Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This stroller stops for noone

So, over the weekend, I decided it would be a good idea to finish wrapping gifts and going through stocking stuffers since last year, at the last minute, I realized that I was missing some stuff that I had hid somewhere in the house and then I was all grumpy and mad at myself. Upon doing this task, I realized that not only did I really not have much at all for Jonah, but I also had a total of 2 things for Jonah and Kate's stockings--that's 2 combined, not 2 each.

This was going to require more shopping.

Then yesterday my mom told me that she didn't feel like she had very much for Jonah in the way of gifts either (even though that's probably false since grandmas never think they buy enough). She asked if I wanted to go shopping with her. Usually, I love shopping, but I don't love shopping with four children in tow and I don't love shopping 3 days before Christmas with a stroller in the mall. Plus, the temperature was a balmy 18 degrees. Wahoo! Let's whip out the tank tops!

At the mere though of shopping, Jonah was repulsed as though stepping into a mall would cause his skin to peel off his body. He graciously volunteered to stay home with Landon for a couple of hours until my dad could come and pick them up. I took him up on this offer, grabbed the girls, and hit the road.

As we arrived at the mall and I unloaded the stoller, I realized that my days of stoller useage are numbered. It won't be too long before Kate is too big for it and then not only will I have whining children following me through the mall with tired legs, but I'll also not have any place to store my coat, purse and packages. Yuck.

The mall was crowded, of course, but the girls were great. They were great little shoppers and never batted an eyelash when I had to run over slow moving shoppers with the stroller. They held on tight and enjoyed the ride over the large speed bump wearing an ugly Christmas sweater.

Now, I'm DONE shopping. I'm thrilled about this and cannot wait to see everyone's faces on Christmas morning. I love this time of the year! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I can remember a time when Jonah was young having a conversation with someone I worked with about how a person "knows" she is done having kids. I, being someone who was desperately trying to have another baby, couldn't imagine ever knowing this for sure. However, after asking other women who had deemed themselves "done," I wondered if this would be true of me, too.

When I was pregnant with the twins, I was often asked (usually by complete strangers), "So, will you be done now?" My answer, "I don't know...for awhile I guess?"

I didn't have THE FEELING. And, I assumed I would never get the feeling.

A couple of years after Landon and Olivia, I got pregnant with Kate. It was a complete surprise, but still, we were happy. I was excited and kept waiting to get the THE FEELING that so many talked about. I still didn't know 100% that I was done.

The day came for her to be born and the nurse who was prepping me for my c-section asked, "Will this be your last baby?" My answer, "Um...I guess so? I have no plans for another." I couldn't say for sure.

Later that day when I was holding her and cuddling her, I kept thinking, "How could anyone say definitively that they never want to have this experience again? Either I'm a crazy person who could have 50 kids, or everyone else in the world who claims to just "know" are heartless rocks who don't really know how to enjoy the greatness of a baby."

Then, the wonderful pain and nausea set in that I get after c-sections. It hurt to walk. I was dizzy from the medication in my spinal. I was throwing up on nurses. It bothered me to look at my mom and Mike's mom talk to each other in my room because moving my head back and forth to see each of them made me feeling like I was spinning out of control. I began to think, "Maybe I'm done with this." I thought it was the pain and medication talking.

The next morning the nurse came in to help me to the shower. She remembered me from my lengthy hospital stay with Landon and Olivia. We began chatting and she asked me if we planned to have any more kids. I stopped for a moment to think and then realized that WHAM--the feeling was there.

For the first time, I was able to really think about what I was feeling in my heart and say, "I'm done."

It wasn't based on hating the pain or the nausea I was feeling. I would go through that in a heartbeat to have all my kids again. The only way I can explain it was a peace in my heart.

Over time, I have thought that this feeling would go away and that the nagging sensation of wanting another baby would come back. It hasn't. Sure I would welcome another baby into our home, but I have no desire to be pregnant again. I often tell people that if I could hatch a baby from an egg, I'd be more than happy to have another child. The pregnancy craving has left my body.

As people around me have had babies, I expected the pains of, not jealousy per say, but longing to come back. They haven't. Someone told me that once one of my best friends got pregnant again, I would want another. Well, that happened and recently I was with her to go shopping. We were talking a lot about pregnancy and babies and even went into a maternity clothes store. While she was trying on some stuff, I started looking around. Before, I would look around those stores and think about wearing the stuff. I would get a little excited at the thought of going through that again. My reaction this time? "Wow, how nice is it to never have to worry about whether or not my pants are going to fit me in a week. That shirt is really pretty ugly. Why do pregnant women have to wear polyester? I'm really over this pregnancy thing."

After years of being told I would get it, I finally can say that without a doubt, I have the DONE feeling.

Do I still get nostalgic for the times when my kids were babies? Yes. Do I wish I could go back in time and kiss their fuzzy heads? Yes. Do I miss the feeling of having a baby roll around in my belly? Yes. Do I get a little teary thinking about never nursing a baby again? Most definiately.

I also know that I have those memories forever in my mind. Nothing can take that away from me. I will always remember hearing them cry for the first time. I'll never forget what it felt like to hold them for the first time and place my cheek next to theirs.

Now, I'm the one explaining to people that I just have this feeling that our family is complete. I know that younger women probably don't understand from a feeling aspect. Most people just look at our family and think that since we have 4 kids, we NEED to be done. I think that if two people feel like their family isn't complete until they have 7 or 8 or even 12 kids, then that is what they need to do...as long as they can afford them.

But for us, we feel complete. We feel thankful and I'm so grateful to have had been blessed with four great babies.

And, I'm thankful to not feel that pregnancy nausea again.

Monday, December 1, 2008

it was fine, and yours?

Thanksgiving is now over and we're officially into the Christmas swing of things. My house is decorated and some presents are even wrapped. Amazing for this procrastinator.

I really love Thanksgiving. I love the food. I love hanging out with my family. And, I love that the next day is Black Friday which is probably my MOST FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR. My Black Friday was incredible. I got pretty much all of the kids' gifts purchased and I didn't feel like stomping on anyone's toes in line for being snotty and hateful--always a plus.

My big purchase of the day was something for myself. Mike's mom sent us each money for Christmas and I decided to buy myself some boots. I tried on many pairs. I wanted some that were casual and warm. I knew I didn't want fur all over the place like a snowbeast and I didn't want ones that tied with big pom-poms on the strings. It's hard to find simple, warm, comfortable boots.

And so I did it. I bought Uggs.

I realize that many people thing they are ugly and I'm o.k. with that. I'm kind of notorious for liking "ugly" shoes.

Finding the stupid things was the hardest part. I went into a store at the mall only to be (not) helped by irritated workers who didn't want to be there only to find out that, "No, we don't have an 8 in anything except the camo short classic, so you'll have to go somewhere else."

All I wanted to do was a try a pair on so that I could order them, but obviously, these people weren't in the trying-on business.

So, I ventured to an army surplus store where not only did they have a big selection, but they were NICE! and HELPFUL! and FRIENDLY!

Now, I am the proud owner of a pair of chocolate Uggs and I love them. I probably won't be wearing my pants tucked into them much, and I 100% for sure will NOT be wearing them with a mini-skirt, but for this very cold footed mama of four, they are perfect.

I wore them to our town's Christmas parade since Kate had to ride on her preschool's float and it was a cold day. Everything was cold on me until you reached my knees. From there on down, I was completely toasty. I think be like Under Armor and go into the buisness of making everything. I would like Uggs gloves, a coat and a hat.

Maybe then I'd be able to get through winter without being miserable.