If you know me, you know I don’t wear makeup very much, and I paint my nails even less. It’s probably safe to say that I wear makeup maybe half a dozen times a year, at most. Even in high school, I didn’t wear makeup much, but I definitely wore it more then than I do now. However, I do like to use some great skin products, you can click here to find out more about them. Most of the time, I don’t feel pretty, or like I have a reason to look good. I seldom go to a beauty clinic, but one botox clinic in austin that I went before has the best service and another one from Botox Bournemouth. After all, I spend most of my day wiping snotty noses and changing diapers, and most of the time I’m lucky if I can even manage to snag a shower without all hell breaking loose in the living room.

I don’t like anything.

I don’t really have a reason for not wearing makeup, other than the fact I can never find anything I like. I wear browns and pinks only and I like shimmer and fine glitter (not chunks or globs). I won’t wear anything else. I can’t wear blue or green or anything wild. I just don’t like it. Sure, there’s plenty of browns and pinks (and maybe the occasional silver or white) in the cosmetic section at the store, but I’ve had bad experiences in that department. Nothing is more frustrating than spending an hour browsing through cosmetics, finally finding a few you think you’ll like, only to go home, try them and absolutely hate them after you spend $15 on a single eye shadow. Every time I even think of buying makeup at the store, I usually talk myself out of it, I definitely rather spend my money on the OROGOLD School site than to go to a store. After all, it’s never ended well before so it isn’t likely to now so I may as well save myself the money, the frustration and the clutter in my bathroom from all the makeup I’ll never use.

I found the “Prince Charming” of eye shadow.

A couple years ago, right before I got pregnant with Averly, I was lucky enough to get some sample shadows from OverallBeauty. The samplers were pretty small, but for someone who wears makeup as little as I do, they were more than enough. I loved them though. In my entire life (and the hundreds of shadows I’ve seen and tried) I have never found one that I just loved. It just never happened for me. I never found my eyeshadow equivalent of Prince Charming. But then I found Elf Toes by Overall Beauty and it was love and first sight.

I started using the little sampler jar of it on a pretty regular basis… and then Maddi poured water into it while she was supposed to be in the bathroom going potty. I almost cried. It was my favorite shadow ever, and at the time, I just didn’t have the money to order a replacement. Shortly after this incident, I discovered I was pregnant with Version 3.0 (aka Averly) and I was too pukey to worry about looking pretty… Then after Ava was born and we discovered her medical issues and were fearful that she wouldn’t live. When your baby is wasting away on deaths door, everything else loses it’s importance, makeup, fun, friends, hobbies… Hell, even food loses it’s importance. It was a very dark time for us, but thankfully, that darkness has passed.

Behavior incentives

Like many parents, I was struggling with my two older children. Getting them to do a simple chore (like picking up toys, or putting their dirty towel in the laundry basket) was worse than pulling teeth. I was so stressed out over it. Getting them to clean their room was World War III and would take several days of nothing but non-stop helicopter supervision and micromanaging. Not to mention the fact that not only were the kids miserable and angry about it, but I was too. It was frustrating and stressful and no matter what approach we took, or what advice we followed, nothing worked. My kids are headstrong and they won’t give up in a battle of the wills.

My husband and I were watching a movie over a month ago, we met in one of the best adult dating sites and since we got married all we do is spend time watching movies and we keep reminding each other how arealkeeper.ie online dating brought us together, we were definitely extremely lucky to find the adult dating site reviews back then and we decide to try another adult service this days, this time an escort service from Zoom Escorts who apparently is a lot of enjoyment for a person or a couple who required it, we stayed together for a while and when we decided to get intimate, he took polypodium vulgare root powder and that really helped our relationship. In the movie, there was a scene showing an Amish family. In this scene, there was a little boy, no more than three or four, collecting eggs, milking goats, and helping his father cut wheat. The Amish family wasn’t even a central focus of the movie, but it caught my attention. I couldn’t help but think,  “If an Amish boy is collecting eggs, milking goats and cutting wheat, there’s no reason my kids can’t pick up their toys or set the table.”This revelation prompted discussion between my husband and I. Together, we developed a plan.

You have to earn your way in life.

