Four is hard!

I’m learning that 4 is hard.  So very very hard.  Or at least it is for my little guy.  Poor guy has so many trials and difficulties in his life.  Picking up his Legos is hard!  Picking up any toys is hard, and he doesn’t like cleaning up at all.  AT ALL!  Not eating ‘baby face noodles’ (tri coloured tortellini as named by my children) for every meal is hard!  Putting on clothes is hard.  Bathing is hard!  Flushing the toilet is hard!  Washing your hands is easy!  Wiping up the resulting puddles all over the bathroom is hard!

Four is hard.

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Good thing he’s so cute!  And in reality there are a lot less hard moments than kind, compassionate, gentle, loving and sweet moments.  I need to remind myself a lot of this.    They make this whole parenting gig so worth it.

Maizie is 4 months!

Dearest Maizie,

My sweet plump babe,

You’re 4 months old now and an absolute dolly.  Oh my sweet girl I love you so much!  You’re one of the happiest, coo-iest, smiliest babies ever.  You’re happy to see a smiling face, and will return the favour with a full on gummy grin, making whoever is holding you feel ever so special.  While you’re very attached to me, you’re remarkably secure and will let other people hold you, we’ll see how long this lasts, but it seems to bring you happiness to see other smiling faces.

Your 4 month stats are impressive, you’re 15 pounds, 7 ounces which is 73% and 26 inches which is 92%.  Overall you’re a pretty big baby, which is so novel!  I think it goes to show that you’re thriving on my homemade WAPF formula and Mama milk.  You do so LOVE to eat, and will cry when your bottle is done.  People remark that we’re not feeding you enough, but you dont’ seem to eat more than the 4 ounces when it’s done if you’re given a chance.  I think you just love to suck!  You’ll nurse the whole night if I let you, and would like to nurse all day long, if I let you.  And sweet girl, I would let you if I didn’t need sleep or to do laundry and parent your older siblings.

This month was busy for you, we had Trixie’s birthday party, your Grandma and Grandpa came, then Uncle Dale and Auntie Kate and baby cousin Esmee (who’s your big cousin).  We also went to Disneyland for the first time with you, and you were a super star.  You went on lots of rides and slept through most of it.  We alternated having you in the stroller or in a carrier.  To up the cute we dressed you as the same princess as your sister for 2 days, then Buzz like your brother for one day.  It was a nice trip, and showed us that we can manage to have a great time at Disney with all 5 of us.  I am looking forward to lots more trips with the family!disney stroller

Another big milestone this month, albeit a made up one, is that we got you your own highchair, and you’re super adorable in it.  You’re not eating yet, but we have you sit with us when we eat and you play with a toy.  I think you’re plotting how to get your own food, but I’d like to remind you that we need to wait a while, a couple more months please. maizie highchair

My sweet baby, you’re making being a Mama to 3 kids super easy and so rewarding.  Your mellow nature and general happiness is making planning a little brother or sister a easy decision!

I love you so much!  I can’t believe you’ve graced us with your presence, and I can’t imagine not having you here with us.  I know there was a before Maizie time, but I can hardly remember it!

I love you so much!

Love always and forever,

Mama.

Mama is strong.

Tonight I was getting ready to go on a run and Hudson asks where I was going, and I told him for a run, and he asked why.  Trixie answered:

“Mama is running for her tri-thalon, it will make her faster and stronger.  When you’re strong you’re healthy and Mama is strong.”

I wanted to squeeze and kiss her all over.  I don’t preach to them about running or being strong and fit, but we do talk about how walking instead of driving, or taking the stairs when we can etc., is good for our bodies.  It’s so nice to know it’s sinking in.

Plus, it’s heart warming to know that you’re admirable to your wee ones.  (squishy squishy, mush, mush….)

2 years!

In the weight loss surgery world you see a lot of people celebrating their “surgiversary” meaning the anniversary of when they had their surgery.

