Monday, February 28, 2011

Journey for a lifetime

Remember when you were newlyweds how fun and exciting it was?  Everything was fresh and new.  Vacations, romantic dinners, long drives to nowhere, they were fun times.  Then you decide "Let's have a baby"!   Then those times seem like a distant memory in a life long ago.    For a split second we thought that it was a great idea, then we changed our minds...God had a different plan though, and after less than a week of "trying"  Olivia was already on her way! 

As a woman not all, but most of us dream of the day that we start a family.  We create this glamouous image and plan of how everything is going to happen, and when in reality, things never really do go exactly as we had imagined it.  

From the moment I saw the pink plus sign on the five different pregnancy tests sitting in a shot glass filled with pee on the back on my toliet,  my life has never been the same.  After calling my husband and telling him that he needed to come home from work NOW, we decided that the 99% accuracy of the home pregnancy test was not enough,  so we headed to the hospital at midnight to have a friend draw my blood to make for certain.  I didn't sleep at all, the next morning I woke up early and drove straight to my parents house.  When I walked in the door my mom was standing in the kitchen and I told her that I had some news.  Her reply, " You're pregnant aren't you?  I told you to wait awhile before you did that!"  Of course, my mom quickly warmed up to the idea and is the best "Gi Gi" that I know. 

I immediatly went out and bought all of the pregnancy books I could find.  I was going to do EVERYTHING that the books said, and I was going to embrace this wonderful miracle that my body was going through.  Three weeks later it happened, I woke up one afternoon after working all night, and I had this nauseating feeling come over my body like a wave.  My body knew this feeling, it felt exactly like a bad hangover.  Great,  not only are my boobs so sore I can't even look at them, I feel like I had one too many martinis last night.  Everyone told me, " It will get better, morning sickness only lasts a few weeks".  They LIED.  At my next OB appointment I had lost 7 lbs.  What the heck?  I could starve myself before I was preggo and never lose a pound, get me knocked up, an instant weight loss plan.  After 9 months of listening to people tell me how wonderful their pregnancy was, how they had never felt better, I literally was nauseated at their stories.  I puked everyday, was hospitalized twice, and was so over this "amazing experience". 
The day had finally come, and I had a plan of how I wanted my delivery to go.  Olivia had a different plan.  36 hours later I was lying on an operating table looking into the eyes of my sweet daughter.  It was love at first sight, and it was worth every time that I puked, including twice during my c-section.  She was here, she was healthy, and no matter how she got here, or how much I really didn't embrace my pregnancy, the end reward was life altering and mind blowing.  We were responsible for this tiny life, she depended on us completly, then without warning, before the pain meds wore off, the anxiety set in.  How are we going to do this?  What will I do if I can't get her to stop crying?  etc etc.  A beautiful experience and time had now became a constant worry from the very first day.  After another three exhausting days in the hospital, struggling with breastfeeding, going on no sleep at all, they bring you discharge papers to sign, and the prize is this tiny little baby, strapped in car seat, ready to go home in your care.  That was the longest drive of our lives, probably it had something to do with the fact that Bobby drove about 20 miles an hour on the interstate because of the new, precious cargo that we had on board.  When we arrived home, it was a relief to see my mom's car in the driveway.  She was there, she had came to my rescue.  I had never been so glad to see my mom in my life.  The first few days were rough, as they always are with a newborn.  Sleep deprivation, coming to terms with the fact that I had my stomach cut open from side to side, and that just getting out of bed was a challenge.  Not to mention the fact that no one tells you what it feels like when your milk comes in.  Engorged, blisters, really?  What happened to the book saying that women never looked more beautiful than they do when they are a nursing mother.  Really?  You got to be freaking kidding me!  They make it look so easy, but for me it was so hard.  Finally I came to the conclusion that the breast pump was my best friend, and continued to be for 5 months.  After a few days my mom told me that she had to go home, the 25 miles away from me home.  It could have been Californina as far as I was concerned, I just stood at the door and sobbed.  She told me, I'm just 30 minutes away, if you need me I will come.  I walked back in the door, looked at Liv and Bob and I thought, well, lets get on with it.  We can do this, and we did. 

Within a few weeks, we had the feedings and diaper changes down to an art.  Bobby went from being afraid to holding a newborn baby to taking sweet little daddy naps on the couch with his girl wrapped tightly in his arms on his chest.  Sure, there were some bumps in the road.  After I figured out that I didn't need to take a shower with the shower curtain open and the baby sitting in the carseat directly in from of me.  Or that I didn't have to sleep with my arm literally hanging over the side of the bassinet on her chest to make sure she was still breathing ( I think that is why I have carpal tunnel).  We felt that we were so good at this, that at her first birthday party, I was already four months pregnant with Frankie.