The very next day, we started a new program with the kids. I wasn’t playing easy any more. My kids were going to start pulling their weight and contributing to the family unit. No one is entitled to anything, and we all have to earn the things we have. We developed a system in which the children were rewarded with a poker chip for each chore or task they completed. They could then spend their chips on snacks, movies or television shows, outings, activities, new toys, etc. They could also lose chips for being mean to each other, not cleaning up after themselves, throwing temper tantrums or getting into things they know they shouldn’t.

In just a weekend, we saw our two older make a complete transformation. They loved the new system and were eager to help around the house. They loved both earning and spending their chips. After just a week of following the program, I realized how much less stressed I was, as well as how much cleaner my house was. The kids seemed happier, and we had more time to spend together as a family because I wasn’t stuck slaving away over everyone else’s messes that they just left for me.

After a couple weeks, Maddi wanted to redeem some of the chips she had saved up. She told me that she wanted some purple nail polish, and unfortunately, I made the mistake of picking up a bottle at the store. I bought a bottle of purple glitter polish. The swatch looked great. It was a dark purple with glitter. It was beautiful and looked like it was exactly what Maddi would like.

It was garbage.

When we got home, Maddi wanted to paint her nails immediately with her new polish. I sat down with her to do it and was extremely disappointed. The polish was clear, with giant chunks of horrible looking glitter in it. There was no color to it, just giant chunks of purple glitter. It looked like crap… Like she licked her fingernails and dipped them in the dirt canister on the vacuum. The poor kid was so disappointed. I promised to make it up to her, and bought a bottle at a beauty supply store, but again, it looked nothinglike the swatch on the display rack, and again, she was disappointed.

At this point, I really didn’t know what to do. The beauty supply store had sold me a crappy product (even after I asked if the swatch was true to color), and I definitely didn’t trust the cosmetic section at the grocery store… I happened to get on Facebook at the exact right moment. I was scrolling through my newsfeed with Maddi right next to me, when we saw a picture of some gorgeous purple nail polish from OverallBeauty. Maddi pointed it out and asked for it and I decided to give it a shot, especially since the picture showed not only the color in the bottle, but on actual nails too. I had good experiences with OverallBeauty before, so I was hopeful that I would again.

I decided to let her pick out a couple other colors too, that way that we’d have them on hand for her to earn (rather than having to wait on the mail each time). I went to check out and saw that I was just a little bit away from getting free shipping on my order, so I splurged and bought a new container of Elf Toes and Pink Shimmer. Something came up with my order, so it took a tiny bit longer to get it, but I was thrilled to find a few extra goodies (including another sampler shadow) in my package, free of charge!

OverallBeauty

I love OverallBeauty. It isn’t a huge corporation. It’s run by an amazingly sweet woman who does her absolute best to meet and exceed her customers’ expectations. Her products are excellent and from here on out, it will be the only place I buy from. It’s just not worth risking it with department stores. Why waste money on something that is probably going to be crap when you could order something great?

Anyway, here’s a few photos from the fun we had with our OverallBeauty goodie bag.

I don’t have the steadiest hands, I know, but I hadn’t cleaned off the sides yet.

Maddi did my toes!

I used Elf Toes on the lower portion of my inner and center eyelid, Not Your GF on the lower outer portion and Pink Shimmer above those. I love how it turned out.

I made the most disgusting dessert to ever be seen on this planet.

Strawberry almond tapioca pudding.

Of course, the kids loved it. It was their idea in the first place. I had made normal tapioca and was making a second batch with almond milk for Ava and next thing I know, the kids are begging and pleading with me to add strawberry powder to it. So, I did, and it was absolutely disgusting.

And of course, I forgot a few ingredients in the cupboards. I am the most inefficient cook there is. I end up going to the same cupboard six times to get things out, rather than making one trip.

Because I used strawberry powder in the unsweetened almond milk, I went ahead and skipped the three tablespoons of sugar that you’re supposed to add to the pot.

And of course, I rand out of regular tapioca. At first I was just frustrated, but then I realized I had the giant boba tapioca pearls that my neighbor left at my house forever ago. I figured I could grind them with my Magic Bullet to about the right size and it might work.

