Sunday, December 11, 2011

Oh Yeah, And There's Christmas

<- Sign (and the closest thing to snow :) at our front door.

With everything that's going on (adjusting to TX, keeping up with Melissa and building a person), I really thought the holidays would go right past me. Well, I do have to say Thanksgiving dinner is not as much fun when you already have a full belly to start with. While everybody chatted and stuffed themselves away, I waddled around the room, wondering if there was such a thing as a comfortable position. I'd been so happy and content when we arrived at my in-laws', but maybe that extra forkful of mashed potatoes sent my stomach over the edge. There was no place for them in the inn :).

But ever hopeful, I refused - and still refuse - to miss out on Christmas. After dragging my round self to stores (or, more often, to online stores), I can gladly say our gift shopping is DONE! I've also single handedly decorated our Christmas tree with my own swollen white-sausage-looking fingers. I know, that's supposed to be done by the whole family, but really, if I'd waited for the perfect, Hallmark card moment, where everyone would be rested, in a good mood and with time to spare, it'd never happen. And on that particular day I felt a rush of productivity - like, the more I got done, the more I felt I was progressing, and not just standing in time, forever huge and achy.

It's also nice to focus on something else other than the baby. I know I'm close - 34 weeks and half already incites people to look at you like a time bomb - but still, January 20th (my due date) seems like FOREVER from now. Next year still!! I used to get excited about every braxton hicks contraction, but now, I've lost hope. There have been too many miserable days that turned out to be nothing. If only I could get REALLY miserable - to the point of popping out a baby. Now that would be a real good Christmas gift :).

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Reappearance of the Pregnant Lady

<- 32 weeks and ready to be DONE

I've been SUCH a bad blogger during this pregnancy. I'd honestly thought that being pregnant would make me blog more, not less. I mean, if nothing else, my body's in constant change. But to my own surprise, I feel awkward blogging about every little thing. Which is funny considering I do enjoy other people's updates, but it's just hard for me to believe that anyone's interested in what's aching/swelling on me this week :).

Now that I'm at the final stretch (officially past the 8 month mark! Woohooo), I figured I'd come and let you know my latest adventures of getting ready for the baby. I can't believe he's almost here. This whole time, I've been waiting to release the crazy baby-stuff-shopper inside me, and now I can lol.

Everyday that I do something towards getting ready - like washing bottles or organizing blankets, I feel a delicious sense of accomplishment. The last weeks always seem to last forever, so this helps me feel like I'm making some progress. Like he's really coming, and I'm not just getting heavier and sorer for nothing.

Another big step of getting ready for Andrew was my baby shower. It was small, with just family (oh how I love to say that, since we barely had any in CA), but very fun and GORGEOUS. It'll take too long for me to post all of the pictures, but here are some (from my phone, since we still can't find our camera cable, so pardon the low quality):

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Princess & The Fetus

While I grow exponentially and try to keep our place - and my sanity - in decent condition, Princess Melissa sits on her throne, just enjoying being 2.

I'm kidding, of course - it's rare that she stays still enough to just be there. Usually she's all over the place, playing with her toys, or giving us her toys and demanding we play with them for her diversion. I know I sound 'complainy', but really, it's a lot of fun to have a 2-year-old. Everyday she says something that I had no idea she'd picked up (like "I think so" or "that's amazing!"), and I feel like we've been able to connect with her even more now that she's maturing into a little person. My baby's long, long gone. Well, at least that one :).

Speaking of the 2nd, I've been bonding more with him too. It's kind of impossible not to, now that whenever he moves, my belly follows along. Like I have a built-in baby carrier, and it's really annoying that I don't get to see the child I'm taking everywhere. I even miss him already, as if I'd seen him outside of me before.

Last Thursday I completed 30 weeks, but judging by my last ultrasound, he seems to be measuring 2 weeks ahead, so that means I FEEL 32 weeks - which is 8 MONTHS!! So surreal. And he jumps around so much that it's like he's trying to find his way out. When he kicks downwards, I almost expect to find a foot coming out of me. It's like, how much more can my skin take of this?? I don't think I'm too thick skinned (in all senses lol).

Now, joking aside, I am really excited about being near the end. This Sunday will be my baby shower (double yaay), then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Year's, then....Andrew!! :) All these happenings can easily overwhelm me if I'm not careful, but this time around I think I'm more aware that my occasional crappy mood can be caused by a myriad of things other than the world ending. I don't think the first time I was as aware of how hormones or just the constant discomfort affected my outlook about the day. It's still a constant battle, but this time around, I can definitely say I'm happier. And when I'm not, Princess Melissa usually commands I get with the program.

Monday, October 31, 2011

I Forgot I Was Pregnant...

...and spent WAY too many hours making cupcakes AND a cake AND a hot dog sauce (Brazilian recipe) for Melissa's 2nd birthday party. I must be crazy. First 'cause I remember how much just making cupcakes for her 1st completely wiped me out - how could I think that doing more would be okay 7 months pregnant?? At the time of the party, I felt like I'd been ran over by a truck a couple times and a half. And, mind you, I did NOT feel like eating any cupcakes or hot dogs. Another thing about cooking all day is that it can kinda turn you off to whatever you're doing - and that's when you're normal, let alone pregnant.

Anyway, my invalidness aside, it did turn out to be a really nice party, and Melissa LOVED it. So different than when she was 1, and cried hysterically when seeing her guests, then spit out her cake and was only interested in a banana. This time she's a giggling, dancing, socializing and balloon loving toddler. After the kids attacked the cupcakes, we turned on the music and they all danced frantically in their sugar rush. It was so much fun to watch. I almost forgot my belly had become so tight from standing all day that it seemed like I was about to give birth.

But I survived. And I'll post pictures soon - I forgot my phone at home (the party was at her grandparents'), and hubby's asleep, so I'll have to get the pictures from his phone tomorrow. We did bring a regular camera, but we're yet to find the cable for it after the move. Grandma and auntie Anne (yep, my sis in law and I have the same name :) also took pictures, and they said they'll send them to me.

So for now, all I have to offer is this post, to document my utter exhaustion and warn all preggies of the world to please, please, take it easy. Even if you don't feel it at the moment, your body will get back at you later. I've been in pain ALL day today, and really wish I'd just gone to Walmart instead of getting all romantic about baking my daughter's cupcakes.

You know what's strange, though? Even though it's been getting harder with my growing belly, Melissa's growth has been a great source of entertainment. She talks SO much right now, knows how to communicate what she wants, has a great sense of humor and often thinks I'm hilarious. The day the new nursery dresser arrived, I did a little happy dance and she laughed so hard she puked lol. She always asks me to repeat it from time to time (and hasn't puked again - not from that, at least :).

