Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Adrienne!!

Dear Adrienne,

Today is your third birthday! There are simply not words to tell you just how much these years have meant to me and how much joy you have brought into my life, along with the lives of so many others around you. The way you live life with such fullness is such an inspiration!

Your biggest interests these days have been doing people's hair (mainly mine!) and taking care of your babies. You love to treat your babies like they're real and I often catch you "shhshing" them or pretending to nurse them. You are getting lots of practice to be a great mommy when you grow up! You are also very compassionate and helpful with Bailey and you are a huge helper to mommy.

You have such a hilarious personality and you keep us in stitches all day long.. When you're not being fiercely stubborn, that is! You love adventure and exploration and mischief seems to find you wherever you go... I think you "accidentally" clogged the toilet by using too much toilet paper about three times last week. And when I walked into the kitchen and saw you standing ON the counter holding a knife, I almost lost it! You also are VERY independent and take great offense to any help that is offered to you. This makes getting in and out of your car seat, bathing you, brushing your teeth, etc.. Just a little bit more challenging. You're worth it, though:-)

I feel so honored to be your mommy. The way you like up a room with your smile and live life with such enthusiasm is such a blessing to see. There is not a day that goes by that I do not look at you with amazement and wonder how in the world I was the one who God picked to be your mommy. I feel so inadequate sometimes because you deserve the very best.

I am so excited for the days ahead and I cannot wait to see who you'll turn out to be. I dream big dreams for you, baby girl, and I love you with every ounce of me! Happy Birthday, A!!

With all my heart,


Friday, May 25, 2012

True Contentment

I haven't wanted to share too much about what's really going on inside my heart because it involves other members of my family. I didn't want to steal their thunder by sharing their news (in case people I know in real life read this blog) but now I can talk freely.. Both my sister and my sister-in-law (my brother's wife) are pregnant and due within days of each other! 

On Brooke's birthday, which was in February, I literally found out about both of the pregnancies simultaneously. It was so funny because we were at church and my sister-in-law pulled my sister and me aside to whisper her news and immediately after, my sister divulged her secret. It was crazy!  Maybe I was just overly emotional from it being Brooke's birthday, but after congratulating both of them, I went to the bathroom and cried.

I guess I had thought I was content with our decision to be done having babies, but in that moment, I wondered if I really was. It's so easy to say you're done, but when you see others around you experiencing the blessing of pregnancy and new life, it's a whole heck of a lot harder. For a couple of days after the big news I continued to feel a little bit sad. Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled about the precious babies but maybe feeling a little sorry for myself that I wouldn't be going through that amazing journey again.

I realized that being content wasn't some magical switch that I could switch on or off... It was a true attitude and mindset that could come from God and God alone. I just committed myself to praying about it and I asked a few trusted friends/family to join me. Let me just say, through the past few months I have grown more and more content by the second. I'm actually at the point now where I look at my sisters having babies and think how happy I am that it's NOT me. Lol. I'm truly excited to finally be an aunt to a baby without having one of my own.. I've never had my hands free to hold a new niece or nephew for very long so this is going to be great! Each of them found out their baby's gender this week and I even had some fun buying tiny little newborn outfits today. I'm pretty sure that would have been accompanied by tears a few months ago!

I am so thankful that I'm truly in a place where I can be happy to move on. There will be things that I will always miss about the whole process of bringing new life into the world... Even when I'm old and gray. Even so, I'm eager to see what God has in store for my family and me as we turn the page on this chapter of our lives.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mommy's Hitting the Books!!

For over three years now I have been tossing around the idea of going back to school for nursing. I initially started thinking about it when I was pregnant with Adrienne but knowing that we would likely have another baby after her, I never really seriously entertained the idea. After Bailey was born, the desire was still there but she was such a demanding baby that I knew I had absolutely NO time for school work. A few months ago John encouraged me to go sit down with a college counselor just to see what a potential plan could be for my schooling and from that point on, things have just been working out!