So my 2 year surgiversary was the day after February 28, or March 1 this year.  (I had my surgery on a leap year.)  The day came and went and there was no fan fare, there were poopy diapers, puke and lots of baby smiles though.  I guess that is my fan fare.

I am still a lovely success story.  Although I weigh more than I did at my one year anniversary, I also have had a healthy pregnancy, birth and shockingly natural conception!  Yeppers, I got pregnant with no drugs.  We’re not sure if it was the surgery that helped with that or the resulting super clean diet, but I did manage to get pregnant.  I guess the next pregnancy will either seal the deal that I cured my PCOS or just show us that this pregnancy was even more special than we thought.

I’m still running, albeit slower (pregnancy) I’m planning another triathlon (April 20) and I still feel good.  My pants size is a little bigger (pregnancy) but that’s okay.

All in all I don’t regret the surgery.  I didn’t do it to weigh X weight, I did it to not be 230lbs.  Even if I gained it all back, Maizie is worth it.  But I won’t gain it back.  Instead I’ll continue to rock my sleeve and keep on keeping on.

 

On feeding a baby.

This post has been a long time in the making.  And I write it to maybe help some other folks in a similar situation.  So that being said….

With Beatrix and Hudson I wasn’t able to breast feed them, I had a breast reduction when I was 19 and as a result I couldn’t breast feed, and I tried.  Oh boy did I try.  With Trixie I pumped 10X a day for 4 months, with zero results.  Also took vast quantities of of fenugreek and domperidone (and reglan) with no results.  With Hudson I had a little milk, enough to get the flange of the pump wet, but not enough to collect in the bottle.  Again with the herbs and drugs, and no results.  Both of them were born with a great latch, and happily tried to nurse.  (Trixie did lose her latch while in the NICU and with patience and a lot of stubbornness I was able to restore her latch.)  Anyhow both of them were formula babies.  Both had issues with formula.  With Beatrix I found her issues were mostly around the additives in the formula, the extra DHA and ARA seemed to bother her the most, so I was able to find a very plain formula (Nestle Good Start in the purple can).  She had the least problems with this formula, but it still wasn’t the best, but she survived.  With Hudson he had issues with the milk in the formulas, but I was not going to put him on soy, so we found the formula that bothered him the least, and that was the Kirkland brand.  With both I tried organic formulas, and both did well on goat’s milk formulas, but sadly those are really hard to find here.  Now we fast forward to the future and both kids have issues with milk, with Hudson having the worst issues.  I blame formula.  I’m sure there are some genetics at play there too, but I think being on cheap formula didn’t help, and by cheap I mean the cheap ingredients that all formula makers use, and I also understand that most babies have no issues.  I was just super lucky.

So now with Maizie coming along I started doing some research to figure out what to do, since I was worried for this baby and her having the same issues the others had.  I was lucky this time though, that I have a very small supply of milk, I have enough for a few half feedings a day.  Mostly I keep up with the breast feeding for the immune boosting benefits, and the host of other benefits that come with breast feeding.  Also, I love it. I knew I’d need forumula though, so I did research and came across a recipe to make it myself.  And if you know me, you know this appeals to me.  I can control the ingredients, I can control the quality!  So I did more research, read lots of stories of how babies thrived on this formula, and read stories of how babies were taken from their parents because they made their own formula.  (I did not find any stories of how babies were taken from their parents for using this particular recipe.)  Anyhow I took the plunge and bought the ingredients.  I’m not going to list them here, just use your favourite search engine and search for WAPF homemade formula, I use the cow milk one.) And wouldn’t you know, my baby is thriving on this recipe.  I make a few alterations: I cut the nutritional yeast in 1/2, use a little bit more of the probiotic powder in her blend, and I use the optional high vitamin butter oil.  (This keeps the pediatrician happy as it supplies the extra vitamins he feels that all babies need, I like it too.)   So far Maizie is my least pukey baby, which is nice!  She’s my chubbiest baby, which is nice!  I really like that I can control what’s going on with her gut.  We still use a powdered formula for when we travel and as a result she gets constipated every time.  I try to give her a bottle of the powdered stuff occationally to make sure she stays used to it, and I have no idea if this is the right thing to do or not.  But there is the constipation when she is on it, but it resolved in a day of being on her regular formula.  All in all I am happy with our system.