Now that both hubby and girly are asleep, I'm having some me-time, still EXTREMELY sore but feeling like life is coming along as it should. Tonight we obeyed my Target craving (I wasn't sure why, just knew we needed to go, and hubby was wise enough not to question me :). There, we bought some groceries and - wait for it - a double stroller!! SO excited. I knew there was a reason for us to go.

I think my body's discomforts are causing the nesting feeling to kick in. I'm more aware of how pregnant I am and how this baby can come before we know it. Technically, I'm almost 29 weeks (will be on Thursday), but according to a recent ultrasound, the baby's measuring about a week and a half in advance. That explains a LOT - I'm definitely feeling like I'm past the 30th week! My stomach's tight more often than not, so this seems more and more like the final stretch.

Anyway, I'd better get to bed so I won't pay the price AGAIN for my careless actions tomorrow. Will post Melissa's party pictures as soon as I get them and feel like I can type a decent post. 'Til then, prayers are appreciated that my regular strength Tylenol will receive supernatural powers from above!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Happiness is a LOT of Work

<- It's not easy to maintain this cuteness.

If anyone has wondered why I haven't posted much (and I hope you have), here's why: brain overload. Not the bad kind, but mostly the kind that actually gets you so excited that you feel like you need a break for a week to recover.

And I'm NOT saying life right now's all about excitements - there's also a fair share of breakdowns, uncertainties, and even boredom. But even in moments when time seems to be moving slowly, my mind's so full from the latest transitions that I have a hard time relaxing it enough to think of an inspired post. So you're stuck with this one :).

Well, on to it, then - here are the latest excitements that have me feeling like I got run over by a truck:

Third Trimester is Here
Can you believe it? Didn't I JUST become pregnant? Seriously, the speed that this is going is both exciting AND scary to me. Like, I only have 3 months now, if that much. According to my last ultrasound, the baby's 2 1/2 pounds and might be sitting precisely on my intestines (which explains a lot of random "I'm about to have this baby right now" runs to the bathroom).

I'll Have Baby Shower
I know, I didn't count on it! For several reasons - many don't believe a second pregnancy's supposed to have a baby shower, but more like a "meet the baby" party after he's born. And besides, we just moved here, and David's family has done so enormously much for us that I thought it'd be too much work for them. But my awesome mother-in-law told me they wanted to (yay!), and then I had the idea of having it at our new little place AND using it as an excuse to cook some of my favorite Brazilian food! Will let you know how that'll turn out, of course... Prayers are appreciated :).

Melissa's 2nd Birthday's Around the Corner
Next Saturday! And the most amazing thing is, this time we get to do it with just family. This would've been impossible in CA, since we didn't have any living close by. Of course our church friends totally made up for it, but it's just so special to have it with the people that love Melissa the most, second only to us. This year's theme will be Dorothy The Dinosaur (from The Wiggles), with whom she's in love with. It might seem random for the people here though, as I haven't seen a network that has their show, but hey, there will be cupcakes. Everybody understands the language of cupcakes :).

There's more to report, but I don't think y'all will be as excited as I am with the new changing table/dresser waiting to be assembled, or the fact that we can now see the dining table (having eliminated most of the boxes). So I'll spare you. Will come back though, with pictures of Melissa's party, and maybe even a belly shot!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New/Future Moms of 2 Are People Too!

<- Melissa's already abusing her little brother :).

I'm appalled at the lack of literature/material available for 2nd time mothers. It's as if they assume that having done it once, you must be a master on the subject and have no need of extra assurance/information/commiseration. HA! I so wish that was true. Come to think of it, not completely - I do enjoy diving through magazines/books in a way to help me celebrate and process the fact that I'm about to give birth. Again. Knowing exactly how wonderful - and overwhelming - it is.

I wish pregnancy magazines talked about what to do with a baby AND a toddler, instead of just what to do with a bby period. And about how do you "get all the sleep you can" when said toddler will not respect your pregnanthood. Like, how do you eat small frequent meals when there's a little person chasing you, who needs to avoid grazing?? And by the way, it would be nice to see pictures of women who actually look pregnant. C'mon, there's gotta be plenty of gorgeous model-like moms out there who don't look like they're wearing a fake belly over teir skinniness. Show me someone real pretty with an occasional double chin and I'll be your lifelong subscriber! :)

I like to joke that my fantasy is going to some sort of "pregnancy retreat" - a place where all I'm required to do is sit and be pregnant. It just seems like there's so much needing my attention (Melissa, transitioning to a different place, etc) that I end up having little time to just feel pregnant. I mean, don't get me wrong, I feel it all the time, but can't give myself the luxury to act accordingly. Not always at least - when I'm resting, my mind still races, going through lists of what to do, and wondering if I'm giving Melissa enough attention. Because, you know, soon she'll really have to share me. This realization makes me feel more attached to her, but at the same time, my growing belly (with all its growing discomforts) keeps me from playing with her as much as before.

See what I'm saying?? Being pregnant for the 2nd time might not have the same "I don't know if I can be a mom" fears of the 1st, but it still brings a whole different set of issues. Of course it also has its own wonders - Melissa's a cute distraction from my pregnant woes, and seeing how beautifully she's growing makes me excited to see what other little person we came up with. And I just CAN'T wait to see her as a big sister. She already loves her "I'm a big sister" book - where the characters amazingly look like us (curly redish-haired mom, and dark straight haired dad and girl). You know, I used to imagine her just like this before she was born. Now I imagine Andrew (that's the name, btw! :) with curly hair. Can't wait to see if my prophecy will come true again lol.

Okay, I'm rambling now - see how I need extra entertainment to divert myself?? Doctors and specialists, please look down on us, 2nd time mommies. We need stuff to read too. Please don't assume every expectant person has all the time in the world to enjoy each moment of belly grownth! Some of us have done it before, but would like to feel special too. You know, as if we could stop everything and just be pregnant for a bit.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Extremely Pregnant

<- Enjoying Brazil at 21 1/2 weeks (2 1/2 weeks ago - even "pregnanter" today! :)

That's how I've been feeling in the last CRAZY days. Which is funny considering that I'm not even officialy 6 months along yet (but close - 24 weeks today).

What do I mean by "crazy" days, you might ask? Well, let me count the ways. It started with us packing like maniacs for our move to Texas - hubby's wonderful family came over and helped us with the ordeal. Then they drove us to the airport, where we'd be off to Brazil while they drove all of our earthly possessions across country. Gotta love 'em!

This trip to Brazil had been scheduled way before we ever knew we'd move, so it turned out that a million of important happenings ended up one after the other - the Brazil trip (to visit my family), the move AND, just for excitement's sake, also a writer's conference thrown in (I flew to St. Louis the morning after we arrived in Texas).

Oh, and may I remind you the baby inside me did NOT stop growing?? :) When all of this started, I felt semi-normal, not totally comfortable running around but pretty okay. The trip to Brazil was hard just because of Melissa's hatred towards the plane, but surprisingly, not because of backaches or any of the issues I had throughout my entire pregnancy with her. I did have a very very dizzy moment though, but thank God, we were already in Brazil, where people usually don't see the problem with staring at each other - which works wonders when you need someone to see you're about to faint and put in front of the line. So crisis averted :).