I really feel my heart tugging me to the field of nursing for so many reasons. First of all, my passion in life is people. I absolutely love people and could talk to just about anyone about anything. I love the feeling of meeting the needs of another, whether it be a complete stranger or someone that I love. It doesn't matter. I had three very difficult deliveries (all of them resulting in prolonged separation from my babies) and those nurses were the ones who sat by my bedside and wiped my tears, made me laugh and cared for me when I couldn't care for myself. The thought of being able to do that for someone else is so exciting to me! Another reason why nursing appeals to me is the flexibility. I never want to be tied to a 9-5 type job because it sounds so restraining to me and the idea of entering a career field where I could work random shifts sounds like a lot of fun! I'm not looking to really work a lot until the kids are much older but even if I wanted to find some part time work, I could work opposite hours of John and never have to leave them with anyone else.

My plan is to start classes in the Fall. All of the paperwork is set and all I have to do is simply schedule my classes. I will be able to do almost all of my prerequisites online so most of my work will be done during nap time or after the kids go to bed. John also told me that one night a week he will send me to a coffee shop for some peace and quiet to get my work done. When I have to actually start attending nursing classes (because you can't do those online), the girls will be older and it won't be so hard to pull myself away for a few hours. I am NOT a student but I'm extremely excited to learn and push myself! I also have an amazingly supportive husband who is every bit as dedicated to my success as I am!

Some people have asked me why I feel the need to do this now, seeing as how I'm not really even looking for a career for this season of my life. In response, I always say that this is something that I will never, ever do unless I start somewhere. I don't want to be 40 and look back and wish that I had just had the courage to step out and take this leap. I'm motivated and I know that I CAN do it... But I could just as easily talk myself out of it. I'm also excited to think about having a way to earn a great income when the girls are older.. This is a career that can help us save for retirement, help with the girls' college and weddings and allow us to bless them more.

I am so excited for the days ahead!! I'm eager to see what classes I'll be taking this semester, even though I know they'll be a lot of work. I can't wait!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Great Outdoors

All of my girls love to be outside.. I think they would rather run around in the yard or go to the park than do just about anything else. But Bailey takes it to the next level.. She loves to be outside so much that she stares out the windows or front door and screams when we're inside and if you dare run out to take the trash out or whatever, she flips out and throws herself on the ground. It's comical, actually.

The problem with the girls' love for the outdoors is that it's so draining for me right now. Bailey literally goes out the front door and runs down the sidewalk at record pace. She also has an infatuation with the road and that obviously scares me to death! It seems like she is about to kill herself at every turn and if you combine that with Brooke learning how to ride a bike without training wheels (and needing me every second) to Adrienne's many requests, it seems impossible! When John isn't home, I've been letting them just run around out back where we have a water table, sandbox, trampoline (And a surprise wooden swing set will be joining the mix in about a week!!!) and saving the bikes and stuff for when John get home.. But I just feel bad, like I'm not doing enough for them. Pretty soon we'll be opening up our pool and that will also be another almost-impossible-activity to do on my own.

I try to soak up the gorgeous sunshine and beautiful weather when I can because living in New York, the warm weather doesn't seem to last very long. It's just more of a sacrifice of my energy and sanity to keep the girls safe. We try to eat on the deck for as many meals as humanly possible and even that can turn chaotic pretty quick! Lol. Let's face it, it really is A LOT easier to stay inside- Nobody has to be lathered up with sunscreen and the chances of someone getting hurt are much slimmer.

I keep reminding myself that before long, they'll be grown and these "lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer" will be more lazy than crazy and somehow I'll miss that! That's what they keep telling me, anyways!! :-)

Thursday, May 10, 2012


My week is dragging and I keep trying to enjoy these days, even though they have been long ones. It's a busy time of year for our family... This is when overtime shifts are abundant (the state funds additional DWI patrol in the summer months) so this is when John makes a bunch of extra money. I love him for it and appreciate the way he sacrifices but sometimes the long hours wear on me.