A lot of folks question my sanity because I make her formula from scratch, but really it doesn’t take much time at all.  I can make enough for a day in about 10 minutes, which includes washing the nipples.  (I use the playtex bottles with the drop in liners, this formula is greasy!)  I could double up, but I like to make it fresh, but if I know I have an extra busy day coming up I’ll double the recipe.  I think if you mix up the powdered formula and bottle that, it wouldn’t take much less time than I spend now, so really, I’m not THAT crazy after all.

On to breast feeding.  Yes I’ve read that book.  Sadly I didn’t get much from it.  I haven’t read it recently.  I do remember, though, that with each pregnancy and to a lesser extent with each menstrual period, you grow more duct work, so over time you can reconnect your nipples to your milk ducts.  Clearly that’s what’s happened for me.  I can only anticipate how much better it will be for baby the fourth.  But for now I can supply her with what I’d guess to be 6 or so ounces a day.  Maybe more, I’m not sure.  I can pump 2 ounces reliably, and we all know that a baby is more efficient than a pump.  Maizie nurses a handful of times every day, and if she’s really hungry she’ll pop off when my supply drops and demand a bottle.  If she’s not too hungry, she’ll comfort suck, and I know she’s getting something because I hear her swallowing intermittently.  I know that with some persistence I can increase my supply, but I have 2 other children, I don’t have the time to be pinned under a baby for the hours needed, plus, OUCH!  Much of our breast feeding is at night, and we went a long stretch of not needing bottles at night at all.  Right now though, we’re not so lucky, although I think we’re in a growth spurt.  Luckily though, Maizie has a most excellent latch and can side lie nurse really well, so I get to sleep.  (And then wake up very dehydrated!)  As for when I nurse her, there is every morning, I try to do a mid day nursing session where we just chill and nurse for a good block of time, but that’s not always possible, but I can always squeeze in some nursing time.  I also generally get some in at dinner-ish and always at bed time.  Some days there’s more and some days less.  When I was trying to work out how to supplement and nurse I was told to nurse then bottle feed.  Eventually that gave way as that took the better part of an hour, and I found it to not work for us, it’s much better to do more mini feeds, frequently, and bottle feeds at a separate time.  I wonder how other folks do it, but this is what works for us.  I do still take Domperidone, having gone to Canada to get a 6 month supply, and I took lots of fenugreek, but I was taking such a massive amount, it was clear that it wasn’t doing much for me, or had already done all it would.  From what I understand, the same is true with Domperidone, it will do what it will and that’s all, and you can stop taking it at that point, but I’m not sure.  I’m not willing to risk it and am still taking it.

All in all I had a patched together system of breast feeding, bottle feeding with homemade formula and a small amount of commercial formula.

It’s working for us.

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After all, those cheeks, they tell a story.

Mazarine is three months old

My Dear Maizie.

Oh little love, the throes of being a third baby.  I am grievously late writing this letter to you!  But we shall persevere.

This month has marked you growing a great deal.  I have no idea how much you weigh, but more than you did last month.  I’ve officially switched your wardrobe out from your newborn and 0-3 month stuff to the 3-6 month stuff.  I was a little sad to do it, but you’re such a delight I wouldn’t trade you for a whole truck load of 0-3 month sized babies.    You care very little about what you wear, other than it be dry and clean.  And while we discuss dry and clean… I think I’ve had to give up on cloth diapers- again.  You had such a bad yeast rash, that it looks like you have skin like your brother and Mama, super sensitive.  Comes with the territory of being super fair, and by the looks of things, blonde.

