Saturday, August 19, 2017

All things for Good

Her little face was purple. I was alone. I picked her up and squeezed her to my chest. My throat closed up and the cry I tried to give came out in a gargle. I finally caught my breath and started to scream. Then she started to scream. Her little face became bright red. We sobbed together as I sat on the couch and held her so tight against my chest I thought we could become one. That was the first time I saw my 3 week old Rachel stop breathing.

It continued to happen off and on. But when I took her to the doctors and emergency room she was fine. She giggled and laughed. She was a healthy and beautiful baby. They explained to me that babies sometimes do that when they eat or maybe I was over exaggerating. Finally my doctor gave me a consult to go to Pittsburgh Childrens hospital. At night I would put Rachel in her cuddle U in my bed and sit up and watch her. I was not sleeping. I was watching. Rachel seemed to sleep better when she was slightly propped up, and I could not control my racing mind. What if she stopped breathing while I was asleep? What if I walked out to use the bathroom, and she turned purple again. I didn’t sleep the night before we took Rachel to the hospital. We were on our way before the sun was up, and I remember pulling into a Sheetz to get gas and seeing people walk in and out of the convenience store. They are so lucky I thought. They are not going to watch their daughter stop breathing and leave you.

I have struggled with anxiety my entire life. Even as a very small child I remember episodes where my mother was lovingly reassuring me. I tried to pull it together. When I was a teen, one of my best friends gave me an article talking about generalized anxiety disorder. I have researched and studied it. There are some really awesome things about about being different in the way you process and think. There things that are not so awesome.

Even if you don't deal with anxiety becoming a parent opens a whole new world of possibilities. I remember looking at tiny WIlliam and thinking “how can they just hand him over to me? What of something happens to him? You are just giving me this tiny little human and expecting me to know what to do with him? “

It is hard to imagine that anyone could love my child as much as I do. I would move heaven and hell to make sure they are ok. As parents we would sacrifice money, sleep, comfort, and more for our little mini mes. We don’t even see it as a “sacrifice”. When they are happy, we are happy. When they are hurt, our chest is laying open bleeding. There is no hurt like the hurt you experience when your child is in pain and you can do nothing to help.

I remember reading an article early in my parenting career talking about how God loved our children even more than we do. I will be honest in admitting I scoffed at the idea. That could never be possible. After all, I would never sit idly by and watch my child in pain. If I had the ability to step in and fix it, I would. How could you not?

Sitting in that Sheetz parking lot, I got mad. I got mad at God. I am your child God. This innocent baby in yours. Why aren’t you doing anything? Why am I here? That quiet voice that speaks only to your heart reminded me “she is mine. I will provide.” I scoffed and said then you would fix this! You would not put us in this situation. Again, in a way I can’t explain, I felt quiet and at peace. I felt like he was telling me to be still. Know that He is God. When I walked into that doctor’s office with Rachel clutched to my chest, I did not know where we were heading. I didn’t not know if this would be life threatening or not. If she would recover or not. If she, and in return I, would suffer or not. There was one thing I did know. God loved Rachel. As unfathomable  as it was to me, He loved her more than me. He loved her and I so much, he would allow things to work together for our good. Even if that meant that we and in turn He would suffer.

I have been through things in life I wish I hadn’t. I have received the unexpected phone call that my father was now in heaven. I have struggled through situations in which I was terrified that death would always be the next call for loved ones. I have struggled with heath, professionally and personally wanted to give up. I have said goodbye too soon.

Time and time again I can see God’s hand. I can not see into the future. I can not see where this pain will lead. I am not ashamed in telling you that if I could stop it I would. Even knowing the good things that come out of the suffering. We think (and wish) for more control than we have. The most powerful thing we can do is place them in God’s hand and believe that He will work everything together for their (and our) good.

Rachel had many tests ran. I had to lay her on tables and trust the machines to do their job. I cried and prayed. Rachel was found to be born with a lung infection. Hers, thankfully, would heal. There would hopefully be no lasting damage. Her body would fight , but it would take some time. I cried again.

