Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hope

I enjoyed this explanation of how hope can become an active part of our entire lives, instead of just a nice concept we only entertain during the good times.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Stolen from Facebook


This brought tears to my eyes. Love it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A little (actually, kinda big) project

I got bored with my hair last week and cut it all off. I think a little over 11.5 inches. I've been wanting to do it for awhile, but I developed a strange attachment to long hair after a bad experience in high school (note to self: only Halle Berry and a few gorgeous others can pull off that kind of cut, but not me!). This cut is fresh but not nearly as traumatizing.

I only have to spend about 5 minutes on the hair now! So wonderful! I've got the thick, curly/wavy kind so long hair usually requires about 5 different products and lots of time, if I want to wear it down. These days, I like to devote that time to other things...

Other than in the bathroom (LOL) I've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen, with my kitchen helper. She really enjoys playing with flour and water (or pouring either one from one measuring cup to another).


Yesterday afternoon, I was thinking about how productivity boosts the spirits. I really miss making things. Food also happens to be my husband's love language. He's been wanting tamales for awhile... And for awhile, I've been too much of a weenie to attempt making them. I decided that I had better act while the inspiration was there :). So I called my grandma, got her recipe/tips, and made tamales for the first time (it was a two day process)! I still need a lot of work in the technique department (wrapping them properly, not overstuffing them, etc). I was also hoping to make some sweet dessert ones (my grandma makes some with nuts and pineapple--so good!), but after two dozen savory tamales I was pretty pooped. Half the masa is still in the fridge, but I hear it freezes well. I'll save the rest for the next practice batch :).


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Little Revelations


There are little moments in life that let you know you're doing something right. They can easily go unnoticed.

A few days ago, Mirabel went up to her dad's office door and called out for him. It was the middle of the week, some time in the late afternoon while he was at work.

A few days later, he walked out the back door to take the trash to the curb. She began crying pretty heavily as soon as the door shut. She stood by the door until he returned.

This morning she woke up too early. Usually she won't go back to sleep without me, but she cuddled up against him and fell right back to sleep.

Little girls don't love their dads like this unless they feel secure with them. I would know.

She has something so wonderful. It makes me feel like I've done something right.

The cycle has been broken; that's what I've always wanted for my family.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Explanation

I've got a fixed, forward stare and
I don't miss anything behind me,
Including myself.

explanation: During tough times, I keep looking forward. But I also realize that I'm not the same person I used to be. I'm stronger. So I don't miss the weaker person.


I'm slowly losing faith in the consistency of
what my senses can experience.
God's voice has become clearer in this loss.
Still, it is only a whisper.

explanation: We're not supposed to get our happiness from things we can touch, feel, taste, etc. Everything on Earth is changing, so we can't depend on it for our joy. We can only trust that there is Someone who is unchanging. When we trust in him instead of what our senses can experience, we hear his voice more. Whatever the circumstances.

The storm's white noise
Distorts His voice.

explanation: But there are going to be tough times. During those tough times, it's easy to let negativity deafen the message that God is trying to give us.

I transition into a sleepwalking state.

explanation: So I go into auto-pilot...because I'm not exactly sure what to do. But I haven't lost all hope. Because I still have faith.

But my subconscious is aware
of the Intercessor's prayers.

explanation: We are told that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.
Romans 8:28 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

He speaks
When I've lost the words,
So I can understand
What I haven't heard.

explanation: He prays for me when I don't know what to pray for, but I keep looking to him for strength. Also, he speaks to us when we are going through tough times if we choose to listen. He uses those tough times to silence us with his peace so that he can give us the message we've been missing. Everything happens for a reason, to teach us something, I really believe that.