Also this month we took a big trip, all of the way to Canada!  And in true Berkan style, we drove, in the dead of winter, braving record snowfalls and storms.  It was interesting.  Luckily we had a truck that was ready for the weather, so we didn’t have to bat nary an eyelash at the awful weather.  And even more lucky for us, you’re just as good as a traveler as your brother and sister.  Who were besides themselves with joy that they were able to sit beside you in the truck, the whole way.  Daddy managed to shoehorn in your 3 giant carseats into the back seat of the 4Runner, and with you rear facing, Beatrix and Hudson were able to look at you the whole way.   I’d often look back to see one or both of them holding your hand(s).  They love you so much!  Once in Canada you met many cousins, aunts, uncles, 2nd and third cousins, cousins once and twice removed.  You met a lot of family and you were awesome about it.  I did notice that after a long day of meeting lots of new people you needed to cuddle more, which I needed too.  I’m glad you could do that for me.

We learned some things while in Canada.  You aren’t fond of the cold, but you’re hearty and didn’t complain much about it.  It sure was cold though, and keeping a baby warm in that kind of cold is a challenge.  Having a winter baby in California is so very different from having a winter baby in Canada, for the obvious reasons.  Oh and while in Canada you giggled for the first time.  I wasn’t in the room but I came running when I heard it.  Your giggle is most awesome, it’s a cross between a cough and a guffaw.  I like it, let’s keep it, m’kay?

Other big things this month, you found your hands!  And you figured out that you can move them with your mind!  YOUR MIND!  You’re not yet able to grasp things, but you do a most excellent job of batting things around with your fisted fingers.  I find it most amusing when you bat at your brother and he tells me that you punched him.  I remind him that you’re a baby and you’re not quite sure what you’re doing yet, and he understands, but let’s secretly think that you’re just getting revenge early, for what’s surly to come.  Right?  (Okay Hudson, we’re kidding, Maizie isn’t punching you on purpose, she’s a baby, she doesn’t know what she’s doing….)

Well my tiny love, you’ve been with us for 3 months, and I can’t hardly imagine life without you.  Also to be fair I can’t much recall the first 2 months of your life, they were a blur of Christmas and diapers, but I am so happy with how our lives are.  You’ve make our perfect life more perfect.  You’re such a doll, so amazing, and so perfect for our family.  We all love you to bits, especially me.

I love you, my sweet little rainbow baby.

 

Love,
Mama.

 

Beatrix is 6 years old!

Dearest Trixie!

You’re six years old now and I sit back and wonder where the time went.  I know that this is a garish cliche, but really, parents do wonder this.  These past 6 years have passed so quickly!  I remember at one point your Daddy and I were talking about where we wanted you to go to school, but we dismissed the conversation because we had so much time until it was a needed conversation.  And now here you are, thriving in kindergarten.  Time flies, indeed.  (just to add another cliche to the bunch.)

And now regarding kindergarden.  It’s a bit of story, one you know.  We moved to get into the coveted school district for a very particular school, and lo, we were waitlisted.  So that leaves regular public school, very expensive private school or homeschool.  Your Daddy was finally convinced by me to homeschool.  You love it.  You claim that you don’t want to go into a regular classroom.  I hope that in 6 more year, 12 more years, 18 more years you still feel that way, or at the very least you’re not angry at our choice to homeschool you.  But you are doing well.  You have a busy schedule, I found this amazing program for you where you hike for a whole day with other kids.  I belive this is the most perfect program for you, outside in your beloved mountains with bugs, plants and animals.  This makes the world your classroom and you are an eager student.  (more cliches!)  We’ve learned that you are tenacious and possibly immune to poison oak.  Being that you are the smallest in your group, it was hard for you to keep up at first and carry your pack, loaded with your water, lunch and change of shoes and clothes.  Often one of the guides would end up carrying something for you.  But you are getting strong!  Daddy and I can see the difference in your body.  You’re getting muscular!  We can see the muscles in your legs, it’s equally impressive and scary that my tiny baby has such muscle!  But now, only 6ish months since you started you carry your own pack, loaded with everything on your own!  I am very proud of you for this!  About the poison oak.  I would really like for you to stop testing your theory that you’re immune.  I fear that your immunity might wear off.  That would be a little uncomfortable for you.