God, not I, is in control. He loves me and my loved ones more than I could ever imagine. When I place them into his hand, they are safest. It's not that things will always end as I wished for them to. I must believe that GOOD will come. That my Father can see more than I can will be my warrior. My goodness in times of darkness. That in all things He will be there. He loves me enough to suffer through my trials. To allow me to grow and learn. To trust and believe. To grieve and grow.

Time and time again I see God’s hand in my life and the ones I love.I see Him work miracles and I see Him ask me to let go. I know I can't control it all.  I can remember who can and who does.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

keep it simple

My butt is wet and cold, I am sitting on a set of decades old bleachers that have me very carefully  considering  where I am distributing my weight. But......BUT I look past the chain link baseball fence.A group of children, including my own, are out on the field. Screaming with laughter and squealing  in anticipation. These little blinks and flashes are right by their head or on their friends back, or floating away just out of reach. I look out to the ball field and watch the kids, Watch their faces. Surprise! Excitement! Awe! Above them the town firework show has begun. We sit in our yards or on the bleachers. Some with a beer in hand and others holding a sleepy toddler. The beautiful colors and sounds are bursting over our heads right above the spot we have played all day. I hear an Uncle Kent say to his sweet niece "you are going to always remember this. Fireworks at the ball field."

I live in a very small hometown proud place. Born and bred in Bakerton PA, and I couldn't even guess the population. When I was a kid, we had a tradition. On the weekend of the 4th, we would all get together to play softball, drink beer (those of age of course), say hello to neighbors we haven't seen in awhile, grab a hot dog, and keep it simple.


A couple years ago, my brother did not want this tradition, like so many others, to fade quietly into the night. Our summer memories of running down for a hot dog, chasing home run balls, and being so exhausted at the end of the day your mama had to carry you home must go on! So he handles it. He plans it and runs the logistics. We all pitch in and a good time is had.

It rained A LOT this morning. As I stood under the canopy that had betrayed me as water streaked through my hair and ran down across my back, I wanted to go home. I tried my best to save the baked goods, the posters, the 50-50 container. But it rained and rained, But then the sun came out. Guys got brooms, turned sideways tables,the container the keg was suppose to be in, and fought the water off the field. As a team, they laughed, slipped, and slided, but the field was going to hold. We were going to have Dowey Day today.

Newcomers and Old timers, Making major league plays or just beating out that throw. Father and son covered in mud in a play break up gone right. It may look like just a baseball game, but it is a building and binding. Welcoming each other back and being reminded of simple times. Like watching lightening bugs under a color streaked sky. It may look like just a couple innings, but it is weaving connections through families who watch their little ones play together.

This year was particularly close with the tie that binds. A fellow Bakertonian has gone through a rough medical time. We did what we do. All donations and the half of the 50-50 will all go to him. We played ball with this kid, chased fireflies, and probably got in and out of many questionable scraps. Because he is and will always be one of ours. That;s what we do in this little coal town. Take care of our own. Keep it simple, God Bless those who have fought and gone before us to gift us with that right. 




