Thursday, June 25, 2009

God always provides

... and when I'm feeling depressed I really should re-read this post.

So, I'm at home alone this morning. Eric is having a ton of tantrums, Rachel won't nap (what else is new?)... and the doorbell rings. I'm thinking it's Laurie who is coming back (thank you, Laurie!) to hang out and help with the kids until Sunday morning. So I tell Eric to go get the door and I trail after him nursing Rachel while wearing the Bjorn. And I see... 3 teenage boys standing there. Whoops. Detach Rachel and keep Eric from running out of the house while I answer the door.

Turns out they were looking for work. While John is great about mowing, I am horrible about pruning. I can't find my garden shears anywhere (ugh. I hate losing things in a move!), our bushes look terrible, we have mushrooms growing along our walkway. In short? Our yard is pathetic. And it doesn't help that our neighbors are empty-nesters who have immaculate lawns. So I tell them I'll pay them $10 each to prune the front and side bushes.

These boys not only brought their own shears and pruned the bushes, they also weeded the walkway, cleaned out the mushrooms, swept and cleaned up after themselves, AND took the bags of clippings with them! I told them to come back on Monday where they could tackle the backyard.

And I paid them $20 each. They were so happy. I am so happy. I remember having some seniors from Massaponax help me move once. I paid them in pizza. It makes me miss teaching with the over-abundance of cheap labor. I have a few more years before I can exploit my children. ;-)

God bless those boys...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Why Take Offense?

I have always been bugged by the fact that our culture seems to take offense at the slightest hint of a possible transgression. This became glaringly obvious on my yahoo mom's board this week. Apparently a woman whom I've never met is facing the possibility of having a child with Down's Syndrome. One part of her post went something like this: "I don't know what to do if... God forbid, I get the news that he/she may have DS... " I cannot imagine what she must be going through. She was hurting and wrote a message to the board with the title "HELP... I need hope!"

Now, I don't know about you but if a random stranger needed hope, would you give them a slap in the face instead?

That's the written equivalent of what happened on the board. What I like to call "online cat fights" break out every now and then. It's bound to happen- we're a group of women with kids (mostly stay at home moms) who get stressed and are running on less sleep than Gitmo detainees. Sometimes it's easy to read a message that someone posts and take something the wrong way.

Apparently this woman's use of the term "God forbid" deeply offended a woman who has a child with Down's. The reply to the original post was not nice. Not in the least.

So the original poster writes back and apologizes. Not what she expected to have to do, I'm sure, but she was very kind and seemed really hurt that she had offended anyone, stating that it was never her intention to do so.

You would think that would be the end of it, right?

Nope. Another bloody poster writes and again reiterates the fact that the whole "God forbid" phrase was offensive, and "What did you mean by 'God forbid' anyway?"

OK... I don't get involved in these things on a public forum. I wrote the original poster and (dare I say it?) hopefully gave her some hope. But this is what I really, REALLY wanted to say to the respondents:

"I find it sad that 2 words have caused so much pain for many women who are obviously already experiencing enough of it. 'God forbid,' a term used loosely and without malice, was taken far too literally and with much anger and offense. The original poster already apologized and explained herself. So let's move on. One of my catch phrases is 'fuck a duck,' but so far I have not literally been tempted to do the horizontal mambo with any feathered fowl.

"I don't think any of us in our first trimester of pregnancy wants a special needs child. Not to say a child with special needs isn't a blessing and a gift- they are. But it can be an unexpected shock and takes a lot of planning and effort. Some people accept it with joy, some grieve. It's not for you to judge another's reaction.

"For the sake of peace, kill this thread

"-Jen, who thinks that when someone begs for hope on this board, she should be able to get it"

And if you happen to come upon this post and are offended...?

Go fuck a duck.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Will we be the next "Jon and Kate?"

I am not a fan of gossip, tabloids, or anything of that nature. So imagine my surprise about a month ago when I see several headlines while waiting to check out at the grocery store: "We may split up" from Kate of "Jon and Kate Plus Eight." "Jon and Kate" was once one of my favorite t.v. shows. For those of you who aren't familiar with the show, it's about a couple who used fertility treatments to get pregnant. They had twins, and when they decided to try for one more child, they ended up with six. I loved watching this show because it helped me keep my life in perspective- if Jon and Kate could manage with 8 kids, then John and I definitely could do it with just two under two!

I understand that having 8 kids versus the 2 that we have are completely different situations. But as I watch "Jon and Kate" now (which I am probably going to stop doing because where once it was light-hearted and fun, now it's like watching a car crash in slow motion), I can't help but wonder... what if John and I become a statistic?

Many days it's like we're two ships passing in the night. Most nights John doesn't get home until 7pm. He will play with Eric for maybe thirty minutes before he bathes him and puts him to bed. Almost every night I'm with Rachel while John's with Eric. Rachel is breastfed and has attached herself to me almost exclusively to the point where no one can seem to bond with her without tears. I swear this is not my doing! I would do anything to be able to pass her off to others. She's getting better, but John has a saying that "in Rachel's world there are 2 people: 'Mom' and 'Not Mom.'"

But I digress... It seems that John and I are room-mates at times, not really married. I can't even tell you the last time we were intimate (TMI, I know). When Rachel goes to sleep, I usually follow because I know I'll be up between 3-5am for a feeding. John's up with Eric between 7 and 8 while I try (key word here is try) to get maybe an extra hour of sleep before he has to get ready for work. Like most government contractors (heck most everyone up here in Nova!) he works long and sometimes crazy hours. We are always kind and loving to each other. We don't criticize each other. But I wonder if the lack of emotional and physical intimacy may one day come back to hurt us. What if we wake up years from now and find out we no longer have anything in common?

I wish I had known how much having children would change our marriage. Not that I regret having my kids. God, no. But kids change everything. People tell you that, but the reality doesn't hit you until it hits you. Can't say it any better than that. I know a lot of people are in my situation- you feel alone with the kids all day, but you can't connect with your spouse once the kids are finally down through sleep deprivation, lack of time, etc. I know (pray?) it won't always be like this. I hope for change once the kids are a little older (sleeping through the night would help!). But I wonder... will their growth just simply bring on more challanges that could make our marriage even more strained?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mirena Sucks

I went to my GYN to get Mirena inserted today. For some odd reason I seemed to think that having a doctor push a plastic device through my cervix and lodging it into my uterus wouldn't be unpleasant. Ugh. I mean, UGH.

Heavy bleeding, cramping... bloody hell. Why can't John just get snipped??