In Vitoria (my hometown), I started feeling the symptoms of extreme pregnancy-ities around our first trip to the mall. Let's just say this was not the experience I remembered having as a teen. My feet did not use to swell, and I did not walk like a duck who needed to go to the bathroom. I was like, really?? I'm barely pregnant!! Okay, 5 months isn't barely, but it isn't the end of the line either. And wasn't I packing up boxes like crazy just the week before? How come now I could barely stand to maneuver my purse?

So needless to say, my trip to Brazil was a lot less productive then I'd envisioned. We did enjoy the beach and the pool, but not nearly as often as I'd hoped. And in between several family visits (haven't seen most of them for almost 5 years), I wasn't able to go out with a girlfriend once. I feel guilty even typing this - there were some dear, dear people I didn't call not because I didn't miss them, but because I was afraid they'd think otherwise when I'd tell them I wouldn't have a chance to see them. It's so hard to explain to non-pregnant people that you can only handle so much socializing during the day, before your belly muscles start aching as if your baby's saying, "mom, ENOUGH".

After our Brazilian odyssey, we arrived in our new ADORABLE Texas home. Hubby's family not only drove our stuff here, they also organized most of it AND redecorated the place (painted walls, changed carpets, etc). I don't think we could ever, ever repay them. We'd thought we'd have to stay at hubby's parents' house until everything got settled, but the place looked so homey already (despite just a few boxes around) that we could move in right away. Yay!!

BUT the very next morning, I still had a plane to catch to St. Louis, where I'd attend the American Christian Fiction Writers' conference. My body said no but my heart said yes, so there I went. It was one of those things that, if you don't go, you'll never know what would've happened.

And I'm glad I did! It was so cool meeting my awesome writing mentor Betsy St. Amant, and making fun friends like my other roomie, Jenness Walker. And I only really felt my extreme-pregnancy-ities towards the end - the first couple of days, I was in an adrenaline rush, absorbing the huge amount of information around me, and getting starstruck every time I turned around. Even made some good connections for my writing, but I refrain from speaking about them further in order not to jinx them hehe.

So now, after this hurricane of adventures and emotions (like a soap opera commercial lol), I'm finally home. We're still putting a lot of stuff away, and fixing some things here and there, but it feels amazing already. Just being here in Texas feels right. David and I keep trying to find the exact reasons, but the thing is, God's led us here, pure and simple. And there's nothing better than being where He wants you to be - even if it's all over the place until you find your sweet spot :).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mothers of Boys, Tell Me Your Stories :)

Yessss, that's what it means - we did the big ultrasound last Thursday, and turns out baby #2 is a boy!!!

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee :D

You know when you roll a dice thinking of a number, and then when it comes up you're like, "whoa, what were the odds?"

That's how I'm feeling right now. Not that my odds weren't good (50% :), but it just seemed like too much of a coincidence for me to want to have boy next AND actually have one. It's crazy. I'm still in awe of this.

I wanted a boy for so many reasons. Let me count:

- great excuse to buy more baby stuff (need blue this time! :);

- Melissa seems to have more fun playing with boys than girls - they crack her up;

- speaking of her, it might help Miss High Maintenance deal with the fact that someone else will receive attention (at least he won't steal her pink stuff);

- and, well, who doesn't want one of each?

It sounded like more reasons on my head, but the thing is, I'm just really happy about it. Seeing Melissa getting cuter every day makes me excited to see what other kid we can come up with lol. It's just so fascinating to watch someone develop.

Now, just because I'm on the subject of development (and to give each child equal blog time), I think it's valid to list some of Melissa's latest cutenesses:

- When we do something she enjoys (like throwing a toy in the air), the way she gets to make us repeat is by yelling: "On your mark, go!" Over. And over. And over.

- Since I like to tell her, "Are you my baby? Yes you are!", now she's been coming to me saying, "Are you my mommy?" :)

- She says "I love you"!! It sounds more like "I loww yoou", and comes with a hug. *tear*

- She likes to put an "s" to the end of words, so they sound more sophisticated. Water is now "waters" and her toy doggie is "doggies" (oh, and also "booger" is "boogers" lol).

- She says "thank you mommy" often (even to daddy :) - and speaking of that, she kinda trades off our "names" (mommy & daddy) from time to time.

I could go on, but I think I already put y'all through enough bragging.

On sort of unrelated news, we are in the process of moving to Texas (AND planning our trip to Brazil - this Thursday!!), so if I disappear (again), you know why.

Now all of you moms of boys, please tell me what I have to look forward to!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Weighting Game

<- 17 weeks!

So I finally took some more belly pics - after over a month from the last ones. I know, I know. I'm neglecting this baby (or pregnancy) already.

With my first one, I think I took pictures every week, documented almost everything and even promised myself I'd do the same the next time. HA. The innocence of someone who doesn't have a toddler.

But this post isn't about the pictures. Is about how delusional apparently I am with my weight situation.

For instance: at 12 weeks, I thought I was HUGE. Not belly huge, but neck, chin and arms. But apparently I was doing pretty good - the doctor's scale said that I'd lost 2 pounds. They looked at me with concern, but I was like, woohoo! How long can we keep this up without harming the baby?

So lately I've been feeling the opposite of how I did in the beginning - hardly notice any double chin, and even thought I was losing more weight. Well, the last appointment showed that I've gained said 2 pounds. It might be the bacon and eggs I eat frequently for lunch (what can I say, baby NEEDS protein). And yes, I've tried every other kind of lunch imaginable, but it seems that if I don't inject ridiculous amounts of protein into my veins, I literally CRASH around 3 (precisely the time Melissa's waking up from her nap). And when I say crash, I mean have rapid breathing, extreme weakness until my eyes get so heavy I can't open them anymore. Plenty of times I let Melissa call for me just for a couple minutes, so I can close my eyes briefly to pretend I'd taken a nap. Which makes me feel guilty now that she's been so good about sleeping for 2 whole hours.

Speaking of that, I'd better go check on her. I leave you with a couple pics of my latest preggie footage (and Melissa, of course, had to steal the spotlight :).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Baby Dreams

<- This is how she is... and this is how I dream about her->

Melissa's been officially a little girl for some time now, but when I dream about her, she's always still a little baby. She fits on my chest, can barely move and never, ever eats on her own. But the terrifying thing is that, though she's so dependent, I spend half the dream looking for her, as if I misplaced her somewhere. And whenever I am with her, I'm NEVER doing it right - either holding her weird, or not feeding her the right thing, or it's confusing, but clear that something is terribly wrong.

I don't have to be a dream specialist to know this means I miss my baby. Also that haven't been all that confident on my parenting skills.