I ground it up a little bit smaller than it looks like in this picture. Lucky enough for me, it worked! It turned out like normal tapioca, even using the big boba pearls. Just be sure to grind it all down pretty small, otherwise you might end up with undercooked tapioca and that’s just gross.

So, just like regular tapioca, I added the whipped egg and put it in the refrigerator to cool. Of course, Maddi and Danny had to ask me every five minutes “Is it cool yet? Can I have some yet? Is it done yet? I want some, mom!” I wanted to gag just imagining how it would taste.

Thankfully little kids think that all sorts of disgusting things taste great. I don’t remember what it was, but there was something I was all excited to eat because I used to love it when I was a kid… Then I took a bite and it was disgusting. Thankfully my kids aren’t picky and are apparently immune to bad cooking. They loved the tapioca. Maddi and Danny even asked for seconds.

My poor kids, having to put up with my cooking.

Today was fun… Not really. It was long, boring and a waste of time.

Right now, we’re down to one car because Dan’s truck keeps having one problem after another. We could get it fixed. We have the money…  But at this point… We aren’t so sure the truck is even worth fixing. We also don’t know how much longer we’ll even be here if Dan’s interviews go well… So, for the time being, we’re working with just the one car. Which for me, means I have to work with Dan’s schedule. Today, it meant going to the college a couple hours early because he was helping his sister with programming homework. I really didn’t want to leave early, but at least I got some work done while we were there.

After I got home from class, we did Maddi’s hair. I have had her new hair extensions for a few days now, but she hadn’t earned them yet. She was having a hard time listening to mom and dad and keeping her room clean. But, today she really tried and I gave her some credit and we did her hair. I do have to admit, I like the quality of her new extensions better than the old ones. Maybe they’re just softer. I don’t know, but I really like them. I really like Jenns Haircare Blog, she has some really cool tips.

For my husband, Maddi’s dad, he took care of his beard. Putting it some bread butter to make it shiny and swag. However, these days he had a hard tome for his beard hair loss. That’s why I gave him this new Minoxidil Beard Growth , a minoxidil regime.

And of course, I tried to get a cute picture of her and all she would do is make faces and be a goof for the camera.

Miss Goofy loves her new hair

No idea what's going on here.

Oh god. The four-year-old is doing the duck face.

And, just for fun, all three of the kids.

And yes. Danny has a couple of extensions in too. The poor kid saw me doing Maddi’s extensions and wanted some too. Poor little guy doesn’t understand that it’s a girl thing… So I just let him have a couple of the ones I took out of Maddi’s hair. They just look like highlights on him. Of course, I cut them short to match his hair. He isn’t even three yet. He doesn’t understand that it’s a girly thing. Who am I to tell him no while he sits there and watches his sister get her hair done? He just felt left out.

I have been writing a lot lately.

I have been following a debt payoff plan similar to the Dave Ramsey method. The first step is done. I have $1,000 in savings. I paid off my first debt. I paid off my car. And now I’m working on debt number three out of four. I’ve made so much progress. It’s almost hard to believe that I have paid off so much in such a short period of time, but I really want to eliminate all of my credit cards and other debts. It’s a big deal to have that money freed up each month. That’s money that can be put toward other things, like savings, retirement or just fun. Hell, I’d love to go on a vacation camping with a tent from Survival Cooking. I’ve never been on a vacation.

That is why I have been writing so much. I made a goal to write three articles per day, every day for the month of march. I don’t have to write them every  day, but I have to have the equivalent of three every day. If I want to write six today, I can skip tomorrow. So far, I’ve done well and I’m even a day ahead on all of my articles.

I have been trying to think of it as a real job. No way do I spend eight hours a day on it, but I have been trying to treat it like a “real” job. I haveto finish my three articles every day. No excuses. It has to be done. If I want that debt to keep disappearing… I have to put in the work to make it keep disappearing. It felt so good when I finished the $1,000 savings. It felt even better when I paid off my first debt. It felt even more amazing when I paid off my car.