Anyhow, you’re in other homeschool classes too.  You love the science class you do and another program, related to the hiking one, but it’s at a standing location and it’s a free choice program.  You’re doing well there also.  It’s noted that you gravitate to the older girls, and they all adore you.  Last month they were studying Ancient Egypt and you lvoed it all.  You told me early in the school year that you wanted to study mummies, so this was perfect for you.  Also Daddy took you to the Egyptian museum so you could see some real mummies.  I think you were a little aghast at what a mummy actually looks like, but you still enjoyed it.  I love watching you get excited by learning, it’s inspiring!

On to growth, you’re still tiny, wearing 4T tops and bottoms and size 9 shoe.   It looks like you’ve gained more weight this year than last, maybe 2-3 pounds, which is good considering you only gained 4 ounces from ages 4-5!  You’ve started eating more, but most of the gain is muscle, I am sure of it!  All of that hiking!  Emotionally your growth is normal, I’d guess.  I see you drifting from having little kid emotions to these big emotions, big drama.  It’s exhausting and trying for me, and I can bet it’s as bad if not worse for you.   I see you struggling with what you feel, and it’s hard for me to watch.  I KNOW what you’re going through, because I did it too.  Some of the struggles you are having now plagued me into adulthood.  My hope is that I can help you figure them out sooner than later so that some later transitions you have won’t be as awful.   Mostly I want to work on your confidence.  You struggle with letting people see you fail.  So rather than failing you won’t try or you’ll be silly to defray the situation.  I see this in your gymnastics class a lot.  You are the clown of the class, and sometimes it’s disruptive.  I know you’re just scared of making a mistake, but please don’t be so scared!  I know we talk about this every class, but it bears repeating, as it’s a life lesson.  No one really cares if you make a mistake, especially if you are trying.  You’ll get it, you’re a lot more skilled than you think, naturally.  Your coaches tell me that when you try you are really good, a natural even.  So my love, don’t give up, and keep trying.  You’re amazing!

Socially you’re still outgoing, but clearly an introvert.  You will go into a crowd willingly, but you stay on the fringes of it, alone.  But in a small group with 1 or 2 others you excel.  You’re a natural leader in a situation like that and are so much more at home.  It took me a while to really realize this, because you don’t shy away from a large group, but you don’t engage in it.  You’ll happily play with children at a playground, even if you don’t know them, which really demonstrates how you are outgoing.  It’s served you well in our new homeschool community.  You’ve made a lot of friends and a couple of new best friends.  It’s been really wonderful to watch you grow socially.  You really are a social butterfly and will engage all ages of people, which is new this year.  In the past you’d hide behind me, now if someone says hi, you’ll talk their ears off.

And the biggest news of this year is that you’re a big sister again!  We welcomed Maizie this past December, and you have done amazing with her.  Just like with Hudson you have shown no jealousy, and are a super big sister.  There have been times where you’ve really helped me out.  You can calm Maizie down for a couple moments, you can give her a bottle, you give her cuddles and kisses, and best of all she loves you so much.  You can make her giggle and coo.  She lights up when she sees you.  I love watching you two engage each other.  With Hudson you are developing more and more of a friendship.  You guys are often head to head playing with something, or watching the tablet together, reading together, or even just existing in the same room together.  You guys do have some moments where you bicker, but they’re normal and not awful.  Mostly you two are the best of buddies, and look out for each other.

So my sweet girl, here you are, 6!  Embarking on being a kid, moving away from being a kindergartener to a big kid.  You are so amazing, so smart, so athletic, so beautiful.  I marvel at everything about you.  You take my breath away and make me sigh with contentment.  I love you so much.  I am such a lucky Mama.

thank you for being you, my sweet girl!

