Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Thanks be to God

My Sweetie said Grace at dinner last night! It doesn't sound like a big deal, but to me it is!! First of all, he has told me in the past that he does NOT pray! Second, when we have dinner we do say Grace but the kids usually do it. Last night he said he wanted to.

It was PERFECT!! It was from-the-hear; in-his-own-words. I've been so giddy that you would think he sent flowers to me or something. But no, he just said Grace at dinner!

He got a phone call last night from a guy he met this past weekend. The guy was just calling to check on him and see how things have been since he got home. He was all secretive about it because he didn't want to give anything away about my retreat this weekend.

I leave tomorrow night. He is really excited about me going. I'm excited to see and go through what he did last weekend. Coming home Sunday will almost be better than when he came home because we will have BOTH gone through this experience and will finally be able to share stories.

Monday, March 27, 2006

He's HOME!!

My Sweetie was delivered back here safely a little before 10 p.m last night. It was SO good to see him. We just stood there hugging for a long time. I told him I missed him. He said, "You were there with me. I saw you about 4 different times."

He said he had fun and thanked me for making him go. He didn't tell me ANYTHING about what went on because we agreed it would be better and more meaningful to me when I go. He's very excited for me to go and experience what he experienced so we can talk about it. He says it's like knowing what is inside a gift that he's just excited for me to open it up. He showed some concern about how I would handle being away from him (again) and my kids for that long and let me know that there are Pastors/counselers there to talk to if I need.

Now, I know he hasn't even been back home for 24 hours yet, but I do think this has had a lasting impact on his life. He has said and done a few things since he has been home that are generally out of character for him. He went and looked at the kids last night before coming to bed, told me to drive safe as I was leaving the house today, and when a situation at work arose he said it was his first real test after being on the Walk.

I'm thrilled that he enjoyed his Walk. I leave Thursday night which will be here before I know it.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Waiting for My Sweetie to come HOME!

I was told he would be home between 8 and 10 p.m. tonight. Our sponsor said to plan for around 9 p.m.

It has been OVER 74-hours since we said goodbye Thursday night. I've missed him but I've survived. I've thought and wondered what he was doing and what was going through his mind during this weekend. I'm anxious to see how it all went and what he thought of this experience.

I'm wondering if I'll see some sort of a change in him. Not that I want him to be different, but how could a weekend like this NOT change someone a little?

What I've been praying for mostly is that his faith has grown stronger and that he has learned to trust in God more. As apprehensive as he was about doing this, I suppose the best I can hope is that he enjoyed himself and that he thought it was all worth it. Everything else would be bonus.

The house is clean, the kids are in bed, the candles are lit. All I need now is to see his face and feel his arms squeeze me in a hug.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

My Sweetie is on a Walk

My Sweetie left tonight for his Walk to Emmaus. The Pastor of our church who is also our sponsor just called to say that My Sweetie is there and safe.

This is a 72 hour retreat. No car, no phone, no watches. I was sad for him to go for the simple fact that I have NEVER gone this long without speaking to him. He has been gone longer before on business, but we've always been able to talk on the phone. Most days he is my only adult interaction. SO, it will be a true test for us both this weekend.

I'm also feeling really nervous for him. He has been dragging his feet about this since the beginning. I really don't think he wanted to go even up until the time our Pastor arrived to pick him up this evening. He put off turning in the application until the last minute; didn't tell his boss he was going to be gone until this week then lied about why he would be gone; scheduled soccer practice with his team for Saturday because it slipped his mind.

He has told me in the past that religion is one of those discussions that he and I should never have. He says he believes in a higher power but just seems to have a lot of questions. Don't we all! My Sweetie will definitely be asking the leaders a lot of questions this weekend and keeping them all on their toes. I can picture it now and it makes me smile because that is just who he is. I hope that any questions or concerns he has about God and his calling are answered to his satisfaction.

Regardless of my thoughts, this is his journey. I pray that it is a good experience and he comes home with a fresh outlook on his faith; whatever that may be. I hope he RELAXES and it would be nice if he missed me a little while he was at it also!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Choosing the "Right" Pre School

My Little Guy is 3.5 years old. His birthday is 15 days AFTER the cut-off for school so he will be an "older" child. Which means THIS is the fall that he will start pre-school. I've really enjoyed NOT babysitting other peoples children this past year so that he and I could do some special things together.