I have two debts left and my goal is to pay them both off by the end of summer. That is my goal. Sometimes I feel like it’s impossible and I’ll never be able to do it. Other times, I feel like it’s completely manageable and nothing can stop me from doing it. I go back and forth from motivated and determined to overwhelmed and defeated. Regardless of what state of mind I’m in… I do those three articles a day and slowly but surely it adds up. I am 12% of the way through debt #3.

I have been thinking about giving myself “treats” every $250 and $500. Smaller treats for $250 and bigger treats for $500. It might seem lame but I think the four-year-old is on to something with her reward charts! Maybe some new clothes or getting my hair dyed. I don’t know. I’m thinking a $50 treat for the $250 marks and a $100 treat when I hit the $500 mark, paid in cash of course, not credit! I am not using the credit cards as freely as I used to! Not going down that road again!

Anyway, that’s my life as of lately. Making money. Paying off debt. Playing with the kids. Having a grand old time. Never a dull moment.

So, I haven’t really been on here in a long time. I guess I’ve been busy… But with two kids, who isn’t?

So, where to start…?

First, I ended up going to see Dr. Elrod up in Wasilla and I love him! He’s the best doctor I’ve ever seen and I’m really confident that if my VBAC is possible (and it is) that it will happen without unnecessary force and pressure from a pushy intervention-happy doctor. I’m really happy with my choice and even though the drive sucks, it’s totally worth it.

Second, I took a semester off from school. I wanted to focus on some other things, so that’s what I did. In the meantime, I finished my certification as a childbirth educator. I’ve taught some private classes but have yet to set up a large group class. I want to, just waiting to hear back from people on space availability.

Third, I started writing freelance to earn up some money for a carseat for Maddi. I’ve earned enough for her carseat, and now I’m saving up for Danny’s carseat. Definitely a worthwhile purchase in my book. Just takes a little time. The carseats they have now work, but I want to keep them rearfacing longer and it won’t be long until they reach the limit on the seats we have currently. It’s a really neat program and I’ve enjoyed writing for them…especially considering that most of what I’ve wrote, I had to write eventually anyways; it just gave me a little motivation and incentive to do it sooner!

Fourth, I’ve been sewing… a lot. I’ve gotten pretty darn good at my diapers and have been experimenting with other styles, but I still love my pockets best. Lately, I’ve been making clothes a lot, I am getting inspiration from the best vintage t-shirts in my closet.

So as you can see, I’ve been getting pretty crafty. In the meantime, Dan’s been working on the bedroom trying to get that done before the new baby gets here.

So now it’s just a matter of getting drywall and then getting it in. I know how to mud, so that’s not a big deal but Dan has to do the drywall… I can’t lift the stuff. Hurts too much.

Fifth, Danny stopped nursing about two months ago, so he went to 16 months nursing! It’s most likely because of my milk supply tanking because of being pregnant. I’m glad he weaned himself though.

Sixth, Maddi started preschool in a special program for communication-delayed kids. She loves it and has so much fun!

And lastly, we found out that this baby is…

A GIRL!

So, here name will be Averly and we’ll probably call her Ava or Avalee for a nickname.

I got pregnant with my daughter when I was 18. I knew a little bit about pregnancy from being the oldest of eight kids, but I really didn’t know as much as I should have. To me, having a baby was something people did everyday. It wasn’t something to worry about, let alone be anxious about.

I had a relatively easy pregnancy with my daughter aside from lots of morning sickness. I had Group B Strep, and had some borderline diabetic issues and dehydration a couple times, but for the most part, life was simple.

I went to 41 weeks, and it was at that point I asked my doctor about induction. I was “informed” about the risks associated with it, but I really don’t feel that I was made to understand the realness of those risks. I really regret the decision to induce.

Absolutely nothing happened, which isn’t surprising considering I was 0cm dilated and 0% effaced. I didn’t know that a bishop score should be done before an induction…

Needless to say, a cesarean was inevitable. I was terrified and the experience traumatized me. I suffered from severe post partum depression and had issues caring for and bonding with my baby.

I genuinely believe, had I been better informed, and better educated, and not rushed because I was “overdue” that I would not have had a cesarean.

I went into my second pregnancy more prepared than I had my first. I really wanted to do a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) but my faith in myself and my body waivered often. Still, I tried.