When she was a baby, I thought she was SO much work, but today I see how low maintenance she actually was. There wasn't much else to do besides change diaper, nurse (or give bottle), cuddle and repeat. Okay, tummy time and baths too, but really, this was NOTHING compared to:

Chasing her around the house; Should she watch TV or not?; Or better yet, should I feel guilty I let her watch TV? (don't judge, I'm an invalid preggie); Should I discipline her right now or just take the breakdown as a mother-daughter venting session?; I got REALLY mad. Did I traumatize her?; I wonder if I didn't get mad enough, and now she thinks it's okay; Has she eaten enough protein today? Will she pass out in her sleep?; Is her blanky warm enough? Too warm?; I think I waited too long to her in the morning. But if I get up too quick I get dizzy and there goes my morning sanity; ...

Sorry for entering you into the crazy mine field that is my mind.

I guess I just miss the simplicity of when she was a baby. And don't get me wrong, I LOVE that she calls me mommy, says little sentences and understands a lot of what I tell her. I love that her face is taking its own shape, which is absolutely gorgeous. That she's sweet and says "hug" or "come" when she wants me to get her.

I do, I love toddlerhood. I'm just not sure if I'm keeping up with it expertly. I know I must not suck too much, 'cause she seems happy and is turning out a very fun and caring little girl, but you know how we moms are - we worry about nutrition, what we're imprinting in their subconscious, stuff like that.

Maybe what scares me is how quickly she's assimilating everything. When she was a baby, I felt like I had time to learn as I went - and granted, every time I thought I had it figured out she'd change, but still, she didn't change THAT fast. This is crazy. And though I'm excited about the other baby coming up, it's kinda sad that THIS baby is now only in my dreams.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Disappearance of the Pregnant Lady

I'm SO SO sorry for abandoning this blog for almost 2 weeks!! So I put together a little FAQ - not meaning that people actually ask me these questions frequently, but that I imagine it might cross their minds. And if you think they don't, please don't burst my bubble.

Q: Hi, Anne! How come you haven't blogged as much as before?
A: I'm pregnant.

Q: Oh, okay. But what about facebook? You rarely post, and when you do, it's about some bodily function.
A: I'm pregnant.

Q: I understand. In real life, though, why do you spend weeks without socializing?
A: Um, because I'm home, barefoot and pregnant.

Q: Also, about your posts. Whenever they do come - which takes FOREVER - they're just about how tired/nauseated you are. Isn't there anything else going on in your life?
A: This blog is mostly about motherhood, so I'd rather not go on and on about my plans to become a movie star and then end world hunger. Which is going to be a little harder now that I'm PREGNANT.

Q: C'mon, it can't be that bad. Don't you have such a cute daughter? For sure she's an endless source of posts.
A: She would be, if I wasn't PREGNANT with a nauseating child.

Q: I give up. Is there anything else you have to say for yourself? Please don't mention any medical conditions.
A: I'm sure that, somewhere deep inside me, there's still a well of deeply imaginative posts waiting to be posted. And one day, I might throw them all up at once. It will probably be when my TWO kids start kindergarten. But no guarantees - chances are, by then I'll be PREGNANT again.

Friday, July 15, 2011

In This Pregnancy, I Promise...

...not to wait until laundry becomes a 4 load monster that I have to wreck my back to tackle; give myself permission to feel miserable, without letting it make me miserable (all mothers - or all women who ever had a period - probably know what I mean); maintain realistic expectations about parenthood and the whole process of having a child, which are so, so far from Parents/Fit Pregnancy magazine covers;

...not to wait till I feel 100% social to see other humans, BUT, not to push it as if I'm a helpless isolated nerd if I don't; smile before I think of complaining of something (it always sounds better that way); laugh at my own invalidism; allow Melissa to make me laugh even though I feel like I'm about to puke on her head;

...not to imagine the worst scenario, EVER - unless for child protective purposes;

...not to use chocolate as a medication (but not make it the forbidden fruit either); truly believe I'm glowing like people say pregnant women do;

...not to freak out that I already have another kid to care for, but think of it as the proof that I've done it and survived.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I Think My Baby Ate My Brain

<- 12 weeks of brain mushiness

That's the only explanation. My mind's foggier than when I'd just given birth to Melissa - though I might be exaggerating, since the whole selective memory thing gives us enough amnesia to want to do this again :).

But lately I feel like everything is taking at least double the effort. Not just physically, but mentally too. It takes longer for me to figure things out. I used to be able to come up with a game plan for Melissa - if she seemed hungry, offer this; if cranky, then this; if hungry and cranky, then something else (plus the Wiggles). Now, I feel like I've turned dumb. Most of the time I don't have the faintest idea of what to do with her. There are certain routines that I do still follow (like her regular breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks), but even the timing and what I serve on these seem off. I just hope I don't mess her up too much until this baby comes out of me.

So I came to the conclusion that either my brain has become fetus food or my hormones have overcrowded it, turning half of it inactive. I cry for no reason often (or for silly reasons, like someone's sad on TV), have a headache if I think too hard and feel guilty almost all the time. I think, for example, that Melissa deserves a more energetic mother. Someone who isn't too busy growing a person to be completely in tune with her every need.

Of course I'm being dramatic - there are moments when everything feels right in the world, we're bonding and I'm so happy I'll have not one, but two little kids to squeeze. Melissa is such a little girl now that, when she's not being difficult, she's so funny and smart and sweet. I tell her that there's a baby in my belly and she looks at it confused, saying: "Where's the beddy? [she thinks it's more fun to say "belly" - "beddy" - than baby] Where did it go? Beddyy, where aare yoou?" She cracks me up everyday.

I think my body is shutting down my mind for anything except the baby, unless it's strictly necessary (like Melissa and hubby). It's annoying, 'cause I do want to be productive in other areas too (like writing), but EVERYTHING just seems like such a humongous effort. Strangely enough, at the same time I have been a little more disciplined about a few house chores (like cleaning the kitchen and the floor/carpet). Maybe my body understands that as strictly necessary (which I'm ashamed to say, it didn't always before :).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My First Fancy Interview: Betsy St. Amant, Author of "Fireman Dad"

What do I do when I'm not blogging or chasing after Melissa, you might ask?

I'm usually reading, writing or watching reality TV, and in between bugging my writing mentor, Betsy St. Amant. She's one of those rare super talented people who still corresponds with us, mere mortals. Here's the bio from her gorgeous website:

Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana and is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group. Betsy is multi-published through Steeple Hill and has been published in Christian Communicator magazine and Praise Reports: Inspiring Real Life Stories of How God Answers Prayer. One of her short stories, ‘Kickboxing or Chocolate’, appears in a Tyndale compilation book, and she is also multi-published through The Wild Rose Press. She has a BA in Christian Communications and regularly freelances for her local newspaper. Betsy is a fireman’s wife, a mommy to a busy toddler, a chocolate-loving author and an avid reader who enjoys sharing the wonders of God’s grace through her stories.