Love, always and forever,

Mama.

Mazarine is 2 months old!

Dear Maizie,

My tiny sweet girl, you’re two months old now.
At your two month check up you were 11 pounds 6 ounces and 23 inches.  You have done some spectacular growing!  There was a little stretch there where I was getting a little worried that you weren’t gaining your birth weight back but you did your part and now it’s not an issue.   You’re also quite strong, practically holding your head up already, and you love to stand, with assistance of course.  Daddy likes to help you stand the most, holding you up and you push up with your legs.  I used to protest, but you will push against anything that will offer resistance.  Just promise no walking before a year, okay?

So your second month has been a busy one for you!  Hudson’s preschool had it’s annual winter festival and you were there, so you got to see your first bit of snow, which was actually crushed ice, but you got to experience it.  We also celebrated Mama and Daddy’s anniversary, our 8th, there was pie.  It was Hudson’s fourth birthday and there was a party, which you slept through most of, in random friends’s arms.  We went to a hockey game, which you slept through, with the help of some pretty awesome headphones meant for babies.  You came with Trixie and I to a birthday party for one of Trixie’s friends.  You slept through that too.  It seems like you sleep a lot, but in reality, you’re not much of a napper unless you’re being worn, in which case is a pretty sure way to get you to nap.  You sleep well at night though, generally only one wake up.

Your big brother and sister love you to pieces and I often find myself asking them to leave you alone a little.  They just want to be next to you, kissing on you, hugging you, touching you.  So far you don’t seem bothered, hopefully that doesn’t change and you keep tolerating it.  Trixie loves to pick out your outfits and there are some particularly exciting ones.  I hope you get some of her style sense, it’s so jubilant and happy.

My tiny girl you are my third child in so many ways and I love how you just roll with life.  You are toted and brought around with us to various places and you just take it all in.  I’ve always been blessed with easy babies, and I love that you’re continuing with that trend.

My sweet girl!  You are a delightful baby!  I feel like I’m not saying too much in this letter, you are just so content and happy and such a dream.  I maintain that I am a lucky Mama.  I can’t wait to see what the next months bring, it’s going to be such a fun time!

I love you so much!

Love always,

Mama.

 

Hudson is Four Years Old!

Dear Hudson.

You’re four years old now!  Can you believe it?  I think you’re quite proud of your older self.  You’re quick to tell folks that you’re four now, and sometimes you’ll even go further to explain that you’re four-and-a-half.  It’s cute.  Daddy and I have explained to you that you’re not quite that old, but it doesn’t matter much, it’s all about how you feel.  I guess you feel four and a half!

You started preschool this year, which was really exciting for you, since you’re at the same school that Trixie went to.  You love it there!  Your favourite things to do at school are to play in the sand box, followed by more sand box time, and then more sand box time.  I think you’ve transported about half of the sand box home in your shoes.  You also love circle time and snack time.  You’re often found dressed at a knight and playing with some of your buddies, although you’re quite happy to play alone. (in the sandbox.) You do ride the bikes, but that’s not as interesting for you, you since there’s a sand box.

You love your teachers, and talk happily about them.  Recently one of your beloveds had to talk to me, with you present, about some naughty behaviour,  (you didn’t come in when it was time) and I was sure you were going to crumble because you knew she was disappointed in you.  Oddly you did manage to keep it together, and you were very quiet for a while.  You’re such a sensitive boy.  It always amazes me just how sensitive.  (You’re going to make such an amazing husband to a very lucky lady some day.)

The biggest thing this year for you has been the arrival of your new baby sister!  Mazarine was born before Christmas and you LOVE her.  You’re head over heels in love with her, and ask many times a day to get to play with her.   You’re quick to tell me when she’s unhappy, even though I likely already know.  She’s going to be a well taken care of baby with you as a big brother.  She likes to watch you, and just the other day you were playing with her, sticking your tongue you out at her, she thought it was amusing and graced you with a rare, and still developing baby chuckle.