Tuesday, June 27, 2017

And here he is

My throat burns and squeezes. Blinking rapidly and swallow quickly. I am in the spiral. The ugly cry spiral. I can try to head off or distract myself, but the truth is that I am not going to get past this one without a fight and a lot of ugly tears. My last baby is turning five. One whole handful.
Each of my beautiful babies are perfect. Perfect for the spaces they came to light up in our family. William-the first- we needed this boy in way I still can't fully see. He brought joyful light and humor. He brings compassion and empathy. He is kind and thoughtful beyond his years, and one or twice after too many supernatural episodes (and a bottle of wine) I ask him if he really is an angel sent to watch over us. Trust me- I could warrant full time observation of one of God's finest. He applies his darling smile and spreads out the word mom "mmmoooooommmmmmm" Then he throws this man of an arm over my somehow too soon too small shoulder. He is the first. He was the first to get on the school bus. He was the first I dressed up for a middle school dance. He will be the first I waltz with through giving them wings and letting them go, And yet...
My Rachel was-is -and will always be her own sparkle. I swore she was a boy.Right up to the moment she was delivered I asked Scott if it was a girl. The first of many, many things she has to fill me in on. She is my heart. She is my mini me. My heart. Everyday she forces me to look at things differently. She shows me goodness and danger. She is who I want to be if I ever grow up.
When Luke was born he didn't cry. I panicked and needed to see him The doctor was holding this precious perfect angel with gorgeous big brown eyes, and he was looking at me I took him, Kissed him. He just looked around. If Rachel is a spark, the Luke is the fire. He brings excitement. A new way to do things. A fast more dangerous adrenaline filled way, but a new one yet the same. Luke is the first one to say thank-you.. He runs out and carries groceries before anyone says anything. If Scott needs something shoveled, Luke is there. That's who he is. Waiting and Serving with a soft and tender heart as he every night gives me a hug and says "Good night mommy. I love you."
Bella is my firecracker. She is overflowing with passion and life. She does nothing half way. She laughs big and loves harder. She is loud, proud, and a fighter. That red hair of hers isn't just for show. If she has a point to be made you will know it with an extra dollop of sass and those hands on her hips. When you are with Bella, combing her hair, and listening to her talk, I feel like the student. We call Will and Bella the twins with their vocabulary, insightful ideas, and childlike goodness.
And Nicholas Paul Demi.
He is my heart, I knew he was my last I would feel kick from inside, try to stifle the hick-ups by eating carrots. The last contractions I could count. The last first hello. We scooped each other up and decided we would go out with a bang. Let him cuddle and sleep with me too long. Check  Hold his hand tighter. Laugh at him singing "the wreaking ball" song for the 100th time. I think so. I am going to let him be little for as long as it takes. He is my little buddy. He wants to go with me to the store so I take him. He likes to color in whatever room I am cooking in. He hasn't really discovered the "life" outside mom. As he grows and learns and changes....so am I, Saying goodbye to who I have been for a decade. While each accomplishment I will be cheering him on, but still holding my heart. Near or far, he will always be my heart. 
I love you Nicholas Paul more everyday. 
Happy 5th birthday!
Love you to the moon and back,
mommy

Friday, June 9, 2017

Starting summer off with a bang

          On the first full day of summer break I decided that I was going to show off my SAHM skills. I was going to make a lasagna. Sounded like a great idea at the time. I get out all of my ingredients. Put the meat on the stove to brown. Put a big pot of water to boil on for the noodles. Set up Pyrex casserole dish for the lasagna. I was standing at the stove stiring  the meat and remembered that I wanted to text Scott about my moms car. I walked into the living room. As soon as I got my phone out of the book bag, I heard an explosion. I feel like the entire world stopped moving. Should I run out with Nick? Should I see what was going on? Should I ever attempt to cook again? I went into the kitchen and saw an explosion of glass everywhere.
           Apparently, I had turned on the wrong burner. I turned on the burner under the Pyrex container and not the giant pot of water. The exploding glass went all over the place. AND it was hot. So hot in fact that it melted into the hideous carpet that is in the kitchen. So let look on the bright side. maybe new carpet quicker....huh-huh...?!  I chunk had been flung into a book bag on the floor and cut/torn/melted into the bag.
      Couple of things....1- The meat that was no the stove was covered in glass. Total waste of my defrosting skills. 2- Not even being melodramatic, but I am not sure what would have happened had I still been standing at that stove. 3. This is exactly why we should order pizza everyday   4. I made lasagna the next day with my moms dish, and it was amazing. At least the gluten eating people of the family thought so.
Happy Summer!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Fun

Nick running into the living room

Me- Where are your pants
Nick- Oh sorry. I must have left them outside.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

He loves it!