Betsy's latest novel is Fireman Dad, which was just given a 4 star review by Romantic Times Magazine. This fun and heartwarming story is about a stubborn woman, a hunky and determined man (the best combination :) and one of the most honorable professions out there. Betsy lets us in on the fears - and blessings - on being in love with a hero.

Betsy, you're awesome. How can you write a gazillion books, have a couple of part time jobs, a toddler and still put up with my hormonal emails?
To be honest? I still don't know. Ha! I chalk it up to the grace of God, and a totally unnatural amount of self-discipline. I'm a detailed, organized, goal-setting, list-making kind of girl, so I don't mind wearing the SuperWoman sometimes. There are definitely moments, though, when it chokes me and I have a hysterical fit that ends in my 3 year old patting my shoulder: "Cheer up Mama". She's good for resetting my priorities :) Trust me, I'm not perfect or Super. But thanks for the awesome compliment. I'll take it and stitch it on my cape.

Your leading lady has an aversion to dating firemen. Since you're married to one, can you point out the upsides?
Sure! There are definitely good and bad parts of being a fireman's wife, as the heroine discovered so well in the story. The downsides are obvious - crazy schedules, missed family time, low pay and significant danger. But the good parts include bragging rights (my hubbys a hero!) and how sexy they look in uniform ;). Also, the crazy schedule can sometimes be a good thing. All departments vary depending on city and state but typically, firemen around here work "5 on, 6 off" which means he works a 24 hour shift, is off 24 hours, works 24 hours, off 24 hours...5 times, and then gets 6 days off in a row. This is great for family time or taking vacations, yet not having to use actual banked vacation time. It's a huge plus and also makes working a side job easier. Plus, you sometimes get discounts at restaurants ;).

Despite Marissa's fears, her son wants to be a fireman when he grows up. Would you freak out if your daughter decided to do that? Are there any firegirls, by the way? Pardon my ignorance.
I probably would freak out, but thankfully I have a long time before my daughter decides on a career! haha. There are firewomen, but its pretty rare, at least around here, because of the physical requirements. There are physical tests before getting on the stations (especially city departments, often the country districts are volunteer only or have fewer requirements). You have to literally prove you can carry a human body so many yards and drag hoses and climb ladders and bail out windows from a two story building... It's not easy. Sure, there are women out there who COULD do it, but probably not a lot who WANT to. ;) To the ones who did, kudos!!!

It's very annoying how Marissa and Jacob are always supposed to be together in every single scene but never do until the very end. Why must you torture us so much?
Because otherwise the book would end on Chapter 1? HAHAH!

That's okay, we're tortured but we like it. The best part of the entire book for me is your testimony on the last page. It's amazing how God's come through for your family. Is that what compelled you to write the book?
I do enjoy torturing my readers. And my characters. But all to the greater good! Hehe. Seriously, though, yes, the true story part of this novel (as explained in the Dear Reader letter in the back) is exactly what prompted this story. It had to be told.

If you had to pick an actress to play Marissa in a movie, who would it be? I'd pick Alison Sweeney (Sami from Days of Our lives) - she has a good "angry but in love" face.
Ohhhh good choice! I answered this question in another interview and chose Julianne Hough. What do you think?

I love her! Who would you pick for Jacob? Kirk Cameron already has experience playing a fireman in Fireproof - but he doesn't do kissing scenes, and Fireman Dad's movie would have some really good ones :).
Yes, there must be kisses. I chose Josh Duhamel.

I like him too, but can't forget those rumors about him cheating on Fergie (probably not true) - people would never say that about Jacob :). Anyway, to wrap it up, could you elaborate on why Christian romance is so awesome?
I think Christian romances are awesome because not only do they inspire and encourage someone still waiting to find the right person to share their lives with, they also remind said reader that the ultimate Lover of our souls is Jesus. And that while finding earthly love is wonderful and a blessing and something to strive for, it's not the bottom line. We'll truly never be satisfied in our hearts until we connected with the One who set them to beating.

Fireman Dad will be available on August 1st. Order it on ChristianBook here! Also, check out Betsy's blog.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

2nd Pregnancy Ramblings: Can't Believe I'm Doing This Again

Seriously, I can't. Not that I'm not excited - I am, it's just VERY surreal. So sorry if this post is scattered and doesn't really make sense. I usually don't anymore.

When we first thought of getting pregnant, I felt like we were cheating on Melissa. It felt absurd to think of loving another child as much as her. Impossible, even. Then, when I realized it would be possible, I was afraid of it. Afraid of what it would mean to care so much for two people and being still just one person.

Now, it must be that I'm less afraid. Or that, with the decision to move to Texas, I'm breathing in relief to know there will be other family members around to help me love these little people. But the fact is, I feel more excited than afraid. Instead of thinking: "oh my gosh, I already die of worry about Melissa, how can I handle double that" to "how awesome will it be to be as amazed as I am with Melissa, only twice??"

Another reason for my better perspective could be that Melissa's growing SO fast, talking and understand much more than ever that maybe I miss her babyness. She has recently discovered she has a will, and that she can fight it until she gets what she wants. For that often she uses "emotional intimidation" - which consists of crying as if her heart is broken forever. The first time she did this I comforted her, thinking she'd just been traumatized. But after the fifth trauma in the same morning, I realized they might have been premeditated. She sure knows how to turn on the waterworks.

I'm missing when I used to able to calm her as a tiny baby. When she was too small and too undeveloped to be this strong-willed. But then again, at that time I used to be jealous of moms with toddlers, who bragged about the cute things their kids said/did. I guess we're never satisfied, are we?

Maybe the point of this rambling is that, while I still can't believe I'm doing this again, I'm up for it. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention - I feel the baby sometimes!! I know a bunch of people out there might think I'm crazy, but I'm so sure of it. And hey, according to, right now (11 weeks) baby's the size of a lime. So imagine if there was a little lime inside your stomach with tiny arms and webbed fingers swimming away. You'd feel it, right? Sure, by the first pregnancy you'd think it was gas, but by the second, you KNOW it. Gas doesn't go "tap tap tap tap", like walking in circles inside you.

So this is the end of my first 2nd pregnancy ramblings. More to come. Now that I didn't go to Brazil (read update at the bottom of latest post), at least I'm excited I'll get an appointment on the 13th (not this Wednesday, the next one). Please pray everything will be ok!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Want to Fast Forward This Week

Oh my gosh, what a week it's been. SO much has happened, and SO much is threatening to happen if something very important doesn't happen. Let me explain.