So, symbols and analogies aside, life is pretty tough right now. Let me begin with the truth. I am so thankful that my husband was blessed with a job, especially considering some kids fresh out of law school don't have jobs (Harvard degrees don't matter these days). I am beyond blessed that I am NOT barren; something I thought I was just a few years ago. I never go without food, shelter or love. Wow! That's a lot to be thankful for, believe me, I am. I focus on those things when I get sucked into the negativity. I'm human after all, and need to be constantly coming back to God in prayer for refueling, otherwise I screw up. I'm really good at screwing up.

Anyway, the other side of the story. I will try to be as candid as possible without sounding like a spoiled, ungrateful child.

My poor husband (yes, I do pity him), has had to work EVERY SINGLE DAY for the past 3 weeks. He is working like crazy. It is in him to give his all, but right now he's working on a huge deal. Literally. Sadly, it's not the deal itself or even the work that weighs on his strong spirit. It's having a boss that I've never heard anyone in the office utter a positive remark about. I'm not going to go into details, but let's just say that he...is probably not a very happy person. It's quite sad, actually.

I don't have a perfect husband, but he is one of the strongest spirits I know. It takes a lot to make him sad. He has been a rock for our family during tough times, and a rock for his own family. So you can imagine how rough this situation must be if he is struggling to maintain that unbreakable, joyful personality.

I'm not that strong. I get very lonely. I make every effort to socialize and get out. There are days, as I have explained, that I cannot seem to make it out...because I'm stuck in the bathroom, in pain, with my iphone in my hand (attempting to keep my irritated toddler content with Cullen's ABC's on YouTube). It's actually a pretty funny site. I just wish I could laugh more about it. This happens about 2 to 3 times a week, but I'm in constant pain these days. Believe me, the gluten free diet made a HUGE difference when I wasn't pregnant. But, friends, I also have IBS (explanation here). It isn't really an issue when I'm not pregnant, in fact it is HARDLY an issue. Pregnancy hormones trigger it for me. Around the time women start getting morning sickness, the monster in my gut decides to wake from its slumber. It was a moderate issue with my first pregnancy. This time, it's really, really bad. So bad that I'm considering not giving birth to any more kids. I do want more, though, so adoption it will be. Who knows, maybe I will muster up the courage to have another one in a few years, but I don't know if that's the healthiest decision. I haven't gained any weight so far. With Mirabel I gained 15 pounds the first 3 months. That seems like a lot, but I am really thin. In fact, I'm 5'3" and not even 100 pounds! So I'm just praying for this baby's safety. This is why I was so happy to see that the baby had a heartbeat and that it was measuring right on target. God's hand is on that kid. See, being skinny isn't that great. I really have to eat A TON to gain weight, and I don't view this as a good thing, especially now. I think I'm going to go see a dietitian or nutritionist. I'm trying to be as proactive about this as possible.

Anyhow, I still view my husband and I as a team. Thankfully, this work thing isn't destroying our marriage. I made the decision that that wouldn't happen. Also, my husband makes a HUGE effort to spend as much time with us as he can. He loses sleep, even. But the critical emails from the boss continue to trail in, even past midnight. Last minute assignments are handed to Jose at 5 PM, so he usually doesn't get out of work before 7:30, sometimes it's 9 PM (and he leaves at 815 AM). No "Thank You's" are uttered. No apologies are ever made, even when they should be. Sundays at 11 AM are a good time for a 2 to 3 hour meeting, for this boss. Family life doesn't really seem to matter to him, poor guy. Truly, I have pity for the boss. I have to.

But one member of the team is usually missing. Moms, it's tough. You know what I'm talking about. But you know what? I'm doing it. And I haven't lost my faith. I still believe that God has his reasons, and I'm waiting to hear what I'm supposed to learn from all of this. I'm stronger today than I was yesterday, maybe that's what it's all about.

Words and music are my therapy. That's why I write. I would sing, but I don't want to scare anyone away ;), so I just blast music and dance, even if it's on my way to the bathroom for the 5th time that day :D.

Here's a song to get us thru:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

hearing without listening

I've got a fixed, forward stare and
I don't miss anything behind me,
Including myself.

