Why I relate to Rudy Giuliani…

Those of you who know me and my political stances are likely scratching your heads pretty hard here, but hear me out.

Also, I love Jesus, but I cuss a little…or a lot tonight, so if this isn’t your cup of tea, pass on this post.

On September 10th, 2001, many New Yorkers and Americans in general didn’t care for Rudy Guiliani.  His leadership style is brash, it’s abrasive, he’s not a “warm and fuzzy” kind of guy.  This leadership style and personality for that matter isn’t known for making friends which is why on September 11th, 2001, when New York needed a leader to step in amongst fear, chaos, and tragedy, he gained accolades for how he handled the situation.  His leadership style was made for tragic and earth shattering events that he can process while everyone else stands a bit shell-shocked.

This is me.  I am that person.  I’m not one to make a lot of friends and I’ve certainly rubbed many people the wrong way, but in a time of crisis, specifically in my family, I’m the one who steps in and brings order to the chaos, it’s just what I do.

Aside from being characterized as controlling and bitchy (both titles I don’t mind wearing I suppose) the other downside to this is that people assume when you’re in crisis that you don’t necessarily need help because you always know what to do in these types of situations.  And the truth is, you do, except when it’s happening to you.

Tomorrow, I’m having surgery (if I could go through one calendar year without a surgery, I would be really happy) to remove at least my right ovary with the possibility of also removing my left ovary and my uterus.  My GYN has been monitoring a cyst on my right ovary that’s now starting to not look like a cyst and is growing more than his liking plus all sorts of other junk now showing on my ovaries, add that to a family history of ovarian cancer and you get yourself on the calendar for an Oophorectomy possibly hysterectomy.

I think you, of all people, will understand me when I say child bearing was the last thing I was worried about when my GYN talked about the nasty “C” word (rhymes with dancer), in fact the first thing I said to him was, “If it looks the last bit suspicious, take the bitches out.”

I have a really awesome doctor, but, yes, I really did say that to him.

I have a beautiful, intelligent, amazing, kind, sweet daughter that I need to be here for.  Bearing children and child-birth frankly, just are not in my cards and I have long since accepted that, so take the bitches out.

But it’s scary.  And I’ve known for a long time but haven’t really talked about it and that’s how you know I’m really afraid, when I stop talking about something that’s bad.  And it means that inevitably there will be a break down, not a pretty one, an ugly one, a very, very ugly one.

Which leads me to Christmas Eve.  A, E, and I headed to Disneyland for Christmas because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and well, now seems like as good a time as any to cross things off the good old bucket list.  It was not anywhere close to busy, surprisingly, which meant that when we crossed Main Street as they were lighting Sleeping Beauty’s Castle we found a great spot right underneath the “snow” machine with a perfect view of the castle.  The lights went dark, the castle lit up in all it’s beauty, and it started snowing on Main Street, on Christmas Eve, while I was holding my little girl.

And I lost it.  I was literally ugly crying in the middle of Main Street on Christmas Eve.  Not even a clean ugly cry- a sobbing, hysterical, mucus filled all out break down.

This is what happens to us, those people who are the “go to’s” in times of crisis when we have our own personal crisis.  We’re so used to being the “go to” that we’re not sure whom we should go to.  And people are so used to us taking care of our business, that they assume we can take care of this ourselves too.  And we can’t.

So, I’m talking about it.  A little late, but I’m talking about it because I want to celebrate with you when they tell me my ovaries are just ugly, not diseased, just ugly bitches.  And I want to be able to lean on you if I have to tell you something different.  Because while I’m usually strong in the face of adversity, this scares me, a lot.

And just for the record, aside from the ridiculously insane ugly cry, the memory of standing on Main Street on Christmas Eve in the “snow” with my daughter in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is one that I will treasure for the rest of my life.  I’ve had some amazingly magical moments at Disneyland, but none will ever top that moment.

Posted in Confessions, Fear, Personal Reflection | 1 Comment

Always.

