Monday, July 27, 2015

Life Has Sucked...not gonna lie.

This is for Eric, my amazing husband who is really missing the blog. Haha. Trying to get us back to "normal." We need it. I'm going to try not to ramble as I catch you up, but you know...not always the best at that. :)

So the last few weeks of my life have been extremely difficult. There are so many things that have contributed to that, most we haven't told anyone about, but the primary catalyst has been Eric's job (as you know) and several facets of what that entails. Our marriage has never been put to the test the way it has this month. Eric and I have both reached a breaking point...we hit bottom...thank goodness there is only one way to go from there (and things are better now) but I was so so blue for quite a while. The stress became way too much. I still feel a little fragile as I write this, and I hesitate to talk about it even's hard to share. But I can't be my authentic self without letting you know where I am emotionally. Fragile, but much better than where I was this time a couple of weeks ago.

Normally that is just life, and life gets hard sometimes. But in the middle of it all, Eric and I were convinced we were expecting Robert baby #5. Seriously. I had every symptom that I've ever had with all four of my first babies...every one. My period was late. I was an emotional mess. It was clear to us what was going on, but we were in denial...noooo! I mean, don't get me wrong. Clearly, we love babies. :) But we are not interested in a Robert baby #5 right now. Just not.

I took a pregnancy test. Negative. But I remained unconvinced.

Two days later, another test, another negative. Still, my body was giving me every signal that I was pregnant. One Saturday morning the family was in the kitchen and we were scurrying around with breakfast and getting Eric out the door for his job at the radio station. I was stopped dead in my tracks by sharp pains in my left ovary. They would go away momentarily and then shoot back again. I have never felt pain quite like that. I could hear it in Eric's voice and see it in his furrowed brow...he was worried. So was I. By the time he was walking out the door we were sure that I must have some sort of cyst or something that was throwing me off physically and emotionally. The pain went away and never came back, and lo and behold, a few hours later my mind was finally put at ease when my period came - well over a week late.

We are still unsure of what caused the strange symptoms and pain, but I have an appointment with my OB this Thursday, and hopefully we will get some answers then. Prayers are appreciated!

This is where I interject a huge "thank you" to Eric who has been the most supportive and encouraging team mate I could ever have. It's true that he is sometimes the cause of my stress (ha!) but he can always talk me down from it, talk me through it. I cannot tell you how many looong conversations we have had late into the night laying next to each other, on walks, on the phone, and (perhaps worst of all) via messaging each other when he is on one of his many trips away. (This week it's back to New week - Boston.) He is so sweet. I have always supported everything that Eric does, 100%. For the past few weeks, he has had to reassure me over and over again. I would never want to be in this position with another person - ever. He knows just the right way to talk to me, and I love him for it.

While our life has been full of stresses that I can't even talk about, the kids have been staying so busy this summer, totally unaware of the craziness that mom and dad have been putting up with! Other than Reagan running to grab me the occasional tissue (what else is new?) nothing has changed at all for them.

The girls have been on the go constantly, thanks in big part to their grandma Joan. At one point they were in day camp for 4-5 hours during the day, at Vacation Bible School at night, and they sprinkled some swim lessons in the morning for good measure. They have been to the fair and they've been blackberry picking...

...the fruits of their labor turned promptly into pie.

We've been getting our money's worth from the water slide (and I owe that thing my first summer tan in years, haha.)

We enjoyed the family fun night at church where the kids ran around playing lawn games and we stuffed ourselves with hot dogs and nachos and sno cones.

Baby Charlotte has GROWN. She is turning into a different little person, so squealy and giggly and just plain loud. She wants to be heard in all this madness. :) She has mastered head control and is an official little Bumbo sitter.

We adore her. She reminds me more and more of Evelyn every day. 

As for me, I've traded in the internet for books...real feels so good to read again. I've devoured novels in days. Eric and I are currently reading "The Girl on the Train." In between presidential biographies, Eric does enjoy a good mystery now and then. :) And that means that when we're in the car together, you might just catch us nerding out with audiobooks in lieu of music these days.

That also means that I've been neglecting friendships for a while, and I am so so sorry to those of you that I mostly have internet relationships with. When I'm not feeling great, I cannot stand Facebook. I think most of you get it, haha. I don't need 20 unnecessary angry flares a day from posted ignorance when I'm already feeling down. The abounds! :D I'm easing back into it. At least I'm going to try. Like I said...fragile. Haha. And I need to catch up with blogs as well. I miss people. People that are over four feet tall.