First, the easy to describe part: hubby, Melissa and I have a trip to Brazil scheduled for this Friday. Awesome, right? Well, it will be, as long as I get the 2 dang passports we need (my renewed one and Melissa's), that over a month ago they guaranteed me it would arrive before this trip!! As far as I knew, this is over 2 weeks late. AND it's supposed to be express mail, from San Francisco - so if they sent me (which I'm hoping so!) it would've arrived the next day. I'm FREAKING OUT. Every time I look out the window and the USPS lady isn't there I feel my heart break, much like in my teenage ears when I'd expect a call/email from the crush of the moment. I'm a mess, you guys. I'm too hormonal to deal with this much anxiety.

If these passports don't come, of course we'll have to postpone the trip - and as upsetting as it is, it'd actually be the least of our problems. The tricky thing would be to figure out for when. I've called the consulate a million times to find out what the heck happened to our passports and no. one. EVER. answeeeeers!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm SO angry you guys have no idea. I've left 4 (or maybe 5) messages on the verge of tears pleading for them to get back to me, and nothing. Honestly, I don't think anybody even cares to check the messages there. Before you have a chance to leave a message, there's this ridiculously long recording (like 5 minutes) describing their requirements for documents (which you can also find on the website). So I guess they just assume this is all we need. Ugh!!! And to think that David and I couldn't stop talking about how nice everybody was when we went there.

So, believe it or not, this was the easy part to describe :). The hard part, and that might seem very sudden to our friends is that we have made the official decision to move to Texas. Not just, in the future, but soon. Like 2 months from now. More specifically, September 1st.

We'll try emailing our closest friends to tell more details about it, but sorry if we take a bit - we're still up in the air with this whole trip situation, and also with the things to figure out for the move. It's sudden for us too! But trust us, we're really, really happy about it. We've always thought of going there at some point (to raise our kids near family), and it seems like this is the first time we feel complete peace about it.

I don't want to give too many details here on the blog for the world to see, but we WILL explain it all to our friends eventually, please be patient. Just pray that we'll get through this week and maybe even make it to the plane on Friday. Oh, God, please. We REALLY need this vacation.

**Update: Good news - we got the passports!! They were on the consulate all this time, can you believe it?? The complicated news is that we realized that if we waited until September to travel (right before our move to Texas) we'd save a LOT of money. So I guess God allowed this for us to realize it. I'm sad I'm not arriving in Brazil right now, but glad we'll have a little more savings to help us with the transition. THANKS to everyone that prayed/sent happy thoughts!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Aaaah!! There's Another Baby Inside Me!!!

If anyone wondered why I haven't posted nearly as often as I used to, here's the reason...

Here we go again!!!!!!! :D 10 weeks on Thursday - due date January 20th 2012.

I couldn't believe how quickly the positive line appeared. And it was even stronger than the one that shows the test is working! With Melissa, all I'd gotten was a very faint one.

So forgive me for my lack of creativity lately, I've just been trying to exist without puking on my child. Even though much like my first pregnancy, I haven't actually puked, but feel on the edge of it almost constantly. It SUCKS. Big time.

I look at all the people I know that might think pregnancy is this dream experience, and I'll tell you, it is NOT. You might be thrilled about the idea before it actually happens, but once you are, well, let's just say it's really hard to be nauseated AND excited. While your toddler whines in confusion of why you're not so playful anymore.

Of course I'm generalizing - I'm sure a lot of preggies out there have wonderful symptom-free pregnancies and/or a much much better attitude than mine. Or better hormones, it may be. I feel so altered I can't even stand myself. At least this time I know I'm not going crazy and this does not mean that my motherly skills are doomed (as I feared in my first), so I just put up with it with a fake smile. Most of the time.

Okay, before I sound like the grounchy old pregnant witch of the west... There are some things that make me smile. Such as:

Melissa's little girl-ness. The way she snuggles with her stuffed animals, dances and sings to herself. It makes me hopeful that, one day, I'll have two kids being this cute. Which is totally worth the first crazy months I heard of about having two kids.

The un-mystery of labor. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that I've already pushed a baby out once. And I didn't die. Neither did my organs all fall out from the gigantic whole caused by the baby's head. I know, I'm being dramatic, but this was my subconscious fear. I just couldn't imagine going through this and surviving, or at least dying of pain. But I'm happy to say it didn't hurt much more than a bad constipation.

The lower expectations. Much like your wedding, the first time you have this unrealistic view of what carrying a child should feel like. I thought it'd be magical 100% of the time, and since I'd always loved how pregnant women looked, I thought I'd feel like a goddess. Uh, not so. But at least this time I have no unrealistic hopes about still having ankles at the end of this. Which is strangely freeing.

The lower fear. I think the biggest characteristic of my first pregnancy was sheer panic. Panic that anything would happen to the baby, that I'd feel miserable forever, that I'd permanently morph into a whale. Not that the worry about the baby or myself ever goes away - it kinda comes with the fetus! - but at least I'm happy to report I'm not NEARLY as terrified as the other time. I think then I walked around in a constant deer-in-the-headlights state. Now, chasing Melissa, I don't even have time to panic as much. Besides, I'm much more confident I'm gonna like the end results :).

Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Review: Canary Island Song by Robin Jones Gunn

First, pause for *squeeeeeeeal* about receiving this not yet published book of my very first favorite author! She asked on her newsletter if any bloggers would be interested, and I was like, "YES!! Pick MEEEE!!!"

Ahem. Okay, let me compose myself. I should give you guys a little history: when I was 13 (14 years ago), still living in Brazil, I discovered her Christy Miller Series. Back then, you couldn't find Christian teen novels, at least not contemporary ones that were as fun as hers. I was so hooked that, for my 16th birthday, I asked for 12 of her books ordered by Amazon (since not all of her series had been translated to Portuguese yet). So for entire 6 months, you'd only find me buried behind them, which probably hurt my social life, come to think about it. But I never noticed. It was an absolute dream.

The reason I mention this is that in Canary Island Song (which is for an older audience), there's not one, but two people who've been mentioned in her teen series. I think all of her longtime readers will agree with me that it's created an addiction that will not go away. We will forever wonder what happened to Christy & Todd, Katie Weldon and Sierra Jensen. Aah... I feel like I'm talking about my high school best friends. Which is making me sound more like a nerd. So back to the new book.

Another cool thing about it is that the main character lives in San Francisco (though she's out on a trip for most of the story), and I live in this area (just about an hour away). Also, Robin's description of the Canary Islands kind of reminded me of my homeland. Not exactly - the culture is still different, but just the concept of a more laid back approach to life. I think there is more of a mindset to enjoy life than I find here in the States. Though honestly, I don't think one place is better than the other, they're just different! But reading this book actually made me homesick, which I didn't anticipate.

I liked the character's transformation on her trip, but during the middle of the story I think I just missed more interaction between her and Brian. I think the author wanted to focus on her healing first and then unravel their relationship, but I found myself reading as fast as I could just to get to their dates haha. But I guess that's just me - I'm an EAGER reader. If you give me a potential couple in the beginning, from then on all I'll be thinking is, "have they kissed yet??" :) What I've been trying to learn is to enjoy the ride (also as a writer).

