Thursday, October 25, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Veronica!!!!

Veronica is 8 now!! What?  Yes, she keeps us on our toes.  I love her so much.
If you don't know this big kid, let me tell you about her.  Veronica is beautiful and smart.  She is independent, since she was a wee baby.  Veronica has always been a self-starter and can figure things out on her own, usually.  I don't know where she got that from, but I'm so glad she has that trait.  I hope she can develop that.  Veronica loves art, she requests reams of paper for birthdays and or Christmas.  She will spend hours and hours with a ream of paper, scissors and tape.  I love that she sees art/potential/treasure in garbage, but it makes for random trash all over the house all the time.  We'll go clothes shopping and she'll be interested in the hangers on the ground or the tags that have fallen off and will create a wonderful toy out of it.  We used to call her the trash collector but have since stopped.  Veronica is really smart, taught herself how to read by 4 and taught herself to swim (although we're still trying to teach her proper technique) all on her own.  I can't take the credit for how smart she is, I should have known since she was a baby.  She gave up on her naps pretty early in life, which was rough on me, but I can understand why now.  She doesn't want to miss anything, she wants to take advantage of her whole day with reading, playing, thinking, talking.  She reads super fast.  One quality that I admire so much about Veronica is that she has so much compassion.  When she was a little girl, one of the babies fell and was bleeding and Veronica felt so bad she just started crying.  She demonstrates this to me a lot and I know that she knows I'm trying my best with her.  I have learned that Veronica is sensitive, serious, thoughtful, copassionate, independent, artistic, genuine, faithful, sincere, creative, loving and the list goes on.  She is the perfect leader for her younger brother and sisters.  I know that the other kids look up to her and think she's so cool, because she is!  I love this 8 year old so much.  I love her so much that it hurts.  She gives me my biggest challenge but she has taught me how to love in a more gentle way so that I can help her.  I wish you the happiest of birthdays Veronica! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mario brings the fam together

Because my last post was a downer.

Let me be honest...

*Warning:  I was a little annoyed when I wrote this post but I needed to write it to get it out of my system. 

Before pregnancies and kids, I went grocery shopping with out anyone talking to me or telling me what I should do about this or that...I just went grocery shopping for the sake of getting groceries - not advice!  Now, I almost dread grocery shopping.  Not for the fact that prices seem to get higher and higher and quality is about the same if not less than before but for the mere fact that as soon as I enter ANY grocery store I all of a sudden turn into a big sign that says, "Please stare at me and all my children, don't forget to tell me that one of my kids shouldn't be touching that, or you should really buckle in your baby (eventhough she is buckled in she just managed to get out of it again) or why are you buying that kind of juice and please, oh please, don't forget to turn and stare/glare/snicker when one of my kids screams or cries when I tell them not to touch the gum at the checkout line."  I have noticed that people are so willing to stop a pregnant lady and offer up tips and suggestions or warnings.  Why is that?  Do pregnant women have signs that only other people can see?  Do pregnant women need unsolicited baby advice?  I sound so anti-people and so not friendly, right?  I don't think I am.  I remember being somewhere, probably Target, while I was pregnant with Vanessa (baby #3) and I had my little crew with me.  I was at the baby section and a woman was shopping right where I was.  So, she noticed my baby bump and then without hesitation asked me if I was done having kids after this one.  She caught me off guard so I was a bit speechless.  Then she said, "Well, you have a boy and a girl.  A lot of people keep having kids just to have one of each."  I remember being very annoyed, mostly because David just finished spilling all the popcorn and I really wanted some, but also because I was just minding my own business and said woman thought I was in the mood to chat.  Anyway, I told her that I wanted a big family and that I wasn't ready to be done having children.  Woman then said, "Well, it's getting more and more expensive to raise children these days."  Aw.  She only asked because she is going to give me money to help pay for the expenses that come with kids.  Wow, I take it all back.  Oh wait...she isn't.  She just thinks that I don't know that children are expensive, so she's just shining a light on my situation that has otherwise been in the dark.  At that moment I wanted to just say, "Really?  Tell me how expensive YOU think it is and I'll tell you how expensive it really is for me and my husband.  And if you are going to help me pay for our family expenses then you by all means can give me your opinion and warnings.   But if you're not then leave your advice/preaching to yourself and let me be a responsible adult and parent so I can buy my kid some diapers!"  But I didn't say that.  I told her that so long as we can afford it we're going to have lots of kids because my husband has a good job.  Suprisingly, that type of conversation hasn't been the last.  Just a few days ago, with only 2 kids in sight, an older man came up to me and said, "Wow, they get cheaper to get by the dozen."  And it wasn't in a humorous tone either, it was very sharp and again I was stunned.  What was that for?  I had Vanessa and Violet in the cart and that was enough to warrant a comment...really?  I didn't say anything but I am saying something now because it really bothered me.  I don't seek confrontation or disputes but I also don't seek people telling me how many kids I should have or that I have too many.  It's such a personal choice, the conditions of having children - whether wanted or not- and I don't think that just because one has a baby or is pregnant that people have any place to vomit their opinions all over them.  What happens to that person who is struggling to have more kids, whether because of infertility or other conditions, that gets the "why don't you have more kids?" comment.  A lot of comments aren't meant to be hurtful and I get that, but sometimes they are thoughtless and do end up hurting.  The only comments I want to hear are how cute my kids are or did you know that such and such item is on sale.  Don't tell me that I should put a sweater on her or that if I pull her hair tighter it will make it grow or the most annoying one of all, you must have your hands full.  Duh.  I will now avoid going to the grocery store with more than 1 kid and if that means we have to eat canned food, so be it.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Birth Story - Vanessa Version

So, for the last little while I have been kind of agonizing over not really being able to remember Vanessa's birth day.  I checked the blog but for some reason (probably for the sake of forgetting pain and wanting to have one more kid) I didn't write it down.  I checked my emails and remembered that I have a friend, Alicia, who I like to give the detes about laboring/birthing my children. 