I used to hate Monday and Wednesday. That was the day that Lucas had football practice. It was always a fight. He cried. I yelled. H went. I cried. I wanted him to be part of a team. I wanted him to experience that feeling of being part of something. Finally, two very long years later, we pulled the plug. Fine. You don't want to go? Fine. I am not signing you up.

Then he asked if he could join basketball. I was skeptical. I told him that he had to commit to going to the twice a week practices. He was not allowed to quit half way through the season. He had to finish what he started. He was all smiles and agreed. So I let him. Sigh inside and getting ready for the endless fight that would now take place on Tuesday and Thursday. BUT,,,,,

He loves it. He loves to go. Cried when he had to miss practice because of a snow storm. I tried to get him there and then had to turn around. He is dressed and ready an hour before practice starts. He is good at it. He listens to his coach and is trying to learn new things. He is brushing his teeth with his left hand because coach told them to practice using their less dominant hand. He loves it. I love watching him play.

I love seeing my children develop into the people they choose to be. I know nothing about basketball. I never played and my siblings never played. I never watch it. But yes I am the mother yelling loudly when our team get the ball. I yell when our kids get knocked over. I am screaming when Luke steals the ball and runs down the court.

So my sweet brown eye boy is a basketball player. Who would have thought?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Happy New Year!

**Edit- You will notice his post will be published on 1-7-17. I started it on the 31st but you know..life, and kids, and cleaning (just kidding, and facebook)


Hello! One of my new years resolutions is to write again. Because I like it. And it makes me feel better. Frankly I don't even care if no one reads it. I am just putting it out in the universe. And frankly, if you do read it you will feel better about YOUR life. So let get started on the resolutions that are NOT going to happen...

1. Matching socks. Because just no. My mornings are bat shit crazy. 5 kids and 2 working adults. I'll take coffee with my side of insanity. Also, to have matching socks would have to mean someone has to match them. We don't have the money to hire someone for that. So looks like my kids are going to go with it. I frankly don't care if my socks match. As a matter of fact, if I am wearing socks when there is 2 feet of snow outside, I consider it a win. #truestory

2. Exercise. Well, in my head I would like to start walking more. But I can't do that until when I go outside the air stops hurting my face. No I am not "bundling up" and going. Because I would have to find a hat, scarf....gloves. Although I am certainly not against non-matching gloves...seriously. Its like we have disposable gloves at out house. Buying them at the dollar store cause you are going to wear them one time and then they disappear to the "I don't know where I last had them" gods.

3. Keep my car clean. Often known as "I don't no where I last had them" gods dwell. I lose my sh*t looking for the left shoe, and finally when I admit defeat and say I'll just carry him even if he is 4 1/2...I find the other shoe in the car. Seriously? How does this even happen? Who came out of the car with one shoe on and their mom didn't notice. Seriously.

4. Keeping up with laundry. I have 5 kids. Two adults also live here. Laundry? I think it adds to my decor.

5. Waking up earlier.
Funny minions not a morning person:












6. Drink less caffeine....see #5

7. Start saving money- This is one I should totally do. It anyone interested in giving me one hundred dollars a month I can put into a savings account? Anyone?

8. Remember my 6 million passwords for every freaking site that has their own special requirements. Who are you to tell me my password is "weak" and not let me use it? I'll decide what how strong my password is and I will use it if I so choose.

9. limit my kids screen time. That is so awesome if you are a mom who builds puzzles with the kids and come up with cool craft with toilet paper rolls. Listen, there are not a lot of perks with having five kids (see 7) One of my favorite is that they play together. Sometimes. Okay they scream in each others faces, slap each other, throw things at their sibling, scream mom, and suck out  my soul one broken piece at a time. Wait...what was I saying? Oh yeah, screen time. My kids turn into little zombies? loving it!

10. Stop swearing. stop drinking so much wine. stop eating past 7. Stop watching funny ass...oops. funny a** mom videos and feel better about my momness. Stop making up words like momness.


Happy New Year Everyone!