There are some fun things on the horizon and this Friday Eric plans to take a much needed day off so that we can reconnect as a family. Also for his own mental health, of course. Totally necessary. I may have been feeling icky lately, but I've slowly but surely been gaining myself back post-pregnancy, and that feels good as well. I've hit my "wedding weight" and I finally have fun shopping again, and that's always a great place to be. :) Eric has just set up a "jungle gym" (as the kids call it) in our itty bitty living space, which is actually some sort of gym equipment thingy meant for strength training, and as soon as our basement is cleared out we will be getting our own home gym. He's gonna be my personal trainer, because let me tell you what four kids in five years will do to a body - I'm weak! Muscle mass...what is that?? :) Looking forward to feeling great!

It's a new day. I'm a phoenix rising from the ashes! Is that dramatic? Probably just a little bit. 

So that's it! Most of it. We are here and alive. We were barely making it for a while...I mean seriously, pathetic. But we're moving on up, and Eric Joseph - I hope you're happy now. ;)

Later taters.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Fourth of July Weekend!

Eric decided he wasn't busy enough, so he took on a fourth job!

I'm kidding of course, I'd shoot him in the kneecaps! :D 

We had a wonderful day last Friday...he was home all day long and we got to spend the afternoon together, just shopping and doing things like normal people. Glorious! So much better than the normal rush around thing we call "date night." When we stopped in to exchange some shirts at Joseph A. Banks, they just let Eric behind the counter to do his thing, haha. We were back in time that evening to get the whole family together for a walk. I wish he had every Friday off. (I mean, who wouldn't wish that?)

Eric always works on Saturday. I can count on one hand the times he's missed, and one of them was our wedding day. So despite the fact that it was the 4th of July he trekked to the radio station and then came home to us later in the afternoon. We had plans for a bbq at my parent's house - of course! Can you guess which plate was my husband's?

The meaty man plate. Haha.

We also happened to be celebrating my brother Justin's 18th birthday. (EIGHTEEN??) His birthday is on July 3, so he pretty much always shares it with the holiday. Neither of my brother's are big on regular cake...not sure what is wrong in their when my mom saw a recipe for a homemade ice cream cake on Facebook, she just HAD to try it. When my mom gets an idea in her head - watch out! She will jump through lots of hoops to make it happen...and she sure did. :)

The recipe called for a marshmallow topping and for this s'mores cake to be put in the broiler briefly to toast the marshmallows. Ice cream in the broiler? We were all curious to see how this was going to turn out!

Everything seemed to be okay as we were singing Happy Birthday....

And then it was the moment of truth.

 It worked!

It was a good cake! RICH, but good. :)

We hijacked the birthday boy for a little bit to come and try to get a family photo of us. We have very few of these with the WHOLE family all at once. This used to be my sister Shannon's job, haha. But Justin did just swell with the camera! Thanks, bud. 

Evie's always blowing kisses at the camera!

Eric was set to fly out the next morning, and he had some work to do before he left. So we took the two little ones and had a nice and relaxing (quiet!) evening at home. Reagan and Charlotte were OUT much sooner than usual. The girls went with my parent's to my aunt Merry's house where they have several ponds and, from what I hear, a ton of fireworks! Evie and Grace roasted marshmallows and watched things explode until well past their bedtime. They were happy kids when they walked in the door that evening. Gracie was dressed and ready to go for the day at holiday obsessed I am so glad she and her big sister got to enjoy the festivities! If I had pictures I'd show you...but...I wasn't there. :)

Our weekend was cut short thanks to Eric leaving us on Sunday morning. I'm really over the Sunday flights, let me tell ya! He's gone for four full days this week, which doesn't sound like a lot, but it feels like forever. Neither of us could believe that yesterday was "only" Monday. Blah! Haha. Thank goodness for the day we had on Friday. That definitely helped!

The girls are getting ready for a peach and blackberry adventure with their grandma at Eckert's this afternoon, and I'm just here holding down the fort! I think the most exciting thing on my agenda this week is getting my driver's license renewed. (Woo. Hoo.) I know that is some riveting stuff! I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July!!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Monthly Wrap Up - June!

Happy Four Months, Charlotte! Yesterday. :)

I would be lying if I said everything was all sunshine and daises today. This little one kept me up all.night.long. It's not something that happens often, but when it kind of sucks. She sure is cute, though!!