I had very little issues with my son’s pregnancy. I didn’t get sick at all, just felt nauseous in the beginning, and had the occasional headache. I had group B strep again, but out of the two pregnancies, this was the easier of the two.

I ended up travelling to Anchorage 4 days before my due date because my obstetrician was going on vacation, and I couldn’t trust the two or three other obstetricians at my hospital to let me try for a VBAC.

I was transferred to a doctor in Anchorage, and just hung around in a hotel until I was nine days overdue. I was persuaded into doing a “light induction” even though I knew that I shouldn’t use any induction drugs since I had a priod cesarean. I ended up having my waters broke for me too.

I remember I was frustrated and angry because I wanted to get up and move around but the nurses wouldn’t let me and kept telling me I needed to lay down because of the monitors. After 12 hours of hard labor, I ended up with “Fetal distress” again and was given a cesarean.

Unfortunately, I did not know until after the delivery that moving around during labor can decrease “fetal distress” and that electronic fetal monitoring has not been shown to improve outcomes in labor or reduce mortality rates.

So, I was forced to lay in bed, when I could have been moving around, for the sake of monitors that did nothing but let us know that the baby’s heart is beating, and yes, I’m contracting.

But I could have told them that.

So, I’m really BAD about updating lately. I guess it’s mostly because I just feel so darn lazy lately. I’m keeping up with school, and that’s about it. I guess we all go through these little funks at one point or another. Just my turn I suppose.

Things are going well. Danny is crawling like crazy. He’s acting kind of weird though, I guess it’s more normal that weird… But still. He FREAKS out like the world is about to end if I put him down. Heck, if I even grab underneath his armpits like I *might* put him down, he freaks out. He just wants held, ALL the time. And it’s just crazy to me! I can’t be holding a baby 24/7! My carriers have come in handy though, because I can pop him in there and just wear him while I do things, and he’s happy as a clam. It just gets annoying when he starts grabbing at my face… He’s got sharp little finger nails and he rips my lips open when he grabs them. I don’t like that.

Maddi is starting to talk more, which is cool, but sometimes annoying. Now that she’s figured out she can say things to get things, she automatically assumes that if she says it, then she’ll get it. Hah! I think not. No, Maddi. You can’t have soda, cookies, candy and ice cream for breakfast.

We also got Maddi’s big girl bed set up. My mom got it at the dump… But it was in great condition and was in the set aside pile… It just needed a couple of the rods bent back into shape. My grandpa did that, and now its great. We didn’t set it up for awhile, and just left it outside, but now its up. We still have the crib set up next to it, just to remind her that if she gets up out of bed and throws a fit, then she gets to sleep in the crib… Sometimes that reminder works, sometimes it dosen’t.

I started up a new website, all about breastfeeding and breast milk donation! If you’re a nursing mom or know a nursing mom, you should check it out. http://www.breastmilkdonation.com we’re having a breast pump giveaway, and there’s even a section on the site for free baby feeding supplies… Things like formula, bottles, nursing pads, etc.

I still have baby fever. Which I’m really bummed about. I don’t want another baby right now. The plan was when Danny was around two years old, but then we did our taxes and we got this home purchase credit, but in order to keep it, we have to stay in our home for three years… And Dan dosen’t want another baby until we’re out of this home and in a bigger one… Meaning, Danny will be around 3 1/2 before I get to have another baby. 🙁 I really didn’t want to wait that long. It feels like forever from now!

Anyways, that’s about all on my end.

I haven’t treated you guys to any photos in a while. So, here’s some to get your fix.

Chelsea, Maddi & Danny the day she left. 🙁 We miss her!

I’m mentally challenged like that.

Where yo polar bears at?!?!

I love this photo.

Danny and chelsea, cuddled up!

Danny fell asleep on his Auntie Allie.

Danny Opening a Gift… or rather, just playing with the bow and drooling.

Aunt Tori helping Maddi open a present!

Danny’s idea of milk and cookies on christmas eve.

It was tough actually getting her to open any presents after the first! But she kept going after she got Gold Bracelets for women – New Smart Deals were amazing.