I'm slowly losing faith in the consistency of
what my senses can experience.
God's voice has become clearer in this loss.
Still, it is only a whisper.

The storm's white noise
Distorts His voice.

I transition into a sleepwalking state.

But my subconscious is aware
of the Intercessor's prayers.

He speaks
When I've lost the words,
So I can understand
What I haven't heard.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2 months

...And even though she had a full-grown (well, nearly) one of these waiting for her at home, her heart still melted upon seeing the tiny, lovely being and its flickering heartbeat on the screen.
Most of this is bloating, I'm sure, but it's more bloating than I had with Mirabel at 2 months. I think it's true that you do show sooner with your second.

I'm actually 8 weeks 3 days. So I'm due on Saturday, August 25th. I don't know why I like the idea of giving birth on a weekend, as if it's easier or something. :P

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I get a prize at the end

Three days in a row of posting! I must be spending a lot of time at home... I am. And the better part of yesterday was spent in the restroom. Sadly, I think I might've developed some new intolerances with this pregnancy, so no more dairy for me. Hopefully that will take care of it. Praying it does.

I wonder how I'll look back at these times five years from now. And I also wonder how I would've experienced all of this 5 years ago? This all seemed so impossible five years ago--pregnancy. You'd think I'd stop using that word altogether. It puts limits on the possibility for miracles, and God's mysterious ways. Kind of like this situation.

I've made some friends over the past few months. Things were a little more quiet in that department when we lived in Boston. Mostly, because I worked full time and wanted to spend any free moments with Jose. I have a slight fear of losing friends, especially during times when I'm spending more time at home sick than out and about. I hope they understand. Still, a playdate is scheduled for tomorrow morning at a nearby park. I'll be there, sick or not. Even if I can only stay for a few minutes, at least I tried. I've got to accept that, too. These are the friends I prayed for, after all. I've got to remember that.

So these are the thoughts that come up when I slow down. What do you think about when life forces you to let your daily routine go?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Growing up

It's amazing how much sleep can make a difference in your day. I went into bed at 8 last night and Jose put Mirabel to sleep. It took me awhile to actually fall asleep (wanted to talk to the husband), but it was nice to rest.

In spite of a tough night the previous evening, we tried to stay entertained at home yesterday. We haven't been too busy; I enjoy taking it easy these days. Thankfully, Mirabel is (fairly) easily entertained (or, when she wants to be :), so she had fun exploring the front and back yard. She grabbed her purse and cell phone and ventured out the door. Mirabel is becoming such a little woman. She has more of the little girl look than the baby look these days. Makes me sad :(. But I love how interactive she's become.

Sounds like I'm talking about a doll, but the things she does! For instance...

Yesterday morning, as I was getting ready, she insisted on wearing lip balm. I have a little container from The Body Shop that she LOVES to play with. So I gave her the lip balm. But then she saw the eye lash curler and tried using it on herself. She also enjoys rubbing lotion on her face... and she has a collection of purses. But if you enter our home with a new and bigger (and, of course, more exciting) purse, she will leave the ones she has behind and explore every nook and cranny of yours until she's completely emptied it out and tested out the lipsticks (to see if they're her shade, duh! ;).

So here she is on her outdoor exploration with her purse and leapfrog cell phone (great gift from grandma :).

See the cell phone and how she holds her purse? Her expression is hilarious. This is one of the few times she's actually let me put her hair up. :) She's admiring an airplane in the photo next to it.

This shot was taken right before she got mad at Elmo for not sitting in the chair the way she wanted him to. She didn't forget to apologize with a hug at the end, though. The photo next to it was taken before nap time. I think she's thinking about how to get Elmo to cooperate a little better. Maybe I'm just projecting... :D

Making a quick stop at the mail box. She wanted to test out the quality of her cell phone's reception by sticking it inside one of the boxes.