I’ve been absent from blogging for a while now for a multitude of reasons, not having something to say isn’t one of them.  I’ve started a mixed dozen posts on a variety of topics from Disneyworld and Disneyland to returning to college after a 7ish year hiatus but haven’t finished any of them.

Tonight, I knew I wanted two put the proverbial pen to paper but my brain is fried after a long day of school, exam prep, working from home, and of course being a wife and mama.  Really, I should be exhausted and asleep by now, but I don’t think the 5-hour energy I took after class to keep myself from falling asleep in the empty solitude of our house while A was at work and E was at school has completely left my system.

Side note- prior to returning to school I could count on one hand how many energy drinks/supplements I had ever taken in my life, less than 5 in 31 years on this planet.  That number has now more than doubled.

Being a nursing student, part-time editor, mama, wife, friend, daughter, and concerned citizen is exhausting and hard.  I returned to school for a plethora of reasons.  Primarily for me, it’s something I have wanted to do for a while now and let’s face it, eventually E will be in school full-time, and then what?  Sure, we plan on adopting a second child in the near future, but eventually, that child too will be in school.  Eventually I have to decide what exactly it is I want to be when I grow up (or at least the general direction I’d like to head).

I know it’s empowering for my girl to see me going back to school.  To see me making education a priority in our home not just for her, but for each member of this family.  I hope that when she sees me walk across the stage with my nursing degree, it will be symbolic of knowing you truly can do anything if you believe in yourself and put forth the effort.  And as motivating as that is to me, I also know that it’s time I start reinvesting in myself, that by doing so, it will make me a better mother to my daughter.

Also, my baby sister just returned to college and I’ll be darned if I’m letting her finish her degree before me (Love you Andie) that’s what siblings are for right?  A little sibling rivalry never hurt anyone?

Obviously my new endeavor has impacted the amount of free time I have with my girl.  I try very diligently to not allow school to interfere with our time together but homework is homework and exams require studying and I know that our time has been cut from what it was (especially since she now spends two full days a week out of the house at school herself).

On our days together we focus on spending quality time together.  Sometimes it’s fun adventures around town, sometimes it’s couch picnics and snuggling up to movies.  E’s love language is physical attention, she needs to be hugged, held, snuggled, and touched to connect, and I am happy to provide that to her.  But lately, I’ve felt as though I’ve failed more days than I succeeded.

E is three and a half.  The term “threenager” did not come about by coincidence – it’s a tough age.  We’ve had our share of days full of tantrums, potty training regression, outright disobedience, and tears (from both of us).  It’s been very challenging to see our reduced time spent together waisted away in these moments and I’ve not taken it well.  I’ve felt defeated, and guilty, and ashamed.

I’ve felt like a failure.

I suppose that’s why last month, on a random Wednesday, my daughter caught me completely by surprise.  After weeks of banging my head against the wall over her ongoing potty training regression that lasted longer than actual potty training, the constant tantrums, and the continual disregard for consequences for her behavior, I was certain that she thought I was the absolute meanest and horrible person on the planet (I’m fairly certain she even called me that a few times) who only wanted to give her consequences and take away all the fun and joy out of her life (yep, she’s said that to me too).

So, on that random Wednesday when she spoke words of pure love and understanding (as in she has actually been listening to what I’m saying) it gave me hope that maybe, just maybe we’ll both survive being three.  Those words were:

“Mama, I’m adopted and that means you, me, and daddy will always find each other.”

My response came instantly without hesitation, the same word that’s the last word I speak to her each evening before bed, the final word of “our song”, a word that signifies my promise to my daughter:

“Always.”

And in that moment I was reassured and even given a glimmer of hope that maybe her threenager years were subsiding.

Until the next time I had to take away the iPad.