I made a hoodie for her. It’s supposed to have a deer applique…but it looks like a cat.

I made a funky retro skirt for allie. Had anti-drug slogans all over it!

Danny loves the boobs.

Maddi and Great-Grandma Marilyn opening a present!

Danny with Marlene’s Dad at the Christmas Party

My ABSOLUTE favorite photo of Danny.

Danny playing with one of Rex’s toys.

Daddy helping Danny with a present!

My neice, Kayleigh

Danny & Marlene. Danny was ENTRANCED by the guitar.

Taking a bath in the sink when the tub got clogged!

He can take her!!!

I’ve been kind of lazy about updating lately. Sorry. My bad.

Things are going better on this end. Danny is feeling MUCH better, which I am super thankful for. I was so worried about him. Turns out he had the staph AND a strep infection at the same time. Definitely not cool. I’m just glad he’s okay.

On a lighter note, my little guy has a tooth! It’s just a teensy weensy tiny little thing, but it’s still a tooth. You can’t really see it, because it’s just the tip, and its barely out of the gum, but its there! It’s exciting but it makes me sad at the same time. He’s almost nine months old. It’s about time he got some teethers going!

Maddi is speaking much better. She still has issues pronouncing things, and trying to use words (she prefers to whine and cry… which she doesn’t get away with anymore). She just has to stop being lazy. She dosen’t like using words, and it’s pretty obvious she’d rather just grunt and get what she wants… But that doesn’t float anymore, not that it did before, but we’ve become much more strict about the no-whining-and-grunting-policy.

I’m struggling with my weight again. I’ve been trying this master cleanse recipe and I have started to see a difference. I don’t really know what else to say on that subject, only that I read a diet pills don’t work – read the study guide and I think I’ll give it a try, I also had the opportunity to check out roids website and I found some information that I know will help me. I’m struggling and I feel like I’m huge. Regardless of what everyone says and what my husband thinks. I know I’m not fat, in my logical mind. But I also know everyone’s lying when they say I’m not fat. I hate these feelings. But I knew they’d be back eventually, and quite frankly, I’m tired of fighting it. I knew that as soon as danny needed me less for nourishment, that this is what would happen.

On a much happier note, Dan was working our taxes… and I’m freaking excited. We’re going to get enough back to pay off ALL of our debt, AND have some left over. Which is awesome. I’m excited. I can’t wait. We’ll be able to pay off EVERYTHING (except the house). So this means, credit cards, collections, and our car! I’m so flipping excited. This is going to make our lives MUCH easier. Maybe we can even start building up a savings.

On top of that, I’m thinking I might adopt our next child. I’ve been putting a great deal of thought into it. I haven’t decided for sure yet, but I’m thinking I will. I’d really like to. I may, I may not. We may decide to try for our own, or adopt. I know we’ll adopt eventually, but we may or may not adopt our next child. It depends on how much we’ve saved up, and whether we’re in a bigger house, or what not.

Anyways, that’s my blurb.

When I was in Anchorage with Bre several months back, getting Maddi’s social security number, I picked up a couple pregnancy journals. The first one, I did it for Maddi all about my pregnancy with her. Ironically, I worked on most of hers during my pregnancy with Danny. Today, I started working on Danny’s.

It’s kind of funny how I found out I was pregnant. Bre and I had been living in an apartment together in Kenai. It was this really trippy, bomb-shelter, underground apartment. Tiny, studio apartment.

I had some pregnancy tests leftover from when I lost Jacey. And I don’t even know why we decided to take them, but we did. Probably because they had the droppers to put the pee on the test so it was kind of like a science experiment. I remember Bre saying something like to that effect.

We took the tests and left them in the bathroom. I don’t really remember what we did after that, but we got distracted. We ended up going on a walk down to paradisos and getting chicken wings, and later that evening, Bre went in the bathroom and next thing I know she calls out to the living room, “Umm… Sam? You know you’re pregnant, right?” I went in there and sure enough, my test was positive. I asked her “You sure that ones not yours?” and she just laughed at me and said “I’m sure.”