To sum it up, it's a lovely story about how we need God's healing in order to move forward and enjoy what's next in our lives. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: Robin's an ending expert. Even if you can already tell where she's going, she makes it happen in a way that still surprises you. Then you're like: "I knew they'd end up together, why am I tearing up??" Because she's an artist, that's why. And because she writes with her heart.

So without further ado, here's the publisher's description:

When Carolyn’s grown daughter tells her she needs to "get a life," Carolyn decides it’s time to step out of her familiar routine as a single woman in San Francisco and escape to her mother’s home in the Canary Islands. Since Carolyn’s mother is celebrating her seventieth birthday, the timing of Carolyn’s visit makes for a perfect surprise.

The surprise, however, is on Carolyn when she sees Bryan Spencer, her high school summer love. It’s been seven years since Carolyn lost her husband, but ever since that tragic day, her life has grown smaller and closed in. The time has come for Carolyn to get her heart back. It takes the gentle affection of her mother and aunts, as well as the ministering beauty and song of the islands to draw Carolyn into the fullness of life. She is nudged along by a Flamenco dance lesson, a defining camel ride and the steady gaze of Bryan’s intense blue-gray eyes.

Is it too late for Carolyn to trust Bryan? Can Carolyn believe that Bryan has turned into something more than the wild beach boy who stole her kisses so many years ago on a balmy Canary night?

Carolyn is reminded that Christopher Columbus set sail from the Canary Islands in 1492 on his voyage to discover the New World. Is she ready to set sail from these same islands to discover her new life?

Author Bio
Robin Jones Gunn is the much-loved author of seventy titles that have sold more than four million copies worldwide. Her popular Christy Miller series and Sisterchicks® novels have won a number of awards, including three Christy Awards for excellence in fiction, and a Gold Medallion Award finalist award. Robin's unique destination novels transport readers around the globe. To ensure that her tales of these extraordinary locations ring true, Robin has enjoyed the privilege of traveling to each location in order to experience the local culture. Her three visits to the Canary Islands provided bountiful research as she took flamenco dance lessons, rode a camel, and visited the chapel where Columbus prayed before departing on his famous journey. Robin and her husband have two grown children and live in Hawaii.

You can order this book on Christianbook here. It will be released on 07/05/11.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mornings With Melissa

I'm SO happy when you come get me!

But wait! I have to finish jumping up and down first.

Actually, it's just kind of fun to watch you try to catch me.

You'd never guess I was screaming bloody murder just a minute ago.

Monday, May 30, 2011

What Your Child Wants

Wow, I just realized that if this had been the title of a well written book, it'd be a best seller :). And not because I'm such a title genius, but because this is the question every parent asks every single day: what on earth does this kid want??

It's wonderful to learn some things that work - like favorite healthy (or at least not too unhealthy) foods, distractions most likely to stop tantrums, etc. But, several times in 24 hours, I find myself wondering what exactly goes into my daughter's head. Why did she seem to be crying for the ball, but now that I got it for her, she acts as if I've offended her. Why does she whine and shake her arms around the house, refusing to be comforted, fed or played with. Granted, this doesn't happen all the time - she's usually a very sweet kid, but sometimes, she's just annoyed. Period. It's like she REALLY wants something and is REALLY upset she just doesn't know how to tell me.

It doesn't help that the last few days I haven't been feeling my best (but that's a subject for another post). Yesterday was horrible, since I was a zombie half the day and Melissa puked twice (which she hadn't done in awhile). So today, I just decided to throw all expectation through the window and just take each minute - no, each second - as they came. Melissa threw her food on the floor? Okay, now I'm going to pick it up and the next second we're going to figure out what to do about her. No need having an emotional breakdown over this. Even though of course it's the first impulse to do so.

NOT saying at all that I haven't had any "aaaaaargh!!" moments (and the day's not over yet), but I've noticed I've been smiling a lot more. I think Melissa's noticing too. She's been less whiny, and when she does whine, it doesn't last nearly as long. I feel like we've bonded even more - she gave me little kissies in both cheeks! I don't think she'd ever kissed my cheeks (aside from a lick when she was younger :).

So anyway, this has brought me to my latest "aha" moment:

More than the right food, toy, game, etc, children want us to have a good attitude.

Of course they don't KNOW they want that, but in the end, they just want mommy and daddy to be happy with them, and around them. Our stress gives them stress. Which adds to the pressure for us to be in our best behavior around them, but I've realized it's for my own good. If I don't want my child to have a negative attitude, then I should not have one. It sounds so simple, yet it is SO hard, isn't it??

Try this today. Don't sweat the small stuff. Your life will not end if the carpet is dirty (trust me, I know!). Neither it will if the child is dirty, or if her feeding schedule isn't immaculate. I think we can do a lot more things right if we stop stressing out about doing them JUST right. That's a sure way of making a cranky mommy - and in the end, a cranky baby.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Never Thought I'd Say This: I Miss Breastfeeding

<- A year ago, I was SO excited when this started. Now I am...not.

I miss it when I could quiet Melissa instantly.

I miss it when she was too little to get away from me, or to do too much damage.

I miss not stressing out about preparing her meals (and worrying if she'll even eat it, or if it will end up on the floor or - most likely - both).

I miss being able to call my baby a baby.

But really, the thing I miss the most is the assurance that she's receiving all the nutrients she needs. I know, I sound like a Gerber commercial :), but it's a real worry of mine. I don't even know how she can be my daughter if she barely eats any meat! She'll only take cheeseburger pieces (bun, cheese & meat), but if we offer beef or chicken or you name it by itself, she won't have it.

My hope everyday is to make her have enough yogurt, cheese and Nutella & wheat bread sandwiches to give her some protein. I also haven't weaned her off of the pureed baby foods (though her doctor said I should) because that's the only way she'll ever eat veggies like sweet potatoes and corn. By the way, these are the ONLY veggies she'll take. At least she does like my V8 Juice (which is a fruit and vegetables combination). Too bad it makes her puke occasionally.

I've tried eggs, egg whites, ham (which she liked for a bit and now declared death to it), fish... I can't believe I gave birth to a vegetarian! Hopefully this is like when I offered her chocolate cake for the 1st time on her birthday and she hated it, but now she's definitely pro-chocolate (if I don't hide them, she even figures out how to unwrap 'em by herself). Whew. For a moment I thought we'd brought home the wrong baby.

So, anyone out there with toddler eating concerns? Tired of cleaning up their mess (because she will NOT let me feed her anymore) and changing them several times a day? Please send your advice and commiseration!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

As a Mom, I Wonder...

<- What goes on into this cute little head?

I never liked to put up a front of "super mommy". If somebody reading this ever thought I did, it was completely unintentional. And I'm flattered you thought so :).