The following is for my own sake.  If I don't blog it I will probably forget again!  But if you're curious, by all means read and enjoy.

A few days before Vanessa decided to make her appearance, I was having mild contractions but nothing major.  So I called my parents to come and take the kids.  They came but once they came my contractions were less intense and very far between.  So, we asked my parents to take them anyway and Jeff and I decided to hit the mall for some walking - to try and get the labor going again.  We hit the mall but nothing changed.  We were almost done and then I got a call, it was our realtor.  When we found out we were pregnant with Vanessa we decided it was time to move out of our 1 bedroom apartment and get some more space.  After a long search and more searching for something we could afford, we decided we should put a hold on looking for a house.  So, this call came as quite a surprise.  The realtor told us that the sellers had accepted our 2nd offer and that the house was ours if we wanted it.  (this might actually be the reason for my not remembering the birth because the house kind of happened all at the same time.)  So a couple of days later, we were busy doing loan stuff, finalizing our credit stuff, everything I could think of when Vanessa decided that it was time.  But I think she knew that this needed to be fast, so I call it fast and furious.
Monday, May 11, 2009.  The first contraction I felt was at 1am and i knew that was it.  They came pretty consistently from then on and by the time my parents arrived, 45 minutes, I knew that I couldn't wait around at home much longer.  So we went to the hospital and checked in.  Once they found out that this was my third baby they were pretty quick and very attentive.  With the first 2 they kind of left me in the room alone most of the time.  The labor was intense and it progressed pretty quickly.  I remember asking the nurse if I could walk around because I did not want to have to sit in that hospital bed the whole time.  This time around I was going to be more open about how I wanted things to go and though I was in a hospital I wanted as little hospital as possible.  So, the nurse told me I could walk around if I needed to but they would rather have me stay put since it's my 3rd baby.  Something about the 3rd baby makes nurses and doctors nervous.  Anyway, I was about to get up to walk around and my water broke.  It was the first time that I've experienced that and I told the nurse and then I remember her saying, "Now you definitely have to stay in bed."  I was so annoyed but kind of glad because I knew that it meant Vanessa would be arriving soon.  It was pretty intense after that, I progressed pretty quickly.  I brought my music and plugged in my headphones and tried to focus on music and not the pain.  My mind trick was this:  the contraction will end just like the chorus on the song will end...and it worked for a little while.  Thank you Kanye West and Alicia Keys.  But it didn't last too long before it was so intense that I knew little Vanessa was ready.  Let me tell you, I am so grateful it went quickly after that because I don't think I could've handled much more.  I just kept telling myself that it will end soon and that after all that I would be looking at a beautiful miracle and that's what got me through it. Also can I say how much I hate when they say, "Don't push."  The doctor told me not to push but I pushed anyway, because that is what my body was telling me to do to relieve the pressure.  I pushed maybe 3 times and she came out.  The experience was so immense that by the end of it I was in a million levels of emotions and feelings.  I could still feel pain and the doctor isn't the most gentle.  So...she was born at 4:18am...pretty fast.
I will say this, I came into this pregnancy knowing that I did not want a repeat of what happened when David was born.  So, I read a lot about laboring and relaxing and allowing the body to do the work that it was intended to do.  I wanted a homebirth, but our finances weren't the best and we had insurance so why not use what we are paying lots of money to have.  Anyway, but I did prepare myself mentally for what I knew was going to be the hardest thing to do.  It took a lot but I knew that I would be so much happier about things and be able to recover a lot quicker if things went more the way that I wanted them to.  It's funny because some of the most stressful situations:  buying a house, having a baby, new job promotion all happened to us in the span of a week or so. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Shopping Cart Therapy

A few days back I was having a too-much-going-on-in-my-brain-to-process-everything kind of day.  I wasn't sad or mad or anything like that, just a bit overwhelmed with everything happening in life.  Anyway, I was kidless and grocery shopping.  As I was picking out some essentials, like donuts and other snacks, I kind of felt like if I didn't do something to shake this feeling that I would end up having a rough rest of my day.  So, I wrapped up my shopping and as I was walking my groceries back to the car I changed my day.  I remember being a kid and thinking of how fun it was to push the shopping carts really fast and then hop on.  Why not now, right?  I needed a boost in my day, so it was perfect.  Although I believe I have lost my coordination with my age I managed to get going pretty fast and I had some fun.  For about 2 minutes I was having fun and not really thinking about life and all that comes with it.  I find that sometimes I get so overwhelmed with everything that is going on in my (kids, husband, other family, etc...) life that I don't remember to let loose sometimes and have fun.  We all should be having fun, because if we are not having fun then there is something seriously wrong.  None of us are so entirely busy to have fun, even if it's for a minute.