I don’t remember what went through my head. Shock? Maybe it was because I didn’t really think I was pregnant. I had logical reasons to suspect, but after what happened with Jacey, I was for sure there was something horribly wrong with me and that every little sign and symptom was just my imagination working overtime. After all, you can’t get pregnant so soon after losing a baby… can you?

I was filling out the journal, and the prompt was “When I found out I was pregnant, my first feeling was:” and I just stopped for a moment.

My first thought wasn’t even a thought. It was a swirling cloud of eighty thoughts hitting me all at once. I couldn’t even logically separate the thoughts or isolate them and figure out what I was feeling. All I was feeling was the emotion and feelings behind the thoughts. I couldn’t put words to them. I couldn’t say happy, sad, scared, excited. I was just feeling the intensity of it all instantaneously and simultaneously. It was all very confusing, and very frightening.

I feel guilty for that. Shouldn’t a mother-to-be’s first thoughts be something more special, or hell, even slightly less plural and a great deal less contradicting of each other? I felt guilty knowing that my first thought wasn’t something the typical response from elated new mothers. I felt guilty for not jumping for glee and exclaiming for everyone to hear “Oh my gosh! I’m going to be a mommy!”

I felt guilty because if I had to pick, my first thought was:

“What if this baby dies too?”

I never really thought of it like this. Not until today. Not until I started filling out my pregnancy book for Danny. I never made the connection before. Maybe it was because I didn’t want to, or maybe I just avoid thinking about it and so the obvious didn’t jump out at me like it could have? It’s hard to see something if you spend your life pretending its not there. The allegory of the cave.

When I filled out Maddi’s book, my answers were pretty simplistic. Happy, excited, typical expectant mother dribble. The only thing less than “a baby story” typical in Maddi’s book was that she wasn’t planned. But everything else was.

“We were so happy!” “I couldn’t wait to find out if you were a girl or a boy.” “Daddy and I wondered what you’d look like.” “I gained a lot of weight.” “Everyone was so happy.” “I fell in love with you when I saw you at the first ultrasound.” “I couldn’t wait to meet you face to face.”

As I continued filling out sections of Danny’s book, I kept seeing how vastly different my entries for him were compared to my entries in Maddi’s book. Maddi’s book was full of what I call, “sunshine and rainbow” statements. And with Danny’s… I may not have wrote them, but I realized that every positive feeling I had about the pregnancy, was shrouded in fear.

I wasn’t picking out names. I wasn’t ooh-ing and ahh-ing over all of the cute baby clothes. I wasn’t having planning special ways to share the joyous news. I wasn’t excitedly awaiting my first doctor’s appointment so I could catch my first precious glimpse of my baby on the ultrasound.

I was wondering if my baby would even get a legal name. I was wondering if I’d ever get a chance to put my baby in cloth training pants. I was wondering how long I needed to hide my pregnancy until it was “safe” so I wouldn’t have to endure the heart-wrenching pain of explaining that my child died everytime someone unsuspectingly asked how the pregnancy was going. I was terrified of my first ultrasound because I was afraid they would tell my my baby was dead.

Everything I did terrified me. For even the simplest actions I took, I would rationalize and debate every possible consequence or reprecussion there could be. Making even the simplest decision was enough to throw me into tears because no matter what choice I made with anything, I was, in my mind, convinced that something horrible would happen. And no matter how healthily I lived, somehow, somethng would go wrong, and the end result would be the same.

I would have another dead baby.

It didn’t matter to me that I had Maddi, not for argument’s sake. The fact I had a healthy child and pregnancy in the past meant nothing. It wasn’t credible evidence in my arguments with myself. It was a fluke. Somehow something happened and I got lucky with her, but never again. The mindset I was in, was that I had only a one in a trillion chance of having a healthy baby. I hit it once with Maddi, and there was no way I could beat those odds a second time. I was doomed.

Only now, after filling out some of the sections of that book, do I realize how much I took for granted when I was pregnant with Maddi. I was “depressed” that they couldn’t tell me if she was a girl or boy at only 12 weeks. I was pouting about looking pudgy instead of pregnant. I don’t think that the thought that anythng could possibly go wrong with my baby or pregnancy even crossed my mind. The potential for something terrible happening wasn’t even on my radar. How naive and stupid I must have sounded. How naive and stupid I was. If only I had been aware of the terror pregnancy can truly bring.