Charlotte grew by leaps and bounds this month, going from not only a baby who could flip from front to back, but a baby who can roll just about anywhere she wants to go. This of course causes some complications, as many parents know... our roly poly fell off the bed this month. This is how Charlotte felt about that:

I know I know,  my child. I had no idea you possessed the ability to go from the middle to the edge of a king sized bed in .02 seconds! 

It's a sick feeling when you hear that thud, and you just know before you even hear a cry. Blaaaah. She's not the first. 

But with that newfound strength and mobility, our baby has also mastered the art of crazy head control, and soon and very soon I will finally have a hip sitting baby. Oh, how much easier life will be when I can just sling a baby on my hip! 

No one cranes this child's neck more than her daddy. When he comes home and she hears his voice...that's it. Only eyes for him. Eric possess this special touch that can calm her and put her to sleep sometimes even when I can't. Something tells me we have a daddy's girl on our hands!

She also LOVES all the attention she gets from her big sisters and watches intently as the older three run around the house. I think she's ahead of the game, because she knows she has to be to keep up! 

Evelyn insisted on being in this picture...

And speaking of my oldest child...this girl makes me laugh. She thinks about things that I'm not sure most six year olds think about. "Will Charlotte be a home mom, or a working mom?" she asked me this morning.

"Uh, I guess that is up to Charlotte!"

"Hmm. Well. If I decide to be a working mom, will you babysit my kids?"

Haha. What in the world? Of course that hit me with the stark realization that I will likely, never, find myself without kids to take care of. :) 

Evelyn brings up conversations like this all of the time. In fact, just a couple of hours ago we were discussing how people take out a loan to buy a house. I just...don't even know. She's a curious kid!

Evelyn's favorite things right now are: being with my sister, having a fun time, and playing on the playground!

Grace always cracks me up when she comes walking out in John's superhero clothes. Clearly, we need to buy more superhero dress up! (After Halloween sales, so says my mom.)

This one amazes me by how much she knows and how quickly she picks up on things. Evelyn got a new Guess Who game for her birthday, and I thought for sure Grace would just get confused about how to play and not understand which characters to flip down...but she caught on right away. I didn't even have to show either of the girls how to play. I explained the rules, and they were off to the races. Definitely a new chapter for us!

Grace was never the kid that talked a lot...and maybe I've alluded to this before, but now we cannot keep her quiet! She jabber jabber jabbers on about all kinds of things. At one point we had taken her to a speech therapist thinking is this child ever going to speak?? Wish we could have peeked into the future just then!

Gracie says: I want to be a rock star and go to a rock star show. I want to be the one with the guitar. (This may be why she keeps asking me if I will order her some rock star clothes, haha.)

And then there's Mr. Reagan:

Reagan is getting to the age where he really wants to keep up with the girls and get in on some of their imaginative play. Unfortunately, my kids are typical siblings and spend most of their time running away from their little brother. I mean...he does break things. He's a brother. :) But still! It makes it that much cuter when they WANT him to play with them, and then he tries to act cool about it. "Oh, awwight," he says. Love him!

Reagan is another child that doesn't say a whole lot. Perhaps I'd be worried if we hadn't already been there, done that! But I know he's super smart just like his sisters. He can already maneuver electronics better than me, and he answers all of the questions right on any game. He knows how to get what he wants, even if he mostly points and grunts to get it. And when you do finally guess what he's trying to get you to do, his face lights up, and he says, "Uh huh! Wight!" He's a good boy. A perfect little mama's boy. Gives me all the cuddles! :)

You all know this has been a trying time for us. I've spent more time alone with my kids this month than I ever have. I've sat around a table with them, put them to bed, been with them around the clock...on my own. I know Eric and I will always remember this particular time in our lives. Where we are heading is unclear, but this time has clearly been the end of what we've known and the beginning of something new. I'd like to think that at some point things will go back to the way they always were, things ever go back to the way they always were? Not sure about that.

Our children have been keeping busy and having a fun summer. While we parents may remember this as a difficult time, our children probably won't. And that's good. Just trying to keep things normal for them. June is gone, and I could have never known, but I'm glad to see it go! Just looking ahead now, and really hoping that at some time in July we have a breakthrough. I know Eric wants it, too. He is tired. He'll be taking one of his longest trips yet starting on Sunday. 

To quote a funny little fish, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...."

Swimming right into July!


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