So, we have begun the process of pre-school selection. When My Big Guy was of pre-school age I didn't have to go through this. He was in a Day Care environment that did a pre-school program. Since my schedule went back and forth between first and second shift it was a hit and miss thing for him. The poor kid spent his first 5 years of life being shuffled back and forth between myself, my husband, sitters and grandparents as we juggled college and work schedules. Thankfully he is a bright, boy who wasn't affected negatively by the situation I put him in early on in his life.

However, now that I'm a better mom I'm really taking this process seriously. After all, this is MY BABY!!!!

We went for our first preschool visit last Tuesday. It was a Christian based program that they are thinking of making into a 3 day a week program for 2.5 hours. (Right now it is 2 days a week for 2 hours.) A good friend of mine is getting ready to send her 3rd child (who is my Little Guy's best friend!) Before our visit I was positive that I was going to have him go there. I thought it would be cute if My Little Guy was able to go to pre-school with his friend and I figured since I admire her as a mother that I too would love this place.

I really thought the teachers were very sweet and I liked the emphasis on Christian values A LOT. My problem was with the curriculum. For the first hour that the children had free choice. Which left one more hour for snack, potty break, story and a couple songs and that is about it. I felt like it was very rushed and seemed more like a daycare environment than a preschool environment. I don't know if the addition of another day and an extra half hour will change the curriculum or not.

Last Friday we went to our elementary school in our district for a screening. My Little Guy was a little apprehensive about going into the room for the developmental tests but once he got in there did great! He tested above average in his cognitive and language skills and below average in his fine and gross motor skills. So, he's got a good brain but can't walk a straight line....neither can I!!

When he came out of the room he was ready to go home! But he still had a vision and hearing test to do. He started getting a little weepy on me and then they were ready for him. He did NOT want to go! So, I went with him thinking it would ease his worries a little. However, it went from bad to worse QUICK!! He was NOT going to have anything to do with the vision and hearing screening!! The Pre-K teacher at the elementary school came in and asked me to leave.


They were able to test his eyes but not his ears. He refused to put the headphones on but I don't have any real concerns about his ears so no big deal. He ended up qualifying for the program at our elementary school. It is considered an "At Risk" program and as I was looking at the checklist of qualifications I couldn't figure out how or why he qualified. The only thing I could come up with was either his low motor skills score or the fact that he couldn't adapt to a new environment.

It is a great program out there that does a lot of good for that age group. So, we are now considering it. We are doing a visit there in May. I haven't seen the way the classroom environment there works yet to determine if I like their curriculum better or not but I know that they encourage a lot of parental involvement and it makes a smooth transition into kindergarten. If he went there for the next two years it would be the one and only time he and his brother would be in school together. The downside to this program is that it is a five day a week program, 3 hours a day and they ride the bus. I've already decided that if we do decide to go to the program at our elementary school that I will be driving him for at least the first year.

I called another preschool within our school district and set up a visit day with them next week. The woman I talked to explained about their program a little. 2 days a week for 3 hours. They have free choice for about a half hour then move into large group activities of weather, story, etc and then from there they move into doing their project for the day. They are also a Christian based program so I'm anxious to see how they run things in comparison to the other one.

I know what is good for one child and family is not necessarily good for another. So, I am going to base my decision on what program I think will most benefit My Little Guy. I can't make that decision until I've looked at all of my options. I just didn't think it would be this tough of a decision! I don't think I did nearly this much researching and deliberating when I was choosing my college!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Happy Birthday to MY SWEETIE!!

Today is My Sweetie's 31st Birthday!! He has been out of town this week. I made some cookies to take with him so he could have a "treat" with his co-workers today for his birthday and also gave him a 7 a.m. "Happy Birthday" wake-up call. I teased him that he was a 31-year old married to a young girl "in her twenties."

He is suppose to be home some time this evening. However, there is a SNOW STORM which hopefully won't keep him away any longer. I guess I'd rather he be safe and stay an extra night but I would much rather him be HOME and SAFE!

Today after I got My Big Guy on the bus, My Little Guy and I headed into town. Nothing like waiting till the last minute to go birthday shopping eh?? I didn't even have ANY IDEAS on what to get My Sweetie. Cubs Tickets...a new lawn games......some books???? I finally decided to look into a new cell phone.....but, NOTHING OPENED UNTIL 10 a.m.!!!!