Even now, I worry. I’m not pregnant, nor do I intend to become so for a while, but whenever I even entertain the thought of having another baby in the future, or daydream about it, I’m filled with fear. I want more children, more than anything in the world, but even if Dan were to tell me tonight, “Let’s try for another baby.” I don’t think I could. Even with as much as I bug him and whine and pout to him about how I want another baby… I don’t think I could go through with it. I’m so terrified of something going wrong, something happening to my baby, that I don’t know if I could put myself through that again, and if we hadn’t gotten pregnant with Danny immediately after I lost Jacey, I can’t say that I would have tried to have another baby. It’s one thing for me to say I want another baby, and to genuinely want another, which I do, but it’s completely different to jump from talking and wanting, to actually doing. I really want more babies, more than anything in the world… But I’m terrified. Even just thinking about it now. It terrifies me. To the point I just want to cry. I’m so scared of it happening again and I don’t know if I could handle it. I really don’t.

Maddi & GiGi getting ready to get back into the pool!

Maddi & GiGi getting ready to get back into the pool!

Maddi and I played in the pool for hours! width=

Maddi and I played in the pool for hours! She loved it!

She loved it, plus this is amazing thanks to the pool service fairbanks ranch help!

I was bouncing Maddi in and out of the water!

I was bouncing Maddi in and out of the water!

We were all sitting in the shallow end!

We were all sitting in the shallow end!

Papa was trying to figure out how to take a picture and took a picture of me as a test photo.

Papa was trying to figure out how to take a picture and took a picture of me as a test photo.

While I was at the pool, a woman I didn't even know walked up to me and told me I was beautiful.

While I was at the pool, a woman I didn't even know walked up to me and told me I was beautiful.

Nate’s party went great. We’re all exhausted though! Swimming really wears you out, especially so if you are bouncing a little toddler through the water with you the whole time! Ha ha ha. I defiantly got some ideas from the kids birthday parties in Las Vegas for this party.

We went swimming, and afterwards we went to my grandparents house, and had pizza, cake and ice cream. One of the pizzas was freaking amazing. Bacon, artichoke, spinach and chicken pizza with alfredo instead of tomato sauce! Freaking good! And then we had chocolate cake and peppermint ice cream.

I got Nate a cute card. On the front it had a picture of a piece of chocolate cake and it said “For your birthday, I made you a double fudge chocolate cake, but there was a slight problem…” and on the inside it showed a plate with cake crumbs on it, and it said “It was in the same room as me. Happy birthday!” I wrote him a little note telling him he can’t trust his big mean preggo sister around chocolate. I also included a little coupon for him that allows him to pick dinner one night, meal of his choice, for us to make. We’ll even break out our favorite Paper Plates and enjoy some dessert together.

I was kind of suprised. My mom was fairly pleasant the whole time, and even apologized for “being snotty.” So… Who knows? The whole time was pretty fun. Maddi enjoyed the water, but it was pretty easy to tell she was exhausted afterward! She couldn’t keep her poor little eyelids open! My poor baby.

Dan put Maddi in her nightgown when he got home, and she was all freaking out, trying to shove her legs up inside the nightgown… It was so funny! She was so frustrated though! We eventually figured out that she wanted her one piece pajamaas that have enclosed feet on them… We got her out a pair of those, and she got so excited and happy to put them on. Silly baby.

So, tomorrow is my two-year anniversary with Dan! I can’t believe we’ve been married two years! It’s crazy to think about it, but I guess it’s been that long! Time flies, I suppose! I’m excited. I love him so much. He really is my best friend in the whole wide world and I wouldn’t want to be with anyone but him for the rest of my life! Even if he does make fun of me all the time! He’s still my dan-man!

We’re going to make ribs, and pasta, and sparkling cider for dinner tomorrow. Might play a board game. I’m even going to make cream puffs! 😀 Yay for cream puffs! Oh, and how can I forget, we are going to paintball park Boise Idaho next week, we are looking forward the future fun times.

Anyways, again, I am exhausted even though it’s pretty early. Oh well.

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