Posted in Adoption, Amazing Husband, Baby E, Dream Come True, Personal Reflection, Taking Care of E | Leave a comment

A “Perfect” First Day of School

This morning was E’s first day of “real” Preschool. She had been in a Preschool environment since April, but today she started a new school that is an actual Academic Institution (literally) and not a daycare. To say it went perfectly means you have to understand my definition of perfect.

E has been home with myself or with a nanny for over 2 and a half years. This has meant that she has set her own sleeping schedule. Because she’s never really been required to wake up at a certain time to get to a sitter or daycare center based off of our work schedules, she tends to sleep in, take a later nap, and go to bed later then most kids her age. This has worked really well for our family. A often works late, and by her being up later has meant she’s gotten some quality time with daddy. This morning however, it backfired, severely.

Last night E had a very hard time getting to sleep. I laid down with her for over 3.5 hours before she finally fell asleep, and even then it wasn’t a deep sleep as whenever I tried to get out of her bed, she woke up and called out for me. In the end, I bunked with her for the night. I think she likely fell asleep around 11:45 or Midnight. This made her 7:00 a.m. wake up call tretourous. Let me simply say that if this was a preview of what we have to look forward to in her teenage years, well, I’m going to need to invest in protective armor considering she won’t be nearly as small as she is now.

On a typical day A will drive her to school since her school is walking distance from his office (which is a godsend). However, since it was her first day, I wanted to accompany them. Can I just say, after being a Stay-At-Home-Mom for the last two years, I have forgotten how horrible rush hour traffic is, let alone rush hour traffic in the rain? (We live in a desert, we don’t get too much rain, but it’s our monsoon season and this morning we got hit with a doozy!) Needless to say, this did not help the mood of the morning.

When we finally arrived to school, E was willing to be content enough to pose for a photo. Don’t let the smile fool you though my friends, plenty of tears were shed this morning:

First Day of School

 

Drop off went well, E has an excellent teacher who is more then equipped to handle helicopter parents (me) and get them out of the classroom quickly in a kind and loving manner.  I know she’s going to have an amazing first day in her new school.

I don’t start school until next week (say what?!) so her two days of school this week mean I have 12 hours of “free” time.  As I began my drive home I was still reeling from the events of the morning, somewhat disappointed that we had such a rough first day, that I spent this morning having to fight to get her ready instead of babbling on and on with her about what a wonderful first day she’d have.  Until, I drove by this:

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It’s our local Children’s Hospital.  The same one E spent countless hours, days, and nights in until we finally got her illnesses under control.  And I realized that on the other side of those walls were parents who would give anything to have had the ability to fight with their children as they prepared them for their school day, because it meant they were healthy enough to go to school.  And I thought of Jennifer.  And I thought of all of the waiting mama’s on the adoption boards I belong to and how they so desperately yearn for a child to “fight with” because that means they’re a parent.  And then I felt like a douche bag for setting unrealistic expectations.

So, while today may not have been the perfect first day of school according to Pinterest, or Facebook, or all the Mommy Blogs out there, it was perfect for us.  It was perfect for my baby girl who is a strong willed, determined, “do it in my own time” independent little girl.  A little girl who calls me mama, a title I am blessed beyond measure to have.

 

Posted in Baby E, Confessions, Day Care, Dream Come True, Personal Reflection, Taking Care of E | 1 Comment

It’s Not Fair.

I have about a million other things I need to accomplish this evening, but I have to put these feelings I’ve bottled up into words and release them before I allow them to darken in my heart rotting my soul.

As I’ve previously mentioned I went to a pretty bad place a few months ago, a place of disparity and angst. One that I thought I had reclaimed in my battle with infertility and trials of parenthood. It turns out, I may have won a battle, but the war will continue indefinitely as I see it.

And so, to keep myself ahead of the war, I’ve come here. To express the feelings I’ve been to ashamed/afraid/humiliated/proud (pick your favorite emotion and insert it because I’ve likely felt it) to say for too long in hopes that letting them out will loosen their grip on my heart.

