burst with sadness that this part of our little life was over, and also pride over my girls standing there, hugging each other, because Taylor said then she wouldn't play either.  They walked, arms around each other, to a nearby table and we decided on what to get for dinner.

So I had this weird all-over-the-place kind of thing going on.  For years when the girls were little we would come to CFA to meet friends...the kids would play the moms would talk and laugh, interrupted every other minute by our children needing our help.  I look at those tables that are outside the playroom and I can just see it.  All those memories.  They are not very important memories in the scheme of things, but it was just part of our stay-at-home little life we had for awhile.  Me and the girls.  Going to the library, Barnes and Noble and Borders story times, Mommy and Me swim, going to the playground and to friends houses.   I see these memories all the time, and it's bittersweet.  I drive by a playground that's "too little" so we don't go there anymore and I get a lump in my throat.  I remember packing lunches and sitting under the tree.  I remember swinging Taylor on my lap and I remember Bailey "catching" her sister come down the slide.

I cry just writing this.  I'm a mess, people.  So you think I haven't forgotten all the tough moments of having littles, I really haven't.  I remember spending long amounts of time with Taylor in bathrooms because she couldn't talk all the *whatever* of wherever we were.  I remember pawning Bailey off to other moms at the library story time bc Taylor didn't like it and I had to chase her around the library, the whole time worried that Bailey would think Taylor got more attention than she did, and resentful I couldn't be like all the other moms with both kids on my lap acting normal.  I remember the many, many times we couldn't go out to these places because either Bailey was so constipated she wouldn't get off the couch, her little toes curled in distress, or because Taylor was just too not-into-it.  I remember that.  But it doesn't matter.  All the good, all the fun, all the precious, that's what matters to me now.  The bad just makes it that much sweeter, because we got through it.  (We're still getting through it, note to self.  Girls aren't grown yet!)  I've written about this topic before, and I will again, because for some reason, this kids-growing-up-and-it-feels-growing-away thing really affects me.

But you know what - I really was so proud of my big girls.  Because they're growing up they handled it so well.  And they were rewarded, because after they ate, the playroom was empty and they played for a few minutes.  Taylor went first, and Bailey and I sat at the table together.  Bailey mentioned a few things about growing older that is good.

I told her the best is yet to come, even if maybe I don't totally believe it.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


In the scheme of things, this is a very, very minute detail in my life, but here it is.

I am switching from coffee to tea.

Not to say I won't enjoy a hot coffee with friends at a coffeehouse, or with my mom when she sleeps over and we both get up early.  But in my normal daily life, I am giving it up.  I add cream and sugar to my coffee, while I take tea black or with a bit of local honey.  I think the cream and sugar is a bad way to start my day, and only leads me towards more bad choices.

I have a very hard time giving things up.  Even when it's not working for me.  I don't know why I struggle so much with some things that are so easy for others.  Like losing 5 lbs.  I am so addicted to temporal things.

Every day of every week of every month of every year I think about my weight.  If you have read past blog posts on this subject, I have been pretty open with that area in my life.  I am open because I know I'm not the only one.  My dream job, since I was a teenager, would be working with people who are very obese, because in my mind there's not much difference between 225lbs and 525lbs.  It's excess, it's a stronghold, it's a burden.  And I get it, and I want to help.  But all these years later, I still haven't been able to help myself.

Something happens in the mind, I can not explain it to someone who doesn't have an addiction, but if you do, you understand.  You KNOW what you should and shouldn't do.  And yet when that - for lack of a better word - urge, comes over you, you indulge it.  "It" doesn't matter if it's a bagel or a cigarette or a drink.  You want it so much that all of the reasons to not have it, do not bear enough importance.  "It" causes damage, to the body, spirit and mind.  For me, my addiction to food makes me feel like a horrible person, and I know I'm not.  But that's how it makes me feel.

So because years have gone by and I've only been successful with losing weight a few times, I'm over it.  I'm over thinking about it, obsessing, counting, crying.  I'm over it.  I have to start so small, and not think about anything else but that one small thing.  Then maybe I can add one more small thing.  I'm not making any resolutions, because I never sustain them.  In 2014 I want health - physical, mental, spiritual.  I want health for me and for my family.  And making changes makes me overwhelmed, for I fear failure like it was a rabid beast.  So I'm starting really, really small.

One small thing.  Coffee to tea.