So, we went to Super Target and got what we needed to make him a Birthday Brownie Cheesecake for dinner tomorrow night at his parents house. I also stocked My Sweetie up on some "good" beer since he's been drinking cheap stuff out of a can lately. I also bought a bottle of Asti and a some finger foods. AND, I found something "pretty" to wear. I thought I would have a little celebration ready for him when he got home....just the two of us!! If he doesn't make it home in time then we will have our little appetizer party Saturday with the kids and I'll save my new nightgown for another time.

After that we headed to the mall to the cell phone Kiosk. It STILL wasn't 10 a.m.!! So, My Little Guy and I walked around, rode on the little rides, had some candy. When we went back to the Kiosk at 10 a.m. there were probably 5 people ahead of me. More waiting. I ended up purchasing a new cell phone. Nothing fancy, just practical. I hope he likes it. If anything he won't look like he's been living in the dark ages.

We made it home before noon and before the snow started. YAY!!! My Little Guy was such a good boy for me today. YAY!!!! I felt bad because we missed his "Library Class" today. But, he didn't seem to even realize it.

Now I'm going to spend the rest of the day making the house and MYSELF look nice for his return.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Is it possible for your heart to break and melt at the same time?

If you've ever been in the presence of a 3-year old you know that they have a tendency to say some of the cutest, off-the wall things from time to time. "Where did they hear THAT one," we ask ourselves. My Sweetie and I get such a kick out of the things our kids say that we like to pick out "quotes of the day."

This morning after we had woke up, My Little Guy jumped on my back as we headed upstairs to wake up My Big Guy for school. Then he said it. It's sure to be the quote of the day, "I want to be a big brother like my brother! I want a baby." Like I said, those sweet words made my heart melt but I also felt it break a little.

I know what next month means. I'm very aware of the dreaded anniversary that is fast approaching. It's not one that I'm looking forward to. Mid-April will be 2-years since My Sweetie and I have been TRYING for a third child.

My problem is that I don't ovulate. However, we aren't sure WHY I don't ovulate. I've been to the doctor for tests; they haven't found anything yet. I've been on several rounds of Clomid and have still failed to ovulate. It takes almost 2 months between each cycle because before I can start another dose of Clomid, I have to take a 10-day dose of Provera to force a period. Most women have 12 chances a year to conceive....I've had one chance in the past 13 months. So am I really "TRYING"?? It seems more like I've been WAITING to try!

I hadn't done any meds. since November and decided to give it a try again. I took the Provera and will take my last dose of the Clomid tonight. I'm also on Estradiol right now. SO, we will see if I get a chance to TRY sometime next week....hopefully My Sweetie won't be out of town!

IVF is not an option for me. I have already been blessed with two boys and I don't think I need to push my luck too much. There is other technology that is somewhat more aggressive than Clomid but not as aggressive as IVF.

I have prayed many times for either patient or peace. Maybe we will continue with the happiness we have as a family of four; maybe we're being called to reach out to other children and adopt; maybe God is just waiting for the right time.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Mama Bird Having Trouble Letting the Babies FLY

My oldest DS is in 3rd grade and 9 years old. He's really a GREAT kid!! I know that I'm tough on him...maybe sometimes too tough. Maybe I try to shield him too much also. We are thinking of letting him go to church camp this summer. When I looked at what was offered, I originally thought he should start off with a 2-3 night camp. He wants to go away for longer. Is he ready? Will he behave? What if he gets hurt or sick? My husband thinks he'll be ok to go away for that long. UGH!!! I know that HE will be ok, the real issue is with me. It's just one of those letting go moments I suppose. My big guy is growing up.

My youngest DS and I went to a preschool visit today. He will be entering the 3-year old program next year. Two days a week for two I thought! They had a board meeting yesterday and are thinking about making the 3-year old program 2.5 hours long for 3 days! UGH!! I was wondering what I would do twice a week for two hours now I'll have 3 days a week for 2.5 hours possibly without him? It's just one of those letting go moments I suppose. My little guy is growing up.

These boys are my life....and it just blows my mind how quickly this season of life seems to be flashing before my eyes! Didn't I just welcome them into this world? Weren't these boys just babies that I nursed in the wee hours of the morning? Wasn't it just yesterday that I nuzzled their sweet smelling heads after their bath?

There are different seasons of life that we all go through.....there are some that we want to last longer than others but we simply have no control. All we can do is cherish each and every moment that is precious and allow them to spread their wings and FLY.

As for me, I will remain in the nest for them to return. I will blanket them with hugs and kisses, encouragement and praise, food and rest; everything they need to enable to FLY again the next day.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Where is my Time Being Spent?