You and I talk a lot about you being a big brother and a little brother and how you’re so lucky to be a big and a little.  You’re pretty chuffed about this.  But what you’d really like is another baby sibling, a boy if I could manage.  You ask often if I have another baby in my tummy yet.  Oi!  But rest assured Mama and Daddy are planning to have another baby, I’m pretty sure I’ll be crazy, but you’ll soak up the added baby love.

This year Daddy and I decided to homeschool Trixie, so you often get in on all of her lessons too.  You’re very quickly learning to read and love math lessons as much as your sister!  You’re not even in kindergarten yet and yet, you’re going to be doing grade 1 and 2 course work before you start!  You like to count everything and you like to talk about how things add up and subtract them.  You’re constantly manipulating things around you to make math sentences.  I think though, that reading is your favourite.  But then there’s Lego.  Oh my boy, you love Lego!  You’ll play for hours and hours and hours.  Literally.  You don’t like cleaning it up though.  Let’s work on that okay?  Stepping on those little things is pretty awful and PAINFUL!

You’re still doing your gymnastics classes and you still love them.  We’ve taken a break on ballet, but you still dance around a little chanting “pile and straight” it’s really cute.  You like to ride your bike and scoot on your scooter.  You try really hard to have both of your feet together on the scooter, and your balance is in the works where the scooter is concerned.  I think we need to work more on some of your gross motor skills, you’re not terribly balanced, but I think it’s mostly because you have had a growth spurt recently.  (Sad, my baby boy is disappearing, but I am getting this amazing big boy!)  You still love to swim and especially love Grandma and Grandpa Berkan’s California house because it has a pool.  You’re still crazy when it comes to water and you have to be especially supervised, you have no fear when water is concerned.  You did take swim lessons this summer and you did well, but you were more interested in playing than learning to actually swim.  I suspect that it’ll get better this coming summer.

Finally, my Little Buddy. You’re super amazing and so sweet.  I can always count on you for a cuddle and kiss.  I’m such a lucky Mama to have such an amazing little boy in my life.

I love you so much!

Love,
Mama.

Eight Years!

Adam and I have been a Mr and Mrs for 8 years!

Normally I wouldn’t write a whole post about it, but this year it feels monumental to me.  I’m not sure why, but 8 seems huge, in a good way.

My mom and dad separated (were never married) when I was 2, then my mom had a string of boyfriends and husbands throughout my life so I was never raised in a stable, secure marriage.  My dad met and married a wonderful lady, but I never lived in that house, except for a short time when I was 12. It’s not a stretch to say I was going into this pretty blind.  I did see my grandparents growing up, but they were my grandparents, I never saw them struggle and overcome, and I was young, so they were just Grannie and Grandpa, they were a singular to me, not two parts to a relationship.

Right before Adam and I were married I was reminded that 50% of marriages end in divorce, (which isn’t really true by the way, not now anyhow) but it really bothered me, and really made me insecure in my marriage for a long time.  I spent a lot of time waiting for the other shoe to drop, like it was expected for me to be a divorcee.  It made the first few years of our marriage difficult.  Not in a way that we were bound for divorce, but it did give us another hurdle to clear.  There were other factors too, we moved to California where I wasn’t allowed to work, so suddenly I was dependent on Adam, when I’d always been so incredibly independent.  We struggled for a long time to get pregnant.  And we were away from home, which was novel to start, but it was hard.  But Adam is a pretty amazing person, and we managed to survive those first few years.  Then there was pregnancy, finally, and a baby, and a new house and things went from there.

Now here we are.  Eight years!

It’s so awesome.  I hope my children never feel that insecurity I did, and trust that they have the ability in them to make their marriages work.  I should have trusted myself.  I’ve always been pretty tenacious, and that set me up to be able to be strong in a marriage, and to trust that I married the right guy and trust that I was worthy of this marriage.  I know this now.