As hard as it is to be a parent, I think it's even harder to try to look like you're perfect at it. Or to even believe there is such a thing as the "perfect" way to parent. That said, please don't judge me when I reveal some of my own questionings.

Do toddlers NEED pajamas?
First let's define what pajamas would be. Comfortable clothes? But isn't that what she's supposed to wear all the time anyway? Or what, is she supposed to wear a tutu during the day? So my only way out of this dilemma is to put her in jeans when we go out (with a cute girly top, of course). At home, she lives in pajamas. Whatever that means.

Why is TV the Devil?
I don't understand. I know we're not supposed to just leave 'em in front of it and play with them as much as we physically can, but eventually, I'll wear out. If I had a full time job, it'd be required by law that I take a break every so often. Why doesn't the same thing apply to stay-at-home moms?? And sometimes, if you don't turn on the Wiggles, your child is NEVER going to let you take that break.

How Much of a Germaphobe Should I Be?
When our babies are small, you want to wash the world around her with boiling water. But at 18 months, honestly, I've lost hope. If I were to freak out with everything she sticks in her mouth, I'd live in a constant state of alarm. Now that I think about it, I kinda do.

How do I know She's REALLY a Prodigy?
Melissa is fascinated with music and singing. She's also unusually (I think, since I never had another kid) nice and polite. She says "please" and "thank you" for almost everything, and I don't think I even seen her mad at a playmate, ever. She might get mad at us if she doesn't get her way, but whenever a friend throws a fit, she just looks confused, like it's not in her genetic make up to fight. Okay, I already know the answer to this question (of course she is :).

How do I know I'm REALLY Doing it Right?
I think every parent asks themselves that. I know she's happy because of her constant jumping and dancing, the huggies & kisses she gives me, and how often she wants to snuggle. But if a child specialist came over to evaluate my performance, I'm afraid I'd fail. This suspicion haunts me whenever she falls from one of her crazy climbs, or I think I've broken her heart forever because I was writing when she wanted me to chase her. It's SO hard to feel like you've done it right ALL day. So I just hold on to the fact that she's happy. And that's all the matters, right?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Do The Write Thing

<-Picture my friend Jen took on her phone after I told her the content of this post (please ignore the paleness :).

I think most bloggers are aspiring writers. Or at least just like it as a hobby, which I wish was my case sometimes. That way I could concentrate all of my writing energy here and create amazing posts nearly everyday. And this blog is such an amazing outlet for me to vent about motherhood that I never want to abandon it.

But the thing is, when I have an idea for a story, that's ALL I think about. I have to convince myself to stop obsessing over it long enough for me to sleep. And it's even harder not to use every single free minute on it, which can ultimately wear your mind out until you can't write anymore. But you're still addicted, so you end up just staring at the screen a lot.

This is the first time I'm ever mentioning my writing struggles on this blog, so I think this is progress. I just figured that instead of disappearing whenever I'm immersed into a new project, I could just be honest about it. Maybe this will encourage some other writing-addict out there. Who knows.

I also always thought that I'd have to be published to be comfortable telling people I actually write. But you see, turns out in September, I'll be attending this awesome American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in St. Louis, so I think I should get used to it. There, I'll need to be able to sell what I wrote and know how to talk about it. I still don't want to reveal my newest plot here (still developing it!), but at least I'm confessing my addiction. I write. What's yours?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Amnesia

<- Outside of IHOP looking springy :).

I cannot believe I have no recollection of last year's Mother's Day. Melissa was already sleeping through the night by then, so I don't have the sleep deprivation excuse. I just have the too-focused-on-the-new-baby-to-notice-anything-else one.

BUT this year I guarantee you I'll remember for a long time. You can ask me next year. I ate what felt like an entire cow at IHOP and Melissa didn't fuss, then I went shopping at the mall BY MYSELF. All the while - wait for it - WEARING A DRESS. I didn't know I could break so many records in one afternoon.

Now that I think about it, this is the description of my Mother's Day Eve - the day itself I might forget. Maybe because as wonderful as the eve was, it involved an insane amount of walking (and several hours of Melissa-watching for daddy), resulting in both of us completely wiped out on the day we were actually supposed to celebrate. But that's okay because we had church (which, with Melissa in the nursery for 1 hour and half, is like a date) and later in the day Melissa's long lost brother (Daniel, the boy I watched for about a week while my friend worked) came over. It might sound like 2 kids 2 and under would be more exhausting than 1, but not necessarily. They entertain each other pretty nicely. Now Melissa's having withdraws and being needier and fussier than ever.

So sorry if this post (or my last few posts) are all over the place, but this is what my life feels like lately. I'm exhausted at the end of everyday and am not sure what exactly I got done. At least I'm happy to report our place is presentable on a regular basis (another record!) and Melissa's is getting lots of play time (like in a few minutes, another friend will arrive with her girl). So considering the loss of my brain cells ever since she was born, I'm getting a lot done!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Too Much Mom Tuesday: Have You Arrived?

<- There's no perfect stop! :)

I guess my last post could've been a "Too Much Mom" post, couldn't it? I talked much more about style than motherhood (even though it was somehow related). But today I want to talk about something that I think everyone could relate to, mothers or not.

Do you ever feel like you've "arrived"? Do you have those moments that you think, "I'm living the dream"? Not to say that you ever fully arrive - there's always something else to achieve, thank God. Or else life would become boring.

But I'm talking about the other extreme. About restlessness, and feeling uncomfortable in your own shoes. Do you ever feel proud of yourself? You know, you should. I'm 100% positive that everyone reading this has grown in some point of their lives, and has something now that seemed like a distant possibility in the past.

I mention this because I have come to the conclusion that this restless feeling never fully goes away. Some of my non-mommy friends might look at me as if I have arrived and they haven't. But I look at them thinking of how they don't need the pounds of concealer I wear under my eyes, and how they can just go anywhere anytime. I also have single friends who might get the idea that having a family means everyday is a fairytale. Trust me, life is NEVER perfect. And if you're not content now, a husband and a kid won't make any difference (as much as it might seem like it would).

The people closest to me know that I've always had to work on being content. It becomes a habit to only see what didn't work out - even if it's minimal - rather than what did. And then that seems to start a domino effect, making everything else fall apart too. You know how some days when you drop something on the floor, and then it keeps happening again and again?

It's the same with our attitude. A crappy thought attracts more crappy, self-loathing thoughts, until you've successfully spoiled everything you had going for yourself. And what you didn't, well, you're too crappy to notice. It hasn't been that long since I've realized this, and it's made a world of difference since then. I watch my thoughts like a hawk. Not that I've ever arrived - of course not :) - but I've come a long way from allowing one bad moment or one thing that I don't have to keep me from enjoying what's around me.

I'm sure each of you live pretty fabulous lives and don't even know it. For a second, don't think about what you want to achieve; think about how much you wanted what you have right now. That diploma, that job, that child or that independence. If you really think about it, you know you got it going on :).