I am heading up a new team at our church. Our quest is to try to become more "Passionate spiritually." One of our means of getting there is to set up four mission projects and involve the entire congregation.

As I was sitting there listening to everyone's ideas, this overwhelming sense of guilt took over. I SHOULD BE DOING MORE!! There are so many things which may seem insignificant to us but are life saving to others. I have this tug on my heart to do more. I am sad that I don't pay more attention to this. Am I lazy? Is my time THAT precious? Do I not make reaching out to others a priority? Don't I want to teach my children compassion?

The Bible talks about striving to live our lives like Jesus. He was the giver of all givers! He wants us to reach out and help others because when we reach out and help someone else it is our way of serving and loving Him.

Then I read my devotional this morning, Daily Wisdom for Mothers, it talked about how we as moms are so consumed with our busy schedules that it often takes away from the precious time we have with our children. She talks about how sometimes even good things can be bad if it takes away from our families.

I need to remember that I am the leader of 2 committees within our Church. I give my time, services and money when I can. I recognize that there is more that I could and should be doing. I hope that this mission team will enalbe me to do more of that. I also hope to involve and teach my children at an early age what it is to do God's work here on Earth.

However, when my outside commitments start to take away from my time with my children I need to take a step back. I need to remind myself of the long-term mission project that I have been chossen to do during this season of my life; caring for and raising two of God's children! He chose ME to be their mom. For now, one of my top priorities in life is giving them the time and love they deserve, regardless of how much it pains me to say "No" once in awhile.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

"I will NOT be like my MOTHER!"

How many of us have said this before?
"I will NOT be like my MOTHER!!"

I said it. And boy did I mean it! My plans were simple. I was NOT going to get pregnant out of wedlock like my mother. I was going to get my college degree, unlike my parents did. And unlike my mom, I was going to have a career. My mind was made up. I was NOT going to be like my mother!!!

Fast forward to a cold March Wednesday night 10 years ago. I was laying on the pull-out couch in the dark at my boyfriends house. He had made a special trip home for the night. The house was FREEZING because they turned the heat off during the week when he was away at college.

"It's positive," he tells me with a little bit of a chuckle.


I was crying partly because I was so fearful of disappointing my parents. They did not want my life to begin the way theirs did. They knew it was too tough and they wanted better for me. I wanted better for me!! I was also crushed that my dreams of being a television news reporter were never going to happen. I was scared of what my well thought out future would now hold.

We got married, moved away, had a beautiful baby boy who I stayed home with while my husband finished college. However my mind was already made up! I was NOT going to be like my mom!! When he was done it was going to be MY turn!!

I made sure that I got my way. Let me tell you, I had it all!! I had my college degree, my dream career, and husband a child a house.

Well, when you have too many things on your plate at once, something is going to get pushed off. That something sadly was my husband and my son.

On my sons 5th birthday I found myself sick with the flu. My parents had been trying to get hold of me all day to no avail because I was in the bathroom. When they finally had gotten a hold of me my husband and my son had left for my in-laws to celebrate my sons birthday.

My parents were calling because they did not agree with my decision to have joint custody of my son after my husband and I were divorced. My mom said "This is what breaking up a family is all about!"

Oh my gosh!!! That's not what I wanted! I don't want to break up my family!!

A choice needed to be made. My family was falling apart in front of my eyes. I was the only one who could fix this.

Once again I found myself laying in bed in the dark and in tears.

A few short weeks later, the divorce was called off, I had put in my notice to work because I had decided to be a SAHM and we found out we were pregnant with our second child.

Needless to say, I am like my mom. Like she once was, I am trying to master the fine art of being a wife, a mother, a housekeeper, a cook, a medic, a chauffeur, a mentor, a teacher, and so many other roles that I play in this life of mine. I'm proud to be doing what my mom did. There is nothing wrong with this life that I have chosen.

Returning to the world of BLOG

It's been a few months since I've "blogged". In November I documented an experiment my husband and I did. I really haven't done anything since our little experiment ended.

I wanted a place to reflect on my journey to be a better child of God, on my marriage, on my children and on my desire and struggles to have another child. This is that place.

I've always enjoyed writing (whether or not I am any good at it is questionable)and just don't seem to have the same "quiet time" that I once had to reflect in a journal. Does it sound lazy of me to say that it is easier for my to "write" on the computer?

Who knows if anyone will read. What makes my life and my stories better or more interesting than anyone else that blogs? Nothing. But it is my life and this is my place to gather and share my thoughts.