I have been alone every single night since Saturday night, with the exception of last night because John was off. He worked straight through his other day off, which should have been Tuesday. I went to my parent's house for dinner on Monday and it was a nice little break, but other than that, I have not had any dinner invitations or anything else to occupy our time. I'm fine all day long but once dinner time and bedtime hit, I kind of get lonely.

I'm proud of myself, though, because when John used to work evenings I would HAVE to do something, go somewhere or have someone over in order to fill the time. I just love people and when I go so many hours without anyone to talk to (that isn't a child), it weighs on me. It's nothing personal against the girls or anything... They're my world! It just is a lot to be the only person caring for all of them. Let's just say that I sleep well at night!

Thankfully, John will get out at 3 on Sunday and he wont' have any shifts until Wednesday morning. I can't wait! I'm sure there will be more overtime coming down the pike but it's definitely worth it to be able to stay home with my babies. I'm trying to focus on the positives because even during a challenging week, life is still wonderful!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Farewell, Day Shift:-(

After nearly 2 months of John being on the glorious day shift, he found out yesterday that he'll be going back to nights on June 1st:-( So this amazing, "normal"  life that we've been living will soon be ending. I do suppose that you sign up for the crazy hours when you marry a cop, though...

The night shift isn't the worst shift, to be fair. For us, the evening shift is the absolute worse because we have very limited family time. My biggest problem with this whole schedule change is that it took John about 2-3 weeks to adjust to sleeping at nights and now that he's feeling pretty decent, he'll have to make the big change yet again. It's going to be yet another adjustment period in such a short amount of time.

I have also grown accustomed to random phone calls/texts from my husband throughout the day just to tell me he loves me and it's been equally as nice to be able to call him with questions, frustrations or just because. When he works nights, I obviously try not to wake him at all costs so when he wakes up for the day, I'm filled with a million thoughts, stories, questions, etc.. It's a totally different dynamic. We've also been eating lunch together a lot and of course that won't be happening anymore either.

The whole situation stinks. The guy who out-bid him only has like 2 days worth of seniority over John... They were hired in the same week as each other. It's nothing personal against him and I know that that's how the rules work but it still frustrates the heck out of me. I almost wonder if all this adjustment would even be worth it again in the future and if John should eternally stay on nights until there's absolutely nobody who can bump him off? I don't know...

I'm not looking forward to spending nights alone, having to keep the house quiet during the day or being alone at night while John naps before his shift. There are so many little things that I'm dreading. But, I guess I need to look at the overall picture here... My husband has a great job (despite the weird hours) and he provides well for us. I'm so blessed- far beyond what I deserve- and it could always be worse! I'm sure there are many people out there that would trade their real hardships with this silly one in my life.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Kindergarten Screening

Wow! Today was a big day for my oldest daughter. She had her kindergarten screening and I'm wondering how she's already old enough for all of this. Where has my baby gone??

I watched the teachers ask her questions and work with her and I found myself feeling a little emotional over her growth and how big she's gotten. She scored in the 98th percentile overall and the teachers were very impressed with her knowledge and abilities.. They have to say that to me though, right?? Regardless, it made me very happy to see her excelling and doing so well.

My Brooke has been growing my leaps and bounds... She's started to read small words already. The other day John had some paper work out for work and Brooke read "traffic stops." I could hardly believe my ears! She has been sounding out words really well and she also knows how to spell small words and write them down. She's also been doing simple math like adding and subtracting. I am amazed at how quickly she's gone from not even being able to properly identify all of the letters and numbers to doing all that she can now.

I am so excited for the days ahead... I have so enjoyed watching her explore a new world of reading and writing. Just the other day she came up to me all excited and she had written "Brooke is a cat" on her paper. Haha. It definitely put a smile on my face. I sure do love that biggest girl of mine:) 5 is such a fun age!