It’s ironic too, because I feel like this disparity hits me when I’m at a peak of confidence. Maybe that’s why they hit me, because Satan so badly wants to claim me. Because misery loves company and he’s likely the most miserable of us all. Just yesterday I was expressing how content I was in our journey, how at peace I was with where we were at in trusting that it wasn’t in my control, so I could simply roll with it. Yesterday I was at peace knowing God would provide a child for our family if and when He made a child to match our hearts.

And today, that peace disappeared. I’m not quite sure why it did. It started so simply and it quickly snow balled into something different. At the root of it came the same phrase I’ve muttered over and over for years.

It’s not fair.

I realize that life isn’t fair, and by making that statement I likely sound like a high school drama queen. I own that. I don’t want to revel in that sentiment for months, or weeks, or even days. So, I’m saying it. And I’m saying it knowing that as horrible as I may feel about my “unfair” situation right now, I could easily think of a dozen people who are in an equally or more so “unfair situations”.

But for this moment, I’m claiming my situation unfair.

I feel like I’m being punished. I feel like God is not providing the child I so desperately want right now because He doesn’t think I’m worthy. I feel so alone in the journey, and feel like A & I are alone because we’re not worthy of having the support other’s have. I am so ashamed of the way I feel because I know how blessed I am to even have E. I have such an internal conflict of emotions and feelings raging in my head that I’m almost certain that if anyone else caught a glimpse of what was “going on” up there, they’d have me committed because it certainly cannot be normal to be in such a conflict with yourself.

When I attended Created for Care this past March, the worship band included Crowder’s song “I Am” in their line up. When one of the musicians introduced the song, he stated that sometimes in our relationship with God, it’s not just about us holding on to Him, sometimes, it’s about Him clinging so desperately to us. On evenings like this, when I feel like a feather is all that it would take to push me over the edge, I literally play the chorus over and over and over again in my mind:

I am, holding on to you.
I am, holding on to you.
In the middle of the storm, I am holding on, I am.

And I focus on one simple prayer:

Hold on to me oh Lord, please, don’t let me fall.

Posted in Adoption, Amazing Husband, Baby #2, Baby E, Fear, God is Faithful, Infertility, Personal Reflection | 1 Comment

Why I Will (at least for now) Always Return to Walt Disneyworld: The really long back story.

I’m sure it doesn’t come as a surprise to you that the months leading up to our trip were pretty rough for me emotionally and therefore also on my family.  I was overcome with intense desperation and fear and it quickly grabbed a hold of me and dragged me down deeper then I even care to remember right now.

I saw a doctor, I saw a counselor, I spoke to a few friends who understood what I was feeling.  It took a while but I finally started to claw my way out of the trench I had been drug into.  After meeting with my (amazing) primary care doctor for a few hours one afternoon about everything and trying to decide a more permanent course of action he recalled a video a colleague had sent him regarding eating lifestyles for women with endocronological (is that a word?) disorders like PCOS (which I have), Diabetes (which I do not have, and do not want), Insulin Resistance (which PCOS can cause), etc.  I watched the video and while I was skeptical at first, I was willing to try anything.  Low and behold…it worked and it worked fast.  In less than a weeks time I felt more emotionally balanced and stable then I had felt in months.  And while I had already started to climb out of my whole (which I’ll likely delve into more later I suppose) this change was like someone strapped a jet pack on me that launched me out of the hole with a vengeance.

I say all this not to word vomit to you about this lifestyle change I made, but because the last time I left you, it was pretty obvious that I was not in a good place.  And I want you to know that place resonated with me for a lot longer then I would have liked it too, but I also want you to know that I got out of that place before we took this trip, and I feel that’s really important to the outlook my little family of three had that week.

For my husband, his wife was finally smiling and happy and enjoying herself again.  And if you only know one thing about my husband, know that he would sacrifice anything to see his ladies (myself and E) happy.