That concludes one of our mornings :).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Believe me, I just said another prayer...

I find myself thinking/saying a lot, "I can't do this" or, "Wow! I didn't think I could do this but I just did it."

That happens a lot in matters related to sleep and health, and parenting :). Sleep has been an on/off issue for awhile. We were doing great. Then all of a sudden the waking up 6-10 times a night started all over again. I'm not sure what to do any more. I've tried everything in an effort to get this kid to sleep better. This weekend, we are going to try something all over again. I need it to work.

Some days I'm so tired, I truly feel like collapsing. That's especially true this first trimester. Dealing with a sleepless toddler for 12 hours a day and a rush of pregnancy hormones is tough. But, God, you know what. I'm blessed. I HATE being negative, but I need to get this out. Please bear with me.

Nothing lasts forever. One day, I'll be so sad that these times are gone. I'm looking forward to getting to hear this new baby's heartbeat for the first time (next week). Looking forward to the first steps, to seeing Mirabel's reaction when she fully understands that she has a sibling; getting to see them bond and develop a sweet relationship...

But right now I'm literally getting by one second at a time. Been up since 4 AM. My stomach always becomes a wreck with pregnancy hormones, and I'm not just talking about nausea (surprisingly, that is mild). It's like my digestive system can't figure out how to respond to the changes, so it just goes to extremes. It's been interesting.

On to the positive. Wow, I got pregnant that easily! I didn't think this could happen. I truly thought it was going to take some serious medical intervention. I'm still in shock. The first time, even. Don't they say that the average person has only about a 30% chance of conceiving on the first try? Yet it happened to me, and I haven't even had a cycle since July 2009.

But I could never be on that show, I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant. Believe me, I KNOW :)! If the breakouts on my face don't give it away, the exhaustion, serious heartburn, gas, indigestion, etc. DO :D.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

Last year around this time, we were fighting off snow storms and trying to stay warm despite power outages and below-zero temperatures. It was our first Cambridge winter with a baby, and our last Cambridge winter EVER.

Today, we celebrated the new year with open windows and 60 something degree temperatures. We're a little more South than last year (or a lot), and we got to spend the holiday season with family.

I like to look at life in terms of overall successes, instead of day to day failures. We're better off this year than we were last year, and not just in terms of warmth and sunshine.

This year we learned how to find and appreciate the balanced life. There's a time for work and a time for family. Yes, Jose has an awesome job that keeps him away 60-70 hours a week sometimes, but that's not all I'm referring to when I talk about "time for family" (he does a great job of balancing it all, by the way). We've learned how to make it work. Our time together is richer. We spend less time on the computer and more time talking to each other.

A full time job as a mom is also work. I've learned how to accept help without feeling inadequate. I'm learning that by taking these breaks, I'm actually investing in my family. I have more to offer, because I get a chance to refuel. Thankfully, I have a wonderful helpmate for a husband who supports and respects my job. Sometimes a break means hiring a sitter for a few hours so I can cook a meal without interruptions. Other times it means taking my parents up on their offer to babysit when they visit so we can go on a date (because they truly enjoy it! Plus, this is their not-so-indirect way of making sure they get more grandkids HA :).

But this year I want to focus more on words instead of actions. Whether I keep them to myself as thoughts, speak them into prayers, or share them with someone else, I want my words to reflect appreciation... Speaking more appreciative words to my husband... Spending more time praying for the blessings in my life (people) and thanking God for them, instead of planning and organizing...

I can already tell you that I've messed up on January 1st, 2012 :)! There are a few hours left, though. That's why I like to look at the big picture. If the picture I see on December 31, 2012 is any clearer than the one I saw on December 31, 2011, then I must be doing something right. And don't get me wrong, I love what I see. Just a few touch-ups need to be made. But honestly, it has to do with where I'm standing... and next year I hope to be standing closer to the Light that reflects the truth. That's what I hope for every year, or every day, really.

 

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