Dirty diapers, dirty laundry, sleep deprivation, toys scattered everywhere, potty training, are everyday occurences in our home.  Motherhood doesn't look like a Norman Rockwell painting, where all of the family and children are gathered in their Sunday best, sitting around the fireplace in a spotless house.  There are some days that I just want to pull the covers back over my head, but I don't.  These little people need me, they depend on me, and even though things never go as planned, we go forward. 

This Mommy thing for me has never went exactly as intended, and there are days that I would like to just hit a pause button for about 12 hours and go back to those days before kids.  Then I think about how much joy they bring into my life, about how I miss them the few hours a week that I work.  Their smiling faces, snotty noses, and dirty little hands are the best.  I love slobber kisses and the sweet little germs that they give me.  This Mommy thing, it isn't as perfect and glamorous as some make it out to be.  It is a journey of a lifetime that lasts for a lifetime, and I'm loving every minute of it. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The SOUL of a shoe

I have been searching high and low for an good pair of boots for Liv the past few weeks, and finally I found a reasonable, cute pair yesterday that I just knew that she would love.  Of course, I was right, she could not get them on fast enough, they fit like and glove, and she LOVED them!  She actually loves them so much that yesterday and today both, she has refused to even take them off for her nap.  A three year old napping in her boots is one of the cutest things that I have seen.

When I was younger one of my favorite past times was going shoe shopping with my Mom and Granny.  On any given Saturday afternoon it was not unusual for the three of us to end up in the shoe section at Value City.  We took Value City shopping very seriously, (for those of you who don't know, Value City was like TJ Maxx is now).  On one occasion we went in the store to shop and it was "spitting" snow outside, and when we finished, there was about 4 inches of snow on the ground...those were fun times!  I would try on every pair of high heels I could reach.  Those were good times that the three of us will remember for a lifetime. 

I am addicted to shoes.  I tend to argue that a good pair of shoes can totally make or break an outfit.  I'm not some high end fashion guru, but shoes is like the period at the end of a sentence.  The last line of a good book.  The punch line of a joke.  Without them, the story would not be complete, and your feet might get cold!  I took the opportunity today to check my closet (which is a mess), and look at the many pairs of shoes I have, old and new, and take inventory.

I still have the first pair of high top Nike basketball shoes that I wore my freshman year in high school.  They are white with the classic red swoosh down the side.  They signified the first varsity ball game that I started in.  I remember it well.  It was a home game, we were playing Charlestown.  They had a girl on their team who was a senior who eventually went on to play in the WNBA.  I scored three points.  Not much, but for my first game as a freshman playing against such a good team, I was proud!  They were great shoes.

The next pair I noticed was wool clogs that I just had to have about 10 years ago.  They were expensive shoes, so expensive that my mom told me that she would buy one shoe, but I had to buy the other with my own money.  I wore them for years until they literally had a hole in the wool.  Once again, they were great shoes. 

Another pair of shoes that I came across were a  pair of pointed toe black stilettos.  My "dressy" shoes.  The go to pair that every woman has.  I actually bought these shoes to wear to my papaw's funeral.  It was sweltering that day late in August.  I wanted to look my best because he only deserved the best. 
I wore that same pair of shoes to my first Kentucky Derby.  We went in style, we had box seats.  I spent so much money on my hat, that I had to wear a dress and pair of shoes that I already had.  We had a great time, Big Brown won, I puked in a popcorn container, and I will Never. Drink. A mint julep. Ever. Ever. Again.

I have not one, but three pair of knee boots.  I know, a little excessive, but I LOVE them.  When I was about 20 months preggo with Liv, or at least it felt like 20 months, my husband made a bet with me one night that I could not get into my high heel knee boots that he LOVES as well.  I was out of breath, but after about 10 minutes of stretching and pulling, I got those babies zipped, and well, he lost the bet is all I have to say!  I had Liv that same week.

Running shoes, work shoes, flip flops, and flats.  Some are new, others are worn.  Our shoes say something about the person that wears them.  The right pair of shoes can make you feel just ordinary or make you feel extraordinary.  From the gym, to work, to a hot date, they take every step we make.  It may be time for me to clean out my closet, to let go of some of those shoes that I have held onto for so long.  The memories though, they will stay with me forever. 

What do your shoes say about you?