For my daughter, mama was happy and playing and believing in magic, and even at her ripe old age of 3 (even though we may have told Disney she was just under 3…) she was fully aware to the change in my mentality and personality.

For me, I could finally feel the magic again and really, that’s what Disney is all about right – the magic?

We left for this trip excited not for the attractions, or Mickey Mouse, or dining experiences, or even Dole Whips we left purely excited for the fact that after a long, daunting few months we had a week of freedom to enjoy as a family no work or school, no appointments or commitments, no distractions, a week as the T family purely to explore and enjoy our time together.

And that my friends, is exactly what my little family needed.

Posted in Amazing Husband, Baby E, God is Faithful, Personal Reflection, Vacation | Leave a comment

Why I will (at least for now) Always Return to Walt Disney World – It Begins.

I know, I know.  Clearly I am an indecisive woman.  I spent months telling you all the reasons why I would never return to Disneyworld and now I’m telling you I’ll always return, it’s madness I tell you, pure madness.

My family and I just returned from the most amazing week long Walt Disneyworld stay I could ever have imagined.  It was the polar opposite of our trip in the fall.  It was the trip to end all trips.

And I spent half of what I spent on my fall trip on this trip.  (Ironic how that works, isn’t it).

Anyway, I have a lot of back story to fill in before I go into detail on this trip, but if you’re intrigued as to what on earth could have possibly happened that warmed my heart to Walt Disneyworld, stay tuned, you won’t want to miss it!  Our story includes a couple of Frozen princesses, a mine train, lots of Vitamin D, and a few Star Wars friends.

For now I leave you with this, pure and utter joy.

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Posted in Personal Reflection, Vacation | Leave a comment

Desperation

For the last month or so I’ve been in a place that is completely foreign to me, a place I thought I had returned my entry pass a long while ago.  It’s a place I don’t want to be, a place I know brings nothing but pain, sorrow, and misery, it’s not a place worth living in.

And the devil knows it.

When I reflect back on the events that have brought me the most happiness and unconditional love, the easiest thing for me to identify is that it took relinquishing my addiction to control (which is quite frankly an awful, ugly process) and coming to peace with not only what may be, but with what is right in front of me for the next chapter in my life to present itself.

The love of my life: I met A 7 days after ending a more than year long relationship with a man I was twitterpated with, a man I thought was the love of my life, a man who quite frankly wasn’t worthy of my time let alone my heart, but when he ended our relationship with me I was devastated, cried for days.  I thought I was unlovable among many other things.  But then, just a few days later, The Lord brought me my husband, a man who most days I wonder how I am worthy of his love.

My dream come true: The day before we found out about E my drawn out internal struggle over being able to procreate came to a head and lead to a break down on the freeway (emotional, not an actual vehicle breakdown).  A point when I felt like my lifelong dream of becoming a mother would never happen.  A point when I had reached and challenged every single relationship I had be it personal or professional over my inability to grasp why I was failing so miserably at the most primal thing a woman is designed to do.  And yet, less then two months to the day of that break down and finally relinquishing control, I was a mama, to the most amazing baby girl in the world.

My addiction to control is a hold the devil has over me and he knows it.  It’s a hold he will fight like hell before he has to relinquish bringing me nothing but a life full of insecurities and bitterness trashing the relationships I love and value most.  I think this recent turn of events caught me off guard because for so long I was so secure in believing that The Lord had an amazing story in mind for our family.  I was so certain of His ability to move mountains to bring our babies to us.  I believed with every core of my being that He would not forsake me.

Until I didn’t.

And as soon as I allowed the smallest sliver of doubt to creep in, Satan knew…he knew and he flourished on it and now I find myself in this bottomless pit of despair clinging to even the smallest grapple I can find to keep myself from sinking further and further into the oblivion of darkness with one simple prayer.

Heavenly Father, can you hear me, have you forgotten me?  I beg you Father, please come back to me.

 

 

Posted in Amazing Husband, Confessions, Fear, Personal Reflection | Leave a comment